Authors: Tilak K. Doshi, Neil Sebastian D’Souza, Linh Nguyen, Teo Han Guan
This paper presents an economic and technical analysis of the feasibility of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the Singapore context. The Levelized Costs of Electricity (LCOE) methodology is used to evaluate the cost of electricity generated from solar PV systems over their economic lifetime. Using reasonable estimates for key factors such as the annual solar yield, panel degradation rates and operating costs, and average solar module costs in 2011, the model calculates the break-even price – the price at which the costs of solar power are just balanced by its revenues over the life of the equipment – to be S26 ¢/kWh, which is on par with the average Singapore 2011 electricity tariff rate. Module costs and the annual yield of solar PV systems are found to be the main factors determining the LCOE. We compare the LCOE across a range of technologies and find that solar PV in the Singapore context is both a more expensive means of electricity generation than most other technologies, including combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) and coal, as well as an expensive means of CO2 emission mitigation.
Keywords: solar photovoltaic; LCOE; Singapore; grid parity