Opponents of solar energy have long decried the technology as incapable of competing with coal and other traditional energy sources. But the final nail has now been driven into the coffin of that outdated argument. Two countries, independent of one another, have found that solar energy production within their borders has reached "grid parity." Meaning solar energy costs are on par with the rest of the grid.
These findings, published by Deutsche Bank, appear to be the proverbial tipping point for solar power across the globe. They are a proof of concept that has been over 50 years in the making. The same Deutsche Bank report concludes that more countries will follow India and Italy's lead as early as next year.
The U.S. isn't exactly standing still with regard to solar energy. In the Mojave desert, California is building a massive concentrating solar farm — one that will bring U.S. solar production capacity to two gigawatts. Whether or not the U.S. is on the short list for grid parity remains to be seen, but with or without us, mainstream solar energy has arrived.