KEISER ANALYTICS: QUANTIFYING THE U.S. SOLAR POTENTIAL
(The following is a reformatted version of a press release issued by Keiser Analytics and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)
300GW Of Demand At $3 Per Watt? Quantifying The U.S. Solar Potential Using U.S. Electricity Prices
A new analysis by Richard Keiser, former Bernstein analysis and now President of Keiser Analytics, predicts the U.S. solar market will grow significantly above expectations over the next five years: to 75-150 gigawatts (GW).
“While the recent price declines of solar PV equipment are well known,” explains Mr. Keiser, “what is less appreciated is the size and distribution of U.S. electricity consumption.”
“First, the United States consumes approximately 4 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, more than all of Europe. Second, the distribution of U.S. consumption increases exponentially at $0.18/kWh. As solar PV electricity costs reach that level and below-and many installations are reaching that level now-the potential demand for solar PV will also increase exponentially.”
Keiser Analytics analyzed electricity prices by segment and state for the entire U.S. market to calculate the price points at which distributed solar PV will become competitive with utility-supplied electricity. At $5 per watt, very little electricity consumption can be economically served by solar PV. However, as installed costs fall, the potential rises quickly. At $4 per watt, approximately 46 billion kWh could be economically served by solar PV, equivalent to 33GW of capacity. At $3 per watt, approximately 440 billion kWh could be economically served by solar PV, equivalent to over 300GW of capacity. Installed solar capacity in the United States at the end of 2011 will be approximately 4GW.
The full report is available here: www.keiser-analytics.com/research/