Wherever, whenever, the price comes down a little more, photovoltaics will solve every energy shortage there ever was forever. Photovoltaics already can produce twenty times the energy in their lifetimes than the energy it takes to make them, and photovoltaic manufacturers have been selling out their product as fast as they can make them for decades. The worldwide output of installed photovoltaics are perhaps 10 gigawatts in 2006, if that. But if the price comes down a little more, manufacturing growth could be exponential. Photovoltaics are the wild card. One breakthrough or a few more incremental steps could make photovoltaics humanity’s energy panacea.
In South Africa, claims of a solar breakthrough. Will this be the one? Or the next? Is photovoltaic technology going to replace oil?