It's little wonder that the oil- and coal-friendly conservative media is continuing its crusade against solar, and publishing deliberately distorted numbers on the economics of clean energy. (One blog referred to the Solyndra bankruptcy using the hilariously clunky term "Green-Jobs-Gate"...) The fact is that solar and other clean energy technologies are beginning to give the dirty-old business-as-usual polluters a serious run for their money. No sooner does China report that solar could be as cheap as coal by 2015, and Business Green brings news of a study (admittedly published by the solar industry, so caution is warranted) that claims parts of Europe could see solar reach parity with coal by 2013, and that broader price parity would be reached by 2020 if the right policy framework is put in place to both gradually phase out solar subsidies, and also remove direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuels too:
"Already today, PV electricity is cheaper than many people think. In the coming years it is going to get even cheaper thanks to ever-improving technology and economies of scale," EPIA president Ingmar Wilhelm said in a statement. "As the price of electricity from conventional sources increases, solar PV will become a fully competitive part of the energy mix."
The report predicted that Italy will become the first country to achieve solar cost parity, but Wilhelm warned that other countries will need to continue to support the technology and remove market distortions if they are to follow suit.