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Page added on May 19, 2020

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Industry hit by weak demand finally faces threat from electric cars

Business

Oil companies may be facing uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic triggers a collapse in demand for their products, but automakers are betting the crisis will help accelerate an electric future.

With economies reeling from lockdowns to curb the virus, the sharpest plunge in oil prices in two decades has slashed the cost of filling up a tank of gas, eroding some of the incentive to make the switch to cleaner fuels.

Looking ahead, cuts in capital spending forced upon energy companies as their revenues crumble could tighten supply enough to cause a spike in oil prices, making electric vehicles more attractive just as automakers ramp up production, analysts say.

“We think this will lead to a tipping point, accelerating the switch to electric vehicles in many more countries around 2023-24,” Per Magnus Nysveen, senior partner at Rystad Energy, a consultancy in Oslo, told Reuters.

“We will start to see that this starts to dig into global oil demand in a very significant way,” he said.

“It’s inconceivable that all that demand for oil comes back in one go, so the real question is how much of that is lost permanently.”

 

According to a Reuters analysis of 27 automakers compiled in partnership with Constellation Research & Technology, most companies apart from Elon Musk’s Tesla and China’s BYD are still in the early stages of transitioning to EVs, which make up a fraction of global sales.

With mid-sized to large petroleum-fueled SUVs and trucks driving much of the recent growth in the auto sector, many companies are banking on these high-emitting gas-guzzlers to drive their near-term performance.

Nevertheless, with China’s BAIC and German rivals Volkswagen and Daimler pursuing some of the industry’s most ambitious decarbonization targets, investors are increasingly using a company’s EV prospects as a proxy for future success.

“All the growth in transportation is being eaten by electricity,” said Harry Benham, chairman of Ember-Climate, a British energy transition think-tank. “Oil and gas companies have got no ability to defeat electricity as a transport fuel.”

Peak oil demand?

With fuel for road transport accounting for about half of all oil demand, the possibility of a faster-than-expected switch to EVs in the wake of the pandemic is one of the main reasons some forecasts for a peak have been brought forward.

Global oil demand hit a record of just over 100 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019. Rystad now sees demand topping out at 106.5 million-107 million bpd in 2027-2028. The consultancy had previously forecast a marginally higher peak in 2030.

Although the oil industry has defied numerous attempts to call “peak oil” in the past, the fact that the International Energy Agency projects that demand will plunge by a record 8.6 million bpd this year has reignited the debate.

Though as yet a minority view, some believe the pandemic is reshaping patterns of work, aviation and commuting so profoundly that oil demand might never return to 2019 levels — a potential boost to hopes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the industry was living in a “crisis of uncertainty.” BP CEO Bernard Looney said he would not “write off” the possibility the world had reached peak oil.

“It’s inconceivable that all that demand for oil comes back in one go, so the real question is how much of that is lost permanently,” said Mark Lewis, head of sustainability research at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

Underscoring the changing economics of transport, Reuters revealed last week that Tesla plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China that it expects to bring the cost of EVs in line with gasoline models.

Volkswagen has announced some of the most aggressive long-term plans to decarbonize its fleet, but the company still has to prove it can build EVs at scale, and has led the field in ramping up sales of mid- and large SUVs, the data shows.Despite such potential breakthroughs, the Constellation data shows that automakers still have a long way to go to align themselves with climate goals enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, with Ford and Fiat Chrysler among the biggest laggards.

Although the public decarbonization targets of Japan’s Toyota are only a little bolder than the industry average, the company’s proven capacity to build hybrids may bode well for its EV ambitions, the data suggests.

Japan’s Subaru, which produces only a small number of hybrid vehicles, might have to rely on its partnership with Toyota if it wants to prosper as demand for EVs picks up, Constellation analysts said.

‘Crisis of uncertainty’

Although the oil industry hopes to offset demand lost to EVs with a growing appetite for crude to make petrochemicals and plastics, companies facing growing pressure from investors over climate change are increasingly open about the risks.

In April, Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell, said the company did not expect oil demand to recover in the medium term, saying the industry was living in a “crisis of uncertainty.”

Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, was later quoted in the Financial Times as saying he would not “write off” the possibility the world had reached peak oil.

Much will depend on whether economies stage a V-shaped recovery, as some forecasters predict, and how far governments adopt new EV targets as part of “green stimulus” packages to spur a faster shift to a low-carbon future.

With many European politicians calling for green recoveries, the French government signaled on Monday that the country wants to boost sales of low-emission cars. China has extended backing for EVs as part of its recovery package, and U.S. Democrats are exploring ways to boost demand for clean vehicles.

