Over the years many knowledgeable people have downplayed the contributions that Solar and Wind can play in the future. On the other side we keep hearing about massive increases in Solar and Wind electricity production due to costs dropping precipitously. So we wanted to know how often the so called experts are correct and how often their predictions are wrong.
For the purposes of this article we will focus on predictions from the IEA (International Energy Association) because it is widely accepted as the non-bias standard. The IEA is also professional enough to point out their own mistakes.
Take a look at the two tables below and notice the WEO (that is the IEA’s World Energy Outlook) predictions vs actual production of Wind and Solar Power
As you can see the worlds most noted energy research organization has had to increase its 2006 Solar predictions by 15 times, that is 1500 percent. For Wind the IEA has had to triple its 2006 predictions to stay on track.
Most importantly note that Wind and Solar have never failed to exceed even will considered exceptions.
The bottom line is that Wind and Solar are often downplayed with a ‘they can’t be used in an real energy production’ tone, but that is just simply wrong. Wind and Solar are growing globally at an astronomical rates.
In 2017, China’s Wind and Solar expanded by a mind boggling 40% in one year, making China the world leader in renewables. So if you think people like US President Donald J Trump or Canada’s Jason Kenny, Doug Ford and Scott Moe are going to slow it down, you would be wrong. Those people will simply push the West further behind this technical energy revolution.
“Swanson’s Law”, named after the CEO of SunPower Corporation Richard Swanson, states that the cost of solar drops about 20% every time the volume of solar products doubles. This is no different than other “laws” of production the take into account the cost of solar device raw materials, installation efficiencies, increased scale…
Wind Power has a similar diminishing cost based on increased production:
Other Reading and Sources: