Solar costs will match coal by 2016 in China, Suntech says.

REneweconomy: “Suntech Power predicts that the cost of building large scale solar PV plants could match the cost of coal-fired generation in China by 2016, a development that will “completely transform” the energy market in the world’s second biggest economy.”
“Eric Luo, the CEO of Suntech Power ….says that solar PV is rapidly catching up to the cost of coal-fired generation. (China is the world’s largest consumer of coal).
….“We are not far away from the cost of production for conventional energy. We are sure that by 2016 – or at the latest 2017 – the levellised cost of solar PV will be the same as coal-fired generation in China.”
“It is going to completely transform the energy market in China,” Luo added, noting that environmental concerns would also accelerate that transformation. “China is investing a lot of money into the environment to clean up the energy production process. This is a major opportunity.”
Luo predicted that the annual installation rate of solar PV in China would top 25GW by 2020. It could even be more, should the regulations and the modeling around distributed generation be resolved. This would involve leasing and other financing. Battery storage would also have a significant impact on the solar market. “If model is right, then it (distributed generation) will be flying in China,” Luo said.
…Suntech expects to quickly ramp up to its stated annualized manufacturing capacity of 2.5GW of solar modules by the end of this year – more than its peak in 2011. This won’t bring it back to the top of the solar tree, but it will regain its position in the top 10 manufacturers.”