Solkraft, en vinnende teknologi

Det skjer for tiden åpenbart svært spennende ting med solkraft. (I dette innlegget utelukkende forstått som solcellebasert kraft: photovoltaic panels).
I enkelte land er veksten voldsom. USA er ett av dem. Der har antall jobber i solkraftbransjen det siste året økt 20 ganger raskere enn den generelle utviklingen i arbeidsmarked (20% økning mot 1% økning). Dette er betydelig raskere enn for eksempel i en annen energisektor, olje og gass. Total installert solkraftkapasitet i USA er nå omtrent 20 GW. Til sammenligning, det er totalt installert 29 GW vannkraft i Norge.
Kina er et annet land med sterk vekst. Kinas politiske og økonomiske system avviker sterkt fra USAs. Selvsagt. Derfor er det interessant at også Kina øker. Noen mekanismer må åpenbart være virksomme under svært forskjellige rammebetingelsene.
Men først noen tall fra Kina. Der er det nå installert ca 33 GW produksjonskapasitet, hvorav 11 GW bare i 2013. I 2010 var den samlede installerte kapasitet 0,8 GW.
Kina har sin egen begrunnelse, hvor lokal luftkvalitet betyr svært mye. Dette angriper de på flere fronter. Det var for eksempel i 2013 installert 91 GW vindkraft i Kina. Vekstraten er imidlertid betydelig større på solsiden. Solkraft i 2013 var nesten 2300% av det den var i 2010. For vindkraft er det tilsvarende tallet 290%. Spådommer om solkraftens stadig økende utbredelse skrev jeg om også i et tidligere innlegg om investeringsstrategier.

Lav terskel
Denne vesentlige forskjellen kan si noe om «terskelen» for å etablere ny kraftproduksjon. Solkraft har en lavere terskel. Trolig spiller økonomi en viktig rolle her, muligens drar solkraft også fordeler av at anleggene er enkle å planlegge, installere og drive.
En liten digresjon; I de utviklede markedene der kraftprisen varierer med etterspørselen har man begynt å kombinere solcellene med akkumulatorbatterier. De brukes til å redusere den enkelte kundes bruk av nettstrøm i perioder med høy strømpris. Tilsvarende lades batteriene i perioder med lav pris.

Gode investeringer
Analyser, utført i USA av Ravi Manghani, viser at i markeder med differensierte tariffer kan internrenten på en privat investering i et anlegg med batteri bli så høy som 20% . Det vil gjøre en investering fordelaktig i de aller fleste tilfelle. Til dels er dette svært fordelaktig.
Det finnes ikke én pris på solkraft. Mange faktorer, som ikke er like over alt, bidrar. Uansett er det en åpenbar konklusjon at solkraft noen steder er konkurransedyktig på rent kommersielle vilkår. Da kan vi glemme feed-in tarifs, CO2, luftforurensing fra kullkraftverk og andre begrunnelser. Man kan ganske enkelt tjene penger på solkraft. Det er den sterkeste implementeringsmekanismen som finnes!
Det er et faktum at prisen på solkraftanlegg er kraftig synkende. I USA er den rapportert/beregnet til i 2012 å være 1/3 av det den var i 2002. I Kina har prisfallet vært enda mer dramatisk. Noe av prisfallet kan trolig og beklageligvis forklares med at noen waferprodusenter utelater dyre rensetiltak. De driver svært miljøuvennlig produksjon.

For en investor er solkraft en svært tiltalende teknologi. Solskinn er gratis, det er forutsigbart. Kraftanleggene er teknisk sett ganske enkle, ingen bevegelige deler, ingen vesentlige driftskostnader. Man er totalt uavhengig av oljeprisen. Dette må være nær en ideell investering.
Den eneste usikkerheten er kraftprisen. Men der er det slik at solkraftprodusentene har konkurrenter som stort sett baserer seg på moden teknologi. Ingen venter dramatiske kostnadsreduksjoner i kullkraftverk eller atomkraftverk. De har sine ganske forutsigbare kostnadsstrukturer.
Her ligger noe av forklaringen på den kraftige veksten i solkraftproduksjon, tror jeg.
Nå er det bare å vente at nye kontinenter meldes på i revolusjonen.

FEIM har et møte om nettopp dette i Ingeniørenes Hus den 4. februar, Solkraft i Afrika, som du også kan se på video.

4 svar til “Solkraft, en vinnende teknologi”

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