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    November 07, 2011 | 1:14 PM

    Krugman: Soon Solar Will Be Cheaper Than Coal

    Take a look at what economist Paul Krugman had to say about the solar industry in today's column:

    © 2008 Flickr/Oregon DOT cc by 2.0

    These days, mention solar power and you'll probably hear cries of "Solyndra!" Republicans have tried to make the failed solar panel company both a symbol of government waste -- although claims of a major scandal are nonsense -- and a stick with which to beat renewable energy.

    But Solyndra's failure was actually caused by technological success: the price of solar panels is dropping fast, and Solyndra couldn't keep up with the competition. In fact, progress in solar panels has been so dramatic and sustained that, as a blog post at Scientific American put it, "there's now frequent talk of a 'Moore's law' in solar energy," with prices adjusted for inflation falling around 7 percent a year.

    This has already led to rapid growth in solar installations, but even more change may be just around the corner. If the downward trend continues -- and if anything it seems to be accelerating -- we're just a few years from the point at which electricity from solar panels becomes cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal.

    Have you found solar power more affordable and available in your own home or business? Is there more commitment to solar power in your community? Share your thoughts below!

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