According to the Sydney Morning Herald, in terms of unit capacity, the cost of solar modules was lower than that of wind energy for the first time in some global markets last year, and the gap between the two in power generation cost is gradually decreasing.
In addition to a few countries such as Germany where solar energy is widely developed, wind energy is still the preferred alternative energy other than oil, coal and natural gas. However, this situation will change. Considering the expected contraction of the wind power market, the global total installed capacity of solar energy is expected to exceed that of wind energy for the first time this year.
Due to the higher production efficiency and lower installation cost of wind power, its overall cost is still lower than that of solar power generation. On the other hand, the declining price of solar power generation equipment is rapidly reducing the gap between the two.
In fact, both wind and solar energy are trying to get rid of overcapacity, but the two industries take different ways. In the field of solar power generation, overcapacity is largely caused by the global commercialization of finished modules, which has led to enterprise bankruptcy and the continued sharp decline in the price of solar modules. In the field of wind power, overcapacity is mainly caused by the reduction of subsidies and the reduction of demand in the western market, coupled with the competition of low-cost natural gas from the United States.
The sales of wind turbines depend on local services and have not yet been commercialized. The global market is mainly monopolized by Vestas, general electric and Siemens. Overcapacity has led enterprises to launch cost cutting strategies, but wind power prices remain stable.
The latest manufacturing data show that in some markets, the average selling price of solar power per watt is lower than that of wind power per watt. For example, Vestas reported that the average selling price of wind power in the first quarter of this year was $1.34 per watt, compared with $0.7 to $0.8 per watt last year. (1 USD, about 6.14 yuan)
The short-term price trajectory of wind and solar power shows that although much slower than before, the price of solar modules will continue to fall, while the price of wind turbines will remain flat. Moreover, due to the much larger volume of wind turbines, the installation cost per watt is also lower than that of solar modules. The recent report of the Global Wind Energy Council points out that the installation cost of wind turbines is about $1.61 per watt.
The installation cost of utility scale solar projects is difficult to count. The UK Department of energy and climate change pointed out that as of March last year, the overall installation cost of a 250 kW solar photovoltaic power generation project could be as low as US $1.83 per watt.
Although the overall energy cost of wind energy is low, solar energy is catching up, and the newly installed capacity of solar energy this year will surpass wind energy for the first time. Last year, the global installed capacity of wind energy was 48 billion watts, but due to the reduction of orders in 2012, independent research institutions in the industry predict that the installed capacity of wind energy will drop to 39 billion watts this year.
According to the prediction of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, the global solar installed capacity last year was 31.1 billion watts. The Association expects the installed capacity this year to be about 28-47 billion watts. But either way, the solar market is expected to surpass the wind market in the next decade. (people's daily)
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