RAMAMOORTHY RAMESH: What will it take to achieve grid parity for solar power?

RAMAMOORTHY RAMESH, director of U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative

We need to achieve the goals of SunShot, the new program from the U.S. Department of Energy to make solar power as cheap as that from burning fossil fuels, particularly coal. That means solar, whether photovoltaics or using the sun’s heat, has to cost roughly 5 cents per kilowatt-hour or, equivalently, $1 per watt at large scale, like a utility-sized power plant. This requires the photovoltaic module to cost roughly 50 cents per watt, the electronic control systems roughly 10 cents per watt and everything else, like installation, roughly 40 cents per watt. This will not be easy. The current price of electricity from the sun is approximately $3 per watt at the utility scale.

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