The Solar Power Revolution Begins in Earnest

Civic_critic2

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Colas is a French company who are world leaders in producing bitumen emulsion for roads and they've cracked how to create a solar road. They have found how to integrate solar panels into a road surface without breaking the panels and while retaining all the characteristics needed for a safe road surface. On top of this they can simply lay these down on existing roads, no need to construct new roads.

[video=youtube;YQba3ENhlKA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQba3ENhlKA[/video]

Ireland has 100,000km of roads. At an average of 4m width that makes 100,000,000 square metres x4 available for electricity generation: 400 million square metres.

These panels are 15% efficient, so on a good day receiving 500W per square metre that means a fully covered road has network has the potential to generate 30GW of power. By way of comparison, Ireland's total installed capacity is 6GW.

This doesn't include private driveways, car parks and footpaths which can also be paved with these panels. A solar roadway also has the potential to deliver electricity to moving cars in realtime by induction energy transfer.

For those who thought the world was running out and running into an energy crisis - no, the truth is one of abundance not lack. We are about to enter an age of abundance despite hysteria to the contrary. That's presuming we survive the next few months of US warmongering, which is not looking guaranteed.

On top of the roads and footpaths there is also a new type of transparent solar panel that can generate power from windows:

[video=youtube;qMhdpWMDp04]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMhdpWMDp04[/video]

These technologies are not the future, they are beginning to be installed now.
 


Vega1447

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Colas is a French company who are world leaders in producing bitumen emulsion for roads and they've cracked how to create a solar road. They have found how to integrate solar panels into a road surface without breaking the panels and while retaining all the characteristics needed for a safe road surface. On top of this they can simply lay these down on existing roads, no need to construct new roads.

[video=youtube;YQba3ENhlKA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQba3ENhlKA[/video]

Ireland has 100,000km of roads. At an average of 4m width that makes 100,000,000 square metres x4 available for electricity generation: 400 million square metres.

These panels are 15% efficient, so on a good day receiving 500W per square metre that means a fully covered road has network has the potential to generate 30GW of power. By way of comparison, Ireland's total installed capacity is 6GW.

This doesn't include private driveways, car parks and footpaths which can also be paved with these panels. A solar roadway also has the potential to deliver electricity to moving cars in realtime by induction energy transfer.

For those who thought the world was running out and running into an energy crisis - no, the truth is one of abundance not lack. We are about to enter an age of abundance despite hysteria to the contrary. That's presuming we survive the next few months of US warmongering, which is not looking guaranteed.

On top of the roads and footpaths there is also a new type of transparent solar panel that can generate power from windows:

[video=youtube;qMhdpWMDp04]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMhdpWMDp04[/video]

These technologies are not the future, they are beginning to be installed now.
How much per delivered kWh?
 

Half Nelson

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I'm not sure of the practicalities of putting these panels on country roads, but I see no reason why they shouldn't be trialled on city/town streets, beginning with pedestrianised areas. Perhaps some county council will take a leap.
 

silverharp

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The youtuber Thundef00t did a series of videos debunking this whole thing, havnt watched hem in ages, might make a reasonable contra case though

[video=youtube;ocV-RnVQdcs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocV-RnVQdcs?list=PLmwUit3zudnTKaTq9QuGnNM6xaVpCgnNO[/video]
 

Civic_critic2

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That's a different solar roadway, the guy's heart was in the right place (presuming he wasn't doing Kickstarter for the spare cash) but his execution of the idea was lumpen and costly and not going to happen. The solution by Colas however is realistic and the French energy minister has stated that they are going to install 1000km of road with these panels over the next 5 years.

The projected cost is $6 per watt. I would expect this cost to tumble by a factor of 5 to 10 over the next 10 - 15 years if/when this takes off. There's also another 5 million square metres of railway lines across Ireland.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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I wonder how Denis O' Brien can monetise this?
 

Civic_critic2

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I'm not sure of the practicalities of putting these panels on country roads, but I see no reason why they shouldn't be trialled on city/town streets, beginning with pedestrianised areas. Perhaps some county council will take a leap.
These guys are one of the world's premier roadmakers, they have deliberately designed these I think to operate on all road conditions, including country roads, main roads, motorways and city roads. Of course the introduction of a single electricity market in 2017 may militate against adoption of these because they will make countries more independent, the opposite of what those who want to create political integration through infrastructural co-dependence want to see.

For almost all technical problems, when humans become serious about them a cornucopia of potential solutions from across the world appear quite rapidly. Certain political and business interests may well want to curate these solutions to inhibit them, take control of them to put unnecessary extra costs on them (rentier economics) or snuff them out. For example, if this technolgy is researched further to increase the efficiency and lower the cost by 10 - 40 times then there is no reason why a government, acting as the collective capacity of its nation, cannot implement a nationwide system of free electricity provision through general taxation. That is now within our grasp. There are others, reactionary forces, who will attempt to keep it entirely private.

