BP CEO bashes solar power technology – May 13, 2009
Today Tony Hayward, BP’s (British Petroleum) chief executive officer at a conference in California said, “Solar power will not be able to compete with conventional energy until there is a breakthrough in the technology.” He added, “It is not going to make the transition to be competitive with more conventional power, the gap is too big.”
Over the last 6 months, BP Solar division has been scaling down, closing solar panel factories all over the world, an indicator that the company is moving away from solar energy towards oil and gas.
In my opinion, BP’s CEO is selling solar power technology short because of the following reasons:
- electric rates aren’t going to get cheaper in the future
- Investment is flowing in the solar industry, technology is improving faster than ever
- The cost per watt of solar panels is dropping like a rock due to the oversupply of solar panels
- Financial innovations that remove the upfront of going solar, for example paying for solar through property taxes.
- increased government support
- carbon cap and trade regulations
The green revolution is taking place today which is the major factor that BP’s CEO is overlooking which is driving the solar power and energy efficiency industry through a rapid evolution. So I think renewable energy will compete for head-on with fossil fuels sooner than Tony thinks. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, what do you think?