When will solar become economical against the grid?

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Matthew, May 5, 2012.

  1. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    When will Solar panels be able to compete with the grid? When will it cross the line where it may become a better deal.

    I'd say 2017?
     
  2. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Amazingly enough, the economics of energy production are not standardized across the globe.

    Solar is already viable and practical in countries like Cyprus, Malta, Israel and Spain - less so in Finland, Scotland or much of Norway.

    Likewise, the use of tidal, nuclear and wind energy is practical and efficient in some countries; whereas it never will be practical and efficient in others.

    What we do know is that these four sources of energy combined will be the likely sources of electricity during the next 50 years, and it is unlikely there will be any coal used outside China and a handful of other countries within 10 years.
     
  3. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Even without direct government financial support?
     
  4. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Solar energy is typically also part of the grid, Matt.

    In some states, and Maine is one of those, even homes that generate minuet amounts of solar generated electricity can sell their extra power back to the electricity companies. And that's great, too, because in those systems one doesn't need batteries to store that extra power

    Hpowever, micro-economically speaking, it still doesn't make sense to invest in solar for most homes here in Maine. Plenty of people are still doing that, plus setting up wind power generation.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  5. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Do coal or nuclear ever receive government financial support?

    As a utility, energy production in almost every developed nation receives various forms of subsidies or assistance; either by way of investment capital to fund the construction of damns or nuclear stations, as grants for research or feed-in subsidies to assist newer forms of energy production.

    I'm not sure where you live, but it's faierly good odds that coal and nulear have received more financial support during the past 20 years from your government that renewables have.
     
  6. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Illinois has more nuclear plants than any other state.

    My guess is that the per KW financial assistance is far higher for alternatives/renewables than nuclear or hydrocarbon generated electricity.

    IEA projections consistently show hyrocarbon electricity generation to be the major player even 50 years out.
     
  7. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Mr H,

    You are almost certainly right in the case of Illinois, but then we are also comparing a mature technology with a technology which is only now reaching its peak. Naturally, new technologies require more R&D and feed-in subsidies as they develop.

    Tidal is expensive right now, but I don't think many people question that 20 years from now, some countries will be producing most of their electricity that way.

    If someone comes up with a new replacement for the internal combustion engine tomorrow, that might need grants, too. Doesn't mean it is ultimately not the cheapest or best option.
     
  8. Ariux
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    Ariux BANNED

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    Solar might be practical in remote regions, especially those nearer the equator. But, in America, solar electricity being practical is no where in sight.
     
  9. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Right.

    Because there isn't enough sun in Arizona to produce electricity from solar.
     
  10. bripat9643
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    bripat9643 Diamond Member

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    Horseshit.

    Funding newer sources of energy doesn't do a thing for older source of energy, you witless git. Nuclear has benefited from some government subsidies in the form of research, but not coal. Neither get any direct subsidies in the form of tax right offs or even tax credits as solar and wind power receive. If the later were economically viable, they wouldn't require government subsidies, but we both know that sales of solar panels would be close to zero if it weren't for government subsidies.
     

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