With various European countries planning to ultimately ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars, some see increasingly ambitious EV commitments by automakers as another sign of the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era.

“One of the primary factors holding back the transition has been resistance by the fossil fuel incumbents,” said Kingsmill Bond, senior strategist at financial think-tank Carbon Tracker. “Now those incumbents are significantly weakened.”

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73 Comments on "Industry hit by weak demand finally faces threat from electric cars"

  1. DT on Tue, 19th May 2020 3:42 pm 

    “It’s inconceivable that all that demand for oil comes back in one go, so the real question is how much of that is lost permanently.” Well now the US has most likely lost the stripper wells for now, about 1 million bbls per day. Then there is the shut in fracking wells that are going to be hard pressed to come back on line. Lets not forget the Alberta tar sands being shut in. For the US all of that is about 7-8 million bbls. Price spikes/shortages on the way is my near term prediction.

  2. DT on Tue, 19th May 2020 3:46 pm 

    “Looking ahead, cuts in capital spending forced upon energy companies as their revenues crumble could tighten supply enough to cause a spike in oil prices, making electric vehicles more attractive just as automakers ramp up production, analysts say.” Yea EV’s might look more attractive however, EV’s are like trophy husbands/wives great if you can afford it.

  3. 2824501 on Tue, 19th May 2020 5:02 pm 

    Ummm – where does the electricity come from?
    Most EV cars charge at night.
    Watch: Planet of the Humans

  4. DT on Tue, 19th May 2020 5:05 pm 

    The cheapest Electric car I can find is about $29,000 then they go up to over $250,000+. Not much chance of me buying one soon, even with my $1,200 Govt hand out, I can barley afford to keep my 1967 Toyota running.

  5. asg70 on Tue, 19th May 2020 5:08 pm 

    “hard pressed to come back on line.”

    That’s what doomers always say.

  6. DT on Tue, 19th May 2020 5:45 pm 

    “That’s what doomers always say.”
    ad hominem.
    .

    [ˌad ˈhämənəm]

    ADJECTIVE
    .

    1.(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining

  7. SocialRevolutionComing on Tue, 19th May 2020 7:36 pm 

    The world has gone full retard, never go full retard. COVID hoax destroying everything on its path. I have to laught at all of this.

    What the future of air travel could look like
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOFJHHJcom8

  8. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 4:08 am 

    “The cheapest Electric car I can find is about $29,000 then they go up to over $250,000+.”

    You don’t want to know how expensive the first solar cell’s were:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/renault-k-ze-the-poor-mans-tesla/

    Renault K-ZE coming to Europe (only) for 11,000 euro.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2020/05/20/plug-in-vehicles-27-market-share-in-sweden/

    “Plug-In Vehicles = 27% Market Share In Sweden”

  9. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 20th May 2020 4:11 am 

    Ummm – where does the electricity come from?
    Most EV cars charge at night.
    Watch: Planet of the Humans

    Michael Moore absolute has a point when he illustrates that US-designed wind turbines suck to the core:

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/windturners-copy.jpg

    Pulleeze.

    US-e-vehicles will be charged by European-designed wind turbines. Most wind turbines in the US are European.

  10. Abraham van Helsing on Wed, 20th May 2020 4:26 am 

    Industry also faces threat from climate activists, especially Shell in its Dutch home base Holland:

    https://www.geenstijl.nl/5153538/klimaatkneuzen-saboteren-5-shell-tankstations/

    #ShellMustFall

    Shell does try to be the #1 oil major to change tune:

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/04/22/opinion/shell-aims-lead-big-oil-pivot-clean-energy

    “Shell aims to lead Big Oil in pivot to clean energy”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/07/shells-new-solar-farm-to-help-power-a-natural-gas-plant-in-australia.html

    “Shell’s new solar farm to help power a natural gas plant in Australia”

    Shell IS building the largest offshore wind farm in the world in the Northsea in record time:

    https://www.nu.nl/economie/5787543/eneco-shell-en-van-oord-willen-samen-windpark-op-zee-bouwen.html

  11. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 6:17 am 

    “Shell aims to lead Big Oil in pivot to clean energy” The article proves the point that clean green, renewable, sustainable, is done as an image booster and catch phrase for the multinational corporate FF industry. Just add new and improved. Package it in a pretty container with a good looking presenter. Vol’a you have the typical tree hugger environmentalist wet dreams.

