HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » China Laughed When It Saw...

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 08:39 PM

China Laughed When It Saw How Cheap Solar Could Be

From Mike Sankowski, who's thesis on the Death Spiral of the Utilities from last December has, in half a year, become the conventional wisdom, another very bold prediction, this time re China:

Do you remember when Dr. Evil was going to hold the world ransom for $1,000,000?
This is what we are facing today in Solar Ė the Dr. Evil ultimatum. The cost to get Solar to coal parity is going to be laughably tiny.
The cost sounds like a lot of money to old people, or to people who havenít thought it through, or to people who do not know how large world GDP is today and how much we spend on energy already.
But the cost is tiny, and China laughed when they found out the cost.
...
It turns out Solar will be cheaper than coal for China very, very soon. SunTech estimates Solar will be cost competitive with coal power in China by 2016 and 2017 at the latest. This is in line with what people expect for Solar parity in the United States, given the cost of coal based power.
Still, letís assume SunTech exaggerating, and the time for Solar/coal parity is really 2018.
Both parts of this assumption are reasonable. Suntech is probably exaggerating the time for Solar to get cost competitive with coal. But it canít be more than a year or two, because electricity is so much more expensive in China than it is in the United States.
...
Coal power is expensive in China, simply because they need to import coal from Australia. China canít make the cost of coal lower with cheap wages.
Industrial users in China should pay about 80% more for electricity as similar users do here in the United States. So if unsubsidized Solar is about double the cost of coal here Ė which we know was true a lifetime year ago Ė then Solar must be close to coal parity in China today.
...
Many people are calling for thousands of coal plants to be built in China in the years from 2020 to 2030. However, if you think about it from the perspective of how China has acted in the past, this does not make much sense. China has shown again and again it is willing to make what appears to be insane levels of investment to achieve goals.
I contend given the current levels of pollution in China, paying a modest premium for energy is completely worth it to them. If Solar ends up being the same cost as coal in just a few years, China will shift over to Solar power in an astonishing way. They will just stop building coal plants, and build an incredible amount of Solar plants instead.
Look at what China did in Shanghai. The city was entirely transformed in 20 years. China put up the equivalent of Chicago in 20 years.
Why would their response to cheap, clean energy be different? It wonít.


Full article, well worth reading. There's a lot more there: http://www.businessinsider.com/china-laughed-when-it-saw-how-cheap-solar-could-be-2014-6

12 replies, 2214 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply China Laughed When It Saw How Cheap Solar Could Be (Original post)
Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2014 OP
Fred Sanders Jun 2014 #1
Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2014 #10
babylonsister Jun 2014 #2
Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2014 #3
Rod Beauvex Jun 2014 #4
BrotherIvan Jun 2014 #5
Demeter Jun 2014 #8
BrotherIvan Jun 2014 #9
Demeter Jun 2014 #11
BrotherIvan Jun 2014 #12
Phlem Jun 2014 #6
smallcat88 Jun 2014 #7

Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 08:48 PM

1. Central planning is being applied on a massive scale, there are no RW wing-nuts in China

who believe that climate change is a left wing myth and science is from the devil.

Capitalism combined with science, facts and central control are a powerful combination, politics aside.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 09:00 PM

2. Thank you for this; maybe China can teach us a thing or two.

We should all be in this together. We have to be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 09:05 PM

3. Very true. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 09:13 PM

4. If China ever gets it's crap together...

...which it's been doing for awhile now, it is going to simply steamroll the USA.

The powers that be need to learn that this one isn't going to just go away like the USSR did.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 09:21 PM

5. We will be buying our solar technology from China

They saw it was the future and invested heavily in it, soon they will control the market. As many above have stated, our fabulous leaders/deniers did not have the vision or just wanted to protect their keepers and so now the US, who could have been the world leader in a technology that every country wants, is one of the last to implement it. But we'll still be number one at war!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 7, 2014, 06:43 AM

8. All thanks to Ronald Reagan

 

Who made it the pillar of his Administration to crush renewables, defund them, ridicule them....and institute policies that still suppress them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demeter (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 7, 2014, 02:10 PM

9. You mean the anti-Christ?

There are few people I loathe as much as that man. I must admit my first ignore here was not being as forgiving to a poster who admitted voting for Reagan--twice! You've got to be some species of disease to vote for that guy. And then want to lecture me on being a liberal, no thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 7, 2014, 04:54 PM

11. I hear you

 

They say it takes all kinds....who ever thought there were so many, though?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demeter (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 7, 2014, 07:02 PM

12. Yeah, fool me once...

Same with the "reformed" Bushies/DLCers. I mean, yeah, the Rs are certifiable, but it took you basically batshit crazy howling at the moon to figure that out? For real? As many have noted, it's only when the pain touches them personally they wake up. Or as my friend always says, "Some people change when they see the light, but some people won't change till they feel the heat."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 11:23 PM

6. Greed has destroyed the US.

Plain and simple.

-p

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)

Fri Jun 6, 2014, 11:44 PM

7. The gas and oil companies

have concentrated all their political maneuvering here in the U.S. That's why we get all the climate denial crap here. The rest of the world isn't having that debate like we are. Won't be long before we're way behind the rest of the world in clean energy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread