Tag Archives: solar

Carbon Prices Drive Clean Energy Innovation

I want to point out something I see commonly missed.  Carbon prices accelerate innovation that brings down the price of green energy. So do renewable energy portfolio standards, green energy subsidies, and a whole swath of other climate policies. They do this … Continue reading

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Solar Power Prices Dropping Faster Than Ever

In 2011, I wrote a piece for Scientific American on the exponential price decline in solar power. I haven't had a chance to fully update that piece, but two quick notes.   First, the price decline in solar cost per … Continue reading

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The Sunlight is Where the Energy Poverty Is

The future world energy system will undoubtedly be a mix of many different energy technologies – nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and some fossil fuels for decades and decades to come.  Yet I’m particularly optimistic about solar. One reason is its … Continue reading

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Pieces I’ve Written Around the Web

Over the last few months (and a bit over the past few years) I wrote a number of pieces around the web, primarily on energy, sustainability, genetically modified foods, and economic growth.  I did a poor job of linking to … Continue reading

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Combining Current Tech Could Make Solar Cheaper than Coal

By the end of the decade, manufacturers in the United States could make solar panels that are less than half as expensive as the ones they make now. That would be cheap enough for solar power to compete with electricity … Continue reading

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Innovation as the Infinite Resource: My Talk at Chicago Ideas Week

Innovation as the Infinite Resource:  Ramez Naam at Chicago Ideas Week

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Carbon Nanotubes Could Replace Rare Earth Indium in Solar Cells

A frequently voiced concern about solar energy is the dependence of solar cells on rare earth elements such as indium.  While rare earth elements are actually far more plentiful than their name suggests, it’s also encouraging to see studies showing … Continue reading

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My WFS2011 Talk: The Infinite Resource: Growing Prosperity While Reducing Impact on the Earth

I gave at talk this morning at the World Future Society 2011 Conference in Vancouver.   The talk was entitled The Infinite Resource:  Growing Prosperity While Reducing Impact on the Earth, and it looks at what the ultimate limits of growth … Continue reading

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Solar Cheaper than Coal in 3-5 Years? GE and First Solar Think So

The news is carrying two stories in the last two weeks pitching solar as potentially cheaper than current electrical rates in the next 3-5 years. First, in an interview with Bloomberg, GE’s global research director Mark M. Little said that … Continue reading

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Is Moore’s Law really a fair comparison for Solar?

A reader at Scientific American raises some healthy skepticism about whether or not the exponential trend in solar watts / dollar can continue. This is a fine thing to be skeptical about.  As I mentioned in the original post, we … Continue reading

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