Solar Competitiveness

While the cost of all other energy sources, and thereby retail electricity, keeps rising, the cost of solar keeps coming down year-on-year.

The industry still relies on policy support and incentive schemes, but grid parity has already been reached in a few, small markets like Hawaii and parts of California. (Grid parity = when a solar systems can produce electricity at the same price as the electricity you can buy off the grid).

Beside the fact that the number of sun hours and electricity prices vary from region to region, the true price of energy can only be determined once you take the cost of CO2 emission into the equation. The global community needs to de-carbonize the energy mix to put the break on global warming. Very few and limited concessions have been made to limit further CO2 emissions. This is perhaps surprising as in most developed economies people are used to the concept that emitting waste is subject to charges. Developed nations typically have high CO2emissions per capita. If CO2-emissions all over the world had a price tag in one way or another, solar energy would have become competitive almost overnight.

The cost of solar energy keeps coming down every year and subsidies in Germany have been halved over the past three years. This trend is likely to continue and we are expecting to reach grid parity in many important markets over the next three to five years.

The transition to sustainable energy solutions is indisputable. According to the International Energy Agency, 40 percent of all energy capacity will come from renewables by 2035. Today, the solar industry is a EUR 50 billion business. In 2030, a conservative estimate is that solar will be a EUR 150 billion business*.

* Source: EPIA

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