  12. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 6:20 am 

    “Shell IS building the largest offshore wind farm in the world in the Northsea in record time:” 49 reasons wind cannot replace FFs. http://energyskeptic.com/2019/wind/

  13. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 6:24 am 

    Wind and solar are being used (as any who believe in it) By corporate industry to boost a tarnished image. https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2020/05/14/wishful-thinking-wont-replace-fossil-fuels/

  14. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:11 am 

    “Shell IS building the largest offshore wind farm in the world in the Northsea in record time:” 49 reasons wind cannot replace FFs. http://energyskeptic.com/2019/wind/

    These 49 reasons debunked by me here (at the time 41 reasons):

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/prejudices-from-amateurs-against-wind-energy/

    “Prejudices From Amateurs Against Wind Energy”

    Here is an American who even got dubbed “US energy thinker of the year 2016”:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2019/12/07/mark-p-mills-hack-for-the-fossil-fuel-industry/

    “Mark P. Mills – Hack for the Fossil Fuel Industry”

    Americans and renewable energy, a dead-born child.

    America=oil

    They rose with it and will go under with it.

    Renewable energy, that is Eurasia:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV9PykR5bHo

  15. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:14 am 

    FF power to the rescue! https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2020/05/15/faulty-blades-hamper-wind-farm-production-part-2/

    For God sake, keep Americans away from wind turbines! Accidents will happen!

  16. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:19 am 

    “For God sake, keep Americans away from wind turbines! Accidents will happen!” If Americans stay away from wind turbines What happens to the clean green sustainable, renewable, industrial civilization transition to our new energy future? The same thing that is happening now nothing but FF use as far as the eye can see.

  17. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:21 am 

    How to lift an offshore wind installation ship 80 meters:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhtJlslDfDs

    Pictures Rotterdam Harbor.

  18. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:27 am 

    As soon as an EV is as cheap to purchase and run as my 1967 Toyota Corolla, I will transition to the new energy future. At this point in time my Toyota has a smaller embedded carbon footprint then any EV on the market.

  19. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:31 am 

    “How to lift an offshore wind installation ship 80 meters:” Nice illustration of how much FF’s are used in the shipping industry. Not one of those ships are powered by the wind.

  20. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:36 am 

    “my 1967 Toyota Corolla”

    I think I don’t want to know the educational path you may have walked over the past half century, if any.

    But then again, who needs an education if you can have opinions, the shortcut to being loud.

  21. Known sock on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:36 am 

    DT=juanPee

  22. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:45 am 

    ““How to lift an offshore wind installation ship 80 meters:” Nice illustration of how much FF’s are used in the shipping industry. Not one of those ships are powered by the wind.”

    “Transition”, another idea outside of average American grasp.

    You can weld btw with electricity, renewable electricity.

  23. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:53 am 

    “have you ever thought about the CO2 that was emitted in the production of the car? How far were the materials and components transported? Was the lithium in the batteries extracted in a high-altitude Chilean desert or in a remote part of China? Was the copper in the wires mined in Arizona or in Africa? Was the iron ore for the steel extracted in Australia and then processed in China, or was the steel made from recycled scrap metal?” https://rmi.org/how-much-co2-is-embedded-in-a-product/

  24. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 8:55 am 

    “Transition”, another idea outside of average American grasp”
    ad hominem.
    .

    [ˌad ˈhämənəm]

    ADJECTIVE
    .

    1.(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

    “vicious ad hominem attacks”

  25. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:00 am 

    “have you ever thought about the CO2 that was emitted in the production of the car? How far were the materials and components transported? Was the lithium in the batteries extracted in a high-altitude Chilean desert or in a remote part of China? Was the copper in the wires mined in Arizona or in Africa? Was the iron ore for the steel extracted in Australia and then processed in China, or was the steel made from recycled scrap metal?” https://rmi.org/how-much-co2-is-embedded-in-a-product/

    Actually I did. I’m not an advocate of replacing 1 billion fossil cars with 1 billion e-vehicles.

    I believe in replacing 1 billion fossil cars with a couple of tens of million autonomous e-vans and make private car ownership a thing of the past, call me a socialist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxFRVkMYWOE

    On top of that I am still not convinced that in the end of the day, hydrogen will not win over batteries after all.

  26. Known sock on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:00 am 

    JuanP= Davy

  27. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:03 am 

    “For God sake, keep Americans away from wind turbines! Accidents will happen!”

    If Americans stay away from wind turbines What happens to the clean green sustainable, renewable, industrial civilization transition to our new energy future?

