I’ve been debating some folks on the idea that solar will put utilities out of business. As I’ve stated here before and MANY times elsewhere, solar will not replace our fossil fuel dependence so long as we consume as much power as we do.
I hear all the time that the price per Watt is dropping even becoming equivalent with your utility price of say 10 cents a kWh. But the price per watt doesn’t matter. It’s the space that a typical PV panel takes up for a very small watt production. There isn’t enough space for our growing energy demand, unless we use eminent domain for the entire state of Arizona.
From the link:
“Here is an example of an equivocal fact about wind and solar energy from a recent WEF ( World Economic Forum) Report:
” Electricity produced through solar and wind energy is the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity”
Electricity produced through solar and wind energy can supply a small percentage of network generation at the same price or cheaper than electricity produced from fossil fuels.
But there is still a problem. Proponents of solar and wind quote the value proposition for VRE and in the same breath set a goal for 100 percent solar and wind energy. How are they going to do this?
I can see where this is going. Storage batteries are installed on electrical networks to support more solar and wind energy – the cost of the storage batteries goes into the rate base. The cost of electricity goes up -way up. Then more batteries and static VAR compensators are added and the price of electricity keeps climbing. Now I’m getting worried it will no longer be economical to drive my electric car. Quelle horreur!
And this is another aspect of my debate. The idea that we’ll all be driving electric vehicles. Not hybrids but pure electrics. How much do replacement batteries cost? Currently, you’d pay between $5k-$15k for a replacement battery.
How long will a battery run before it loses charge? In China, they are replacing hundreds of thousands of EV batteries after only 3-5 yrs.
How do the batteries actually get charged if we’re trying to get off fossil fuels? I do not know.
But there are so many what ifs in all of this that I challenge any idea that we’ll be solar heavy or even EV dominant anytime soon.