While photovoltaic (PV) solar power only generated about 1% of the total electricity produced globally in 2015, it represented about 20% of new capacity additions. Growth has been impressive and looks likely to continue. The International Solar Alliance has set a target of at least 3000 gigawatts (GW), or three terawatts (TW) of additional solar power capacity by 2030, up from the current installed capacity of around 300 GW.Yet some experts believe even the most optimistic projections have under-estimated the actual deployment of PV over the last decade, and say the annual potential of solar energy far exceeds the world’s energy consumption.In mid-April, scientists from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), their counterparts from similar institutes in Japan and Germany, along with academic and industry researchers, assessed the recent trajectory of PV and outlined a potential worldwide pathway to produce a significant portion of the world’s electricity from solar power. In a new science paper—Terawatt-Scale Photovoltaics: Trajectories and Challenges, published by the Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes (GA-SRI)—they said 5-10 TW of PV capacity by 2030 is realistic.
Petroleum Economist 12th May 2017 read more »
Researchers project that solar power will become cheaper than conventional, fossil fueled electric generating sources by 2020. (The researchers do not say that directly, but their numbers do.) But the news gets even worse for incumbent utilities. By 2030, solar-plus-storage could threaten the economic relevance of their distribution grids by making less necessary the connection with the local electric utility. In short, more efficient solar panels combined with lower cost battery storage will threaten the economic viability of the entire electric utility distribution grid by 2030. Stated another way, those supposedly low risk, high yielding distribution utilities like Con Ed, for example, may at some point in the not-too-distant future become high risk and no yield equities if this thesis plays out. If consumers can economically produce, store, and swap electrical energy, they will not need the power grid. They can replicate it with other technologies and at lower costs. That would strand utility assets on a grand scale as an increasing numbers of consumers cut the cord. If they do, electric utility industry revenue will decline sharply, with certain utilities service areas more vulnerable than others. We suspect the rating agencies will take note of this. At present an electricity customer in the United States pays 10¢ per kWh on average. Of that amount roughly 3¢ pays for the distribution network, another 1¢ for transmission, 2¢ for fuel and 4¢ for other generation expenses. The Terawatt Workshop, convened last year by the Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes, recently published its findings. Its first conclusion: solar photovoltaic power costs could decline to 3¢ per kWh by 2020. (Current costs vary but are around 5¢ per kWh).
Oil Price 11th May 2017 read more »
Tesla has begun taking orders for its transformative new solar roof. The pricing is competitive, and it marks the final piece in Elon Musk’s vision for a grand unification of his clean-energy ambitions—combining solar power, home batteries, and electric cars. “These are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future,” Musk said. “Solar power going to a stationary battery pack so you have power at night, and then charging an electric vehicle … you can scale that to all the world’s demand.”
Bloomberg 11th May 2017 read more »