Anyway, the paper takes the observed steep decline in solar PV price, and tries to work out what caused this: things like building bigger plants, efficiency (of the panels) and R+D. This is a sensible thing to do, and nicely they do it over two decade-length times, so you can see to some extent how the drivers change over time. Read Vox, I won't re-say it here.
DR's point is that it were the gummint that dunnit, and naturally I'm a bit dubious about that. If you break down the drivers into "low level" and "high level", then each contributes about 100% (by a quick by-eye addition), and the largest single factor is a high level one, public and private R+D, which is ~60%. Unfortunately it then starts to get blurred: DR doesn't split R+D up into the obvious categories of public and private. Then "market-stimulating policies" come in from the left field, and are policies "which create legal or economic incentives for private actors to research, develop, and invest in technologies"; and apparently "do the bulk of the work". So it was mostly private R+D, stimulated by govt policies? This is believable.
While I'm here, I should link to Auke Hoekstra's update of his "solar PV is doing much better than the projections" that I blogged as Photovoltaic growth: reality versus projections of the International Energy Agency – the 2017 update.
* Extinction rebellion - ATTP. Well, someone had to write it. I notice he isn't brave enough to venture an opinion. Having written that, I suppose I ought to. Reading Rupert Read, philosophe, it would seem that they're fine because they're "righteous"; I'm dubious.
* Transportation is the Biggest Source of U.S. Emissions - from 2017, but the point is interesting: with large-scale solar supplying more power, and coal less, there will come a point where addressing (electric) transportation becomes more important. Fortunately, that's already happening to some extent.
* Thanksgiving in Little Hill Village - Scott Sumner
* Astonishingly, Timmy has a different answer: It’s Capitalism That Made Solar Panels Cheap. Capitalism And Markets, Not Public Policy. Although actually he mainly points out that the paper doesn't answer the question he is interested in.
* Nice cartoon.