Solar power is becoming the most inexpensive source of power in many parts of the world, according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems and commissioned by Agora Energiewende, an independent German think tank.
The study, entitled Current and Future Costs of Photovoltaics, states that by 2025 the cost of producing power in central and southern Europe will be between four and six cents per kilowatt hour, and by 2050, it will be down to two to four cents. According to Agora Energiewende, the study used the most conservative figures, leaving out the possibilities of large breakthroughs within the time studied.
Already a cost-efficient power source in sunny places, the study shows a large decline in cost for solar energy. Patrick Graichen, director of Agora Energiewende, stated: “The study shows that solar energy has become cheaper much more quickly than most experts had predicted and will continue to do so.” He believes that solar, along with wind energy, will become a major source of energy, due to the lowering costs and favourable impact on the environment.
According to the New York Times, solar energy is expanding as a cheap energy source around the world, including America. In places like Texas, companies are already switching over to the cheaper solar energy.
However, the study also shows that costs are reliant on the financial and regulatory frameworks put forth, and if they are not created satisfactorily, it can cause the cost of solar energy to increase. Patrick Graichen stated: “Favourable financing conditions and stable legal frameworks are therefore vital conditions for cheap, clean solar electricity.”