26 May '11, 10pm

GE sees solar cheaper than fossil fuels in 5 years

That chart doesn’t really say much on its own. Are the data points one for each year? Why did a 4-fold drop in the cost of new solar modules only correspond with less than a 2-fold change in installed capacity? Why is the cost of individual solar modules compared to the cost of entire wind plants (rather than single turbines)? How does the lifetime of these new $1/W panels correspond with that of the $4/W panels of a few years ago? The y-axis is showing installed capacity; not averaged production — the average efficiencies of solar and wind installations are different. [JR: Each dot looks to be a year. Lifetime doesn't change much, I don't think.] Most of these questions would be answered with a plot of averaged lifetime costs per kWh estimated for new installations. Solar panels are probably very close to nuclear plants in cost/W right now, but with much lower lifetimes t...

Full article: http://climateprogress.org/2011/05/26/ge-solar-cheaper-th...

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