Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry |
by Travis Bradford (Author)
"Solar Revolution is an essential read because it analyzes the transformation of
the global energy economy. The market will drive the new energy economy, and
solar is already a growing and influential player. This is a positive vision of
a sensible, practical, sustainable energy future."
—Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico and former U.S. Secretary of Energy
"Solar Revolution makes a powerful case for a disruptive shift in the energy
marketplace—ushering in a post-fossil-fuel age. Where others despair in the face
of 'peak oil' and out-of-control climate change, Travis Bradford sees a unique
opportunity to create a clean new energy economy."
—Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute
"Deeply researched ... hopeful."
— Bill McKibben, New York Review of Books
"Every American who pays or knows someone who pays an electric bill should read
— Cecil Johnson, "Business Bookshelf, " Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Everyone who wants to understand the permanent energy answer that can reverse
climate change, eliminate oil shocks, and avoid future Chernobyls should read
this book. Bradford builds a compelling business case that solar energy is the
most disruptive technology in history."
—Denis Hayes, Former Director, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory
"This book challenges the energy debate: it shows in a convincing way that
atomic and fossil energies are dispensable and could be replaced totally by
renewables within some decades."
—Hermann Scheer, General Chairman, World Council for Renewable Energy, and
member of the German Parliament
"This book is a rigorous but intensely practical analysis of how the world's
energy future should evolve. It will be valuable not only for scholars dealing
with the technological and policy aspects of energy, but also for the concerned
citizen who may have no specialized knowledge of the issues. Solar Revolution
should receive worldwide attention for exploring the pathways that can guide the
world towards a renewable energy future."
—R. K. Pachauri, Director-General, The Energy and Resources Institute, New
Delhi, and Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
"This is a timely and much-needed book. The solar industry is evolving with
dramatic speed, both technologically and economically. With a business
perspective and a wealth of knowledge about the solar industry and the wider
energy economy, Travis Bradford provides an excellent account of solar energy
—Dan Kammen, Professor and Founding Director of the Renewable and Appropriate
Energy Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley
"While the book is a bit technical, even a solar-novice can learn plenty about
the past and present of solar energy, and what may be in store for the future."
— E-The Environmental Magazine
In Solar Revolution, fund manager and former corporate buyout specialist Travis
Bradford argues—on the basis of standard business and economic forecasting
models—that over the next two decades solar energy will increasingly become the
best and cheapest choice for most electricity and energy applications. Solar
Revolution outlines the path by which the transition to solar technology and
sustainable energy practices will occur.
Developments in the photovoltaic (PV) industry over the last ten years have made
direct electricity generation from PV cells a cost-effective and feasible energy
solution, despite the common view that PV technology appeals only to a premium
niche market. Bradford shows that PV electricity today has become the choice of
hundreds of thousands of mainstream homeowners and businesses in many markets
worldwide, including Japan, Germany, and the American Southwest.
Solar energy will eventually be the cheapest source of energy in nearly all
markets and locations because PV can bypass the aging and fragile electricity
grid and deliver its power directly to the end user, fundamentally changing the
underlying economics of energy. As the scale of PV production increases and
costs continue to decline at historic rates, demand for PV electricity will
outpace supply of systems for years to come.
Ultimately, the shift from fossil fuels to solar energy will take place not
because solar energy is better for the environment or energy security, or
because of future government subsidies or as yet undeveloped technology. The
solar revolution is already occurring through decisions made by self-interested
energy users. The shift to solar energy is inevitable and will be as
transformative as the last century's revolutions in information and
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: The MIT Press (October 31, 2008)