Solar is the New Shale: Get Ready for the Revolution

“The next shale”: How solar is poised to transform America’s energy markets

Utility Dive, February 19, 2015

A lot of people didn’t see the shale oil and gas revolution coming, and now a new report says many are failing to anticipate a coming energy explosion that will transform the energy sector to a similar extent.

Plummeting module prices and rising module efficiencies are driving a solar boom so big it may face only one obstacle: Its own success.

“The comparison is that the magnitude of the impact solar can have on the market is similar to the impact shale gas has had,” said Wood Mackenzie Research Director Prajit Ghosh. “The economics of solar is already competitive in many parts of the U.S. and that will only get better.”

There are many parallels between the energy revolution created by shale resource development and what is now happening in solar, said Ghosh, lead author of the consultancy’s recently-released report, “Solar: The Next Shale?” An example is that rigs became more productive in shale in the same way that module efficiencies are driving the solar boom.

Solar the new shale
Photo Courtesy of Wood Mackenzie. Solar: The New Shale?
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