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Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy–With More Countries Coming in 2014

By Jeff Spross

"Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy–With More Countries Coming in 2014"

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Deutsche Bank just released new analyses concluding that global solar market will become sustainable on its own terms by the end of 2014, no longer needing subsidies to continue performing.

The German-based bank said that rooftop solar is looking especially robust, and sees strong demand in solar markets in India, China, Britain, Germany, India, and the United States. As a result, Deutsche Bank actually increased its forecast for solar demand in 2013 to 30 gigawatts — a 20 percent increase over 2012.

Here’s Renew Economy with a summary of Deutsche Banks’s logic:

The key for Deutsche is the emergence of unsubsidised markets in many key countries. It points, for instance, to India, where despite delays in the national solar program, huge demand for state based schemes has produced very competitive tenders, in the [12 cents per kilowatt hour] range. Given the country’s high solar radiation profile and high electricity prices paid by industrial customers, it says several conglomerates are considering large scale implementation of solar for self consumption.

“Grid parity has been reached in India even despite the high cost of capital of around 10-12 percent,” Deutsche Bank notes, and also despite a slight rise  in module prices of [3 to 5 cents per kilowatt] in recent months (good for manufacturers).

Italy is another country that appears to be at grid parity, where several developers are under advanced discussions to develop unsubsidized projects in Southern Italy. Deutsche Bank says that for small commercial enterprises that can achieve 50 percent or more self consumption, solar is competitive with grid electricity in most parts of Italy, and commercial businesses in Germany that have the load profile to achieve up to 90 percent self consumption are also finding solar as an attractive source of power generation.

Deutsche bank says demand expected in subsidised markets such as Japan and the UK, including Northern Ireland, is expected to be strong, the US is likely to introduce favourable legislation, including giving solar installations the same status as real estate investment trusts, strong pipelines in Africa and the Middle east, and unexpectedly strong demand in countries such as Mexico and Caribbean nations means that its forecasts for the year are likely to rise.

As Renew Economy also points out, this is the third report in the past month anticipating a bright future for the global solar market: UBS released a report that concluded an “unsubsidized solar revolution” was in the works, “Thanks to significant cost reductions and rising retail tariffs, households and commercial users are set to install solar systems to reduce electricity bills – without any subsidies.” And Macquarie Group argued that costs for rooftop solar in Germany have fallen so far that even with subsidy cuts “solar installations could continue at a torrid pace.”

Here in America, solar power installations boomed over the course of 2011 and 2012, even as the price of solar power systems continued to plunge. To a large extent, the American solar boom has been driven by third party leasing agreements — which are heavily involved in rooftop installation.

Meanwhile, on the international scene, the cost of manufacturing solar panels in China is expected to drop to an all-new low of 42 cents per watt in 2015, and power generated from solar is predicted to undercut that produced by both coal and most forms of natural gas within a decade.

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43 Responses to Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy–With More Countries Coming in 2014

  1. Paul Klinkman says:

    Now store the power.

    Solar can only replace fossil fuel for 2.5 hours of the day in cloudy New England in the winter. That’s about 10% of 24 hour coverage, maybe a bit more because we demand more power in the daytime than late at night.

    If we can store electric power for a day or so, the percentage of fuel replaced by PV power might increase from 10% to 80% or more.

    Pumped hydro plants are one option. They will store solar power at a 30% energy loss penalty. Also, the storage capacity of a pumped hydro plant is limited by the lake size behind the plant and the limits on the neighbors of the distance that water levels can rise and fall. Still, it’s a well-tested option for solar battery storage.

    There are other untested storage options, such as compressed air stored in unused mines. Also, solar thermal electricity generators can store heat in huge insulated tanks for later electric generation.

    We need widespread technology development funding, not targeted financial gifties to politicos’ best friends, to hack this problem quickly. Right now the government doesn’t seem to care much for the problem.

    • Concernicus says:

      Very valid points on storage capacity in the overcast NE. Those same problems do not exist in sunny Colorado and many other areas.

      You ask for “widespread technology
      development funding.” You do realize the free market nutters will immediately brand you as “commie socialist.”

      • Photon says:

        “We need widespread technology development funding”

        This free market nutter completely agrees. The best way to achieve that is by legislating rule-changes that will provide the necessary incentives for grid energy storage. There’s lots of (potentially) great technologies that are ready for commercial deployment, but they can’t compete with the current method of “storage” on the grid: dirt-cheap conventional gas turbines.

        Provide the economic incentive to store large quantities of electric energy and you’d be amazed what those nutters can do.

        As you alluded to, simply hurling public money at a bunch of select companies won’t do.

    • Germany is mostly north of New England, and they’re installing PV hand over fist. The perfect must not be the enemy of the good.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        And as the efficiency of PV improves, the Germans will be laughing. They have Rightists in Germany-in fact they dominate society, as elsewhere, but they are not suicidally deranged like those in the Anglosphere.

        • Mike Clayton says:

          Germany has found that solar energy has provided almost nothing all winter this year. So being a same latitude as Canada, I do not except solar to do well in Germany…ever. And they sadly rejected modern nuclear options. So they will be dependent on Russian gas heating and French Nuclear electricity for many decades it seems. Energy is a geographic issue.

