The analyst predicted solar power would be equal to or less expensive than grid power for two thirds of the U.S. In most of the remaining third of the country, it will be no more than 5 cents per kWhr more expensive, he said.
I am confused by this article. It states photovoltaic power is approaching grid parity, and then states that solar power will be only 5 cents per kWhr above grid power, which is a huge bump.
Which is it?
Here in California PGE has a tiered structure where the top two tiers are $0.37 and $.044/KWH so most people who put in a PV system only size it to cover the top three tiers giving them a faster payback and keeping their bills reasonable.
Are you including distribution and transmission kwh costs?
In California this ads 0.08$/kwh to our costs, making our total cost/kwh over 0.020$/kwh.
Add the subsidies and net metering and the payback gets down under 5 years with falling PV system cost just icing on the PV cake.
so places like texas and california will-are at parity.
Wet and cloudy places like Seattle will probably never make sense.
However all the environmentally friendly forward thinking people in areas like Seattle could be allowed to participate by being allowed to invest in PV systems in regions it does make sense via a government managed or oversight controlled with proper guarantees and protections for there investments that could accelerate the deployment in areas that do make sense.
(See articles about PV and funding via property tax tied protection of loans in Palm Springs Ca)
Cash strapped homeowners with good credit or via property tax tied payment systems could do this today allowing everyone wishing to make a difference no mater where they live a reality.
This would take some much needed relief off the governments back (WE cannot afford another 1 trillion dollar big biz pig fest) to achieve the goal of reducing imported energy and thus US deficits.
Since when was a $0.05/kWH "increase" considered price parity? I pay $0.125/kWH today, so PV would represent a 40% increase in my electric rates.
Also, like other articles, EE Times does not mention the life expectancy of the PV supply. In 2007, a PV salesman admitted that PV loses about 10% of power generating capability each year. My information is old, but I never get media updates on the critical long-term reliability for PV.
On Yahoo, I found a 2.15kWH home array for $6,600 with installation. To calculate the payback, I generously assume 10 hours/day solar generation for 365 days a year. At $0.125/kWH from the power company this would imply a 7 year payback if PV generation does not fall off. It would similarly imply 8+ years & 10+ years for payback with a 5% or 10% annual efficiency reduction, respectively. PV never pays back with a 20% annual efficiency reduction.
Government taxation of existing power sources and subsidies of PV could turn this around, but the economics are quite marginal. And the facts are not being accurately reported.
The true cost of a solar power installation includes both the solar power collector and backup power storage for at night or when the sun is covered by weather. It is only when this total cost (minus subsidies) equals grid power cost that solr becomes affordable.
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