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25268Re: [energyresources] Re: More on PV payback

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  • Ron Patterson
    Nov 16, 2002
      Murray wrote:
      If you finance a present day PV installation like coal fired
      utilities are financed (low interest long payback notes) then PV
      electricity could be wholesaled today for about 11 cents/kWh minimum.
      Actual costs are more likely to be above 21 cents/kWh. In many parts
      of the USA peak electricity is priced within this range so PV could
      compete when peak load is caused by max. sunshine corresponding with
      max. PV output.

      Murray, you are stretching your cost per kWh for coal to the very limits
      of credibility. Cost for ALL types of electricity average only 6.8 cents
      per kWh. And average cost to the household consumer is only 8.5 cents per

      �The national average cost for electricity is about 6.8 cents per kWh,
      while the average residential rate is about 8.5 cents per kWh.�

      But as I said, that is the average for ALL types of electricity. Coal is
      much cheaper:

      Cost for states that get their electricity primarily from coal average
      paying under 6 cents per kWh. Some are in the 4 to 5 cent range. Even
      California, which uses primarily natural gas, pays only 9.6 cents per kWh.

      Customers pay no more for peak hours than they do for the hours after
      midnight. The meter readers never know when the electricity is consumed.
      Some plants have peak meters but they do not record when the power was
      used. They only record what the peak usage for any one point during the
      month was. It is simply a peg on the meter that says �you went this high
      once during the month�. And, by previous agreement, they get a break on
      their rate if they never exceed a given peak. So your statement that
      customers pay in the 21 cents per kWh during peak hours is simply not

      If it cost 21 cents per kWh to generate electricity with PV then that is
      over twice the cost of gas and about four times the cost of generating
      electricity with coal.

      Now according to my figures, if PV power could wholesale for about 11
      cents per hour, and coal electricity wholesales for about a nickel, then
      PV would NEVER have a profitable payback. Everyday you used it you would
      be losing money.

      Ron Patterson

      - Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but
      never without belief in a devil..... Every difficulty and failure within
      the movement is the work of the devil, and every success is a
      triumph over his evil plotting.
      Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

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