Dawn Of A Solar Era?

September 2, 2009
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A distinguished panel of engineers and other experts concluded that solar power is primed for exponential growth and with proper commitment solar energy could become the predominant fuel on earth within 20 years.

How I wish I could believe them. But every time someone crunches the numbers, every time someone assesses the economic and political obstacles in the way of a solar transformation of our economy, that bright shining yellow ball that sustains life on earth ends up as so much pie in the sky. For example, this NY Times article cites a DOE official as saying, at best, solar energy might provide as much as 2-3% of our power needs in a quarter-century. Plenty of other analysts think even that projection is overly optimistic. 

I want to believe differently, truly I do. I hope that panel of experts is right and all the skeptics are wrong. But I can’t shake the feeling that this is like believing in Peter Pan or Superman to rescue us from the harsh realities of the world.

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