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When Will Solar Energy Get Cheap?

by Jane Susskind, published

This video clip was originally posted on The Atlantic and is part of a six-part series in The User's Guide to Energy.

Solar energy is transforming the energy market. In places like California, for instance, sunshine is not only fueling our electricity grid, but has fueled our economy, employing 43,700 people in the solar industry.

But just how affordable is it to "go solar" right now and when will solar energy get cheap?

This question is explored by Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic's senior technology editor, in a six-part series on "how energy really works in America."

The cost of solar photovoltaics cells, she argues in this clip, has dropped an average of 20% every time the world's manufacturing capacity has doubled.

Essentially, the more solar energy you produce, the less it costs. 

This, of course, is referring to the cells used to produce energy, and does not account for the set up. In fact, cells only account for 50% of the cost of the solar module, which leaves the additional  cost of installation, financing, wiring, converters, and storage a major obstacle to solar power.

Is investing in solar economically advantageous? Environmentally advantageous? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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