Note — Apr 07, 2019

The Third Phase of Clean Energy Will Be the Most Disruptive Yet

Seen in → No.74

Source →

Ramez Naam with four phases of clean energy. The first lowered prices through policy (1980-2015), the second where unsubsidized prices for solar and wind reached parity with new fossil energy in some use cases (2015 to know), three which we’re are on the verge off, where new renewables and storage are cheaper than existing coal and natural gas. The fourth phase is further in the future and is about some scaling difficulties, like seasonal intermittency and the unsolved problem of seasonal storage, but Naam is confident that they are far enough in the future to be solved by then.

[T]he most important aspect of clean energy policy has been to drive down the price of clean energy by scaling it, and thus kicking in the learning-by-doing that continually lowers the unsubsidized price of new solar, new wind, and new energy storage. […]

McKinsey shows that on almost every continent, and particularly in China and India, where energy demand has the most to grow, new solar and wind are cheaper than existing coal and gas by 2030. And often much sooner.