Author Topic: It now costs $50 to produce one mwh of solar power. Coal, otoh, costs $102  (Read 1203 times)

rcjordan

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rcjordan

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<added>

The answer is simple; we need to subsidize coal.

Travoli

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>subsidize coal.

Air quality is too high lately.

aaron

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Will solar continue to get cheaper due to technological innovation?

Or will blocking product dumping from China combine with some sort of mandated grift layers added into it to drive prices more in the direction of healthcare costs?

Increasing demand should lower cost, but the regulations will raise them.

Solar panels will be a requirement on all new California homes starting in 2020.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44059865
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California has become the first US state to mandate solar panels on new homes and apartment buildings built after 1 January, 2020. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the plan
...
Critics have been quick to note that the solar panel mandate will add between $8,000 and $12,000 to a home's cost.

buckworks

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>> will add between $8,000 and $12,000 to a home's cost

To judge this, we'd need to know more than just that one factoid.

Specifically, what would adding solar panels do to the ongoing monthly utility costs for that home? Reduce them, one would hope ...

We'd need to compare the total monthly cost of [Mortgage plus Utilities without solar] to the monthly cost of [Mortgage plus Utilities with solar].

If the net monthly costs were lower with solar, the upfront cost would be easy to defend.

A caveat here would be that lending institutions might need to tweak their formulas so they take reduced utilities into consideration when calculating someone's eligibility for a mortgage. They'd need to look at more than just the monthly mortgage payment on its own.

The same could be said about other strategies for reducing the energy footprint of a home (extra insulation, passive solar design, etc). They'd usually add to the upfront costs, but would reduce ongoing costs. Lenders need to calculate accordingly.

ergophobe

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Air quality is too high lately.

All those people living longer if we stop burning coal is going to wreck Social Security

rcjordan

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>Will solar continue to get cheaper due to technological innovation?

>Or will blocking product dumping from China combine with some sort of mandated grift layers added

In the US, all of the above --with the possible exception of a few suburban/rural DIY enthusiasts who figure out that slapping a few ultra-cheap, high-efficiency solar panels on the roof ain't all that hard.  City-dwellers, as we've already discussed are screwed.

>Calif mandate

I like the basic idea but distrust the bureaucracies & oligarchies that are going to be involved.

littleman

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Rupert

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From the origonal articly, this is hidden neaer the bottom:
 
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LCOE as a measurement does not take into account some external costs, like storing solar power for cloudy days,
Or night then. In northern places thats important... Oh, and winter.
... Make sure you live before you die.

rcjordan

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> northern places thats important... Oh, and winter.

Yeah, you guys are waaaay north of us.  For instance, I am due east of Gibraltar. That's why NC is 2nd in solar among the US states ---location, location, location.

Rupert

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Gibraltar....  almost half way to the equator :) 
... Make sure you live before you die.

gm66

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There's tech on the way that will increase solar efficieny from the current 20-odd percent to 30%, can't find the article right now.
Civilisation is a race between disaster and education ...

gm66

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Civilisation is a race between disaster and education ...

rcjordan

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> current 20-odd percent

I think the max now is 28% but the in-the-field reality is 25%. That relatively low efficiency is what really gives me confidence in the long-term future of solar tech.  We're already getting by with the current tech but imagine what will happen when we hit 75% or 3 times the power from the same physical space.

ergophobe

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Is it spatial density or cost density that matters the most?

I suppose that's just the wrong question. Something that's super cheap on a KW basis but that takes up a huge amount of space becomes expensive to deploy.

I know in my case, because of ridges and trees and limited solar exposure, the low efficiency in current tech is an obstacle. 2x the juice from the same amount of solar exposure (time * area) would make solar more attractive even if it were somewhat more costly per KW.

Added - Gary's article led me to this, which is interesting - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shockley%E2%80%93Queisser_limit

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This maximum occurs at a band gap of 1.34 eV.[3] That is, of all the power contained in sunlight (about 1000 W/m˛) falling on an ideal solar cell, only 33.7% of that could ever be turned into electricity (337 W/m˛). The most popular solar cell material, silicon, has a less favorable band gap of 1.1 eV, resulting in a maximum efficiency of about 32%. Modern commercial mono-crystalline solar cells produce about 24% conversion efficiency, the losses due largely to practical concerns like reflection off the front of the cell and light blockage from the thin wires on the cell surface.

The Shockley–Queisser limit only applies to conventional solar cells with a single p-n junction; tandem solar cells with multiple layers can (and do) outperform this limit, and so can solar thermal
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 04:18:46 PM by ergophobe »