In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, about $297 billion was spent on renewables—more than twice the $143 billion spent on new nuclear, coal, gas and fuel oil power plants, according to the IEA. The Paris-based organization projects renewables will make up 56% of net generating capacity added through 2025.
Renewable costs have fallen so far in the past few years that “wind and solar now represent the lowest-cost option for generating electricity,” said Francis O’Sullivan, research director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative.
This is beginning to disrupt the business of making electricity and manufacturing generating equipment. Both General Electric Co. andSiemens AG are grappling with diminished demand for large gas-burning turbines and have announced layoffs. Meanwhile, mostly Asian-based manufacturers of solar panels are flourishing.
In many places, opting for renewables “is a purely economic choice,” said Danielle Merfeld, the chief technology officer of GE’s renewable energy unit. “In most places, it is cheaper and other technologies have become more expensive.”
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction