China Might Be Winning The Race To Reduce Solar Costs

Many people, even fanatical advocates of solar power, are unaware quite how close we are to reaching a critical milestone in the industry. Within a fairly short space of time, solar generated electricity will be fully cost competitive with coal-powered electricity -- at least if the governments of the world’s two largest energy consuming nations have their way.

Both the U.S. and China have a stated goal of reducing the cost of solar generated electricity to that level, and quickly. How they are going about it says a lot about how each economic system works.

In the U.S., despite the complaints of some that a drift toward government control is taking place, private initiative and free markets still rule. The Department of Energy launched the SunShot initiative in 2011, with a stated goal of reducing the cost of solar power to be fully competitive with conventional energy sources by the end of this decade. The program funds grants, incentives and competitions to encourage private sector research that will improve the efficiency and lower the cost of solar energy.

The Chinese, faced with what is in many ways a more urgent need to achieve the same thing, have taken a different approach. In a manner more in keeping with their history and current economic system, they are beating the problem over the head with piles of cash until the desired outcome is achieved. It looks, if this excellent Michael Sankowski piece at Monetary Realism is to be believed, as if they are getting mighty close.

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Iron Edison Lithium Iron Battery

Iron Edison Lithium Iron Battery

Iron Edison's Lithium Iron battery is for solar PV energy storage and compatible with 12-volt, 24-volt and 48-volt battery-based inverters. Available in a wide range of residential storage capacities, custom high-voltage models are also available for commercial applications like peak load shaving and UPS. Iron Edison's battery uses Lithium Iron Phosphate cells (LiFePO4), known to be the safest type within the lithium-ion family. Iron Edison's battery includes an integrated Battery Management System and DC disconnect for maximum safety. All components are housed inside a steel enclosure with removable lid.