As I said Monday, I am working on a Big Thought ™ this week. Monday I wrote about a story of how many people in Africa could have smartphones in 5 years. Today let’s talk about energy.
Believe it or not, solar power is an IT technology. The processes to produce them are similar to the ones to make computer chips so they benefit from technological advances in that field. Governments are seeding development money in many countries so improvements are being made every year. In the article below, it talks about how the price of solar fell by 50% in 2011. If they do that a few more years, then they will be cheaper than other forms of energy, especially if you consider you don’t need a lot of infrastructure to support them. If I have a solar panel on my house providing energy, then I don’t need a powerplant somewhere else, transmission lines, distribution substations, etc… It’s just me.
Now the big problem in energy production is not production itself actually, it’s power storage. In other words, what do you do when the sun isn’t shining? Batteries are not close to good enough yet. Perhaps flywheels would work? Somebody will solve this problem though (and get very very rich) and then the world will change.
The article below also talks about how there are places in Africa that will be getting solar soon because it is so sunny. As I said Monday, somehow these different pieces will fit together into something that will change the US education system. That will be the Friday post. Please stay tuned! (come to think of it, how many young people understand what that phrase means? lol)