Solar and Wind Power So Cheap They’re Outgrowing Subsidies
The price of solar and wind power has fallen so dramatically that, for the first time in history, many subsidies are no longer necessary, according to a new report from Bloomberg. An increasing number of developers are building solar farms without incentives, especially in Spain, Italy and, Portugal.
“Solar got cheap,” said Jenny Chase, an analyst at BNEF. “It’s really that simple.”
For years, one of the most prominent criticisms of renewable energy has been its economics, as most renewable energy initiatives were too expensive to exist without government subsidies. Now, that argument seems to be invalid, as the cost of wind and solar energy have dropped 50% and 85%, respectively, since 2010 according to BloombergNEF.
“The cheapest way of producing electricity in Spain is the sun,” Jose Dominguez Abascal, the nation’s secretary of state for energy, said last year.
Of course, decades of subsidised research and development have fuelled this reduction in price, and now, the economics are right for startups to enter the field and make some noise. We’re already seeing it happen…
At the end of August,
- At the end of August, BBOXX, a British startup that sells plug-and-play solar power systems to consumers, raised a $50 million Series D.
- Energy Vault, a Swiss startup developing new batteries for effective renewable energy storage—one of the biggest current hurdles to renewable power—raised a $110 million Series B in August as well.
- Other renewable energy startups include: Sunverge Energy, Form Energy, Enpal, Dens, and Wellsun, to name a few—have all raised rounds since July.
These improving economics—and the investor interest they’re attracting—signal that the renewable energy market is poised for some big breakouts in the coming year. If you’re a job-seeker looking to jump on a rocketship, consider starting your search in the renewable energy space.