Solar Panels Set to Revolutionize Energy Delivery

Solar Panels Set to Revolutionize Energy Delivery

An energy transformation is underway.  Solar energy is set to dominate the world.  Once costs are consistently below coal and fossil fuels, without any subsidy, the switch to solar becomes an avalanche. Solar now provides .3% of electricity.  Soon it will provide all electricity, all power for vehicles.  The annual rate of solar installations in China is anticipated to reach 25 Gigawatts by the end of the decade.  This will be as true in the US as it is in China. With the economies of scale that these levels of solar installation bring, solar will begin to dominate energy production.  Then use of solar energy becomes unstoppable until it is the only energy source. That is the projection within this study from WInterGreen Research, "Solar Panels:  Market Analysis, Shares, and Forecasts, 2014 to 2020."  Solar energy is set to dominate energy production.  The oil industry needs to sit up and take notice of the competitive situation.  They have tried to dominate markets by owning the powers of government, but the market forces are more powerful than the politicians.  Politicians can keep the solar imports out of the US country for a while, but internally companies will build competitive solar panels and the restrictive tariffs and import taxes will not keep the solar industry from proliferating in the long run. It is really interesting that there are such different regional perceptions of the likely uptake and impact of solar energy.  The oil and gas industry in the US just totally dismisses solar energy as a competitive threat.  The International Energy Agency had assumed that China would soon be burning more than half the world’s coal each year, dooming any chance of capping greenhouse gases at safe levels.  The reasoning was that coal is abundant and geopolitically secure.  Coal-fired plants are easily integrated into existing power systems. But, what these market participants forget is that coal in its current form is simply unsustainable.  The people living in conditions of coal fired air pollution or fossil fuel air pollution are eager to find a more viable energy source.  The Chinese did not develop solar so they could ruin American solar companies, they developed solar energy because they need it to replace coal.  The oil and gas industry has a cost structure that is not competitive with solar once the economies of scale kick in. Because of the widespread air pollution in China that affects the government leaders as much as the lowest level worker, there is huge incentive in China to get rid of air pollution.  Solar provides that route to cleaner air, and the Chinese have invested heavily in solar.  Solar energy offers quality, durability and yield. In the US and in China, vibrant economies create ongoing demand for more energy at low cost, there is a wide sense of a solar energy strong growth market among the population.  Installations are proceeding apace.   In Japan and Europe, there is a sense that solar energy is a stagnant technology, not worthy of further investment by the government and not likely to succeed in the near term.  This attitude is mistaken as the Chinese will demonstrate.   The Japanese solar companies need to get their manufacturing costs in hand the way the Chinese have done. Rarely do we see such divergent views of a technology in an industry sector.  But, this divergent view exists.  This WinterGreen Research PV solar study author leans toward the view that solar is anticipated to grow wildly in the next ten years.  Solar is threatening fossil dominance in 2014, set to match coal in China by 2016. The solar market reference accounts are in place.  Solar energy is widely perceived as cheap.  Solar energy works to provide electricity to a home and to power an electric vehicle.  People who can afford the investment are wildly enthusiastic about solar investments.  More people will move in this direction, using financing. Grid parity is at hand.  Wuxi Suntech Power expects the cost of electricity from solar modules match to coal-powered stations in China in 2016.  This prospect brings the vision of a dramatically different world.  Solar is set to compete with the cheapest and dirtiest forms of fossil fuels.  By 2016 SunTech believes that the levelized cost of solar PV will be the same as coal-fired generation in all markets.  At this point, solar completely transforms the energy market in China and worldwide.