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Old 02-17-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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Futurist Ray Kurzweil isn’t worried about climate change | Need to Know

Quote:
Today, solar is still more expensive than fossil fuels, and in most situations it still needs subsidies or special circumstances, but the costs are coming down rapidly — we are only a few years away from parity. And then it’s going to keep coming down, and people will be gravitating towards solar, even if they don’t care at all about the environment, because of the economics.
An interesting outlook from Futurist Ray Kurzweil (http://www.fastcompany.com/100/2010/62/ray-kurzweil - broken link).
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Sango, TN
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Its just a theory at this point. However, he has been fairly accurate on some things. We'll see, but its going to take significant increases in the energy output per solar panel. The Futurist didn't mention that they would double in output power, but that the use of solar panels would double every two years.

I'm all for solar, but honestly its still years away. Wind, oil shale, and natural gas are the short term solutions to our domestic energy needs.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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I too am for solar energy as I live in the southwest. It's development will give the sparsely populated Southwest some political clout that it now lacks. Thumbs up too for the thousands of wind turbines now going up all over west Texas and around my farm. I say go for it. I'll drive a solar-powered F150 as long as it can pull what I need to pull.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: California
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Solar power is great it's just too expensive to install on a home, I would like to see it affordable for buisness and home owners.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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No chance it will be cheaper unless oil is at $250+ per barrel.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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That's what this refers to. If I remember correctly it's about $.14 KW-h now for solar energy compared to about $.04 KW-h for gas and $.05 KW-h for coal.

Looking at the increase in efficiency over the last 2 decades of solar it appear that in about 10 years solar will only be slightly higher in cost than traditional fossil fuels.

This article sparked my interest and I wanted to hear from some people more closely related to the energy industry and its cost.

Thanks for the replies so far.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by randy8876 View Post
No chance it will be cheaper unless oil is at $250+ per barrel.
Umm, coal and natural gas supply approximately 53% of global demand. Nuclear provides about 24%.

I don't think solar will replace oil because of the numerous things we need oil for like medicine, food, makeups.. etc.

I think if oil were $250/bbl no one would be interested in oil except the ultra elite.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
I think if oil were $250/bbl no one would be interested in oil except the ultra elite.

Oil has been up to $147 in 2008. It didn't hardly impact driving patterns in America.

At $250 we'll see driving patterns changed, but still mass consumption.

The energy in oil is just too dense. Nothing compares too it. Super cheap and instant. I can drive a gas powered car 300 miles in 4 hours. To do that same in electric will take 14 hours (factoring in "fill ups").

Good luck finding alternative energy that can do that.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy8876 View Post
Oil has been up to $147 in 2008. It didn't hardly impact driving patterns in America.

At $250 we'll see driving patterns changed, but still mass consumption.

The energy in oil is just too dense. Nothing compares too it. Super cheap and instant. I can drive a gas powered car 300 miles in 4 hours. To do that same in electric will take 14 hours (factoring in "fill ups").

Good luck finding alternative energy that can do that.
Good luck finding an alternative today, absolutely true, but that is why he is called a "futurist" because were talking about the future, beyond next month, next year and into the next decade.

What are the odds some fool government is going to end up in another conflict in the Middle East with one of the major oil producing states? What does that do to oil price models then?
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:20 PM
 
27,890 posts, read 35,046,048 times
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That exemplifies this futurist inclinations. As technology increases making solar cheaper we're going to be fighting tooth and nail for the last few drops (just an example) of oil. Both of those together, along with numerous other factors, will drive the viability quickly.

I took note how this futurist cared nothing about the conflicts of the past when describing the driving forces behind numerous other technologies like computing.
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