Consumers may find themselves paying no more for solar energy than they do for fossil fuels in the coming years, according to some experts.
This week, Ray Kurzweil of the National Academy of Engineers told the Christian Science Monitor that he believes “we’re within five years of that tipping point” where solar will become comparable in price to natural gas and possibly coal.
However, the newspaper noted that average solar prices will still need to fall from their present 32 cents per kilowatt hour to about 15 cents. Nonetheless, momentum does seem to be building behind solar energy and other renewable fuel sources.
The Monitor cites Google.com’s large investments in solar energy technology as well as another company’s development of a “thin-film” solar panel that it says can compete with the price of coal energy and a team of Massachusetts engineers who are working on their own project to produce cheaper solar power.
Another indication of the growing momentum for solar came this week when 600,000 square feet of solar panels went online in Fontana, California, the largest such installation in the state. This is part of an ongoing project to add solar panels to the roofs of various buildings in Southern California.