Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solar power much cheaper to produce than most analysts realize, study finds

Date:
December 8, 2011
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
The public is being kept in the dark about the viability of solar photovoltaic energy, according to a new study.

The public is being kept in the dark about the viability of solar photovoltaic energy, according to a study conducted at Queen's University.

"Many analysts project a higher cost for solar photovoltaic energy because they don't consider recent technological advancements and price reductions," says Joshua Pearce, Adjunct Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. "Older models for determining solar photovoltaic energy costs are too conservative."

Dr. Pearce believes solar photovoltaic systems are near the "tipping point" where they can produce energy for about the same price other traditional sources of energy.

Analysts look at many variables to determine the cost of solar photovoltaic systems for consumers, including installation and maintenance costs, finance charges, the system's life expectancy, and the amount of electricity it generates.

Dr. Pearce says some studies don't consider the 70 per cent reduction in the cost of solar panels since 2009 . Furthermore, he says research now shows the productivity of top-of-the-line solar panels only drops between 0.1 and 0.2 percent annually, which is much less than the one per cent used in many cost analyses.

Equipment costs are determined based on dollars per watt of electricity produced. One 2010 study estimated the this cost at $7.61, while a 2003 study set the amount at $4.16. According to Dr. Pearce, the real cost in 2011 is under $1 per watt for solar panels purchased in bulk on the global market, though he says system and installation costs vary widely.

Dr. Pearce has created a calculator program available for download online that can be used to determine the true costs of solar energy.

The Queen's study was co-authored by grad students Kadra Branker and Michael Pathak and published in the December edition of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Branker, M.J.M. Pathak, J.M. Pearce. A review of solar photovoltaic levelized cost of electricity. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2011; 15 (9): 4470 DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.104

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Solar power much cheaper to produce than most analysts realize, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207132916.htm>.
Queen's University. (2011, December 8). Solar power much cheaper to produce than most analysts realize, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207132916.htm
Queen's University. "Solar power much cheaper to produce than most analysts realize, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207132916.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Affordable Solar?

Dec. 12, 2011 A new analysis shows that solar photovoltaic systems are very close to achieving the tipping point in many regions: they can make electricity that's as cheap -- sometimes cheaper -- than what ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins