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The price of solar power has fallen. Why aren't you using solar power more?

Nov 28

According to the report, natural gas prices fell during the period but by a smaller amount (32%). This is due to the current boom of fracking and not a long-term trend like renewables. The cost to develop coal plants has remained fairly constant over the past decade.

Low prices are not an accident

This paper explains how energy companies are possible in phoenix. Previously, the cost to harness sunlight's electricity was prohibitive.

Current energy mix

The world's energy mix has been affected by low prices for renewable energy. Over the last 20 years, the world's total renewable power capacity has more than tripled.

The United States has experienced an increase in renewable energy. Solar was only 1% and the wind was less than one percent. Half of all energy production was accounted for by coal. 2020 estimates are still being finalized. However, it is possible that the total output from renewables will exceed that of coal, which currently accounts for only about one-fifth.

A Union of Concerned Scientists energy specialist stated that 2020 will mark the highest number of new US solar installations, and the best year ever for US wind installations.

This chart shows the evolution of the energy mix in the United States between 2001 and 2019.

Even with price reductions, renewable energy still accounts for a small portion of total energy consumption

Fracking is replacing coal plants in the country with cheaper fossil fuels. However, it can still produce more carbon dioxide than other sectors.

Recurrent delays during the transition to a green economy

Despite large cost savings, renewables are not replacing fossil fuels at the speed you would expect. This is due to heavily biased investments and policies in the energy sector, which favor fossil fuels.

This is especially true for state-regulated Monopolies, which provide power in roughly half the US's States. Investor-owned utilities get a guaranteed rate return on their investments in power plants. They can continue to make money operating the plants, even though it may be prohibitively costly.

We have developed fossil plants that are already in existence. There are fossil plants that we have developed.

The system is dominated by fossil fuels despite long-term agreements being made between utilities, energy producers, and mining companies. There is little incentive to invest more in renewables.

There are few barriers to the widespread adoption of renewable energy.

The sun and wind are not always the same. These areas are usually located in the interior, such as the Great Plains. They can store energy and have better transmission networks. It is possible to overcome intermittency and geography. However, this will require substantial investment.

Moving to renewable energy

Low-interest rates and high unemployment may be ending. This allows the federal government to borrow at low-interest rates, and then use that advantage to fund state and local energy transition programs.