Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Ideas for solar power in home -- - Page 8

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by Morris Dovey on February 8, 2006, 3:54 pm
Johnny (in T5iGf.7072$bW6.5851@bignews7.bellsouth.net) said:

|| JSF (in ruednVDxh5mN8HTeRVn-gw@comcast.com) said:
||| Over the years there has been several so called breakthroughs on
||| mass producing solar cells lowering the cost to one 1/4 to 1/ 6
||| of the cost of standard cells.
||| Well where are they?
|| A reasonable question. In the case I mentioned in an earlier thread
|| (in alt.solar.thermal), the company making the breakthrough simply
|| wasn't interested in extending their product line to include
|| photovoltaics.
| In my opinion it has to do with the centralized power authorities
| being addicted to sapping the masses for their personal enrichment.

Since you're responding to my reference to an earlier post, I'm
assuming that you actually read that post and enough of the thread to
get some context...

I can say with certainty that the decision at IBM to not diversify
into photovoltaics was based only on the fact that at the time the
company's buisness model had absolutely no provision for
manufacturing, marketing, or sales of a consumer product - and that
development and implementation of the necessary corporate
infrastructure would have cost so much as to make the operation
inadequately profitable.

The process was considered "interesting"; but since the end result
didn't lend itself to the production of logic chips, it was considered
as no more than one more milestone along the path of learning. To the
best of my knowledge, IBM top management never knew of the
development - and, as frequently happened, there didn't seem to be any
reason to tell the public (or the DOE) about another might-have-been
product they didn't intend to produce.

If patents were filed, you should be able to find 'em to examine the
details of the process and use it yourself - because they will have
expired by now. I haven't had need to do any patent searching for a
while; but I recall that IBM made an Internet patent search capability
freely available to the public some years ago.

I haven't been associated with IBM since 1976 and, in fact, have only
a minimal personal interest in PV stuff (I manufacture and sell
passive solar heating panels); but I think you're missing the boat
with your conspiracy theory - most of the neglect would seem to be due
to a general lack of interest in producing/buying a product that
offered too little economic benefit.


Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by daestrom on February 8, 2006, 10:28 pm

Yeah, right.  Those darn 'centralized power authorities' keep making that
electricity so cheaply, that PV panels have a hard time being economical.
They are obviously deliberately underpricing those billion dollar nuc
plants, and such just to keep the PV market stifled.


Posted by SJC on February 8, 2006, 11:08 pm

  I have heard that the federal government pays some $0B a year for
nuclear power plant insurance. This would be like a subsidy paid for
by all the taxpayers but benefiting only the industry and those that use
that power.

Posted by Josh Hill on February 9, 2006, 12:55 am

I haven't seen that figure, but IIRC the Federal Government does
insure the nuclear power industry and that certainly constitutes a
subsidy. We also have to take into account the costs of waste disposal
and storage, security, anti-terrorism measures, and the like.

Unfortunately, even when that's taken into account, I don't think
solar electricity is competitive yet, except in remote off-grid
locations where it would be more expensive to run a power line.


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by Jeff Thies on February 9, 2006, 2:15 am

I've seen a number of posts lately of people that are running PV and
making it work. Contributing factors seem to be ability to sell back and
state and federal tax credits (US). One guy had already paid back his
system over 5 years.

Whether this is good fiscal policy is debatable and there are certainly
many other ways that are vastly more feasible and economic.

   What strikes me though is the investment big oil has in PV. The large
number of solar powered gas stations by BP in particular. Shell also
seems to be a big player.

   From what I gather there is a shortage relative to demand. With the
high cost and what I assume to be the high profit of PV it may only be a
matter of time before first the Koreans, and then the Chinese jump into
this fully.  I remember in the mid to late 90's when only the Japanese
(mostly) made RAM and kept conspiring to create shortages to drive up
the price to about $0/meg (I think you can get a gig now for that).
That price certainly encouraged companies in other countries to make the

   I think there is greater inherent cost for PV but I wonder when PV
will become a comodity. I would think that many forms (like
polycrystaline) are already mature.

Jimmy Carter gets little credit but it was his policies that drove
electric generation off of oil and onto natural gas and coal. Can you
imagine what the cost of electricity and gas would be now if that hadn't


This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread