The essence of this article is that progress is happening so fast in solar power that it is hard for even people tracking it closely to keep up.
When I began working at NIRS in 1985 solar power was just a dream. Oh sure, President Carter had put a few solar panels up at the White House (which President Reagan promptly took down, just to make sure everyone knew there would be no future in solar), and a few, mostly off-the-grid types had installed solar PV at their homes, which was expensive and sort of worked–especially if the homes weren’t too electricity-dependent. But solar power was a future energy source. It was way too expensive and not efficient enough for prime-time.
The same was true for wind power, for that matter. And even natural gas was just a blip on the nation’s electricity generation radar. Coal was dominant, providing well over 50% of the nation’s electricity. Nuclear was edging close to 20%, a figure it eventually reached but never topped (and now is back down to about 19%…
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