October 19, 2020
20
 MIN

Can Solar and Wind Energy Completely Replace Coal?

Show Notes

2020 has pushed the coal industry to once-unthinkable lows, and the consequences for climate change are big. But let's rewind a bit..

How did we get here?

For a long time, Coal has been considered the least-cost option for power generation throughout the world.  That narrative is starting to fall, as recent reports show that as soon as 2030, it would be cheaper to build renewables than run existing coal in all major markets by 2030. The same report found that >40% of existing coal power-plants are unprofitable! So what caused the long standing narrative to flip?

  • Carbon pricing and air pollution regulations drive up costs - any future regulation would make coal power still more unprofitable

This is incredible news for the renewable energy industry, especially Solar + Wind.

Solar photovoltaic cells are now one of the 'cheapest sources of electricity in history' (!!!) thanks to maturing technologies and policies that have reduced the cost of investments.

What's incredible is just in the last 10 years, the cost of solar and wind energy have dropped a
staggering 88% and 69% since.. 10 years! That's it!
Significant R&D innovations and manufacturing scale to achieve unit economics have made these exciting new energy technologies available to the masses.

But it's not all rosy. This is all encouraging progress toward cutting down fossil fuel use in order to limit the devastating effects of climate change. But there’s still a long way to go to reach the goal set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement of stopping the planet from heating up more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  

Solar + Wind might not be enough to get us to that goal.. We think good ol' Nuclear might be able to get us there faster. Well it is 2020 and the THC team being optimists love to see and share  the brighter side of this equation :)

Here comes the sun! 🎵🎵🎵

Transcript