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Next 10 Years: Cost of Solar Will Drop by Half, U.S. Will Build 5 Nuclear Power Plants

Bloomberg New Energy Finance this week is having its annual conference in New York. Among the tidbits making their way through the Interwebs, I found the following particularly interesting:

(1) Michael Liebreich, chairman of the research group, noted in a talk that he expects the cost of developing a solar power project to drop by half in the next decade, worldwide. New Energy Finance numbers suggest the cost of large solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to decline to from around $3.00 per watt today to $1.45 per watt in 2020.

A reduction of that magnitude would make solar energy more competitive with fossil fuels.

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What Does Utility Solar Mean for You?

We hear it all the time: "A new solar energy plant has been built." Or, "A local utility company has entered into a solar power purchase agreement." Even, "More solar energy will be added to the electric grid." But the bottom line is, how does any of this affect how much you're going to have to pay for solar energy?

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Solar Cost About Seven Bucks a Watt in 2010, Says NREL

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, January 5 2011 under: Open PV Project, solar cost, Cost and Financing, NREL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has for several years been gathering data on the U.S. solar energy market. Under the lab's Open PV Project, solar installers from around the country voluntarily submit information on each installation they complete, noting metrics like solar cost-per-watt, system size and location.

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Report Says Residential Solar Getting Cheaper, Installations More Efficient

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, December 16 2010 under: Solar News, Solar Homes, cost of solar power, financing, residential, solar cost, NREL

Results released today from a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report is great news for homeowners looking to install solar energy systems.

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San Diego, Los Angeles Counties Lead in Residential Solar Energy Numbers

One of the nice things about solar rebate programs -- beyond the fact that they help reduce the cost of solar installation -- is that they can provide a trove of interesting solar-related data.

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Cost of California Solar Installations in Spotlight, Following WSJ Article

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, August 18 2010 under: California Solar Initiative, solar cost, Cost and Financing, California Solar

Did some Californians get ripped off on their solar panel installations? Maybe.

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Is Solar Power Really Cheaper than Nuclear? Reading the Duke Report

Posted by Annie Lindseth In Saturday, August 14 2010 under: Duke, Solar Power Info, North Carolina Solar, Nuclear Power, solar cost

The quick answer: solar power can be cheaper than nuclear power. It just depends how you plan to use it.

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Avoiding Solar Quote Sticker Shock

Often, the first thing someone wants to know about solar is: How much does it cost? When I talk to people about their interest in solar power, I try to emphasize that this is not only a difficult question to answer, but often, it isn't the correct one to ask in the first place. Having an idea of cost in mind is essential to pursuing solar for your home or business--but at the same time, looking at the price tag without knowing the context can discourage you from what could seriously be a great investment.

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Cost of Solar Falling, Report Says

In a report released today by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy), researchers say that the cost of solar has dropped by more than 30 percent. "Tracking the Sun II: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the U.S. from 1998-2008" is the second release from the Berkeley Lab analyzing the installed cost of grid-tied solar electric systems over time.

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How Much Does a Solar Installation Cost?

Posted by Margaret Collins In Sunday, September 20 2009 under: Solar Homes, solar cost, Cost and Financing

Update for 2016: GetSolar has partnered with EnergySage to provide customers with fast, competitive solar quotes. The partnership leverages their Solar Quote Engine that was developed with backing from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to streamline the US solar consumer buying process. EnergySage Quote Engine

We at GetSolar feel so strongly about the power of consumer choice and the accuracy of EnergySage's new comparison quote system that we have made it the default solar calculator for GetSolar customers!  Check it Out here!

The cost of solar pv panels has dropped as much as 80% over the last five years, with total total system prices fully-installed running 50% to 60% lower. This is great news for solar shoppers. Add in the renewed 30% Federal Tax Credit on systems costs, and solar electricity can save homeowners a lot of money on their utility bill.

Original Post: This week I spoke with an unusually high number of people who just wanted me to answer the question: How much is a solar panel installation on my home going to cost me? I wish I could answer that easily. I wish anyone could answer that easily--but it's just not possible. On this blog, we try to talk a lot about the factors behind the cost of solar for both residential and commercial solar projects, and I do recommend you browse through our history if this is a topic you want to get into in-depth (try the "Cost and Financing" category, and definitely check out Adam's post on how to measure solar cost). But every once in a while it's a good idea to review the basic factors, so let me lay out the major ones:

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