🤴 Who Will Be The New Kings Of 2030s? 🏜Welcome to the Solar Age. 🍃
News from an island + The renewable energy gold rushes ahead + 5 global stocks and 3 early stages companies in SolarTech you can invest in today to not miss the boat.
Hi, I’m Djoann Fal. I convene The Adaptive Economy by Atlas, a data-driven, positive, and most importantly solution-based business newsletter to help us understand how our lives, societies, and political economy will change under the force of rapidly changing climate and technology innovation. Congratulations, you are now among the 7000+ forward-thinking business leaders staying ahead of the curve by knowing in which industry to dedicate your time, money, and assets as you enter the 4th industrial era.
🏝 News from under the sea sun
Last week I have been taking a little break on one of the most beautiful islands of Thailand. Just before the country entered into a complete lockdown so you don’t have to be jealous of me, I’m stuck at home too now for the next foreseeable future.
Anyhow, I was trying the no phone, no computer thing for few days, only to realize after talking to some locals that the island electricity price per KWh was 4X the price on the continent. Why? Simply because there was no electricity production on the island aside from burning diesel imported by boat from the land. Is this making any sense to you? Not for me so I started to think, how much would it cost this island to be energy dependant by installing a simple solar farm on the top of the mountain. Then I got to research why bigger countries with more resources were also not doing it (yet). Just to open my eyes to the fact that some of the most valuable companies in the world were already making billions from this solar tech business. Here it is…
👁️🗨️ USA’s dive down on renewable
So let’s look at the math on why this little island did not yet create a solar farm instead of burning diesel.
The United States uses 3,911,000 GWh gigawatt-hours per year. In the logic of this exercise, let’s just round this up to 4,000,000 GWh per year needed to feed the US electricity needs entirely.
With current technologies, it is possible to produce 1 GWh (gigawatt-hour) over 2.8 acres of land. Including the roads & other infrastructures needed to establish a solar farm, let’s round this number to 3 acres of land to produce 1 GWh.
Hence 12,000,000 acres of land will be required to feed the US electricity needs entirely through solar energy only
The square on that map is the surface it would take for a giant solar farm feeding the entire USA energy. This sounds like a lot but the USA covers a surface of 2,400,000,000 acres. So this surface required to get the United States completely solar energy powered would require only 0.5% of the country surface area.
As a benchmark, according to the US Department of land management, over 25,000,000 acres of land are leased by Oil production companies like ExxonMobil, today. That’s over twice the space needed for solar panels to produce 100% of the energy necessary for the entire nation while Oil and Gas combined only cover 66% of the country's energy demand.
Another interesting benchmark, in the USA alone, over 21,000,000 acres are used to grow corn specifically used for conversion into ethanol used as a gasoline substitute. Today, corn grew to produce ethanol is the second largest usage of corn and space in the country accounting for 27% of all the corn grew.
The point I’m trying to make is that dedicating 12,000,000 acres of land or 0,5% of a country surface to produce its entire energy need is not only relatively small in comparison to the current use of space to generate traditional energies, and this is a much more efficient use of lands.
🙅 The money problem?
Then what is blocking a country with smart people like in the United States to do this type of project to finally fix their own energy consumption problem?
The United States has completed very expensive projects, all on its own, in the past: The Interstate Highway System is often considered the most expensive modern construction project ever completed, coming at a price of $459,000,000,000 ($ 458 Billion). As a comparison, the Iraq war came in at an estimated price of 2,400,000,000,000 ($2.4 Trillion).
Estimating the total cost of turning these 12,000,000,000 acres into solar panel farms varies quite a lot due to different factors being taken into consideration. But everyone seems to agree that this project would cost far beyond what this country would be able to afford. The most moderate figure I found during my researches on the internet would be 24,000,000,000 ($24 Trillion). To put that in perspective, the entire GDP of the USA is 19,000,000,000 ($19 Trillion). So yeah that wouldn’t be the cheapest project in the world.
