U.S. Solar-Power Companies Approach Competitiveness, FT Reports

U.S. solar-power companies say they’ll be in a position to compete on price with conventional generation within three years, without subsidy, as costs come down, the Financial Times reported.

In California, the cost of solar power is close to that of gas-fired plants at times of peak demand, the newspaper said.

Rob Gillette, the chief executive officer of Arizona-based First Solar Inc. (FSLR), said the company plans to cut the cost of its thin-film solar modules by 20 percent by 2014, after which it will be able to sign contracts with California utilities to sell power for 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, the FT reported.

Thomas Dinwoodie, who founded SunPower Corp., told the newspaper that solar is cheaper than new nuclear power and is competitive with gas and coal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Purkiss in London on apurkiss@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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