Photovoltaic Grid Parity Expected By 2017 In U.S., China

The cost of energy generation from clean sources such as solar power is edging ever closer to costs attributed to traditional sources, fostering growth in the renewable energy sector, according to a new report from GlobalData.

The report shows that the global cumulative installed solar PV capacity increase of 100% demonstrated during 2009-2011 is likely to grow even further, as mass power consumers China and the U.S. reach grid parity within the next few years.

In the U.S, solar PV technology is expected to reach grid parity for some PV projects in 2014, GlobalData says. 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 to 2016.

The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar PV will continue to decrease due to declining capital costs and an increasing capacity factor. These trends, combined with a lack of fuel costs and low operations and maintenance costs mean that the LCOE of solar PV technology is expected to be lower than average retail electricity prices from 2017 onwards.

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