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Peabody Energy Corporation Message Board

  • telaviv767 telaviv767 Apr 22, 2014 2:39 PM Flag

    Alert! eminent inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, predicts solar will power the word in just 16 years!:) WOW! AMAZING!

    Currently, solar power supplies less than 1% of the world's energy needs, which has led many to disregard its future significance. Where they're wrong is that they fail to understand the exponential nature of technology, says eminent inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Just like computer processing speed—which doubles every 18 months in accordance with Moore's law—the nanotechnology that drives innovations in solar power progresses exponentially, he says.

    During his latest Big Think interview, Kurweil explained:

    "Solar panels are coming down dramatically in cost per watt. And as a result of that, the total amount of solar energy is growing, not linearly, but exponentially. It’s doubling every 2 years and has been for 20 years. And again, it’s a very smooth curve. There’s all these arguments, subsidies and political battles and companies going bankrupt, they’re raising billions of dollars, but behind all that chaos is this very smooth progression."

    So how far away is solar from meeting 100% of the world's energy needs? Eight doublings, says Kurzweil, which will take just 16 years. And supply is not an issue either, he adds: "After we double eight more times and we’re meeting all of the world’s energy needs through solar, we’ll be using 1 part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the earth. And we could put efficient solar farms on a few percent of the unused deserts of the world and meet all of our energy needs." HAPPY EARTH DAY!:)

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    • Another not so small factor to consider is that with current technology the effective commercial longevity of most solar panels average just 10 - 20 years. Granted that this could (and most probably will at some increased cost) be improved with future technologies, but at this point it is the current reality and expectation. Cheers...

    • How will you fly a plane or turn on a light in the evening with solar power? The problem has always been uneven availability. In my section of the country solar panels are effective about 4 hours a day on average. Maybe someone's got better storage technology? I don't see it.

    • Unless you are aware of a new solar panel manufacturing technology, each panel incorporates about 0.6 oz. of silver. Considering the number of panels you are talking about, it would almost certainly drive the price of both silver and the consequent cost of manufacturing the panels significantly higher. There's just no such thing as a free lunch. It's all relative. JMO, Cheers...

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