Solar photovoltaic (PV) Costs Projected To Plunge Over 40%

The solar photovoltaic pricing eclipse soon will pass. "The solar industry is poised for a rapid decline in costs that will make it a mainstream power option in the next few years,according to a new assessment by the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Prometheus Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Global production of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, which turn sunlight directly into electricity, has risen sixfold since 2000 and grew 41 percent in 2006 alone...This growth, while dramatic, has been constrained by a shortage of manufacturing capacity for purified polysilicon, the same material that goes into semiconductor chips. But the situation will be reversed in the next two years as more than a dozen companies in Europe, China, Japan, and the United States bring on unprecedented levels of production capacity... Combined with technology advances, the increase in polysilicon supply will bring costs down rapidly—by more than 40 percent in the next three years, according to Prometheus estimates." By roughly 2010, then, electrical utilities will be looking to manage the competitive threat posed to their markets by distributed solar generation. Green ones will invest in it, the "un-green" utils will stay with their old advocacy tricks. Interesting times to come. Via:: Worldwatch