Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Solar good news

I was working on some book reviews that should start coming up next week.  Which leaves me short on time for this week.

Since I do actually look for items on the positive side, I thought I would highlight the good news on solar panels.

Solar Stats Will Blow Your Mind
Travis Hoium, The Mootley Fool, 12 September 2012 (Hat tip: The Big Picture)

The U.S. solar industry installed 742 MW of PV in the second quarter of 2012, up 45% sequentially and 116% annually. This is despite the expiration of the 1603 Treasury Grant Program, a policy that allowed solar installers to get a cash grant in lieu of a future tax credit; the industry has now installed 2.85 GW of solar.
The cost to install solar is dropping like a rock
Every quarter the solar industry takes another step toward grid parity in locations around the world, even passing it in some locations.
    According to GTM Research, the cost to install a utility scale solar system has fallen 45.8% since the beginning of 2010 to $2.60 per watt.
    Over the same time frame, residential solar installations have dropped 21.8% to $5.46 per watt.
It goes onto note other more business related positives and boosts the stocks of certain companies within the field.    The record of providing firms at the leading edge of a technology wave is mixed.  If Edison and Westinghouse did well, the airplane manufacturers, and most of the many new automobile companies did not fair as well.


PioneerPreppy said...

I don't buy it as a sustainable trend. It stinks too much of subsidy and over saturation of the market which government intervention will do.

The total cost will catch it once again I imagine but we will see. Someone is paying for it even when the costs drop they just don't know it.

russell1200 said...

The one wildcard to my mind is that it returns the source of power back to the location of use. Very similar to the DC generators that Edison pushed. So it could work in a very different sort of way.

There is another sort of solar where they esentially use the solar to steam up a gas turbine. This type of solar is a little more hands on one would guess, but actually generates the power at times that are closest to peak usage.

I don't buy solar as a replacement so much as an alternative, likely lower output path.

To my mind it all comes down to population growth anyway. Energy is just one of the issues.