Oil Plummets to $30 a Barrel and Renewable Energy Soars!
For the first time in history, solar energy is winning the energy race as the least expensive type of new electricity. Solar energy and wind power accounted for about half of all new energy capacity installed in 2015 and 2016, and is anticipated to continue rising in 2017.
Not only is solar energy beating wind power, it’s even taking the lead over fossil fuel, becoming more competitive than natural gas and coal on a very large scale. It is projected that electricity derived from fossil fuel will reach its peak over the next ten years as more and more clean and sustainable energy is produced efficiently and effectively.
As the start of 2016 opened with prices of oil dropping from $110 to $30, global investments in renewable energy grew 4% from the previous year, reaching an all time high of $329.3 billion, according to Michael Liebreich, founder of the London-based research arm of Bloomberg LP. Quit the opposite of what was anticipated! With gas prices plummeting, many expected investment in clean energy to plummet along with it. But they were wrong indeed!
According to oil industry analyst Angus Rodger “Large oil companies are being hit hard by the oil price decline, which still does not seem to have bottomed out. Concerns that oil will fall even lower in 2016 has delayed $380 billion of investment in new projects. Companies are going into survival mode. Coal and natural gas prices have also declined.”
Inhabitat.com states that China is currently the number one in the renewable energy market after increasing its investment in the sector by 17 percent to $110.5 billion in 2015. This is double the amount that was invested in the United States. Michael Liebreich of Bloomberg LP states “Wind and solar power are now being adopted in many developing countries as a natural and substantial part of the generation mix. They can be produced more cheaply than often high wholesale power prices. They reduce a country’s exposure to expected fossil fuel prices. And above all, they can be built very quickly to meet unfulfilled demand for electricity.”
Although cheap gas prices were thought to slow the adoption of energy efficient measures, 2016 was another strong year renewable energy. The renewable revolution is being empowered by plummeting costs of solar panels and wind turbines, and also being encouraged by stronger regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Market forces seem to be finally working in the planet’s favor!
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