New Report Says Alternative Energy is Closer to Grid Parity

A new report by Global Data, a market intelligence company, says the cost of generating clean, alternative energy such as solar power is increasingly closer to the cost of generating energy from traditional, non-renewable sources.

The report focuses on the US and China cases, which have driven the cumulative installed PV capacity increase of 100% between 2009 and 2011 and project a considerable growth within the next few years. In the US, solar PV technology is expected to reach grid parity for some PV projects in 2014, and by 2017 most regions in the country are expected to reach grid parity in alignment with average electricity prices in the residential sector. China is also due to witness similar developments, with grid parity for solar expected to reach in most regions by 2015-2016.

Solar PV accounts for around 14% of the global renewable energy capacity and it is the fastest growing clean energy source in the world, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.4% over the past five years. Between 2010 and 2011, 44.3 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity came online, up from 14.8 GW installed during 2008 and 2009.

The report predicts Europe will lose market share to India and China as the two Asian countries have announced ambitious PV targets and have introduced favorable policies to boost the development of alternative energy. The global solar PV installed capacity will continue to grow at a CAGR of 20.2% 2011-2020, to reach 362,842 MW by 2020.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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