Large-scale solar and wind competitive without subsidies in parts of the US

Solar and Wind Power
CC BY-SA 2.0 Flickr

When I posted about a new film that makes the case for a 100% renewable energy future, I talked about how Lancaster, CA, is saving money by transitioning to a totally renewable future.

Granted, it's likely that some of those savings are happening because of renewable energy subsidies, but for how much longer?

New research from asset management firm Lazard, reported over at Business Green, suggests that in parts of the US, large-scale wind and solar projects have already reached grid parity with fuel sources like natural gas, and that's before any subsidies are factored into the equation.

That's a very big deal.

With Chinese coal consumption and imports faltering, and new models for promoting conservation and demand management getting ever more sophisticated, the traditional coal-driven utility model is already under not inconsiderable pressure.

True, rooftop solar and offshore wind may not be quite competitive yet. But with solar costs falling all the time, home-scale solar and battery storage becoming commercially viable soon, and a $22 trillion body of investors calling for carbon pricing and an end to fossil fuel subsidies, there's a strong sense that we know where the energy world is headed.

Forward thinking investors would do well to move now or else risk being left behind. For those of us who have been pushing clean energy for some time, progress has often seemed slow and inconsistent. But change is not linear. Radical, disruptive change may be just around the corner.

And not a moment too soon.

Tags: Activism | Economics | Renewable Energy | Solar Power


treehugger slideshows