• Connie Neininger

As Solar Costs Decline, Indiana Opportunities Soar

If you’ve followed along with Hoosiers for Renewables in the last year, you’ve undoubtedly read about the rise in solar developments and the increasing demand for solar energy. And if you haven’t, that’s ok. Let me give you the “Cliff Notes” version: Solar is on the rise as solar installation prices continue to decline and solar energy demand from individuals, utilities, and corporations continues to increase.


As an economic developer for much of my life, I’m always trying to understand how something will lead to new economic development opportunities here in Indiana. With solar, it’s really quite simple. We know that corporations want the cheapest energy possible, and they will seek that out.


If Indiana can continue expanding our solar development, we can continue to grow our economy, create jobs, and be a leading state in the nation for economic development.

Just this week, a new report by the nationally respected consulting firm Woods McKenzie highlights this fact by noting that “renewables are the proven zero-carbon technology where much of the capital funding the energy transition will be invested.”


In other words, everyone is betting on solar-- and it’s clear why that’s the case.



Over the last 20 years, solar costs have fallen 90%! In 16 states, solar is the cheapest form of energy, and Indiana is one of those. By the late 2020’s, solar will be less expensive than other forms of energy in every single state. What’s incredible about the current forecasting about solar isn’t the decline in costs so far, but that the costs will continue to decline for the next decade and beyond because of technological advances. The report predicts costs will drop by another 15-20% by 2030. We’ve got a competitive advantage today, so let’s not lose it while other states look for a way to catch up to Indiana.


And while you might hear that the only reason solar energy is more affordable is because of federal government subsidies, that’s just not accurate. While federal financial support has actually fallen, solar electricity generation has increased more than 30% over the past ten years. It’s time for Indiana to get on the solar bandwagon!


The Woods McKenzie report notes that beyond major utilities increasingly developing new solar generation, solar will become the sought-after energy source for corporate buyers because it is a cost-saving mechanism.


The Hoosier State is always leading the way to attract new companies and assist expanding businesses. The report predicts that over the next 20 years, the global capacity for energy generated by wind and solar will increase from 10% to 30%, with over half of the capacity coming from solar.


If Indiana can continue expanding our solar development, we can continue to grow our economy, create jobs, and be a leading state in the nation for economic development.