Tag Archives: Ray Kurzweil

Sunshot: solar cheaper than coal in six years

Solar is expensive at the moment, but that could change rapidly. David Biello writes in Scientific American yesterday:
The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) aims to change that by bringing down the cost of solar electricity via a new program dubbed “SunShot,” an homage to President John Kennedy’s “moon shot” pledge in 1961.

“If you can get solar electricity down at [$1 per watt], and it scales without subsidies, gosh, I think that’s pretty good for the climate,” notes Arun Majumdar, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA–e), the DoE’s high-risk research effort. “With SunShot, the goal is to reduce the cost of solar to [$1 per watt] in the next six years.”

Hm, so maybe Ray Kurzweil is right.

DoE Secretary Chu even thinks we could win something else:

“Just because we lost the lead doesn’t mean we can’t get it back,” Chu said. “We still have the opportunity to lead the world in clean energy…but time is running out.”
Meanwhile, we could shift fossil fuel subsidies over to solar and get on with it.


“In 20 years we’ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar” –Ray Kurzweil

The man who knows more about doubling rates than anyone else in the world (he accurately predicted computers winning at chess and the Internet, including the correct dates), Ray Kurzweil, interviewed by Lauren Feeney on PBS:
One of my primary theses is that information technologies grow exponentially in capability and power and bandwidth and so on. If you buy an iPhone today, it’s twice as good as two years ago for half that cost. That is happening with solar energy — it is doubling every two years. And it didn’t start two years ago, it started 20 years ago. Every two years we have twice as much solar energy in the world.
Think about how fast the Internet has grown in the 21st century. That’s what he’s talking about: from unknown to TV news anchors to facilitating multiple revolutions in weeks. He continues: Continue reading