SAN JOSE, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The AWEsome Blog, written by Leo Goldstein, a renewable energy scientist and the founder of Airborne Wind Energy Labs, has published a controversial analysis of the solar power industry.
Among conclusions of the analysis:
- The real costs of electricity from solar projects is unknown and cannot be reasonably estimated.
- To the degree they can be guessed, they are at least two times higher than industry insiders think.
- “Solar finance” is a dangerous delusion, which can cost a lot to the public and unaware individuals.
Three main factors cause this error: using unfounded and exaggerated estimates of the lifetime of solar panels and solar installations, relying on the data for twenty year old projects; underestimating risks and the discount rates required to compensate for those risks; ignoring value drop of the installed solar capacity because of the rapid price decrease for the new capacity.
The analysis contradicts many widely held fallacies and runs in the face of some powerful interests. In particular, it is critical of the “innovative finance”, comparing it to the financial instruments linked to the financial crisis of 2008.
The topic of solar energy costs is important for everybody, because solar projects are largely financed by public money or by individuals who are not accredited investors.
Airborne Wind Energy Labs, known for its airborne wind energy system, which allows achieving an order of magnitude decrease in wind energy costs well below the costs of electricity from natural gas. The AWEsome Blog covers selected renewable energy topics for energy investors and professionals.