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Author: DCWD40 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2406  
Subject: Re: SunPower surprise Date: 3/9/2011 12:18 AM
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I posted this on another board where there was some confusion over what renewable energy technologies cost based on grid parity. The DOE study mentioned uses 2016 as the baseline for projecting costs. One reason I am concerned about owning solar companies is that there technology is 4-times more expensive than other grid alternatives. At that price, using all other alternatives makes economic sense. So, when tax dollars are tight, does funding expensive power make sense? Here is the data for those who want to get in deep and have a look at all the alternatives...

In December, 2009, DOE predicted the grid parity costs of all new generating alternatives in 2016. The cheapest was advanced natural gas combined cycle at 79.3%. The most expensive, solar, at 396.1.

Wind, which many (including me) thought is already at grid parity, came in at 149.3 (for onshore). The reason given for the higher than grid cost was its an average. Wind, in certain locations, is a cost effective alternative.

As mentioned, the costs shown in the table are national averages. However, there is significant local variation in costs based on local labor markets and the cost and availability of fuel or energy resources such as windy sites. For example, regional wind costs range from 91 $/MWh in the region with the best available resources in 2016 to 271 $/MWh in regions where the best sites have been claimed by 2016. Costs for wind may include additional costs associated with transmission upgrades needed to access remote resources, as well as other factors that markets may or may not internalize into the market price for wind power.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/pdf/2016levelized_costs_aeo2...

For those wanting to have the details behind the assumtions used to build all the renewable fuels model prices, here is a link to that:

http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/assumption/renewable.html

I think when you look at the assumptions, you will realize that realistic grid-quality alternatives were used.

Solar is almost 4-times more expensive in 2016.

W.D.
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