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With Rapidly Falling Prices, Renewablesy Set to Outcompete Fossil Fuels by 2020


#1

With Rapidly Falling Prices, Renewablesy Set to Outcompete Fossil Fuels by 2020

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

"These cost declines across technologies are unprecendented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system."


#2

No problem for the lying sacs of shit called Republicans: they will find a way to stall the spread of alternative technologies in favor of boosting fossil fuel production and usage all in the name of SATAN!


#3

This has a very narrow public policy focus. Electricity is 16% to 25% of total energy, US/global. Climate change requires least cost and rapid scale up policy. Efficiency and thermal energy are lost opportunities.


#4

Electric use will increase to the extent that our use of electric cars grows… so obviously good that electric generation via solar and wind will grow.


#5

We’re on the right track with renewable energy, the numbers speak for themselves. Not included but surely important in the data will be the eventual savings in storm related destruction.


#6

This article is false. When the climate change costs from fossil fuels are included then renewable ‘outcompeted’ fossil fuels long ago.


#7

There are 1 billion automobiles, and millions of trucks and farm equipment that run on fossil fuels. To think that we can transition all of these modes to solar and wind power in time to save civilization from collapse is unlikely, but I suppose there is no harm in staying optimistic despite the reality. If you love children, do yourself and them a favor and don’t have any because I am afraid the future is very bleak in every way I can think of. Malthus and Ehrlich had it right, but who listens?


#8

Sure thing. Let’s pull all subsidies and see what’s actually the cheapest.

Using cost numbers which do not account for the requirement to also maintain 100% grid capable standard sources is not honest. Renewables are boutique sources reliant on standard sources for viability…hence they’re basically virtue signaling devices.


#9

“Malthus and Ehrlich had it right, but who listens?”

Ehrlich didn’t have it right. He lost the bet ,and not by a little. He’s not only not right, he’s serially not right…and still lauded by folks who won’t look clearly at his mistakes.

Besides, resource reserves expand with price so even if prices rise more resource deposits become viable, not fewer. There are more low quality deposits than high quality ones and this holds true for all minerals and hydrocarbons, too.


#10

Too late for that. Tipping points reached. Brace for impact.


#11

Just curious: On a 1-10 scale (1 being negligible and 10 being calamitous), where would you place the effects of having burned 55,000,000,000 barrels of oil over history, plus roughly 60,000,000 more each day?

Thanks.


#12

Technically we are on the right track, or at least headed in the right direction - I agree.

But we seem to be still trapped in social darwinism - me first - me only - which is an unfortunate term, social darwinism, as Darwin himself thought group selection a real force in evolution, as does his greatest fan, Edward O. Wilson.

Instead of go to school, get a job, make a living - which is how I think of this social darwinism, we need:

Make a society.

i.e., leave no one behind, even as we acknowledge the obvious - that we are all different - in some ways - in important ways.

Maybe that’s was the real meaning of JFK’s “Ask not …”

Yanis Varoufakis has not given up, and I think the CASSE organization is close to being on the right track. They could shorten their name to CASE - instead of “Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy”

“Center for the Advancement of a Sustainable Economy”.

I include two links below ( Yanis’ “Out of the Trap”, & CASSE’s “Nature Needs Half”)

SkepticTank - what do YOU think ?

https://braveneweurope.com/yanis-varoufakis-globalisation-is-stuck-in-a-trap-what-will-it-be-when-it-breaks-free


#13

“By 2019, the study predicts onshore wind and solar PV projects will be able to deliver electricity for 0.03/kWh, and offshore wind will be able to meet the task for 0.06 to $0.10/kWh starting in 2020.
Fossil fuel generation, in contrast, was estimated to be between $0.05 and $0.17/kWh in 2017.”

Wait a second this is comparing a projection to the current values. That’s really misleading. Why not compare projected cost of solar to projected cost of natural gas? In fact the entire report has zero data on fossil fuel projected costs. How on earth could you possibly make the claim that renewables will be cheaper than fossil fuels in 2020 if you have no projected data on the cost of fossil fuels in 2020?

Additionally there is dramatic difference in utility costs between coal and natural gas, and given the fact this report simply combines the two under the same umbrella makes me worry that they simply averaged the costs together. If this is true that is extremely misleading!

Additionally it should be noted that this analysis uses solely LCOE. This is not uncommon and isn’t a huge issue, but the actual price consumers pay for electricity includes factors not included in LCOE analysis. Furthermore given the push for solar and wind to become dominant in global energy grids it would be nice if storage costs were also analyzed given that these are in fact intermittent forms of power. Conveniently most LCOE analysis on solar and wind don’t include storage.


#14

Hi Mike;
One of the closing sentences in the article by Yanis pretty much sums up the cause of our present ills: "Our collective failure to civilize capitalism"
So long as merciless greed and not sympathetic compassion rules in the hard hearts of wealthy people, they will find stealthy ways around any laws to curb their insatiable hunger for more, more, more. Their only world is this one on Earth. In spite of all its pain, disease, misfortunes and family sorrows which they partake of as much as do the poor, they remain under the illusion that ever increasing wealth might somehow at some point provide relief. Kind regards, ~garry


#15

I read Yanis’ “Adults in the Room”, and came to know him better this way.

What strikes me is that he at least has an idea, which also seems to be headed in the right general direction, amidst a sea of apathy and hopelessness.

He would be one of the ‘creative saviours’ referred to by the historian Arnold Toynbee’s “A Study of History”.

But between Yanis and possibly Macron of France - we see some direction towards the light.

I become more convinced each day that we do need ‘rights for the environment’, and to set aside half the Earth as a nature preserve, as part of a multi-pronged attempt to avert catastrophe at the scale of a Greenhouse Mass Extinction Event.

You know, “E Pluribus Unum” could scale up worldwide,

Make a society - a worldwide inclusive society.

Is this possible ?


#16

Well, I understand that in some locations a closed circuit of a large volume of water stored at a high level is permitted to fall through turbines to a reserviour at a lower level. From there it is pumped back up to the higher level reserviour using pumps which are energized by solar or wind generators. The result is a constant supply of electricity from the water turbines.


#17

Occam, the chance of you reading this is small, I know. However, here it goes:

“Think of the famous 1980 Paul Ehrlich-Julian Simon wager about resource scarcity. Simon may have won the bet a decade later, but since 1993, on a rolling decade basis, Ehrlich has been winning famously. This is something that has not registered with the political class at all.”

For this statement by Peter Thiel see: https://www.the-american-interest.com/2012/02/01/a-conversation-with-peter-thiel/

Search the document for “Simon” and it will take you straight to my quote.


#18

Occam, you want to compare the operating and maintenance costs of established 100+ year old technologies that were received with open arms with todays introduction of new technologies that are fought tooth and nail by those same very rich and powerful established ones? And to be fair, are you willing to include the costs of all externalities of the established and new technologies in your proposed calculations?

I think that the many who argue like you forget that our current power generation systems were constructed bit by bit over a period of 100+ years. For the first ~30 years they too were boutique, to use your slightly derogatory term. All lamplighters were not laid-off on the same day. You must allow time for the new and better technologies to reach critical mass.