Aug 1, 2019

Solar power costs plummet across South Asia and the Pacific

Data: WoodMac; Chart: Axios Visuals

Solar costs have dropped precipitously in the last decade across South Asia and the Pacific, new research from consultancy Wood Mackenzie shows.

Why it matters: It’s a sign of potential good news to come for efforts to address climate change. As nations in South Asia rapidly increase their electricity consumption, renewable energy will increasingly be able to help fill that demand in the coming decades.

  • The above chart shows the levelized cost of electricity, which consists of the cost of different power sources over the lifetime of a facility, including the cost of building it.

What they’re saying: India’s "high-quality solar resources, market scale and competition have pushed solar costs down to half the level seen in many other Asia Pacific countries," said WoodMac research director Alex Whitworth.

But, but, but: Coal is still king in the region. Wind and solar made up just 6% of the region’s electricity, a number Whitworth says will increase to a "much higher level in coming years."

  • The region will continue to build coal plants for the foreseeable future as it satisfies big power demand and balances out wind and solar resources that don’t always generate electricity, Whitworth says.

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As wind and solar energy grow, so do their challenges

Data: WoodMac; Chart: Axios Visuals

Costs for wind and solar electricity have plummeted in the U.S. and around the world, driving incredible growth in these cleaner sources of energy and helping combat climate change.

But, but, but: The costs associated with the variability of wind and solar — it’s not always windy or sunny — are growing as states, progressive politicians and corporations push for rapid increases in these resources to levels much greater than what we have today.

Wind power is winning in the U.S. despite Trump's critiques

Data: U.S. Department of Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump used a speech at a Shell petrochemicals plant in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to revive his attacks against wind energy, but his speech came just days after Department of Energy's latest major analysis of wind technology trends.

Why it matters: The timing of the president's speech clashed with the report, which underscored why wind has become an increasingly competitive resource.

Go deeperArrowAug 14, 2019

Tesla launches program for customers to rent solar panels

Tesla launched a new program on Sunday to enable customers to rent solar panel systems.

Why it matters: This is Tesla's latest effort to bolster its struggling solar business lines, and it's part of a wider relaunch of Tesla's solar business that CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter.

Go deeperArrowAug 19, 2019