Exporting For Retail Market Value
The Town of Banff recently became the first jurisdiction in Alberta offering premium rates for exported solar power. A feed-in-tariff contract is one that guarantees a premium price for solar energy exported to the grid. Without a FIT contract Albertans receive credit for energy exported to the grid at the same rate at which they are charged. Meaning if the cost of electrical energy offered by your retailer is 5 cents per kilowatt-hour then excess energy exported to the grid will receive 5c/kWh. Of course retail rates vary with demand and supply and other market factors.
How Do You Calculate Solar Lcoe
LCOE is calculated by dividing the total out-of-pocket cost of your solar energy system by the estimated total amount of energy your solar system will produce over a given period of time. It is typical to look at a 20-year period when calculating LCOE, although a system will actually continue to produce power for over 30 years.
LCOE is more complicated to calculate than $/W because there are more factors involved and because it is an estimate of future production.
To roughly calculate LCOE, you should know :
- The total cost of the system, after tax incentives and rebates are taken into account.
- The amount of sunlight the panels are likely to receive daily. An annual average is usually sufficient for this: e.g. 5kWh of pure solar energy per square meter of area per day, on average throughout the year .
- The overall efficiency of your system. It is common practice to assume that a system will have an overall efficiency rate of 80% but it could be greater or lesser depending on things like the the tilt angle and orientation of your panels, the efficiency of your inverter, and whether or not there is partial shading on your panels.
To calculate the LCOE of a solar system, its also useful to know:
As an example, if you live in Los Angeles and youre looking at a 5kw system with a net cost of $9,000, you can estimate its LCOE accordingly:
Factors Affecting Solar Payback In Alberta
Variable cost of grid energy in Calgary including cost of distribution, transmission and local access fee, compared to the levelized cost of a grid-tied solar power system in Alberta.
Recommended Reading: When Is The Best Time To Install Solar Panels
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels
The average cost to install solar panels in the United States is about $12,000 after federal tax incentives. On the low end, you can install a smaller system for around $5,000, while a high-priced Tier 1 solar panel system can cost $40,000 or more.
There are additional costs that go into an installation project beyond the price of panels. In fact, only about a quarter of the installation costs are actually for the panels. Labor costs, operational costs and additional equipment, such as inverters and control circuitry, make up the rest of the price.
Solar energy companies install the solar panels, provide maintenance and offer warranties on both the panels and the work. These additional services arent free, but they are often worth it. A few additional factors affect the price of solar panel installation.
Using The Kill A Watt Meter
As an example, the average US household uses 900 kWh power per month. For 30 days per month we get 30 kWh per day, and for an average day you might get between 6 and 10 hours of effective sunlight. The answer you get is between 3 kW and 5 kW per hour. So this monthly average wattage is what your solar panel system should be equipped to generate.
The calculations done this way will not be accurate. There are other factors affecting the generation of solar energy. The daily production might fluctuate greatly on a daily basis.
You could calculate a solar energy system power consumption of an electronic appliance using a low cost plug in device, called Kill A Watt meter. Once you know how much power an appliance is consuming per day, it will help you to determine your power consumption. Use a solar power price calculator.
You can use this device to count watts in kilowatt/hours . This device is made up of a three-prong electrical plug-in, along with some buttons and a display monitor. Once you plug the monitor into the wall, you also plug any appliance into the monitor. The device tells you exactly how much is the electricity being used by the appliance, including situations when the appliance is just plugged in only without being turned on.
Here is a video to watch the working of kill a watt meter.
Recommended Reading: Why Do Solar Panels Face South
Solar Batteries Add New Complexity To Estimating Average Solar System Cost In 2021
Prior to 2020, more than 90% of residential solar power installations were simple, grid-tied solar systems. Grid-connect systems are so popular because they are the cheapest to install and they offer the shortest payback period.
However, because theyre connected to the grid, they have no source of backup power in the event of a power outage. Now, many people are considering adding a solar battery to their solar systems in 2021.
There are four reasons for this:
- The frequency of storms and wildfires has made utility power less reliable in recent years, which is increasing demand for a backup power supply when the power goes out.
- Utilities across the country are changing their net metering programs to offer below-retail rates for excess solar energy production that is sent to the grid.
- Time-of-Use electric billing makes home energy storage solutions more attractive because the battery can be charged when utility rates are cheap and discharge when rates are most expensive, allowing homeowners to avoid paying peak pricing.
