GE: Solar cheaper than fossil power in 5 yrs

Solar panels at Taylor Machine Works in Louisville.

By Amy McCullough

I was recently shocked to read a Bloomberg story titled, “GE Sees Solar Cheaper Than Fossil Power in Five Years.

General Electric Company’s global research director said, “If we can get solar at 15 cents a kilowatt-hour or lower, which I’m hopeful that we will do, you’re going to have a lot of people that are going to want tot have solar at home.”

The story sites Energy Information Administration (EIA) data that across the nation electricity costs range from 6.1 cents (Wyoming) to 18.1 cents (Connecticut) per kilowatt-hour.

In Mississippi, electricity costs are approximately 10 cents or 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Those who want to have solar at home need to have access to connect to an electric utility’s transmissions grid (unless they want to buy an expensive battery system).

Enter the issue of “net-metering.” Net-metering programs enable customers to generate their own electricity and receive retail prices, or in some cases, premiums over retail price for excess power.

More than 40 states have uniform net-metering standards. Mississippi does not. However, the state Public Service Commission has a docket open on the subject now.

At Tuesday’s (June 7) Commission meeting, a July workshop that would allow stakeholders to discuss policy and the economics of net-metering was announced.

See previous March 28 MBJ story: “Can solar be economical?

Contact the reporter at amy.mccullough@msbusiness.com.

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