Author Archives: Ramez Naam

Tesla Battery Economics: On the Path to Disruption

Elon Musk announced Tesla’s home / business battery today. tl;dr: It’ll get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost effective for a wide market. And within just a few years, it almost certainly will be cheap enough … Continue reading

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Why I’m Wearing an Eye Patch

  Choose from among the following: A) I like costumes. B) I really wanted to look like Samuel L Jackson. C) It’s an interesting (and humbling) learning experience, walking around with one eye. D) The left half of my face … Continue reading

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China Isn’t the Reason Solar is Cheap. Innovation Is.

“The only reason solar is so cheap is because China is dumping cells.” I hear this a lot. So let me correct it. Here is the price, as of February 2015, of solar modules, per watt sold in Europe. SE … Continue reading

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Solar + Wind, More Than the Sum of Their Parts

David Roberts has an amazing first post in his new job at Vox, on why a solar future is inevitable. Clearly I’m bullish on solar. My own reasons are that: 1. Solar is plunging in price far faster than any … Continue reading

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The Prime Minister of Singapore is a Coder

Amazing. I know nothing of his politics or skills as a leader. But this surprised me. Can we import this guy? Elect more engineers, scientists, and developers to office in the United States? Full transcript of this speech here. Hat … Continue reading

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Why Energy Storage is About to Get Big – and Cheap

tl;dr: Storage of electricity in large quantities is reaching an inflection point, poised to give a big boost to renewables, to disrupt business models across the electrical industry, and to tap into a market that will eventually top many of … Continue reading

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How Much Land Would it Take to Power the US via Solar?

I’ve seen some pieces in the media lately questioning this, so allow me to point to some facts based on real-world data. tl;dr: We’ll probably never power the world entirely on solar, but if we did, it would take a … Continue reading

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A Simple Suggestion for the Hugo Awards

If you haven’t followed the Hugo Awards, some context. A slate of nominees backed by a voting block is dominating this year’s awards, so much so that the slate has every single nomination in some categories – like Best Short … Continue reading

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2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember

Eric Garner. Michael Brown. The Sony hack and surrender to fear. 2014 seems to be ending on a crappy note. My twitter feed is full of people expressing good riddance to the year. 2014 was better than that. I want … Continue reading

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The Patents Argument Against GMOs Just Ended With the First Off-Patent GMO

I argued in my 2013 book, The Infinite Resource, that the “seeds shouldn’t be patented” argument against GMOs and specifically against Monsanto was invalid for a very specific reason:  Patents end. As I wrote then, the patents for Monsanto’s first commercial … Continue reading

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