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Re-considering the economics of photovoltaic power

  • Bazilian, Morgan
  • Onyeji, Ijeoma
  • Liebreich, Michael
  • MacGill, Ian
  • Chase, Jennifer
  • Shah, Jigar
  • Gielen, Dolf
  • Arent, Doug
  • Landfear, Doug
  • Zhengrong, Shi
Registered author(s):

    This paper briefly considers the recent dramatic reductions in the underlying costs and market prices of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and their implications for decision-makers. In many cases, current PV costs and the associated market and technological shifts witnessed in the industry have not been fully noted by decision-makers. The perception persists that PV is prohibitively expensive, and still has not reached ‘competitiveness’. The authors find that the commonly used analytical comparators for PV vis a vis other power generation options may add further confusion. In order to help dispel existing misconceptions, some level of transparency is provided on the assumptions, inputs and parameters in calculations relating to the economics of PV. The paper is aimed at informing policy makers, utility decision-makers, investors and advisory services, in particular in high-growth developing countries, as they weigh the suite of power generation options available to them.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148112007641
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Renewable Energy.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 329-338

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:53:y:2013:i:c:p:329-338
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2012.11.029
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/renewable-energy

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    1. Myers, Kevin S. & Klein, Sanford A. & Reindl, Douglas T., 2010. "Assessment of high penetration of solar photovoltaics in Wisconsin," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7338-7345, November.
    2. Ramadhan, Mohammad & Naseeb, Adel, 2011. "The cost benefit analysis of implementing photovoltaic solar system in the state of Kuwait," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1272-1276.
    3. Wang, Xiaoting & Kurdgelashvili, Lado & Byrne, John & Barnett, Allen, 2011. "The value of module efficiency in lowering the levelized cost of energy of photovoltaic systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4248-4254.
    4. Roth, Ian F. & Ambs, Lawrence L., 2004. "Incorporating externalities into a full cost approach to electric power generation life-cycle costing," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2125-2144.
    5. Zweibel, Ken, 2010. "Should solar photovoltaics be deployed sooner because of long operating life at low, predictable cost?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7519-7530, November.
    6. Yang, Chi-Jen, 2010. "Reconsidering solar grid parity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3270-3273, July.
    7. Branker, K. & Pathak, M.J.M. & Pearce, J.M., 2011. "A review of solar photovoltaic levelized cost of electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4470-4482.
    8. Pouris, Anastassios, 1987. "The cost of photovoltaic cells in South Africa," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 117-121.
    9. MacGill, Iain, 2010. "Electricity market design for facilitating the integration of wind energy: Experience and prospects with the Australian National Electricity Market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3180-3191, July.
    10. Thornton, John & Brown, Linda, 1992. "Photovoltaics: The present presages the future," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 34-41, April.
    11. Singh, Parm Pal & Singh, Sukhmeet, 2010. "Realistic generation cost of solar photovoltaic electricity," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 563-569.
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