A disruptive technology is one that unexpectedly replaces an established technology. The above graph compares the recent history of solar energy prices to conventional energy prices. As conventional energy prices have remained fairly steady over the past thirty years, solar prices have dropped, and will likely continue to drop as the solar industry matures. The steady price drop has some suggesting that solar will be a disruptive technology.
The graph was developed by Brian McConnell, a software engineer and creator of The Joule Standard. Check out his original post in Medium explaining his methodology in creating the graph here: Solar Energy: This is What a Disruptive Technology Looks Like.
To learn more about this topic, check out CleanTechnica’s review of the graph in Solar–A Disruptive Technology (Graph) or data presented in Bloomberg’s Global Renewable Energy Market Outlook 2013.