17 February 2008

Here Comes the Sun (Again)

There's an interesting article in today's New York Times that talks about how Silicon Valley has caught solar fever. If it sounded familiar to you, you're not alone; they ran a similar article about a year ago. Not sure how I remembered it; it just rang some sort of vague bell and I ran a search. (I guess the Times stopped restricting Web access to stories more than two weeks old. Anyone know when that happened? It's a good decision, I think, especially in light of the sharing culture that's developed in the blogosphere. It probably happened years ago and I just didn't notice.)

Anyway, this new article brings us up to speed and discusses the idea of Moore's Law being instructive in the case of solar power prices. To be honest, though, I'm feeling goofy today and was more amused at the involvement in the story of a Sun Microsystems cofounder (the author showed more restraint than I could have in playing it straight) and how the Times's style guide forced them to refer to the chairman of SunPower as "Mr. Rogers."

Speaking of energy costs, I'd be negligent if I didn't also link to this story about nuclear waste storage costs. I thought the piece was generally pretty well done, which is always refreshing when nuclear's involved. It seems to me that DOE gets blamed for what are at least partially Congress's mistakes [full disclosure: DOE pays for my research], but, in fairness to the author, the NEI lawyer is really the one who gives that impression.

I was a bit confused by the part about DOE's "initiative to gather the waste and run it through a factory to recover re-usable components." Are they talking about reprocessing and the domestic parts of the GNEP plan? If so, this seems like an odd way to say it (and not just because only dinosaurs still hyphenate reusable in the middle of a line).

(By the way, nice Web site redesign, NEI.)

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