The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near Primm, Nev.

Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert near Primm, Nev.

Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Clean Energy Isn’t Just the Future—It’s the Present

Renewables provided 55 percent of all new electrical capacity worldwide last year, the most ever. In some regions, solar is the cheapest source of power, and it will only get cheaper. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that a watt of power from ground-mounted solar will drop a further 36 percent by 2025.

Solar's appeal isn't just one of cost; it's the most democratized and decentralized power source. Solar systems sometimes feature a single panel; others line hundreds of acres of desert. Homeowners can put panels on roofs, companies and schools on carports, and governments on roadway signs, and the military can use them as the basis for portable power plants.

Solar panels on the roof of Toyota Motor Corp.'s new Prius plug-in hybrid vehicles, known as Prius Prime in the U.S., at its sales launch at the National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation in Tokyo on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. 

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Workers inspect the rear section of a Solar Ship Inc. test aircraft inside the company's assembly and testing hangar in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Solar Ship engineers and manufactures inflatable airships that are able to serve remote areas, delivering cargo and supplies to aid in disaster relief missions.

Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

Solar power geysers to heat hot water sit on the roofs of a residential shack in the Alexandra township outside Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

A satellite dish and solar panels sit outside a home in Ikh Tamir, Mongolia, on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016.

Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg

Solar panels on the roofs of residential apartment blocks that are under construction, developed by Actris GmbH, in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

A security guard stands between solar panels set up by Amplus Solar on the roof of the Yamaha Motor Co. plant in Surajpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The Japanese motorcycle maker wants solar power to supply a quarter of energy needs at its northern Indian factories near Delhi, according to company executives.

Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

This stretch of road is covered with solar panel cells developed by Colas SA's Wattway unit, a subsidiary of Bouygues SA, in the village of Tourouvre au Perche, France, on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.  The 2,800 square meters of solar panels are expected to generate 280 kilowatts at peak, generating enough to power all the public lighting in a town of 5,000 for a year, according to the company. 

Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

Attendees look at the Smartflower POP-e solar panel during the Intersolar North America Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Established in 2008, the conference focuses on photovoltaics, energy storage systems, smart renewable energy, and solar heating and cooling technologies.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

An employee stands behind heliostats at Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd.'s (MHPS) solar thermal power system verification testing facility at the MHPS Yokohama Works in Yokohama, Japan, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. MHPS, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd., completed testing facilities for a solar thermal power project outside Tokyo to determine whether its technology can reduce cost.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Workers manufacture solar inverters on the assembly line of the Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd. factory in Gurgaon, India, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.

Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

A customer inspects a solar panel that is linked to a Tesla Inc. Powerwall at a home in Monkton, Vt., on Monday, May 2, 2016. A year after Elon Musk unveiled the Powerwall at Tesla Motors Inc.’s design studio near Los Angeles, the first wave of residential installations has started in the U.S. The 6.4-kilowatt-hour unit stores electricity from home solar systems and provides backup in the case of a conventional outage.

Photographer: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist/Bloomberg

Workers solder solar cell modules at a Star 8 Solar Green Commercial Pty factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Global output from photovoltaics, panels that convert light directly into electricity, has increased 40 percent every year for the past decade. The industry is drawing roughly $150 billion in annual investment, accounting for almost half the funds committed to renewable energy.

Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg

Jurdar Thingya, left, and his wife, Kompla Jurdar, stand near a broken solar panel outside their home in the village of Bhamana, Maharashtra, India, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. Bhamana, a place with no proper road connectivity for at least 12 kilometers, gets its power through small-scale renewable sources as part of a drive to take electricity to every village in Maharashtra, which was declared a fully electrified state in 2012. India considers a village electrified if at least 10 percent of the households and public places have electricity. But theft and damage have plunged 288 villages and 1,500 hamlets in Maharashtra back into darkness, according to to Dinesh Saboo, project director at Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd., the state’s power retailer.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Photovoltaic solar panels sit in an array at the 16-megawatt Visonta solar power station operated by Matrai Eromu Zrt, as the coal power station stands beyond, in Visonta, Hungary, on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Prices of coal for delivery in Europe in 2017 will fall about 11 percent by December, taking the gloss off the longest rally in year-ahead prices since 2010, according to a survey of traders and analysts by Bloomberg.

Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg