Considering solar energy?
September 20, 2017
By Karen Hao, Energy-Shocks
Considering solar energy? Solar is now so cheap in the United States it beat government goals by three years.
Solar continues to be a growing fraction of US utility-scale electricity generation. On September 12th the US Department of Energy announced that utility-grade solar panels have hit 2020 cost targets three years early. Utility-scale solar now averages around $1 per watt (the cost of the hardware’s electricity generation capacity) and $0.06 per kilowatt-hour (the cost of the electricity consumed), targets set in 2001 by the DOE’s SunShot Initiative.
The steady decline in the price of solar power is largely due to falling costs of photovoltaic hardware, driven by market competition, as well as improvements in efficiency, in part stimulated by DOE-funded research, according to a report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the same day. “Soft” costs like labor have also fallen, but at a slower rate.
Commercial and residential solar have also seen prices drop over time, though each is still 11% and 14% away from meeting their SunShot goals: $0.07 and $0.09 per kWh, respectively. According to June data from the US Energy Information Administration, solar was accounting for 1.4% of US utility-scale electricity generation in 2017. As costs continue to drop, that number is expected to grow. Have you considered solar in your business energy plan?
See SBAM Energy Solutions if you’d like help in this area.