Report: Solar Power to Be 50% Cheaper by Year End

Nov 29 2009 | 8:30pm ET

Energy research company New Energy Finance is predicting a 50% year-on-year drop in the “levelized” cost of solar power (that is, the lifetime cost per kWh before subsidies) by the end of 2009.

The report also expects a 10% reduction in the levelized cost of other sources of renewable energy compared to the end of 2008.

The predictions are found in the company’s latest quarterly report.

“So far this year, the steady decline in the cost of equipment in sectors like solar and wind has been largely offset by the increasing costs of financing,” said New Energy Finance chairman and CEO Michael Liebreich in a statement. “By the end of this year, however, as capital markets loosen up and equipment prices continue their decline, we will see the levelized costs decline, finishing the year 10% below the end of last year across the board and far more than that in solar.”

The report notes that photovoltaic (PV) module prices have continued to fall, although the rate of decline has slowed. Thin-film remains the low-cost leader in solar projects, as cheap as $3/W, making thin-film projects 25% less expensive than crystalline silicon systems on a levelized basis. PV projects with tracking systems have seen the least reduction in cost, says New Energy Finance, because “costs for single- and double-axis trackers have remained buoyant relative to panel prices.”

The 50% drop refers to the cost of generating solar power over the lifetime of a solar plant. This cost is now at $160 per megawatt-hour in sunny locales like Arizona.


In Depth

Kettera Q&A: The Advantages of Alternative Investment Platforms

Oct 28 2016 | 5:52pm ET

The past several years have seen a distinct push towards easier and cheaper access...

Lifestyle

Midtown's Plaza District Fades As Manhattan Office Landscape Shifts

Nov 22 2016 | 6:32pm ET

Lower leasing costs, more efficient office space and the hope of projecting an image...

Guest Contributor

Nowhere to Hide: Why the Future of Asset Management Depends on Innovation

Nov 15 2016 | 6:55pm ET

Information technology has reshaped the asset management industry’s periphery,...

 

From the current issue of

Chicago-based independent futures brokerage and clearing firm R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO) has hired industry veteran Daniel Staniford as Executive Director, responsible for the firm’s institutional business development in New York and London.

AVAILABLE NOW at BARNES & NOBLE

NEWSTAND LOCATOR