A recent report done for the Vote Solar Initiative shows that on-peak solar electricity has a value of between 23 and 35 cent per kilowatt-hour. The January 2005 report was authored by Ed Smeloff, formerly on the board of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and a long-time solar energy advocate.
The study found that the values of on-peak solar energy varied, in large part, on the location of system on the grid. This analysis provides a strong case for the large-scale expansion of solar power in California that would be consistent with Governor Schwarzenegger’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative.
Included in the valuation of on-peak solar in California are the following five factors:
1. Solar power’s ability to reduce peak demand for electricity
2. Solar power’s ability to lessen the consumption of natural gas in power plants
3. Solar power’s ability to avoid environmental damage from power plant emissions
4. Solar power’s ability to help the electric grid operate more efficiently by reducing line losses
5. Solar power’s ability to save investment capital by delaying costly upgrades to the electrical transmission and distribution system.
Other Non-Quantified Benefits of Solar Power
- Quantifying the Benefits of Solar Power for California: A White Paper – by Ed Smeloff, January 2005
- Vote SolarInitiative