Tag Archives: solar

How Cheap Can Solar Get? Very Cheap Indeed

What’s the future price of solar? I’ll attempt to make some projections (tentatively) here. tl;dr: If current rates of improvement hold, solar will be incredibly cheap by the time it’s a substantial fraction of the world’s electricity supply. Background: The … Continue reading

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New Solar Capacity Factor in the US is Now ~30%

The capacity factor of new utility scale solar deployed in the US in 2010 was 24%. By 2012 it had risen to roughly 30%. The rising capacity factor of new solar projects is part of why the cost of electricity … Continue reading

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Solar Cost Less than Half of What EIA Projected

Skeptics of renewables sometimes cite data from EIA (The US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration) or from the IEA (the OECD’s International Energy Agency). The IEA has a long history of underestimating solar and wind that I think is starting … Continue reading

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Solar: The First 1% Was the Hardest

Solar power now provides roughly 1% of the world’s electricity. It took 40 years to reach that milestone. But, as they say in tech, the first 1% is the hardest. You can see why in this chart below. As solar … Continue reading

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What’s the EROI of Solar?

There’s a graph making rounds lately showing the comparative EROIs of different electricity production methods. (EROI is Energy Return On Investment – how much energy we get back if we spend 1 unit of energy. For solar this means – … Continue reading

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Tesla Battery Economics: On the Path to Disruption

Update: The Tesla battery is better than I thought for homes. And at utility scale, it’s deeply disruptive. Elon Musk announced Tesla’s home / business battery today. tl;dr: It’ll get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost … Continue reading

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China Isn’t the Reason Solar is Cheap. Innovation Is.

“The only reason solar is so cheap is because China is dumping cells.” I hear this a lot. So let me correct it. Here is the price, as of February 2015, of solar modules, per watt sold in Europe. SE … Continue reading

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Solar + Wind, More Than the Sum of Their Parts

David Roberts has an amazing first post in his new job at Vox, on why a solar future is inevitable. Clearly I’m bullish on solar. My own reasons are that: 1. Solar is plunging in price far faster than any … Continue reading

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Why Energy Storage is About to Get Big – and Cheap

tl;dr: Storage of electricity in large quantities is reaching an inflection point, poised to give a big boost to renewables, to disrupt business models across the electrical industry, and to tap into a market that will eventually top many of … Continue reading

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How Much Land Would it Take to Power the US via Solar?

I’ve seen some pieces in the media lately questioning this, so allow me to point to some facts based on real-world data. tl;dr: We’ll probably never power the world entirely on solar, but if we did, it would take a … Continue reading

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