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Solar Becoming More Affordable

Posted Jan 30th, 2018

Solar Becoming More Affordable SAMANTHA ZEITZ

It appears that solar PV power is going to be very affordable in the coming years, making it easier for more people than ever before, to adopt the cleaner energy source.

A new cost analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed that solar PV electricity has seen a 73 per cent price cut since 2010. With the industry following its current pattern, prices are expected to slash in half once again. That would knock down the cost on the best solar PV projects to an equivalent of three cents per kWh or less by 2020. Currently, the cost for fossil fuel power generation can range anywhere from five cents to 17 cents per kWh. The report notes that by next year the best onshore wind and solar PV projects will be providing electricity at a significantly lower price than fossil fuels. 

IRENA’s report showed that solar power isn’t the only form of renewable energy that’s becoming more affordable. Wind power is also gaining attention and could be a complementary renewable energy source to solar power. Because wind normally blows stronger at night and the sun is out during the day, they make it easy to have a steady flow of energy coming in. The price of onshore wind electricity saw a 23 per cent decrease in cost over the past seven years. 
There’s still the issue of days that the wind isn’t blowing as hard and the sun isn’t as strong. Bioenergy, geothermal, and hydropower projects have been offered at competitive costs, comparable to fossil fuels in the past year. These could be viable options to reduce carbon emissions to supplement solar on days that are not especially sunny.

So if IRENA is on the right track this really means that not only is renewable energy becoming a better choice for the environment, it’s also becoming a better choice for the wallet.

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