So - the argument has sashayed out from atomic structures (almost) into the world of semi-conductors - which I expecting because, after all, Keith Barnham is a scientist and this is his field - and he's invested more than a few bob of his own money in the technology.
The strength of his argument rests not only on the potential efficiency of the solar cell, but in the comparison with the overall cost and efficiency of the alternatives, in particular that of nuclear power, where the politicians and the energy companies cheat and collude into presenting us with a future that appears benign and cost effective. Nuclear energy is neither of those things, of course.
But as I get into the latter half of the book, Keith has now shown a bit more of his 'solar hand', because when he talks about 'solar energy' he really does mean EVERYTHING that can be attributed to the effects of the sun on our planet. Although PVs get top treatment, he also bangs the drum for the other 'solar natural' energy sources, such as WIND and BIO-FUEL -and that means that he's looking for a complex energy generation solution, rather than different, non-renewable, ways of getting a turbine to spin round.
Oh yes - and here's something to try and get your head round: the difference between ENERGY and POWER. He says that what we need is POWER, not ENERGY - and that conventional power generation has it the wrong way round. I think I understand it to mean that energy sources that are available at the time and location of demand represent POWER generation (I need to pick up a box and carry it into a room NOW; I need POWER for that and all I had for breakfast was a boiled egg and a piece of toast) whereas energy sources that are available regardless of actual requirements represent ENERGY generation (so I undertake a high-protein regime and build my body to the extent that it makes women (and men) swoon - in order that that I can then pick up a box . . one day . . . maybe). But if anyone can help me that (the idea, not the body-building), I'd like to hear from you.
And coincident to all of this, here's a video that I discovered yesterday that sort of demonstrates the complex solution that Barnham advocates.
Greenwashing: a guidline for good behaviour
The elephant box in the room
What Lighting Designers Should be Looking For . . . and Asking For
The Children's Fire
Products That Last - Redux
Products That Last - Review No.3
Products That Last - Review No.2
Products That Last - Review No.1
Products That Last
Talking about Waste - as we were . . .
Sustainability - They Seek it Here, They Seek it There . . .
Sustainability - the core message
The Life and Times of the LED - a series in ten parts
Sustainability: They Seek it Here; They Seek it There . . .
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room