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December 21st, 2010

1366 continues to draw interest of investors, DOE

Published on December 21st, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Ann’s earlier post regarding the accelerating drop in costs in 2009 and 2010 for installed photovoltaic solar energy systems general jibes with theĀ estimates by Emanual Sachs, of 1366 Technologies/MIT. Sachs predicts that “manufacturing innovations in silicon PV will decrease costs by 10% per year through 2020, at which point solar electricity becomes cheaper than coal” (Sachs’ Law).

1366 received a $4 million ARPA-E grant last December and the company recently announced that it had raised another $20 million from investors. It also recently hosted DOE Secretary Chu at its facilities in Massachusetts:


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4 Responses to 1366 continues to draw interest of investors, DOE

  1. John says:

    Steve, the fossil fuel industry has been heavily subsidized with respect to R&D for years in coal and clean coal technology as well as dollars spent defending oil supplies in foreign countries. Unfortunately, imo, our country hasn’t put near enough R&D dollars into renewables. The US used to lead. We instead are caught up in old paradigm thinking promulgated by entrenched interests such as gas,coal and oil. Germany, who has about 60% of the population of the US, exports about 25% more then the US. Many of their R&D dollars have gone into renewables and they’ve created an energy economy that dwarfs the US’s. Germany, in spite of their higher tax rates, must be doing something right because their economy shines with respect to the US’s.

  2. James says:

    No, I don’t think that the subsidies will fall by the wayside if solar does become cheaper. First off, look at how much ‘ greener’ it is, the government will see value in supporting that type of change. Second, since when has reason dictated the government’s subsidy policies? We’re still very heavily subsidizing agriculture; to the point where 62 cents of every dollar a farmer makes is coming from the government.

  3. Brad says:

    Maybe to be more constructive in the discussion with the prior comment. What portion of the cost decrease is due to government subsidies/tax breaks for solar panels and what does the cost comparison look like on an even govenment playing field? According to the LBNL note alongside this, it has roughly stayed even over the last several years, not dropped…meaning it will take a lot longer then the next 10yrs to be cheaper then coal because as soon as it is cheaper the subsidies and tax breaks will be removed for the government to take their piece of the pie back.

  4. steve says:

    I wonder if our tax dollars would be better spent on fossil fuel research instead of solar panel development and subsidies…..

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