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Is solar power too expensive to be viable?

3-31, 2014 / By MUST Power

Right now, if you compare the average price of electricity today, to the average price of a solar power installation today, it takes between 7 and 12 years for the system to pay for itself.  However as an investment, once you factor in the feed-in tariff it makes perfect sense.

Factors to consider:

  • The price of electricity is going up (it’s expected to double in the next five years).
  • The price of oil is much more volatile than anyone predicted 10 years ago, and the immanent peak of oil production (Peak Oil).
  • Cost overruns for current international nuclear power projects are running into the billions, which means higher electricity prices or massive tax breaks for nuclear.
  • Many proposed coal fired plants are getting blocked by concerned locals.  Concerns voiced include carbon emissions, mercury toxicity and smog.   Activism against coal plants will only accelerate the increased price of electricity.  (That makes it sound bad, it isn’t, coal plants are very very bad, oppose them where ever and whenever you can.)
  • We’re eventually going to put some kind of price, tax or disincentive on carbon emissions.  This is going to hit us at the electrical meter unless we switch to renewable’s.
  • Some times we just can’t generate enough electricity. There is a normal peak demand during the day and this peal load is increasing faster than the base load, but sometimes there isn’t enough to go around and we have rolling blackouts. The outages were almost always triggered by hot temperatures during the summer, which causes a surge in demand due to heavy use of air conditioning. This means the entire grid and generation capacity and distribution network must be designed for these few days of summer. (Bigger transmission lines and transformers etc) the rest of the time it sits there idle.