Cloudy Outlook For Solar Panels: Costs Substantially Eclipse Benefits, Study Shows

Despite increasing popular support for solar photovoltaic panels in the United States, their costs far outweigh the benefits, according to a new analysis by Severin Borenstein, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business and director of the UC Energy Institute. Full Story »

Posted by Jon Mitchell
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Subjects: Sci/Tech
Topics: Energy, Solar Energy
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# Tweets: 0 (as of 2010-06-08)
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Posted by: Posted by Jon Mitchell - Jun 8, 2010 - 10:13 AM PDT
Content Type: Article
Edit Lock: This story can be edited
Edited by: Fabrice Florin - Jun 9, 2010 - 1:04 PM PDT
Jon Mitchell
3.1
by Jon Mitchell - Jun. 8, 2010

This story is a bit out of date, and it's only based on one study, but the reasoning here is useful for contrast with more bullish assessments of solar's viability.

See Full Review » (10 answers)
Fabrice Florin
3.2
by Fabrice Florin - Jun. 9, 2010

Interesting information about the costs of solar PV panels. However, this information is dated and relies largely on a single source, without independent viewpoints. The costs of solar panels have reduced significantly in recent years, which makes this article less relevant.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Kaizar Campwala
3.4
by Kaizar Campwala - Jun. 9, 2010

Informative, though overly-reliant on a single source.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Mike LaBonte
3.5
by Mike LaBonte - Jun. 9, 2010

Excellent analysis, but single source. This is well explained and has most of the needed data. Just one balancing opinion would have added credibility.

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Dale Penn
2.3
by Dale Penn - Jun. 9, 2010

This news report is based entirely on the analysis of one professor with no corroborating references or quotes from other experts provided. The author offers absolutely no challenges to his assumptions or additional perspective.

Perhaps Borenstein's report posted as opinion might have been of more value?

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Alexander Rose
2.3
by Alexander Rose - Jun. 9, 2010

Good to see this kind of analysis but this story needs some balancing and other opinions if it going to make statements this bold. After looking into it this has been well argued from teh other side: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/borenste/PVwork.html

See Full Review » (4 answers)
Gwen Rose
1.5
by Gwen Rose - Jun. 9, 2010

This story is not relevant to where solar is at today or where it is headed in the future. Borenstein's analysis (accurate or not) was done as a snapshot of costs before 2008. The cost of solar panels has dropped by 40 - 60% since this report was published and so this storyline is simply out of date. As Borenstein himself notes in his response to critiques of his 2008 report: "The paper is an economic analysis of the current solar PV technology...today. It is not an analysis of the what might happen 3, 5 or 20 years from now." So here we are 2 years later and costs have plummeted.

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