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Solar makes its mark on unsuspecting global energy markets


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Solar market disruption is happening disproportionately for its modest install base. Utilities are running scared, with a relative few changing direction in view of the inevitable transition to renewable. In reading about the transitional shake UPS in Germany two utilities saved their companies by emerging as hybrid companies transitioning with the change to renewable. One CEO talked about taking his company to the brink before realizing that their grid and maintenance were still needed and they decided to start ownership of solar and wind as there is a remaining 93% of their market yet to be transitioned. He made mention that the opportunities are exciting once he stopped running at the mention of renewables.

 

This article, more than anything for investors, defines the market and its direction. Perhaps returns five, ten, or twenty years down the road are not on the radar of some of our group here of very advanced years. But if the landscape changes affect our investments, as some were adversely affected from the market change in 2007/2008, it could have an effect on any of us.

 

Excerpt:

 

"Here is an interesting fact: Solar PV is already upturning the business models of utilities around the world, yet right now it contributes just 1 per cent of global electricity demand. Imagine what its impact will be when it grows another tenfold in the coming decade.

 

In 2014, according to the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS) new document Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2014, a total of 38.7GW of global PV capacity was added in 2014, just above 2013, as a steep decline in Europe was offset by sharp gains in Asia.

 

This took total capacity to 177GW, a tenfold increase since 2008. This total is expected to grow by nearly one-third in 2015.

 

In the coming decades, solar PV is forecast to make an even greater impact. Last year, the IEA updated its forecast to suggest that solar PV’s share of global electricity will reach 16 per cent by 2050, with around 4,600GW of installed PV capacity.

 

Even so, the IEA is still regarded as highly conservative on solar’s potential. Deutsche Bank expects solar to become a $5 trillion market by 2030, when its share of the global electricity market will have risen more than 10-fold as fossil fuels struggle to compete, particularly in new generation.

 

According to the latest data, already 19 countries around the world, including Australia, source more than 1 per cent of their electricity needs from solar PV.

 

In the first established markets in Europe, the totals reach more than 7 per cent in countries like Germany, Greece and Italy. Another nine countries, including Australia and Japan, source more than 2 per cent of their electricity needs from solar PV."

 

There is more with several charts showing country rankings in the full article here: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/solar-makes-its-mark-on-unsuspecting-global-energy-markets-17181

 

Just ten years ago lots of folks scoffed and called techies with a plan tree huggers. Today the boards of major companies are evaluating these forecasts while others are building them. It is becoming apparent the train is coming.

 

Just ten years ago the old engineers were pulling out slide rules (anachronism int.)showing that EVs could never compete with gas, and today those same just splutter when reminded and just go silent. All of the scoffing is just denial, which caused a lot of folks to miss some of the first opportunities already making big money for those who could see them. Groups will cluster, usually in fear, to hold onto their scoffing. I call that whistling past a cemetery. :rolleyes:

 

Clarke's three laws of prediction:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

2.The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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The German utilities had in depth interviews a year ago or so where the CEO of one of those that are become a hybrid grid/distributed grid utility company made it clear that the ones who fought it, and tried to legislate it away, as we see some doing here, were the ones that ultimately lost. You can only deny the law of gravity in a ten story fall for a little more than the first 9 and 99/100 stories. Then the science catches up with you very fast.

 

No matter the smoke and mirrors here and there, the reality of the sea change is being denied by the very ones we would expect to venture forth first. The storage issues are getting resolved faster than I expected. We are past the tipping point and some still deny it. They get so angry when the world doesn't follow their paradigm of how the world works. If I were an evil person I'd enjoy the free entertainment, but I hate to see anyone lose, even by their own hand, everything.

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