How IT Can Provide Cleaner Energy

In many areas, clean energy technology has already reached an apex. What remains lacking are efficient distribution channels and better consumer communication. IT can fix all that. 

What's the Latest Development?


The cost of solar technology has fallen like a rock, meaning tough times for companies that invested money when production was far more costly. Today, solar panel installation costs half of what it did a few years ago but technology-driven price reductions cannot continue. Instead, businesses need smarter IT to make dividends. Venture capitalists who invest in clean energy estimate that smart IT can cut the price of solar by another 75%, finally making solar cheaper than coal. By innovating sales channels, financing incentives and customer communication, solar "could account for 15 to 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs."

What's the Big Idea?

IT has the capacity to improve the efficiency of many aspects of our lives, saving the planet precious resources and creating a better living environment. Airbnb, for example, connects tourists with locals citizens who rent rooms in their house as substitutes for hotels, which are three times as energy intensive as homes. Taking a wider view, 2.5 billion censors are connected to the Internet, from GPS locators on shipping pallets to volume sensors on public garbage cans, and that number is set to grow, providing communities with plenty of data they can use to improve the efficiency of just about anything.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.