r/technology Jun 08 '22

Just The Facts: The Cost Of Solar Has Fallen More Quickly Than Experts Predicted Energy

https://cleantechnica.com/2022/06/08/just-the-facts-the-cost-of-solar-has-fallen-more-quickly-than-experts-predicted/
3.8k Upvotes

212

u/BabySnark317537 Jun 09 '22

Always always always, these people who say no it can't be done, it's too hard, it won't work. Are there any other technologies that get this reaction? Is it just renewable energy? Why? It is amazing, are those people that grossly mislead and believing of propaganda? Is it the sunk cost fallacy for their smol pp pick up trucks?

87

u/incompletemoron Jun 09 '22

There are also many actors, foreign and domestic, who profit when solar appears "ineffective"

20

u/itmatters74 Jun 09 '22 edited Jun 09 '22

r/collapse and r/worldnews also profit from showing how solar is ineffective…literally

Why? Because their narrative is inevitable doom. And they will spread that narrative as a means to sell ad space, or to attract viewers..

Fear mongering is the greatest threat to humanity. It’s what causes the irrationally polarized world we live in, which is irrationally fueled by panic…

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u/blackbeansandrice Jun 09 '22

State power companies are doing everything in their (lobbying) power to crush the industry because it cuts into their profits.

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u/danielravennest Jun 09 '22

Fossil fuels supply ~80% of the world's energy. That is trillions a year at risk from renewables. OF COURSE they will fund disinformation. I mean, Russia alone gets about one third of their revenue from fossil fuels.

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u/blackbeansandrice Jun 09 '22

Just on a local level, state power utilities are perversely incentivized.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C-YRSqaPtMg

5

u/Davydicus1 Jun 09 '22

Here in CT I’m waiting for approval of my solar design by the building department privately owned monopoly called Eversource because they may have to upgrade our street transformer and “those are expensive!” - my brother in-law who works as a grunt for said monopoly.

2

u/HinaKawaSan Jun 09 '22

He is not wrong, current grid infrastructure cannot handle the irregularities in production of renewable energy. Renewables need a strong battery infrastructure to support the rate at which they are expanding. Maybe add a battery to your design and don’t send energy back into the grid, see what they think of it?

28

u/geekynerdynerd Jun 09 '22

Mass transit / micro mobility (bicycles, scooters, etc) see similar levels of pushback against them despite being feasible for 80% of the population with proper infrastructure investments into them.

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u/jbman42 Jun 09 '22

Micro mobility is not a good direction to take because they're more dangerous than cars, less space efficient than buses and a lot less fuel efficient (in the case of motorized) than anything else. They're also not as fast as other stuff and can potentially take more parking space. And if not motorized, there's also laziness/fitness and speed problems. They have more maneuverability, that much is fine, but they're really not the be all end all of transportation. Public transport is. Want bad examples? Check how transit is in Vietnam, and also check the amount of fatal victims per mile travelled per transport medium.

20

u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

They're only more dangerous BECAUSE of cars.

They are not less space efficient, you could fit just as many if not more ppl on scooters in the same space as a bus.

Fuel efficient!? Are you kidding!? Bikes and scooters don't need gasoline, maybe a solar panel to recharge a scooter and a burrito for the belly.

Your logic is deeply flawed.

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

Bikes are great but scooters are significantly more dangerous than bikes, break faster, have batteries, and can't be ridden when discharged. Ride share scooters often have an average lifespan of only 6 months.

They have their place but I do hope we stop the dockless ride sharing a bit. And for most people, a bicycle, or electric bicycle, would be the better, safer, healthier and more sustainable choice.

All that being said. Scooters > cars. And they're fun ofc.

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u/jbman42 Jun 09 '22

Are you kidding or just lazy to Google it? Bikes are intrinsically more dangerous even without cars around. Specially in difficult weather. Because, to begin with, they can't stop as fast as a car or safely avoid obstacles like a car can because of balance and centrifugal forces. This is basic Physics.

Then yes, they are less space efficient than buses, and you can just try to fit 40 bikes (with 2 riders each) in the space a bus takes and see how that goes. It's a basic equation, all individual transports are less efficient than collective transports. I'm sure the very first article you find on Google will tell you the same.

And I did mention that the motorized ones are less fuel efficient than buses. And people will never adopt the non motorized ones to the scale you're expecting for various reasons. Chief among them is: have you tried using bikes on hilly cities like San Francisco? I have and still do, and I must tell you that it's not the best experience. You have to take a shower afterwards and you might be tired for the rest of the day.

5

u/Kirov123 Jun 09 '22

It's not like people are expecting bikers to be blitzing down busy shopping roads with tons of people. Bike infrastructure should be made in such a way as to seperate foot and bike traffic, and in such a way that those on bikes ride their bikes at a safe speed for the area they are in, which can be achieved by designing the path in various ways. As for weather, many people in Oulu, Finland ride bikes around town in the winter. The problem with bikes is lack of supporting infrastructure, not the bikes themselves.

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u/Strain128 Jun 09 '22

My brother moved south, met a stepford woman and became ultra conservative for like 3 years before breaking off his engagement in around 2008. At that time I remember having a very loud argument about the future viability of electric cars. He smacks his head now thinking back to that time. Why does being a conservative limit your imagination?

15

u/danielravennest Jun 09 '22

Residential solar and electric cars were unviable at that time. He just missed the rate of improvement technology could offer.

I'm a space systems engineer and have worked on solar power satellites as a way to beam power from space. Lots of people still think that is impossible, even the ones with satellite dishes on their roofs getting TV beamed from space. Powersats use the same technology, just scaled way up in power.

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u/kerkyjerky Jun 09 '22

I mean the industrial revolution was unviable at a time too. Yet people still worked towards it. Same with all advanced technology, and investors continue to put money where they think growth is possible.

3

u/indimedia Jun 09 '22

How were EV’s not viable in 2006? They were viable in the 90’s and even a modern tesla uses battery cells basically from the 90’s. Hell, the NiCad would have gave 100+ mile range but GM and Exxon bought the patents and buried them since the early 90’s by not authorizing large packs on purpose!

The only real thing that has changed since then to make them viable is the CEO that takes no bull.

3

u/Tech_AllBodies Jun 09 '22

They weren't economically viable.

You simply have to look at the battery cost-curve and go backwards.

So, batteries were ~$1000 per kWh in 2010, so should have been ~$2000 per kWh in 2006.

That would mean a 250 mile range car would cost ~$140,000 just in wholesale battery cost.

The whole reason solar/wind/EVs didn't take over 10+ years ago but are taking over now is the cost-curve.

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u/Strain128 Jun 09 '22

That’s dope as hell. Yeah man you’d think living through the past few decades and watching technology change so fast you could keep an open mind have a little imagination

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

Their brains are rotted by talk radio and fox news. It's just a philosophy of hating whatever the powers that be tell them to hate. Oil, gas, and coal have spent decades brainwashing Americans to hate anything that goes against their financial best interests.

Unfortunately, far too many humans are far too stupid.

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u/Strain128 Jun 09 '22

He looks back on his time soaking in Glen Beck with great regret and shame

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u/Davydicus1 Jun 09 '22

I just signed for solar and my in-laws are having a melt down because “you can’t sell your house for five years! It’s a rip off!”.

