The cost of integrating solar into the UK power market today is only GBP 1.30 (USD 1.70/EUR 1.50) per MWh, according to a report for the Solar Trade Association (STA), unveiled on Monday.
In a 2030 scenario, where solar capacity increases from 11 GW now to 40 GW, the figure reaches a maximum of GBP 6-7 per MWh, which is roughly 10% of the cost of solar today, the organisation said.
When high solar penetration is combined with high battery penetration, however, the cost of variability is reduced by GBP 10.50, meaning that there is even a net benefit GBP 3.70. This is because solar combined with batteries allows output to match demand requirements exceptionally closely and requires only a small amount of back up, the STA said.
In addition, in a scenario with 40 GW of solar and 45 GW of wind in 2030 -- enough to power 55% of the system -- the cost of intermittency for solar falls by 25%.
Benjamin Irons, a director at Aurora Energy Research, which prepared the report, said that "the UK could more than triple the amount of solar power on the system by 2030, with associated costs of integration and backup so low as as to be dwarfed by the enormous cost savings anticipated from falling solar prices over the same period". Battery storage and a diverse renewable portfolio including wind aid integration even further, he added.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.283/EUR 1.145)
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