THE hardest vices to shake are those that come cheap. For all the efforts to kick the world’s collective addiction to inexpensive fossil fuels, energy from renewable sources still makes up less than a fifth of global energy production. Yet the world is gradually moving towards a greener future. What will this future look like? Nuclear power, expensive and potentially hazardous, has fallen out of vogue. Erstwhile nuclear converts such as Japan and Germany have been phasing out nuclear plants. The road to low carbon emissions will probably be lined with wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. Solar production, in particular, is exploding in America. Capacity increased tenfold from 2009 to 2015, and installations have grown by 65% per year since 2000, a stunning feat. Yet one obstacle remains: although manufacturing costs have fallen sharply, installing solar panels is still expensive.
Economist 30th Sept 2016 read more »