By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –
After Hurricane Irma in Florida, millions have been without electricity. But those Floridians who had solar panels plus an inverter or a Tesla powerwall were able to recover electricity immediately. Likewise, cities used solar to power traffic lights and other essential services after the huge storm had blown past.
Likewise, solar panels kept the lights on in India during the horrific storms and floods of monsoon this year.
The CEO of REC, Steve O’Neil which makes solar panels, reveals some amazing progress on green energy:
In 2010, there were 50 gigawatts of solar power in the world. Today it is 305 gigawatts.
Globally, solar installations increased by 50% in 2016 alone.
The average cost of solar-generated electricity worldwide is currently 8 cents a kilowatt hour. That is down 70% since 2010!
But, US solar power arrays are at an average of 6 cents a kilowatt hour. That is competitive with coal and gas, and you haven’t seen anything yet. Prices will come on down to 2 cents a kilowatt hour in only a few years.
India, a country of 1.2 billion people, has the seventh largest gross domestic product in the world (ahead of Italy and Brazil and just behind France).
India has gone from having 2.65 gigawatts of solar in 2014 to having 13 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2017.
India’s federal and many state governments strongly back solar, so that it is expected to take off during the next decade. India added 5.525 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2016-2017 alone.
And in Asia it isn’t just India. China will add some 8-10 gigawatts of solar capacity to its present 80 gigawatts this
A reader corrects:
“China installed 10.5 GW of solar in JULY 2017, and 24.5 GW in H1. (35 GW with 5 months to go).”