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Old 06-16-2019, 03:16 PM   #28
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

Much lower than the actual cost of solar nowadays when you remove the tax subsidies (with the state and federal tax subsidies, the government effectively pays 75% of every solar panel installed in CA and NY). While everyone talks about how 'cheap' solar is, that is the cost after tax subsidies, not the cost before tax subsidies. In the EU, where they have direct payments rather than tax subsidies, we have a better idea of the true cost of solar, with European governments paying producers up to $200/MW-h, and then customers pay the normal price that the utilities charge them.

In addition, they would have avoided the environmental cost of building the solar panels, as the lunar environment would have been wrecked, rather than the Earth environment. They would have also gotten four times the production out of each panel because of optimal orbital positioning, so they would need 1/4 as many panels per TW of energy production. Even with the cost of going into space ($500 per kg in 1977$), they estimated a cost of ~$10 per MW-H in 1977$ (remember, they needed to worry about competing with coal before many people worried about global climate change). A factor of 5x would be the conversion between 1977$ and GURPS $.
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