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How Cheap Can Solar Get? Very Cheap Indeed


Stashed in: Ecology!, Economics!, Awesome, The World, Energy!, @elonmusk, Charts!, Energy, Economics, Freakonomics, Accelerating Returns

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When I was a kid, my mom would never let us use air conditioning because of the electric bill. What would it mean for the world if electricity became essentially free?

It would mean free air conditioning for all. 

But thinking bigger, it would incentivize all cars to be electric, which could drop the cost of transportation substantially. Imagine if no one had to pay for gasoline. 

Shipping becomes cheaper and so does travel. 

One thing that strikes me about this chart is that we can accelerate it with subsidies.

There are added climate benefits if we can eliminate the need for oil with solar. 

Another potential consequence of this chart would be that "sunniest locations" would have even cheaper electricity than "normal locations"... therefore potentially areas closer to the equator might have an advantage in industry. Maybe instead of locating data farms in the environmentally sensitive Columbia River Gorge, the Googles of the world could put them in Ecuador or Iraq.

That's a fascinating thought that could shift wealth from oil-producing nations to equatoral nations.

Although I'd imagine that many middle eastern countries could jump on the solar bandwagon too.

As could anyone with a desert if they had good ways to store and transport the energy.

Energy storage and transportation seem to be the biggest blocking factors to quicker adoption.

One more consequence we talked about is that this could accelerate the provision of clean water to the parts of the world that don't currently have enough access to clean water.

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