In auto and bike racing terms, one may say that hydrogen is drafting solar energy. I’ve blogged before that a revolution in solar energy will most likely lead to a revolution in hydrogen power as well.
So, following in this train of thought, its time to do another checkup of the latest news in solar. In North America, a huge solar power facility is going up, a major home improvement store is spreading solar panels out and the price of solar energy is coming down.
In Southwestern Ontario, North America’s largest solar power plant is now being built. This plant will include over 1 million solar panels and be able to produce 40 megawatts of electricity.
Starting in May 2007, three-quarters of Kohl’s department stores in California will be converted to using solar power. The stores will be generating more than 35 million kw hours of electricity offsetting 28 million pounds of C02.
In New Zealand, Dr. Wayne Campbell has developed advanced solar cells that cost one-tenth of the current silicon solar cells. The silicon is replaced by plant-based synthetic dyes with much smaller infrastructure needed for manufacturing.
As advances in solar technology charge ahead, hydrogen power is not far behind. Cheap solar energy will mean that cheap hydrogen gas will be able to be produced via electrolysis onsite at many facilities. With cheap solar it will one day be possible to produce hydrogen onsite at current fueling stations, at businesses and shopping malls and at one’s home.
Hydrogen is the perfect companion for storing solar energy such as Michael Strizki is doing with his solar-hydrogen home in New Jersey. Like looking in the side view mirror, the solar-hydrogen revolution may be closer than we think.