Today, solar is cheaper than ever. Way cheaper. Back in the 1970s, the solar cells alone costs over $77 per watt, and that’s before you get to the glass cover, the frame, or any of the rest of the installation. Today, the whole shebang can be had for as little as 57 cents per watt. Even so, solar is still the preserve of the rich.
The data analytics company SolarPulse looked at more than 11,000 California households and found that those with solar are worth $633,500 on average, almost twice as much as those without solar, which were worth an average of $346,900. The difference in income is smaller, but there’s still a pretty big gap: The average income for non-solar households is $86,800. For solar households, $117,400.
Perhaps that’s to be expected. Solar can end up cheaper in the long term, and the growth of financing options means you can go solar without putting any money down. But for people on a lower income, maybe solar conversion is low on the list of priorities. But as prices get ever lower, more and more people are switching
“To single out just a few tell-tale headlines from the hundreds of statistics presented in this report: over the 2007-2014 period, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9 percent, U.S. natural gas production rose 25 percent and total U.S. investment in clean energy (renewables and advanced grid, storage and electrified transport technologies) totaled $386 billion,” the report said.