Solar power takes off, but where’s the U.K?

Looks like there’s a revolution afoot in the technology around solar panels which allows easier production and cuts costs. Where is this taking place? The production company is in California’s silicon valley. Is there interest in Europe? Yes, but in Germany where there are already big steps forward in introducing solar power.
John Vidal writing in the Guardian (29/12/2007) describes the scene: ” The solar panels produced by a Silicon Valley start-up company, Nanosolar, are radically different from the kind that European consumers are increasingly buying to generate power from their own roofs. Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, they are flexible, light and, if you believe the company, expected to make it as cheap to produce electricity from sunlight as from coal.”

And Europe? Vidal continues: “Yesterday Nanosolar said its order books were full until mid-2009 and that a second factory would soon open in Germany where demand for solar power has rocketed. Britain was unlikely to benefit from the technology for some years because other countries paid better money for renewable electricity, it added.”
Yes we’ve committed to wind farms, but U.K. has announced more coal fired power stations and still talks about a nuclear future? Is it the climate? Surely Germany’s is not markedly different. All the talk about a greener future remains at the level of rhetoric with the U.K. left trailing. Surely we can do better, but New Labour’s priorities remain earthbound and out of touch with peoples’ wishes and concerns. Not a lot from the opposition parties either. Time for the new bus, not just the driver.

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