Using the Internet to reduce market risk for alternative energy sources: The case of large–scale solar photovoltaic production

Joshua Pearce


Although tremendous progress has been made in improving the conversion of sunlight into electricity with solar photovoltaic cells, their widespread adoption is primarily limited by high costs. This paper explores the use of the Internet as a catalyst for the diffusion of solar photovoltaic technology by reducing market risk. With market risk minimized by a database generated by a community of pledged consumers, solar cell companies would be motivated to construct a "Solar City Factory." Such a factory would produce solar panels that would enable systems costs to drop below US$1 per Watt and thus be less expensive than fossil fuels in providing bulk electricity. This price would have a positive–spiral effect encouraging many consumers to switch to solar electricity and transition the global energy infrastructure to renewable solar energy.

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