MIT launches flight simulator to help set solar prices


In the simulation, users compete against other firms, simulated by the computer, and set prices for solar panels while at the same time reacting to different industry conditions and their competitor’s behavior.

“While relatively small today, solar has enormous potential to generate huge amounts of renewable, low cost, electric power and help combat global warming, and the solar photovoltaic industry is growing at more than 30 percent a year today,” said MIT sloan professor John Sterman, director of the System Dynamics Group, who designed the simulator.

“The fact that the industry is growing at such a fast pace, however, poses strategic challenges for firms and entrepreneurs: they have to constantly balance the quest for market share against the need for resources to invest in new technology. Using our simulator, students learn how to manage these challenges, and can transfer these lessons to other settings.”

The flight simulator, an interactive model based on a system dynamics model, aims to help business students and faculty all over the world learn key concepts in competitive strategy. Sterman developed the model in collaboration with other faculty and leaders in the solar industry. The simulator is useful in a wide range courses, including strategy, economics, technology management, energy policy and sustainability.

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.