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Solar energy as cheap as fossil fuels by 2015

sunrise.jpgPrice parity can do wonderful things: imagine that Pop Idol winners’ albums cost as much as Ferraris. Our radio waves would never be plagued by their brain rotting ordure again. Or, if Ferraris were the same price as a tennis ball, we’d all have one. Doubtless, we’d all have several, stacked up in front of the drive way like Pringles, a tower of wrestlers doing some crazy body slam pile up thing.

According to a new study from eco non-profit Co op America and Clean Edge, it won’t be long now til electricity from solar power will cost roughly the same as traditional electricity. You can guess should happen then.

From the report:

Equally important, we project that solar PV will reach cost parity with conventional retail electricity pricing, on a straight kWh rate basis, throughout much of the U.S. by around 2015.

We project that the cost for crystalline silicon PV systems will drop from an average of $7 peak watt (19-32 cents kWh) today to approximately $3.00 (8-14 cents kWh) a decade from now. Thin-film PV systems and low-price, bulk-purchased crystalline PV systems are projected to drop from around $5.50 per peak watt today (15-25 cents kWh) to $3.00 peak watt in 2015 (8-14 cents kWh) and less than $1.50 peak watt (4-7 cents kWh) in 2025. In our utility-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) calculations we show an average price of $3.50 per watt (around 18 cents per kWh) in 2007 declining to around $1 peak watt (approximately 5 cents per kWh) in 2025.

By 2010, the report says, solar could be responsible for 10 percent of all US energy. Cheers all round!

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