The GOOD 100: Grid Parity
The day will come when solar power isn't just for tree-hugging eccentrics and the trendy rich-when it becomes as cheap as or cheaper than the electricity that is currently available. This turning point is known in the energy business as "grid parity." As parts of the United States start to hit grid parity, the people in those areas will actually save money by switching to solar, and the market for the technology will skyrocket. That, in turn, will spur more investment and technological advances. Recent projections from The U.S. Department of Energy and the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development have us hitting grid parity around 2015. That's just a few short years away, and it'll transform the debate surrounding energy and climate change: the "alternative" will become the mainstream.