Friday, November 25, 2022

Is Solar Power Cheaper Than Electricity

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Regular Electricity

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Regular electricity prices basically are a clear reflection of the cost to finance, build, operate, and maintain power plants as well as the complex system of power distribution lines. Electricity must be generated and transmitted through equipment that requires maintenance and fuel costs. Some for-profits utilities further include a financial return for shareholders and owners in their electricity prices. The cost of electricity is determined by various factors, some large, some small. The main factors that affect your costs for electricity include:

How Much Solar Power Is Reasonable

When we say that PV will be at parity with natural gas and coal, that does not mean there will not be any coal or natural gas generators thereafter. Because the sun shines only during daylight hours, and wind is most prevalent at night, both are variable. We can not be totally dependent on renewables in the foreseeable future. Currently, wind provides 4% and solar about 2% of US electricity. An electrical generation target of 20% solar and wind by 2040 seems reasonable. The solar and wind figures could be larger if there were some “dramatic cost improvements” in grid electricity storage, notably large battery systems. However at the moment, large battery storage at the grid level still looks a way off.

In addition, more than 20% of solar and wind would require major investments in transmission lines. Not only are transmission lines expensive, but they are hard to permit because of the NIMBY factor. Transmission lines also require three to four years to build, versus solar or wind plants which can be easily built in two years. If by 2040, 20% of our electricity comes from solar and wind, almost everyone will be happy with the situation. Top

Wind Power And Solar Power Arent Cheaper Than Coal Or Natural Gas

Climate Change Weekly #390

For more than two decades, renewable-power profiteers have colluded with climate alarmists and politicians who support big government energy and environment programs to push wind and solar power, supposedly to fight catastrophic climate change. Government has provided subsidies, tax breaks, tax credits, grants, and government-backed loans to get utilities to adopt wind and solar energy. In addition, 29 states and Washington, D.C. require utilities to use wind and solar power, through renewable energy mandates . They have done this even though electricity generated by wind and solar power has consistently been more expensive than traditional sources used to generate electric power, including fossil fuels, hydropower, and nuclear. They did this even though, as I detailed in last weeks Climate Change Weekly, wind and solar power are poor choices to generate large-scale power on interconnected electric power systems because they introduce variability and intermittency into a system that demands constancy and reliability.

Data from the Energy Information Administration offers further proof wind and solar power dont benefit consumers and business by producing cheaper electricity than traditional electric power generating sources.

So an apples-to-apples comparison shows electricity prices in states with REMs are 29 percent higher than in states without them and 31 percent higher if we exclude Alaska and Hawaii as outliers.

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Solar Boosts The Local Job Market

The expanding solar industry provides more employment opportunities, particularly in regions where there is a demand for solar energy like Southern California. Installing solar panels on your roof provides you with a clean energy source while simultaneously creating job opportunities for your local economy.

Is Geothermal The Best Energy Source

Solar power is now cheaper than Eskom

Experts say geothermal energy is cleaner, more efficient, and more cost-effective than burning fossil fuels, and it can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Geothermal plants are also considered to be more reliable than coal or nuclear plants because they can run consistently, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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Where Do Fossil Fuels Come From

The three main types of fossil fuels are petroleum , coal and natural gas. The formation of these fuels is a natural process, but its one that takes time. Despite their name, fossil fuels don’t come from fossils instead, energy absorbed millions of years ago remained stored in organisms as they were slowly covered by earth. It takes hundreds of millions of years for buried organisms to decompose anaerobically, and these organisms eventually convert into what we know as fossil fuels.

These fossil fuels are found underground by mining or drilling, both of which have high operational costs. Burning fossil fuels breaks down the atom bonds that store the energy, which releases the energy for use.

Is Solar Energy Expensive

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  • When it comes to the cost of energy from new power plants, wind and solar energy on land are now the cheapest sources they cost less than gas, geothermal energy, coal or nuclear power. Solar in particular has become cheaper at a tremendous pace. Just 10 years ago, it was the most expensive opportunity to build a new energy development.

    How much more expensive is solar energy? Electricity from fossil fuels costs between 5 and 17 cents per kilowatt-hour. Solar energy costs are on average between 3 cents and 6 cents per. kilowatt-hour and is declining, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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    When Will You Make Your Money Back

    When it comes to solar electricity bills, it might take some time to earn back what you initially spent on the cost of installation and panels but according to Finder, you should see the returns within a decade depending on the size. A 2.5kW system could take four years while a 20kW might only take seven.

