The Rise of Solar

Published September 11th, 2023 by JMSCapitalGroup

Solar energy continues to grow with astonishing speed. Noah Smith argues that renewable energy has become so competitive that there is no longer a tradeoff between economic growth and addressing climate change. How is this possible? Smith cites a key chart from Max Roser:

Battery prices have also plunged dramatically:

More recently, Smith notes that solar prices are easing once again after a slight runup due to inflation and supply chain issues; he also provides a chart detailing the continued fall of battery prices:

Utility capacity expansion is dominated by renewable energy:

As Smith observes, while new capacity isn’t the same as total capacity or generation, the chart gives a clear indication of future trends. Despite the association of solar energy with more liberal interest groups, Texas is a dominant force in solar development. Renewable energy is growing exponentially in many developing countries as well. The International Energy Agency projects solar power to become the leading source of power capacity within four years:

Smith argues that this technological progress should serve as a counterweight to doomsaying by activists and interest groups, and that it should also put an end to the idea of degrowth as a means of addressing climate change. We appear to have the potential to enter a new era of cheap, abundant energy, and we would do well to take full advantage of the opportunity.


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This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument or investment strategy. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be or interpreted as a recommendation. Any forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be relied upon as advice.

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