The cost of producing solar power will fall to that of coal-fired electricity by the end of the decade, according to a report by Europe’s Photon Consulting. However, falling costs of production won’t lead to substantially cheaper prices for consumers because of current market dynamics which see rising demand outstripping supply.
The report predicts that by 2010 solar power will be produced at a cost of 10-12 cents per kilowatt hour in Spain, about the same as the local cost of producing electricity from coal. In southern Germany, it will fall to 18 cents/kWh, below the current power grid consumer price of 20 cents/kWh for the first time. In California, costs are expected to fall to 13 cents per kWh.
The study, “The True Costs of Solar Power” looked only at costs of solar power production using photovoltaic crystalline cells.
The report warns that the falling costs for suppliers won’t lead to falling consumer prices for solar power, at least for the next few years. The major reason for prices staying high is the fact that supply is not keeping up with demand in recent years.
Unlike fossil fuels, solar, wind and hydro are sources of renewable energy which involve no emissions of greenhouse gases when used to produce electricity.
For more details see this article: Edie News Center.