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How much does solar energy (really) cost?

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Consultant energy affairs, Self employed

Rafael Herzberg- is an independent energy consultant, self-employed (since 2018) based in São Paulo, Brazil* Focus on C level, VPs and upper managers associated to energy related info, analysis...

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  • Nov 11, 2021

How much does solar energy (really) cost?

Photovoltaic solar energy has gained great sympathy and even preference when the topic is emission reduction.

It emerges as a great sustainable lever.

There is a little publicized aspect associated with solar energy. How much does it really cost?

From the installer's point of view, it is the investment in the system (plates, converters, etc.).

But on the supply side of electricity through the grid, it is necessary to consider the investment so that at night or even during the day when the sun is not shining, the customer is served normally.

This energy from the public "backup" grid costs much more than the one we currently pay because it operates as a backup energy, that is, it does not generate energy at its maximum capacity.

What needs to be clear is that the cost of electricity will increase in real value and a lot! Get ready!

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Dr. Amal Khashab on Nov 11, 2021

Hi Rafael

Thanks for raising up this point.

- It is not only the LCOE at the fence of the PV complex, but it has to include all relevant costs associated with transmission and distribution and backup facilities up to the customers' premises. - Therefore, one can find an LCOE of about 3 cents/kWh while the tariff is about 5-6 cents/kWh.


Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Nov 13, 2021


Andrew Blakers's picture
Andrew Blakers on Nov 11, 2021

Actually, the cost of balancing 100% solar & wind is about $20/MWh (on top of $20-30/MWh generation cost). The balancing cost comprises storage (pumped hydro and batteries), more transmission (to sooth out local weather) and demand management. All of this is off-the-shelf at vast scale.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Nov 13, 2021


Rafael Herzberg's picture
Thank Rafael for the Post!
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