Report shows that the cost of solar energy continues to decline
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a new report concerning the cost of solar energy. The report covers how much the cost of solar power has fallen over the past year, particularly in the first quarter of 2017. Notably, the report comes a mere ten days before the solar industry discovered whether or not it will have to navigate new trade regulations formed by the Trump Administration. These trade regulations could have a significant impact on new solar projects taking form in the future as well as the overall cost of these projects.
Cost of solar panels has dropped by 30% over the past year
According to the report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the cost of a utility-scale photovoltaic system has fallen 30% over the course of a single year. For solar farms that use fixed-tilt panels, the cost of the electricity they produce is now $1.03 per watt. For systems making use of sun tracking panels, the cost of electricity generated is at $1.11 per watt. The report notes that the dramatic decrease in the cost of solar panels has made the solar industry very successful in many sectors. Moreover, the trend is likely to continue, with prices continuing to fall as photovoltaic technology becomes more advanced.
As prices continue to fall, solar projects become more attractive
For years, the cost of developing solar energy projects has kept any such projects from taking form in many parts of the country. Over the past decade, however, this has become less of an issue. The cost of manufacturing solar panels has dropped significantly during that time. These panels have also become more efficient at generating electricity. These two factors have contributed heavily to the growth of the solar industry.
Solar industry may find success in sun drenched markets
With the cost of solar panels expected to continue falling, the solar industry will likely find profound success in states where the demand for clean power is growing. States that experience ample sunlight throughout the year are very attractive homes for solar energy projects, but government regulations could easily sidetrack the development of such projects if they favor older, more conventional forms of power, such as coal.