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Published: Thursday 25 July, 2013

handbags women handbags women ?The Efficacy of Solar Power



No, without significant subsidies, it will take a long time before it becomes viable. We havent even really gotten to point of real world good deal yet, its not even theoretically a good deal, and wont be for a while. When you start factoring in failure rates and maintenance, along with degrading and reducing returns not to mention the reality that most of the country doesnt live somewhere with easy access to nice sunshine all year its not the wonderful thing the ecokooks are pretending it is.



Another factor thats not being considered is the cost in terms of dirty elements/metals/chemicals needed to actually manufacture the cells. Yes, the cost has come down quite a bit, but theres a significant amount of dirty processing that goes into making them, so the overall net impact to the environment might not be any better than dirty fossil fuels.



First off, the Wright Brothers did not need any money from the Federal government. Manufacturing of the Wright flyer was also not an environmental nightmare that was transferred to China to avoid oversight.



The Wright Brothers also did not have access to super computers capable of testing nuclear weapons. Surely these supercomputers could assist in designing better solar cells.



Solar energy is useful in that it can be used to generate steam to turn turbines which ultimately is all coal and nuclear power does as well. I think the OPs point is the amount of federal spending going towards solar panels whether is be loans to companies or subsidies t handbags women o get solar panels installed.



Niche as in providing power for home and communities? Whats being ignored is that the cost of solar is coming down while other sources of power go up in cost. While manufacturing and other demanding applications need a source of high density energy, that does not apply to residential needs. Note that when we talk energy the associated costs of an ever increasingly complicated grid are omitted. Lets see the TCO of nuclear plants including their decommissioning costs. Youll find out that it isnt cheap.



Again the trend is solar cheaper, everything else escalating. The point where they cross isnt all that far in the future.



Niche as in providing power for home and communities? Whats being ignored is that the cost of solar is coming down while other sources of power go up in cost. While manufacturing and other demanding applications need a source of high density energy, that does not apply to residential needs. Note that when we talk energy the associated costs of an ever increasingly complicated grid are omitted. Lets see the TCO of nuclear plants including their decommissioning costs. Youll find out that it isnt cheap.



Again the trend is solar cheaper, everything else escalating. The point where they cross isnt all that far in the future.



The analysis in the OP has one HUGE flaw that no one has pointed out. You dont simply get the luxury of comparing the cost of the solar cell to the cost of mined coal. edit, actually it has been pointed out; I had this tab open for a while. You need to include the cost of building that coal fired plant from the ground up.



Anoth handbags women er flaw: since you mentioned that it depends on where you live and not where the plant is located, Im going to assume youre talking about solar cells at a residence. Unless you go completely off grid, theres no need for storage in batteries. And, youre certainly not going to have 40 losses thats an exaggeration youre pulling out of your ass to make your argument. Lets take a 4000 watt installation, for example. Youre claiming that its going to lose 1600 watts? That energy loss would go to heat. Thats a lot of lost heat in the house. A 1600 watt heater running during all the daylight hours, in the summer? Im very skeptical that that much heat is generated.



Coal costs closer to 2 cents to generate a kwhr. But, that factor does not include the ex handbags women ternal costs that are born by society. Including these costs deaths of miners, destruction of environment including natural resources with a value, such as timber, etc., some analysts put the price of coal well over 10 cents per kwhr. Since youre allowing for 100 square feet, and even accepting your worst case scenario of 2 watts per square foot, thats still 200 watts of generation. 50,000 watt hours divided by 200 watts is 250 hours. Or in other words, these things are so bad. whole year, youre full of shit.



A somewhat more realistic analysis is this, and Ill skew the numbers in your favor. $1 per watt for 10 watts per sq foot panels $10 per sq ft.; But, after losses, lets say you only get 4 watts for that $10. $10 would buy you 100 kwhrs from the power company. How long until you recoup your investment? So, 100,000 watthours, generating at a rate of 4 watthours per hour. 25000 hours to break even. At only 8 hours a day, thats 3125 days to break even; about 8 1/2 years.



Now, a lot of people wouldnt want to have that money tied up for 8 1/2 years before they break even. But, remember, after 8 1/2 years, your energy is close to free, while theres every reason in the world to expect that the cost of energy on the market is going to increase. Hell, coal skyrocketed in price a couple of years ago. People spend that kind of cash or more on vehicles for a 6 year loan; 8 1/2 years isnt really that long.



I didnt use a best case scenario I used a less than ideal scenario. The new cells are supposed to get 10 watts per square foot; I based my analysis on only 4 watts per square foot. In an ideal case southern California, Arizona, etc., they average close to 12 hours of sunlight a day, and would get closer to those 10 watts.



Youre right around where I live, it would be hard to justify the cost; not enough sunny days, and including other costs, it might take 1012 years to break even. As far as the time value of money think of it as a low risk investment risks being minimized by warranties. If it takes 8 years to break even, and we assume it lasts for 20 years, then a $15,000 investment up front ultimately has a value in electricity of more than 37,500 over the 20 years more than, because the price will increase. I think its a safe bet that within 20 years, the cost of electricity will double. Itll probably be at least $50k worth of electricity over 20 years.



Now, find me a low risk investment of $15,000 that would be worth $50k after 20 years. thats a little over a 6 rate of return.



edit: that math isnt correct; to make it correct, youd have to deduct from that $15k each month to pay for the electricity; I dont have time at the moment, but can do that math later.



If solar efficiency even increased by a factor of 10, everywhere possible would be utilizing solar panels in any situation possible tomorrow. That would require approximately 2 years for the panels to pay for themselves unsubsidized, dropping the average solar installation price to $2,0003,000.



Also, as far as maintenance goes, the only maintenance required for solar panels is keeping them cleared off for an ongrid system, so long as all the electrical connections are properly weather sealed. This would be difficult in snowy areas, but otherwise not a problem. Maintenance of all solid systems with no moving parts is way simpler than combustion processes. handbags women

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