Bailey on falling solar panel costs

Let’s start with the levelized cost analysis that is the most bullish with respect to solar photovoltaic. In September, the financial advisory firm Lazard reckoned that the levelized unsubsidized cost of utility-scale solar PV is as low as $72 per megawatt-hour. (A megawatt-hour is roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity used by 330 houses during one hour.) Lazard projects that these costs will drop to $60 per megawatt-hour by 2017. Meanwhile, the low-end of natural gas generation is now $61 per megawatt-hour; for coal generation, it’s $66 per megawatt-hour; and for nuclear, it’s $124 per megawatt-hour. With the current U.S. tax breaks, the low-end solar PV utility-scale costs is $56 per megawatt-hour. George Bilicic, a vice chairman of Lazard, concluded that utilities “still require conventional technologies to meet the energy needs of a developed economy, but they are using alternative technologies to create diversified portfolios of power generation resources.”

via Unlimited Free Solar Power? –