Solar power values include geography, weather, battery life cycle and solar panel life cycle and used battery recycling costs. These metrics need to be included for a fair and accurate comparison between solar generated power and power generated by hydrocarbon fossil fuels.
Some benchmarks used to compare are cost per BTU value and cost per kWh. Most benchmarks leave out important hidden costs for both solar and hydrocarbon power generation.
Eventually, we should hope that solar power generation will benefit from new technology that will lower the cost of solar power generation to be competitive with natural gas on a global scale. A fair analysis is based on the total costs incurred to create the same BTU value or kWh. We are trying as hard as we can to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Don’t think that big oil companies aren’t investing millions of dollars in solar power R&D.
Certainly, when the sun is shining, solar power is more economical. The problem is that the sun doesn’t shine all of the time and inefficient, expensive batteries are required to make up the difference in providing power when or where the sun doesn’t shine.
In general, compare the cost per kWh quoted by electricity providers in your area who generate the power they distribute by solar energy vs. electricity providers in your area using natural gas energy or coal.
Comparing electric cars with gas burning cars, use cost per mile as a benchmark. Include the cost of the car and remember to include the expense of replacing the expensive battery every 8 years. A 100 kWh battery cost about $15,000. Also, consider that the electricity you used to charge your battery was probably created by burning fossil fuels.
The free enterprise economic model dictates what energy is used by people living in a capitalistic country.
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