- The 26% solar investment tax credit can be used to cover a battery as long as it is connected to a solar power system. There are also a number of state and utility incentives, like Californias SGIP incentive, that help reduce the cost of battery installations.
How Many Kwh Does A House Use Per Day
On average, the daily kWh consumption for an average home in the United States is just under 29 kWh hours. This accounts for using energy-heavy appliances like geysers and heating, both of which can be substantially reduced.
This energy usage is also dependent on the size of your home, the building materials of your home, and the number of residents. Also, people living in colder climates will naturally use a significantly higher amount of power to warm their homes.
Also Check: Should I Set Up A Sole Proprietorship Or Llc
Calculate How Many Watts Of Solar Panels Your Home Needs
Solar panel installation sizes are expressed in watts or kilowatts. Calculating the right system size can be challenging as different houses on the same block can have very different system size needs. Houses of the same size could also require very different installation sizes. This is because there are so many factors at play in generating the right amount of solar energy for a home. Sunshine quantity, household energy use, roof shape/orientation, and panel quality all combine to make this a tricky calculation.
Figuring these out will allow you to figure out how much solar would cost you. If youd like a simpler and faster answer, our solar savings calculator will figure this all out for you . But, for the sake of understanding where the numbers from this calculator come from, lets explore the major variables in this calculation:
Factor #1: Sunshine Quantity
As you could have probably guessed, sunshine is a major factor in calculating solar power needs. Theres a reason why solar tends to be far more popular in California and Arizona than say rainy Western Washington State. This map by NREL gives you a sense of how much solar resource in various parts of the USA. Obviously, the deserts of the Southwest receive the most sun. But solar is still viable in most parts of the USA.
Source: PVWatts Calculator
Factor #2: Household Energy Use
The Department of Energy has a great calculator and guide to help you estimate how much energy your appliances use.
Price History Of Solar Panels
The first solar panel that was ever installed had an efficiency rate of 1%. Back in 1883, New York inventor Charles Fritts created the first solar panel. The efficiency was very low, and the price very high, so the technology was put away until the mid-20th century.
In the 20th century, the first silicone-based modules were created. Decades of research made the technology more efficient so that most modern solar panels have an efficiency rate of around 20%. The higher the solar panels cost, the higher their efficiency.
Advances in solar electricity production also drove down solar costs. Back in 1977, the price of solar panels per Watt of power was $76. Today, the average price is as low as $2-3 per Watt of installed solar capacity. With these prices, the solar savings increase and the solar panel cost is low enough that your solar panels save more than they cost to install.
So why are solar panels so cheap today? Well, there are several factors to consider:
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Solar Increase Property Value
How To Use A Calculator To Calculate How Many Solar Panels You Need
Our solar calculator can estimate the number of panels needed for your home. The tool works by taking your average monthly energy usage in kilowatt hours .
- Calculators that use kilowatt hours are more accurate because they consider your exact energy needs
- Those that ask for home area must assume the electricity consumption
Each electric company has a different power bill format, but they all display your electricity consumption for the billing period. The exact description will vary, but you should look for a term such as kWh used or kWh consumed.
Solar calculators also ask for your home location to determine how much sunshine is available. Based on those two values, they can estimate the system size in kilowatts. Some solar calculators assume a wattage for panels, while others ask you directly. Based on the total kilowatts and the rated watts per panel, the calculator can determine how many are needed.
It is important to understand the difference between kWh savings and dollar savings. kWh savings refer to the amount of energy that your panels produce. On the other hand, dollar savings are obtained when the solar electricity production is multiplied by the kWh price.
What Is Levelized Cost Of Energy
Levelized cost of energy is the average amount that you will pay for each unit of electricity that your solar energy system will produce over its lifetime. LCOE is usually displayed as a cents per kilowatt-hour figure . You might recognize ¢/kWh from your monthly electricity bill its the amount you are charged for each unit of electricity delivered to your home.
LCOE is a useful number to look at whether you are considering purchasing your system, or planning on going solar with a solar lease or PPA arrangement.