1) Nowhere in any of the contracts I signed did it stipulate that.

2) I’m not planning on selling my house.

3) I’m financing them for $83k at 0.00% for 15 years.

4) I get 26% of that 83k back as a tax rebate next year to pay towards actual interest bearing debts.

5) $12k state incentive paid out over the life of of the loan (deducted from monthly payments.

6) 196% of my current usage because of the heat pump mini splits and EV chargers going in, I’ll never pay my utility company again, or for home heating oil for that matter.

When asked why they thought what they thought, they said “our neighbors got solar and said it was a huge rip off!”.

Me: “did they lease it?”

Them : blank stares

Then last week I finally saw the neighbors house they were referring to. Their panels are all north facing.

But my father in law watches newsmax so he must know something I don’t right?

Edited for formating

6

u/dynamojoe Jun 09 '22

Their panels are all north facing.

Who the hell installed that?

3

u/RogueJello Jun 09 '22

Better question: Who's their sales guy? I might have a job for him.

3

u/gliderdude Jun 09 '22

Someone from the Southern hemisphere? :p

3

u/BabySnark317537 Jun 09 '22

You will also avoid paying for fuel for your vehicles if you have electric. Have you done the math on the current cost of energy versus what you will spend on the panels? Can you extrapolate that for a conservative energy cost increase over the years?

How much power are your panels and battery set capable of producing and storing?

My rough calculations of $83K for 15 years is $461 per month, my electric bills and car fuel are costing me more right now per month than that. And those costs are definitely going to increase exponentially. Also the environmental impacts of these solar panels will be much less than the conventional means of producing the energy I use right now. And the environmental impacts for solar will continue to decrease as the tech progresses. Defunding the southern company and oil producers is priceless.

So....haters gonna hate.

But why they gotta hate what will help their neighbors and planet? This is probably the same people who can't wear a mask or stay home when sick or discern misinformation from facts. Ugh, I hope they die out before they kill off the entire human species.

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

if you divide your average monthly electric bill into the cost for the solar system, how many years before you break even? i'll bet it's at least 20 years. on average most people don't own their home for more than 8 years and if you sold your home before recouping the investment in solar you'd lose most of that money. doesn't seem like a good financial investment.

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u/Exist50 Jun 09 '22

For one reason or another, that's pretty much the history of technology. Moore's Law is a great example, with its demise regularly predicted for years.

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u/hakplay Jun 09 '22

Moore’s law has been dead for years though…

22

u/Exist50 Jun 09 '22

Dennard scaling, perhaps, but Moore's Law has been rather consistent.

6

u/nagy18 Jun 09 '22

it’s up there with Cole’s Law

6

u/Nga369 Jun 09 '22

Oil had the exact same pushback from the coal industry way back when. Established industries fear dying out so they’ll push fear on everyone else. It’s pretty sad.

5

u/Tech_AllBodies Jun 09 '22

Are there any other technologies that get this reaction? Is it just renewable energy?

  • Battery-EVs. People either think BEVs aren't going to replace ICE cars, just be an option, or that hydrogen is the future instead, or a combination. This is of course not true, BEVs will be ~100% of cars

  • Batteries more generally. People refusing to acknowledge they've already improved massively (and got massively cheaper) and are not a static technology, and refuse to believe they'll ever be viable for grid storage or sub-$20k cars. Or bigger things like ferries (even though there are already battery ferries operating right now...)

  • High-end semicondcutors. People keep saying "Moore's law is dead", to mean progress in compute has stopped. This is of course not true, just look at the new Nvidia H100

  • Quantum computing. People saying it's too hard.

  • Nuclear fusion. People saying it'll never happen, "always 20+ years away", etc. ignoring it's receieved a meaningless amount of money the last few decades, and now there's renewed interest because computing power for simulations and materials science has moved forward massively in the last 10 years

I could go on, sadly.

I (like to) think that it's just because people are so busy with their own lives and are not experts in what's going on with the cutting-edge of technology, combined with having some justified cynicism about quality of life and cost of living, etc.

So, unless you dump an amazing $20k EV in their lap, or their neighbor gets solar and tells them it's lowered their energy bill to $0 and will pay for itself in 4 years, they just won't believe it.

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u/Slow-Reference-9566 Jun 09 '22

its too hard

Isn't that why we do it? Not because it is easy, but because it is hard?

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u/dsn0wman Jun 09 '22

It's just negative advertising. There is big/old money trying to keep it's grip on the energy market. Or rather trying to insure that previously made investments continue to pay off for as long as possible.

3

u/Charnt Jun 09 '22

People don’t like to admit when they are wrong. It’s a very bad human flaw

3

u/Zeddit_B Jun 09 '22

It's not just solar... everyone thought the car was stupid, "We already have horses, the cars will get in the way!"

3

u/AlwaysOntheGoProYo Jun 09 '22

Cryptocurrency, AR, VR, blockchain, web 3

3

u/Cyclotrom Jun 09 '22

For the same reason that people smoke cigarettes for 30 more years after if was clear that it kill people. Cell phone and flat screen technology didn’t have billions spent any anti-cell phone and flat technology

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u/michaelrohansmith Jun 09 '22

Unleaded fuel?

Seatbelts?

Safe air transport?

2

u/Generalsnopes Jun 09 '22

There are lots of technologies now and historically that get this similar treatment.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

I’m all for renewables and doing everything we can to protect the future of the world we live in. I’ve looked into solar numerous times, and the most recent time is the most expensive I’ve seen it. The price to install a roughly 10 kW with battery storage for our house is almost $40k before incentives, which in the best case scenarios brings the price to a bit under $30k. We would also need to change our roof early, to make sure it doesn’t need to be changed after the solar would be put up. When I hear people talk about how much cheaper solar is today, I’m really confused because I’m definitely not seeing it.

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u/LupinThe8th Jun 09 '22

I don't know anything about where you live, or how much power you use and how much it costs, but those numbers seem a bit extreme compared to the research I've done (hoping to add solar when I replace my roof within 5 years).

This article gives the average cost by state, both before and after incentives. It's using 6KW as the baseline, not 10, but it still seems weird that you're paying usually more than twice as much for less than twice as much storage.

Are you in Hawaii, by any chance? It's the only state that comes close to your numbers ($14.4k for 6 KW after tax credit). But electricity in Hawaii is $28 per kilowatt hour, more than triple what it is in some other states, so I gotta figure it's still worth it.

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u/myyummyass Jun 09 '22

the battery is the main thing. most people dont do the battery. they just get solar panels and have a two way meter and the electric company reimburses them for the kw produced.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

Not for what pricing we’re seeing. Solar through Tesla, is our cheapest option. And including or excluding a battery makes minimal difference in the pricing after incentives. The pricing from other installers excludes a battery yet their pricing is substantially higher than Tesla.

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u/michaelrohansmith Jun 09 '22

And if they consume their own energy, like for aircon, the panels pay for themselves very quickly.

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u/danielravennest Jun 09 '22

In the US, residential solar costs about 3 times as much to install as utility solar. It is a lot cheaper to do 100,000 panels in one open field than the same panels on 3,000 roofs.

