February 2016, Vol. 243, No. 2

Web Exclusive

Utilities Declare War on Solar

Now that solar power is reaching prime time, the fossil fuel industry is doing all that it can to stop its growth. For many years solar was on the periphery, installed by early adopters and helped along by government subsidy. But over the last several years, solar has emphatically become mainstream. It is still growing from a low base, but it is now one of the most preferred sources of new electricity generation. The cost of residential solar has been cut in half since 2010, and utility-scale solar has achieved even greater cost declines. In 2015, the U.S. saw 16 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity installed, which accounted for two-thirds of the total. Solar alone accounted for abo

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