Kurzweil: Solar Energy Will Be Unlimited And Free In 20 Years

What energy crisis? In less than 20 years, solar power will be so inexpensive and widespread that it will meet the entirety of the world’s energy needs at virtually no cost, futurist Ray Kurzweil, told The Washington Post.

At present, solar power accounts for a scant 0.23% of US energy consumption, and about 1% of energy consumption worldwide.

However, the artificial-intelligence pioneer points out that solar power use has been doubling every two years over the past three decades, as well as consistently dropping in cost. Kurzweil, who is currently Director of Engineering at Google, says that at the current rate of growth, solar power will be able to meet today’s energy needs in about 14 years.

Given growing energy needs, Kurzweil predicts that solar power will be inexpensive and ubiquitous enough to power the planet in about 20 years.

The prediction may sound far-fetched, but Kurzweil isn’t the only one making it. X Prize founder and Singularity University co-founder Peter Diamandis agrees:

Likewise, Vivek Wadhwa, a distinguished fellow at Singularity University and director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, points out that a mere three decades ago, people were just as sceptical of mobile phones as they are of solar energy today, and with similar justification.

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