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Solar to compete with traditional sources by 2017

Report finds costs of solar PV will reach grid parity in US by 2017

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Installed solar power capacity is expected to grow to 362,842 MW by 2020. (GETTY IMAGES)
Installed solar power capacity is expected to grow to 362,842 MW by 2020. (GETTY IMAGES)

New research has shown that the cost of solar power generation is falling closer to those of conventional power sources, boosting further growth in the solar sector. The report, by GlobalData, has found that grid parity for some solar PV projects in the US is expected by 2014, with most regions of the country seeing a matching of costs in the residential sector by 2017. A similar impact is expected in China, with most regions of the country expected to show solar reach grid parity by 2016.

The report argues that the growth of solar PV capacity – which has increased by 100% between 2009 and 2011 – is likely to grow further as grid parity is reached in major solar energy countries.

Solar PV currently accounts for 14% of global renewable capacity and is the fastest growing renewable power source in the world. The market for PV has grown at a compound growth rate of 56.4% over the past five years, with 44.3 GW of additional PV capacity coming online between just 2010 and 2011.

The global installed capacity of solar PV is forecast to rise to 362,842 MW by 2020. Europe is currently the largest market for the technology, but is expected to lose market share as markets such as India and China increase their take-up of solar PV.

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