Originally posted by MR BOB
too much to be profitable. i would probably take 50 years before the investers, and companys started to see a slither of a profit.
plus the price per kw would sky rocket to compensate for just that.
Let's do a comparison of Capital Costs, shall we...
Hydroelectric Dam costs $165,000,000,000 produces 2080 megawatts/hr for a cost of $80,000,000/MWH in Capital Costs.
Nuclear Power Plant costs $7,000,000,000 produces 1000 megawatts/hr for a cost of $7,000,000/MWH in Capital Costs.
Coal Power Plant costs $780,000,000 produces 250 megawatts/hr for a cost of $3,120,000/MWH in Capital Costs.
Petroleum Power Plant costs $138,000,000 produces 100 megawatts/hr for a cost of $1,380,000/MWH in Capital Costs.
Natural Gas Power Plant costs $1,200,000,000 produces 300 megawatts/hr for a cost of in $4,000,000/MWH in Capital Costs.
Geothermal Power Plant costs $17,500,000 produces 15 megawatts/hr for a cost of $1,166,666/MWH in Capital Costs.
(All information derived from the Electrical Information Administration www.eia.doe.gov
So, how does traditional Solar Panels compare?
Well, take the Edison Project in California for a comparison:
Traditional Solar Power costs $875,000,000 produces 250 megawatts/hr for a cost of $3,500,000/MWH in Capital Costs. That puts it at the same Capital
Cost per MWH as Coal which currently provides 49% of the power in the United States.
Granted the JAXA Project which utilizes Solar via Microwave Transmitter from Space would not be as comparable, and would be cost prohibitive as you
have described (Solar Power via Microwave costs $21,000,000,000 produces 250 megawatts/hr for a cost of $84,000,000/MWH in Capital Costs putting in on
par with Hydroelectric Dams).
So, a break down in Capital Costs (which Operating Costs is HIGHLY in favor of traditional Solar hands-down) per Power Source (in order of least
expensive to most expensive per MWH):
4. Traditional Solar Panels
5. Natural Gas
8. Solar via Microwave
So, Solar Panels are middle of the road in Capital Costs...barely more than a Coal Plant but less than a Natural Gas Plant. The savings that Solar
would recoup in Annual Operating Costs (as no raw materials is required, or waste is produced, require significantly less staff to operate, and is
basically free energy after Capital Costs), in addition to the lesser impact on pollution and the environment, and lack of dependence on non-renewable
resources should make them financially appealing to Power Companies. The only type of Power Source that has a lower Capital Cost and similarly low
Operating Costs would be Geothermal which unfortunately is not high enough output to compare (the largest Geothermal Power Plant that has been
proposed is only 20 MWH!).
Thus, economics hardly seems to be a factor in why Solar isn't being widely accepted. There has to be some other reason.
[edit on 1-9-2009 by fraterormus]