Solar power is already cheaper than grid power in China

· PV Industry News

A new study published online in the British journal Nature Energy says that commercial and industrial solar systems in Chinese cities are already cheaper than grid power, which could spur increased use of solar systems by Chinese businesses and industries in the future.

When the price of solar power is higher than the price of grid electricity, the economic incentive to purchase solar systems decreases. In response to this situation, many countries have taken the approach of subsidising solar systems. Even though some countries may not offer large subsidies, if the cost of labour and system hardware is low, it may mean that the price of solar power may reach parity with the price of grid electricity.

In this case, a team of researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, Yan Jingyue, estimated the price of electricity and total electricity output from solar systems in Chinese cities and compared it to the price of grid electricity in cities; in addition they also estimated the price of solar power in a grid reference system and also compared it to the price of coal power.

The team found that in all 344 cities in China, commercial and industrial solar PV systems were able to generate electricity at a lower cost than grid-supplied electricity. In 22% of these cities, grid-connected solar power systems also cost less to generate than coal power.

There are four main sources of energy available: thermal, hydro, nuclear and wind. The ideal new energy source should meet two requirements: it should be abundant and not be depleted; and it should be safe and clean, and not threaten people or damage the environment. Solar power, as an emerging renewable energy source, is considered to be one of the major global energy sources of the 21st century.

Residential rooftop photovoltaic power generation, energy saving and environmental protection

At night, the battery bank provides input power to the inverter, which converts the direct current into alternating current and transmits it to the power distribution cabinet, where it is switched on and off. The discharge of the battery bank is controlled by the controller to ensure the normal use of the battery. The solar PV system power station should also have load limiting protection and lightning protection devices to protect the system equipment from overload operation and from lightning strikes to maintain the safe use of the system equipment. Please see the diagram below for the components of a freestanding small solar power system. This includes the solar photovoltaic panels, solar controller, solar storage battery, DC to AC inverter and finally AC current supply appliances.

Stand-alone small solar power system