Published on January 25, 2008
Economics of Photovoltaic Systems: Economics of Photovoltaic Systems Original Presentation by J. M. Pearce, 2006 Email: [email protected] PV Economics Basics: PV Economics Basics Solar Photovoltaic Cells convert sunlight directly into electricity They are sold on a $/Wp basis or $/power Wp is the power in Watts for Peak sun hours -- the equivalent number of hours per day, with solar irradiance equaling 1,000 W/m2, that gives the same energy received from sunrise to sundown. To convert power to energy simply multiply by the amount of time that the cell is illuminated W * hr = 1 W-hr Electricity (energy) is normally billed $/kW-hr Economics of a Solar Electric Home : Economics of a Solar Electric Home A typical American uses ~ 9,000 kW-hrs/year A well-designed U.S. home needs 4kW-5kW of PV to provide for its energy needs averaged throughout the year Depends on location (solar flux) Energy use of home Because calculating on /Wp basis you do not need to worry about efficiency How much for a Solar Electric House?: How much for a Solar Electric House? The 2nd presentation discussed the components of a grid-tied solar home system The price tag for the complete installed system including all labor as of 2006 is between $5/Wp to $10/Wp For a 4kW system: 4000Wp x $5/Wp = $20,000 4000Wp x $10/Wp = $40,000 Cost of Energy Production: Cost of Energy Production Photovoltaic cells: $0.20-0.40 per kW-hr Wind turbines: $0.04-0.05 per kW-hr Gas: $0.02-$0.03 per kW-hr Coal: < $0.03 per kW-hr Financing PV: Financing PV For new homes a PV system can be folded into the mortgage – long term low interest loan For retrofits of existing homes PV can be economic with: Financial assistance through grants, subsidies, or other incentives High costs of electricity in your area Green power purchase agreements Off-grid Applications PV Incentives: PV Incentives One stop shop for financial incentives is www.dsireusa.org/ The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy. Lists includes: Corporate Tax Incentives Direct Equipment Sales Grant Programs Leasing/Lease Purchase Programs Loan Programs Personal Income Tax Incentives Production Incentives Property Tax Incentives Rebate Programs Sales Tax Incentives Where PV makes Economic Sense Now : Where PV makes Economic Sense Now Remote sites that are too far from power Or where the power is too unreliable for a given application (e.g. internet server) Costs for power lines range from $8000 to $75,000 per mile. As a general rule, if you are more than ½ mile from a line, solar is probably the best alternative. PV : Cheap Electricity for Road Work: PV : Cheap Electricity for Road Work In areas that have grid power, where the cost of tearing up the streets and/or other construction are expensive. Portable Radio Station: Portable Radio Station The Developing World: The Developing World Stand Alone Systems: Stand Alone Systems Coast Guard Stationsand Aircraft: Coast Guard Stations and Aircraft Bus Stops and Emergency Phones: Bus Stops and Emergency Phones Solar in Space: Solar in Space Parking Lights : Parking Lights Running Trails and Lighthouses: Running Trails and Lighthouses Solar powered monasteries!: Solar powered monasteries! When will PV make economic sense for me?: When will PV make economic sense for me? Slide20: Economy of Scale 0 subsidies Grid-tied Market $3.12/Wp to $3.56/Wp Slide21: Industry-Developed PV Roadmap Slide22: World PV Module Production (MW) Increases Source: PV News, March 2003 World PV installations in 2004 rose to 930MW -- growth of 62 % Consolidated world production of PV now 1.15 GW+ PV System vs. Electricity Costs: PV System vs. Electricity Costs What you can do: What you can do Energy consumers would sign up on www.iwillifyouwill.org Give names, addresses, phone numbers, e–mail addresses, and "pledge levels." Your pledge level would indicate how many peak Watts of solar panels you would be willing to purchase based on the price of an installed system. Your identifying information would be kept confidential; however, your participation level would be posted on a publicly accessible Web site. In this way consumers become "subcontractors" to the major solar cell manufacturers providing needed market data New Technology Could Play a Role: New Technology Could Play a Role Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer Sanyo 18.5% 30MW (by the end of FY 2003: coupled with current production boost total output to 60MW) Annual production is increased to 120 MW in 2005. Slide26: Built-in Incentives Utilizing Financial Incentives: Utilizing Financial Incentives Subsidies for Fossil Fuel: Subsidies for Fossil Fuel Fossil fuels and nuclear energy receive 90% of the government money, (with PV receiving <3%). Hidden costs that we all subsidize for the energy industry which include: Air pollution leads to the death of 120,000 Americans every year and costs $40 billion in health care annually. / Hidden Subsidies – pollution, global climate change, war Military (U.S. military spends billions/yr just defending the oil supplies in the Persian Gulf). The Question of Energy Unemployment: The Question of Energy Unemployment If we switch to solar what about all the fossil fuel jobs? A 1997 Pembina Institute report found that for every million dollars invested: 36.3 jobs are created in the energy efficiency sector 12.2 in the renewable energy sector conventional energy only 7.3 jobs are created. PV: Net Job Producer!: PV: Net Job Producer! Jobs created with every million dollars spent on: oil and gas exploration: 1.5 on coal mining: 4.4 on producing solar water heaters: 14 on photovoltaic panels: 17 Jobs Coal vs. Solar: Jobs Coal vs. Solar Coal only employs 80,000 By 2010, approximately 70,000 new jobs could be created as a result of the increased demand through the installation of only one million solar energy systems (3%). People Want Solar: People Want Solar The Program on International Policy Attitudes found that the American public wants the federal budget for renewable energy research like solar PV to increase by 1090 %. Solar Photovoltaics is the Future: Solar Photovoltaics is the Future Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements This is the fourth in a series of presentations created for the solar energy community to assist in the dissemination of information about solar photovoltaic cells. This work was supported from a grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The author would like to acknowledge assistance in collecting information for this presentation from Heather Zielonka.