In 1988 the production of a kilowatt hour of solar electricity still cost about one Euro, in the year 2000 around 70 cent and in early 2013 about 16 cent.
Yet the bottom end of this positive price spiral has by far not been reached. Experts predict that, in this part of the world, in about ten years a kilowatt hour of solar electricity can be produced at a price of five cent.
Electricity generated by nuclear power or by brown coal is costing the consumer around 26 cent in 2013 and in about ten years between 35 and 38 cent – according to prognoses.
Fossil energy is getting more and more expensive – while renewable energy is becoming even more reasonable in price, thanks, above all, to technological progress and mass production of its facilities.
In addition, fossil and nuclear fuels involve immeasurable consequential costs for future generations. These costs, however, are not allowed for in the current electricity price. They are passed on to future generations.
In France, according to a recent calculation, a nuclear accident similar to the one that happened in Fukushima could entail costs of about 134 billion Euros – at the taxpayer’s expense, needless to say. The consequential costs of climate change could even be higher.
Of course, these facts and relationships are well known to representatives of traditional energy industry and politicians. Yet they are continually denied, ruled out and passed over in silence. Yet most economists and politicians of the majority parties depend on traditional energy industry. This is the main reason why the world is slipping from one economic and financial crisis to another. Things will remain this way as long as the turnaround in energy policy – solar and reasonably priced – has not been achieved at a hundred per cent.
Reasonable and fair energy prices are the prerequisite for the overcoming of the persistent economic and financial crises, which keep shaking the world.
In sunny regions such as California, Israel, New Mexico or Saudi Arabia even today a kilowatt hour of solar electricity can be produced at a price of five cent. This will soon be the case in less sunny Germany and Europe as well. The news magazine Wirtschaftswoche just reported that the US startup company Solar Bankers, based in Gilbert, Arizona is working on a concentrator solar cell, which, even in less sunny regions, will open up the possibility to decrease prices drastically and to produce solar electricity far cheaper than electricity generated by coal.
Indeed the price for solar electricity will be unbeatable, due to technological research and innovations – everywhere worldwide and fit for use in façades and window panes – and even facing the north. In a few years the – presently – badly shaken German solar industry will experience a Renaissance.
In Germany, Japan and the USA variable foils are being developed that intensify the sunlight so that photovoltaic cells work far more efficiently, thus making solar electricity the cheapest source of energy of all.
After the next general election even messieurs Altmaier and Rösler will perhaps understand this trend, which makes sense to every child. But children don’t have to pose as heroes in election campaigns.
Franz Alt 2013 | Translation: Peter Reif 2013