The first two items below show that we can get our energy primarily from clean, renewable sources and that solar PV will be cost competitive with traditional fossil fuels soon – even without government subsidies.
The third item relates how Duke Energy and other electric utilities are blocking the transition to clean energy in NC.
The UN News Centre
Renewable sources can meet most global energy demands: UN-backed report
May 9, 2011
Renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind, biomass and hydropower could meet nearly 80 per cent of the world’s energy supplies by 2050 if governments pursue policies that harness their potential, a United Nations-backed report released today says.
The findings of more than 120 researchers working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that if the path of renewable source is fully followed, greenhouse gas emissions could stay low enough to keep the rise in global temperatures by the middle of the century to below 2 degrees.
That 2-degree threshold is a widely regarded tipping point, beyond which the worst effects of climate change are likely to occur. Governments also agreed at a major meeting last year in Cancún, Mexico, to try to limit the average global temperature rise to that amount.
Price of solar panels to drop to $1 by 2013, report forecasts
Ernst & Young analysis suggests that falling solar and rising fossil fuel prices could make large-scale installations cost-competitive without government support within a decade
By Duncan Clark
June 20, 2011
Prices of solar panels are falling so fast that by 2013 they will be half of what they cost in 2009, according to a report from Ernst & Young that argues solar electricity could play “an important role” in meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets.
The average one-off installation cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has already dropped from more than $2 (£1.23) per unit of generating capacity in 2009 to about $1.50 in 2011. Based on broker reports and industry analysis, the report forecasts that those rates of decline will continue, with prices falling close to the $1 mark in 2013.
The News and Observer
Critics see Duke Energy as block to solar growth
By Bruce Henderson
June 22, 2011
Duke Energy, which earns billions from coal and nuclear power, has become sun-splashed North Carolina’s biggest source of solar power – and, critics charge, an obstacle to expanding the new industry.
Duke Energy Carolinas ranked 10th-largest among U.S. utilities for the amount of solar energy it brought online last year. That’s because of a state law that, for the first time, required North Carolina utilities to make a smidgen of their electricity from the sun.
But complaints grew about the way Duke answered the solar mandate.
The state’s leading clean-energy advocacy group and some solar companies say Duke essentially cornered the market in its territory. By developing its own projects and buying power from one sprawling solar farm, they say, Duke left out contractors and private investors who could have expanded the industry.