Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some Bullish Solar Links

  • As the Edison Electric Institute notes, the proportion of regions where solar at home will be cheaper than electricity purchased from the grid could grow to as much as one third of the nation as soon as 2017. Nowhere is that more true than the desert Southwest of the U.S., in states like Arizona. In that future of cheap solar the home would be a self-sufficient energy fortress, and perhaps self-driving electric cars would plug in there, to recharge from sunshine. Batteries or even technologies that transform newly abundant natural gas to electricity inside the home could serve as backup for cloudy days. In fact, solar systems paired with batteries or fuel cells could become cost-effective in states besides Hawaii (where it is already so) by the 2020s, according to a new analysis from energy think tank the Rocky Mountain Institute, and partners. "How shockingly stupid is it to build a 21st-century electricity system based on a system of 130 million wooden poles?" asked NRG's David Crane at the ARPA–E summit on February 25. "The day is coming, within a generation, where the grid is, at best, an antiquated backup system." [March 2014]
  • This is what we are facing today in Solar – the Dr. Evil ultimatum. The cost to get Solar to coal parity is going to be laughably tiny. The cost sounds like a lot of money to old people, or to people who haven’t thought it through, or to people who do not know how large world GDP is today and how much we spend on energy already. But the cost is tiny, and China laughed when they found out the cost. [June 2014]
  • The highly conservative International Energy Agency predicts the cost of solar energy will fall to around 4c/kWh in coming decades as the sun becomes the dominant source of power generation across the world. As we reported on Monday, the IEA now expects solar to become the biggest single source of energy by 2050 and has now doubled its forecast capacity for solar PV. Rooftop solar, it says, will now account for one half of the world’s solar PV installations, because as a distributed energy source the technology is “unbeatable”. [October 2014]

1 comment:

AllanF said...

Speaking of Hawaii… I'm convinced Hawaii has a scam going. To make electricity they burn diesel shipped in from the mainland. WTF!?! they are sitting on a volcano surrounded by an ocean. If anywhere is suited to geothermal it has to be there, and yet the last place I remember reading about it being discussed for was the Oregon High Desert. Yeah, good luck with that.