Drill or Not to Drill
University of Phoenix
Rise and Shine
Utilities across the nation-in response to government incentives, mandates, their own goals and customer interest-are increasing the amount of solar electricity in their portfolios. The United State has some of the richest solar resources in the world, with enough potential to supply the nation’s electricity many times over.
Booming U.S. Market
Despite the high-profile bankruptcies of a few solar companies this year, by most measures the solar market is healthy and growing. It increased 67 percent, from $3.6 billion in 2009 60 $6 billion in 2010, and the rapid growth continued through the first two quarters of 2011. Although solar contributes less than 1 percent of the nation’s electricity needs, nearly 9 percent of all new electrical generation capacity installed this year is expected solar.
Cost of Solar
Electricity costs from new utility-scale solar projects built in 2011-including the federal government subsidy-were about 11 to12 cents a kilowatt hour and are expected to fall to about 8 cents by the end of 2012, which will make them cost competitive with natural gas in some regions. Rooftop-mounted solar costs about 13 to 19 cents a kilowatt hour, while electricity from new coal and gas plants is 7 to 12 cents, and 7 to 10 cents respectively. Wind is 4 to 8 cents a kilowatt hour. Without federal subsides, utility scale solar would cost about 15 to 17 cents a kilowatt hour.
Author: Anderson, Glen
Source: State Legislature, Dec2011, Vol.37 Issue 10, p28-31,4p
Energy Debate Heats Up
What legislators are finding is a picture very different from the one lust four or five years ago. Across the board energy prices are increasing, whether for natural gas, gasoline, heating oil, propane, coal or electricity. The two significant hurricanes made a tight situation worse for a while, although the worst of the effects on energy prices are fading. But many...