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Published on November 27th, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan

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Solar Power Costs 50% Lower than Last Year



New research by leading alternative energy research firm New Energy Finance finds that solar power will cost less by about 50% at the end of 2009 compared to the end of 2008.

The costs are pre-subsidy, so they could be much lower if you take better government subsidies into account.

But it isn’t only solar that’s down in cost. It’s other renewable energy sources, too.

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The research company found that equipment costs (in solar, wind, and other sectors) decreased throughout the year but these were offset by increasing financing costs. However, equipment prices are expected to continue falling whereas the financing market is expected to get better.

New Energy Finance CEO Michael Liebreich says: “as capital markets loosen up and equipment prices continue their decline, we will see the levelized costs decline, finishing the year 10 percent below the end of last year across the board and far more than that in solar.”

New Energy Finance found that thin-film solar will be about 25% cheaper than crystalline silicon technology. In a related story, iSuppli presented a couple weeks ago that as a result of these dropping thin-film solar panel prices, thin-film technologies are expected to take a larger and larger portion of the market share in the coming years.

In addition to solar costs being down, New Energy Finance found the costs of wind turbines to be down 18-20% below early 2008 levels. In total, the levelised cost (pre-subsidy, lifetime cost per kWh) of other renewable energy sectors will be down by about 10%, according to the researchers.

The solar costs decrease continues a 10 year trend of lower and lower costs.

Looks like renewable energy is moving in the direction we need. Combined with government incentives and creative group discounts and homeowner financing strategies, steadily increasing renewable energy usage may turn into a real renewable energy boom soon.

via CoolerPlanet and New Energy Finance

Related Articles:

1) Where are the Gaps in the Solar Marketplace?

2) Thin-Film Solar Panels to Double their Share of the Market by 2013?

3) Group Buying = Lowest Price for Solar. Ever.

4) Solar Report Shows 30% Decrease in Cost of Solar Over 10 Years

5) Renewable Energy on the Rise, Fossil Fuels Declining

Image Credit 1: Chandra Marsono via flickr under a Creative Commons license

Image Credit 2: tomswift46 via flickr under a Creative Commons license

Image Credit 3: e pants via flickr under a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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