    What would happen? Nothing. Things would proceed as planned in the Paris Accords and EU renewable energy policy. Fossil free in one generation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMiFstIsaNI

  28. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:07 am 

    “On top of that I am still not convinced that in the end of the day, hydrogen will not win over batteries after all.” Try studying the basic laws of physics. You can then soon understand that hydrogen (Or batteries for that matter)will never replace what liquid FF’s do for our collective human industrial civilization. https://www.hho-1.com/maximum-hydrogen-production-electrolysis-output/

  29. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:11 am 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMiFstIsaNI Oh boy another propaganda catchphrase “Smart Energy”

  30. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:39 am 

    I have to wonder if this time it might happen. “Between COVID and the possibility of Trump losing the election everything is in place for some kind of violent backlash.

    On the other hand, a lot of this is about buying toys and costumes. So who knows?”

  31. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 9:56 am 

    “On top of that I am still not convinced that in the end of the day, hydrogen will not win over batteries after all.” Try studying the basic laws of physics. You can then soon understand that hydrogen (Or batteries for that matter)will never replace what liquid FF’s do for our collective human industrial civilization. https://www.hho-1.com/maximum-hydrogen-production-electrolysis-output/

    You google up links without understanding its content.

    Explain in your own words why hydrogen will never replace fossil fuel?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMiFstIsaNI Oh boy another propaganda catchphrase “Smart Energy”

    It’s not a catch phrase, but hints at a renewable energy base where (automated) decisions will be taken by microelectronics, hence the image of a microprocessor at [0:27]. The old days where you merely had to inject gasoline in a piston-cylinder system and got it to work, are over. Now we are talking about complex system integration, enabled by IT, where different distributed energy sources and storage systems and weather forecasts, need to cooperate, to make it work.

  32. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 10:01 am 

    “Explain in your own words why hydrogen will never replace fossil fuel?” Hydrogen is not an energy source it is an energy carrier. It takes more energy to get the stuff then what you can ever get out of it. Batteries have the same problem.

  33. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 10:03 am 

    “Smart energy” is not a corporate catchphrase? LOL

  34. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 20th May 2020 10:44 am 

    Columbus died on this date.

    Columbus was the first economist.
    He didn’t know where he was going.
    He deceived his men.
    & he travelled on government money.

    — Victor García

  35. makati1 on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:01 am 

    The liquid farts have come thick and fast this morning!

    me gads! at this rate its better than the atkins diet, rapid weight loss!

  36. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:02 am 

    “Who controls the past controls the future.

    Who controls the present controls the past.” ‘

    — George Orwell

  37. makati1 on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:06 am 

    I’ve been having liquid farts whenever I drink the water in the Philippines. It may be a shithole to some, well actually pretty much everyone but I proudly call it home.

    Excuse me while I go to the bathroom to wipe my ass again from another liquid fart.

  38. Lord Buckethead on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:08 am 

    “he who can’t control his farts today

    has no future”

    Dr Fauci Mar’ 2020

  39. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:10 am 

    ““Explain in your own words why hydrogen will never replace fossil fuel?” Hydrogen is not an energy source it is an energy carrier. It takes more energy to get the stuff then what you can ever get out of it. Batteries have the same problem.”

    Straw man. Nobody claims that hydrogen or batteries are a source of energy. Solar and wind ARE energy sources. Hydrogen and batteries exist to buffer electricity from wind and solar. Hydrogen will very well replace fossil fuel… after it has been created first by intermittent sources wind and solar.

    It’s pretty clear now why you still drive a Toyota 1967 Starlet.

  40. makati1 on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:11 am 

    Controlling liquid farts is hard. I prefer to go with the flow. That’s what toilet paper is for. Oh shit, I forgot that I live in the Philippines, we ran out of TP.

  41. Jenny Craig on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:11 am 

    I lost 22 pounds in 2 weeks on the new Covid 19!

    Thankyou covid 19 weight loss program!

    I’ve run out of bog paper though, I panic bought 62 rolls earlier this year and now I’m down to the jew York times 🙁

  42. Cloggie on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:12 am 

    Energy density for beginners:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/energy-density-coal-vs-solar-panel/

    “Energy Density – Coal vs Solar Panel”

  43. Davy on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:16 am 

    Peak toilet paper in amerriCUH ?

    discuss …. while I run to the toilet with my thumb up my hole! 🙁

  44. The Dalai Lama's secretary on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:28 am 

    Its a well known fact that here in the contiguous lower 48 we have reached peak shitter paper of 100 bog rolls per day (100million brpd).

    Because of this dry cleaning is the future super investment for those awesome good looking legend people like Warren Buffet and Abraham van Helsing.

