Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Robots to the rescue
The main difference between renewable sources like solar power and non-renewables like natural gas continues to be cost. If solar is price competitive people will buy it. One way to get there would be to tax carbon emissions, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Another way to get there is to improve the technology behind solar, and people have been working on that for decades. Recently, though, that research has taken a new direction. Instead of improving the technical efficiency of each panel, some firms are developing robots to reduce the cost of setting up a solar power plant and others to be sure that panels are kept as clean as possible to maximize exposure to the sun. Hey, whatever works!