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Solar PV News

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California

Two recent studies have separately shown that many scenarios assessing global decarbonization pathways are still predicting too-low future PV capacity and too-high LCOEs for the solar technology. The researchers analyzed scenarios provided by scientific researchers, government bodies and non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the European Commission, the Indian government, the International Energy Agency (IEA), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), among others.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California
Solar made it into the American Jobs Plan in the form of a proposed 10-year extension and phase down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage. The plan would also use the federal government’s purchasing power to secure 24/7 clean power for federal buildings.
Besides extending the investment tax credit, the Biden proposal would create an investment tax credit to incentivize the buildout of at least 20 GW of high-voltage-capacity transmission power lines and mobilizes tens of billions in private capital.The investment would include $15 billion in demonstration projects for climate R&D priorities, including utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, and electric vehicles.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California

Let’s be blunt: In most states, adding batteries to a residential solar system will significantly slow down the payback period.
That must mean there is more value in residential battery backup systems than a simple return on investment calculation can show. And, after recent grid events in Texas and California, the value of a battery backup is impossible to ignore.
The program offers homeowners a potential return of $1,375 per year. Combine that with the above SMART incentive cash and the payback period is shortened to 4.7 years. Now we’re cooking with electricity!
Let’s be blunt one more time: For Texans who were without heat and power during the multi-day mid-February blackout that killed 200 people, our financial viability calculations for energy storage go straight into the trash.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,613
262
auburn, ca

Let’s be blunt: In most states, adding batteries to a residential solar system will significantly slow down the payback period.
That must mean there is more value in residential battery backup systems than a simple return on investment calculation can show. And, after recent grid events in Texas and California, the value of a battery backup is impossible to ignore.
The program offers homeowners a potential return of $1,375 per year. Combine that with the above SMART incentive cash and the payback period is shortened to 4.7 years. Now we’re cooking with electricity!
Let’s be blunt one more time: For Texans who were without heat and power during the multi-day mid-February blackout that killed 200 people, our financial viability calculations for energy storage go straight into the trash.
But, when we consider the install price of roughly $12,500 for most Tesla Powerwall systems and subtract the 30% tax credit, that leaves a 19+ year payback. This does not “pencil.”
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California
But, when we consider the install price of roughly $12,500 for most Tesla Powerwall systems and subtract the 30% tax credit, that leaves a 19+ year payback. This does not “pencil.”
I note in your sig that you have five Powerwalls! Yikes... What was your thinking since this does not "pencil"?
I assume that your location (foothills) is subject to frequent PSPS and that these sustain you.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,613
262
auburn, ca
I note in your sig that you have five Powerwalls! Yikes... What was your thinking since this does not "pencil"?
I assume that your location (foothills) is subject to frequent PSPS and that these sustain you.
Nope, I do not get them that often. I got these instead of a tesla :)
 
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mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California

One solar installer told regulators that Vectren South’s proposal would cut the net metering rate of 14.3 cents for residential and 9.3 cents per kWh for commercial customers to about 3.1 cents per kWh. He said that the utility’s proposed instantaneous netting methodology would “drastically reduce or dry up” his company’s business, and he said the proposal would more than triple the expected customer payback period from 7-10 years to about 25 years.
The commission said that distributed generation customers could install a commercially available battery to make greater use of their solar system’s production. It acknowledged that such technology is expensive and may lengthen a solar system’s payback period.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,613
262
auburn, ca

One solar installer told regulators that Vectren South’s proposal would cut the net metering rate of 14.3 cents for residential and 9.3 cents per kWh for commercial customers to about 3.1 cents per kWh. He said that the utility’s proposed instantaneous netting methodology would “drastically reduce or dry up” his company’s business, and he said the proposal would more than triple the expected customer payback period from 7-10 years to about 25 years.
The commission said that distributed generation customers could install a commercially available battery to make greater use of their solar system’s production. It acknowledged that such technology is expensive and may lengthen a solar system’s payback period.
I wonder if Calif is watching. If NM goes away, so does the solar market.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,312
7,396
Maine

One solar installer told regulators that Vectren South’s proposal would cut the net metering rate of 14.3 cents for residential and 9.3 cents per kWh for commercial customers to about 3.1 cents per kWh. He said that the utility’s proposed instantaneous netting methodology would “drastically reduce or dry up” his company’s business, and he said the proposal would more than triple the expected customer payback period from 7-10 years to about 25 years.
The commission said that distributed generation customers could install a commercially available battery to make greater use of their solar system’s production. It acknowledged that such technology is expensive and may lengthen a solar system’s payback period.

I have very little sympathy for the residential solar industry. Net metering has always been a terrible approach and a ticking time bomb. It ends up being framed as feed-in at retail price v wholesale price, and retail price is so glaringly wrong that it's an easy logical challenge.

The industry should have fought for the FIT model used elsewhere, which builds in a graduated decline in feed-in prices, as well and focused on lobbying for measures that help reduce soft costs.
 
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SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,416
2,046
Toronto,Canada
I have very little sympathy for the residential solar industry. Net metering has always been a terrible approach and a ticking time bomb. It ends up being framed as feed-in at retail price v wholesale price, and retail price is so glaringly wrong that it's an easy logical challenge.

The industry should have fought for the FIT model used elsewhere, which builds in a graduated decline in feed-in prices, as well and focused on lobbying for measures that help reduce soft costs.

Net metering : you are effectively selling electricity to your neighbour at mid-day rates, like any power producer would do, so I don't see the downside FOR CONSUMERS. Obviously, power producers hate competition, especially competition with zero cost land (roof sitting idle), a 7 year payback and then free (no cost) production for 20 more years after that. It's impossible to compete with solar when you're paying for fuel and people and maintenance and land, and...