    This is elementary stuff my fellow peak oil simpletons
    discuss and insult below……

  45. JuanP on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:29 am 

    Peak toilet tampon in amerriCUH ?
    discuss …. while I run to the toilet with my thumb

  46. Antius on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:36 am 

    ‘”On top of that I am still not convinced that in the end of the day, hydrogen will not win over batteries after all.” Try studying the basic laws of physics. You can then soon understand that hydrogen (Or batteries for that matter)will never replace what liquid FF’s do for our collective human industrial civilization.’

    Hydrogen does not need to replace fossil fuels and neither do batteries, certainly not in the short term. They will be successful concepts if they can contribute to reducing our future demand for fossil fuels. Fifty years from now, we need to be using a lot less fossil fuels, but not necessarily none at all.

    Consider this gas turbine plant, which can run on a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen.
    https://community.oilprice.com/topic/15999-hydrogen-capable-natural-gas-turbines/

    Suppose we install a gas turbine plant next to an electrolysis unit. When there is excess wind power, we run the electrolysis plant and store hydrogen in big steel gasometer tanks, like the ones you used to see at the old gas works. When there is a lull in wind power, we switch the gas turbine on and burn hydrogen. We could run the gas turbine for a few hours on hydrogen alone. If the hydrogen runs out, we start burning natural gas. Maybe we keep a tank of LNG on site. Maybe hydrogen represents half of the total fuel consumed by the gas turbine over its lifetime. If we start feeding biogas into our hydrogen tank as well, then we could cut natural gas usage by the turbine by two thirds over its lifetime.

    Now consider that we don’t need to run the gas turbine all the time. It only runs when wind and solar power are insufficient to meet electricity demand. Its capacity factor might be 30% or less, as you only switch it on during lull periods and even then, it may only be needed at part load.

    Combine all of these things together, and your natural gas consumption will be only 10% what it would have been if you had been relying on natural alone for your electricity supply. If some of the excess renewable electricity is used to power grid interactive storage heaters, then you might be able to reduce natural gas usage even further.

    You would still need some natural gas to make a system like this work. But nowhere near as much as you needed before. And frankly, that is as good as it needs to be for the next 100 years.

    The same is true of battery electric vehicles. These are purist solutions that end up being expensive. But a hybrid vehicle with 50 mile range battery and a diesel-electric drive train could reduce lifetime fuel consumption by 80%.

    Idealistic people tend to gravitate towards idealistic and revolutionary solutions, like pure electric transport or a 100% renewable energy economy. In the real world, evolutionary approaches work better. Finding niches where things like hydrogen and batteries can reduce our need for fossil fuels, without replacing them altogether.

  47. Dr Watson of 221B Baker Street on Wed, 20th May 2020 11:37 am 

    In the early hours of this morning I travelled along a grafitti invested dump hole that is my street. The fog and wafting smoke of the opium dens hung heavy in the air like a makati1 pregnant pause. Upon reaching the old shop known as ‘Walmart’ I entered and was able to stumble upon some paper of the toilet.
    The store owner and
    myself were much relieved and there was plenty of rejoicing, I do believe a young child cried and at least one lady got quite emotional.
    Good evening to you all…

  48. DT on Wed, 20th May 2020 12:01 pm 

    “It’s pretty clear now why you still drive a Toyota 1967 Starlet.” Yes it is very clear, I can afford a 1967 Toyota and the carbon footprint is tiny compared to your Clean Green Renewable Sustainable Smart Grid Smart Car Smart House Smart Phone Smart Energy Plan of New and Improved Larger Sized Industrial Civilization Free Energy Scheme of the far off future.

  49. Antius on Wed, 20th May 2020 12:06 pm 

    “Energy Density – Coal vs Solar Panel”

    Your description of energy density on your Deep Resource site is misleading. Coal is a natural resource that we dig out of the ground. The energy cost is not the energy it contains, but the energy needed to mine it. A solar panel on the other hand, is an industrial product that has to be manufactured.

    It would be more relevant if you were to compare the amount of energy that needs to be invested to produce 1KWh of electric power by different means, taking into account realistic plant lifetimes.

    Also, when you compare costs, you need to compare whole system costs. The cost of electricity from a solar panel needs to include the cost of energy storage, transmission and backup, plus any other measures needed to integrate it into the grid that wouldn’t be necessary for a coal or nuclear power plant.

    Your low generation costs for solar are also rather dubious as an indication for what might be achievable in the future. Until recently, it was possible to purchase panels and other components for utility grade solar plants at an impressively low capital cost, financed with virtually zero interest loans. The price you are quoting is the breakeven price for the capital investment for those plants. It isn’t the price you pay as a consumer. Unless you understand enough about the cost factors in the solar industry to be confident that low breakeven prices are sustainable into the future, then it would be unwise to assume that this is simply the new normal.

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