Solar PV Could Cost Less than Fossil Fuels in 10 Years

by | Jun 17, 2011

The cost of solar photovoltaic systems could become cheaper than even fossil fuels over within the next ten years, according to technology advancement association IEEE.

But IEEE said that to achieve this cost parity, the solar industry must continue to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cell technologies and create economies of scale

“Solar PV will be a game changer,” said executive director James Prendergast. “No other alternative source has the same potential.

“As the cost of electricity from solar continues to decrease compared to traditional energy sources we will see tremendous market adoption, and I suspect it will be a growth limited only by supply,” Prendergast added.

But Jie Shu, director of the Solar Energy Application Laboratory at the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “For solar PV to truly compete on its own with traditional power generation, the cost and efficiency of transforming sunlight into electricity must continue to improve.”

The IEEE says that that in the past few years, there have been significant advancements in solar PV technology and in the availability of materials needed for solar PV development. Silicon is now more readily available than it was five years ago, the IEEE says, and thin-film materials are helping to improve solar cell efficiency.

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