From a post on LinkedIn by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Nat Bullard:

Instructive example from Greg Nemet‘s excellent book “How Solar Energy Became Cheap” (2019):

“A megawatt-hour of PV electricity in 1957, for its first commercial use, cost about $300,000 in today’s dollars…Today in a sunny location, that megawatt hour costs only $20. Thus, the cost of that electricity has fallen by four orders of magnitude, a factor of 15,000 cost reduction.”

We’ve had inflation since then, so $300,000 in December 2019 dollars is about $360,000 today. Also, 2019 power purchase agreements at $20 per megawatt-hour were edge cases and potentially untenable; today’s PPAs are likely closer to $60/MWh than $20/MWh.

The result, then, is still fairly striking: a 99.9983% decrease in cost over 67 years.


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