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Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Solar Singularity Is Getting Closer

Solar power is heading for dominance by the 2030s, as we've written before. Tam Hunt updates his case for the Solar Singularity Getting Closer:

The “solar singularity” is the point where solar becomes so cheap in a majority of countries around the world that it is established as the default new power source. At this point, solar will very likely go vertical in its growth curve.

GTM Research forecasts solar prices falling steadily through 2020 and a global market of 135 gigawatts per year in the same year, up from 55 gigawatts installed in 2015. (That is enough to power approximately 10 million California homes.) This growth trend through 2020 constitutes about half (yes, half) of all projected new global electrical capacity in each year.

Conventional solar is silicon-based, but new technologies have the potential to make solar far cheaper if those technologies develop as they appear likely to do so.

Renewables provided almost half of all new power generation globally in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency. The agency's executive director, Fatih Birol, summed up the trend: “[Renewables are] no longer a niche. Renewable energy has become a mainstream fuel, as of now.”