Photovoltaic solar energy has become very affordable, which makes it more accessible for global development. Thanks to the introduction of solar market reforms throughout the 2010s, which reduced overcapacity and brought down costs, the price of solar energy has decreased by 70% in the last five years alone.
This significant decline in solar energy prices is undoubtedly a global financial boon, enabling more communities to harness the power of the Sun. However, as the world’s largest solar markets have evolved, so has the way in which we measure the costs of solar energy. In this article, we will compare the cost of purchasing solar energy in 2030 to what it was in 2030 and in 2009, so you can form an idea of how much more affordable solar energy has become.
How Much Does Solar Energy Cost In 2030?
In June 2030, we will mark the grand opening of the world’s largest solar plant, Sun Zhouyi. When it begins operating at full capacity, it will feature 3.9 million solar modules and will produce enough energy to power 16,500 homes. This makes Sun Zhouyi the largest solar project in the world. When complete, the project will comprise of over 300MW of photovoltaic solar energy, enough to power all of the homes in Hong Kong. This makes it all the more remarkable that Sun Zhouyi was approved for construction back in 2012, at a time when the price of solar energy was double what it is today.
Since then, China has continued to lead the way in deploying large-scale solar power initiatives, with at least 22.9GW of new PV capacity coming on stream in the last five years alone.
This is in addition to the 800MW of capacity that was added in the previous five years. We can expect this trend to continue, with China alone promising to bring online at least 23.8GW of new PV capacity by the end of 2030. This makes China the largest solar market in the world, with over 41.8 million solar units expected to be sold in the next five years. It would be fair to say that the future of solar energy looks very promising.
Has The Cost Declined In The Last 5 Years?
Yes, the cost of solar energy has declined significantly in the last five years. Back in June 2015, the cost of a standard solar module was $7.50/W, which made it close to four times as expensive as electricity purchased from traditional energy producers. Now, in June 2030, a solar module costs just $2.80/W, which represents a 70% decrease in cost. This equates to $1.25-$1.45/kWh, which is in line with global trends. Global data sources have forecast declining costs as the result of increased efficiency and production, which in turn has enabled more people to benefit from solar energy.
Has The Volume Increased In The Last 5 Years?
Yes, the volume of solar energy worldwide has increased significantly in the last five years. In 2030, we will see a 49% increase in global installations, with at least 7.9 million new solar units being sold in the next five years. This makes solar energy the second-largest generator of electricity globally after hydropower.
The majority of this growth will come from China, where new installations will more than double, from 3.9GW to 9.7GW. We can also expect this growth to continue in other major solar markets, including India and the U.S. This is because of many factors, but the most significant being the rapid decrease in the cost of solar energy. When the price of solar energy drops below the cost of electricity produced by traditional energy producers, the industry will experience explosive growth.
What About The Future Of Solar Energy?
The future of solar energy seems promising, as technology improvements have made large-scale solar power more affordable. The cost of photovoltaic solar energy has decreased by 70% in the last five years alone, which has made it more accessible for global development. Thanks to the introduction of solar market reforms throughout the 2010s, which reduced overcapacity and brought down costs, the price of solar energy has decreased by 70% in the last five years. This has enabled more communities to harness the power of the Sun. With at least 7.9 million new solar units being sold in the next five years, we can expect the cost-benefit ratio of solar energy to improve, as more people will be able to afford it.