26 Jun '11, 12pm

Value of solar power far exceeds its cost

Solar power has a monetary value as much as 10 times higher than its energy value, thanks to its ability to reduce peak demand on the transmission and distribution system, hedge against fuel price increases, and enhance grid and environmental security. The cost of residential-scale distributed solar PV is around 23 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in a sunny climate like Los Angeles, 24 cents in Colorado. While the average cost of grid-delivered wholesale electricity in many parts of the country is low (four cents per kWh), a new report lists many ways that distributed solar adds value beyond electrons [PDF]. Distributed solar power provides electricity on-site or near to demand, reducing transmission losses, as well as wear-and-tear on utility equipment by mitigating peak demand. It also eliminates the need to hedge against fuel price swings. These benefits add three to 14 c...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/solar-power/2011-06-23-value-of-sola...

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