Infrastructure Of Solar Panel Energy Production Can Save Money In The Long-Term

Ean GoodguyAugust 14, 2018 1256 0

Infrastructure Of Solar Panel Energy Production Can Save Money In The Long-Term

Can the inner workings of business gunk up the workflow? Yes.  Should there be different perspectives inputted into a business model from the top and the bottom, cumulatively considered to determine the best way forward? Yes.  Should Ean Goodguy be moved toward being given a more extensive range of marketing responsibilities at his job? Yes.  Now, when it comes to the solar panel and renewable energy industry, to bring costs down, we have to take a look at the structure of the business model and see how they are working to keep efficiency and cost low.  

Transmission, Distribution, and Administration (TD&A)

Long-term TD&A expenses per customer for investor-owned utilities have endured remarkably constant over the prior six decades. TD&A prices have gone up and down over time, and most recent additions can be assigned to investment in transmission infrastructure.

So why are transmission and distribution expenses trending up? Are renewables the problem? Presumably for some of it, yes! For example, the CREZ lines in Texas have released significant amounts of low-cost wind to correlate to the Texas grid, and there’s an expense associated with those lines.

But capital spending to pass renewables is not the whole tale. Much of our infrastructure was constructed decades ago and is in need of investment, so much so that the American Society of Civil Engineers gives our power infrastructure a grade of D+. We have also been investing in an intelligent, more stable grid that can self-report disturbances and keeps the lights on. Also, super storms like Sandy and Harvey also require investments in grid solidification.

Wind Or Solar Panel Pricing

As for Shellenberger’s claim that the intermittency of solar and wind include variability into the grid, while real, has not been shown to happen in higher costs. There are also anxieties that the addition of more renewables would require increased grid durability measures or ancillary services. Once over, that has not been the event, at least in ERCOT.

As more wind has been added to the Texas grid – a lot of wind – regulation-up (and down) requirements have not increased. In fact, more efficient market changes allowed regulation requirements to decrease significantly even with increasing wind penetration. The reason requirements have not changed is because the ancillary service requirement is set by the largest plant that could trip offline, in this case, the 2,700 MW South Texas Project nuclear plant.

This aggressive early adoption leads to overbuilding and overpaying, but the succeeding rise in electricity costs was driven by policy, not some inherent physical cause. Costs and subsidies have since improved and this type of overspending is not likely to proceed.

Simple Answers For Low-Cost Solar Panels?

Other determinants, such as the cost of natural gas, are in play as well. The price of natural gas has dropped significantly in the preceding decade, decreasing wholesale market costs for electricity. To further compound things, for much of the U.S. electricity demand growth has slowed.

The grid has many shifting parts, so insisting cause and effect between any two are likely problematic. The assertion that wind and solar alone have driven up the price of electricity is just too simplistic. To be fair, maintaining that wind and solar are the most reasonable option everywhere every time is also too simplistic. One thing is shifting toward more clarity as time moves forward is that versatility is going to be valuable, but persisting open to options among various producing technologies also will help secure a more resilient and affordable electricity system.

Are you ready for your more affordable electricity system?  There is no better time to get a well priced solar panel system and get working on your solar panel installation.    

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