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Renewable energy is actually cheaper now

By on Aug 12, 2015 in Economy |

According to this recent article in The Nation, Americans are switching to renewable energy because its actually cheaper.

As a salesperson at JBL Solar, a Sonoma County California Solar Installer, has been telling me recently, there’s never been a better time to install solar.  Why?  Prices have dropped dramatically and owners can make a profit on purchased systems even if they pay as little at $80/month for electricity.  In California, Solar installation has passed grid parity on the retail level and is heading in the direction of wholesale grid parity.

The Nation’s article notes that, but also reports that the US shale oil and natural gas boom will be short lived.  Shale oil and tracked wells have a short lifespan – about 3 years.  They cost quite a bit to start up $3 million or more each and aren’t profitable with oil priced at $50-$60 per barrel.  Without the funds to pay for new oil wells, the recent boom will go bust soon.

Price Anxiety, rather like range anxiety for electric vehicle drivers, is causing some utilities and energy consumers to invest in wind and solar energy in order not to get caught in the next price increase to $100/barrel oil.  In addition, wind and solar energy systems are technologies, not fuels.  Technology has a track record of improving over time, while fuels are commodities that fluctuate in price with market supply/demand.  Switching to Solar or wind allows energy consumers to lock in prices over time and have the promise of cheaper energy in the future as technology improves.

Here’s the link to the article in The Nation

http://www.thenation.com/article/why-are-americans-switching-to-renewable-energy-because-its-actually-cheaper/