Solar has reached residential parity in many regions, and utility-scale parity will follow over the next few years. Some U.S. utilities are already choosing to build solar farms instead of gas plants to deliver peak loads based on pure economics.
“In Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia and the South-West of the U.S., residential-scale solar has already reached grid-parity with average residential electricity prices,” Citigroup analysts Shar Pourreza, Jason Channell and Timothy Lam wrote in their report. “In other countries grid parity is not far away. We forecast that grid parity will be attained by Japan in 2014-2016, South Korea in 2016-2020 and by the U.K. in 2018-2021.”
On the other hand, China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia will not attain grid parity until after 2020, despite good solar conditions in some regions, due to their low residential electricity prices, which are subsidized by the state, the report says.