If you haven’t been watching the news for the past few years, there’s a war going on in the world of energy. While Arab Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the 19th richest person in the world and one of the ones who make a huge profit from oil, said to CNN he’s worried about the prices of oil going up, Mark M. Little from GE tells Bloomberg that in 3 to 5 years we’ll be able to produce electricity from solar panels for as little as 15 cents/kW, far less than by using oil.
“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives,” says the Prince. While I believe that’s really a bold and cool thing to say, I also think he’s reflecting the primal fear of losing that the oil-rich Arab countries have these days.
Prince Al-Waleed estimates that the price of oil should lie between $70 and $80 a barrel, and not the current level of $100.
On the other side of the world, Mr. Little, in his role of General Research Director for GE, claims that the company he works for will be making solar power cheaper and cheaper, by building new production lines for thin film solar cells, like the one planned for 2013. He says the new factory will be able to make solar cells for about 80,000 homes a year.
You know how all of the world’s empires of all sorts rose and fell along history. I guess it’s time commonsensed prices for energy ruled again, but this time with no pollution involved, and that everybody could again be on their own, at least energetically. I may be a dreamer, but I also know good dreams have to come true once in a while.