Whereas, Ontario did exactly as you listed and we got stuck with 2GW of stupidly expensive solar, paying early FIT (and Microfit) 80c/kWh then 50c then 36c etc such that the average FIT power cost in Ontario is >20c/kWh with 20 year guaranteed contracts.

Option :

My local municipality had a "zero the meter" option I was reviewing, namely, I would produce enough to zero out my meter during the peak summer days when running AC and pool pump, and barely zero or not other times of the year (we get winter and cloud in Ontario). I would not benefit AT ALL financially if my system produced excess to the grid, it was "free surplus electricity" for the utility. In this way, I could get a system online with lower regulatory cost. While I eventually went solar (3.5kW) + storage (11kW) and now effectively implemented a zero the meter with a bit more investment, and I can zero the meter for more hours of the day and more times of the year and have partial home backup for (rare) outages.
 
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mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California
I have very little sympathy for the residential solar industry. Net metering has always been a terrible approach and a ticking time bomb. It ends up being framed as feed-in at retail price v wholesale price, and retail price is so glaringly wrong that it's an easy logical challenge.

The industry should have fought for the FIT model used elsewhere, which builds in a graduated decline in feed-in prices, as well and focused on lobbying for measures that help reduce soft costs.
Net metering has its problems and they should be addressed. The largest is TOU. Flat rate net metering forces electricity to purchase (perhaps unneeded) electricity at retail rates. I think TOU and demand response could make this a fair system for utilities and consumers.
Also, I don't understand the need for high power long distance transmission (a big utility cost). If you have a well designed distributed energy system (i.e. lot of local solar, wind, storage) you shouldn't need long distance transmission.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,416
2,046
Toronto,Canada
One solar installer told regulators that Vectren South’s proposal would cut the net metering rate of 14.3 cents for residential and 9.3 cents per kWh for commercial customers to about 3.1 cents per kWh

Ignore the 3c/kWh, you would still have a lifetime payback on modest solar arrays if all you did was effectively "shed load". A modest 2 kW array would do that for most homes in thirsty North America (the top consumers of electricity per capita in the world). Residential solar companies could design a really simple to install system with 4 x 500W (large format panels), simple cookie-cut install system and a specially designed inverter which can "cap" output to zero the meter.

This is EASILY doable, as I know hybrid all-in-one inverters like Sol-Ark have this feature working today, but are extremely expensive and are designed for much larger 12kW arrays.

In Ontario, time of use pricing is ~12c/kWh, and the bill has other (line efficiency) costs that raise this to approximately 14c/kWh. A 2kW system producing ~2200 kWh a year would reduce electricity bill by $300/yr. If installers wanted to go aggressive, they could source panels are $300 (CDN) for 500 W, inverter $800, install $1000 so $3000 price to customer, or 10 year pay off. But that's not what installers want to do... It's a lot of effort for a small return, so obviously installers should fight this to make sure their bread and butter 8+ kW systems pay off.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,136
10,625
California
Ignore the 3c/kWh, you would still have a lifetime payback on modest solar arrays if all you did was effectively "shed load". A modest 2 kW array would do that for most homes in thirsty North America (the top consumers of electricity per capita in the world). Residential solar companies could design a really simple to install system with 4 x 500W (large format panels), simple cookie-cut install system and a specially designed inverter which can "cap" output to zero the meter.

This is EASILY doable, as I know hybrid all-in-one inverters like Sol-Ark have this feature working today, but are extremely expensive and are designed for much larger 12kW arrays.

In Ontario, time of use pricing is ~12c/kWh, and the bill has other (line efficiency) costs that raise this to approximately 14c/kWh. A 2kW system producing ~2200 kWh a year would reduce electricity bill by $300/yr. If installers wanted to go aggressive, they could source panels are $300 (CDN) for 500 W, inverter $800, install $1000 so $3000 price to customer, or 10 year pay off. But that's not what installers want to do... It's a lot of effort for a small return, so obviously installers should fight this to make sure their bread and butter 8+ kW systems pay off.
At some point, a system is too small to make it worthwhile for solar installers.
Even a small system without a battery would end up with a lot of low paid feed in since home energy use is not uniform. (For instance, think of a heat pump/AC unit cycling on and off)
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,176
15,092
New Mexico
Ignore the 3c/kWh, you would still have a lifetime payback on modest solar arrays if all you did was effectively "shed load". A modest 2 kW array would do that for most homes in thirsty North America (the top consumers of electricity per capita in the world). Residential solar companies could design a really simple to install system with 4 x 500W (large format panels), simple cookie-cut install system and a specially designed inverter which can "cap" output to zero the meter.
The fixed costs are too high a fraction of a small system
 
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SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,416
2,046
Toronto,Canada
One option is DC powered heat pump, only operates when the sun is shining on 2000W of panels. Inverter is in the unit, only solar, just 4 panels, keeps house within a set range, and if outside of that range, the original HVAC system of the house takes over. No permits, not connected to panel, no complex costs, DIY (like "MrCool"). Would be a fantastic way for people with electric heat and window air conditioners to utilize solar without much additional cost.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,176
15,092
New Mexico
I think it is pretty evident that the next wave of early adopters of home PV without net metering luxury are going to be those who are able to shift demand to match their local generation. People somewhat reflexively think of a home battery for the task but that is expensive for now. Time shifted energy use is the key.
 
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Merrill

Merrill
Jan 23, 2013
3,706
1,260
Sonoma, California
I think it is pretty evident that the next wave of early adopters of home PV without net metering luxury are going to be those who are able to shift demand to match their local generation. People somewhat reflexively think of a home battery for the task but that is expensive for now. Time shifted energy use is the key.
So cook dinner before 4pm or after 9pm.
 

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