Thank you, C. Gail for correcting my solar terminology in your letter “solar cells don’t require water,” in the July 9 Payson Roundup. I really had the oranges and apples mixed up when I referred to “solar panels” in my letter of July 2.
The difference is really important. According to the Heartland Inst. The fully funded cost per/kwh for the two processes is: Solar Thermal (uses lots of water) 18.82 cents, Solar Photovoltaic (no water) 37.39 cents. So, as we quit using a precious resource (water) for solar thermal we use more of another precious resource (money) for Solar Photovoltaic.
Which raises another question, the fully funded cost of more prosaic processed per/kwh are: Coal generation 3.79 cents; Natural gas generation 5.61 cents.
Why is the Arizona Corporation Commission encouraging, nay mandating, solar installations when there are several hundred years of known coal and natural gas reserves in the United States and Canada?
I thought the basic purpose of the Arizona Corporation Commission was to minimize the cost of regulated services to Arizona citizens, whether as ratepayers or as taxpayers. Somehow this objective had been pushed aside for a new goal: “To be the lead state in the crusade to reduce CO2 emissions.” With no economic consideration as to the actual benefits of CO2 reduction as the costs of attaining that reduction.
Thus, with no apparent study, we are willing to subsidize photovoltaic power at 10 times the cost of coal generation.