Bright forecast ahead for solar energy?
While photovoltaic (PV) solar power only generated about 1% of the total electricity produced globally in 2015, it represented about 20% of new capacity additions. Growth has been impressive and looks likely to continue. The International Solar Alliance has set a target of at least 3000 gigawatts (GW), or three terawatts (TW) of additional solar power capacity by 2030, up from the current installed capacity of around 300 GW.
Yet some experts believe even the most optimistic projections have under-estimated the actual deployment of PV over the last decade, and say the annual potential of solar energy far exceeds the world’s energy consumption.
Solar energy prices in India tumbles to new record low making it cheaper than fossil-fuel generated power
The price of solar energy in India has tumbled to a new record low, making it cheaper than fossil-fuel generated power. The latest solar power tariffs show the price of solar energy is 18 per cent lower than the average price for electricity generated by coal-fired plants.
At an auction in Rajasthan earlier this week, Phelan Energy and Aaada Power offered to charge 2.62 rupees per kilowatt-hour (kWH) of solar-generated electricity, according to The Economic Times of India.
Solar Power To Threaten Conventional Power By 2020
Researchers project that solar power will become cheaper than conventional, fossil fueled electric generating sources by 2020. (The researchers do not say that directly, but their numbers do.) But the news gets even worse for incumbent utilities. By 2030, solar-plus-storage could threaten the economic relevance of their distribution grids by making less necessary the connection with the local electric utility.
In short, more efficient solar panels combined with lower cost battery storage will threaten the economic viability of the entire electric utility distribution grid by 2030. Stated another way, those supposedly low risk, high yielding distribution utilities like Con Ed, for example, may at some point in the not-too-distant future become high risk and no yield equities if this thesis plays out.
U.S. solar-dependent power grids will be tested by eclipse
On August 21st, the moon will pass directly between earth and the sun, shading the United States in half-light for roughly two hours. While astronomers are turning their eyes to the skies, the country’s solar utility operators will be monitoring the energy grid.
The eclipse is expected to cut North America’s generation of solar power by 70 megawatts a minute (PDF), hitting sunny California especially hard, since it’s home to about half of the solar power generation capacity. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the state’s share of solar power on the grid has increased from 0.4 percent to 10 percent in the last five years.