Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

In USA solar powered electricity now cheaper than nuclear

Having dropped below nuclear power, solar power is now one of the least expensive energy sources in America.

Study: Solar power is cheaper than nuclear | The Energy Collective, July 27, 2010 by OshaDavidson The Holy Grail of the solar industry — reaching grid parity — may no longer be a distant dream. Solar may have already reached that point, at least when compared to nuclear power, according to a new study by two researchers at Duke University.

It’s no secret that the cost of producing photovoltaic cells (PV) has been dropping for years. A PV system today costs just 50 percent of what it did in 1998. Breakthroughs in technology and manufacturing combined with an increase in demand and production have caused the price of solar power to decline steadily. At the same time, estimated costs for building new nuclear power plants have ballooned.

The result of these trends: “In the past year, the lines have crossed in North Carolina,” say study authors John Blackburn and Sam Cunningham. “Electricity from new solar installations is now cheaper than electricity from proposed new nuclear plants.”……….

Two factors not stressed in the study bolster the case for solar even more:

1) North Carolina is not a “sun-rich” state. The savings found in North Carolina are likely to be even greater for states with more sunshine –Arizona, southern California, Colorado, New Mexico, west Texas, Nevada and Utah.

2) The data include only PV-generated electricity, without factoring in what is likely the most encouraging development in solar technology: concentrating solar power (CSP). CSP promises utility scale production and solar thermal storage, making electrical generation practical for at least six hours after sunset.

Power costs are generally measured in cents per kilowatt hour – the cost of the electricity needed to illuminate a 1,000 watt light bulb (for example) for one hour. When the cost of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar power fell to 16 cents earlier this year, it “crossed over” the trend-line associated with nuclear power…The authors point out that some commercial scale solar developers are now offering electricity at 14 cents a kWh in North Carolina, a price which is expected to continue to drop.

While the study includes subsidies for both solar and nuclear power, it estimates that if subsidies were removed from solar power, the crossover point would be delayed by a maximum of nine years….Having dropped below nuclear power, solar power is now one of the least expensive energy sources in America.

Study: Solar power is cheaper than nuclear | The Energy Collective

July 28, 2010 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, solar | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Solar energy is becoming more accessible, more affordable and easier for the average homeowner to undertake. It may take a little effort and expense on the front end, but the pay off will be so worth it. It truly is the wave of the future.

    Like

    Comment by Solar Power Phoenix | August 21, 2010 | Reply


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