Larger buildouts of Photovoltaics will merely exacerbate the BASELOAD power quality issues of PV, that presently in California, Natural Gas Power Plants are being deployed and upgraded, to run continuously ( burning NatGas ALL the Time ) for fast dispatch for PV outage remediation in lieu of actual prohibitively expensive electrical Batteries / Power Storage.
Rather than a hodge podge Solar "solution", of PV then hugely costly electrical power storage ( esp where pumped hydro is impossible ) we need large scale deployment of MS-CSP / MS Storage that renders a cost effective immediate solution to BASELOAD quality SOLAR POWER NOW.
The premature call to deploy PV at scale, reminds me of the purported imperative to deploy wind at scale, which has less predictable power quality than PV. Wind + BASELOAD batteries, is similarly ill advised, better replaced with Solar Updraft Wind Chimneys - which is solar thermal gradient windpower independent of prevailing surface windspeed ( it is a surface to altitude thermal gradient "windpower" )
Fundamentally, any solar technology deployed at scale needs to properly be BASELOAD CAPABLE to deploy at scale and avoid damaging the power quality of the grid ( whether distributed on rooftops at grid scale or solar power plants ).
Despite fascinating science and action in R&D and manufacturing advances in Photovoltaics, NO ELECTRICAL STORAGE TECHNOLOGY is cost effective for transforming actual photovoltaic intermitentcies ( fast passing cloud outages and OVERNITE power outages with PV ) into cost effective baseload power.
The only BASELOAD CAPABLE solar power is Molten Salt Concentrating Thermal, with Molten Salt storage.
Cost benchmarking between concentrating solar thermal versus PV hardly acknowledges that virtually any electrical energy storage costs renders Baseload ( batteyr backed ) PV UNAFFORDABLE, versus MS-CSP with MS storage is quite reasonable for the Complete Baseload capable grid scale solution.
Soalr cells are toys, we will make huge advances in solar cell efficiencies ( Alta Devices is superb technology), but for BASELOAD ( realistic ) power quality, ANY Photovoltaics SOlution is ill advised ( being polite ).
We need the Nevada SoCal desert to have installed ~50-100 GW of MS-CSP/ MS Storage & 100 GW of HVDC grid scale power lines built out from there to major population centers west of the Mississippi, versus all the tomfoolery of adhoc buildtouts of Photovoltaics that is not cost effective to render baseload capable in our lifetime.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.