Infographic: The Solar Revolution, in Three Acts

We spend our days digging into the many facets of the solar revolution here in the U.S., from the benefits of solar to the policies that drive the solar boom to the coming wave of electric vehicles that will further grow the solar market.

But sometimes it’s helpful to step back and look at the bigger picture, and get a reminder of just how far we’ve come, and how quickly we’ve progressed — not to mention how much more of a solar boom lies ahead of our.

The good people at the Union of Concerned Scientists have just published a terrific infographic on the rise of solar in the U.S., and it shows, in three brief panels, the solar revolution that we’re in the midst of. (Disclosure: I spent part of a year working for UCS on their sustainability team, helping them walk the talk. Which they do.)

First, look at how far and how quickly the cost of solar has dropped in the last decade:

solar infographic 1
Second, as a result of that price drop, as well as smart state-level policies, more than half of all U.S. states will have solar power that’s as cheap as grid electricity by 2017:

ucs solar infographic 2
Third, as solar power gets more affordable, even more homes will go solar:

ucs solar infographic 3
All of which will create a feedback loop, so if we do this chart in five years, you will see an even more precipitous drop in price, even more states with cheaper-than-grid solar electricity costs, and even more homes going solar.

Lather, rinse, repeat until we get to 100 percent renewable energy.

See the whole infographic at

Matthew Wheeland
Author: Matthew Wheeland

Matthew Wheeland is the editor of He has been an environmental journalist for nearly 15 years, covering everything from farming to green chemistry to corporate sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @MattWheeland.

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