Is it profitable with solar cells?
es, a solar cell plant can actually be a profitable investment in the long term, in our example, the repayment period is about 15 years and solar cells can last for 30 years or more. The calculation example is based on average electricity prices during 2013-2018. In practice, profitability is always difficult to predict because it depends on conditions that are not entirely predictable.
Costs of solar cells
A solar plant has no variable cost of fuel (the sunshine is free!) And usually, no costly service or maintenance is required of the solar cells. It is far enough that you only keep a little control over the fact that electricity production seems normal during sunny days. However, during the life of the photovoltaic plant, it is likely that the inverter will need to be repaired or replaced, but in our simplified profitability calculation, we only include the investment cost itself. See more about the investment cost under the question What does a solar plant cost?
Revenue and savings
Solar energy’s revenue consists of several parts:
1. Solr energy that you use yourself (self-consumption). This means a saving of the same value as the variable part of the cost of purchased electricity, ie: electricity retail price, variable electricity grid fee, plus energy tax and tax.
2. Solar power that is sold into the electricity grid (surplus electricity). Solar power supplied to the electricity grid (surplus electricity) can be sold to electricity grid companies or electricity trading companies. Price and contract terms vary between different companies, but it is becoming increasingly common for electricity companies to offer a price that corresponds to the variable price of electricity (spot price).
The surplus harness also gives the right to compensation from the electricity grid company for so-called grid utility. The remuneration varies slightly between different electricity grid companies but is around 35 cents / kWh.
The reality is uncertain
In reality, all these parameters are highly variable and impossible to fully predict. Most people are aware of the fact that electricity prices are changing, but it is also possible that other conditions and regulations may change – for the better or worse for solar cell owners. At present, there are fairly good conditions for solar panels. However, a general advice is to try to dimension the standard power plants to obtain a high proportion of self-consumption. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that a larger power plant provides better profitability, in the worst case it can be the opposite. It is uncertain what the rules and conditions will look like in ten years. Self-consumption is safer in the long run, since in practice it will save energy.