Goldman Sachs: Cheap Solar Energy is on the Way


Cover_Photo_Image_2_2300Wall Street megabank Goldman Sachs recently announced that it sees solar energy as the next big thing – current technology used to harness the renewable energy source is such that it will soon be feasible to supply electricity from solar power at the same price as, or cheaper than, fossil fuel electricity.

The new report cites the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, as a visionary in the field of renewable energy and responsible for the innovations in the works right now. Tesla is also involved in revolutionizing the lithium battery industry.

This is not the first time that Goldman Sachs has thrown its weight behind environmental technology; in 2012, the company revealed $40 billion in clean energy investments, citing the market as one of the most attractive at the time.

Clean tech analysts confirm what the corporations want us to think. Brian Lee and Thomas Daniels, Goldman Sachs financial analysts specializing in clean energy, state “SolarCity has seen a 40% decline in the per watt cost of PV panels since the second quarter of 2013 driven by improved scale which is expected to continue. This has been true for Tesla’s battery costs as well, which have declined from a cost of $500/KWh in 2008 to $250/KWh for the Model S to potentially $125/KWh at the gigafactory. As a result we should note that the quantitative grid parity and return calculations we show above are arrived at without any Federal or state credits.”

Analysts predict solar grid parity in the US as soon as 2033, with states like California and New York leading the way.

However, it is important to note that people have been heralding the imminent explosion of solar power parity for years now. Indeed, Lee and Daniels add, “This may be far off, aside from entailing a much more expensive solar/battery system, this is also potentially out of people’s comfort zone entailing a 100% reliance on a new system for their electricity needs. That said, decreased reliability from an aging distribution infrastructure, a broadening desire to reduce the carbon footprint, and, perhaps most importantly, the reduction of solar panel and battery costs could also work together to make grid independence a reality for many customers one day.”