Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World : Planet Money In the last fifteen years, the cost of solar energy has declined so sharply that it has recently become the cheapest form of energy in the world. Now, major companies are jumping in to invest, but will the markets follow?
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Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World

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Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World

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Solar panels on a roof of one of the largest apartment complexes in New York City, installed by private equity firm The Blackstone Group. Darius Rafieyan /NPR hide caption

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Darius Rafieyan /NPR

Solar panels on a roof of one of the largest apartment complexes in New York City, installed by private equity firm The Blackstone Group.

Darius Rafieyan /NPR

Fifteen years ago, pursuing solar energy was so expensive that it seemed like a pipe dream in the development of alternative energies. Since then, government incentives and competition in the market have brought the price of solar down by what economist Ben Ho calls "a magical amount of money."

Today, the price of solar energy is cheaper even than coal - traditionally the cheapest form of energy out there. Now major companies are investing millions of dollars in solar power, including The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, known for making lots of money. It recently made the decision to install thousands of solar panels on the roof of one of its apartment complexes and has plans to expand its solar investment. And the reason is all about cost savings.

On today's show, we talk to Ben Ho about the price of solar, or what he says is "the most important indicator of all time."

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