Solar power shines brightly in the UK
Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020.
PV can achieve the costs required to survive - without subsidies, and without any step change in technology. All it needs is the political will.
Is solar power the technology of the future? It is certainly the fastest-growing energy generation technology in the UK.
By the early 2020s, according to a new report, it will be cost-competitive with gas and coal power. If so, the goal of having unsubsidised renewable energy is in sight.
The report, by Berlin-based think tank Thema1, concludes that this is possible without radical technology improvements or similar step changes. This somewhat disagrees with similar studies, which tend to point to the next big thing as being just around the corner.
There are lots of exciting developments in the laboratories but to make a real difference they need time - more than the 10-year time frame in Thema1's forecasts, so their report is right not to factor them in.
Solar panels beng installed image via Shutterstock.
Read more at ENN Affiliate the Ecologist.