Tag Archives: solar energy

Buffett Gets High Rates, U.S. Incentive in $2 Billion Solar Bet – Businessweek

7 Dec

By Christopher Martin

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which agreed to buy a $2 billion solar farm in California may have picked the right time to invest in the industry.

The 550-megawatt Topaz project will qualify for a federal incentive because it began construction last month, and will sell power under a long-term contract that was completed before prices for solar panels fell 44 percent in the last year. Berkshire’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings utility unit and First Solar Inc., the project developer, announced the deal today.

Topaz, which will use First Solar panels, may be the last large solar farm to qualify for the U.S. Treasury Department incentive program, which is set to end this year. It will likely sell power at a higher price than projects that are seeking utility contracts now, said Paul Clegg, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA in New York.

via Buffett Gets High Rates, U.S. Incentive in $2 Billion Solar Bet – Businessweek.

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Here Comes Solar Energy – Krugman

7 Nov

Fracking NO!

… special treatment for fracking makes a mockery of free-market principles. Pro-fracking politicians claim to be against subsidies, yet letting an industry impose costs without paying compensation is in effect a huge subsidy. They say they oppose having the government “pick winners,” yet they demand special treatment for this industry precisely because they claim it will be a winner.

Solar YES! The cost of panels is dropping through the floor.

… Solyndra’s failure was actually caused by technological success: the price of solar panels is dropping fast, and Solyndra couldn’t keep up with the competition. In fact, progress in solar panels has been so dramatic and sustained that, as a blog post at Scientific American put it, “there’s now frequent talk of a ‘Moore’s law’ in solar energy,” with prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year.

This has already led to rapid growth in solar installations, but even more change may be just around the corner. If the downward trend continues — and if anything it seems to be accelerating — we’re just a few years from the point at which electricity from solar panels becomes cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal.

And if we priced coal-fired power right, taking into account the huge health and other costs it imposes, it’s likely that we would already have passed that tipping point.

via Here Comes Solar Energy – NYTimes.com.