Add A Free Kilowatt Hour Cost Calculator Widget To Your Site
You can get a free online kilowatt hour cost calculator for your website and you don’t even have to download the kilowatt hour cost calculator – you can just copy and paste! The kilowatt hour cost calculator exactly as you see it above is 100% free for you to use. If you want to customize the colors, size, and more to better fit your site, then pricing starts at just $29.99 for a one time purchase. Click the “Customize” button above to learn more!
Cadmium Telluride Vs Crystalline Silicone
As shown in the learning curve chart below, cadmium telluride thin film panels are inherently cheaper to make than crystalline silicone panels. These classical learning curves plot “module cost” on the Y axis vs. “cumulative quantity” produced on the X axis. Both axes are logarithmic scales. The chart shows that the two technologies are on distinctly different curves, not dependent on time but on volume. Although crystalline silicone is inherently more expensive, its production volume is much, much larger than cadmium telluride. Just looking at the curves, one would expect crystalline silicone to equal cadmium telluride in the near future.
However, the extreme polysilicon price decline is most likely in the past and future price reductions will probably be more modest. Note that the last two points for crystalline silicone are equal . Most analysts believe First Solar, the leader in cadmium telluride, will continue to drive costs down. First Solar no longer shares their cost goals with the public and most crystalline silicon manufacturers have followd suit. However, First Solar did announce that they beat their cost goal during 2017 . In the long run, the race between cadmium telluride and crystalline silicon will continue to be a critical cost reduction race as crystalline silicone’s volume is roughly 14 to 1 over cadmium telluride. Top
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Solar Panels Cost In Ghana
Diy Vs Hiring A Professional Solar Installer
DIY kits fall around $1 to $2 per kilowatt. Considering that having the entire process handled by a professional contractor averages around $2.50-3.50 per kilowatt, you may not be looking at a lot of savings.
|$25,000 – $35,000
*Pre-tax credit cost.
Going with a professional has many benefits and the price difference is often insignificant. A professional will be able to help you with design, will be able to get higher quality products and materials at a lower rate, and will also be useful in acquiring permits and tax credits.
Cost Per Installed Watt
As stated, the cost per installed watt is one of just two pieces of information that you need to determine the total cost of your solar system.
Here is the average cost per installed watt broken down by province:
Its important to note that these numbers represent average costs. Systems can cost more or less than the average depending on the size and the type of equipment used.
As a general rule, a solar system in your province will be priced:
- Higher for premium equipment and installers, or if your required size is below 7.5kW
- Lower for standard equipment and discount installers, or if your required size is above 7.5kW
You May Like: How To Make Your Own Solar Cells
Find How Much Energy Solar Panels Produce In Your Area
Now that you know how much electricity your home uses in a month, you need to find the amount of sunlight your area receives. This is usually measured in something called peak sun hours, which is essentially the intensity of sunlight in your area.
You can find the average number of daily peak sun hours for your state here. This number is how much sunlight you receive daily, but we need to know how much you receive monthly. To do this, simply multiply your states daily peak sun hours by 30.
The monthly peak sun hours you get tells you how many kWh of electricity 1 kilowatt of solar panels will produce in your area in one day. So, if your state receives 150 monthly peak sunlight hours, 1 kW of solar will produce 150 kWh of electricity per month.
Not sure about the differences between kW and kWh? Read our guide about kW versus kWh and what they mean.
Solar Energy Cost Per Kwh
When looking at installing solar panels on your home, youll receive quotes that detail your system size in terms of kilowatts as well as cost per kilowatt hour . These numbers in the quotes can be confusing since we dont use these measurements in our daily lives. In this post, our goal is to break down these basic measurements to help you understand what a kWh means and to help you better assess any proposals for home solar energy systems.
Get ready for a quick refresher on the basics of how we measure power and the energy produced by solar panel systems. We promise we wont lecture, but we also know these are tricky concepts to grasp. If you arent in the mood for nerdy watt talk right now, take a kitten break instead! If you are ready, then were going to cover the basic measurements of solar energy to help you understand solar energy cost per kilowatt hour and kilowatt .
What Is a kW and a kWh?
Dieters are concerned with counting calories while gear heads are interested in horsepower. If youre in the dark and relying on your battery-powered flashlight, youre relying on amp hours stored in those batteries. There are many different measurements of energy and power, each unique to the specific applications. For solar energy, were talking about kilowatts and kilowatt hours.
Solar Energy Cost Per kWh and kW
You May Like: Is There A Government Scheme For Free Solar Panels