The cost of solar power in North Carolina is falling steeply, a state trade group reported, providing the first real evidence of a trend that is likely occurring in other states that are harnessing the power of the sun, reports maris gallucci at insideclimate news. The price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems dropped by 36 percent in North Carolina in the past 5 years, from $8.50 to about $5.50 per watt. All the while, fossil fuel costs jumped three percent on average in the state every year of the past decade, the report found. The national average for solar was $6.20 per watt in 2010, according to the most recent available data. The report “reflects what’s happening nationally, and in fact globally, in the solar energy market,” said Monique Hanis, spokesperson for the Solar energy Industries Association, a national trade group. The report also calculated the cost of a solar system throughout its lifetime, including the costs of maintenance and electricity generation and found that solar will be cost competitive with retail electricity in North Carolina by 2020, without any government subsidies. Indeed, large-scale solar systems are already cost competitive when subsidies are factored in.
To download or broadcast the audio podcast (90 seconds) go to: http://cooltheearth.us/climate-report.php
This Week in Clean Economy: Cost of Going Solar Is Dropping Fast, State Study Finds http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120308/clean-economy-week-north-carolina-report-solar-energy-cheap-china by Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate News