Many of us have been squinting up towards the sun this morning watching the solar eclipse. In energy markets, though, solar is eclipsing the competition. Falling costs of solar energy are bringing it close to price parity with dirty fossil fuels.
In the UK the government’s feed-in tariff (FIT) means that the cost of solar panel installation has fallen swiftly. The UK’s FIT scheme, along with an influx of inexpensive solar panels from Chinese manufactures, have made it attractive for UK home-owners and businesses to fit solar panels on their rooves.
This NY Times article is filled with examples of positive, sunny, solar-power breakthroughs worldwide. Starting from last week an US company, Sun Edison, offers British homeowners the option of installing solar on their rooftops for FREE, and with the energy they generate from the panels they can save up to 15% on their electric bills.
Here is a trick question: Which country led the European Union last year in putting new solar panels on rooftops and in countryside energy parks? Britain, the green and pleasant land often shrouded in cloud, was the leader. “Britain is the hottest market right now,” said Josefin Berg, a Barcelona-based analyst for I.H.S. Solar, perhaps to a greater extent than other renewable energy technologies, has also seen a dramatic fall in costs, on the order of more than 60 percent over the last five years. That makes it worth considering as an energy source in places like Britain where investors and developers would have scoffed a few years ago.