Renewables continue to take the world by storm, which is good news for the climate.
Because of less expensive and more efficient technology, about one quarter of all Australian households now have solar panels. This process is uneven, with a rush to put them up recently because of a fall in the price of the panels. The adoption of solar may slow next year. But the technology is such that there will certainly be more periods of rapid adoption. Before you know it, all Australian homes will be run on solar power. Incidentally, if you run an electric car off the solar panels, it causes the payback period to fall for both. Even OPEC and big oil have vastly increased their estimate of the number of electric vehicles on the road by 2040.
Case Western Reserve University scientists have found a way to boost panel output by ten percent, and the breakthrough is now being tested for durability. If you follow these things, such reports of improved solar efficiency or fall in costs (which is the same thing) are quite common. The potential for technological breakthroughs is so high given the research and development money being thrown at solar research that all projections about the future are way too conservative.
A new University of Minnesota study finds that solar power plus battery storage is now, in summer 2017, already cheaper than natural gas.