Thursday, May 05, 2011

Government works with push price of solar

Thursday, May 05, 2011

SANTA BARBARA much like the Moonshot years 50 ago, that Government to the heavens, a generation of scientists and innovators to reach his next big challenge America help inspire turns.

This time it's just the Sun, not the Moon, is the object of desire. And instead of the space, the focus is better find ways to power the Earth by the power of the Sun.

The SunShot initiative is a challenge, of the Department of energy, solar energy, which in turn would help decrease by $1 per watt, drive the economy, reduce dependence on foreign oil and reduce the amount of climate-damaging gases in the atmosphere spew.

Noble aims it, but a worthy one, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, the DOE Director of solar energy technologies a room full of scientists and energy experts said Tuesday at the Summit of Santa Barbara on energy efficiency.

"It's like all experiment," he said. "What we do, is to set up a hypothesis and then you go back and do the experiment, and you see what the result."

The two-day Conference Wednesday at the four seasons Biltmore Resort, being surfaces look at the challenges and targets for the transition from the United States in the direction of a major renewable energy portfolio of the use of energy more efficient. The event was of the UC Santa Barbara's Institute for energy efficiency to put.

The SunShot initiative is part of making President Obama drive, 80 percent of the country come from clean sources of energy by 2035. A Watt now costs from $3 to $4 for large systems and industry experts say $2.20 per watt is feasible period of five years. This is about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, the standard measurement for utility bills.

Said Bill Brinkman, Director of the Office of science in the DOE technology the hold-up on the strengthening of the role solar is not in the country.

"The problem is we all know how it to do, but it's too expensive", he said. While the price of solar energy by approximately 50 percent has fallen in recent years, it is depending on affordable made by a number of subsidies for private and commercial customers.

As the price has fallen, it has a huge increase in the number of photovoltaic panels on the roofs throughout the country. In 2010, it more than 10 times the amount of energy produced by solar as in the year 2005 did pass a growth rate expected to that.

We want to the point where you need not subsidies. Ramamoorthy Ramesh

"To put it simply, business is booming," said Ryne Raffaelle, Director of the national renewable energy laboratory. "The growth is really phenomenal."

But for his true reach Ramesh said potential, it must be with gas, coal and oil, can compete.

"We want to the point where you need not subsidies," he said. "It is a challenge, but it is feasible."

Solar focuses on places such as California now, where the Sun is abundant. But if the cost is $1 per watt were, it would be reasonable economic everywhere in the country.

The SunShot program is four challenges to drive the price of solar power help: promoting the technology of solar cells, electronics, the installations, improving the efficiency of solar production and reduce the cost of permitting better optimize and design.

Technology provides the innovation required, to drive part of the costs down, but policy makers need to consider such as the cost of licensing and controls to reduce during the installation.

Asked whether the country has the enthusiasm to get that did it with putting a man on the Moon, behind the solar panels in the same way, Ramesh was enthusiastic about the possibilities.

"The same feeling of patriotism, we put a man on the moon to the what is needed," he said. "Confluence of job creation and competitive on the green energy, the sexy, not should be get global market and the priority of the creation?"

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