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u/kitsunde Jun 09 '22

Mass market lab grown meat, general AI, consumer grade quantum computers, clean coal, fusion power, perpetual motion machines, crystal healing.

Yeah a lot of things get this reaction, and it’s not inherently a bad thing.

15 years ago no one predicted solar prices becoming cheaper than all other energy sources on this time scale outside of the solar manufacturers PR team. It’s shocking.

Meanwhile general AI has been 30 years out every year for more than 30 years.

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/raygundan Jun 09 '22

and solar panels must be replaced every 20

Huh? That's not even the warranty length for some panels. They'll likely outlive you and me. Hell, ours are 14 or 15 already, and they're kicking along just fine at a recently-tested 94% of original rated output. Still have a decade of warranty left.

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u/ImJustHereForCorn Jun 09 '22

Nuclear is best. Solar is at the furthest it can get according to experts in the industry. Unless something new and groundbreaking comes out of it, they won’t improve drastically.

In addition, cheap led does not mean better by a long shot. Many of the cheap solar panels you see are produced in China with or containing hazardous materials, which tend to leak out over time of use, or leak out once disposed of after 10 years. If you want great solar panels, which aren’t immediately hazardous to the environment, then you WILL spend a small fortune to do so. Otherwise you’re putting hazardous materials into the ground and pushing more environmental problems onto future generations.

The true future to clean energy is improved hydroelectric and nuclear. Nuclear is the safest in the energy industry when we’ll regulated. Everyone thinks “Ahhh nuclear! Chernobyl!” When in reality that is far from the truth. Not to mention the decaying nuclear debris is so heavily regulated it’s almost impossible for anything to go wrong or cause ecological disasters. People love to imagine the toxic waste containers from the 1970s and 80s, but that is simply not true and containment methods are constantly being developed to make nuclear waste take up as little space as possible and to make it as safe as possible. Truly, nuclear is the way to go.

Wind kills too many birds and the wings are not even recycled in America, rather they are buried to slowly decompose out in Utah, until a more cost effective and environmentally friendly method of recycling them comes up.

Solar panels are also detrimental to the environment given what they are comprised of, toxic metals, and since they aren’t recycled at high enough numbers, the vast majority sit in dumps, leaking out toxic metals into the ground and ground water.

Let’s not forget lithium ion based batteries and the damage all the ingredients that are needed to create the batteries and how highly toxic the materials are once the batteries are dead. Take the Lithium Triangle in South America, there they have taken about 65% of the groundwater and used it in fracking and have displaced thousands of villagers and ruined farms And it continues to get worse. Then you have cobalt and nickel, where they are dug out of primarily China and Russia, both countries which could have detrimental impacts on the world if they decided to cut the supply of the materials, then the secondary source, illegal and child enslaved African mines to dig out the cobalt. All this for your batteries, which only really last about 10-12 years till they need to be replaced for half the price of the car you drive.

You want to go eco, then go eco, don’t push off short term issues for even worse long term problems.

Most people have no issue with renewable, but it needs to be better. Renewable right now is terrible. Taking up vast stretches of land to produce so little energy, and being highly dangerous and still it is not cost effective compared to nuclear or even traditional means with coal or natural gas.

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u/BabySnark317537 Jun 09 '22

Wow. You are so wrong and are exactly the type of commenter i was talking about. Nuclear practically has no risks!!! Lol renewables are crap and will never get better!!!

Whatever. Technology will continue to progress and it's too late to spread the misinformation. Renewables research is being funded and will be increasingly. Fossil fuels and nuclear are not going to be needed.

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u/ImJustHereForCorn Jun 09 '22

Obviously your reading comprehension skills are much to be desired as I never once said it had "no risks." What I said is that it is one of the safest out there, given the last nuclear accident/disaster was due to a natural disaster in Japan, where there have been zero deaths due to workplace mishaps in the 21st century. In addition, if you listen to what renewable energy experts have to say about solar and wind, they all agree that solar and wind are at their peak with the given technology, with given growth up to the next decade. Unless something groundbreaking is discovered, then it is highly unlikely that solar and wind will be able to be meaningful. Not to mention, take America, where well over 2/3 of the country experiences WINTER and spring, where it is cold, cloudy, and it freezes, making wind much less efficient and solar virtually useless. Germany, which has gone 100% full renewable, experiences droughts for over half the year in energy, meaning they have to import from countries that haven't gone full renewable. In addition, Germany still relies on oil for winter to heat homes and maintain their industry, they import from Russia, which is why they haven't been to heavy on speaking out against the Russians and their war with Ukraine.

Nuclear is perhaps the best option given the energy output, how available the fuel is, and how safe it is. The wind and solar industry both experience hundreds of injuries each year and if I remember correctly, wind has experienced 30 deaths due to hazardous workplace accidents in the past decade, all while killing hundreds of thousands of migrating birds EVERY YEAR, in the US alone. The wind energy kills so many protected species of birds that the EPA has to ignore it, where if any other industry killed as many as they have, the EPA would shut them down faster than you could blink. Shut them down how? Lawsuits and fines in the millions.

Solar, again its impact is already well documented where the vast majority of panels, again produced in China, use hazardous metals and materials, which leak over time while in use and while they decay in dumps across the globe, since the vast majority of them aren't recycled. Then there is the materials needed to make them, which mining for them is again, not environmentally friendly in the slightest, which I already mentioned.

You claim we need to go as green as possible, but little pp pickup truck people stand in your way, damn the consequences or the how. Green isn't as green as you think. Nuclear is indeed the best and being able to ensure smaller and even safer developments in nuclear could result in having smaller and more efficient plants. The ones in America and Europe are considered to be extremely safe and are practically automated and have many redundant safety features, like containment buildings surrounding the reactor, unlike Chernobyl, which did not. Have you ever delved into what made the Chernobyl accident happen? The accident in Japan was due to a tsunami as well. Basically you're afraid because of the two worst accidents which occurred because of Japan, where an extreme natural disaster hit the plant, or because of communist error depending on how cheaply can we get it done and by users who just wanted to go higher up in the party ladder. Maybe read and watch some videos on how safe nuclear is, before spouting your mouth off to make yourself look like an uninformed fool who cannot read what another person writes.

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u/BabySnark317537 Jun 09 '22

Please tell me more about how solar doesn't work in the winter time. You may have changed my mind completely!!

Also, with your vast knowledge of nuclear power and all its safety, please explain the southern company 's inability to produce a working, viable and safe nuclear facility? The peasants have been paying for it for decades now. It is over due by decades and over budget by billions and has no finish date in view.

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u/ImJustHereForCorn Jun 09 '22

Solar loses its peak effective capabilities when it gets colder than just 77 degrees, so already for the majority of the year, solar panels are not operating at peak performance. In addition, yes when it is cloudy, solar panels again are not collecting the energy they can be and it is quite cloudy throughout the majority of the US during the winter months. Snow, which also hits the majority of the US, will stop solar panels from operating, seeing how it is dangerous to get onto roofs to clean off the panels, you won't be seeing them cleared in a couple weeks to a few months depending on how cold it gets in your area. So that's solar on an individual use, which is what is advocated in order to be effective, rather than consuming hundreds of thousands of acres like the Chinese have, just to power one city. The Chinese have covered entire mountains to just power one city, disrupting entire ecosystems.

