Researchers found that PV systems could produce electricity at a lower price than the grid in 344 cities
Solar power now costs the same as, or less than, electricity from the grid in many of China’s cities, a new study finds. This research may encourage broader adoption of industrial and commercial solar power there.
China is now the world’s largest producer of electricity. Most of this electricity comes from coal, which was used to generate more than 72 percent of China’s electricity in 2015. Still, China is aggressively pursuing renewable energy, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration projecting China’s solar capacity to grow by more than 7 percent per year from 2015 to 2040, and its wind capacity to grow at nearly 5 percent annually during that period.
Previous research suggested that solar energy could reach grid parity—that is, become as or less expensive than coal and more conventional sources of electricity—in most developed countries between 2013 and 2020. In contrast, prior work suggested it might take China decades before solar energy achieved grid parity.