Green practices continue to surge in popularity across the globe: people are opting for electric vehicles instead of diesel-fueled engines if they use a car at all; hotels are introducing programs where guests do not receive clean towels and linens every day; homebuyers are interested in pursuing renewable energy resources rather than resort to thermal coal. We hear about diminishing resources and shifting landscapes due to climate change all the time in the news now, and rather than ignore these signs, many citizens are taking it upon themselves to do their part in protecting the environment.
Renewable energy, in particular, has developed quite a following, as healthier, greener alternative. And that following is about to get even bigger if solar panel prices are anything to go by!
For years, renewable energy was considered expensive and impractical, but in 2018, it is easier to go green than ever before. Although solar panel prices have continued to decrease as newer and better technology became available to build them with, prices are dropping even faster than anticipated. This latest development could very well spur an even quicker transition into renewable energy than we’ve already seen in past years.
To give a comparison, the cost of producing solar power now only costs the consumer 50 USD to produce one megawatt-hour. Thermal coal costs more than twice as much at 102 USD per megawatt-hour, according to Business Insider.
Of course, this is already a decrease from when solar panels were initially introduced as an alternative to thermal coal. However, this progress is worth celebrating on its own, as well, as prices for solar energy units have decreased by 61% since 2010. Considering a solar panel per watt cost $101.05 in 1975, the fact that the price thirty years later was $0.61 speaks to the strides in solar panel efficiency and overall strength.
As the renewable energy industry and environmental awareness continue to gain traction in mainstream society, other forms of renewable energy will only continue to become more affordable. If the International Renewable Energy Agency’s predictions are on target, renewable energy as a whole will be less expensive than fossil fuels by as soon as 2020. These price decreases in solar panels this year are just the latest extensions in a world with a renewed interest in protecting the planet. And, for those following the renewable energy conversation, it will be interesting to see how other forms of renewable energy stack up against all of solar panels’ positive attributes.