Global environmental challenges
U.S. lab says 2008 pivotal year for solar costs
That goal is still on the horizon. But researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab say the industry is getting closer as the cost of going solar in the United States saw a pivotal year in 2008.
In a new report, the researchers found that the cost of going solar fell by more than 30 percent from 1998 to 2008. The installation costs — before taking into account any incentives – dropped from $10.80 per watt to $7.50 per watt during that period.
Costs like labor, marketing and overhead drove much of that decline. But the fall in panel prices, which tumbled from 2007 to 2008, helped push the total cost down in recent years.
Photo: Thousands of solar panels are shown that generate electricity used at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. Photo credit: REUTERS