Rick Needham, director of energy and sustainability at Google, “While fossil-based prices are on a cost curve that goes up, renewable prices are on this march downward.”
That pretty much sums it up. In just the last five years, solar photovoltaic module prices have fallen 80 percent and wind turbines have become 29 percent less expensive. Moreover, after the initial investment, renewables such as wind and solar, having no cost of fuel, will prove far too competitive for fossil fuels no matter how cheap those may appear to be.
Cheap fuel is still more than free fuel.
Further technological advances aren’t required to make renewables competitive, but advances are occurring. Fossil fuels will represent only a small percentage of all energy investments in just a few years for a simple reason: few will want to invest in the less profitable technologies of the past.
If we fear for the future, it is paradoxical to attempt to mitigate risks by continuing to invest in fossil fuels. What we do now will bring about the future for better or worse. If we’re to emerge from our 19th century energy system, it must be us, now, today, who set that emergence in motion. Leave fossil fuels for those who prefer to look backwards.