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One-two-three-four -- all fall down in Solar War!!

Throughout history, those nations which first achieved mastery of the revolutionary technologies of their day went on to dominate their neighbors and rule their era. And as the advance of these very technologies effectively wiped away geographic constraints, their "neighbors" became everybody, and the technology wielders exercised massive power in the world. And so today, the world is at war -- and it's not the war you think. Yes, we are seeing the bullets fly and bombs fall in the clash of civilizations wrought by the death throes of fundamentalist Christianity and (more prominently and savagely) Islam, but that is only one element in the real war for world domination -- the Solar War, the war for domination of solar power production capacity and solar storage technology. The Islamist stake in the Solar War, by the way, is that regions embroiled in that ideology fund their brutality by relying heavily upon the wider world's plateauing fossil fuel dependence.

It is actually unsurprising, given this situation, that the world's leading advancer of solar capacity technology is Israel -- which has been working on exponentially decreasing the cost per unit of solar yields since all the way back to the 1950s. But Israel's technological leaps are not amplified by access to a peaceful land area sufficient to support monumental solar power generation. The real contenders to potential solar domination of the world are the United States and China, a loosely united block of Western Europe, and Brazil. By all rights, Russia ought to be in the mix as well, but has fallen badly behind due to internal political and economic constraints, a handicap of its own making. India has made forays into the area as well, but has substantial infrastructure problems.

But the real contender in this war as of now is China. In the past year, China has built, from virtually nothing at all and in the middle of nowhere, a solar power array in the Gobi Desert which, when completed, will utterly dominate world energy markets, unless some other country can get a bigger one online faster. (Here's an aerial of construction, mostly in the last year. China has made no secret of its plan to eventually supply-- and so, control-- the electricity needs of the world. Remember, solar power is a scale economy. The more solar power is used, the cheaper it gets -- the opposite of fossil fuels which come in limited supply, and go up in price as demand increases. A country could thusly develop such a sizable solar power capacity that it could price itself below the reach of all others, so that no other country would find it cost-effective to enter the market and no potential client state would have a financially sound reason to purchase power from any other country.

Can China be caught up with? Absolutely. Europe might be able to, but efforts there are country-specific and disorganized. The United States almost certainly could, but would have to overcome powerful internal political interests, which are seeking to maintain dependence on oil and coal for as long as possible, to eke out the last possible profits before these energy sources become altogether economically undesirable. Neither are those forces purely internal, since there are other countries which would prefer to dislodge the USA from its leading superpower status. Only time will tell if the USA will rebound from its deficit and come to lead the world in this effort as well.

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