There is a never ending back and forth among people as to the viability of renewable energy to be cost competitive with fossil fuel generated power – the debate is literally mind numbing. Having actually worked in the industry for the past two years helping to try and develop / educate clients and customers on the cost / benefit of solar and wind it’s literally driven me crazy trying to cut through and clarify – weigh all the different opinions. With the proliferation of the internet and public media outlets in general anyone and everyone can easily brand themselves and expert. While my general opinion of open debate and educated commentary are positive, in some instances, especially when it comes to simple math where numbers don’t lie, my opinion is calculate it out for yourself.
Grid Parity is the benchmark by which the industry calculates and compares the cost / benefit of the overall acceptance and conversion of our economy to renewables – when will the cost per kilowatt hour of power generated by a renewable energy source be equal to or less than that which is produced and transmitted by a fossil fuel powered plant?
Below is a link to the latest article claiming that Grid Parity will be reached in a majority of US States by 2015 – without doing an in-depth, state-by-state analysis but knowing the basics of renewables production in various locals I would have to agree. Having worked on the business development and sales side of the business, in my experience clients are more interested in what the return on their investment will be and how it stacks up against other options (ie. holding it in a savings account or bank CD, etc, etc…). This is of course a topic that deserves much more attention, but I thought this might be a good place to at least open the discussion. After having read this I feel that it’s probably a good time for me to discuss and post the payback on solar PV… give me a day or two to get it up – but in the meantime read the following.