Brito, Dagobert and Rosellon, Juan (2005): The Political Economy of Solar Energy. Published in: The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (2005): pp. 1-16.
Download (504Kb) | Preview
At the present time, solar power is not a competitive fuel for supplying electricity to the grid in the United States. However, an economic model developed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) forecasts that solar power production costs could drop twenty percent every time output doubles. Commercial demand for solar cells in the United States has been increasing at a rate of twenty-five percent a year. Such cost projections, if accurate, imply that solar power could be a competitive source of power to the U.S. grid by 2010. Eventually, technical progress and falling production costs will render solar power an important source of energy in the future. As technology improves, it may be possible to supply a substantial part of the nation with solar power from sites in the Southwest of the United States and Mexico. Scientists believe that the cost of solar power will drop to the neighborhood of two cents a kilowatt-hour or perhaps even one cent per kilowatt-hour. If there is enough foresight to develop the technology, then solar-derived hydrogen could become a competitive feedstock in petrochemicals. However, if there is no leadership from government, this process of change could take fifty years. With proper leadership, it could be realized in less than ten to fifteen years.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||The Political Economy of Solar Energy|
|Keywords:||Solar energy, photovoltaics, learning by doing, political economy.|
|Subjects:||Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q48 - Government Policy
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q28 - Government Policy
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
L - Industrial Organization > L5 - Regulation and Industrial Policy > L50 - General
|Depositing User:||Juan Rosellon|
|Date Deposited:||02. May 2010 03:54|
|Last Modified:||12. Feb 2013 10:56|
Ahmend, K., “Renewable Energy Technologies”, World Bank Technical Paper No. 240, 1994.
Cody, G. and T. Tiedje, “A Learning Curve Approach to Projecting Cost and Performance in Thin Film Photovoltaics,” 25th IEEE Specialist Conference. Washington D.C.,1996.
Committee on Alternatives and Strategies for Future, Hydrogen Production and Use, National Research, Council, The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs, National Academies Press, 2004.
Nordhaus, W. D., Managing the Global Commons: the Economics of Climate Change, 1994.
Ogden, J. M. and R. H Williams, Solar Hydrogen: Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels, 1989.
Shapouri, H, J., A. Duffield and M. S. Graboski, “Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethonal,” U.S. Department of Argiculture, Economic Research Service, Office of Energy, Agriculture Economic Report No. 721., 1995.
Zweibel, K.,”Thin Films: Past, Present, Future,’ Progress”, Photovoltaics: Research And Applications, 1995.
Zweibel, K., “Issues in thin film PV manufacturing cost reduction,” Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells,1999.
Zweibel, K., “The Terawatt Challenge”, NREL Technical Report (TP-520-38350 in press), 2005.