Continuing a pattern: Countries, states, businesses, and cities that begin seriously implementing renewable energy meet with greater success, sooner, at less cost, than even the most optimistic proponents would have imagined.
We’re just a few years from the point at which electricity from solar panels becomes cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal. The progress in solar panels has been dramatic and sustained.
The usual take on solar power is that it’s a niche energy source, too pricey and erratic to meet more than a sliver of our electricity needs. Bill Gates has mocked solar as “cute.” But, as Paul Krugman reminds us today, that’s changing far more quickly than people realize. “In fact,” Krugman writes, “progress in solar panels has been so dramatic and sustained that, as a blog post at Scientific American put it, ‘there’s now frequent talk of a Moore’s law in solar energy,’ with prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year.”
China’s first solar-powered air conditioner that can also send excess electricity to the power grid began rolling off a Gree Electric Appliances production line Wednesday.
The first 50,000 units will be sold in the American market. After that, the units will also be available for purchase in China, according to company sources.