We all remember a time not that long ago when PCs cost a small fortune and cell phones were worth their weight in gold. Obviously, times change. The electronics and computing industries developed increasingly-powerful and ever-cheaper products. The result? Lower prices and greater usage.
How does this apply to solar panels? Since solar technology is, well, a technology, many analysts are predicting that solar panels will follow the path of the PC to lower costs and widespread use. Just look at the graph below, produced by Climate Progress:
From 1985 to today there has been a pretty clear downward trend in the price per watt of solar energy. The Climate Progress article states that the average price today is about $1.50/watt. While this is great, what does it mean when compared to the price of other sources of energy? It means that solar is already, or will be shortly, more economical than other energy sources. Visit the article to find out how, by 2020, solar will be more affordable than new nuclear and new coal, and is already more cost effective than natural gas for peak-generation needs.