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Old 09-02-2019, 02:58 AM   #6727 (permalink)
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If we had a space elevator, maybe the cost of space-based solar would only be several times more expensive than terrestrial-based.

Solar panels could be made from raw materials found on the moon, right? Perhaps the cost to put them into orbit would be less if they were manufactured there... by robots.

Then again, we're very early on in utilizing robots to manufacture things. I expect much of our energy problems to both be solved by, and compounded by increasing automation. If PV cells could be manufactured for next to nothing due to extensive automation, and installed by machines, then perhaps that would largely solve the cost part of the production equation. Automation could also be leveraged to building electricity storage.

I often wonder why robotics hasn't delivered more solutions than it has yet. $10k to put a new asphalt shingle roof on? There should be a robot with a spool of asphalt roofing material laying it down 1 sq/ft per second with millimeter accuracy.
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