Abstract for: A Countdown towards Solar Power at Grid Parity: Evolution of Price-Performance

The price-performance of solar power generation seems to be on the verge of reaching grid parity. With this paper we examine first the effect that government sponsored renewable portfolio standard initiatives will have on the true cost of solar electricity for consumers and second the degree to which the problem of meeting the consumer demand may become more significant once solar electricity reaches parity with conventional sources of electricity generation. The true costs associated with grid parity include the investment in generation capacity, backup infrastructure, along with the production and the distribution costs. The generation and production costs are on track to drop over time, on the other hand the distribution and allied infrastructure costs can increase owing to daily production variation, grid congestion and long distance transmission loads as the demand for solar power grows. This context offers a dynamic setting for examining a set of policies that will affect the diffusion of solar power technologies.