    • Ed says:

      There is some really cool storage technology being worked on in Iowa that I think has pretty amazing potential.
      Wind/solar to NH3. ammonia. Fairly high conversion efficiencies and ease of storage. Usage pathway then to fuel cells/ direct I.C. combustion/ or farm fertilizer. Hopefully in Iowa we are.

  2. Merrelyn Emery says:

    The Climate Commission released its report ‘The Angry Summer’ this morning about the Aussie summer of 2012-13 and trends, ME

  3. BBHY says:

    This is wonderful news. There are places and times of year where solar is not very effective.

    Then again, New England gets a whole lot of wind in the winter.

  4. Ozonator says:

    The upside of the extreme GOP’s environmental racism…

  5. Paul Magnus says:

    This pattern is replicating…. reality going out the window…

    “The revised SWP removes most mentions of endangered fish, and it undercuts the state’s ability to responsibly manage for those fish. It removes language that acknowledges the importance of streamside areas in maintaining habitat and water quality. And, it removes every mention of climate change in the entire 88-page document.”

    http://shar.es/jk2DR

  6. Paul Magnus says:

    Climate Chaos shared a link via Climate Portals.
    26 seconds ago
    Wild ride has begun…

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729064.500-arctic-thaw-may-be-first-in-cascade-of-tipping-points.html
    Arctic thaw may be first in cascade of tipping points – environment – 27 February 2013 – New Scienti
    http://www.newscientist.com
    Once you are registered, New Scientist will send you our weekly newsletter, as well as occasional relevant information via email from New Scientist about our content, services, products, events, offers and competitions. Please read our privacy policy.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      “the northernmost cave – nearest to modern-day continuous Siberian permafrost – only grew once, during a particularly warm period 400,000 years ago when global temperatures were 1.5 °C warmer than pre-industrial temperatures. That suggests the permafrost is likely to become vulnerable when we hit 1.5 °C of global warming ”

      This is a misleading concept. The melting probably started way before 1.5C. It is now. So to come to this conclusion is misleading….

    • Paul Magnus says:

      “Global temperatures have already risen by 0.8 °C. Even if humanity stopped all emissions tomorrow, temperatures would rise another 0.3 °C, suggesting the permafrost tipping point is likely to be reached.”

      Is this accurate? I thought there was more in the pipeline…

      • sailrick says:

        Me too. I’ve seen 6 C more warming in the pipeline, from our current historical emissions, stated a few times.

      • Superman1 says:

        Paul, The numbers I’ve seen are 0.6-0.7 C in ‘climate warming committment’ (from the CO2 we’ve already put in the atmosphere) and 0.5-1.5 C in ‘aerosol forcing’ (from the fossil sulphate aerosols that will precipitate rapidly). Added to the present 0.8 C, this gives a total of ~2-3 C. You can probably find a range of 1.5 C to well over 3 C in the literature. My best estimate is 2 C.

      • Ric Merritt says:

        When you talk about what’s in the pipeline, make sure you distinguish between two very different assumptions. (Both, in any case, are thought experiments that won’t happen in the assumed simple form.)

        First, assuming that CO2 is held at current levels.

        Or alternatively, that emissions suddenly cease, as if, say, 99.9% of humanity perished in an epidemic. In this case, CO2 in the atmosphere would drop quite quickly, due to ocean absorption.

        Once you’ve picked your assumption, cite a good source for the modeled result.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      Climate Portals I think we have reached a tipping point also with the number of wildfires globally…. it certainly seems that way… http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/winds-fuel-wildfires-in-centra/7258508

      Winds Fuel Wildfires in Central Florida
      http://www.accuweather.com
      The fire spread from five to 30-40 acres burning by 2 p.m. EST.

  7. Paul Magnus says:

    How many of the over 7 billion will be enough? 1 billion? Two? Three? Last week the “biggest climate change rally in history” drew about 40,000 of that 7 billion plus. The “doctors and nurses” are not yet listening. Some of them are too busy or distracted. Some are afraid. Some are actively muffling our cries for help. To become an adult species — to exercise our considerable powers with consideration, compassion and wisdom — we must collectivize. Can we do so while retaining respect and recognition for the basic individual rights and expressions of the citizenry that have been forged (and continue to be forged) along the way? This is our Challenge Point. There is no stepping back. There is no standing in place. We must move forward or perish.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidgoldstein/our-challenge-point_b_2798788.html?utm_hp_ref=green

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      What you say is certainly true, has always been true and will forever remain true. Humanity is and has always been ‘in it together’. Unfortunately a fraction of humanity is morally and spiritually insane, and the most salient of the many stigmata of its madness is the hatred and fear of others. These creatures, who we euphemistically call ‘the Right’ these days, have always and will always reject compassion, human empathy, collaboration, solidarity and sufficiency and prefer malignant narcissism, egomania, greed, violence, exploitation and rigged competition. They are the dominant force on the planet and have created an operating system called capitalism to further their egomaniacal ambitions (to die with the most possessions, while others, billions of others, have nothing). They have shown by their fanatic opposition to climate science and zealous denial that they will never, ever, change their ways, so, if we are to survive, they must first be defeated.

