Chapter 12

The Cost of Solar Power

Abstract

The cost of solar power depends primarily on the cost involved in building a solar power plant because the energy source—sunlight—is free. For a solar thermal power plant, the solar collection field will be the single most important cost element, while in a solar photovoltaic plant, the cost of the solar cells usually accounts for around half of the total cost. For most projects the cost of loans taken out to finance the construction must be taken into account too. Calculating the cost of a proposed power plant is often carried out using an economic model called the levelized cost of energy.

Keywords

Capital cost; levelized cost; solar collection field; cost of solar cells; commodity costs; maintenance ...

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