Updated May 24, 2018 06:06:22 It may sound simple, but building a solar grid isn’t so easy when the costs and infrastructure are so high.
While some people may think building a grid is a quick and easy process, it’s actually more complex than that, according to a new study.
Key points: One in three Australians have solar panels in their homeThe study suggests the cost of building a large-scale solar grid is about $2.5 billion dollarsThe researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) compared the costs of building solar panels with the cost to build traditional systems The ANU’s study suggests solar panels cost about $3,000 per square metre while conventional systems cost about a third of that.
“The cost of the panels is very high,” Professor Rob Paddon said.
“If we think about the typical system, we’d be looking at about $400,000, so a large scale solar grid costs about $4 billion dollars, which is quite a lot of money.”‘
We don’t know how much money there is left’The researchers compared the cost for building a conventional solar system with the costs to build solar panels.
“We looked at the total cost of solar to see how much the cost is going to be and then we looked at what’s left, which was $2,500 per square meter,” Professor Paddon explained.
“So the costs are actually quite high.”‘
The system will be cheaper to maintain’The ANU researchers found that the average cost of a system was $1,200 per kilowatt hour of electricity produced.
“A lot of the people who are interested in solar systems are in the finance and investment business, so they might want to look at the systems for their investment,” Professor Mark Smith, from the ANU, said.’
We’re in uncharted territory’The research is based on a national survey of about 2,000 Australians conducted by the ANA’s National Solar Energy Council.
“Our national survey is a really good, reliable and timely indicator of solar’s costs,” Professor Smith said.
The ANA surveyed Australians about their financial and household needs, which included their household size, energy usage, number of solar panels, and whether they had solar panels installed.
“It really helps us to understand what the costs might be and what the market might be looking for in terms of a sustainable solution,” Professor Peter O’Brien from the Centre for International Sustainable Development said.
This study has implications for the Federal Government’s goal of installing 50 per cent of the world’s solar energy by 2020.
“When we look at this [the cost of installing solar] in the context of the average household, it comes down to $1.4 million per square foot, which means that the cost per square metres is about 20 per cent less than the cost it would be to install panels on your home,” Professor O’Briens said.
A typical Australian household solar system could cost about half that, depending on how much electricity they consume.
“They’re going to have a very small rooftop solar system because it’s a very efficient system.”
There’s also going to need to be a very large amount of storage in order to make sure that you have enough power available to get the grid running at all times,” Professor Paul Kildare, from Queensland University of Technology, said of the study.’
It’s going to cost you $2 to build’Solar panel manufacturers say there are other ways to build larger systemsSolar panels can cost as little as $3.50 to $5 per square centimetre, but these are typically more expensive than solar panels built on your own roof.
The cost for a typical solar panel is about half of that and this is a very expensive system to build, Professor Smith noted.”
You might be able to get away with this cost because of the way you’re going about it,” he said.
Solar panel prices have been rising since the mid-2000s and a survey by the Federal Energy Market Operator (FERMO) last year found that solar panels accounted for just under a third (29 per cent) of electricity generation in Australia.
Professor Paddon is also concerned that solar panel prices are set by the federal government.”
At the moment, the federal Government set the solar panel price because it didn’t want to put a price on the cost and there are some really big implications for that,” he explained.