On Friday I posted a video about the potential for a solar energy tipping point, and there are encouraging signs that the cost of solar cells may hit $1 a watt in the next few years. But while increased efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs are crucial, the solar industry is also targeting cost reductions in everything from permitting through labor and installation to wiring and electronics. The result, says Stephen Lacey of Climate Progress, in his fascinating analysis posted at Renewable Energy World, is the potential for dramatic and ongoing cost reductions in solar that has more in common with the dramatic cost reductions we've seen in electronics and computing than in other energy sources:
On that trajectory - even without additional cost reductions in modules - achieving a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for solar of 13 cents/kWh across a wide range of U.S. markets is within sight. And if we can get module prices down to 70 cents a watt (which is very realistic), an LCOE of 8 cents/kWh in the next 4-5 years is very attainable.