Thursday, May 17, 2007

China's solar energy electricity cost expected to equal to conventional one by 2010

27 November 2006 Xinhua News Agency

NANJING - With the continued fall in solar cell cost, the cost of electricity generated from solar energy is expected to drop to less than one US dollar/kWh in China by 2010, reaching or approaching to that of conventional power, predicted Zhang Yaoming, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering Sciences on an international seminar held here on Nov. 17.

Now, the cost is 10-75 yuan/kWh in China.

Thanks to the drastic progress in technologies, the output of solar cells has increased by degree, and the cost of its components decreased by a big margin.

According the academician, the cost of solar energy-generating electricity was as high as 200 yuan/kWh in China in 1977; and plunged to 40-45 yuan/kWh in 1980s when China's photovoltaic industry just started out. At the end of 2000, the cost of electricity generated from mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was 42-47 yuan/kWh, that of non-crystalline silicon solar cell, 23-25 yuan/kWh.

As the solar cell price declines all the way worldwide, the prices of thermal power and hydraulic power are rising due to the exhaustion of fuels, environmental pollution and transport fee of raw materials. By 2020 when the cost dives to 6 US cents/kWh, solar energy-based electricity will be fully of economic base and commercial value to replace the oil-fuelled electricity, Zhang stated.

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