In CA peaker plants cost ~16-23c/kWh
vtsnowedin wrote:Subsidizing solar panels doesn't make the power any cheaper.
, so since a $2.50/W subsidy is ~10c/kWh
over 20 years and ~5-6c/kWh over 40 years, we're looking at levelized energy that's ~5-20c/kWh less that what's paid currently. Course, this depends on how much energy we're looking at, so the rebates drop as installed capacity increases due to less savings on the producer's side.
Keep in mind this does not include the reduction in costs for homeowners who install the panels, and who will now have more money to spend on the local economy instead of imported natural gas/expensive peaker plants. It doesn't include the shot in the arm the local economy gets via more solar panel manufacturing/sales/install. It doesn't include the reduction in GHG emissions. It doesn't include the reduction in transmission capacity needed. And so on...
vtsnowedin wrote:It just changes who pays the total cost and when they pay it plus interest.
It changes who pays what cost, lowers the overall cost, and has many secondary benefits for all parties concerned.
vtsnowedin wrote:Right now PV panels are the most expensive way to make power and they need a major breakthrough on the manufacturing cost of the panels to even get close.
PV panels would be the most expensive way to make power if we were looking at baseload power, but that's not what PV panels make, and that ain't what we're looking at. Their output matches up pretty well with peak power requirements, less a few hours in the winter. I don't think we'll see more than 5-10% of production from PV, but considering the cost of alternatives and dropping cost of PV (individual cells are $1/Watt on eh4y) I think we will see continued expansion. In fact, with the drop in LFP battery prices from China and the $1/Watt panels, off-grid levelized costs are getting pretty close to 10c/kWh for a DIY'er.
vtsnowedin wrote:Large wind turbines on the other hand are getting very competitive with costs falling between wholesale power rates and the higher retail rates that are out there. Estimates for a project proposed here were for costs of about 11 cents/kwh vs. a retail rate of 17cents/kwh.
Regional project costs depend on what the competition is doing, for instance the Tehachapi wind farm may only have a 25-30% capacity factor, compared to somewhere in the mid-west at 40+%, but since it tends to produce the most energy during peak load in the late afternoon, that's o.k. since the owners get paid more for their electricity.
For baseload, assuming a good transmission network, I've seen ~5.5c/kWh (2004 price so adjust for inflation) including the needed transmission up to 20% of the grid, and like you've seen first hand, wind is competitive in certain markets. Course, unless it can make peak power for ~5-10c/kWh, I don't think it would compare with solar PV in that situation, but we're talking about different power for different apps.
vtsnowedin wrote:Don't forget that the 30% of our electricity that is coming from nuclear power plants is all coming from thirty year old plants that need to be decommissioned within the next ten years and replaced with something that doesn't emit GG. They need to stop talking and start building.
The license expiration date, and whether or not the license can get extended or the plant can be rebuilt, depends on the individual plant
in question. I imagine that someone somewhere made a chart of when production capacity phases out, but a quick survey seems to indicate that most licenses expire in the 2020s with the rest expiring in the 2010s/2030s. Policy
is favorable to new plants, and considering their size I'm betting that any retired plants will be offset by fewer larger new plants, at least for the nex couple decades.