When The Motley Fool returned its bailout funds on April 2, I thought that was the end of April Fool's. Since then, I've repeatedly had to check my calendar.
First there was the unveiling of the PUMA, the General Motors
Maybe the nuttiest news yet is the announcement by West Coast utility PG&E
As far as technology commercialization timelines go, space-based solar is likely somewhat ahead of nuclear fusion powered by a rare fuel that's mined on the moon. But it's still a stretch, given the enormous cost of getting the requisite amount of material into orbit. We're not talking about a small Boeing
Given that a PPA only requires the utility to pay for energy delivered, I guess PG&E doesn't risk much here, other than its reputation. Still, I can't help but be concerned that this far-out application diverts regulatory attention from more pressing applications by proven solar operators like SunPower
I definitely see the appeal of baseload solar power that's impervious to nighttime. Given the huge up-front costs involved, though, I have a hard time seeing space-based solar edging out geothermal as a renewable baseload generation solution anytime soon. Utilities, the main lifeline in the solar space today, ought to keep their PPAs more practical than this.
SunPower slightly edges out First Solar among Motley Fool CAPS participants, with three stars to the latter firm's two. Rescue First Solar from stock pickers' purgatory with a bullish pitch right here.