Jeremy Rifkin recently published a book called The Zero Marginal Cost Society. As an industry analyst it is my job to stay on top of technologies that have the chance to transform industry. Indeed, when MHI went through a very throrough research project to identify megatrends that will reshape industry through 2025, all the trends they identified, but one, are things that my company ARC has been paying close attention to.
Mr. Rifkin discusses the Internet of Things (IoT), advances in automation and robotics, 3D Printers, and the fundamental changes to our economy these things will drive. I’ve linked to just the most recent articles we have written on the topics of IoT and robotics transforming supply chains. ARC is less convinced that 3D Printers are transformative.
But Mr. Rifkind has identified one transformative trend ARC has clearly not paid enough attention to: the exponential price decline in solar power! I was somewhat doubtful this could be true, but a search of the Internet brings up research by Ramaz Naam, who published an article in Scientific American in 2011 on this topic. In a recent blog Mr. Naam states “the price decline in solar cost per watt has, if anything, accelerated since then!”