The True Cost of Solar Power

By the numbers, solar energy comes with a hefty price tag in comparison to other sources. But energy experts claim that the overall value to society offsets the initial high production cost.

On a residential scale, the cost of solar energy is approximately 23 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This number far exceeds the 4 cents per kWh from "wholesale" electricity grid.

However, John Farrell of Renewable Energy World magazine argues that "solar power has a monetary value as much as ten times higher than its energy value."

"State renewable energy policies often require utilities to purchase the environmental value of solar in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs). However, the grid value of solar [...] often goes unrewarded. This value should be captured in the price utilities are willing to pay for solar, but more often the price a utility pays is either the wholesale price [...] or the avoided cost [...]. Neither of these prices reflect the value of distributed solar in reducing peak demand, relieving stress on grid infrastructure or avoiding grid losses," he maintains.

Full Story: Value of Solar Power Far Exceeds the Electricity


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95