Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"Grid parity" for Photovoltaic Technology is Imminent

The truth is that most Alternative Energy choices require government subsidies or tax benefits to be commercially viable. Hydropower is the sole exception, as its exclusion from Washington DC discussions regarding incentives for clean energy demonstrates. Now Solar Power is approaching "grid parity" with conventional hydrocarbon energy sources. What does this mean?

Richard L. Wottrich


Michael Freeman, senior originator for Exelon Generation Co., the nation's largest gas and electric utility, tells solar firms to "stop using the phrase 'grid parity'" in their discussions with his company.

"Grid parity, from a market perspective, is a meaningless concept," Freeman said.

Instead, solar is increasingly attractive to Exelon and others as the best option for filling gaps in energy supply during peak demand periods.

Electricity usage tends to spike on the hottest, sunniest, windless days of the year -- perfect operating environments for solar panels. Freeman maintains that solar companies could take advantage of this fact and sell Exelon and other firms "hourly call options" to help utilities meet demand spikes.

Source: The New York Times

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