Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
Hawaii has been leading the US in solar uptake. The new owner of its power utility is also removing the brakes, moving to fast track grid connection of solar systems up to 250% of a network circuit's daytime minimum demand.
This year will see wind and solar breakthrough 55GW each, but storage and smart homes will be mainly sizzle rather than steak. Fossil fuel prices will remain under pressure, hurting coal but also electric vehicle sales. Meanwhile solar costs will reach such low levels that maybe even Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley will have to admit they got it wrong.
The industry has historically refused to put panels on south facing roofs yet they still produce 75% of the output of a north-facing panel. It's an awful lot of real estate and opportunity we can't afford to pass-up.
The renewables agency says the clean energy sector will remain competitive, with a range of renewables already on par with fossil fuels. The agency says the focus should now switch to balance-of-system costs.
The chief scientist at the number-one producer of solar panels says we can't expect past price plunges to continue, but that doesn't mean the cost of power from solar won't continue its downward trend.