Price of solar cells fallen over 99 percent

Photo by Reuters

Photo by Reuters

Solar cell prices drop over 99 percent

Old Trend: Expensive solar, surviving only on subsidies.
New Trend: Cheap solar, disrupting old industries.

Since the 1970s, it has become a cliché that solar power is an expensive boondoggle, kept alive only by government subsidies. But every cliché is right until the day it’s suddenly wrong. And for solar, that day is today. Since Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president, the price of solar cells has fallen over 99 percent. No, that’s not a typo. And the exponential cost-drop shows no sign of slowing down, with dozens of new technologies in the pipeline. Installation and land costs are falling too. What this means is that in sunny states like Arizona, solar can already compete with fossil fuel electricity even with zero government subsidies. In fact, rooftop solar panels are becoming so popular that utility companies are trying to tax solar power in order to pay for grid maintenance! The technology that was a punch line for decades is about to launch an energy revolution, and most people aren’t even paying attention.

Excerpt: The 10 Stealth Economic Trends That Rule the World Today; The Atlantic; Noah Smith; Sep 30, 2013

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