SolarCity Corp CEO: Confident On The End Of Fossil Fuels


SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive is confident on seeing the end of all fossil fuels “in our lifetime.” Rive told Tech Insider, “There’s no doubt in my mind that in our lifetime we will get rid of all fossil fuels. No doubt.”

Favorable trends for solar energy: SolarCity CEO

In the U.S., 13% of electricity generation in 2015 came from renewable energy like hydro, wind and solar. Though this is not very favorable data for people in support of alternative energy, globally, things are changing at a faster pace than one would expect. For instance, for four straight days this year, Portugal ran on renewable energy, and in May, Germany produced so much extra renewable energy that it had to pay citizens to use it.

Rive told Tech Insider that he expects such trends to continue and that adoption of renewables in the U.S. will grow. By 2040, renewables will account for 44% of U.S. power generation, according to analysis from Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance.

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Rive appears to be a little more optimistic and expects alternative energy to account for 70% of the power generated in the U.S. in the next 30 years. Also the SolarCity CEO expects a drastic drop in the number of power plants being built in the next three to five years and that the drop in the number of power plants will accord with a drop in prices for solar. It must be noted that in the last five years the cost of solar PV has dropped by over 50% in the U.S.

At-home battery storage costs will also drop

Along with the drop in solar prices, the cost of at-home battery storage – a system that allows you to store solar energy to use later – will also drop owing to the growing number of companies investing in battery storage. Nissan, Daimler and Tesla are already offering such storage products for the home. Rive noted that with such changes bound within five years, solar adoption will dramatically increase over time.

“We will absolutely get to point where we are not dependent on fossil fuel with a combination of wind, solar, hydro [power], and [energy] storage,” Rive said.

At 11:41 a.m. Eastern, SolarCity shares were up 1.73% at $21.43. Year to date, the stock is down almost 58%, while in the last year, it is down by over 62%. The stock has a 52-week high $61.72 and a 52-week low of $16.31. The average price target on the stock is $29.47, with the most bearish and bullish PTs being $7 and $50, respectively.