Renewable Energy May Soon be Cheaper Than Existing Fossil Fuel Plants

By Siena Hacker
August 01, 2018
Renewable Energy

While 2018's solar tariffs have increased the prices of some international modules, the solar industry continues to rapidly expand. The price of solar has decreased drastically over the last decade and will continue to fall.

Experts forecast that prices will drop by about 50 percent due in part to industry expansion and technological advancements

Check out to see how much do solar panels cost. 

Vishal Shah, clean energy expert and former Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, expects “utility scale solar to offer the lowest cost option for new power generation in most parts of the world and [that] distributed solar power costs would be almost 50% lower compared to the price of current grid electricity.” In many parts of the US, the combination of renewable energy and storage is approaching or achieving grid parity, which means that the levelized cost of renewable energy is equivalent or lesser than that of existing energy sources.

5af0a65e19ee8624008b498d

As grid parity becomes a reality for renewable energy resources across the country, grid planners are being forced to reevaluate their portfolio planning strategies.

Around 500 gigawatts on the grid will near retirement age in 2030. The industry has recently turned to natural gas as a potential solution to address the grid’s aging infrastructure. A glut of cheap natural gas helped it surpass coal as the largest electricity source in America for 2017.

However, a recently released report from the Rocky Mountain Institute found that the cost effectiveness of a combination of renewable energy, distributed energy resources, and storage is beginning to undercut natural gas plants in many areas. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Alex Engel, “Over the next 10-20 years, clean energy costs are predicted to decline to the point where it’s cheaper to build the clean energy portfolios than it is to run an existing gas plant.”

While cost-effectiveness currently varies across the US, areas that have traditionally been fossil-fuel friendly are being enticed by cheap, renewable energy. Within the next two to three decades, it’s likely that a renewables heavy portfolio will soon dominate the entire grid.

To learn more about America’s transition to renewable energy and keep up to date on the solar industry, subscribe to our blog!

Siena Hacker

Written By

Siena Hacker

Siena is a rising senior at Scripps College pursuing an interdisciplinary major in Environmental Science, Economics, and Politics. She is passionate about the worlds of renewable energy and urban planning. When she's out of the office, you can be sure to find Siena hiking somewhere in LA County.

More articles by Siena Hacker

What's Pick My Solar? We empower our customers to adopt clean energy through transparency and choice. Our free, no-obligation platform provides competing solutions from top providers.

Related Posts

10 Cleantech Startups Compete for the Global Stage in Climate Action

Community Solar Farms Gaining Popularity in New York

What are the greenest solar panels?

Comments

Article Search

    Join Our Newsletter

    Heads up!

    d h m s

    The 30% Solar Tax Credit steps down after 2019.

    GO SOLAR TODAY »

    Learn More ›

    Recent Posts

    Solar Project Advisor

    Free Solar Analysis

    Chat with an expert to find out your savings potential, financing options, and more.