Things went crazy in the first half of this year (2016) with about 30GW installed. The government goal was 18GW for the whole year. The government pulled the plug for the rest of 2016, causing major disruption and panel prices have fallen from $0.55/W to less than $0.40/W as covered in my last blog post.
Now, as this article describes in detail, China has reduced its 2020 objective of 150GW installed to 110GW. This would only be 9GW/y over the next four years compared to this years over 30GW. There is no market to absorb the excess Chinese PV manufacturing capacity. To add salt to the wound, Trump's election will almost certainly mean that US subsidies will disappear and US solar installations will also decline.
World clean energy investment seems set for a long-term decline from the $250B/y level it has been at since around 2010. This illustrates yet again how government subsidy is a fickle source of funding. Clean energy needs a path that does not rely on government subsidies to survive. Unfortunately, clean energy advocates have exclusively followed the path of persuading governments that subsidy is the only way and reject any other approach as being a threat to their status quo consensus.
StratoSolar promises a realistic way to provide clean energy without government subsidy. It is unproven but easily demonstrated at low cost. If climate change advocates are serious about the CO2 threat, then they need to wake up and start considering alternatives to their failing strategy. Perhaps Trump's election will at least get the US to consider different approaches.
By Edmund Kelly