Tech Insight

Three technology dynamics are poised to reshape power systems in the coming decades on both sides of the meter.


1. We expect PV module prices to keep pace with the 28.5% learning rate they have experienced for the past 40 years.


2. Larger and more efficient wind turbines are set to significantly reduce the cost of onshore and offshore wind generation.


3. As EV sales raise 27-fold by 2030 from 1.1 million today, we expect dramatic cost declines for battery packs that will ultimately translate into cheaper stationary storage applications.
 


28.5% Drop in PV module price for every doubling of cumulative capacity since 1976

66% Expected fall in Li-ion battery pack price 2017 – 2030

Solar PV

Going back to 1976, we see an exponential fall in price of crystalline silicon PV modules, from $79/W to $0.37/W in 2017. This curve describes a learning rate – the cost reduction per doubling of deployed capacity – of about 28.5%. It has been made possible by a combination of technology innovation, economies of scale and manufacturing experience. Along with this trend, other key components such as inverters are also experiencing steep cost declines. We expect the capital expenditure, the most important component in the economics of PV plants, to halve in the next 17 years.

Batteries

Recent battery price declines are largely a result of the economies of scale associated with the increase in battery manufacturing capacity. Currently at 131GWh per year, we expect manufacturing capacity to rise to just over 400GWh per year by 2021.


China is set to increase its dominance, adding 221GWh of capacity and taking its share of cell manufacturing to 73%, up from 59% today.


As the sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increase from a record 1.1 million worldwide in 2017, to 30 million by 2030, battery packs for stationary storage applications are set to experience a 66 % drop in cost by the latter date. We expect both utilities and consumers to take advantage of the cost competitiveness of stationary battery storage to shift energy to higher value hours or to offset their retail prices.

Business Insight

Potentially accelerated project schedules ahead of tax credit phasedowns suggest a favorable outlook for renewable growth in 2019, while tariffs could continue to create headwinds.

 

Solar have reached grid price parity and are moving closer to performance parity with conventional sources. In fact, the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for utility-scale onshore wind and solar PV generation has dropped even with or below most other generation technologies in much of the world.


Utility-scale solar PV is hot on wind’s heels: It is the second-cheapest energy source. The high end of solar PV’s LCOE range (US$43–53/MWh) is lower than that of any other generation source.

Market Insights

Latest insights on the renewable energy sector focused on Solar development.

Tech Insight

Three technology dynamics are poised to reshape power systems in the coming decades on both sides of the meter.


1. We expect PV module prices to keep pace with the 28.5% learning rate they have experienced for the past 40 years.


2. Larger and more efficient wind turbines are set to significantly reduce the cost of onshore and offshore wind generation.


3. As EV sales raise 27-fold by 2030 from 1.1 million today, we expect dramatic cost declines for battery packs that will ultimately translate into cheaper stationary storage applications.
 


28.5% Drop in PV module price for every doubling of cumulative capacity since 1976

66% Expected fall in Li-ion battery pack price 2017 – 2030

Solar PV

Going back to 1976, we see an exponential fall in price of crystalline silicon PV modules, from $79/W to $0.37/W in 2017. This curve describes a learning rate – the cost reduction per doubling of deployed capacity – of about 28.5%. It has been made possible by a combination of technology innovation, economies of scale and manufacturing experience. Along with this trend, other key components such as inverters are also experiencing steep cost declines. We expect the capital expenditure, the most important component in the economics of PV plants, to halve in the next 17 years.

Batteries

Recent battery price declines are largely a result of the economies of scale associated with the increase in battery manufacturing capacity. Currently at 131GWh per year, we expect manufacturing capacity to rise to just over 400GWh per year by 2021.


China is set to increase its dominance, adding 221GWh of capacity and taking its share of cell manufacturing to 73%, up from 59% today.


As the sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increase from a record 1.1 million worldwide in 2017, to 30 million by 2030, battery packs for stationary storage applications are set to experience a 66 % drop in cost by the latter date. We expect both utilities and consumers to take advantage of the cost competitiveness of stationary battery storage to shift energy to higher value hours or to offset their retail prices.

Business Insight

Potentially accelerated project schedules ahead of tax credit phasedowns suggest a favorable outlook for renewable growth in 2019, while tariffs could continue to create headwinds.

 

Solar have reached grid price parity and are moving closer to performance parity with conventional sources. In fact, the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for utility-scale onshore wind and solar PV generation has dropped even with or below most other generation technologies in much of the world.


Utility-scale solar PV is hot on wind’s heels: It is the second-cheapest energy source. The high end of solar PV’s LCOE range (US$43–53/MWh) is lower than that of any other generation source.