Getting to Cost-Competitive Solar Energy

SunEdison founder and former Carbon War Room CEO Jigar Shah took to the pages of The Huffington Post and GigaOm recently to downplay the need for aggressive clean energy innovation. “We actually have all of the cost-effective technology [we] need” to mitigate climate change, he says in the former piece, singling out Bill Gates’ and writer Marc Gunther’s claims to the contrary. In Shah’s perspective, the solar industry doesn’t need subsidies anyway and all that’s necessary are financial reforms and incremental innovations to get solar to below $2 per peak watt by 2020. Shah would do well not to ignore existing solar technology’s subsidy dependence and the significant innovations needed to take it to the finish line.