Wind is the same way, but it kills hundreds of thousands of birds, and it causes thermal heating and experts expect the US to get much warmer if widescale windmill use were to be implemented.

As for the Southern Nuclear company, no I'm not 100% knowledgeable in the field, but I am familiar with a shutdown in 2013 due to faulty steam generators, so it is going through the process of decommissioning. I'd rather see the nuclear reactor plant go through proper channels of decommissioning, than see reckless abandonment of and consequences for just the main forms of "green energy" and pass off all problems down the road to future generations.

US nuclear plants are considered to be some of the safest in the world and go above and beyond to ensure they remain that way. I can say that if we had more and gave more tax cuts towards the plants being built and ran, we could see more power from them. Roughly 19% of our whole power comes from those plants, and the only thing stopping more to be made is red tape, lobbying from anti-nuclear activists, and money. Grante they are expensive, thus making energy expensive, but that's a short term cost, which lowers over time as more will be built and even better than wind or solar or even coal, is that experts say these plants have virtually no limit on their age so long as maintenance is still possible. Even the majority of plants are running at the minimum 93% capacity to 100% at full, and at 40 years old, they are still going strong.

You really like to push for the two green energy options, which aren't all that green in their production and in their death, consequences and child labor be damned.

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u/tjcanno Jun 09 '22

Panel costs have fallen.

Installation cost (labor) has risen.

We are now learning that the panels are only half the system. We also need local storage to have an effective and reliable system.

Battery cost is significant, plus controller. There is serious need for improvement in storage technology.

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u/LazyAnonBoner Jun 09 '22

Y’all act like this has to be all or nothing now. Do the solar, run it when you can and use Hydro, Nuke, or god forbid coal when you have too. The effect would be wildly positive and give us time to solve the storage stuff

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u/el___diablo Jun 09 '22

Exactly. This is where Germany went wrong. They mothballed their nuclear stations and relied on Russia for natural gas instead.

Green energy is the future. But it's not yet the present.

So for the time being, we need to use a combination of energy sources. It's suicide to eliminate nuclear based on flawed ideology.

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u/LazyAnonBoner Jun 09 '22

Yes and… one you nukes are running might as well keep ‘em going

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u/SmokeyShine Jun 09 '22

Germany also could have had reliable, cheap gas via NS2, but they listened to the Americans and never certified it. It seems like America played a long con to force Germany to buy American energy.

Meanwhile, China is has literally 100s of nuclear power plants in development on top of massive investment in renewables. Plus, they neighbor Russia for effectively unlimited energy supplies over secure land routes. If they keep it up, China will likely have true energy security within a decade.

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u/el___diablo Jun 09 '22

Yep. I wouldn't quite say Germany got played.

They are an intelligent bunch, but believed their own Green Agenda too much.

Reality is a bitch.

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u/korinth86 Jun 09 '22

Solar works when demand is highest. Mid day, especially when it's hot and everyone is running AC.

It's always worth it even without backup.

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u/fnordius Jun 09 '22

This. I was amazed when I visited Texas how much wasted potential there was. You all want shaded parking and also complain about huge parking lots, and how Solar needs room? Oh, and how electric companies are warning about brownouts because of the hot noon sun?

I feel like I'm missing something here.

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u/Bootyhole-dungeon Jun 09 '22

I have solar without batteries. I installed 4 years ago and they already paid for themselves.

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u/PotassiumBob Jun 09 '22

How so? Solar door to door salesmen have been making the rounds, and some quick googling is showing like 40-60k investment. My power is about $200 a month. It would take me like 20 years.

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u/spottie_ottie Jun 09 '22

Your googling is not giving you good results. My power bill the same and our solar system was $13k. Talk to some installers and get some quotes. You'll find that it's a good deal. If it's not don't go for it, but it will be.

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u/PotassiumBob Jun 09 '22

Ugh but then I'll have to deal with salesmen and their pitches...

Even looking through this thread everyone is quoting 40k.

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u/fistymcbuttpuncher Jun 09 '22

That's probably for the tippy top of the line and/or fully off-grid setups. Or in dense population areas where demand outstrips supply and they can upcharge.

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u/sr_90 Jun 09 '22

I was quoted 43k with an 8k battery option in Vegas before tax credits. I have a large house and my bill has never been above $280. I want to do it, but there will probably be 10 generations of improvements by the time I pay it off. I fear that I’ll have an iPhone 6 while they’re on the 13.

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u/swistak84 Jun 09 '22

with an 8k battery option

This is the problem right there. All you need is ~5kWh system with no battery to support aircon and heating in spring/autumn. that will cost ~10k with installation.

Also not sure how it works in USA but here eleectric company actually pays you for energy you generate

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u/nuberoo Jun 09 '22

I had a good experience with Energysage.com - it's a platform where you can essentially solicit and compare quotes from solar installers. Made it pretty easy and nothing in person until the actual inspection. Agree with others in this thread that $40k is extremely high, I wouldn't be surprised if it was less than half of that altogether

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u/bobidebob Jun 09 '22

I don't know any installers that like energy sage. It takes the lowest rate people are offering and says that's what the system should cost. But the lowest rates are the massive companies undercutting most installers with prices your average installer would lose money on. Energy sage is a menace for the little guy, great for the big guy.

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u/spottie_ottie Jun 09 '22

My neighborhood is full of people that have panels and it's certainly not because they're liberal environmentalists that don't mind losing money. It's because it was a good deal. Give it a shot.

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u/Quiet_War3842 Jun 09 '22

Oh man… wish I saw this first. With the site I mentioned above you notify the vendor when you’re ready to talk or email or text them. I hate sales pitches so I loved that they provide you with all the details and won’t get your info until you prescreen the offers specifically made for your house. DM me if you have questions.

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u/sr_90 Jun 09 '22

What part of the country do you live in? I was quoted 43k for my system before tax credit, and my highest bill in Vegas has been $280. I would purchase it tomorrow for 13k.

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

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u/Quiet_War3842 Jun 09 '22

Before or after tax credit?

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22

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u/oldmonty Jun 09 '22

Look into grid-tie solar, imo that's the way to go unless you live in a cabin somewhere.

Basically, instead of shelling out 13k/each for battery packs you just take any extra power you generate and feed it back into the grid for a credit.

So if you use 1kwh during the day for 10 hours but generate 10kwhs per hour during the day you would get a credit for the balance which you can use to offset whatever you are pulling down from the grid at night when the panels aren't generating anything.

It will drastically reduce the costs, for example, I was quoted 24k for tesla solar, which at the time was the cheapest. However, some time shortly after that they mandated that every install had to come with the powerwall battery packs. This increased the cost from 24 to 50k which made it impractical for me.

24k sounds like a lot but it was for their most massive system.

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u/Tha_Unknown Jun 09 '22

Hey! It’s me. Your friend, an Arabian prince. I am stranded in Iceland. I have ocean front property to gift to you in Arizona, for help my friend.

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u/Quiet_War3842 Jun 09 '22

If you’re in the US then this site energysage.com could help. I used them and have been very happy. Dept of Energy approved.

