Sources: Google, Recurrent Energy, KKR
quote: Out of sight for most of the population, so they can't complain too much,
quote: In the UK, where there's not a great deal of guaranteed sun, I've seen fields of Solar Panels! In winter, the sun barely comes out, and in summer it's probably cloudy 1 out of 3 days.Waste of time, but looks good on paper...
quote: We're losing gigawatts worth of electric generation due to the EPA forcing coal plants to shutter. Plants that generate 400-500MW of power. Replacing them with 100MW solar plants that only work 12-16 hours a day don't really do a lot to not cause a rise in power costs due to decreased supply. And then we still have to build other plants to generate power at night or when the wind isn't blowing.
quote: If you poke around you see that the cost for MW for solar versus coal for a new plant is actually about the same. But the major difference is that's assuming 100 percent utilization -- which is never the case (not the case for coal either, but typically capacity for a coal plant is around 80%). In the Calif. desert (about the best case scenario, to be fair) you'll probably see 40-50 percent. So the true cost per MWh is probably a little less than double for solar what it'd cost with coal
quote: Capacity factor in the desert southwest U.S. is about 0.185, not 40%-50%. I've only heard figures that high if you use concentrators. This is the fraction of installed generating capacity you can actually realize after you factor in night, angle of the sun, and weather. So if you had 1000 MW of nameplate capacity, over a year it would on average generate 185 MW in the desert southwest.