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A Shorter Road to Our Energy Future

Posted in Energy

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Michael Totty of The Wall Street Journal has a thoughtful piece in today’s paper entitled The Long Road to an Alternative-Energy Future. For the most part, the article does a good job of explaining the many obstacles that will confront this country’s transition to biofuels, nuclear, wind, and solar power. There is one key point which Totty mentions but completely overlooks and that is the fact that solar power is doubling every couple of years.

From Totty’s perspective just because solar only generates 0.1% of our electricity today it will never be more than a small, niche player in America’s energy equation. As I have done on numerous occasions, let me show you how fast solar energy could grow if it is doubling every two years:

2010—0.1%

2012—0.2%

2014—0.4%

2016—0.8%

2018—1.6%

2020—3.2%

2022—6.4%

2024—12.8%

2026—25.6%

2028—51.2%

2030—100%

Now, I don’t expect solar to meet 100% of America’s electricity needs by 2030 but it is entirely feasible that solar could meet well more than 25 percent—you just have to understand how to “jump the curve.”

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