It Gets Less Expensive
Part 1 of a 3-part series
Solar power is widely considered to be the electricity generator of the future. It is also the best form of household electricity generation for right now. In the following series of articles, Solaron wants to present for you just why photovoltaic energy production is so much better than its competitors in the gas, coal, nuclear power and alternative energy industries.
It is easy to beat out many of the competitors simply by saying that solar power produces no harmful emissions or toxic wastes. That could almost be considered solar’s “unfair advantage.” So we will not even mention the major factor that solar holds the key to cleaner air, a better environment and sustainable power generation.
Instead, today’s argument discusses how the costs of developing a solar power plant have changed over time. For this series we are focusing on a government report released by the United States Energy Information Administration. They calculated the change in costs over time to produce and maintain all of the different types of power plants used in the United States. The results speak in many ways to the fact that solar power is better.
As Solar Improves, Costs Go Down
Improvements in technology often herald decreases in cost. Unfortunately for some types of power generation, that is not always the case. Solar power, however, leads the power pack when it comes to declining costs over time. Consider these facts:
- Costs to develop coal stayed approximately the same or went up by nearly 20%.
- Developing natural gas power plants declined from 2-10% in cost.
- Onshore wind power declined by 13% to develop.
- Developing a major scale solar power plant declined in cost by 22%.
When you factor in the advances in technology, the cost for developing a solar power plant decreases significantly! For many types of construction, the costs go up from the start of planning to when the project is finally finished. With solar you have the potential for costs to decrease, simply because the solar panels themselves become less expensive over time for the same amount of electrical output.
Why Solar Wins on Declining Costs
The key reason for cost reductions is the continuing increase in efficiency of photovoltaic cells. To develop a 150 megawatt facility, you need a certain number of solar panels. If those panels increase in efficiency, you need fewer solar panels and less land to put them on. Therefore, improving solar technology reduces costs for power development and generation.
SunPower leads the solar industry by continually creating improvements in photovoltaic efficiency. Their goal is better production and increased durability from every solar panel. That’s why Solaron only uses SunPower on every home we electrify with solar power.
In our next article, we will focus on why solar is better — the cost of maintenance and operation.