Solar Panel Costs Close to $0.50/Watt


A fresh edition of GTM Research`s five-year report on the costs of solar photovoltaics has just been published (PV Technology, Production and Cost: 2012-2016 Outlook). To say that the reduction of costs in the last couple of years is surprising is an understatement.

“How wrong we were […] We didn’t really have an accurate, even semi-quantitative, understanding of the relationship between pricing, incentives, finance and demand.” Writes Shyam Mehta, one of the analysts at GTM Research.

The relationship with consumer demand, Chinese manufacturers, feed-in tariff schemes (FITs) and net metering, has largely been underestimated.

Prices will keep dropping

Mehta continues “That industry has sheer momentum behind it in terms of interested, well-capitalized parties, that technology innovation will happen at breathtaking speed, helping to push c-Si (silicon-based) module costs toward the $0.50/W mark at 17% module efficiencies over the next half-decade.”

The second figure in GTM Research`s new report, shows their cost-prognosis of the next coming years. According to the their prognosis, costs could be at 50c/Watt already in 2015/2016:

50c/Watt means that solar panel prices are on par with both oil and gas. Government officials from China and India has predicted that this will happen within 2020 and 2017, and now GTM Research pushes this threshold even further.

Whether or not GTM Research is right this time around can only be speculated in. “Truth be told, we are not a long way farther along in developing an understanding of the PV market than we were back in 2008,” Mehta writes.

Article by Mathias Aarre Maehlum who writes about solar panels and other renewable energy technologies at Energy informative.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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