Solar technology and Wright's Law

I had heard of Moore’s Law, but Wright’s Law was new to me.

Technologies that follow Wright’s Law get cheaper at a consistent rate, as the cumulative production of that technology increases.

The best way to explain what this means is to look at a concrete example.

Solar technology: an example of a technology that follows Wright’s Law


Osborne effect is another term that has recently entered media vernacular.
It describes the tendency of customers to NOT buy the current offering cause the provider pre-announced a better offer in the near future.
This is particularly obvious in fast changing technology.

Tesla is being both ridiculed and lauded for the way “refresh” options are handled and “announced” WRT vehicle production, and the potential for an Osborne Effect as current orders are canceled when customers choose to wait for the promised “better battery, better pricing, better price decrease, or EV rebate, etc”.

The Osborne effect is a social phenomenon of customers canceling or deferring orders for the current, soon-to-be-obsolete product as an unexpected drawback of a company’s announcing a future product prematurely. It is an example of cannibalization.

The term alludes to the Osborne Computer Corporation, whose second product did not become available until more than a year after it was announced. The company’s subsequent bankruptcy was widely blamed on reduced sales after the announcement.[1][2]



A few years ago perhaps a handful of years ago now, MIT researchers developed a computer program to find better methods and materials for designing solar panels. Since then the slow down in Wright’s law for the panels has lifted.


Which is the MIT data point you are talking about? (see 100+ research solar panels in the graph)
The one at 2014 and 8% is marked as MIT.

source: Wikipedia
Note: anything above ~24% are very expensive and used only in space vehicles, typically.


I think there was an earlier version of this by another MIT team but this is it for now.

You can use Google. It was the second result.

Without such tools the development rate drops. The tool can actually other wise boost the development rate POSSIBLY beyond where it was even though the technology is maturing.