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Peter Zurek Dreamstime
Peter Zurek Dreamstime
Peter Zurek Dreamstime
Peter Zurek Dreamstime
Peter Zurek Dreamstime

Big Growth for Solar Power Forecast: Study

April 13, 2021
This growth will be due in part to continued decline in solar photovoltaic technology costs and favorable levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) rates.

By 2050, solar power will produce a third of electric energy, as projected in DNV’s 2020 Energy Transition Outlook. This growth will be due in part to continued decline in solar photovoltaic technology costs and favorable levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) rates.

Still, solar investors and operators face challenges to revenues in the future, as markets place lower value on the power produced by this variable renewable and substantial increases in solar generation result in price cannibalization. These trends will accelerate in the next decade.

“Digitalization across PV assets and processes will not only lower costs but also raise the overall value of solar generation in the market,” said report author Dana Olson, DNV’s Global Solar Segment Leader. “It will provide the necessary insights and integration that solar projects will need to operate lucratively in an increasingly competitive environment.”

On the capital expenditure level, advanced analytics and machine learning will lower construction, development, and asset deployment costs, especially regarding such systems as modules, trackers, and inverters.

On the operational side, digital tools will streamline and continuously improve how power is generated and delivered. Automated inspection, vegetation management, and the processing of thermal imaging will inform preventative and predictive maintenance programs, further optimizing and lowering the cost of operations and maintenance activities.

As digitalization helps integrate energy storage and communicate instantaneously with the grid about supply, demand, and power support services, electricity can be dispatched beyond sunset, and solar PV generators will be able to command higher prices in auctions and purchased power agreements. 

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