But- here today- and in the New York Times, forsooth- is a chunk of what I have to consider seriously good news.
A company is entering the real world with a potentially world-changing technology- the first application of which is in solar power; a way to peel silicon wafers, 20 microns thick, off the stock material, rather than sawing far thicker wafers.
Take my word for it; that's HUGE. The cost per watt for photovoltaics is already under the supposed magic point of $1/watt, for large installations. Which is why Solyndra went broke. My guess- when this is fully mature, this process could put it under 10¢/watt; and in just a few years.
Genuinely mind-boggling. Kiss your nukes goodbye.
And it shifts the entire solar energy world. The barrier is just not cost of the cells, any more; it's the cost of the land to put them on; costs of installation and maintenance.
There is, you'll be glad to know, plenty of bad news there. While the inventor of this new process can rightly expect to make mind-blowing profits- the profits associated with a 30 year contract to keep a square mile of solar panels clean and connected- are not going to interest Big Capital. It's just not sexy enough. And; there will increasingly be security problems- like the moron who decided to shoot out a wind generator near here yesterday.
But, hey; there's a new career track opening up. Night watchman/woman at a solar power generator. That'll impress them at the singles bar. :-)
A bit more seriously- I do see this as a big technological leap forward. But, my inner Eeyore does grumpily demand acknowledgement of this particular bad aspect: it will encourage the "technophiles", who insist that progress in technology will, of course, solve all human and environmental problems.
Oh, that's a really, really, bad bet; and one not actually supported by history. While this means a lot in regard to clean energy, one of the most likely outcomes will ultimately be- more babies. And we know where that goes.