When it comes to new #energy contracts, #solar energy takes the lead. Solar is actually beating natural gas, coal and nuclear power. Warren Buffett’s NV Energy highlighted this truth when it recently agreed to pay 2.3 cents per kWh for electricity from a project to be built approximately 30 miles outside of Las Vegas – the Eagle Shadow Mountain solar project – which is a record-low in America. Just to break even, as per Lazard (an investment bank), even the cheapest natural gas plant would have to charge at least twice that amount. This, in addition to technology improvements, could be a huge step forward with regard to the cost-effectiveness of solar.
#Bifacial Solar Panels: A Real Game-Changer
Bifacial #solar panels are starting to be created and tested by manufacturers. What are these panels, exactly? To put it simply, they will generate power from sunlight which hits both the back and the front of the panel. The ability to generate power by collecting energy on the back of the panel could add up to 25 percent to production, which of course would lessen the cost of solar projects. As a matter of fact, future clean energy projects could see a 20 percent reduction in cost.
Bifacial Solar Panels: What You Need to Know
Canadian Solar is taking the lead in the market as the first to reveal a bifacial solar panel. It is called the BiKu module. It has a good efficiency rating on the front side alone when it comes to transforming the rays of the sun into power– between just over 17.5 and a little more than 18 percent. Power production will be added to the panel through indirect light hitting the cells on the back side. This is similar to the way a more traditional panel would be able to produce power on an overcast day. As per #Canadian Solar, efficiency shoots up to almost 24 percent when both sides of the second side of the bifacial solar panel are brought into the calculation.
When a system is made to exploit this increase, the impact of the bifacial design is huge.
This Does Not Mean All Solar Panels Are Going To Be Bifacial
This does not, by any means, indicate that every single solar panel will be bifacial. Everything will be dependent on the particular development at hand. If you think about a commercial or residential solar system attached to a roof, in which the back side of the solar panel is unable to see direct sunlight because it is blocked, there would likely be no benefit from bifacial solar panels. Therefore, bifacial solar panels will not always make sense financially, so things would need to be done on an individual, project by project basis. Regardless, these panels could become a standard when it comes to utility-scale solar projects.
The bifacial solar design could make companies such as Canadian Solar even more competitive. Canadian Solar does indeed have a lot of competition, such as SunPower (this is a company which focuses on solar panel designs, too).
A Drop in Solar System Costs Overall
When it comes to cost, bifacial solar panels do cost more than traditional solar panels. However, they could result in a lower overall solar system cost. Look at it this way – if a standard solar panel comes in at approximately $.40 cents per watt, and costs $1 per watt to create, and if a bifacial solar panel produces more energy than a standard solar panel and costs $.15 cents more than a standard panel to create, you’d be looking at installers having the ability to break even.
At the end of the day, bifacial solar panels should help drop the cost of solar electricity on a long-term basis. Bifacial panels could bring down the price of solar electricity, which is a huge move in the right direction for the renewable energy market.
If you haven’t invested in solar yet, you might want to consider it. If you don’t own any shares in solar stocks, perhaps consider following the market as solar is beginning to take huge steps forward. Stay on top of solar news so you can stay in the loop about the latest and greatest developments – like bifacial panels!