This week, a solar industry milestone was reached by a company based in Tempe, Arizona. Long criticized for being too expensive as a renewable energy option for many people, solar energy now can be generated below the $1 per watt level, says First Solar.
Take that, “clean coal” and nuclear proponents! We don’t need your dirty, dangerous options for energy.
I’ve always said that solar power has a bright future. And it just got a whole lot sunnier.
According to a press release:
“First Solar, which has produced modules for solar installations in several countries in Europe, said it had brought costs down to $1 from $3 over the past four years through economies of scale by increasing its production capacity by 50 times, and by passing on those savings to consumers.”
The dramatically lowered cost for solar energy was also achieved with the use of feed-in tariffs. Solar operators like First Solar are allowed a higher cost per watt produced for a grid with solar energy than utilities that use coal or other fossil fuels. This helps off-set the higher cost of energy production for renewable sources.
What do you get when you add improved technology with feed-in tariffs, plus government incentives/tax credits? A very compelling case to install solar panels on your home or business!
Even more exciting are projections that the solar industry will not even need subsidies by 2012. With government support for renewable energy now, solar power should be able to match peak-hour pricing by coal and natural gas in just a few short years. Then, the programs can be phased out.
Can you imagine solar power at 65-75 cents per watt? Its on the horizon!