Wind, Solar Power Soaring In Spite Of Bargain Prices For Fossil Fuels

Details

Publish Date:
January 1, 2016
Author(s):
  • Joby Warrick
Source:
The Washington Post
Related Person(s):
Related Organization(s):

Summary

Wind and solar power appear set for a record-breaking year in 2016 as a clean-energy construction boom gains momentum in spite of a global glut of cheap fossil fuels.

Installations of wind turbines and solar panels soared in 2015 as utility companies went on a worldwide building binge, taking advantage of falling prices for clean technology as well as an improving regulatory and investment climate. Both industries have seen stock prices jump since Congress approved an extension of tax credits for renewables as part of last month’s $1.14 trillion budget deal.

“Renewables have turned a corner in a fundamental way,” said Dan Reicher, a former Energy Department assistant secretary who is now executive director of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.

While solar and wind power have been expanding in the United States for years because of steadily falling costs, decisions by Congress and the White House in 2015 have set the stage for continued growth, Reicher and other energy experts say.

“The policy base for renewables has strengthened, both on the incentives side and through mandates,” Reicher said. “At the same time, the financing of renewable-energy projects has become a mainstream business for Wall Street. The early-stage investments from Silicon Valley for clean energy were small potatoes compared to the massive investments Wall Street is making. It truly is a global business.”

Read More