Here’s a surprising fact: There is also another form of solar energy that is about to become the world’s cheapest.
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) costs have reduce by 50% in 2017 alone, from 9 cents/kWh to 5 cents/kWh for a project to be done in Chile.
this is more expensive than traditional solar panels, which can be as low as 2 cents/kWh in very large projects in very sunny locations. But the difference is that the CSP systems include storage. They can give you energy around the clock, which is becoming an increasingly important aspect as the daytime energy needs are being quenched by PV.
A PV+battery system would probably cost at least double, and there is no indication that this is going to change until at least 2030.
CSP is still at only 5GW deployed, while PV has 400GW. Therefore, CSP is much earlier in the learning curve and has a much higher potential for further cost reduction. After all, CSP systems can be built using only bog-standard materials like glass, steel, aluminium, plastics, concrete and fertiliser. CSP uses standard turbines, heat exchangers and piping. In fact, there is no limit to how much CSP capacity can be built with today’s industrial infrastructure.
The world’s lowest-cost around the clock renewable power station. The two shiny tanks are using fertiliser to store energy 90% cheaper than batteries (Crescent Dunes, Las Vegas)