Renewables had their own, less widely celebrated breakthrough. The cost of photovoltaic solar energy dropped 56 percent in the past four years, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“Renewables got incredibly competitive,” said Ted Brandt, chief executive officer of Marathon Capital LLC, a Chicago-based energy and infrastructure investment bank. “What the oil and gas business has done is pretty spectacular. It’s not a well-told story but the renewables business is pretty amazing as well.”
The success of shale drilling undermined political support for tax credits for renewable energy, Brandt said. Federal incentives expired in 2013, and wind farm construction plunged 92 percent, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council.