In what must be terrifying news from the solar front, these two stories can’t be good news for the future of electric utilities and the coal industry. The first story reports that researchers have been able to covert sunlight to electricity with 40 percent efficiency, doubling the efficiency of solar cells. The second story talks about Elon Musk’s new factory that will produce stand-alone batteries for home and small office use, and be available from Home Depot, or Lowes.
Although this will not happen immediately, the writing seems to be being written on the wall that the future of coal-fired electric generating plants will not be long for this world. Now you won’t need to live in Arizona or some other high sunlight state to get adequate energy to supply your home with electric power both day and night.
It will be interesting to see how the legacy companies react to this. No doubt the political contributions from these industries will flow to Congress in greater amounts to create obstacles to the new company’s deployment of these products. Legacy companies seem to always fight the future rather than figure out how to use future technologies to insure their future.
We live in exciting times. I may not be around to enjoy the benefits of this (it will take time to rollout), but my son and his wife, and my grandchildren will certainly be around.