NewEnergyNews: THE FUTURE OF SOLAR

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    Thursday, October 29, 2015

    THE FUTURE OF SOLAR

    For the future of solar, we’ve got the tech—it’s the economics, stupid; California's push for renewables may provide a preview of our changing grid.

    John Timmer, October 28, 2015 (Ars Technica)

    “…The price of solar power has plunged—for utility scale solar, it can be cheaper to build and operate a plant (given existing incentives) than it is to simply supply fuel to a natural gas plant…[S]olar power is likely to be a truly disruptive technology. And it's likely to cause some destruction in the process…[The biggest challenge] is overgeneration…At half renewables, there's a staggering 20GW of overproduction…The simplest [solution] is storage...[or] diversifying the mix of renewables…[But they come] at a cost…

    “…[Renewable adoption could be challenging] for utilities…Fossil fuel plants must have the electricity they sell cover the cost of the fuel burned to create it. Once built, renewables get their electrons nearly for free. As a result, they can always undercut the price of electricity generated by fossil fuel plants…[T]hose facilities were built with expectations [of return]…To meet those expectations on fewer hours of operation, the only real option is to charge more…[T]hat will drive further [renewables growth]…These economic changes will probably have to extend to how consumers pay for their access to the grid…None of these transitions will necessarily be easy or occur without some economic disruption…” click here for more

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