Solar and wind cheapest sources of power in most of the world

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg


Solar power and onshore wind power are now the cheapest new sources of electricity in the majority of the world’s population.

  • The Levelized Cost of Energy for wind has fallen 9% and solar has dropped by 4%  
  • Prices are especially low in the U.S., China, and Brazil 
  • Improvements in the technology, lower equipment costs, and clean energy goals have made these renewable sources a serious threat to the fossil fuel industry
  • It is unclear if the low prices of oil due to the pandemic will erode the competitiveness of wind and solar

The Climate Center works toward electrifying buildings and vehicles using 100% clean energy sources such as solar and wind to eliminate fossil fuel-based emissions. 

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Oil companies are collapsing, but wind and solar energy keep growing

By Ivan Penn, The New York Times


  • Even though the renewable energy sector is facing some losses during the coronavirus pandemic, renewables are set to account for nearly 21% of the electricity in the United States, a 3% increase from 2019
  • Renewables prices have not dropped as much as oil and gas prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, small solar companies are taking big financial hits due to canceled projects and are having to lay off employees
  • The cost of building renewable energy sources such as solar and wind farms is cheaper than building natural gas and nuclear plants and can be built at a much faster rate
  • In addition, renewable energy is cheaper to operate compared to coal and oil, allowing utilities to use cleaner electricity
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade group, estimates that half of workers in the solar industry could lose their jobs at least temporarily because of the coronavirus outbreak
  • Government efforts to address climate change have helped drive down costs of wind and solar equipment and made the industry more resilient to economic swings
  • Lobbyists for renewable energy are asking lawmakers to make it easier for their industry to take advantage of tax credits the government provides for wind and solar power

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California platform aims to secure a positive transition for workers and their families whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuel industries. Endorse the platform here

Read more: Oil companies are collapsing, but wind and solar energy keep growing

Cheap clean energy makes new natural gas a risky bet utility regulators should avoid

by Mike O’Boyle, Forbes

Utilities across the United States are rapidly decarbonizing their generation fleets, but are diverging between two paths: Completely phasing out fossil fuels in favor of clean generation like Xcel Energy, or doubling down on new natural gas generation like Duke Energy. Stakes are high – our climate future and utilities’ economic future both depend on which path regulators allow utilities to choose.

These paths are not equal. Recent progress reducing electricity sector emissions, down 25% since 2005, stalled in 2018 due to a huge uptick in gas generation. And new natural gas rarely makes economic sense, even without considering externalities like greenhouse gas emissions. The math of recent solar-plus-storage projects, particularly Nevada’s June NV Energy procurement, signals that clean and dispatchable energy is available for less than the cost of new natural gas – a death-knell for new gas plants and harbinger of future economic concerns.

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