November 20, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: Cheapest Electricity in the World? Mexican Solar

Electrik.co:

Per a press release from the Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (Cenace) of Mexico, the department received bids for 3TWh of solar electricity, with the lowest bids being 1.77¢/kWh coming from Italian multinational ENEL Green Power.

This record low price of electricity on earth, just beats out the 1.79¢/kWh from Saudi Arabia, and is part of a pattern marching toward 1¢/kWh bids that are coming in 2019 (or sooner).

I predict that in 2019 we’re going to see 1¢/kWh from a solar power project – and this low price will be primarily driven by increasing solar panel efficiencies. I am bullish that efficiency will drive an additional 0.7¢/kWh out of solar power because right now we’re seeing laboratory efficiencies increase from a current standard of 16-17% solar panel efficiency toward a leading edge solar cell at 23.45% by JinkoSolar. Depending on how that cell efficiency translates to a panel, that’s an increase of up to 40% more efficiency based upon 16.5% solar panels. That means 40% less racking, 40% less labor laying our wiring and solar panels, 40% less maintenance and cleaning, 40% less land, etc.

This efficiency gain is in addition to other technological advances. Drones are lowering long-term costs, international finance has more trust in solar, inverters are getting smarter and cheaper, re-powering is extending plant lives and companies are learning how to manage their projects better.

Soon we’re going to have to confront new questions as solar power costs less than anything seriously considered before, and will offer new opportunities never thought of before. What will we do with all of this cheap energy? How do we move from fossil systems toward solar sources without destroying the social fabric of those dependent on revenue from gas and coal? How will our post scarcity society continue to advance? It’s going to be more difficult to live up to the potentials of solar and ‘free energy’ than we think.

More: Cheapest electricity on the planet is Mexican solar power at 1.77¢/kWh – record 1¢/kWh coming in 2019, sooner

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