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Economics of solar energy

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Posted by Pom-pom-pom on July 18, 2004, 5:55 pm
1) With solar electricity, the price is only investment.
You must pay 100% of your next 30 years electricity bill before you get the
very first kWh. As soon as your system is installed - and paid - the power
is free. Even if were profitable on such a long time compared to classic
power, many people would still prefer to pay as they use it (inertia,
upfront capital...)

2) Classic energy rate is likely to rise, while solar energy prices is
expected to go down. The curbs should cross between 2010 and 2020. Just as
the computer prices felt regularily since 1980 (Moore's law), one's interest
is to wait a couple of months or years before one buys his or her solar

These two problems are a major barrier for the growth of PV. But I also see
good news.

Many people who invest in mutual funds for their retirement worry about the
future value of they fund. Especially when all the papyboomers will
simultaneously claim their share, the stocks may fell at this time. The
timeline here is 20 to 30 years ahead.

Solar energy may well be the only industry who can proudly say: "I guarantee
you that my product will be in high demand and more and more profitable in
20 or 30 years"

One way to boost the pv market should be to encourage mutual funds to buy
the pv, install them at the consumer's place and sell the output at a
long-term defined price: ex 15c/kwh for 30 years! (only corrected for
general inflation). They'd have a guaranteed source of revenue much more
stable than Nasdaq stocks or the price of oil barrel, and the consumer will
be happy to have affordable energy whatever happens in the world.

I see it as a market way of achieving a needed goal without massive
subsidies (which are too often market distortions, even when well minded).

I found only one website with a scheme close to what I'm thinking of :

Your comments are welcome.

Pascal M E S S A G  E R
To email me: m e s s a g  e r * p a s c a l * p r o {} w a n a d o o * f r
change * in . and {} in @ and remove the blanks

Posted by Ashley Clarke on July 18, 2004, 9:38 pm

...   ...   ...

    Solar Energy (and Wind) are to be a short-lived, flash in the Pan source
from my perspective of "Free" Energy. But I am only of a very small
minority of people who believe in Perpetual Motion which of course will
last indefinately both day and night.

Ashley Clarke
Email: ashley@a-clarke.demon.co.uk

Posted by captain bob on July 18, 2004, 10:01 pm
ok, I'll play along:
what does your perpetual motion machine cost per watt of energy
If it costs several times that of solar, why do it?
do you get brownie points for not using the sun?

Posted by Ashley Clarke on July 19, 2004, 8:32 pm
   Great, a game!
   Most of my ideas for Mechanical Perpetual Motion Machines could use
Scrap, most can be made from timber, but one Solid state idea actually
utilises Solar Cells (this means that Solar Cells can produce light for
themselves...). So you see, your question is a little ephimeral on this
   Why make anything if it takes too much effort for its returned
you may well have asked?
   Basically, I have kept my thoughts towards utilising the most basic of
construction materials found around most people most of the time.
   IF it costs several times of Solar, it would be viable where Solar would
be difficult or impossible to utilise in that vicinity. Some people like to
make things for alternative uses away from the shear power output
(no examples required here).
   I personally have nothing against using the Suns power and have never
expected a Medal for simply hanging my Clothes on the Washing Line
but in some War torn areas there might just be a Purple Heart for it?
Ashley Clarke
Email: ashley@a-clarke.demon.co.uk

Posted by Vaughn on July 18, 2004, 9:56 pm

     The equipment must actually last and remain efficient for the two or three
decades you are talking about.  Therefore, your above statement can only be true
if the equipment is warranted for that 20 or 30 years AND the warranting company
actually stays in business.  A tall order!


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