Bloomberg NEF sees surge of growth in U.S. solar market


The U.S. market for solar power will experience “explosive” growth as a result of declining equipment costs and strong government support, according to recent analysis conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF) (New York, NY). Bloomberg NEF projected that PV and solar thermal power could account for 4.3% of the nation’s electricity generating capacity by 2020, or 44 gigawatts (GW), provided that the industry is able to attract an estimated $100 billion of investment. Despite the declining equipment costs, solar power does remain expensive compared with other sources, Bloomberg NEF pointed out. The cost of a typical PV module has dropped by more than half over the past two years, but the unsubsidized cost of best-in-class PV and solar thermal electricity generation is just below $200 per megawatt-hour (MWh)—nearly four times the equivalent cost for a coal-fired power plant ($56/MWh), and two to four times the cost of onshore wind power.

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