17 Oct '11, 10pm

Solar Power Should Be Cheaper than Coal, Gas & Nuclear by 2018

Here's the meat of Kees van der Leun's argument : let's assume that the cost of solar PV electricity needs to drop to below $0.06 per kWh to live up to the claim that it's the cheapest source of electricity. In sunny regions, we will need to halve the cost of PV power again to make that happen. Three doublings of cumulative capacity will do, since, according to PV's rapid learning curve, every doubling of capacity leads to a cost reduction of 22 percent. After three doublings the cost will be multiplied by 0.78 * 0.78 * 0.78 = 0.47. Cumulative installed PV capacity globally was 40 gigawatts (GW) at the end of last year. Three doublings mean this has to grow by a factor of eight, to 320 GW, to achieve the necessary halving of cost. From 2005 to 2010, PV capacity installed annually grew by an average of 49 percent per year. Even if this slows down to 25 percent per year in t...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/solar_power_cheap...

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