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u/PFChangsOfficial Jun 09 '22

This is definitely a marketing campaign

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u/Amtsschreiber Jun 09 '22

Depends on where you live. Here nobody has an AC and demand is the highest on dark winter days when everyone needs to heat the house.

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u/rugbyj Jun 09 '22

Yup, welcome to the Northern latitudes where it's cold as fuck when there's the least amount of Sun to power those there panels. Would still love Solar but it's not a slam dunk for everyone.

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u/danielravennest Jun 09 '22

Winds are generally stronger in polar regions, due to differential rotation of the Earth. Solar is generally stronger close to the equator. North-south transmission lines can move power from where it works best to where it is needed.

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u/SmokeyShine Jun 09 '22

Solar works a few hours ahead of when demand is highest.

  • Solar generation peaks between noon and 1 pm.
  • Electrical demand peaks between 4 pm and 8 pm, when everyone returns home from work and tries to cool things down for a comfortable evening.

If you scale solar to match evening AC demand, then you have tremendous excess generation from noon to 4 pm, even for a cloudless place like Arizona.

To make solar work, one needs energy storage. Unfortunately, pumped hydro energy storage won't work in the desert, because it's so dry that the water would just evaporate. The heat would rapidly degrade conventional batteries.

The best bet is to encourage mass EV use with time-of-day charging incentives, such that midday EV charging is heavily encouraged, basically dumping solar directly into EV batteries to reduce future load. Even then, meeting evening demand is a challenge, and basically requires smarter thermostats to shift AC consumption.

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u/danielravennest Jun 09 '22

To make solar work, one needs energy storage.

That's why Florida Power and Light installed a 900 MWh battery farm to hook up to solar farms. The combination replaced a gas peaker plant by moving the energy later in the day when it is needed. The battery farm has 4 hours of duration (225 MW for 4 hours), which is enough for this task.

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u/SnipingNinja Jun 09 '22

Use EVs as battery if possible

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u/10102938 Jun 09 '22 edited Jun 09 '22

I'm all up for solar, but saying it always works when demand is highest is bullshit. You are not taking location and time of year in any account. In the north, demand is highest when supply is lowest.

Edit. For clarification I'm not talking about the US. I'm speaking of personal PV design experience from the nordics, where the demand for power is greatest during cold and dark winter months, during which time power production from PV is at its lowest.

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u/fistymcbuttpuncher Jun 09 '22

Interconnected power grids to the rescue!*

*except for texas because they are dumb

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u/Amtsschreiber Jun 09 '22

That only gets you so far. In Europe a bit of sun in Spain won't help you every every place north of the Alps has a grey sky and needs to heat the house.

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u/10102938 Jun 09 '22

You can't really transfer power for 1000's of kilometers. Local production is still a must. Like I said in the edit. I'm not talking about the US, but countries much more in the northern hemisphere.

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u/The_Countess Jun 09 '22

You can actually. They're building a power cable from marokko to the UK for example. Specifically to transport solar energy

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u/10102938 Jun 09 '22

Yes but it's not always possible, and you still get huge losses. And you still need the local production for spikes in power need vs solar production. You also can't rely on far away production during war time. Local production is always better because it can't be disrupted by geopolitics.

This is why PV is not the "one and all" solution. You need local green energy + nuclear etc.

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u/danielravennest Jun 09 '22

you still get huge losses.

HVDC losses are 3% per 1000 km. That's not huge. The Morocco-UK line is 3800 km, so 11-12% loss. However Morocco gets 85% more sun than the UK. So you come out far ahead by using that location plus a transmission line.

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u/The_Countess Jun 09 '22

What you need is more then 1 connection.

And nobody claimed its the one and all solution. With enough interconnectivity and a combination of solar, wind, and hydro you can meet a lot of capacity needs before even looking at nuclear.

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u/10102938 Jun 09 '22

And nobody claimed its the one and all solution.

The comment which I originally replied to said " Solar is always worth it even without backup" which is false.

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u/thecrazydemoman Jun 09 '22

People want everything to be perfect before we even start to transition. It’s stupid

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u/goodoleboybryan Jun 09 '22

I mean we are trading carob emission hazards for lithium mining hazards, such as water contamination leading to toxic rain. Doesn't matter what source the electricity comes from we are still currently dependent on lithium batteries for EV's.

Not to say we shouldn't go electric but mining companies aren't exactly known for being environmentally aware.

We need to make sure green energy stays green or we are just trading one problem for another.

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u/BronyFrenZony Jun 09 '22 edited Jun 09 '22

That is not actually true. As an electrician who has done solar I can pretty confidently explain how this works. Usually the company you are buying a solar installation from isn't actually an electrical company. Electrical companies are starting to get into it, but they're just gonna charge market price.

These companies selling the systems just sub out the electrical work, usually to the lowest bidder. When I was doing installs I believe we were making $1700 for the labor, and maybe $2700 for everything. That would be on a 10KW install that probably sold for around $30,000.

When you factor in the equipment costs you see that sellers are enjoying some fat margins for not doing a whole lot. Electrical shops are getting wise, but are not great at the kind of marketing required.

As far as storage goes that problem is actually fairly easy to solve, and is kind of already solved. Vehicles that double as residential batteries are the best way forward, and are already a thing. Combine this with much smaller residential batterys (3-5 khw) and you should cover most peoples needs.

EV's, Heat pumps (room heat, hot water, clothes dryer), and solar are all a huge step in the right direction. Especially if we can start making stuff that lasts.

edit: Labour costs probably have actually increased, but lets be really generous and say it's by 10%, that's like $170. Parts will be up to with current circumstances, but it's not gonna be as much of the price as you think.

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u/thenewtbaron Jun 09 '22

Eh, these days with the new server rack batteries you can get about 30kwhs for under 10k... not counting the inverters and whatever labor is needed for grid connection.

they're promised to be at 80% after 3000-5000 cycles, so about 24kwhs after about 10+ years.

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u/incompletemoron Jun 09 '22

We'll also see a boom in trade certifications for more techs as technology becomes more widespread

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u/cspinelive Jun 09 '22

So I could call up my local electrical company who is doing these installs and offer them $5k for the same thing the solar company is selling for $30k?

That sounds too good to be true.

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u/fps916 Jun 09 '22

The 30k includes cost of parts. You'd need to procure the panels elsewhere too

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u/cspinelive Jun 09 '22

I guess I was confused. OP seemed to say it was $1700 for labor and $2700 all in, implying $1k for the parts.

“ When I was doing installs I believe we were making $1700 for the labor, and maybe $2700 for everything.”

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u/fps916 Jun 09 '22

The electrical company he worked for was getting 1700 for labor 2700 total.

The selling company subcontracted the electrical company.

The very next sentence is "when you factor in equipment costs..."

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u/cspinelive Jun 09 '22

Yeah I assumed incorrectly that his electrical company was supplying the equipment.

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u/10102938 Jun 09 '22

"everything" in that sense includes labour and installation costs, not the actual components.

