A recent study done by a German think tank proposes that solar energy will be the cheapest source of power in the world by 2025.
In a report by Agora Energiewende, solar power is predicted to overtake all other sources of energy as the least expensive option. The study expects energy from utility scale solar to cost between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt hour.
It is worth noting that the German think tank is independent and made its conclusions based on conservative figures.
Many places in the world that get ample sunshine, like Dubai, are already taking advantage of cheap solar prices. A recent power purchase contract was signed in Dubai for 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
Dr. Patrick Graichen, the CEO of Agora Energiewende, has stated that “The technology still has further improvements so we expect that within the next 10 years photovoltaics will become, in many regions of the world, the cheapest source of electricity.” The improvements mentioned are largely due to cost reductions in the production of solar panels.
Graichen and other solar energy advocates in Germany find it difficult to understand why most of the rest of the world have not embraced solar as much as their country has. Australia is a notable example of a country that has yet to adopt solar power, but it is a great candidate as it receives ample sunshine. A total of 6 percent of Germany’s energy comes from solar pv. While not much right now, solar installations are still in the beginning stages.
While Solar-Power-Now.com primarily focuses on the American residential solar industry, it is good to get solar cost comparisons at all scales and locations.
The real news story is even better. We don’t have to wait until 2025 for solar power to be the best option – it already is for American homeowners. As mentioned in the cost of solar page, the price for solar power is already cheaper than conventional energy. Net metering has much to with this. Homeowners can expect to pay no more than 8 cents per kilowatt hour over the life of a solar panel system.
Many of the energy cost comparison studies also do not take into account environmental costs. The full costs and impacts of fossil fuel use makes it vastly more costly than renewable energy.
The final piece of the puzzle for a renewable energy source like solar power to fully replace fossil fuels like coal and natural gas is a mature battery storage technology. The good news is that it is just a matter of time before battery storage technologies are economically viable at the residential and utility scale.
To sum up, we do not have to wait until 2025 to take advantage of the enormous energy bounty that solar power represents. Individuals and corporations alike are already beginning to harness the sun’s energy at cost competitive rates.