Cheap Solar Power


Over the last few years solar PV has got cheap. Cheap enough to start impacting some commodity energy markets today. Cheap enough that with continued progress, but no breakthroughs, it might alter the global outlook for energy supply within a decade.
 I have long been skeptical of solar hype. In 2008 we did an expert judgment exercise suggesting only even odds of getting to module prices of 0.3 $/W in 2030. In 2011 we did some analysis showing how the power-law learning curve for modules appeared to be flattening. That analysis was done at the end of a decade that saw big increases in installed capacity, with little corresponding change in module prices. The solar market was driven by incentives, like tax credits and feed-in tariffs that drove rooftop solar seem systems which are (arguably) little more than green bling for the wealthy. I worried that deployment incentives (global total amounting to many hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade) would simply lock in the current technologies and do little to drive the breakthroughs that were needed to get solar cheap enough to compete for commodity power.

God and the Deli

Turning right or left, I never know where one encounters the presence of God.

Just a few days ago, while picking up a few items at a delightful deli, a spry and stylish woman hugged the nearby proprietor and said “I keep praying to God that it is time to take me, so that I can be with my husband”. “I am now 90″. (didn’t look it).

“My daughter recently put together a surprise birthday party. Grandchildren and neighbors were all in the know.” “It was so much fun. It was a blessing. But, I miss my husband.”

More hugs.

Working Together

Ideas are everywhere.

Turning an inkling, thought, notion or even a plan into something real mostly requires working with others. And, working successfully, ideally, toward a common goal. Working together has risks, of course. It sometimes leads to conflicts, miscommunication, disagreement, differing expectations and failure.

Some time ago, I read that the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation [1] loomed in 2017. The printing press was an essential asset to Luther’s work.

My notion: why not create a simple, multi-lingual daily verse app for iPhone, iPad and the Watch? The appetizer? Text to speech on iOS and Watch.


A talented friend helped refine the user experience, yet I needed someone to build, test and deploy the app.

Vikram Aich, prospecting (prospecting!), entered my inbox. I appreciated his simple and straightforward message. It lacked fluff and unnecessary words.

A bit of back and forth on requirements and costs followed. Needless to say, the apps were built, tested and are now available in the App Store.

There were a few bumps in the process, but Vikram and his colleagues persevered. That willingness to make it work, despite obstacles, is essential to creating great products and services. I am thankful for this successful initiative.

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you…” [2]

Check out the My Verse app:

Apple Watch




[2] Matthew 7:7