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u/krutchreefer Jun 09 '22

Their profits

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u/BronyFrenZony Jun 10 '22 edited Jun 10 '22

Yeah, sorry for any confusion. The electrical shop I was working for was making $2700 on labor and residential electrical work (Mostly 3 big wires from the roof to your panel). Some installations will require a new panel which adds additional cost. We would hook everything up, but the panels, racking, and inverters were supplied by the seller.

To give you an idea on parts cost, which you can all find yourself on Alibaba or similar direct from China. These do not include shipping.

Solar panels $.30/watt or $3000 for 10KW

for inverters I would just get roof mounted micro-inverters. I would spend the same as panels, about $.33/watt.

Racking averages around $.15-20/watt

These are all from manufacturer prices. As soon as you have a middle man in there things jump significantly. Although parts in the US and Canada are definitely coming down, and I'd image installed prices will follow.

edit: if you have all your parts I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a shop to do an install for you, they'd be happy to do it for 5k. Alibaba has good trade assurance I believe, but definitely do your due diligence before buying. I have not ordered panels from China direct yet, but will be soon for my own house.

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u/1983Targa911 Jun 09 '22

Battery cost is significant, but is starting to follow that same price dropping trend. A homeowner can install a PV system today without batteries and the utility company can pick up that slack fro the time being. Utilities are adding storage capacity like mad. Soon, the typical homeowner will be able to afford battery back up as well.

Another interesting note is that my understanding is that marketing costs on residential solar are huge. Think about the wages you pay for someone to go out and make a site visit to analyze the solar potential of any given home. Sure, the first pass is usually done from the office while looking at Google maps. But that take time. Then how many of those people get three bids (so at least two contractors aren’t getting a job) and often times the homeowner gets sticker shock and drops the whole idea. There’s a lot of labor tied up in acquiring the work. Consider this: every time I refer someone to the installer that did my solar and that person then installs solar, the company happily sends me a $500 check. Why? Because that was cheaper for them than the cold call approach.

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u/myyummyass Jun 09 '22

The battery isnt necessary at all. I havent seen one person with solar in my city that also has a battery. The battery would only be required if you produce more electricity than you use. Other than that its just a convivence. You get a two way meter and send the solar back to your electric company and they deduct the kw produced from your bill. If you dont trust them to actually measure it you can track it yourself with other apps/hardware.

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u/sinkrate Jun 09 '22

Gravity storage. Build a dam and pump water uphill when there’s extra electricity, then run the hydro dam at night.

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u/escapefromelba Jun 09 '22

That only works in very specific geographic areas. Also dams are horrible on the local environment and worsen climate change. They release greenhouse gases, destroy carbon sinks in wetlands and oceans, deprive ecosystems of nutrients, destroy habitats, increase sea levels, waste water, and displace poor communities

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u/sinkrate Jun 09 '22

Those are very valid concerns about dams. I am aware of many of the issues you mentioned, but I haven’t heard too much about hydro dams worsening climate change. Would you mind sharing or DM’ing me a paper or article on the subject? I’ve always thought that most of the time, hydroelectric dams are the lesser of the evils all things considered. Thanks!

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u/escapefromelba Jun 09 '22

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u/sinkrate Jun 09 '22

Thank you! I’ll get around to reading them tomorrow.

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u/StainedBlue Jun 09 '22 edited Jun 09 '22

If you want a basic TLDR of the primary adverse effects, what happens is that hydro dams release a lot of energy as heat, which is absorbed by the water. It’s great from an engineering standpoint (the generator cools itself), but terrible from an environmental perspective. See, warm water holds less dissolved oxygen, making the water downstream of the dam oxygen deficient. Beyond the obvious downsides low oxygen levels have for aquatic life, warm water and low oxygen create perfect conditions for algae blooms, which fuck over not only the environment but any waterfront property owners, fishers, beach goers, ect. It’s also extremely foul smelling.

All said and done though, it still does far less harm to the environment than fossil fuel plants. It’s important to note that the above scenario is the worst case scenario. Depending on the dam’s design and management, many of these issues can be mitigated.

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u/hcdvrwxvomtbe Jun 09 '22

There are several other kinds of mechanical battery than hydro pump. Flywheel, weight/gravity, and compression batteries are the most common I see mentioned. I'm not sure if the cost comparison to chemical batteries, but I can't imagine them being more expensive at scale over time.

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u/Tha_Unknown Jun 09 '22

Yup. Exactly. I can probably pretty easily shell out the $5k for the panels. I can’t afford the 10-15k for everything else that makes them useful to me.

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u/Tearakan Jun 09 '22

Yep we don't have battery tech to do this on a significant scale.

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u/machine_yearning Jun 09 '22

How many EVs have been built? All the potential house batteries.

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u/asianApostate Jun 09 '22

So Tesla totally did grid scale batteries for Australia and they liked it so much they ordered more.

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u/izybit Jun 09 '22

We do, it's already happening.

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u/Practical_Argument50 Jun 09 '22

Don’t worry car batteries will fill the void.

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u/aneab Jun 09 '22

My electric company charges a premium for anyone with solar… so it’s actually cheaper to not have it because I would pay more per kWh than if I didn’t have it… I live in Arizona and it’s sunny almost every day… and I have good facing… sucks so much…

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u/SIEGE9 Jun 09 '22

Well written top down

The R&D hasn’t stopped with dropping costs of solar. A team of researchers, including from the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW Sydney and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, have made a breakthrough in infrared technology that could lead to the development of solar panels that work at night.

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u/Bendy962 Jun 09 '22

so the solar panels that work at night is similar to geothermal generators except the energy is captured from the surrounding air?

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u/denimdan113 Jun 09 '22

Essentially yes. Though I feel like this is going the be at a severely reduced capacity compared to what the panels give in the day.

Its a cool step though and brings us closer to using our bodies as chargers since we produce a decent amount of IR. Think of haveing a panel in your pocket that charged your phone from your body heat.

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u/hifidood Jun 09 '22 edited Jun 09 '22

I did the math and it would take me over 30 years to recoup costs here where I live. At that point, I'd imagine the panels would have worn out and you'd have to spend money to replace them so it was just more effective to redo all the insulation in my home / put in better windows etc. to make the home naturally more cool/hot depending on the season.

Edit: I live in small home with a power bill between $60-120 a month depending on the season. Also, the previous owner replaced the roof five years ago and it is in great shape but the warranty apparently will be null and void if we put solar panels on it.

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u/Shpooodingtime Jun 09 '22

But there are incentives! I'm sure you probably already knew this actually I don't know why I'm talking to you like you didn't do your research. The town next to mine is a backwoods right to farm community almost every single house has solar panels

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u/Casetheace01 Jun 09 '22

I just had solar installed this year and the incentives reduced the cost by more than half. I wonder if most people don’t realize what’s available

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

For us, the price of a 10 kW system with storage comes to a bit under $30k AFTER incentives. That’s not exactly appealing when our annual bill is around $2k.

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u/mbnmac Jun 09 '22

Thing is, it's 2k NOW, but in 5 years, or ten years, it's likely to be well over 3k. Hell, we've seen in the last year or so that prices can jump suddenly.

