Sustainable Energy

This discussion webinar takes place on Friday, March 7th, from 14h30 to 15h30.


Renewable energy technologies are going through a learning cycle. Their costs are going down as a long-term trend. Meanwhile, energy prices are going up. Another factor is the price of carbon.

Solar electricity was typically more than 5 times more expensive than conventional electricity. But last autumn, a few reports in the press announced that grid parity for solar electricity is not far off, and could be achieved as early as 2012 for sunny parts of the USA, Japan and Southern Europe.

Possible discussion points:

  • The learning curve of renewable energy technologies
  • Are we moving down the right learning curves?
  • The cost of photovoltaics (PV), and its close alternatives such as concentrated solar power and concentrated PV.
  • Does PV even need to compete with grid electricity, and if so, does it compete at wholesale or retail level?
  • Where does PV make sense?
  • How does grid-coupled PV use the grid, and how should this be charged?

These topics are aimed to open discussion. We welcome participants to raise their own questions and concerns into the debate.

Practical Information

The event will use the Adobe Connect webconferencing system that allows you to join the event at the single click of a button. At the time of the event, simply click to enter the webinar room and simply enter your name. No plug-in is required. Sound is over the internet, so you will need a headphone to participate (or a microphone and speakers in a private room).

This page is a live document to support the discussion webinar on the above topic before and after the event. Discussion will be continuously open on this page using the comment feature.

Background Information

eceee: eceee 2003 Summer Study – Panel 4. Building the bridge from lab to customer – Creating markets for efficient technologies by establishment of strategic niche markets

Trends in photovoltaic applications. Survey report of selected IEA countries between 1992 and 2006

Experience and learning does not come cheaply

Heliotube – PV at half the cost

Best practice of learning curves

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