Mapping Solar Grid Parity

Date: 14 Dec 2011 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 51 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Where does solar grid parity strike first?  How fast does it spread?  Click “animate” on the map below to see which major metropolitan areas can beat grid prices with local solar first, and how quickly unsubsidized solar could take over America’s major metropolitan areas.

Solar grid parity describes the moment when electricity from solar power is less costly than electricity from the existing grid. It’s a tipping point, when democratization of the electricity system not only makes political and economic sense, but becomes more competitive than using utility-delivered electricity.

We used the following assumptions in the construction of this animated map:

  1. The cost of solar in 2011 is $4.00 per Watt installed.
  2. Grid electricity price is the average residential retail rate reported by PVWatts for the core city of the metropolitan area.
  3. The cost of solar decreases by 7% per year.
  4. The grid electricity price increases by 2% per year.

In just 7 years, 1 in 6 Americans living in major metropolitan areas could lower their electricity bill by installing solar –without any incentives.$nbsp; Here comes the sun!

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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.