Traditional energy firms to go extinct with solar power becoming as cheap as coal
Technological advancements in the production of solar panels would make solar power as cheap as coal, in a further blow to major energy companies, claims John Straw, author of the book, iDisrupted.
The price of the crystalline silicon modules, which are currently used in solar panels, has recently dropped to $0.50 (£0.32, €0.45) per watt in 2014 from $4 per watt in 2007 – a development once believed to be impossible.
The price drop is primarily attributed to a new low cost production method, which replaces the previous inefficient production process.
The cost of solar panel production is expected to be cut further to as low as $0.25. Massachusetts-based 1366 Technologies claims that its new method of silicon wafer production can further reduce costs. The company says it was able to cut the overall cost of a crystalline silicon module by a further 20%, rivalling the cost of coal.
"These technological advances are the final nail in the coffin of traditional energy companies across the globe," says Straw.
He noted that the low price of solar power over the next few years would radically change the way we consume energy.
"Another final factor to consider is that at the end of April, Elon Musk will introduce a new battery technology which is set to disrupt the way we power our homes. Currently, the future of energy is uncertain but if one thing's for sure, it's that traditional energy companies will cease to exist."
(IDisrupted speaks about digital disruption, which is the disruptive effect on business and economy due to the emergence of new technologies.)