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1 dollar/watt solar energy by 2020?

America's shift toward renewable energy leans heavily on solar power, a technology that can be installed on homes and relies on a source of energy that is clean and essentially unlimited.

Solar power utilizes photovoltaic technology to convert light energy into electricity. Once the solar panels are manufactured, they produce no carbon dioxide emissions. Installations range from single-family rooftop residential panels all the way up to large utility-scale solar farms.

To help clean energy gain wide adoption and to spur the creation of jobs in the green economy, the U.S. Department of Energy launched the SunShot initiative with the goal of decreasing the price of solar power by 75% between 2010 and 2020.

In 2010, residential solar power installations cost $6.20 per watt (direct current), commercial installations ran $5.00 per watt, and utility-scale installations cost $4.10 per watt.

SunShot, through targeted project funding opportunities, seeks to reduce the cost of solar technology, reduce the cost of integrating solar panels with electrical grids, and accelerate the spread of solar power throughout the country.

By 2016, SunShot reports that the goal is within reach. Residential systems are averaging $3.21 per watt, and utility-scale installations are as low as $1.24 per watt.

Will the SunShot Initiative's goals of decreasing the price of solar power by 75% between 2010 and 2020 be met?

To resolve as positive, a credible news outlet, Department of Energy press release, Solar Energies Industries Association report, or other public report must report that the average prices for installed solar panels is at or below $1.50 per watt (DC) for residential installations, $1.25 for commercial, and $1 for utility-scale installations on or before December 31, 2020.

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Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

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