Solar Panel in Feild Sunroof Article

Solar Power Predicted to grow Six-fold as it becomes cheapest energy resource

The amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030 as the cost of production falls below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.


Solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 13 percent of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of last year, the Abu Dhabi-based industry group said in a report Wednesday.


The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59 percent by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation “in an increasing number of cases,” it said.


Renewables are replacing nuclear energy and curbing electricity production from gas and coal in developed areas such as Europe and the U.S., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. California’s PG&E Corp. is proposing to close two nuclear reactors as wind and solar costs decline. Even as supply gluts depress coal and gas prices, solar and wind technologies will be the cheapest ways to produce electricity in most parts of the world in the 2030s, New Energy Finance said in a report this month.


“The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a key role,” Irena Director General Adnan Amin said in a statement. “Cost reductions, in combination with other enabling factors, can create a dramatic expansion of solar power globally.”


Solar Growth

Bloomberg New Energy Finance also forecasts growth in solar photovoltaics, reaching 15 percent of total electricity output by 2040, according to Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis in Zurich. “Irena’s assumptions are reasonable,” she said. “Solar just gets so cheap under any reasonable scenario.”


The “most attractive” markets for solar panels up to 2020 are Brazil, Chile, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, according to Irena. Global capacity could reach 1,760 to 2,500 gigawatts in 2030, compared with 227 gigawatts at the end of 2015, it said.


Smart grids, or power networks capable of handling and distributing electricity from different sources, and new types of storage technologies will encourage further use of solar power, Irena said.


As of 2015, the average cost of electricity from a utility-scale solar photovoltaic system was 13 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s more than coal and gas-fired plants that averaged 5 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, according to Irena. The average cost of building a solar-powered electricity utility could fall to 79 cents per watt in 2025 from $1.80 per watt last year, it said. Coal-fired power generation costs are about $3 per watt while gas plants cost $1 to $1.30 per watt, according to Irena.


The record for the world’s cheapest solar tariff was set in Dubai last month in an auction. MEED reported that a consortium including Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. and Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel bid 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, 15 percent cheaper than the previous record.

See more at:

Better future for solar and battery power on the horizon

A Better Future For Solar And Battery Power is on the Horizon

Cheaper coal and gas will do nothing to derail the renewable energy revolution according to BNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2016.


Bloomberg New Energy Finance states 60% of installed capacity will be zero-emission energy sources by 2040 and wind and solar power will take the lion’s share of new power generation capacity added – 64%.


Solar power is forecast to be the cheapest generation technology in most countries by 2030 and account for 3.7TW, or 43%, of new capacity added in 2016-40. This will represent $3 trillion of new investment.


A very important point in the report is that around 2027, new wind and solar will be cheaper than running existing coal and gas generators, particularly where carbon pricing has been implemented.


In just over a decade we may see a marked uptick in current fossil fuel generation plants being shuttered. The report says there will be a net closure of 286GW of coal in OECD economies by 2040.


By 2040, BNEF states Australia will have wind and solar penetration of more than 50%.

Sunroof Solar Wind energy usage to rise

Another prediction will get electric vehicle supporters excited – BNEF’s modeling suggests EV’s will comprise a quarter of the global car fleet by 2040. This is also good news for the residential land commercial solar sector as it will accelerate a reduction in battery costs through technology development, economies of scale and enhanced manufacturing know-how.


BNEF sees a very healthy future for small-scale solar power, with it accounting for 10% of global generating capacity by 2040. With regard to home battery systems, Bloomberg expects solar energy storage to be commonly deployed alongside rooftop solar panel systems by 2020.

Behind-the-meter energy storage generally will see a sharp rise from around 400MWh today to nearly 760GWh in 2040.


While the news is upbeat about renewables generally, forecasted additions won’t be enough to rein in carbon emissions to the required degree.

“Some $7.8 trillion will be invested globally in renewables between 2016 and 2040, two thirds of the investment in all power generating capacity, but it would require trillions more to bring world emissions onto a track compatible with the United Nations 2°C climate target,” said Seb Henbest, lead author of the report and head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BNEF.

BNEF suggests approximately USD $5.3 trillion would need to be invested in zero-carbon power by 2040 to prevent carbon dioxide levels rising above 450 parts per million.

See: for more information.

Man installing Solar Rails on Residential house

How Installing Solar Panels can Increase the Value of your Home

Raise Your Home’s Value

Here in Canada, we don’t quite have enough history yet to prove that adding solar will in fact increase the value of your home. However, in the U.S where solar has been around longer than Canada, the evidence suggests that having a solar system could very well increase your property’s value.

In April 2011 the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory compared sales of California homes with and without rooftop solar over a span of 8.5 years. Their study found that solar homes did indeed sell for a premium. For a typical 3.1-kilowatt system, the Berkeley study calculated a $17,000 increase in the sale price of a home. For a larger 5-kilowatt system, the increase was $27,000.

In July 2011, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a study of sale prices of solar homes in California’s San Diego and Sacramento counties. This study found that solar panels added an average of 3.5 percent to the resale value of a home. This lines up with the previous study, showing an average US$19,000 increase in value for a US$500,000 home with a 5- kilowatt solar system. Outside of California, the trend also seems to hold true:

In 2013, the Colorado Energy Office published a report on sales of 30 solar homes in and around Denver with home values ranging from $200,000 to $680,000.

The homes all sold between January 2011 and May 2013.

The solar panels added between US$1,400 and US$2,600 per kilowatt to the value of the home – and shortened the time those houses spent on the market. Taking the average of $2,000 per kilowatt, and an average of 4.25 kilowatts per system, the average solar house sold for $8,500 more than a similar non-solar home. Every way you look at it solar makes sense!

We looked hard, but good reliable information does not yet exist for the Canadian market. Stay tuned!