22 June 2008

Clean Tech: Clean Edge/Co-op America Report on Utility Solar in US

A new study by Clean Edge and Co-op America shows that the US could achieve 10 percent solar by 2025:

While the U.S. currently gets less than one tenth of one percent of its electricity from solar power, our research shows that solar offers the opportunity to provide a significant portion of the nation’s electricity supply for both distributed and centralized generation by 2025—up to ten percent from a combination of solar PV and CSP. As storage and smart grid technologies evolve, we see the potential for solar to provide an even larger percentage of U.S electricity needs.

Their analysis -- based upon proprietary Clean Edge data, company research, and expert interviews -- provides the following key findings:

1. Solar resources are ubiquitous.
2. Solar can provide utilities with a peak-power hedge.
3. Environment and carbon are becoming central drivers.
4. Solar power will soon reach price parity with conventional sources.
5. Utility participation is critical to solar success.
6. Smart grid deployment is imperative.
7. Distributed solar PV offers utilities unique advantages.
8. The solar industry needs to cooperate with utilities.
9. Standards must be implemented.
10. It’s not just PV, but also CSP (Concentrated Solar Power).
11. Utilities need to be able to integrate solar expenditures into their
rate base—and to be able to take a full life-cycle cost approach.
12. Utilities have a unique relationship with customers.

Download the report here: Clean Edge