What is the Levelized Cost of Solar Energy?

The financial advisory and asset management firm, Lazard, recently released a comprehensive report on the levelized costs of various energy sources. Here are some of the key takeaways, which may surprise you:

  1. Without subsidies, wind and solar are cheaper than coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. And, when you account for all the externalities of dirty energy–environmental degradation and human health issues–the costs of wind and solar actually become much cheaper!
  2. In the past seven years, solar has become 85% cheaper. We can attribute this to the large scale deployment of solar energy, the impressive improvements in solar technology, and the various state and federal initiatives that have promoted solar growth.
  3. As the cost of solar continues to fall, the number of solar jobs is steadily increasing. The US solar market now hires more workers than oil, coal, and gas combined!
  4. Last but not least, one very important lesson to remember is that the solar industry is standing on its own two feet. It is no longer a nascent industry subject to every whim of the market, but a prominent new energy sector that is steadily modernizing our grid and cleaning up our climate.



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