solar panel farm
October 6, 2016

Solar power gets 25% cheaper in just five months

Since the second quarter of 2016, the cost of solar power has fallen significantly in China and Abu Dhabi, a sign that renewable energy technology might be more affordable for some time.

“(T)here’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again,” former clean energy executive Frank Wouters said in a recent interview with Electrek.

If governments and researchers keep on investing in solar the way they have been, it will likely keep the cost of technology in line with Wouters’ projection.

In just five months, costs have fallen around 25 percent. This progression has been revealed in the recent, low construction bids on solar projects in China and Dubai.

Many Reasons for Price Drops

Many factors drive these inexpensive bids. In China, solar power is incentivized. Elsewhere, plummeting hardware prices have fueled the drastic drop in costs. Solar panel prices, for example, have decreased significantly since first quarter of this year. And in Abu Dhabi, solar panels create more power than usual since the city enjoys some of the best sunlight exposure in the planet.

Other regions have also been reaping significant solar power. Last year, Costa Rica powered itself solely with renewable energy for 299 days. This year, the country has already powered itself for 150 days. The feat is due in no small part to governments' attempt to get rid of the dependence on fossil fuels.

It appears other governments are taking notice. In Nevada, a 100MW solar project is projected to provide electricity at $0.04/kWh. Chile and India are also enjoying comparable efficiency.

While the adoption of solar power may be controversial in some quarters, it appears Americans largely favor expanding the use of the renewable energy technology. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 89 percent of Americans favor expanding solar power use. Just 9 percent oppose its expansion. The survey also found that 83 percent of US respondents favor the expansion of wind power.

The Pew survey comes as scheduled large-scale solar farms are projected to add 9.5 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Data Administration (EIA).

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