The most impressive solar production price ever, between First Solar and NV Energy, has an agreed rate of just 3.87 cents per kWh which, according to PV Magazine, is the cheapest electricity in the United States!
Naysayers argue that incredible solar production prices are only due to government subsidies that are set to expire at the end of 2016. There is some truth to that…but only in the short term. For example, a study by investment banking firm Lazard showed that without subsidies solar would cost at least 7 cents per kWh. What needs to be considered is that solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is a technology. A technology that has continued to become more efficient, and less expensive to manufacture over time. Also consider that not just the United States but the entire world is moving towards renewable energy and other countries without subsidies have already met parity with other forms of energy production. Canadian Solar, one of the big three global solar PV manufacturers has released a detailed report that they’ve continued to achieve greater cell efficiency over the past five years and expects this to continue or even accelerate. In short, Canadian Solar says the cost of solar PV modules will likely fall 25% over the next three years. In other words, without subsidies, it’s safe to say that solar will be cheaper than other forms of energy production before 2020.