Notes from a great article at ThinkProgress: Solar is Ready Now: ‘Ferocious Cost Reductions’ Make Solar PV Competitive.

17 nuclear power plants worth of solar shipped in 2010

  • The 17 GW which was installed in 2010 is the equivalent of 17 nuclear power plants – manufactured, shipped and installed in one year.
  • Manufacturing costs have come down from $60 a watt in the mid-1970’s to $1.50 today.  In solar PV manufacturing, costs have fallen about 18% for every doubling of production
  • Solar PV fits in to the highest demand periods in the middle of the day..
  • Cheaper than gas
  • Cheaper than new nuclear
  • Cheaper than coal in about 7 years
  • Less price volatility
  • If only 500 MW of solar PV had been deployed in the northeast U.S. to help alleviate demand for electricity, the August 2003 U.S.-Canadian blackout wouldn’t have happened. That blackout was the second largest in the world, causing between $7 and $10 billion in economic damage.

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