In 1976 a scientist named Barry Commoner ran for President. The sole plank on his platform was Energy. He noted, correctly I believe, that Energy Cost, as a percentage of GDP, would strangle our economy.
He outlined a way that PV cell costs could be contained. He drew the analogy with the microchip industry, whose chips in that era had just had just come down in price significantly. He observed that the NASA had placed orders for vast quatities of these chips, used in computers and other equipment needed to put a man on the moon. The semiconductor industry was forced to expand and automate, bringing the cost of computer chips down radically. He suggested that if all Federal buildings were retrofitted with PV cells, the same economies-of-scale cost reductions would follow. Residential and local Business arrays would become way more affordable. And once paid for, the power from these arrays would be free (not a word that oil and other energy companies like to hear)
He also advoctated Distributed power generation as opposed to Centralized, noting the inherent overhead in large-scale, centrally generated power distribution (not to mention utility companies' profit margins). The more local the generation and distribution, he thought, the cheaper the power for everybody.
The Federal Government should invest in this technology. Every Federal building in America should have rooftop PV arrays. It just makes good sense.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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