It has been a while since I wrote about the whole “the-environment-economy-future-might-seem-bad-but-there-are-still-good-things-happening” theme. I noticed this theme being written about lately in some other top financial and technology blogs as well – which is nice to see. (In my wildest dreams they are reading our weather blog in order to keep on top of developing trends – but that is unlikely to be the case).
One of the technology trends I have been following for a long time is solar energy. The industry has been suffering lately because of a glut in the supply of solar panels and now a lower price of oil probably is not helping. While the businesses side of things are bleak, the technology side continues progressing. I was happy to see a new solar cell record from Sharp recently. Their engineers managed to sqeeze 43.5% efficiency out of a concentrating solar cell for a new world record. As is typical, the cell is probably not ready for the mass market but it is a nice sign that solar power technology is not standing still.
Something that IS ready for the mass market (or at least a niche within the marketplace) is the Tesla Model S sedan. I have been following Tesla since its inception because it was a bold move to go all electric and they have been able to hang on through the years even though their price-point (for the Tesla Roadster sports car) has kept their list of potential buyers quite small. The model S is not cheap either but it is a marvel of technology and it looks hot. It just went on sale this week. Depending on the options, the Model S could range in price from $50,000 up to nearly $100,000. The more pricey models with bigger batteries get nearly 300 miles per charge! I hope they succeed, however, I always get worried about companies that need government loans to get by (as is the case for Tesla). If I win the lottery, a Tesla would be on my shopping list.
Have a good weekend! Meteorologist Justin Loew.