In the British Isles, the price to generate electricity has dropped below previous predictions. By the year 2030, solar costs could be in the ballpark of $50USD/MWh.

Thanks to changes made with certain policies, the (STA) has modified its evaluation of solar’s (levelized cost of electricity), or the price of electricity per unit over the lifespan of a project. The solar market in the U.K. is gearing up to see some changes in the year 2019 after a recent period of inactivity. Basically, industry expectations for the year 2019 have already been defied because of technology, and solar is on the path to becoming the least expensive source of in the U.K.

This is a huge step in a positive direction.

Beating Solar Expectations

Regardless of policy complications, a report printed by Solar Trade Association claims that solar’s levelized cost of electricity has dropped more rapidly than was predicted back in 2014. Policy complications include the extension of tariffs on solar imports, and a surge of taxes on solar generation. Clearly, solar costs are still dropping as the solar power market continues to be on a fast-track to some serious growth.

Nicholas Gall, policy analyst for Solar Trade Association, discussed how the solar power market is outpacing official cost estimates, and that the hope is to see revitalization in terms of the solar market in the U.K. He wants decision-makers to comprehend how policy contexts which are effective can permit lower costs for solar. This, of course, is a perk for consumers.

Solar Costs Are Falling

Back in 2014, Solar Trade Association predicted the LCOE for solar to fall around GBP 80/MWh. However, the latest report estimates solar’s LCOE will fall between GBP 50 and GBP 60/MWh in 2019. This, of course, would make solar very competitive with onshore wind and gas. The previous estimates were made based on the assumed elimination of tariffs and continuous steadiness with regard to financial and policy support.

Solar Trade Association believes that with the right policies, by the year 2030, solar generation could see costs as low as GBP 40. STA is calling on the government to bring together policies – including supporting the commercial sector through a climate change tariff exemption for clean energy obtained from a corporate power purchase arrangement, technology neutral auctions, and restructuring rules for network access.

As per Chris Hewett, Solar Trade Association Chief Executive, there is a strong message for corporate energy buyers and government – that solar electricity is reasonable in comparison to fossil fuels in terms of costs. Moreover, by having the right policies in place for solar and storage, technology could reach its full potential with the help of the government, in delivering an inexpensive, low carbon energy system.

Solar has already attained costs lower than $30/MWh in high isolation rate markets, and although costs in Europe are still slightly higher than this, there is a great deal of potential for these cost reductions to endure. In the majority of the world’s major economies, according to BloombergNEF, wind and solar are the cheapest energy sources.

Price Drops, Huge Projects and Big Goals

A study was recently released regarding obtaining 100 percent renewables by 2050 in Europe, and in accordance with this study, it is predicted that LCOE’s are expected to decrease substantially in Europe by the year 2050. What could these price drops lead to? Well, for one, they could lead to large-scale PV projects becoming as competitive as onshore wind power and gas turbines. Maintenance and operations costs are also dropping, and solar equipment is being built to last longer. Panel degradation is slower than formerly believed, too, as conversion efficiency is dropping.

All of this is good news for those interested in saving money on their electric bills, enjoying a healthier planet, and making the world a cleaner, better place. Using clean, renewable energy is so important, which is why places all across the planet are making the decision to make moves in this direction. Keep following solar news to stay on top of changes happening across the globe – there are great things to come!

Sources:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/12/12/solar-could-soon-be-uks-cheapest-source-of-energy/

https://www.power-technology.com/news/uk-solar-power-sta/

 

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