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Lazard analysis shows continued cost declines for solar energy, energy storage
Lazard Ltd. (New York) has released its annual in-depth studies comparing the costs of energy from various generation technologies and of energy storage technologies for different applications.
The company’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 10.0) shows a continued decline in the cost of generating electricity from solar technology, with lesser cost declines in other forms of renewable energy.
Utility-scale PV cost declined by 11%; residential PV down about 26%
According to Lazard, the cost of generating energy from solar photovoltaic (PV) technology continues to decline: The median levelized cost of energy from utility-scale PV technologies is down approximately 11% from last year, and rooftop residential PV technology is down about 26%, although the latter is still not cost competitive without significant subsidies and other policy support.
In addition, Lazard’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis (LCOS 2.0) shows cost declines in most battery storage technologies, but with wide variations depending on the type of application and battery technology.
“Our studies continue to demonstrate that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in energy generation or storage,” said George Bilicic, Vice Chairman and Global Head of Lazard’s Power, Energy & Infrastructure Group.
“The demands of a developed economy will continue to require both traditional and alternative energy sources as the technologies driving renewable energy evolve.”
“The economic viability of commercial energy storage systems varies widely by application and on a regional basis,” said Jonathan Mir, Head of Lazard’s North American Power Group.
“As manufacturers and customers identify optimal technologies for different use cases, we expect further innovation and a continued drop in costs, which will help drive increased use of renewables.”
Even though alternative energy is increasingly cost-competitive and storage technology holds great promise, alternative energy systems alone will not be capable of meeting the baseload generation needs of a developed economy for the foreseeable future, finds Lazard.
Therefore, the optimal solution for many regions of the world is to use complementary traditional and alternative energy resources in a diversified generation fleet, Lazard concludes.