Grid parity might save us just in time!10. June 2010 By: Constantin Schwaab
Today, meet the CEOs of the most successful EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) players and find out how they tackle the issue of non-subsidized markets. According to benchmark companies, we’ve already crossed the point of no return. Unlimited growth is in reach.
When I met Bernhard Beck, CEO of Germany’s Beck Energy, this morning I meant to find out more about their groundbreaking mounting systems. As a potential partner for Plain Energy we’ve had Beck on the radar for quite a while. Our talk went into a whole new direction when we discussed the issue of grid parity, the point in time when solar power can be produced at fair market prices.
The main precondition for grid parity is the balance of system, preferably lower than 2€ per Watt. Even though we don’t see prices anywhere near that point today, there are ways of achieving that cost level. One of Beck’s premium partner’s in doing so is Nanosolar Inc., a Silicon Valley based thin film producer.
Nanosolar has worked for years on a radically new approach in module production. The result might be the lowest price per Watt in the industry. Module features include optimized size and voltage in order to reduce cost of installation. Together with Beck’s mounting system and electrical know how, it is likely to see grid parity in reach within the next couple of years.
In a meeting with one of Nanosolar’s international managers I got the impression, that they could be a serious threat to First Solar’s dominance in the not too distant future. Either way, the solar industry has no choice. Producing electricity at a competitive price is the only way out of a situation where tariffs are cut drastically and consumers are less and less willing to finance billion dollar profits of the chosen few module producers that dominate the market. However, once that point is reached, unlimited growth is guaranteed.
Friday, 11.06.2010 10:32
I said that Nanosolar's approach might result in the lowest price per Watt. First SOlar has been around for quite a number of years now. They are, without a doubt, very competitive. However, their vacuum process has reached certain limits in terms of cost reduction. Nanosolar has developed a print to roll process that shows potential for driving down costs dramatically. Compare a modern ink printer to Gutenbergs printing press....
ECD Fan | http://ecdfan.blogspot.com
Thursday, 10.06.2010 16:32
I am sorry, but what makes you think that Nanosolar has "the lowest price per Watt in the industry?" The last time I checked, Nanosolar's modules were just 11% efficient and Nanosolar wasn't making many. First Solar makes 11.2%-efficient modules for 81c per Watt. What is your evidence that Nanosolar can beat that?