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Thread: Has rooftop solar energy reached grid parity?

  1. #1 Has rooftop solar energy reached grid parity? 
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    Meaning that it has become economically competitive with centrally-generated and grid-distributed electricity. It apparently has in some places. In my search for references, I tried to avoid alternative-energy-enthusiast sites, out of concern that their authors may be excessively optimistic about alternative-energy prospects. I myself must concede that I'm surprised that solar-generated electricity has gotten as far as it has.

    BUSINESS: Solar home market begins to capture mainstream buyers -- Tuesday, June 17, 2014 -- www.eenews.net
    Experts say estimates of energy costs savings from home-based solar systems vary widely from home to home and depend on multiple factors, including local solar intensity, the size and configuration of the solar system, the amount of energy consumed by a home's electrical systems, and a home's overall "thermal envelope," or its ability to hold cool air on hot days and warm air on cold days.

    Yet even with these variables, home-based solar systems have been shown to save homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on energy bills, and single-family homes designed to maximize energy efficiency are capable of producing much -- and in some cases all -- of their electricity needs from their own rooftops
    It's been hard for me to find good numbers on average savings, and that article was no exception.

    Rooftop Solar Adoption in Emerging Residential Markets | Center for American Progress
    The rooftop solar phenomenon took off in states such as California, Arizona, and New Jersey—the three largest U.S. solar markets—and has been spreading, albeit at a slower pace, to other states. Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York, for example, are developing strong residential solar markets, but the number of residential installations in each state is less than half of the total residential installations in Arizona and New Jersey and less than 10 percent of the total residential installations in California.
    Also notable is the growth of solar-panel leasing companies. They continue to own the panels, but they do all the installation, and they charge a certain amount per month.

    Here is an interactive diagram that uses estimates of cost reductions to show which US states are likely to get grid parity: Solar Parity Map - Institute for Local Self Reliance The diagram used estimates of continued decline, but that is typical of the development of new technologies.

    Solar Power Is Now As Cheap As Grid Electricity In These European Countries | Co.Exist | ideas + impact: Germany, Italy, Spain, and likely others have reached grid parity, at least for some electricity consumers.

    Green energy to power over 50% homes in big cities - Hindustan Times of India
    The Narendra Modi-led government has started work on a plan to ensure half of all homes in major cities receive some power from solar or wind energy sources by 2019.

    The plan includes fresh incentives to encourage companies and individuals to invest in renewable energy sources and setting up giant solar plants in states such as Rajasthan and Gujarat.

    New plans for renewable energy are also in the pipeline for the Capital. Following a visit by a team to Gujarat — one of the top-performing states in green energy —Delhi government is looking at additional incentives to citizens for installing roof-top solar systems with grid connectivity.
    Solar panels have been built over an irrigation canal in Gujarat, something that also slows evaporation from the canal.


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    Solar panels have been built over an irrigation canal in Gujarat, something that also slows evaporation from the canal.
    I like that. 2 problems solved for the price of one.

    As for the price of solar, it's still dropping like a stone. The proof of that, I reckon, is that there are now quite a few large generating installations, rather than simply rooftops, that are using standard panels. Some companies are obviously working on the basis that it's not worth the trouble of engineering a big mirrors-to-the-tower or other highly designed site specific arrangement. They're just lining the panels up at a location with plenty of sunny days and plugging into the grid.

    Where I live, some companies that do roof and other house renovation projects are offering 2.5-3.5 k installations - as freebies - if you buy from them. Pretty soon, they'll have to offer alternatives because 22-25% of houses here already have solar.


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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    As for the price of solar, it's still dropping like a stone. The proof of that, I reckon, is...
    For me it's the number of door to door salesmen trying to rope me into a 30 freakin' year lease! not own, LEASE! and they wanna set the price of the wattage even though it's all free from the sun. My wife and I wanna go solar, but it's still too expensive and there's no way we're leasing.
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
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    For me it's the number of door to door salesmen trying to rope me into a 30 freakin' year lease! not own, LEASE!
    Lordy! Reminds me of all those "hire purchase" schemes from 50+ years ago in Britain. They'd rent a radio to people who couldn't afford to buy one - admittedly they were pretty expensive back then - and then these poor people would finish up 20 years later never owning the out of date thing having paid ten times its price.

    They're playing on people's lack of knowledge of how things are going and they're getting in early before people realise that the cost will come down tremendously when permissions and other costly barriers to installation are streamlined and the cost of the panels comes down even further.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    For me it's the number of door to door salesmen trying to rope me into a 30 freakin' year lease! not own, LEASE!
    Lordy! Reminds me of all those "hire purchase" schemes from 50+ years ago in Britain. They'd rent a radio to people who couldn't afford to buy one - admittedly they were pretty expensive back then - and then these poor people would finish up 20 years later never owning the out of date thing having paid ten times its price.

    They're playing on people's lack of knowledge of how things are going and they're getting in early before people realise that the cost will come down tremendously when permissions and other costly barriers to installation are streamlined and the cost of the panels comes down even further.
    Exactly!! it's a complete racket. besides lack of knowledge, I don't think I've ever heard anybody say, "thank God I leased that," let alone 30 years later saying "thank God I leased that X years ago."
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
    President Dwight Eisenhower
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