Solar energy is clean, local, job-intensive, easy to install, quick to deploy, simple to maintain... but expensive. That used to be the mantra that solar promoters had to bear over the years, and it seemed an effective reason to keep the power system relying on dirtier, but apparently cheaper energy sources. Solar photovoltaic technology has been available for a long time, but it needed public support to bring it to the market. Feed-in tariffs have been the most efficient support scheme.
Yet solar energy is running through its learning curve much quicker than anyone could have anticipated. And subsequently, the need for new plants to get economic support has become lower and lower. Today a solar panel costs some 80% less than just five years ago to yield the same power. And costs are pr... Read more >