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Clean Energy Revolution Is Ahead Of Schedule

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There is no downside to decreasing solar power and battery costs. We could be in the middle of a major shift in how the World uses and generates power.


Clean Energy Revolution Is Ahead of Schedule




Each of these trends -- cheaper batteries and cheaper solar electricity -- is good on its own, and on the margin will help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, with all the geopolitical drawbacks and climate harm they entail. But together, the two cost trends will add up to nothing less than a revolution in the way humankind interacts with the planet and powers civilization.


You see, the two trends reinforce each other. Cheaper batteries mean that cars can switch from gasoline to the electrical grid. But currently, much of the grid is powered by coal. With cheap solar replacing coal at a rapid clip, that will be less and less of an issue. As for solar, its main drawback is intermittency. But with battery costs dropping, innovative manufacturers such as Tesla will be able to make cheap batteries for home electricity use, allowing solar power to run your house 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


So instead of thinking of solar and batteries as two independent things, we should think of them as one single unified technology package. Solar-plus-batteries is set to begin a dramatic transformation of human civilization. The transformation has already begun, but will really pick up steam during the next decade. That is great news, because cheap energy powers our economy, and because clean energy will help stop climate change.


Of course, opponents of the renewable revolution continue to downplay these remarkable developments. The takeoff of solar-plus-batteries has only begun to ramp up the exponential curve, and market shares are still small. But it has begun, and it doesn’t look like we’re going back.

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The problem is, institutional interests. Power companies are MASSIVE profit centers, many are publicly traded companies and without exception they are MASSIVE lobbyists and donors.


Cheap, effective solar threatens their existence. I read an article where there are all sorts of artificial bureaucratic barriers to solar in the Sunshine State, put there by protectionist legislation driven be interests from Florida Power and Light. Rick Scott was asked about it and gave some inane, doubletalk answer about how solar would 'make energy prices go up', the basic idea being that people would adopt solar, which would mean the power company would raise prices to recoup profits, which would drive more people to solar.


So instead, they just "regulated" it. So often, that is really what 'regulation' is. Its someone with a profit motive, co-opting some 'ideal' or pretext to drive policy that benefits their economic interests. Seatbelt laws were mostly funded by legislators with connections to insurance companies who could profoundly reduce their liability payouts in traffic accidents by incorporating safety equipment. If it were up to them, you've have to wear a helmet in a car, too.


You will find the mindless opposition to national health care being driven by retards who don't understand that senator/congressman is in the pocket of a health insurance company that makes billions off the status quo. Of course, they're not going to mention that. They'll just say (ding) THIS IS A FOX NEWS ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!! OBAMACARE IS THREATENING THE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN PATRIOT WAY OF LIFE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE JESUS 2ND AMENDMENT JESUS JESUS GUN BAN JESUS THUGS!!! and the mentally retarded ****wads wind up getting exactly what they deserve.


Solar suffers from this. Since its considered 'green', that is a pavlovian trigger for the mindless wing of the right, who resents it, even though they don't understand it. They are not entirely offset by the survivalists who like it.

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No doubt there are powerful interests against new technologies but the US isn't the only place to think about. Cheap solar has a chance to really change things in a lot of the poorest places on the Planet as well.

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