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Is Solar Power Now the Cheapest Energy in NJ?

Renewable energy sources are sustainable, virtually unlimited in supply, and have a drastically lower impact on the environment. There’s no doubt that they are the future of energy. However, one of the reasons non-renewable sources continue to be in high demand is their cost-effectiveness. But, that’s finally changing.

Over the past few years, solar energy has consistently outperformed most other sources of energy, including fossil fuels, in terms of cost-effectiveness. And, this trend is not limited to any specific region. There are numerous cases of commercial solar plants worldwide that have offered their energy to both the private and the public sectors for record-low prices.

Price Comparison Between Solar and Other Sources of Energy

According to the 2019 LCOE report, it costs $140 to $199 for every MWh of power generated using natural gas in the US. In the case of nuclear energy, the cost was $118 to $192. The report found that these costs were among the highest out of all the various energy sources. Nevertheless, natural gas and nuclear sources make up 94% of all New Jersey’s energy supply.

In stark contrast, renewable sources cost way lower. Depending on the technology used, utility-scale solar power costs somewhere between $32 and $44 per MWh.

There’s a caveat, though – rooftop residential solar costs about $151 to $242 depending on a variety of factors.

Although rooftop solar power costs are similar to the power from nuclear and natural gas sources, you must take into account the profit margins of the utilities. In fact, all power plants, irrespective of their sources of energy, have high profit margins. Profit margins significantly increase the utility power prices for customers.

Once you take them into account, you realize that residential solar is still way cheaper than utility power, no matter the source, because you’re not paying any profit margin on them. You get your own solar power AT COST!

There’s another interesting phenomenon to consider here. Thanks to the decreasing costs of solar panels and their ever-increasing power generation efficiency, residential solar power will continue to get cheaper. However, because of their limited availability, all fossil fuels will continue to increase in price.

Therefore, solar power – be it utility-scale or residential setups – continue to be the best options for the people of New Jersey.

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