Price of solar energy will drop by half The big question when it comes to renewable energy sources is when they will become commercially viable. The Finns have concluded that in China, energy from solar and wind sources will become profitable already in five to ten years. Costs fall by 20 percent every time capacity is doubled.
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Solar plane set for landmark round-the-world flight – Yahoo News
With flight speeds of 50-100 kilometres (30-60 miles) per hour, the entire round-the-world journey is expected to take five months to complete. The plane is the successor of Solar Impulse, a pioneering craft which notched up a 26-hour flight in 2010, proving its ability to store enough power in lithium batteries during the day to keep flying at night. This year’s flight marks the culmination of 12 years of research and testing, organisers say. Si2, whose makers claim it is the most energy efficient aircraft ever built, has a wider wingspan than a Boeing 747 but, thanks to its innovative design, weighs about as much as a family 4×4. The carbon fibre, single seater plane has 17,249 solar cells built into its wings that will supply four electric motors and the rechargeable lithium batteries. Speed at night will be limited to prevent the batteries from being run down too quickly.
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