New UMASS Report looks at Solar Energy Cost and Viability

Manufacturers need to invest in solar technology if it’s ever going to become inexpensive and widespread. That’s one finding in a new UMASS Amherst report. Lead scientist Erin Baker from the University’s mechanical and industrial engineering department and others from around the country have been studying a range of sun fueled technology to determine its viability in the future. Researchers came to their conclusions by analyzing the risks of certain investments and identifying the key breakthroughs in solar technology that could lower its costs. They compared solar power to electricity from biofuel, and nuclear power, among other types of energy. As Baker tells WFCR, they found that solar energy needs to be part of a “portfolio” approach to be effective, and that government and the private sector need to invest in a wide variety of technologies. Baker says her team will study the transportation sector, next. She’s been invited to submit her report to the journal “energy economics as part of a special issue on technological change and uncertainty in environmental economics