Amari asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

How much does solar energy cost per watt?

This is for a science project and i'm comparing wind energy to solar energy. wind energy only costs $1/watt and $0.03-$0.05/kWh in average windspeeds of 6m/s

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    well your estimate for wind turbines is a little low in practical applications.

    the 1 billion dollar 500 megawatt wind farm being built in Washington Iowa hopes to have a production cost of .093 per kwh.

    here are some production costs for various types of plants.

    costs are given as cents per kwh.

    nuclear= 7.5 kwh

    super critical pulverized coal=6.5 per kwh.

    integrated gasification combined cycle coal(clean coal) =7.2 kwh

    same IGCC plant with carbon capture=7.9 to 9.3 kwh

    bio mass burning plants=7.5 to 8.8 kwh

    solar thermal plants= 17.9 kwh

    silicon photovoltaic plants=33.5 to 39.4 cents per kwh

    thin film photovoltaic plants=24.6 to 31.5 cents per kwh.

    BTW the biomass plants currently in operation burn agricultural & industrial wastes ranging from saw dust to turkey manure

    Source(s): Reason june 2009 vol.41 # 2
  • 1 decade ago

    To a home owner or small business the cost of solar is:

    Solar is $7/watt installed. The panels cost about $3/watt and the installation is relatively easy. This means production watt not each watt-hr or kw-hr. 1 solar watt will produce 5watt-hrs/day on average. Similarly a 1000 watt solar system will produce 5kw-hrs/day on average.

    Wind is $10/watt installed. The cost of a wind turbine is approximately $2/watt. The installed cost is much higher due to the need to install a tower and run the power though a trench. These watts are production watts as well. In a good wind (25mph for 1 hour) a 1000W wind turbine will produce 1000Watt-hrs or 1kWh.

    Comparing them depends upon the location they are going to be installed. On the north pole, wind is a better option because there isnt much sun there. In Arizona there is a lot of predictable sun, so solar would be a better option. The price of wind gets better on large commercial wind farms because the installation cost is less compared with the cost of the turbine.

    Hope that helps!

    For more detailed information on solar systems visit:

    P.S. the price per watt is an economics game. Electricity can only be sold at the price people buy it at. $0.065/kWhr in Idaho. Renewable energy can also sell green tags to make profit(but that is a different discussion). So in Idaho the cost of solar power and wind power are both $0.065/kWhr. The way you will want to compare them is with payback period. (aka; how long will it take for the profit from selling power at $0.065/kWhr to pay off my power system)

    Source(s): Im a Mechanical Engineer for an alternative energy company
  • Nata T
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    depends on size. Small system like quoted above are $9/watt. A larger home sized system will run $7/watt and industrial/commercial system will come in at $5/watt. Based on a 25 year useful life and 40% in rebates, the cost per kw-hr will be about .02 time the cost, so that's $.27/kw-hr for small, $.14 for homes and about $.10 for industrial.

    A huge unit in the desert might be able to get power to your home at $.11/kw-hr if the tax payers chip in 50% of the cost of the facility, which means you'll pay and extra $1000year in taxes, you'll save $500 on your annual power bill

  • 1 decade ago

    Average system costs = $95 per square foot

    Average solar panel output = 10.6 watts per square foot

    Average solar energy system costs = $8.95 per watt

    these are initial costs

    after including operating costs

    solar energy cost approximately $0.38-to-$0.53 per Kilowatt-Hour (KWH)

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  • 4 years ago

    Homemade Solar Power Videos -

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    My guess is that you must discover everything that have to do with solar energy at

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Isn't solar energy free, the cost comes when you try to collect and save it?

  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Niether are very cost effective. Try Geothermal.

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