Earth to Krugman: solar prices aren’t dropping because of Earth-shattering technological breakthroughs.
Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times today that:
But Solyndra’s failure was actually caused by technological success: the price of solar panels is dropping fast, and Solyndra couldn’t keep up with the competition. In fact, progress in solar panels has been so dramatic and sustained that, as a blog post at Scientific American put it, “there’s now frequent talk of a ‘Moore’s law’ in solar energy,” with prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year.
However, the real reason that Solyndra failed and the real reason that solar prices are plummeting is spelled C-H-I-N-A.
As reported by Reuters,
When the company announced the long-term contracts in 2008, solar panel prices were higher and developers of solar projects were scrambling for supply. As a result, three companies committed to three-year or five-year contracts that were touted in the 2008 press release, according to Ben Bierman, the company’s vice president of operations.
However, the solar panel market soon changed. China began pouring billions of dollars of subsidies into panel manufacturing, driving prices much lower. A dearth of supply soon became a global glut.
here is reality expressed mathematically:
Massive subsidies + slave labor + no environmental standards ≠ Technological success