Clean Power Renewable energy costs plummet (RMI)

Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Sandy Dechert

3

Solar Power’s Growth: Why Renewables Are Taking Over (Video)

August 11th, 2014 by  

Renewable energy costs plummet (RMI)

In a video released just last month, Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute points out that the lower cost, lower risk, and scalable mass-production of modular renewable technologies (like wind turbines and solar panels) means they are now outcompeting central power stations in the world market. (See above graph.)

He also explains how half the world’s new electric-generating capacity over the past five years has been renewable, incorporating perspectives on subsidies, nuclear power, and China’s evolving energy profile.  It may surprise you that modular, mass-produced renewables compare favorably in terms of implementation speed and economics, even to efficient new gas-fired power plants, but they do.

The video talk took place at the international nonprofit Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) 2014 global conference in Vancouver, Canada. (The original talk is scheduled for a TEDTalks release. In the meantime, RMI issued its own interim recording.) Interestingly, the quote from the video that has generated by far the most attention on twitter is this one:

“Solar power is scaling up even faster than CELL PHONES.”

Palpable awe about apples and oranges, but nonetheless cheery. One observer tartly remarks, “The grid is still ancient, big companies still having the consumer by the neck. Will be interesting to see what is left after a major X flare or EMP.  Not if but when.” Your thoughts?

 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."



  • Rob G

    Great video. I take great comfort in the fact that the market place will ultimately decide our energy future. Not politicians, not dubious fossil fuel utilities, or private sector interests.

    Here in Australia we are currently dealing with such a government, whose hostilities towards renewables is just unbelievable . But they to will eventually succumb to the market.

  • JamesWimberley

    Lovins’ first chart is not corrected for capacity/availability factors, which for wind are at least twice as high as for solar. However, solar’s better TOD match to demand, and costs per watt now at half wind’s, mean that IIRC utility solar is now winning a few PPAs in the US against wind competition, outside the Midwest. This will probably become a trend, as it is very unlikely that wind can keep up with solar’s global learning curve.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If US onshore wind is now ~3.5 cents/kWh how much more “learning curve” is needed? Solar might become cheaper than wind, but there’s not a lot of room between 3.5c and “can’t happen” cents.

      Personally I don’t see competition between onshore wind and solar. They produce at different hours and complement each other. They will even share the same storage as stored wind covers the morning peak and stored solar covers the evening pre-wind peak.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Energy Storage USA, June 15–16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    American Renewable Energy Day Summit Storage USA, June 20-24, Snowmass, Colorado (US)
    The American Renewable Energy Institute (AREI) brings together thought leaders and experts to foster climate change solutions.

    InterSolar North America, July 12–14, San Francisco, California (US)
    The most-attended solar event in the US. We’ll be there– will you?

    EES North America, July 12–14, San Francisco, California (US)
    International exhibition for batteries and storage, co-located with InterSolar.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 FAQ … Answered!

    Tesla Model 3 side
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares