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Solar Technology Costs Tumble Further With China's Industry Shifts

By Brian Spaen

Earlier this year, solar power costs were falling at a faster rate than experts predicted. Now, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts that they will decline by 34 percent by the end of the year. This is due to China’s regression in the solar industry, which would bring plenty of benefits for those around the world in developing countries and the United States.

At the end of May, China announced that they wouldn’t be accepting any new solar projects and removed subsidies from developers. Immediately, that seems like a negative to not create more solar panels in the country. While local demand will fall off, this means their market will be shipping their products out at discounted prices around the world.

According to BNEF, these declines would equal the rapidly falling rates of two years ago, which was a booming period in the industry. “Best practice” monocrystalline module cost could drop from its 2017 fourth-quarter rate of $0.37 US per watt to $0.24 US per watt by the end of this year. These rates could fall by up to 15 percent in 2019.