2017 became the year for renewables, building and running new renewable energy is now cheaper than running old coal and nuclear plants. The lowest price for solar power last year is now the highest price now and battery prices were cut in half.
Most surprisingly of all, no one would have imagined that just a few years after Tesla put a defibrillator to the electric vehicle market, China would announce plans to join the rapidly expanding list of countries planning to phase out fossil fuel-burning cars in the next couple of decades, a list that now includes the UK, France, Norway and India.
This development is now unstoppable at a global level. That means the super cheap solution to climate change is working in full force, most importantly with Solar Power. Solar remains the number one development with panel prices plunging by a shocking 26 percent in the last year despite already having dropped 80 percent in price over the last 10 years. This has allowed countries such as Costa Rica to generate their own electricity throughout 2017 for 300 days which has overtaken their record of 299 days in 2015. With huge milestones like this being reached, it’s not hard to see why solar is the number one source of renewable energy.
Wind Power has reached almost as many milestones in 2017 as solar with perhaps the most remarkable energy story for 2017 is building wind turbines offshore where prices dropped a game-changing 28 percent in one year. Offshore wind turbines are important to the growth of wind power as you can place them close to where people live in coastal cities and with steadier winds, offshore farms typically deliver power that is less variable than onshore winds.
As a result of all these technology advances working together, renewables will capture the majority of the world’s need to invest in new power generation by 2040, BNEF predicted this in its annual New Energy Outlook 2017 report.
Solar and wind alone will make up nearly half of installed capacity and over one-third of global power generation. With all this in mind, 2018 will be an exciting year to see the growth of these renewables once again and see what is in store for them throughout the new year.