Wind & Solar Exceed Expectations, Again…

Wind power costs could drop 50%. Solar PV could provide up to 50% of global power. Damn.

Solar and wind energy have been underestimated by analysts and politicians again and again and again. They have gotten cheaper and scaled up faster than even the most optimistic forecasts of a decade ago, or even a few years ago.

And there’s good evidence we’re still underestimating them. In fact, two new reports — one on solar, one on wind — make the point vividly. They argue that the radical trends of the last decade are going to continue, which is all that needs to happen for the energy system to tip over from disruption into revolution.

Lots of charts and graphs in this article you need to see, so go read the article.

Bottom line: The costs of solar/wind continues to drop, as market penetration gets deeper

Health cost for renewable vs fossil energy 7 cents per kilowatt hour.

Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies
Ars Technica

A paper in Nature Energy this week dives into the weeds by trying to estimate the economic benefits of wind and solar power across the whole of the US. Berkeley environmental engineer Dev Millstein and his colleagues estimate that between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths have been averted because of air quality benefits over the last decade or so, creating a total economic benefit between $30 billion and $113 billion. The benefits from wind work out to be more than 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is more than unsubsidized wind energy generally costs.

Two ways to look at this: Either we should be subsidizing the cost of solar/wind at 7 cents/kWh or we should be adding a 7 cents/kWh tax to all fossil-fuel generated electricity (coal/oil/NG).