This afternoon I talked with a guy named Travis Bradford, who has a new book out called Solar Revolution (you can read sample chapters here). In it, he makes a rather bold and startling claim. To paraphrase:
In coming decades, solar energy is going to become the dominant energy source on the global market. This is true irrespective of possible increases in the price of fossil fuels; irrespective of possible global warming regulations; irrespective of government subsidies; irrespective of possible future technological advances. Even given conservative assumptions about all those factors, the tectonic forces at work in the global energy situation make solar’s dominance inevitable.
Bradford is not some hippie dreamer. He comes from the world of corporate finance, investment funds, and other such things I don’t understand. (He now runs the non-profit Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development.) He doesn’t make predictions idly.
Anyway, the Q&A will be up on the site in a week or two. This is just the kind of person I love to meet — young, knowledgeable, forward-thinking, and in the thick of things rather than shouting from the sidelines. I may try to absorb him into the Grist Borg.