In Brief

Futurist Ray Kurzweil sees solar energy advancing at an exponential rate, soon reaching the tipping point towards universal use.

Futurist, scientist and Singularity proponent Ray Kurzweil has a more than optimistic view on climate change. In concordance with his Law of Accelerating Returns, Kurzweil sees solar power technology growing at an exponential rate similar to that of computing power. According to Kurzweil, within twenty years, solar power capability will rise and the cost will drop to the point of effectively replacing fossil fuel use worldwide.

As Kurzweil tells Lauren Fenny of PBS:

One of my primary theses is that information technologies grow exponentially in capability and power and bandwidth and so on. If you buy an iPhone today, it’s twice as good as two years ago for half that cost. That is happening with solar energy — it is doubling every two years. And it didn’t start two years ago, it started 20 years ago. Every two years we have twice as much solar energy in the world.

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