Fraunhofer ISE (2015): Current and Future Cost of Photovoltaics. Long-term Scenarios for Market Development, System Prices and LCOE of Utility-Scale PV Systems. Study on behalf of Agora Energiewende.
Study gepubliceerd februari 2015
Motivation and scope of the study
Cost for power produced from solar photovoltaics (PV) in Germany has significantly decreased in the last years. The feed-in tariff paid for large scale PV systems declined from over 40 ct/kW in 2005 to below 9ct/kWh today.
This massive reduction of about 80 percent in real terms exceeded expectations of policy makers and many industry experts. Solar PV, widely perceived to be a very expensive enewable energy technology, quite surprisingly turned into one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy in Germany.
Recent cost reductions are attributed to advancements in technology, production processes and industry development, but as well to government involvement in a global industry that is subject to significant international dispute.
This has led to questions whether cost reductions observed in Germany are sustainable or will reverse again in the
future – and if and how the cost reduction of PV could continue. The reduced speed of cost reduction of PV systems in Germany over the last year has further increased divergence in opinions regarding this question. For policy makers and decision makers in the energy industry the future development of the cost of PV is of high relevance.
Both regulatory design and investment decisions require a long term perspective, as investments in the energy sector have a lifetime of several decades. The future cost of PV will determine the role of PV in the decarbonisation of the energy system – a question that may or may not need to be revisited in view of the developments of the last years.