You read that correctly. The cost for solar power (measured in $/mWh) is now lower than the costs associated with the production, distribution, and consumption of natural gas.
A new report from Lazard, a well-respected financial analytics firm, shows that the solar power generation industry has driven prices so low that solar power is now more cost-competitive than the traditional fossil fuels that the world has come to rely on since the Industrial Revolution in the early 1900s.
[Note: this statistic relates to utility-scale solar power, not necessarily the typical residential solar power project. When we talk about ‘utility-scale’ solar power, we’re measuring system output in terms of megawatts, not kilowatts.]
What Does This Mean?
What this means is that the trend of falling prices for solar power generation system hardware is continuing to drop precipitously. In fact, over the past nine years, the cost to install solar power equipment like PV panels, mounting hardware, and connected conduit has dropped more than 88%.
And, in just the last 12 months, we’ve seen prices drop a whopping 13% industry-wide.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to those who have been following developments in the renewable energy industries. Analysts throughout the world have been predicting the ‘cheapening’ of solar power in particular for at least the past decade or so. Now, that decline is happening at such a fast pace that there’s no good argument against going full-bore solar in the near future.
For those electricity consumers who rely on power from utility-scale solar systems, prices per kilowatt-hour are likely to go down even further in the coming months and years. This will likely happen drastically in places where utility-scale solar projects are being planned for installation and commission in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
What Might the Future Bring for Residential Solar?
Most residential solar consumers don’t think twice about what’s going on in the world of utility-scale solar. After all, it doesn’t really affect them. Or does it?
What we know about sharp movements in the cost of solar is that a rising tide (or a lowering one, for that matter), affects all ships. So, if the cost to produce a 100-watt solar panel drops across-the-board, it’s only going to be a matter of time before residential solar power consumers are affected.
Are you curious about how much you could save on your energy bill every month by switching to solar? Contact Urban Solar today, and inquire about a free energy assessment. We’ll help you make sense of all of your options and answer every question you have.