Utility solar energy production is on definite increase

A recently completed study compared the cost of residential rooftop solar energy production and utility-scale solar energy production, and the study determined that utility-scale solar came in at half the cost of residential solar energy production.

At a time when the U.S. Energy Information Administration is announcing more clean power emphasis, and with studies such as this one being positive for utility-scale solar energy production, the forecast is that utility-scale solar will increase by 100 percent by the end of 2016.

Solar energy has a lot of potential because price of utility-scale operations has dropped 80 percent since 2000, according to Peter Fox-Penner, a principal at the Brattle Group that completed the solar energy study. He explained the future of solar from what the study showed to Monica Trauzzi, host of OnPoint video news.

Fox-Penner said residential rooftop solar has its place for the future, but the study shows that utility-scale solar is extremely important as a "tool in our arsenal for decarbonization of U.S. energy production.

He projected that utility-solar could in the long run provide a quarter to a third of the U.S. electricity as the country heads to increasing wind, geothermal and other forms of renewables to decarbonizatin energy production.

Storage of electric energy in battery cells depends on advancing battery storage although Fox-Penner says increases occurring in solar energy production are not currently dependent or being inhibited without better battery technology.