[p2p-research] Earth's carrying capacity and Catton
Paul D. Fernhout
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sun Aug 16 22:55:19 CEST 2009
Ryan Lanham wrote:
> Paul Fernhout wrote:
>> Are you saying all these people are either stupid or lying?
> Others here have brought up nanosolar claims. So far they are hype. No
> science, no product. If they produce something that comes in at a wide
> scale implementation cost under 0.25 USD, I'll start to listen. For now, it
> is lots of industrial waste, short-term burn out, and a lot of marketing
So, this press release from 2007 is a lie?
"Nanosolar said Tuesday it has begun production at its San Jose, Calif.,
facility and has shipped its commercial thin-film panels to its first
customer, Beck Energy."
And they lie on their web site about shipping products?
# Nanosolar Utility Panel™.
Specifically designed for utility-scale power plants, Nanosolar Utility
Panel™ is the industry-best solution for MW-sized PV systems.
A high-power, high-current panel, the Nanosolar Utility Panel™ features
proprietary cell and panel design innovations that enable our panel product
to have an entire factor more power and to carry 5-10 times more current
than typical thin-film panels.
Available wholesale to select system integrators and electric utilities.
# Nanosolar SolarPly™.
Light-weight solar-electric cell foil which can be cut to any size.
Non-fragile. No soldering required for electrical contact.
Available wholesale to strategic partners.
And the people who just invested US$300 million dollars in them (beyond an
earlier US$200 million) just now are just complete gullible idiots?
"As part of a strategic $300 million equity financing, Nanosolar has added
new capital and brought its total amount of funding to date to just below
half a billion U.S. dollars. ... Last December, we introduced the Nanosolar
Utility Panel(TM) to enable solar utility power — i.e. giving utility-scale
power producers the solar panel technology to build and operate cost
efficient solar power plants. The tremendous demand for our unique product
was matched by the desire to support us in scaling its availability even
more rapidly and ambitiously. ... The new capital will allow us to
accelerate production expansion for our 430MW San Jose factory and our 620MW
Berlin factory. (Earlier, Nanosolar secured a 50% capex subsidy on its
Germany based factory.)"
OK, a lot of investors are sometimes idiots, I'll agree. :-)
But then are the twenty jobs listed here perhaps just for show?
So, let's say Nanosolar is just hype. Lots of companies have raise hundreds
of millions or even billions on hype, sure, though generally in the dot com
bubble. Lots of companies have shipped product that later were defective or
that did not perform as expected. Anybody can put up a web site that says
anything, especially a private company. OK, so for the sake of argument,
let's say it is just hype.
And let's say that the Google billionaires who funded Nansolar are unable to
do any sort of due diligence like from using a search engine or hiring
someone to do it for them. Billionaires invest in all sorts of nutty things
like "Cheap Access to Space (CATS)" instead of "Design of Great Settlements
(DOGS)". :-) And investing in green energy is, admittedly, great PR for
Google. So, maybe it is just that.
So, now that we have dismissed Nanosolar as hype, :-) consider what this
publicly traded company (First Solar) is saying:
"By enabling clean, renewable electricity at lower costs, First Solar is
providing a sustainable alternative to conventional energy sources. This
goal has driven First Solar to become one of the fastest growing
manufacturers of solar modules in the world. First Solar FS Series 2 PV
Modules represent the latest advancements in solar module technology, and
are rapidly driving the cost of solar electricity to rates comparable with
traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources."
Sure, some weasel words there "comparable" and "rapidly". Could be twice as
much in fifty years, right?
"The quest for inexpensive solar panels continues, with cadmium telluride
generating enthusiasm among investors and hopeful followers of the advance
of alternative energy technologies. Over at IEEE Spectrum, Richard Stevenson
speculates that First Solar might beat over 80 competitors to achieve
manufacturing costs low enough to market solar panels at less than $1 per
Watt, the target considered necessary for solar to compete with coal-burning
electricity on the grid."
And they have 84 jobs listed here in our job-meltdown economy:
Is that because everyone is leaving First Solar too because of hype? :-)
And while you are at it, you might as well edit their Wikipedia page to
reflect whatever you know to be the correct figures for this part:
The manufacturing cost per watt reached $1.23 in 2007 and $1.08 in 2008. On
February 24, 2009, the cost / watt broke the $1 barrier with .98 cents a
watt. First Solar is contractually bound to reduce price per watt by 6.5%
per year and plans to be competitive on an unsubsidized basis with retail
electricity by 2010. 
From the referenced SEC document:
"Our objective is to become, by 2010, the first solar module manufacturer to
offer a solar electricity solution that generates electricity on a
non-subsidized basis at a price equal to the price of retail electricity in
key markets in North America, Europe and Asia."
So, are you are basically saying, all this is "Lies, ALL LIES", as Frau
Farbissina did in Austin Powers? :-)
If so, maybe you should go to the SEC with your misgivings about First
I know, they did not listen to several people about the Bernard Madoff
Pyramid scheme either, so why bother, right? :-)
And I know, we saw it all before in the 1980s with the failure (sabotage?)
of Chronar, right? I literally was in a laundry room in some grad student
housing at Princteton when someone who worked there told me about "short
I still have one of their small panels for car battery trickle charging.
"September 17, 1990 PRINCETON, N.J. - Without an immediate injection of
cash, Chronar Corp. may be forced to suspend its operations and seek
protection under federal bankruptcy laws. ..."
People really seem determined to fight abundance to the end. :-(
Fossil fuels have been a physically dirty business for a long time, but they
have also been an economically dirty business for a long time. Why should
now, at the end, be any different?
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