However, that still could be possible: The closest comparison that I can think of is with a foreign project currently underway right now. That is China’s Belt and Road initiative, which is a megaproject with the goal to create an infrastructure corridor between Asia, Europe, and Africa to increase degrees of cultural exchange and trade across these regions. The project includes the construction of new roads, bridges, freight lines, seaports, and even potentially a unified electrical grid across a total of 68 countries. This project is by far the largest in human history and it comes with a price anywhere between 4,000,000,000 ($4 Trillion) and 8,000,000,000 ($8 Trillion).
So for the past decade, that project did not seem to be realistic for the USA, and maybe not realistic for that little island I’m staying on right now.
Or maybe not for much longer…
🏄 The solar gold rush ahead of the 2020s.
It seems we are on the mist of a revolution with a scale unseen since the invention of cars disrupting the horse carriage industry.
For the past 10 years, prices of photovoltaic cells and other renewable energy technologies have been steadily decreasing while efficiency in energy storage potential batteries has been improving.
This disruption is the result of a convergence of several key technological improvements: The cost of solar wind and batteries have been improving relentlessly for several decades, and now, the common coal gas and oil technologies can no longer compete. This makes the disruption inevitable, because of economic forces alone.
Of course, solar energy isn’t the only source of renewable energy and perhaps not even the best for our purpose of cheaper energy than diesel on this island here.
Whether or not a 100% solar-powered USA is possible will depends on the cost of setting up large-scale solar farms and hence will really depend on the number of researches solar tech companies are putting into work.
Solar-wind-battery energy mix might be the greatest opportunity of our time.
🍃 Solar Power shareholders Will Be ‘the New King’ by 2030
Solar energy could cover all the water treatment & desalinization for humanity to have clean water for example.
The IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2020 report says solar is now cheaper than coal and, along with wind, will make up 80 percent of the electric energy market by the end of the decade, effectively shoving coal off the global energy grid.
“I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a news release. “Based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022.”
The Global Renewable Energy Market size was estimated at US$ 750 billion and is expected to reach US$ 1,370 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 5.5% through 2030.
Data and analytics firm GlobalData has forecast the global wind power market to surge from $96.4bn in 2018 to $124.6bn by 2030.
Electricity generated from geothermal plants is projected to increase from 16 billion kWh in 2019 to 52.2 billion kWh in 2050.
In reality, we will definitely use multiple forms like wind, hydro, and geothermal (Iceland) to supply our energy mix, let’s call this superpower. However, it seems that lately and towards 2030 this is solar that will be benefiting the most hype, with China being the most country deploying the most solar technologies in 2020 and solar tech forecasting to be generating the most return of investments, only for the investors with enough foresight.
😎 How about getting rich by being part of this?
As the graphs show in the first parts of this article, the disruption process has already been triggered.
I don’t know for you, but me and my friends absolutely not gonna miss that opportunity.
So I share here with you some of the interesting solar companies I have come across, or currently part of my portfolio, and some early-stage companies I’m looking at supporting.
How about a company that enables you to be part of a $100m massive solar energy project, just with a minimum 100$ investment? Discover our interview with Lyght a Taiwanese startup fundraising now and working on this.
Saule Technologies is a high-tech company that develops innovative solar cells based on perovskite materials.
SunCable is developing the world's largest solar energy infrastructure network, making it possible to power whole cities with renewable energy
Enphase Energy (NASDAQ: ENPH) is an American-listed energy technology company headquartered in Fremont, California. Enphase designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage, and web-based monitoring and control.
SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ: SEDG) - SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. is a U.S.-domiciled, Israel-headquartered provider of power optimizer, solar inverter, and monitoring systems for photovoltaic arrays.
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR) is an American company specializing in solar power generation and energy storage.
Ørsted (CPH: ORSTED) is a Danish multinational power company based in Fredericia, Denmark. It is one most sustainable energy companies in the world.
SolarCity is a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) that develops and sells solar panels and solar roof tiles.
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