New utilities are enabled by new technologies and business models, not fuels.
Solar (and wind) power have made rapid progress against other energy options. Solar, and to a lesser extent, wind have benefited from rapid technological improvements.
While solar is seeing a rapid reduction in costs, a critical issue remains — when the sun is out.
First, batteries can help. Backup systems aren’t new, but their market penetration is relatively small. Batteries will replace fuel-powered systems, especially in sunnier spots.
Second, homes have many connected energy devices such as thermostats and hot water heaters.
Energy cost curves point to steadily declining costs because we’re gradually removing fuel costs. Utilities have built vast infrastructures funded by investors who bet on their ability to collect payments much like governments collect taxes.