In DepthENERGY

Solar plus batteries is now cheaper than fossil power

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Science  12 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6449, pp. 108
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6449.108

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Summary

This month, officials in Los Angeles, California, are expected to approve a deal that would make solar power cheaper than ever while also addressing its chief flaw—its dependence on sunshine. The deal calls for a huge solar farm backed up by one of the world's largest batteries. It would provide 7% of the city's electricity beginning in 2023 at a cost of 1.997 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the solar power and 1.3 cents per kWh for the battery. That's cheaper than any power generated with fossil fuel. The deal is being driven by steady price declines in solar power and utility-scale batteries, the latter of which have dropped in cost by 76% since 2012, according to one recent analysis.