What I\’m looking for is a simple, handy, metric, which would tell me when solar power was actually cost effective.
Forget subsidies and carbon costs.
OK, so I see around the place that solar panels (panels note, not cells themselves) cost $1.40 or so per watt at present. (A$, US$, no real difference, call this £1 per watt).
There\’s on average, 12 hours of sunlight a day but cut this to 8 hours just because. 365 days in a year, so, 3,000 hours a year this 1 Watt cell, costing £1, is producing 1 Watt/hr.
So we\’re getting 3 kW/hr from our £1 cell over the course of the year.
1 kW/hr costs, from coal and the grid, maybe 10 pence.
So we get 30 pence worth of electricity from our £1 installation, we get that for 20 odd years, umm, hang on, I\’ve just shown that solar is hugely profitable right now.
So, what have I got wrong there?
So, clearly, I have got something wrong.
What I actually want to know is, what is the price for a solar panel which makes solar power comparable with coal/grid electricity?
$1 per watt? 10 cents per watt? What is that magic number that makes people want to run, without subsidy or consideration of carbon costs, solar power at least when the sun shines? So this means leaving out any battery systems, storage systems.
What capital cost for a solar panel makes it work?
Update: OK, so we\’ve established that I\’ve got the numbers completely wrong. OK, great, now, could someone tell me what the actual answer is?
What is the price per watt of solar panel at which solar PV becomes price competitive with coal \’leccie from the grid? That\’s actually what I want to know, after all.