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Solar power installation costs fall through the floor

Lucas Mearian | Dec. 17, 2013
Solar power in the U.S. this year produced as much power as 10 nuclear power plants

How low is the risk? Earlier this year, Warren Buffet's electric utility, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, acquired a 579-megawatt solar development project in Southern California for about $2 billion.

Other big corporate investors in solar include Intel, Google and Apple. High-tech companies are all making significant investments in renewable energy, not only for the green effect they will have, but the cost savings.

For example, just last month, Google announced the latest in a series of ongoing investments in solar power; the company will build six new solar plants to the tune of $80 million. To date, Google has committed more than $1 billion to wind and solar power plants that create clean energy and generate "attractive financial returns," the company stated in a recent blog post.

PV installations
U.S. PV installation forecast from 2010 through 2016 (Source: GTM Research).

Businesses are just one segment of the solar power industry. Residential installations are also booming. GTM forecasts that by year's end, residential solar installations will have hit a 52% growth rate over last year.

"As we approach the end of 2013, it remains clear that this will be a banner year for solar in the United States," a joint report by GTM and the Solar Energy Industry Association stated. "By the end of the year, more than 400,000 individual solar projects will be operating across the country."


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