Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Great Day for Clean Tech in the Valley

Today was a great day for Clean Tech. NanoSolar announced that they are shipping their first commercial panels for field deployment at Luckenwalde in Eastern Germany. Of course, Gunther Portfolio had tipped us off about this in their post on December 10th. As the CEO, Dr. Martin Roscheisen, discusses in his blog they are expecting to enable 99c/Watt panels. It is interesting that they have donated one of the first three panels to the Tech Museum in San Jose. I am sure the NanoSolar IPO, when it happens, will be one of the best the Valley has seen.:-)

The other interesting news, which did not quite get as much coverage, was that PG&E had agreed to buy 2MW of power from wave energy from a Canadian company, Finavera Renewables. Wave energy has always been a promising and challenging source. As the data I presented from Dr. Amit Kumar's talk in October showed, the theoretical potential for geothermal and ocean power is 70 TW, but feasible capacity is expected to be on the order of 2TW and significant technical challenges remain. Good to see that PG&E is driving the leading edge of wave energy. Clearly compared to the practical possibility of 1200 TW from solar (again from Dr. Kumar's data), this is small, but we may need all the sources we can get, if we are to stem impending doom in the form of catastrophic climate change. :-)

Lest you think I exaggerate, listen to what NASA scientists had to say yesterday in San Francisco (video clip from ABC News). The report says that by 2012-2013 the Arctic will be ice free at the end of summers. This was not expected to happen till 2040, previously. Let us hope that alternative energy is still in time to save the planet.


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