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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Will lower solar costs revive Moore's law talk?

IEEE Energy Wise blog asks this interesting question.

Many know about Moore's Law for electronic devices and in particular integrated circuits or microprocessor:

"Moore's law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years"
(from Wikipedia)

IEEE blogger Bill Sweet reports that a recent research at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory shows a rather sharp drop in photovoltaic installation costs in the first half of 2010, which may revive talk about a kind of Moore's law at work in solar energy

Whether this is due to business cycles or with technological progress is not very clear. Anyway, costs held steady in 2008/2009 at about $7.50 per installed watt. while they dropped $1.20/W from 2009 to the first six months of this year.

Though the lower installation costs are primarily associated with lower module prices, non-module costs - labor, marketing, overhead, inverters, and balance of system - also are important.
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