SOLAR COULD “TRANFORM” – WOOD MACKENZIE
Is Solar The Next Shale?
William Pentland, February 7, 2015 (Forbes)
International research consultant Wood MacKenzie’s Solar: The Next Shale suggests increasingly affordable distributed and utility-scale solar could transform wholesale power markets in the same way that shale gas supplies have transformed energy markets…Wood Mackenzie’s net cost analysis for California utility-scale solar power plants showed solar to be a more profitable investment than wind or natural gas plants. Solar is capturing natural gas’s market share…But until there is affordable storage or another solution, solar will require natural gas as back-up generation even as it impedes gas generators’ value proposition…The solar-induced transformation will require regulatory support because market forces will otherwise make gas backup unaffordable and then unavailable. With the fall of its price, “the role of solar in the North American power market has snowballed from a science experiment and a niche technology, according to Wood Mackenzie Research Director Prajit Ghosh, to “a regional threat for non-renewable technologies, and a potential disruptor of utility business models and the power industry at large.” Wood Mackenzie forecasts solar’s levelized cost will be at parity in 19 states by 2020 and in almost 40 states by 2030. It assumed 26 GW of distributed solar and 45 GW of large scale solar by 2035. click here for more