Tag Archives: EEI

Your jaw will drop with astonishment at how fast solar power will beat every other energy source –a stock trader

A stock trader looked for causes of solar stock price rises and considered the effects of solar PV price drops, and realized solar power is going to beat every other energy source so fast that it “will make your jaw drop with astonishment.”

Michael Sankowski wrote for Business Insider 3 May 2013, Solar Is Going To Change The World Much Faster Than Anyone Expects,

6% year is a fantastic rate of decreases, but 20% is simply astonishing. 20% is an impressive number, but putting it into context will make your jaw drop with astonishment.

My calculations show that if solar maintains 5 more years at current 23% rates per year price drops, solar power will be cheaper than using existing coal plants. That’s right — it will be cheaper to build new solar plants than to use existing coal plants. It sounds absolutely crazy.

First he discovers the effects of no fuel for solar in Continue reading

Electric utiltiies know about Moore’s Law for solar power

And they know compound annual growth, even at a low 22% rate, is going to cause them a heap of trouble.

More from the Edison Electric Institute January 2013 report, Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business (rehosted on the LAKE web server, since it disappered from the EEI server),

The decline in the price of PV panels from $3.80/watt in 2008 to $0.86/watt in mid-20121. While some will question the sustainability of cost-curve trends experienced, it is expected that PV panel costs will not increase (or not increase meaningfully) even as the current supply glut is resolved. As a result, the all-in cost of PV solar installation approximates $5/watt, with expectations of the cost declining further as scale is realized;

Sure, costs won’t continue to drop forever, but Continue reading

Solar could burn utility business model

Exhibit 2 Utilities say that like it’s a bad thing. The same utilities that left millions without power in the U.S. repeatedly last year, and that gouge ratepayers for 10% or more profits. Moore’s Law continues to drive solar costs down and installations up, with increasingly more each like compound interest. Utilties need to adapt or get out of the way.

Last November Moody’s reported that solar and wind were eroding credit for coal and gas power plants, and were already having ‘a profound negative impact’ on the competitiveness of thermal generation companies. That was in Europe. David Roberts wrote for Grist yesterday, Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities,

The thing to remember is that it is in a utility’s financial interest to generate (or buy) and deliver as much power as possible. The higher the demand, the higher the investments, the higher the utility shareholder profits. In short, all things being equal, utilities want to sell more power. (All things are occasionally not equal, but we’ll leave those complications aside for now.)

And they want to produce that power from big baseload power stations for their economy of scale while the monopoly power utilities get guaranteed profits, not to mention huge ratepayer and loan-guaranteed boondoggles like the new nukes at Plant Vogtle. (Electric Member Cooperatives are somewhat different.)

Now, into this cozy business model enters cheap distributed solar PV, which eats away at it like acid.

Continue reading