Get Energy Smart! NOW!

Blogging for a sustainable energy future.

Get Energy Smart!  NOW! header image 2

Solar Price Decline Pause (The escalator version …)

April 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Around the world, solar prices are simply collapsing. With double-digit year-to-year growth rates and double-digit year-to-year price drops, solar electricity is reaching grid parity (and better) in new markets with virtually every passing day. For a long time, those fighting clean energy have argued PRICE! PRICE! PRICE! Those (including myself) arguing for the necessity for a rapid transition to clean energy as a core part of addressing climate change (and other issues) have had to make the case that energy business transactions leave out huge parts of the cost-benefit equation with “externalities” like pollution-driven asthma, mercury in fish populations, and acidification of the oceans (very) real costs from the burning of fossil fuels that are not accounted for in the direct bills.  The subsidy — not accounting for externalities — to fossil fuels far outweighs any price supports to clean energy (and is added to the huge cash subsidies that fossil fuels receive globally).  What is going on with solar, however, is that it (and other clean energy systems, like wind) are competitive on a price basis even with the huge benefits given to incumbents.

The following graphic, however, provides the “solar price” story as might be promoted by ‘clean energy deniers’.  See the pauses?  Selective accounting could prove a “Solar Price Decline Pause” to argue against making clean energy an integral part of future energy planning in part because of “energy poverty” — that going clean would be mean to the world’s poor. However, “solar PV will soon become the cheapest form of electricity generation in many parts of the world”. And, a huge share of the world’s poorest and energy poor people (without reliable electricity supplies) live far from grids — going clean in a distributed fashion wouldn’t just be cleaner cheaper than dirty centralized electricity generation but also far faster to get them initial electricity (lighting, phone recharging, …) and on the path to higher-level electricity services.


The real truth: essentially no one has accurately predicted solar and wind price declines and market penetration. Analysis and analysis has been (FAR TOO) pessimistic about how fast prices could decline and how fast they would penetrate the global energy market space.

This statistical gamesmanship, however, would be a lie. Just as much of a lie as those selective data choices to show global warming “pause” after “pause”

Contratrian Global Warming Escalator

Or claims about the health of Arctic ice

Going Down the Arctic Ice Escalator

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: solar · Solar Energy

1 response so far ↓