There is an interesting post on the Entropy Production blog. The author tries to project the future of solar power by extrapolating from historical trends. The article shows many graphs and is in general a good read. His argument: If historical trends continue, solar power will dominate. (via Grist)
Entropy Production: Many people will look at the graphs in disbelief that the easy path photovoltaic power has been travelling can continue. All I can really say in reply is, those are the historical numbers. The learning rate is exceptionally stable. The growth rate has been, if anything, accelerating in the face of a industry silicon shortage. Thin-film technologies seem well positioned to cause the price to continue to fail into the near future. Solar power doesn’t have very far to fall in many European nations before it’s cheaper than residential rates.
As residential solar becomes the cheapest power available that will continue to push demand upward and fuel growth. There’s nothing obvious to me that says ‘Stop’ in solar’s future and it’s a fact of exponential growth that the early years matter the most. Even if the growth rate drops 1 % a year over the next 25-years the eventually outcome seems predetermined, it’s just a question of the timing.