Sunday, August 03, 2014

Solar costs continue to drop like a rock

How Solar Energy Is Taking Over the U.S.

By Travis Hoium | Motley Fool
August 3, 2014 |

A decade ago, the solar industry was almost nonexistent in the U.S. There was a large solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert that was completed in 1984; but between then and around 2008, there was almost no solar activity in the U.S.

That all changed as costs quickly dropped for solar energy, and solar panel prices fell. Today, solar power plants are competing with fossil fuels on a cost-per-kW-hr basis to provide energy to the grid, and homeowners are now beginning to create their own power from the sun. Quickly, solar energy is taking over the country.

The biggest reason why solar energy is growing is because it is cost competitive with other energy sources. The chart below shows how fast system installation costs have fallen during the past four years, lowering solar energy's cost to below grid parity in sunny or high-energy-cost regions.

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