Continued high growth rates and a range of new technologies are expected to see module prices dropping to $US1.50/w by 2013, with several manufacturers already producing at less than $1/W. The graph (right) shows the implications of such trends on Australian PV electricity prices. It also shows projections for residential electricity tariffs in Sydney and Brisbane out to 2020, based on recent price determinations in New South Wales and Queensland, combined with growth rates of 1.5 per cent (low) and 3.5 per cent (high) per annum. All prices are in real values, meaning they would be higher if inflation was included.
While such projections are only indicative, it seems likely that price parity will be reached in parts of Australia before 2020. Note that parity occurs at or after the time that solar credits are expected to be discontinued, and schemes such as the NSW gross FiT will have expired.
This timeline is consistent with international reports, such as the NREL report Break-Even Cost for Residential Photovoltaics in the United States: Key Drivers and Sensitivities, which showed that grid parity could be reached in many parts of the United States by 2015, although there was significant variation between regions due to differences in electricity prices, insulation and financing options.