As the cost of solar energy continues to fall relative to traditional generation methods, energy markets throughout the globe are undergoing significant metamorphoses.
Solar farms are springing up throughout India in response to rapidly expanding demand for power, including the world’s largest coming in at a whopping 750-megawatts. India is planning to install a mind-boggling 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 – enough to power more than 250,000,000 average Indian homes.
Though not as dramatic as India’s energy revolution, there have been shifts in American energy markets – and energy producers – as well.
On Saturday, August 6, Apple Inc. – better known for cell phones and home computers – will be authorized to sell power directly to consumers. They join Google’s parent company, Alphabet, among the newest additions to the energy generation market. Though much of the power will go to providing for their own needs, it is an interesting wrinkle in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Traditional utilities, unable or unwilling to meet the tech giants’ demand for lower-cost renewable energy, are struggling to adapt. As the cost of solar installations continues to fall and efficiency continues to improve the problem will only worsen.
Though only a minute fraction of energy generation will come from Apple and Alphabet in the short term, this could signal a significant shift in the energy market. With more and more entities taking power generation into their own hands – and getting authorization to sell power directly to consumers – a less centralized market with a lower carbon footprint could become the norm.