Research paper shines light on competitiveness of solar PV power

New working paper argues that common perceptions about the lack of competitiveness of solar photovoltaic power are misleading and out-of-date

London and New York, 16 May 2012. Power generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is much closer to competitiveness with conventional electricity generation than many policy-makers and commentators have realised, according to a new working paper on the subject, released by research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance today.

The paper, Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power, looks at the implications of the sharpest falls in the prices of PV technology in recent memory. Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years, to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries. It also examines the metrics generally used to measure the economics of solar power against alternative power generating technologies, and finds they are often inadequate, and may introduce bias against the deployment of PV technology.

The authors’ aim is to inform policy-makers, utility decision-makers, investors and advisory services, in particular in high-growth developing countries, as they weigh the suite of power generation options available to them. The paper is being submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed literature.

Link to the paper