We’ve already seen how renewable energy, in some places at least, is becoming cheaper, but hasn’t begun to take the place of fossil fuels.
Indeed, renewable energy has only been increasing in utilization in the last fifty years or so, but mostly in response to increasing demand for energy, not to replace any fossil fuel capacity. Interestingly, renewable energy has been dropping in cost, nearly exponentially, in the last decade, leading one researcher to state that renewables are expanding faster than mobile phones are expanding.
The result from this price drop is the exponential application of renewable energy, slowly becoming to go-to technology for job generator. For example, renewable energy already employs more people than coal and steel jobs, which is good news for those concerned about “losing” jobs to solar power and wind power. A couple of days ago, we even reported that Morgan Stanley figures Tesla Motors and SolarCity alone could disrupt centralized power generation, and that doesn’t include the other dozens of companies installing solar power, for “free” in some cases, on top of residential and commercial buildings.
From the RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute) video, we learn that modern renewable energy is selling power cheaper than even the most-efficient natural gas plants, even without temporary subsidies, as low as 4 ¢/kWh. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, even permanently-subsidized, are selling power as low as 10 ¢/kWh. There’s no comparison! Given that fossil fuels are slowly dwindling in supply, however, this exponential growth in renewable energy implementation couldn’t have come at a better time.
Image © RMI