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Nanosolar has made great progress as it has faced and apparently surpassed many barriers so far. However, they are still facing the most important barrier, which is the old electric power paradigm centered on central generating station.

Nanosolar’s product is in essence a distributed generation product, but as there is a strong barrier against the development of the resources of the demand side its first applications are supply side applications.

Michael Power writes a clear message to characterize the old business and the new business we are entering in the fifth technological revolution: "Electricity consumers becoming part-time producers – “pro-sumers” – and utilities shifting from “energy-making business” to “energy-moving business”…

There is a new paradigm that has emerged in the past two years, as an extension of research work done originally at MIT, where utilities shift to become just transportation utilities that do the actual movement for generators and customers (not just consumers anymore). Under the new paradigm a set of Second Generation Retailer - 2GR do the actual business transactions under competition. That paradigm is electricity without price controls (EWPC). To break down the barrier faced by Nanosolar and many innovative companies, the main mission of 2GRs is the development of the resources of the demand side.

For more details, please take a look at the EWPC article Demand Integration is NOT the Province of Politics. Under the article there is a set of comments which were posted under another Kevin Bullis TR Editors’ blog, explaining the EWPC market architecture and design paradigm shift , while also responding davel’s question “why is it important to slash energy use” to additional questions posed by frankellim.

This comment was posted as Old vs. New Paradigm under Technology Review Editors blog, post "Big Solar News: Nanosolar is shipping printed solar cells," by Kevin Bullis.

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member photo In Solar and micro wind tax credits (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/21974... ), jmaximus9 wrote on 12/13/2007:

I have a better idea, go back to a Carter era style subsides [http://www.dsireusa.org/ ] for installing solar and micro wind and other energy conserving device in the home and small biz sectors... Solar panels should be as common as decks or swimming pools in the southwest [http://renu.citizenre.com/index.php ]. Microwind should be the same way in the great plains [ http://www.windterra.com/ ]... None of these things need major breakthroughs, they are ready to use now... Power to people!

My response is as follows: That solar and micro-wind don't "need major breakthroughs, they are ready to use now..." seems to be a very good point. However, it is a policy that leads to high inefficiencies under today's power sector paradigms designed for demand as an externality, resulting in a total lack of coordination with the interconnected power system . EWPC is a paradigm shift which aim to increase total social welfare, by increasing power system coordination and economics while integrating demand.

The major breakthrough required is for those potential "disruptive technologies" to be integrated into power system planning, operation, and control. The glue to integrate them (demand integration) is the development of information technology (intensive) business model innovations by Second Generation Retailers - 2GRs (http://grupomillenium.blogspot.com/2007/07/second-... ).

To enable such integration, the most important issue is to shift the paradigm from the energy-making business to the energy-moving business (read please this article Nanosolar Breakthrough and the Old Paradigm, which was posted under the piece "Big Solar News: Nanosolar is shipping printed solar cells," also by Kevin Bullis). Solar, micro wind and other renewable investments should compete with in the process to integrate demand to the power system.

Any tax credits should be available to develop all the resources of the demand side, including those of information technology. The resources of the supply side which are energy intensive are already highly developed.
# Posted By Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio | 12/21/07 2:07 PM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate

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