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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:31 AM

 

Solar breakthrough.. Cheaper than coal.......

Quite frankly, if the company’s numbers are correct, this could be the biggest solar news of the decade, or even a greater timespan. (And CleanTechnica got the inside scoop — due to our sincere passion for helping the world, and probably also our status as the top cleantech or clean energy site in the world.)

As a quick refresher, we’ve covered V3Solar before, back when the name was Solarphasec. See: Solarphasec — Solar Power Meets Art (I think that includes a good intro of the tech, as well as an exclusive, real-world photo of an early version of a V3Solar cone or “Spin Cell.”)

But a simple intro of the tech isn’t the groundbreaking story of the day (that’s old news) — the story of the day is the tremendously low cost of the tech, and that’s what could change the world; that’s what could stimulate a more transformative distributed energy revolution than anything we’ve seen to date.

Am I hopeful? Yes. In case you aren’t aware, the average cost of electricity in the US is about 12 cents per kWh. The average cost of electricity from solar PV in the US is now about 10-15 cents per kWh. The cost of V3Solar’s Spin Cell, as noted in the title (and based on tests that the company considers to actually be conservative —

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1yUBC)
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/01/24/v3solar-spin-cell-cones-cheap-solar/#LDLzdWYpizetoQES.99

19 replies, 1919 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Solar breakthrough.. Cheaper than coal....... (Original post)
Bennyboy Jan 2013 OP
Cracklin Charlie Jan 2013 #1
sadbear Jan 2013 #2
Bennyboy Jan 2013 #3
Uncle Joe Jan 2013 #6
Bennyboy Jan 2013 #11
unhappycamper Jan 2013 #19
hootinholler Jan 2013 #4
democrat_patriot Jan 2013 #5
NickB79 Jan 2013 #7
Bennyboy Jan 2013 #12
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #8
guardian Jan 2013 #9
Bohunk68 Jan 2013 #10
Bennyboy Jan 2013 #15
guardian Jan 2013 #16
guardian Jan 2013 #17
Bennyboy Jan 2013 #13
guardian Jan 2013 #18
FSogol Jan 2013 #14

Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:46 AM

1. K&R to read more thoroughly later n/t

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Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:47 AM

2. Joe Barton says no.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:58 AM

3. Joe Barton?

 

Am I supposed to know who that is?

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

6. R Congressman from Texas, he wanted the Obama Administration to apologize to BP for

possibly hurting their feelings in seeking restitution after the Gulf Oil Gusher catastrophe.

http://www.google.com/search?q=joe+barton+apologize+to+bp&sitesearch=democraticunderground.com

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:33 PM

11. Got it. it is hard to keep up with

 

The Texas wing nuts.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 06:50 AM

19. Whomever that Texas congresscritter is, s/he deserves at least a Pinocchio Award

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Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:25 AM

4. I hope it pans out! n/t

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Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:59 AM

5. The tipping point for solar adoption...we're getting close


When it becomes easy & affordable, like "I'm going to pop out to Lowe's and pick up another solar array", plug it in 5 minutes... then all other forms of energy production may soon be 'obsolete' - (20% of energy production is coal, oil and nuclear combined.)

NC is trying to cut their rebate by 50% - dicks.

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Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:42 PM

7. The installation costs need to come down as well

I've been looking at installing solar on my roof, and when I run the numbers they would pay for themselves within 12 years.

The cost of the panels isn't even a problem; I can afford to buy them.

What I can't afford is the thousands and thousands extra the few local solar installers around here want to charge me to install the mounting brackets, run the wiring, and tie everything in.

The costs per kWhr mentioned in the article don't take this into consideration. When factored in, the cost to keep using fossil fuels is still cheaper than solar in the short term.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:37 PM

12. Short term... That is exactly how the right wants

 

to do business everything in the short term nothing in the long term. If they pay for themselves in 20 years who cares? FIXED Cost versus utility rate hikes up the wazoo?

Here in CA you see it everywhere. City Halls, Schools, Walmarts, Costco, residential, all over the place. We have a good rebate incentive program and a forward thinking legislature so solar is flourishing out here in CA>.

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Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:50 PM

8. Very very clever design. Big thumbs-up.

 

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Response to Bennyboy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:10 PM

9. When solar power becomes

 

cheap and easy then people will readily adopt it. Until then, trying to force/coerce people to use it is silly. A 10 year payback simply isn't good enough people widespread adoption. When ROI gets down to the 12-18 month range then people will naturally and voluntarily use it.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can invest $500-$1000 total in a fairly small footprint solar array that will power my household electrical needs. But it is crazy to go out and spend $40,000 - $60,000 for something that only only supplements traditional power and still requires my to have connection and pay for connection to the utility company.

It will get there...someday. It is just not there yet. Right now solar power for general household use is just a toy for the rich 1%, or special use situations such as people that live off the grid.

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Response to guardian (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:35 PM

10. It's irrational to expect a 12-18 month

ROI. I don't know of anything out there even touting any such type of return for any product. I was in the field during the early oughts and went to people's homes and put together systems for them. Not one single system even came near $40-60K in cost. This is in NYS. Most systems I put together cost around $25K, and that was before the rebates. $40-60K would indicate a fairly sizable home system, and the prices of panels has dropped considerably compared to 7 years ago. As far as payback goes, even a 10 year payback is reasonable when you consider that from then on, you are home free. Is that coal and oil and gas giving you a payback?

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Response to Bohunk68 (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:45 PM

15. FIXED COSTS.

 

How much will energy costs rise in ten or twenty years?

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Response to Bohunk68 (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:59 PM

16. 10 year payback is too long for me to buy

 

Regarding price. I was looking at a 6-8 kW system with battery backup. This was a few years ago so current prices are probably lower some now. But even so, the cost of the system is not entirely free. From what I understand the panels last 15-25 years. But things like inverters and batteries must be replaced much sooner. Additionally, I've been told that over time the solar panel efficiency decreases so a 7kW system new won't still be producing 7kW 10-20 years from now. So do I overbuild now, or replace panels in 10 years? EIther way it is a cost.

However, a big factor for me wanting a shorter ROI is that the price/efficiency of solar technology keeps improving. I suspect that 10 years from now I'll be able to get quite a bit more for quite a bit less. If I wait to buy I'll get a better, more powerful system that has a smaller footprint, for less. Until then I can use the money that I would have put towards buying a solar power system into other investments that provide a financial return.

Another factor for me is aesthetic. I find solar panels to be ugly. And for that big a system that is a lot of panels that I don't want to look at. So if in 10 years the solar panels can by 10X more efficient that will be worth the wait.

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Response to Bohunk68 (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:05 PM

17. Irrational or not

 

the current payback is not good enough for most people. I'd hardly call residential solar system use widespread. May one house in a thousand has solar right now? Maybe less. I stand by my statement that "When ROI gets down to the 12-18 month range then people will naturally and voluntarily use it." Until then you are fighting an uphill battle.

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Response to guardian (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:39 PM

13. I am gonna wait till pigs fly!

 

Or when on my birthday I get one year younger!

That's ridiculous. You want Chinese made products, installed by illegal laborers with no skill set other than what they do in the solar industry.

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:07 PM

18. Where do you come off

 

saying that I want "Chinese made products, installed by illegal laborers"? Sheeeesh. All I said was that it is too expensive for me right now.

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Response to guardian (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:40 PM

14. Around here, school systems adopt energy savings equipment if the ROI is no more than 4 years.

Glad to see solar getting closer.

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