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Ever been driving and noticed those blue, shimmery things that are starting to pop up across acres of land? You probably guessed it: those are solar panels.
Thanks to a decade of declining costs fueled by improving technology, it’s now cheaper than ever to generate solar power from a grid, according to Goldman Sachs Research. And in some places, it’s an even cheaper source of power than conventional fossil fuels.
Here’s a closer look at how this is spurring a solar boom in this episode of The Long & Short of It.
Part of the reason solar power has become more affordable is because photovoltaic modules (we’ll explain) are now cheaper to produce and efficient. Photovoltaic (PV) modules are a just a series of PV cells that are electrically connected to produce power – think of these as the building blocks to solar panels.
With the cost of PV modules falling, solar projects can rely less on government subsidies. And at these lower costs, companies are rushing to sign long-term deals to generate power from renewable sources.
Bottom line: cheaper production costs are making it possible for solar projects to thrive.
Forecasters are now catching up with the solar boom, and as they see it, the future is bright for solar. The International Energy Agency expects that in 2030, global solar capacity will have increased more than 15-fold since 2006.
Europe is leading the way here. Goldman Sachs Research estimates that by 2030, the share of renewables in the region’s power system will exceed 70%.
Asia’s also in on the trend. Over the next decade, Asia will likely host more than half of all solar installations globally.
Over the long term, new and improved technology will allow solar panels to produce even more energy. So not only will more solar projects pop up around the world, but solar panels are going to do an even better job of harnessing power. Essentially, there’s going to be better solar and more of it.
That in turn will help slash utility bills and boost the share of renewables in the global power mix, according to Goldman Sachs Research – which in our read is good news for consumers and the planet.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.