A new report by European energy analysts at Macquarie Group has concluded that the costs of rooftop solar panel systems have fallen so consistently that the continued drop in prices may now be â€œunstoppable.â€
The study also pointed out that many fossil fuel generators in Germany are at risk of going out of business due to financial issues, and even if steep cuts were made to renewable subsidies, it wouldnâ€™t make a difference.
â€œTraditional wisdom suggests that steep subsidy cuts can bring the solar build-out under control again,â€ the Macquarie analysts noted. â€œWe disagree, though, as the ever-increasing prices for domestic and commercial customers as well as rapid solar cost declines have brought on the advent of grid parity for German roofs. Thus, solar installations could continue at a torrid pace.â€
Macquarie also mentions key milestones for solar, particularly on May 25, 2012 when it contributed over 20 gigawatts of capacity into Germanyâ€™s grid for the first time, followed by September 14, when wind and solar combined and produced more than 31.5 gigawatts. These have made up nearly a third of Germanyâ€™s electricity demands, which goes to show that wind and solar are not as far as we think from meeting and exceeding large demands.
Solar has long been known as a renewable source that is expensive and unlikely to provide a decent return on investment, but the declines and comparisons outlined by the Macquarie Group show that this wonâ€™t be a long-standing situation. This is great news for the future of the planet and growing clean energy investments.
Image CC licensed byÂ Andreas Demmelbauer