posted on Mar, 24 2012 @ 11:46 PM
Actually, history tells us "yes". If you've worked in the PV industry -- or are familiar with its history -- you'll recall that, in the 1980's
most of the PV companies were owned either in whole or in part by oil companies. Think ARCO Solar, Mobil Solar, and my then-employer, Solavolt
International, a joint venture between Motorola (my employer of record) and Shell Oil.
The oil companies saw (and rightly, IMNHO) that PV might be something for them to get into, and they invested millions and millions of dollars. They,
like the rest of us, were seduced by the belief that oil prices would continue to rise and rise and rise, and the cost of PV would drop dramatically.
Sooner rather than later, the two lines would cross and the oil companies would be in a good place to exploit the new, cheap (and profitable) PV.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way; all the PURPA subisidies went away and it simply wasn't getting to the point where the costs were going
down quick enough for PV to make that magic jump to economies of scale.
Finally, in the late eighties, the oil companies pulled out and wrote off their investment. It wasn't until fifteen or so years later (~2000) that
the costs started to come down; by then, Siemens, Kyocera, and a bunch of nimble startups had managed to get most of the consumer market.
The point is that the oil companies are not going to get involved in this Huge Secret And Sinister Plot to kill off all the PV engineers (look
at me -- I'm still alive!!) any more than they would've implemented another Huge Secret And Sinister Plot to hide the Magic 100-MPG Carburetor that
never existed. The oil companies are going to try to get a piece of the pie as long as they believe it will pay off; if it won't (in their view),
then they're going to get out of the market.
Not everything is a conspiracy, you know.