# The price of solar is declining to unprecedented lows

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Plazma Inferno!, Aug 30, 2016.

1. ### Plazma Inferno!Ding Ding Ding DingAdministrator

Messages:
4,609
The installed price of solar energy has declined significantly in recent years as policy and market forces have driven more and more solar installations.
Now, the latest data show that the continued decrease in solar prices is unlikely to slow down anytime soon, with total installed prices dropping by 5 percent for rooftop residential systems, and 12 percent for larger utility-scale solar farms. With solar already achieving record-low prices, the cost decline observed in 2015 indicates that the coming years will likely see utility-scale solar become cost competitive with conventional forms of electricity generation.

The installed cost includes everything needed to get a solar power system up and running: the panels, the power electronics, the mounting hardware, and the installation itself. The continued decline in total installed cost is noteworthy considering the fact that the price of the solar panels (or modules) themselves has remained relatively flat since 2012. This means that the decline in installed cost observed since 2012 was largely caused by a decline in the cost of the inverters that convert the DC power produced by solar panels to AC power for the grid and other “soft” costs such as customer acquisition, system design, installation, and permitting.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...-of-solar-is-declining-to-unprecedented-lows/

ajanta likes this.

3. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

Messages:
3,950
At a local community event which included a kiosk for Solar City, I pointed out that the reliable storage battery technology needed to make consumer based community power into a viable reality has yet to materialize. They generally agreed that the enabling battery technology did not yet exist, but touted Elon Musk's investment and technical support of the endeavor as a reason to install solar panels on my roof.

I have seen first hand the trouble one of my neighbors had with maintaining a solar hot water heating system on his roof. The wind loads are considerable, and if his homeowner's insurance does not increase premiums due to the possibility of part of his roof being torn off in high wind conditions, perhaps it really should.

Most home handymen and homeowners have enough problems to deal with without worrying about maintaining a 24/7 power generating and conditioning enterprise. Think about simpler and less expensive and time and money consuming ways to reduce power consumption first.

5. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
4,900
I have been on solar power for 20 years.
Having a battery bank causes one to be less wasteful with consumption because you must budget your energy.
Its not ideal but given connection to the grid will cost [$]250,000 I do not have the luxury of entertaining grid power. The last place I moved to has an excellent system and a wind turbine. You need a small Genny ([$]400 investment) for rainy days but it only charges batteries and 1 ltr of fuel usually is enough.
I run everything 240 vlt rather than 12 vlt system because 240 vlt appliances are cheap and reliable where as 12 vlt stuff not so.
The main concern is one day the batteries will die and in the current place that means [$]10,000 to replace them. But a total replacement of the system and even running a Genny every day is cheaper than grid connection. The hot water is via a fuel stove but intend getting a solar hot water system I can't see such a system will be a danger and will probably place it on the ground with the tank inside the roof. Oh just purchased a key start Genny 2kva only [$]750 which makes things easier.
I think solar is great for many situations but like most things there are good aspects and not so good aspects.
I am in the city at the moment but not wasteful with the power.
Alex

Made several small edits to stop the LATEX formatting from mucking with your post

Kittamaru

Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2016
ajanta, wegs and danshawen like this.

7. ### timojinValued Senior Member

Messages:
3,252
Did you buy the hook up to the grid , or you did it yourself
How do you feed your system into the grid

8. ### billvonValued Senior Member

Messages:
14,165
It's here; there are several technologies (LiFePO4, sodium ion) that fit that bill. They're just not scaled up to the size we need yet.
Why? That's not a significant risk for a well installed solar power system.
Yet they will hop in a far more complex car and drive across a desert, expecting to not break down along the way. (or get on an even more complex airplane and fly around the world.)
That's always the best first step.

9. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

Messages:
4,900
I am no where near the grid.
I went solar otherwise I could only get power from a Genny. I did everything. Built the house did the plumbing and electrics.
Solar was a necessity and expensive.
You have panels to supply batteries and back then I used 12 vlt appliances. After a time purchased a small inverter which turns 12vlts into 240vlts.
If you needed power tools or run the washing machine you use a Genny...which also charges batteries when there is no Sun.
Feeding to a grid is great but the lesson from solar is to use batteries and be conscience of energy in and energy out.
Cooking and hot water via a wood burning stove. I have 200 acres of forest but it is a pain gathering wood.
Always plenty on the ground but you have to cut it with a chain saw into "rounds" and the split it with a "block splitter".
Also run a huge open fire which takes logs ... I built it and it has about 2.5 ton of rock which holds the heat long after the fire dies.
Hard life but good for health and happiness.
Rain water is gathered in tanks and there are 3 dams for irrigation of the garden. I put fish in the dams, they are all gone now but there are so many ...what you may call fresh water crayfish... yabbies I will never starve.
You may get 1 or 2 cars go by in a week which is still too many but better than city living.
Bush fire is a problem and in 2002 I lost everything except the house.
I was fixing the house and moved everything into a shack which was , with everything I owned, burnt to the ground.
A character building experience.
Alex

Last edited: Oct 7, 2016