Another example of a technology which we aready have but which is being inhibited is the ability to put large payloads into orbit using a supergun powered by hydrogen. We can, today, use this technology to cut the price of delivering tons of cargo to space by a factor of at least 20. That means space could be much more opened up and many more missions undertaken today, as we speak. But it is blocked by the US who don't like anyone having a supergun and will assassinate anyone who tries.

[video=youtube;1IXYsDdPvbo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IXYsDdPvbo[/video]
 

McTell

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No
.... A solar roadway also has the potential to deliver electricity to moving cars in realtime by induction energy transfer.
....

I love it. Reminds me laterally of that Longford man who invented a "cart that carries its own road".
 

Civic_critic2

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How much subsidy involved?
No idea but I imagine a lot of the technical work in creating various aspects of solar panels that they're using came from university research originally. In an age where credit outstanding is 10 times global GDP and the meaning of money and all that that entails is manipulated corruptly by a relatively very few banks and industries is an argument over subsidies relevant? Externalities are subsidies that industry doesn't pay for, schools are childcare subsidies to businesses that they couldn't operate without.
 

Hans Von Horn

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That's a different solar roadway, the guy's heart was in the right place (presuming he wasn't doing Kickstarter for the spare cash) but his execution of the idea was lumpen and costly and not going to happen. The solution by Colas however is realistic and the French energy minister has stated that they are going to install 1000km of road with these panels over the next 5 years.

The projected cost is $6 per watt. I would expect this cost to tumble by a factor of 5 to 10 over the next 10 - 15 years if/when this takes off. There's also another 5 million square metres of railway lines across Ireland.
Is that a capital cost of $6 per watt capacity ?

With a French capacity factor of 15%

One megawatt of your solar would cost $6 million and produce 8766 x 15% 1314.9MW per year on a irregular basis.

the levelized cost of the solar power produced would be about 32 cents per kWh

NREL: Energy Analysis - Levelized Cost of Energy Calculator

Now add the cost of back up generation transmission and some storage.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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Own the roads.
Not as outlandish as you think.
All it needs is for the government to sell our existing network on a PPP basis.
Not at all outlandish. Privatise everything is my motto. People should only avail of what they can afford, this lark of providing infrastructure or services for free is an unacceptable drag on the private sector.
 

Civic_critic2

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Not at all outlandish. Privatise everything is my motto. People should only avail of what they can afford, this lark of providing infrastructure or services for free is an unacceptable drag on the private sector.
That's an extremist ideology, we also can collectively achieve things that singly we can't and corporately the owners are not inclined to do. Extreme privatisation is a pathology and an attack on the human condition and what it can achieve together.
 
D

Deleted member 48908

Not at all outlandish. Privatise everything is my motto. People should only avail of what they can afford, this lark of providing infrastructure or services for free is an unacceptable drag on the private sector.
Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler were correct, I see.
 

Civic_critic2

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Is that a capital cost of $6 per watt capacity ?

With a French capacity factor of 15%

One megawatt of your solar would cost $6 million and produce 8766 x 15% 1314.9MW per year on a irregular basis.

the levelized cost of the solar power produced would be about 32 cents per kWh

NREL: Energy Analysis - Levelized Cost of Energy Calculator

Now add the cost of back up generation transmission and some storage.
I'm not expert on the costs but the $6 is for what they call 'peak-watt', presumably meaning the optimum price under best lighting conditions. They say a $/W of ratio of 50c to the watt is when solar becomes competitive with coal and they appear to be approaching that now with normal solar panels. The point of this breakthrough is that they have solved the road problem and can now install, test, take orders and reduce pricing through scaling and optimisation. I don't know how well other technologies may fit in with their material but there are many approaches to solar that might be incorporated and reduce price - quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, tandem panels, etc...

If you're suggesting that it's a non-starter because the osts will be prohibitive I very much doubt that, but I'm usually 10 years ahead anyway and I'm no longer interested in arguing about it, it's going to happen.
 

Vega1447

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I'm not expert on the costs but the $6 is for what they call 'peak-watt', presumably meaning the optimum price under best lighting conditions. They say a $/W of ratio of 50c to the watt is when solar becomes competitive with coal and they appear to be approaching that now with normal solar panels. The point of this breakthrough is that they have solved the road problem and can now install, test, take orders and reduce pricing through scaling and optimisation. I don't know how well other technologies may fit in with their material but there are many approaches to solar that might be incorporated and reduce price - quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, tandem panels, etc...

If you're suggesting that it's a non-starter because the osts will be prohibitive I very much doubt that, but I'm usually 10 years ahead anyway and I'm no longer interested in arguing about it, it's going to happen.
Cost per watt is meaningless.

You probably mean cost per watt hour (I hope per KWh).

A kWh is a unit of electric energy.

About 20-30 cent in Ireland.

A Watt is a measure of power== energy consumption (energy per unit time) so $ per Watt is meaningless.
 


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