Solar panels to reach grid parity or better for 80% of the globe by 2017
Rooftop solar is now cheaper than grid electricity for 30 million people living in 6 cities, a new report writes, even without government subsidies. This includes the cost of installing the solar panels. In other words, the cost of solar energy is cheaper than the alternative.
Grid parity (or socket parity) occurs when an alternative energy source can generate power at the same price (or lower) than purchasing power from the electricity grid. As renewable energy (solar included) becomes cheaper and cheaper, a parity will be reached in many parts of the world (be it for solar or other types of energy), but this is generally regarded as something that will happen “in the future”.
Well, this is the future. If you live in one of these 6 cities: Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Los Angeles, Riverside, then solar parity has already been reached, according to a new review by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The report also shows that many other cities could fit in the same profile if government fossil subsidies were neglected.
“In our original analysis looking for parity between solar and grid electricity prices on residential property in 2015, residents were expected to save money by going solar in only 2 of the largest 42 U.S. metro areas, New York and San Diego.
According to a recently released report by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, however, grid parity was coming much quicker. A review shows that their study included all applicable federal, state, and local incentives (instead of our no-subsidy analysis), but it gave us a reason to revisit our 2012 analysis. "As it turns out, solar parity, without incentives, has been accelerating.”