From Dotcoms to Rooftops

First, it’s great to see green building blog Enviropundit back in action after a hiatus. Jacqui points us to a recent Wired article on “serial entrepreneur” Bill Gross and his newest venture, Energy Innovations. The company is “on a mission to build affordable renewable energy systems. We have begun our quest with a major R&D effort aimed at delivering a system for flat-roofed, grid-tied commercial buildings in North America by late 2005,” and their main product offering will be the Sunflower, a solar concentrator. The article does a very nice job of giving an overview of the solar industry, as well as the hurdles that any solar technology still faces, including economics and mechanics. Gross himself, though, is nothing if not confident:

“Our Unit 1 beats what they’ve done with PV panels after 50 years of work and $20 billion in investment,” he says, fiddling with an alpha-version Sunflower in his machine shop. “We’ve spent $12 million so far. I’d say we’re off to a pretty good start….”

“We’re the first people to come along with enough capital, engineering ingenuity, and smarts to say ‘It’s the economics, stupid.'”

Fascinating! For more information on the Sunflower and other solar concentrator developments, WorldChanging (of course) has the goods…

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