Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Cost of Installing Solar Energy Is Going to Plummet Again

Solar farm (Credit: Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
Utility-scale solar power costs could drop 60 percent over the next 10 years, provided the Trump administration refrains from tanking the solar industry.

The already booming renewable energy sector will see a sharp drop in costs thanks to improvements in efficiency and technology, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) told Reuters on Monday.  The agency expects the cost of batteries, an essential and expensive piece of the transition to renewables, to drop by 60 to 70 percent in the next 10 years.

IRENA predicts the world will add 80 to 90 gigawatts of new solar capacity each year for the next five to six years.  For reference, one gigawatt can power a medium-sized city.

Renewables now provide a quarter of the world’s power, but not all countries are embracing them with equal enthusiasm.  President Donald Trump may impose a tariff on imported solar panels to protect domestic panel makers.  If he chooses to limit imports, the price of solar in America could double.

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