    This is known as the solar payback time and can change depending on the size of the battery, where you live, the angle of your roof and the retailer. Lower parts of Victoria that get less sun will see a longer payback time, while areas like South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory that have more sun and higher grid tariffs might only take the minimum of four years.

    How Much Money Will You Save With Solar Panels

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    One of the most common questions surrounding solar energy is: How much will you save with solar? Naturally, this depends on your energy needs, location, solar loan interest rates and budget. However, the average solar panel payback period is between five and 10 years.

    When determining whether solar panels are worth it for your home, keep in mind that your savings will be greater if you live in an area where electricity rates are higher by contrast, if you live somewhere with a lower cost of electricity, the money you save using clean energy will be lesser.

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    Buy The Best Solar Panels

    Anyone new to solar panels should start with a good kit, like this one by Renology. You’ll get everything you need in one, including an 100W solar panel, 30A PWM negative ground charge controller, MC4 connectors, a 8Ft 10 AWG tray cable, and mounting Z brackets for an RV or boat. It can fully charge a 50Ah Battery from 50% in 3 hours.

    What causes cost of capital to lower? It depends on a bunch of things, but for renewable energy, there are a few low-hanging factors. As people and companies see more successful projects like Elon Musks South Australia solar battery farm, their investment confidence grows.

    The better the technologys batting average, the more you look forward to its at-bats. And the cost of the technology itself continues to fall, meaning investors are asked to swallow at least a little smaller pill. Then, policies like tax incentives and low-cost financing sweeten the deal.

    IEAs recommendations include similar projections and calculations for all renewables as well as nuclear. Solar is well positioned to blow up in the next 10 years, the IEA says, because right now its in the sweet spot of low cost and increasing availability. All the pathways listed include a mix of renewables, nuclear, and shrinking coal and gas power. And while the news is very good for solar, its still pretty good for all the other renewables as well as nuclear, the IEA says.

    How Much Will Solar Continue To Grow In The United States

    The growth of renewable energy has been driven by two things: better technology and an increasing manufacturing volumes. Together, these forces have driven down the price of solar electricity so much that it is on par with gas and coal, or even cheaper in many cases.

    Second, the majority of people live in states that have a renewable portfolio standard . An RPS is a mandate from the state government that a certain percentage of the stateâs electricity must come from renewable sources.

    These mandates are important for the price of solar because it means there will be a guaranteed market for photovoltaics in the future. By increasing the demand, weâll see the price of solar panels to continue to drop.

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    Residential Solar Installed Costs Have Stopped Dropping But People Are Getting Better Equipment

    The latest report from Berkeley Lab shows that the installed cost of residential solar has flattened out in the past couple of years. In fact, in 2019, the median price rose by about $0.10.

    On the face of it, that might make it seem like solar has actually started to get more expensive. It hasnt: costs continue to drop every year. In fact, whats happened is that residential customers are installing better equipment, and getting more value for the same money.

    For example, in 2018, 74% of residential customers choose microinverters or power optimizer-based inverter systems over less expensive string inverters. In 2019, this number took a big jump to 87%.

    Similarly, in 2018, the average solar homeowner was installing solar panels with 18.8% efficiency, but in 2019 the efficiency rose to 19.4%.

    So while the invoice price that homeowners are paying for solar these days is flat or even slightly increasing, theyre getting better equipment for the same money.

    Why Did Pv Prices Come Down So Rapidly

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    As can be seen from the graph at the left, over 20 plus years solar module prices have experienced a dramatic price reduction. From 2007 to 2014, a seven year span, worldwide average module prices dropped about 78% from $3.25 per watt to about $.72 per watt, a phenomenal drop.

    The main reason crystalline silicon module prices dropped so much was because the price of the raw material polysilicon, which makes up a very significant part of the total cost, dropped so tremendously. Back in 2007 there was a world wide polysilicon shortage and prices increased to about $400/kg. Polysilicon suppliers made a lot of money and added tons of capacity so that there was a huge polysilicon capacity oversupply by 2010. Over a three year period from 2008 to 2011, polysilicon prices dropped from $400 per kilogram to $25/kg – a 94% drop.

    In addition to the polysilicon issue, the decline is also being driven by a) the increasing efficiency of solar cells b) dramatic manufacturing technology improvements, c) economies of scale and d) intense competition which leads to module oversupply.

    The recent solar growth rate of 23% per year allowed manufacturing efficiencies that are unheard of in other industries. In addition, there are too many competitors jousting for major contracts, which is driving prices down precipitously. Top

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    Solar Is A Predictable Low Cost For 25 Years

    A solar panel system typically has a 25-35 year lifespan, or longer with proper maintenance. This means that you can lock in electricity costs for at least a quarter-century by going solar. You can get a customized estimate of your long-term electricity bill savings and review personalized projections for up-front cost and 25-year solar savings by simply giving us a call.

