"...So right now it’s at 0.5% of the world’s energy. People tend to dismiss technologies when they are 0.5% of the solution. But [increasing by 2x] every 2 years means it’s only 8 more doublings before it meets 100% of the world’s energy needs. So that’s 16 years..."
- SOURCE: Lauren Feeney. (December 31, 2009). "Futurist Ray Kurzweil isn’t worried about climate change." PBS. View website.
While it's unlikely that 100% of the world will be powered by solar energy in 16 years, it's good to know that there is justification -- a calculation from respected futurist Ray Kurzweil -- for that kind of math behind it. Said differently, it's refreshing to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
When I teach my classes at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment or at the UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, sometimes I'm not sure whether to be the pessimist or the optimist regarding our ability to find solutions to environmental problems. (However, I'm the constant optimist regarding our ability to create profitable businesses that solve some of these problems.)
And when I'm working at Cherokee Investment Partners to launch our large-scale solar PV investment business, I try to stay focused on the idea of ultimately catalyzing the development of hundreds of megawatts and thousands of acres of solar PV projects instead of focusing on the notion that most state Renewable Portfolio Standards aim to only raise that 0.5% to, say, 3%.
Anyway, thanks for the pep talk, Ray.