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.
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.
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