When a power source grows 66% a year on average people start taking notice. Few had heard of the Internet in 1993: now it’s in your pocket. In less than a decade, by 2023, solar power will generate more energy than any other U.S. source. To keep Georgia from being left behind, this is the year to change a 1973 law.
If charts like this one aren’t familiar yet, they will be in the next year or two:
Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones, 7 November 2014, Here Comes the Sun: America’s Solar Boom, in Charts: It’s been a bit player, but solar power is about to shine.
At 66% more per year, solar power’s current 1% of U.S. electricity next year will be 1.66%, then 2.76%, then 4.57%, then 7.59%, then 12.6%, then 20.1%, and that’s only up to the year 2020. Keep going: 34.73%, 57.65%, and that’s 2022. As figures from eia and FERC continue to demonstrate, solar power deployment continues to more than double every two years, As I and shortly afterwards former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff predicted. Projecting that forward means solar will produce most of U.S. power within ten years.
But what about storage, say all the critics? Well, Southern Company has two major utility-scale storage research projects and Harvard researchers have come up with a metal-free battery. Meanwhile, we don’t even need storage improvements if we get on with a smart grid to distribute power among offshore wind and onshore solar, with less natural gas than we have right now as backup, phasing into nothing but sun, wind, and water power, according to a study by Stanford researchers.
So there’s no excuse for Georgia Power’s nuclear boondoggle that hasn’t even had a schedule for the past two years, or an environmentally damaging and hazardous fracked methane pipeline , now that solar power is faster and far cheaper to install, doesn’t destroy fields, forests, wetlands, or people’s homes, doesn’t risk schools or taxes, doesn’t cause sinkholes, doesn’t require water for testing or cooling, and does reduce electric bills and brings jobs right here where we need them.
The sun is rising. Let’s change that 1973 law so the sun can rise on Georgia.