Solar energy to hit grid parity by 2020July 17, 2013
Solar energy may be able to attain grid parity
The solar energy sector has experienced problematic trials and tribulations over the past several years. Solar was once considered to be nothing more than a novelty energy, fit only for powering eccentric and somewhat impractical electric vehicles. Now, however, solar energy is considered one of the most promising forms of renewable power and it has managed to establish a strong following among some of the world’s largest countries. As solar energy grows more popular around the world, the issue of grid parity is beginning to attract a great deal of attention.
Grid parity continues to be a major issue for clean power
Grid parity is a term that refers to renewable energy being cost competitive with more conventional forms of power. Essentially, the term identifies when the electrical power produced through a renewable source, such as solar energy, can be purchased at a rate that is less than or equal to conventional forms of energy. The relative simplicity of the term itself belies the importance that it represents. Put simply, if clean power can attain grid parity, the reasons to remain reliant on fossil-fuels become fewer, as cost is considered one of the major hurdles currently barring the progress of renewable energy as a whole.
Report highlights the future of solar power
According to a new report from Navigant Research, grid parity may soon become a reality for solar energy. The report suggests that the solar market has begun to stabilize this year, meaning that the costs associated with solar energy have not been increasing in any significant fashion. In recent years, Europe has helped bring down the overall cost of solar energy and its associated technologies, but the report suggests that this will be a role that is taken up by Asia in the future. Indeed, the Asian market — China specifically — has already begun to produce inexpensive solar technologies that have helped significantly reduce the overall cost of solar energy systems.
Emerging markets could boost the growth of solar sector
The report suggests that the global solar market will reach grid parity by 2020. Countries that have yet to tap into their own solar energy potential, such as South Africa and Saudi Arabia, are expected to contribute heavily to the growth seen in the solar market. In the future, the demand that these countries represent will likely be accommodated by counties like China, which boast of the capacity to produce solar technologies at a rapid pace.