Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels
Record clean energy investment outpaces gas and coal 2 to 1.
Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels. ..... One reason is that renewable energy is becoming ever cheaper to produce. Recent solar and wind auctions in Mexico and Morocco ended with winning bids from companies that promised to produce electricity at the cheapest rate, from any source, anywhere in the world ........ The cost of solar power has fallen to 1/150th of its level in the 1970s, while the total amount of installed solar has soared 115,000-fold. ..... The reason solar-power generation will increasingly dominate: It’s a technology, not a fuel. As such, efficiency increases and prices fall as time goes on. What's more, the price of batteries to store solar power when the sun isn't shining is falling in a similarly stunning arc. ......
The world's first coal superpower, the U.K., now produces less power from coal than it has since at least 1850....... The number of oil rigs active in the U.S. fell last month to the lowest since records began in the 1940s. Producers—from tiny frontier drillers to massive petrol-producing nation-states—are creeping ever closer to insolvency. ....... Oil and gas woes are driven less by renewables than by a mismatch of too much supply and too little demand. But with renewable energy expanding at record rates and with more efficient cars—including all-electric vehicles—siphoning off oil profits at the margins, the fossil-fuel insolvency zone is only going to get more crowded, according to BNEF. Natural gas will still be needed for when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing, but even that will change as utility-scale batteries grow cheaper. ...... The best minds in energy keep underestimating what solar and wind can do. Since 2000, the International Energy Agency has raised its long-term solar forecast 14 times and its wind forecast five times. Every time global wind power doubles, there's a 19 percent drop in cost, according to BNEF, and every time solar power doubles, costs fall 24 percent.