Positive Future #69 (Feature photo – Solar Farm – CCA SA 3.0 Uported)
When looking at conventional power sources such as nuclear, coal and even natural gas, the costs generally go up in time. This partially a function of pollution regulation, cost of permitting and the cost of extracting from the Earth.
However, solar panels do not have as many constraints and gains in technology and materials has resulted in amazing drops in prices. Recently, Clean Technica featured a story by Zachary Shahan that illustrates the fall.
In 1975, the world installed 2 megawatts of solar panels. The price of a solar-panel watt was a whopping $101.05. Fast forward to 2017 (42 years later). There are reports that the cost of a solar panel watt has come down to 37 cents – that is a drop of 273 fold. In 2017, the world installed 64,892 megawatts of solar power – that is a 32 thousand fold increase.
You can read the full report here: