During the past decade, solar power has experienced transformative price declines, enabling it to grow to supply 1% of U.S. and world electricity. Addressing grid integration challenges, increasing grid flexibility, and further reducing cost will enable even greater potential for solar as an electricity source.
During the past decade, solar power has experienced transformative price declines, enabling it to become a viable electricity source that is supplying 1% of U.S. and world electricity. Further cost reductions are expected to enable substantially greater solar deployment, and new Department of Energy cost targets for utility-scale photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power are $0.03/kW h and $0.05/kW h by 2030, respectively. However, cost reductions are no longer the only significant challenge for PV—addressing grid integration challenges and increasing grid flexibility are critical as the penetration of PV electricity on the grid increases. The development of low cost energy storage is particularly synergistic with low cost PV, as cost declines in each technology are expected to support greater market opportunities for the other.