Renewables are increasingly becoming a global popular source of producing electricity. Even with this continues growth in popularity, variable sources of producing power only account for small amounts of net electricity generation in most countries.

In the United States, information from December 2014 indicates that solar energy accounted only for 0.45% of the total electricity produced in the entire country.

Although this is disappointing data, German ‘think-tank’ Agora Energiewende believe solar is poised to grow–at a very fast pace.

Solar energy’s primary setback has been “cost” and “storage“; but this may no longer be the case as a new analytic research by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems proves otherwise.

Yes, solar was indeed more expensive than other sources of producing energy such as burning coal or gas–but due to rapid technological developments the solar industry has experienced in recent years, it is already very cost-effective in some geographic regions of the world.

“In Dubai, a long-term power purchase contract was signed recently for 5 cents per kilowatt hour. Projects under construction in Brazil, Uruguay and other countries are reported to produce at costs below 7 ct/KWh.

By comparison, electricity from new coal and gas-fired plants costs between 5 and 10 cents per kilowatt hour. And in Germany, right now, large solar plants deliver power for less than 9 cents, compared to as much as 11 cents from nuclear.
— Forbes

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems’ report also projects that by the year 2025, central and southern Europe will see a decline in cost to 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt hour. In which there will be another decline again to 2 to 4 cents by 2050 if the trend continues.

With figures like these, solar is going to not only remain very popular but become a strong contender in providing global electricity.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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