    • Superman1 says:

      There’s a flaw in the link’s message. If a person has a symptom (fever, as in the link), there are two ways to address it. Ask for a treatment to attenuate the symptom, or eliminate the cause of the symptom. David’s climate change approach focuses on the treatment. We need to eliminate the cause (demand) for true rejmission.

  8. Mark Shapiro says:

    We have learned how to make PV panels for under $1/W.

    Now let’s learn how to install it well and to use it well.

    On rooftops large and small and on PV farms. Grid-tied, off-grid, small batteries, EV batteries, utility storage, DSM.

    Storage isn’t the problem. Engineering electricity use around inexpensive PV panels is the challenge.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      Interesting to work out what a min energy requirement for an individual is for a reasonable comfortable life.

      Then see how much PV we need for 6-9 billion people and see if it is manageable / sustainable.

      • Mark Shapiro says:

        A very interesting number is: how much PV (PV panel plus battery) can you get for the price of a connection to the grid (meter plus hookup costs). Relative to centralized electricity, this is free, clean power forever. (Each is a one-time, upfront capital cost; the PV gives you electricity at zero marginal cost, compared to the grid hookup which has continuing costs plus pollution.)

        It’s more than enough for a cell phone, LED lights, and a little computing.

        PV is the clear, no-brainer winner here, and gets better every year.

  9. JackmanTex says:

    Good to see the disinformers and their fossil fuel backers are getting their asses handed to them, solar is unstoppable now…

    • Sasparilla says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing….if we had another 25 years Wind & Solar & the market would take care of power generation while batteries falling costs would take care of vehicles…unfortunately we don’t have the time for the prices to get down & snuff out fossil fuels on their own, but it’s gratifying to see how close we’re getting.

    • Spike says:

      My big hope is that wind and solar become so cheap and available that any new fossil fuel stations will end up as stranded assets facing big losses.

      Even the politicians in the pocket of fossil fuel lobbies would struggle to stop people realizing the benefits to their wallets – especially if fossil fuels continue to become more and more expensive.

      It would be like trying to stop the march of new IT.

  10. Mike Roddy says:

    I don’t doubt that solar will reach parity very soon. India doesn’t even have a carbon tax, so if there was a substantial global tax, say $60+ per ton, we could put coal and gas utility power out of business. Cars could be powered by sun and wind, too.

    The fossil fuel companies fear this, and have got through to our government, which never proposes either a carbon tax or compensation for externalities. Maybe this should be the focus of our efforts, as Hansen proposes.

  11. Addicted says:

    India should not even be considering anything but renewables for future electricity generation. Tremendous amount of sunlight, non-existent infrastructure and dropping renewables capital costs means solar is the way to go.

    Yet, we ended up allowing a bunch of coal plants to be setup, which as the coalgate scam revealed, was nothing more than a money grab by Indian politicians. Existing coal plants are selling their power for well above promised rates because they cannot procure cheap enough coal. And in fact, many are not running at all because they cannot procure coal to begin with.

  12. SecularAnimist says:

    The fossil fuel corporations’ campaign of denial is based on two “big lies”:

    1. There is no problem.

    2. There is no solution.

    The first is becoming increasingly untenable, and in fact is already shifting away from absolute denial of the reality of anthropogenic global warming, to questioning any causal connection between AGW and the devastating onslaught of “weather of mass destruction” that is afflicting the world.

    The second takes the form of denigrating and disparaging the powerful and mature solar and wind energy technologies that are ready, now, to begin rapidly replacing fossil fueled electricity generation; similar attacks on electric vehicle technology; and baseless, alarmist scare-mongering about the “huge costs” and “painful sacrifices” that will be involved in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. (We saw a great deal of this sort of propaganda during the 2012 presidential campaign.)

    Fortunately, reports like this one are demonstrating that that second line of denial is also no longer tenable.

  13. SecularAnimist says:

    Paul Magnus wrote: “Interesting to work out what a min energy requirement for an individual is for a reasonable comfortable life. Then see how much PV we need for 6-9 billion people and see if it is manageable / sustainable.”

    Look here:

    http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/02/world-can-end-poverty-and-limit-warming/

    “Eradicating poverty by making modern energy supplies available to everyone is not only compatible with measures to slow climate change, a new study says. It is a necessary condition for it.”

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The most fundamental necessary condition for poverty restriction is wealth redistribution and the ending of the parasite class’s larcenous extractions from the rest of humanity.

      • sal esman says:

        Yes that’s why so many lottery winners end up broke again. Just look how no football, baseball, basketball pro players ever file for bankruptcy after making more than $500K a year.

        Your clearly on to something. LMAO

  14. sal esman says:

    The sooner we can stop flushing tax payer money down this drain the better.

  15. Brad says:

    A carbon tax would level the playing field and we could do away with subsidies right now. Polluters should pay. Then let the market decide.