    With solar power, your costs will not go higher than the cost of the system. You might end up paying over 200k for 25 years of electricity bills, or more. Utility companies constantly increase their rates, going as high as 14% in one year! After the solar panel system is paid for, the energy is free!

    Total Lifetime Solar Energy Production

    The value of the electricity produced over the total life cycle of the system is calculated by estimating the initial annual production, called Peak Capacity, and then discounting it for future years based on previously observed annual degradation rates for the particular technology of the site. A typical degradation rate is 0.5% per year, although some rates are as high as 1.0% and as low as 0.25%. The first-year energy production of the system is expressed in kilowatt hours generated per kilowatt of peak capacity.

    • How the system is mounted and oriented
    • The spacing between PV panels as expressed in terms of system ground coverage ratio
    • The energy harvest of the PV panels
    • System losses from soiling, transformers, inverters and wiringinefficiencies
    • System availability largely driven by inverter downtime

    The LCOE is highly sensitive to small changes in input variablesand underpinning assumptions. For this reason, it is important tocarefully assess and validate the assumptions used for differenttechnologies when comparing LCOEs.

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    What Type Of Energy Will Eventually Run Out

    Non-renewable energy is an energy source that will eventually run out. Most sources of non-renewable energy are fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil.

    What type of energy eventually depletes?

    Non-renewable sources account for 85% of worldwide energy consumption from sources that will eventually be depleted, such as oil, natural gas and coal.

    What kind of energy comes from sources that wont run out?

    Renewable energy is energy that is derived from the earths natural resources, which are not limited or depleted, such as wind and sunlight. Renewable energy is an alternative to the traditional energy that relies on fossil fuels and it tends to be much less harmful to the environment.

    Levelized Cost Of Energy

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    The following table shows the Levelized Cost Of Energy for various sources of electricity. LCOE is the most popular method of comparing the cost of different complex energy technologies. It is the total life cycle cost of electricity for a given technology divided by the total life cycle electricity produced, expressed as dollars per million watt hours . The table below, derived from LCOE costs developed by the US Energy Information Administration in February, 2019, “estimates” the average LCOE over a 30 year period for different energy sources that are brought online in the year 2023. The year 2023 is used for comparison as that is a realistic time frame for a new plant to come on-line.

    Energy Plant Type
    39.1

    Notes: CCS stands for Carbon Control and Storage in a remote underground location.

    “New” conventional coal plants without CCS and “new” Peaker Natural Gas plants are not allowed in the year 2022.

    PV solar is much cheaper than coal with CCS and it is unlikely that any new coal fired plants will be built in the US. The Petra Nova facility, a coal-fired power plant located near Houston, Texas, is one of only two operating power plants with carbon capture and storage in the world. It is the only CCS facility in the United States. So CCS of any kind is not currently a major competitor to solar. Solar costs have been coming down dramatically. They are expected to slow down somewhat, but will continue to decline from the levels used in the LCOE calculations above.

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    Wind & Solar Are Cheaper Than Everything Lazard Reports

    We recently saw the International Energy Agency report that solar power offers the cheapest electricity in history. That was a global report. A US-focused report from Lazard recently reported something similar, but even better news.

    We recently saw the International Energy Agency report that solar power offers the cheapest electricity in history. That was a global report. A US-focused report from Lazard recently reported something similar. The highly regarded energy analysts showed that wind and solar offer the cheapest electricity in the country, even significantly undercutting natural gas combined cycle power plants now. But thats only half of it.

    External Costs Of Energy Sources

    Typically pricing of electricity from various energy sources may not include all external costs â that is, the costs indirectly borne by society as a whole as a consequence of using that energy source. These may include enabling costs, environmental impacts, usage lifespans, energy storage, recycling costs, or beyond-insurance accident effects.

    The US Energy Information Administration predicts that coal and gas are set to be continually used to deliver the majority of the world’s electricity. This is expected to result in the evacuation of millions of homes in low-lying areas, and an annual cost of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of property damage.

    According to a 2021 Harvard Business Review study costs of recycling solar panels will reach $20-30 per panel in 2035 which would increase the LCOE fourfold for PV solar power, which presents a significant policy challenge because if the recycling is made legal duty of the manufacturers it will dramatically reduce profit margins on this already competitive market, and if it’s not then massive amounts of panels containing toxic heavy metals may end up in landfills unprocessed. According to IRENA 2016 study the amount of PV-related waste is estimated to grow by 78 million tons by 2050.

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