Historically, solar has struggled to compete in the energy industry because fossil fuels and natural gas have always been cheaper. Only environmentally conscious people chose to invest in solar, and most did not see a return on their investment. However, a recent study by Deutsche Bank says things may turn around for solar by 2016.U.S. tax credits are one reason solar energy will be able to compete better on price. Currently, the U.S. has a 30 percent tax credit that is set to expire in 2016. No decision has been made about whether to extend the tax credit or not, but some sort of energy tax credit will most likely be implemented at that time. The study suggests that if the U.S. drops the tax credit to 10 percent, 36 states will still see competitive solar energy prices.
Another reason why solar will become more popular is that the cost of producing the necessary equipment has come down. Soon, it will be cheaper than fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency predicts that solar will be the world’s biggest source of energy by 2050. Right now it only accounts for one percent.
Of course, the U.S. is not the only country feeling the push to turn to solar energy. It is the focus of many countries around the world because solar is renewable. A director with the Saudi Electricity Company said, “Solar energy is a must, not a choice.” As more people start to realize that solar energy is necessary to the future, more people will invest in research to lower the costs of implementing it.
At this point, putting solar panels on your roof is still too expensive and unlikely to save you money. However, that might not be the case much longer.