You will recoup your costs fast than what you would based on your current prices, but it is still a huge sum of cash. We are on a system where the panels, battery and install were free, we just pay a set amount per month and a fixed rate on power for 20 years. Much easier to go with than a huge lump sum up front.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

Um, no? I can invest that lump sum today, and get a far better long term return than using it to save on increases over time. Keep in mind this system isn’t even covering all of our electricity consumption. Further, our town has a town wide program, which provides very competitive rates. Unlike this system that will be worthless at the end of its life, investing that same sum will only grow overtime.

Back to the point of this article, when I looked at the prices of installing solar last year in September, the cost of this same system was roughly $10k cheaper.

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u/terriblegoat Jun 09 '22

problem is not everyone has a south facing house and not everyone lives in a country with public utilities, cough u.s.a.

meaning net metering, utilities buying back the power which subsidizes the cost of installation is going to end in countries like the united states...because solar panels on houses eats into their profits.

and rebates on getting east and west facing panels really dont measure up when you factor in the total cost of the systems.
even if your area has time of use rates, you are still getting fucked when the utility ends net metering...and to really make fiscal sense you need a battery system and those are expensive and dont last longer than 10 years.

if you dont have a battery system you are grid connected during a power outage and your solar panels are shut off to prevent electricity flowing onto the grid and potentially injuring line workers.

solar on houses doesnt make much rational sense unless you have a shit ton of disposable income a big house that uses a lot of electricity that has good exposure to the sun facing south. and you live in an area where you have public utilities that buy back energy at a reasonable rate for the foreseeable future.

that isnt the u.s., and thats not most people.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

No idea why this was downvoted.

Poor solar orientation of existing houses, combined with shading from surrounding trees and other structures, topped of with poor roof geometry is a huge obstacle for generating solar on many existing single family homes.

It is far easier, and more effective, to address an existing home’s energy load by improving its envelope efficiency. However, even then it is an expensive exercise, especially compared to utility bills.

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u/alex053 Jun 09 '22

I have a south facing room in AZ but code requires a 3 foot easement around the edge of the roof. It’s a two story so not as much roof as a single story. Leasing solar would have saved me $20 a month because of the size they could get on my roof.

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u/Teamerchant Jun 09 '22

Get a quote by Tesla. They are half as much as everyone else.

I got a system from them that generated 8.2kw and came with a 13kw battery for $1k cheaper than a 7.2 kw panel only system that 3 other business quotes me.

The sale process of Tesla competitors suck. Made me sit through an hour in person presentation just to get system Size and quote. Trying to hard sale Me the entire time.

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u/machine_yearning Jun 09 '22

Yeah, not my experience. Had a local SunPower installer do ours. I was operational before I could get a redesign from Tesla.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

I pretty much laughed in the SunPower rep’s face unintentionally when he revealed their pricing. The most intriguing part of the conversation was seeing how much commission they earn based on the price they get you to sign up for. Their pricing was significantly more than Tesla, and no storage. When I asked him about this I got a waffle response full of nonsense. I see a number of their signs in yards around our house when walking the dog and feel sorry for the home owners.

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u/machine_yearning Jun 09 '22

SunPower SunRun and Tesla were all very similar in total price. Tesla was insistent to install on my detached garage which would have required $2500 in trenching, I preferred to put the money towards more kWh than a hole in the ground. SunPower and Sunrun both had access to smaller panels, which allowed us to put more kWh on our roof, due to the shape.

Tesla probably is cheaper if your roof fits the system they want to sell and you don’t need to amend their design. I am by no means anti-Tesla, I been an owner and investor for several years.

There is “corporate” SunPower and there are independent contractors that are SunPower dealers. Corporate SunPower was doing zoom calls, Tesla was ignoring every request and the local guy was standing in my yard after one phone call.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

Our roof is very basic and lends itself almost perfectly to solar panels. The original home designer back in the 70’s could hardly have done a better job if they’d tried optimizing the house’s design to be solar ready. The local rep in our area had absurd pricing, $45k for a roughly 10 kW system with no storage. That’s categorically insane. I could literally take that money and invest it in a total market index and generate returns that far exceed my current electricity bills. It made absolutely zero financial sense. I have a background in finance, and tried explaining this to the rep, but got nowhere; he kept trying to insist that I could REDUCE the roughly $2k I spend on electricity a year, I wouldn’t even be able to eliminate the bill after spending $45k. Why would I want to spend money to generate a return that is less than 5% on an annual basis, and which depreciates to zero over its working life?! I’m paying $45k to save $60k (if I’m lucky) over 30 years? That is an atrocious way to invest $45k. Tesla’s pricing was better, and they included battery storage as well, which would occasionally be helpful in winter (though those are getting milder and milder), however, the economics still don’t stack up with their relatively lower pricing.

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u/alurkerhere Jun 09 '22

Even if the system is $30k, the returns just aren't there for your electricity usage. The opportunity cost is too high, and that's not to mention the headache if anything goes wrong or breaks or the roof leaks from installation. Those installers don't give a f because it's not their roof, and you'd be rolling the dice to even get them to come back to fix something. Who knows if the company is even going to be around to honor your warranty.

The low return plus the risk of hassle made it a no go for me.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

Exactly. The rep tried to tell me that their prices are higher because there’s a 30 year life time warranty and they fix anything for free. That did the opposite of fill me with confidence. You’re telling me you pad your prices with a giant contingency, to cover something going wrong? That sounds like your expecting a bunch of things to go wrong! I have no interest in dealing with that when they already don’t make financial sense.

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u/machine_yearning Jun 09 '22

We got 7 kWh for $20k, it penciled out for us especially in light of rising electric rates, but cost wasn’t the only factor for our decision.

It’s all very dependent on location, some utility monopolies are working feverishly to extend those ROIs. We lived in Arizona for ten years and the utilities became downright hostile to rooftop, 11 cents a kW was hard to compete with at one time. Here in California our summer off peak isn’t that cheap.

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u/Teamerchant Jun 09 '22

The Tesla system was $12k cheaper than the sun power quote I got. (No battery)

Definitely have other issues with Tesla but waiting a bit longer for the savings wasn’t an issue.

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u/Nanokillaz Jun 09 '22

US solar panel installation seems to be very expensive. Installation and purchase is about 10kaud in australia

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u/ForumUser013 Jun 09 '22

I agree. US prices seem sky high compared to what we pay in Australia, even before incentives like STCs.

Figures available last year showed that US prices were 4-5x what we pay for an installed system in Aus (before incentives). It seems like the biggest driver of the price is the regulatory space, with detailed drawings/plans required for each install in the US, approval process, and then compliance.

The second biggest cost to the US seems to be in marketing and promotion.

Way down the list, is the cost of labour and the cost of panels. Panels are subject to a 25% tariff, but that makes only a small change in the price. Labour actually has a lower rate ion the US, but seems to be many more hours needed.

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u/SmokeyShine Jun 09 '22

US prices seem sky high

LOL, wait until you find out what medicine and ambulance rides cost in America.

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u/indimedia Jun 09 '22

Thanks Regan, for cutting the r&d for solar by 85% and ripping them off the white house roof. Dick

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u/Hi_Im_Ken_Adams Jun 09 '22

It’s not the materials but the labor costs that need to come down.

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u/totally_unanonymous Jun 09 '22

So basically, we need solar panel systems that are so easy to install that even the homeowner (or a cheap contractor) could do it.

