Cost of solar energy drops significantly over the past several years

October 11, 2013 0 By Tami Hood
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Solar energy is becoming less expensive

When it comes to solar energy, or any form of clean power, cost is often a problematic subject. The cost of renewable energy is somewhat notorious. Those interested in embracing clean power, either for their homes or businesses, are immediately met with the massive costs associated with the purchasing of clean technologies as well as their installation. The perception that many people have concerning the cost of solar energy may be somewhat outdated, however.

Xcel Energy unveils results of extensive bidding process

Xcel Energy, a leading energy company in the U.S., recently revealed the results of an extensive competitive bidding process, through which it found that the cost of solar energy has been falling significantly over the past several years. While the fact that solar energy and its related technologies has been growing less expensive over time may not be a surprise, Xcel Energy claims that solar energy has reached the point where it can be considered cost competitive with natural gas. This means that solar systems are now as expensive as those based on natural gas.

solar energy costs dropCost of solar energy drops 99% since 1977

The costs associated with solar energy have dropped by 99% since 1977, making it one of the most attractive forms of clean power in the world. Xcel Energy has plans to leverage the falling costs of solar energy by increasing the utility-scale solar power that is being fed into the Colorado energy grid. The company has plans to develop 170 megawatts worth of utility-scale solar projects in the state, with an additional 42 megawatts worth of small-scale projects scheduled to begin development in July of 2014.

Renewable energy activity heating up in Colorado

Solar energy is not the only form of clean power that Xcel Energy is interested in. The company also has plans to bolster Colorado’s wind energy capacity by introducing 450 megawatts of new wind energy systems to the state. This will bring Colorado’s total combined wind energy capacity to over 2,600 megawatts. Xcel Energy also has plans to introduce new natural gas capacity to the state, further increasing its use of clean power.