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Friday, June 03, 2005

Here Comes the Sun

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal there was an informative article entitled "Solar Power Heats Up." It talked about how solar cells have not only become more efficient over the past fews years but, when combined with lower installation costs and a variety of tax breaks and rebates, the economics of solar cells have shifted in a way that favors consumers.

I don't really think this is news but I do think it is important to stay tuned to the work that Nanosys, Konarka, NanoSolar, Cypress and GE (and others) are doing in this field. I sincerely believe the economics will continue to shift -- perhaps radically -- in a way that continues to favor the consumer.

Nanosys continues to publicly state that it will be producing (along with Matsushita) a flexible solar cell sometime in 2007; Konarka continues to work with the U.S. Army to manufacture solar fabrics; and as Jeffrey Immelt says in this article, GE is now investing $1.5 billion in clean energy technology research and development.

Now, not all of this research is in the area of solar cell technology but it should cause investors to seriously consider how much of the future demand in energy will be met by coal and nuclear power and how much will be met by "clean technologies."

I continue to be more bullish on the latter, in large part, because of how advances in nanotechnology will continue to enable cheaper and more efficient solar cells.