Quick question. Your state
has good sunshine, lots of open rooftops, and the cost of solar energy
has been falling by 10% per year. Do you think it will take 13 years to double the 10 megawatts (MW) of installed solar power?
Yes, if you’re the largest corporate utility
in my state, and willfully ignoring the economic trend. But ‘no’ if you make decisions based on data, because the price of unsubsidized solar electricity will undercut most utility retail electricity prices within a decade, enabling 200 times more solar (4,400 MW) than found in this utility’s plans.
That’s just one utility’s wake up call in a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Commercial Rooftop Revolution, and it’s far from the only one. By 2016, over 100,000 MW of unsubsidized rooftop solar will able to match grid electricity on price. Within 10 years, it will be 300,000 MW, enough to provide 10% of the nation’s electricity. This affordable solar future presents a stark challenge to traditional utility planning and a clarion call for better electricity policy.