A new study on solar energy from Deutsche Bank bears very good news. Thanks to technology and innovation, solar energy will be just as cheap as energy from fossil fuels by 2016. That's basically tomorrow, and it's awesome.
We have a few people to thank for this encouraging turn of events. One is Uncle Sam. Part of the reason that solar energy will be able to compete fiercely with other cheap—however harmful—energy sources like natural gas is because of the government's 30 percent tax credit on solar energy systems. The study does stipulate that the price solar energy would still drop to competitive levels in 36 states if the government dropped that subsidy down to 10 percent.
The other party to thank for solar energy's rise from being a rich people plaything to a populist solution to clean energy is technology. Technology is awesome. That's obvious, but this solar energy development shows how innovation can improve everyone's life if smart people like scientists and engineers decide to make that their goal. For the past couple of decades, countless researchers have helped make advances in solar energy technology, and the pace of awesome innovation shows no signs of slow. Soon, we could have windows that act as solar cells and generate electricity. That's incredible!
All that said, a study is a study, and it's certainly possible that this one is a little bit optimistic. That's okay, though. It's a good thing to be optimistic about alternative energy sources because being pessimistic is part of the reason we're destroying Earth so quickly. Pessimists struggle to come up with better ways to drill for oil instead of investing those billions of dollars in technology and innovation that will save the planet.
If you have solar panels on your home, good for you. (Although you may want to read this because there's a chance you could improve your solar set up.) You're the ones supporting the solar energy industry and driving that awesome innovation. If you don't have solar panels on your home, consider getting some. They're getting cheaper by the minute. [Bloomberg]