This could soon become a widespread problem as well.

“California is just a glimpse of what the rest of the world stores,” said the director of the Breakthrough Institute for Climate and Energy, and author of the report.

That’s because while solar accounts for about 19% of what California produces, photovoltaic panels are rapidly being installed in other regions as well. In Nevada and Hawaii, for example, the share of solar generation was about 13% in 2019, the study found. The levels of Italy, Greece and Germany were .6 ..%, 9.9% and 8.8% respectively.


So far, heavy solar subsidies and the rapidly declining costs of solar power have offset the declining cost of solar in California. As long as it is cheaper to build and operate a solar power plant, the problem of depreciation is lessened.

But that tactic is likely to be harder and harder to pull off, as the state’s share of solar payrolls continues to grow. If the cost of making and installing solar panel tapers continues to fall, California’s solar deflation could accelerate in the run-up to declining costs in 2022 and climb upwards, the report said. At the time, wholesale pricing would be lower than the cost of subsidizing solar in California, undermining the pure economic rationale for making more plants, Hausfer notes.

The state’s SB100 law, which was passed in 2018, requires all of California’s electricity to come from “renewable and zero-carbon resources” by 2045. At the time, about 60% of the state’s electricity could come from solar, depending on the California Energy Reza. Commission model.

The breakthrough study estimates that the average price of solar compared to other sources will decrease by 85%, reducing the economics of solar farms at the time, as California’s grid exists today.

How can we fix it?

There are various ways to ease this effect, although not a single possible cure.

The solar sector may continue to try to find a way to reduce solar costs, but some researchers have argued that new materials and technologies may need to be migrated to move to the dirt-cheap level needed to drive value reduction further.

Grid tors operators and solar plant developers can add more energy storage – and it’s growing.

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published a detailed study in Joule last month highlighting similarly declining solar values ​​in California. But they also noted that numerous modeling studies have shown that the addition of low-cost storage options, including so-called hybrid plants attached to lithium-ion batteries, reduces value degradation and enables a large share of renewables to operate economically on the grid.

There are potential limitations to this, however, studies have shown that once a large portion of electricity is supplied to a renewable grid, storage and system costs increase sharply.

States or nations may also increase subsidies for solar power; Add more long-distance transmission lines to exchange clean electricity as regions need; Or stimulate the use of generation leave to move during the day which corresponds better to higher periods.

The good news is that each of these clean power sources will help make the transition easier in other ways, but it will also take significant time and money for everyone to continue.

The California Solar Market gives a reminder that the climate is ticking clockwise.

The story was updated to add details from the Joule study.