Renewable energy gaining on fossil fuels

Travis HoiumFeb 3, 2014

Source: USA Today (Original article)

 

The trends in energy are already heavily in favor of renewable energy, especially solar energy. Since 2007, electricity generation from coal has fallen 24.9% from 2.02 billion MW-hrs to 1.51 billion MW-hrs in 2012. Meanwhile, over the same time frame wind grew 309% to 140.8 million MW-hrs and solar grew 607% to 4.3 million MW-hrs.

The driving force is cost; Utility scale projects are less than half of what they cost in 2010 and residential projects are about one-third cheaper. To put today's costs into perspective, a solar power plant will generate optimal energy about 20%-25% of the time, meaning that each watt will produce about 1.75-2.19 kW-hrs of electricity each year.

Companies are now exploiting the opportunity in the renewable market. The leading ones include First Solar, SunPower, and SolarCity. 

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