Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, predicted in 1965 that the processing power of computers would double every two years. His prediction was so apt it became known as Moore’s law. In the solar energy industry, we have Swanson’s law. Richard Swanson, founder of SunPower Corporation, observed that photovoltaic (PV) cell prices drop 20% every time manufacturing capacity doubles. And the numbers don’t lie, since 1976 the price of PV cells has dropped 99% from $74.67 per watt to $0.74 per watt.
However, PV cell prices are only one cost component of solar energy. Additional costs include non-hardware costs such as financing and installation. Fortunately, these soft costs have been declining and we have innovative companies, like Sunible, who are simplifying the process of going solar for consumers. As these trends continue, solar energy will become more economically viable and the closer we will be to abundant clean energy for all.
But don’t take my word for it; check out this sweet video from The Atlantic.