- Category: US
23 Apr 2012
- Published on Monday, 23 April 2012 12:57
- Hits (3280)
In the next five years solar energy will be cheaper than power from the grid in most of the United States, with solar panel and installation costs moving down while transportation costs of electricity move up, experts predict.
Eric Graber-Lopez of BlueWave Capital and former Carbon War Room chief executive Jigar Shah, both set to be speakers at “The Solar Future Eastern USA '12” conference, shared some early insights on the issue.
"The awakening of the U.S. solar market will be driven by grid parity within each region. Federal incentives provide a good foundation for the expansion of the solar industry but state-level incentives are still needed to truly make solar energy competitive in each regional market," says Mr. Graber-Lopez, renewable energy advisor of BlueWave Capital.
Mr. Graber-Lopez sees good opportunities for solar power development in the Eastern U.S. with the primary markets being New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Ohio, with New York playing a larger role in the next few years.
Mr. Shah, former chief of Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, sees grid parity as a natural development.
"Americans refuse to overpay for solar PV. Once the costs of solar PV are cheaper than the retail power prices – as they are for over 20 percent of Americans now – the local solar companies will significantly ramp up marketing campaigns," he explains.
According to Joseph Berwind, founder of Alternative Energy Investing Research & Consulting, grid prices in the U.S. are cheap because of the enormous natural gas supplies in the North East and the new ways of drilling with fracking techniques. However, when distribution prices keep going up, new opportunities occur.
The U.S. is the fourth largest solar market in the world, behind Germany, Italy and China. Last year, the Chinese market rose from 7th to 3rd and grew from 500 megawatts to 2.5 gigawatts. The U.S. market grew from 900 MW to 2 GW last year. – EcoSeed Staff