Solar PV Prices to drop
China has announced it will halt approvals of new subsidized utility-scale solar plants, creating what is expected to be a glut of panels and result in lower prices worldwide. After reaching higher than expected installations (9.64GW of solar was installed in the first quarter of this year alone) the pause in approvals is to avoid oversupply and allow time for the network to catch up.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance is now predicting that solar module prices in China will drop around 35% in 2018 and another 10% to 15% in 2019. This will lead to worldwide price drops and means that prices for complete installation should drop in Australia by at least 10% on previous pricing.
Right now, industry talk has the cost of Large-Scale solar falling to around $A40/MWh which is around 50% below the assumed cost and less than half the price of grid power, and in the eyes of the banks financing it, this is a huge incentive.
Storage is changing the game
Also entering the market at reduced pricing are the battery storage options. While the pricing has yet to reach tipping point for most applications, lithium-ion costs continue to fall. Financial analysts at Morgan Stanley have predicted a 45% fall in lithium pricing by 2021 due to an avalanche of supply due to hit the market by 2019.
While the Clean Energy Council advised that 2017 was a record year for the renewable energy industry with 1.1GW of new rooftop solar installed and 700MW from large-scale energy projects, the future is looking brighter still. To date the large electricity retailers are not passing on the full savings from lower wholesale prices, this will continue to motivate many large businesses to install solar systems or to compliment their current solar systems with battery storage and further reduce their reliance on the grid.