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In the future, the cost of photovoltaic power generation will drop to about one cent

In the future, the cost of photovoltaic power generation will drop to about one cent

  • Jun 05, 2020

In the global energy structure, the penetration rate of solar power generation is relatively low, which prompted an American technical expert to predict that the photovoltaic learning curve will lead to the price of photovoltaic power generation reaching 1-2 US dollars in relatively sunny areas by 2030-2035. Minute.


Clean energy investor and technology expert Ramez Naam (Ramez Naam) inferred that the utility-scale solar projects built since 2010 will generate electricity prices will continue for 10 years, and plans to start using before the end of the year. The current price trend of solar panels follows Lai's law, that is, each time manufacturing output doubles, production costs will fall by a fixed 25%.


Nahm studied the average cost of global photovoltaic power generation (in addition to the cost of modules), and separately investigated the average cost of India, China and the United States. These costs (except for the cost of modules) accounted for 2/ 2 of the average cost of solar power plants. According to Lai's law, every time the photovoltaic power generation capacity doubles, the price of solar power will drop by 30-40%.


The technical expert said: “The price of solar energy is falling faster than anyone including me predicts. The data predicted by modeling shows that the price of photovoltaic power generation will continue to fall faster than expected, and the final price will be Lower than almost everyone’s expectations. By any standard, these prices are crazy enough to change the world’s cheapness.” This price drop will make solar energy cross the tipping point of the energy transition, and the construction cost of new solar projects will be low. The operating cost (marginal cost) of existing fossil fuel power generation facilities, even in the era of extremely low natural gas prices.


As of the end of 2019, solar energy accounted for only 2% of the global energy structure. Nam said he expects the learning curve, or experience curve, to develop at the same rate due to the application of Lay's law, and the world will increase at least twice The photovoltaic power generation capacity reaches 2.4 terawatts, which is 8% of the world's electricity demand today. Nahm believes that by that stage, the cost of solar power will be halved from the current level.


Namm’s research pointed out: “In sunny areas with low capital, labor and land costs, we can often see unsubsidized photovoltaic electricity prices between 0.01-0.02 USD/kWh.” In California, we may look at To $0.025 per kilowatt-hour of unsubsidized solar energy. In Northern Europe, we can see that utility-scale solar energy is usually priced at $0.04-0.05/kWh.


At present, the cost of photovoltaics has been 30-40 years ahead of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) forecast in its 2014 solar technology roadmap, and 7-10 years ahead of the 2015 forecast by Biham in 2015. Only data from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories and the United States were used.

The IEA claimed that it announced possible scenarios for future solar applications, rather than predictions, to reiterate the possible impact of public policy. Nam said: "It is clear that the new policy has played a role in deployment, but it is also obvious that no matter what you expect from the global energy policy, cost is a very important fact. If you always expect a technology The cost is 2-4 times its actual cost, it is impossible to truly predict its growth."


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