Is Solar Ready to Break Out?

Saw this today: Why solar eclipsing oil may first cause a year-long crash, then a 17-year bull market.
Smith in fact sees a crash coming in 2016 as investors begin to discount the possibility that companies like ExxonMobil (XOM), Total (TOT) and Petrobras (PBR) will ultimately end up writing off the value of tens of billions of dollars’ worth of “stranded assets” in their oil fields.

"Demand for oil will never recover — ever," Smith says. "You don’t read this idea in the mainstream media because it is their job to tell you what you already know after it is obvious to everyone," he says. "I’m saying that if the cost of solar drops 20% in price every time the installed base doubles, it is only a matter of time before solar takes over from fossil fuels. My best guess is that it starts to really happen from 2017 onwards."
Now here is the rest of his argument, almost verbatim (with edits for continuity). I’m not saying I endorse it. I’m saying that these are the kind of views that go into shaping a non-consensus opinion.

Smith : “It would be well worth the investment of your time to view this video of Michael Liebreich, a British energy expert who is chairman of the advisory board of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. I have been warning my clients for the last few years that 2017 will be the year when alternative energy goes through a “phase change” from fringe to mainstream. People have the mistaken view that the change will be gradual. It won’t be gradual. It will sudden and ruthless. Stranded assets of coal, natural gas and oil will turn the global economy on its head.

That video is here:

One key point around the 1:30 mark: solar is competitive today due to massive leverage. That isn't sustainable, but the technology may be nearing a phase change price point.

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