Solar on Track to Become Cheapest Energy Source (psst—Hey Detroit!)


The cost of solar technology has dropped dramatically over the past few years, positioning it to become even cheaper than coal. According to this article at, solar prices are down 62 percent since 2009, and projections call for another 43-65% reduction by 2025.

Because its economics improving so much, it will be hard for utility companies to ignore solar when choosing energy sources. “These are game-changing numbers, and it’s becoming normal in more and more markets,” says Adnan Amin, International Renewable Energy Agency’s director general, in the same article.

Detroit has an opportunity to capitalize on the solar boom within its own municipal utility, called the Public Lighting Department (PLD). PLD, in a deal struck by emergency manager Kevyn Orr, has transferred many of its assets to DTE Energy and is currently in the process of deactivating itself.

But that does not have to be the case! What if PLD reinvented itself and became a 100% renewable energy utility?? The economics are there, as we now know. Detroit has an opportunity to join other Michigan cities Traverse City and Grand Rapids by committing to powering the municipality with 100% renewables. All we need is the will.

Detroit happens to be hiring a new director for PLD and I am applying for the job. Like my high school basketball coach used to say, “You gotta shoot to score,” so I am in! If I get the job I’m going to make PLD a renewable energy utility and Detroit will be a showcase of urban sustainability. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. Solar Power to the People! Detroit Saves the World!


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