Solar Power is a Lot More than Solar Panels – Clidemy Climate Basics
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘳 & 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴!
Clidemy Climate Basics is a series of posts done by CliDemy – the Climate Academy. The goal is to provide effective awareness about specific topics within climate action, especially for those keen on pursuing climate action careers & professions.
Most people think of solar panels when thinking about solar power. And that also makes them think that most action, and careers, for solar power revolves around solar panels.
Undoubtedly, solar panels form the core of solar power – after all, the panels generate the electricity. But a closer look will tell you that of the total project cost of a solar power plant, solar panels comprise only about 50%. The rest are contributed by balance of systems such as inverters, junction boxes, cables, and construction/installation costs. In fact, the contribution from solar panels could be even lower in high income countries such as the US where installation costs are quite high.
Solar power plants (and panels) work well for about 25 years. O&M costs per year will be about 1-2% of initial project costs, and some components such as inverters will need at least one replacement during this period, so over its lifetime, panel costs will be only about 30% of the total lifetime costs of a solar power plant.
This also implies that there are number of other components that add value to a solar power plant over its lifecycle. What does it mean for someone interested in solar power sector, either for a career or business?
It suggests that you have opportunities in many dimensions besides solar panels in the solar power value chain, prominent ones being:
=> Solar power plant design (engineering design)
=> Solar inverter manufacturing (power electronics)
=> Civil construction for a solar power plant (civil & construction engineering)
=> Electrical design and implementation for a solar power plant (electrical engineering)
=> O&M for solar power plants (project management)
=> Using digital technologies for asset management during a solar power plant’s lifetime (software & digital)
=> Battery storage for solar power plants (storage / electrochemical)
That’s a wide spectrum of opportunities – from project management to software to power electronics.
I hope you found this brief post useful.
Will be posting more such posts under the series.
Have a great week ahead!
Image courtesy: Engineering Discoveries – https://lnkd.in/gRNzqz-E
At CliDemy – the Climate Academy – 𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘵 & 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘵-𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘨𝘰𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘣𝘺 2030. Help us do that!
See my LinkedIn post on this topic