Paradoxically, so far falling PV costs have resulted in increasing PV capacity but reducing PV investment. A possible explanation is that reduced costs have resulted in reduced government subsidies. The implication is that without subsidies current costs are still too high to spur growth in investment.
Taking the big picture view, current investment levels in clean energy though over $300B/y are not growing and are at least a factor of twenty too low at current costs to reduce CO2 emissions by 2050. The sustained decline in solar PV investment despite dramatic cost reduction is deeply discouraging as it is counter to the perception that solar PV is succeeding on a path to rapid and sustainable growth at a level that can reduce CO2 emissions.
From a StratoSolar perspective the dramatic PV cost reductions make Stratosolar an even more viable clean energy alternative. With PV at these lower costs, the increased utilization of Stratosolar is capable of providing electricity at amazingly low prices, well below the cheapest and dirtiest fossil fuels. No long duration intermittency from clouds and weather and the option for cheap, reliable gravity energy storage make the story even more compelling.
By Edmund Kelly