Comparing the average global price per watt for solar power in 1977 vs 2015—stunning drop in the numbers

The White House recently made a very promising announcement to launch of a series of measures intended to increase the use of solar power in low-income and subsidized housing. The idea aims to lower electricity bills while improving job prospects for people with lower income.

“We need to expand opportunities for more families to reap the benefits of using cleaner sources of energy that can also help households save money on their utility bills,” Brian Deese, senior adviser to President Barack Obama on climate told reporters.

Today this type of an announcement can be made; and the task ahead possible due to the fact that the price to afford solar power in the U.S. has dropped precipitously in recent years.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy notes that cost of installing solar panels on the average home has plummeted 70% since 1998, from nearly $86,000 for a 5-kilowatt installation (the average residential solar array) to just $26,000 in 2014 according to a Newsweek article.

That translates to a massive drop in per-month energy costs. In 1977, the average global price of generating electricity from sunshine was $76.67 a watt. Now, 38 years later, it’s just 60 cents watt. That compares pretty favorably with the average retail price of electricity in the U.S., which is $1.26 a watt (more info).
— ZOË Schlanger / JULY 15, 2015 — Newsweek


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