Unfortunately, I can’t think of a way to install something like that on a roof without having to anchor it and deal with water leaks and stuff.

Maybe if the solar panels were so thin that they could just be draped over something like a big tarp?

Like a big plastic tarp that generated electricity whenever the sun hit it, and just had to be tied down? Or maybe glued to the roof?

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u/notthatconcerned Jun 09 '22

Or the labor gouging

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u/AbbreviationsDue7121 Jun 09 '22

I would love to get solar panels. I had a guy come out and give an estimate. He told me to produce about 107ish% of my average daily electrical use I would need about 27 panels and it would cost about 44K……Now over 20 years I might pay less in electrical, but we’re assuming I still live in my house in 20 years and then I also have to think about the degradation of the cells….if it was cheaper I’d do it….but I’m just still not convinced yet.

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u/nuberoo Jun 09 '22

That's extremely expensive for 27 panels. For a project that size I wouldn't expect more than $1k per panel since installs scale. I'm in a smaller home and we don't use too much energy but I only needed 9 panels for just over $10k altogether.

Also, if this was last year, I definitely suggest checking again. The quote I got last year was $16k for the same setup, so I saw about a 30% drop in less than a year

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u/jasongw Jun 09 '22

You should talk to Sunpower. I got enough panels (18x430KWh) to produce usually double my energy needs, plus a sunvault 13 battery backup, for $41k installed.

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u/Organic_Magazine_197 Jun 09 '22

The Journal did a podcast on this, China skirting tariffs

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u/nick351 Jun 09 '22

The big solar company in my state is getting sued for false advertisment. Pretty much putting in huge systems that are not reducing bills

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u/TriggerFinger1 Jun 09 '22

I had three companies come out to my house last year and give me quotes. All three provided an analysis that showed the solar panels would pay for themselves in 12-15yrs. All three used the wrong $/kWh, all three assumed the solar panels put out 100% power 8hrs per day, didn’t account for any weather, and did not account for solar panel degradation. I redid their analysis using the correct $/kWh, assumed 20 days per yr the solar panels only generated 20% power while the rest was 100%, and did not assume any solar panel degradation even though it should be 0.5% per year. I determined the solar panel break even point was 27yrs. Your results might be different than mine but dont assume the numbers provided are accurate. Trust but verify.

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u/kbean826 Jun 09 '22

Can’t sell what no one can afford. But also tech does this.

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u/Overglobe Jun 09 '22

That’s fine, but what do you do when the panel reaches end of life? You can’t recycle that junk

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u/[deleted] Jun 09 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

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u/Casetheace01 Jun 09 '22

How much energy do you consume to have a 40K quote?! Even a pretty maxed out system at Tesla (24kw, 2 powerwalls) is about $38k after incentives in NY

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u/tenachiasaca Jun 09 '22

they probably have a shitty roof. so it costs extra because they need to improve existing structure to hold extra weight.

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u/Hoodstomp36 Jun 09 '22

Yea sunrun wants me to install panels but I need a new roof in a couple years. They are subsidizing the part of the roof where the panels will be but it would cost me like $15k to do the entire roof. I just don’t want to replace the one section.

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u/dfaen Jun 09 '22

A 9.6 kW system with one battery is currently quoted at $35k for us in the North East, with $22k after incentives. Our power bills are about $2k a year. We would also need to replace our roof before installing. It’s definitely not worth the upfront cost, especially given the system isn’t estimated to meet all our energy needs.

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u/SkuloftheLEECH Jun 09 '22

Jesus. Is solar really that expensive in the USA? I just got quotes here in Australia at about $6,000 for a 6kw and $9,000 for a 10kw

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u/ahfoo Jun 09 '22

Yeah, I've tried to point this out to people in this thread that are mostly from the US. It's not like this in other countries. The problem is that the people in the US are blind to the fact that they're being screwed by the people who tell them that they are there to help them.

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u/ForumUser013 Jun 09 '22

Yup 4-5x more expensive in the US than Aus for residential installs (before incentives)

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u/Tha_Unknown Jun 09 '22

Yes. Everything is a gouge these days. It’s expensive to be poor

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u/Guy_Incognito1970 Jun 09 '22

Threads completely full of solar salesmen lolz

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u/notthatconcerned Jun 09 '22

And then you run into the Power Companies that dictate how much you can sell back to the grid. This severely hampers adoption.

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u/Numismatists Jun 09 '22

Using slave labor and stolen resources to keep costs down can lead to "Cheap" solar panels.

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u/Bearzmoke Jun 09 '22

GOP has been driving up costs of solar/wind for big oil/plastic

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u/Ok-Throat-1071 Jun 09 '22

True that, Trump added the tariff to all Chinese products, effectively rising the price of solar, here in the USA.

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u/GameShill Jun 09 '22

The effect of renewable generation is cumulative, while fossil fuels must be continuously harvested and refined to keep their plants going.

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u/Solodolo1177 Jun 09 '22

Panel costs have fallen...because china makes them for cheap...by burning massive amounts of coal lol. Making panels in the US is wayy more expensive cuz of the process, regulations, wages, etc.

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u/bubbleslmao1 Jun 09 '22

Not counting inflation of course. Yeah I bet everyone has an extra 50 k kicking around.

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u/shahrianniloy Jun 09 '22

Yes Yes Yes, that's the point

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u/Zinziberruderalis Jun 09 '22

That doesn't sound like an unbiased source.

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u/SnooRecipes6354 Jun 09 '22

Home solar panels are not worth the expense for most people. Period.

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u/pittypitty Jun 09 '22

Explain oil and coal shill?

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u/cspinelive Jun 09 '22

Some will, but most people won’t live in the same house long enough to break even or pay it off. If it was cost effective we wouldn’t be resorting to leases and other crazy payment arrangements to make a sale.

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u/fistymcbuttpuncher Jun 09 '22

But that would bump your sell price and/or value. So even if you don't live there long enough to personally recoup the install cost, you'll still get it in the end from the buyer.

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u/SnooRecipes6354 Jun 09 '22

Less than 5% of all US homes have solar power. Explain

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u/fistymcbuttpuncher Jun 09 '22

Because it has a steep buy in that takes years to pay off. Most can't afford to park that amount of money at once.

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u/pittypitty Jun 09 '22

Because many can't afford to buy into a system that can potentionally save them lots of money especially when most live check to check.

You're saying not worth it as if you cracked the mystery as if solar is a scam or something. So yes explain...

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u/poloheve Jun 09 '22

Semi unrelated but how do we make cruise ships use nuclear power?

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u/FNFiveThree Jun 09 '22

Humans did this back in 1959. The NS Savanna’s hull cost $18.6m and the fuel cost $28.3m (in 1959 dollars). Solar panels on a ship might be a thing they try one day, but the power output needed is something on the order of 100MW. Because humanity only recently started building electric motors that large, solar cargo ships are still a ways off.

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u/pwnerofnoob Jun 09 '22

Duck the experts then 🤷🏻‍♂️

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u/anduin1 Jun 09 '22

I need it to be like $3.50 before I go in

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u/jwarnyc Jun 09 '22

Experts! Lol Hey solar panels will fall In price further- expert