For years we’ve had the theory that the next energy revolution would come from the declining costs of solar energy and battery storage.
According to research by Bloomberg, the most cost-effective way to provide new electricity generation for two-thirds of the Earth’s people right now is either solar or wind. The pattern is clear: green energy is winning.
Green energy costs continue to drop. Battery storage is 50% cheaper than it was two years ago. Wind projects are benefitting from larger scale. Solar photovoltaics continue to improve efficiency as time goes on.
These studies are based on actual costs of utility-scale projects. Compelling economics are the key factor—not a shift in consumer behavior. It remains to be seen whether dispersed generation and storage in user-owned systems reshapes the utility industry in the future.
Battery technology improvement has an impact on the price of electric vehicles, since batteries can represent about 30% of the total vehicle cost. Despite advantages in maintenance and fuel expense, acquisition cost remains a hurdle to wider adoption of electric cars and trucks.
But current trends point to a future in which electric vehicles cost less than those powered by internal combustion engines.
We think about winners and losers as the future unfolds. Companies that produce and transport fossil fuels for electricity generation may face a dimmer future. Those that provide the materials needed for the new equipment may prosper. Less expensive electricity will have effects we cannot predict, just as past energy revolutions reshaped society.
We will continue to research and think about these issues. Clients, if you would like to talk about this or share your views, please email us or call.
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