There are a number of issues that must be considered when developing a solar power plant. These include cost, size and location. In addition, there are concerns regarding the environmental impacts of solar power plants. In this article, we discuss these issues. Read on for some answers to common questions.
Cost of a solar power plant
There are a variety of factors that influence the cost of a solar power plant. One major factor is the cost of the solar PV modules. This component alone accounts for about half of the investment cost. Fortunately, recent analysis indicates that module unit prices are decreasing. The average price of a solar PV module in 2018 was 60,000 yen per kW; by 2021, it is expected to fall to 30,000 yen per kW, a decrease of nearly 50%. Another factor affecting the price is government policies. For example, solar modules and panels are subject to tariffs, and these policies have affected supply and demand.
The cost of solar panels varies widely depending on location. However, the global levelized cost of energy dropped by 13% last year. This decrease includes the cost of materials and panels.
Location of a solar power plant
One of the major issues in solar power generation is the location of solar panels. Solar PV power plants have historically been installed in areas where land was cheap and easy to acquire. Unfortunately, in Japan, the amount of land suitable for solar PV is limited. Therefore, the location of a solar power plant must be carefully chosen to prevent environmental damage.
Choosing the best location for a solar power plant requires years of research. It is important to select a site that meets specific criteria, including high sunlight, large and flat land, and minimum environmental impact. Obtaining the required permits and real estate permits is also essential.
Size of a solar power plant
There are a few factors to consider when determining the size of a solar power plant. Generally speaking, you should aim to install a system that produces at least 3.45 kW of power. A 6 kW solar panel, for example, will cover an area of about 352 square feet. The system size will also determine the cost. A smaller, simpler setup will usually cost less.
In terms of size, a concentrating solar power plant will require an area about three to five acres per megawatt. This land will need to be cleared of vegetation and graded. The plant will need a flat area to work effectively, so the size of the field should be large enough to support the required electricity generation. In contrast, a utility-scale photovoltaics plant can be built on steeper land without the need for water.
Environmental concerns about solar power plants
There are several environmental concerns about solar power plants, including the pollution of the air and noise caused by construction activities. Additionally, solar power plants divert water for cooling and cleaning, which can have a negative impact on local wildlife and vegetation. Additionally, toxic chemicals used to produce solar panels can affect nearby land and water resources.
The construction of solar facilities on large, open areas can cause soil compaction and erosion, as well as altering drainage channels. Water is required for cooling and removing waste heat, and this can lead to pollution of groundwater and surface waters. In addition, solar energy power plants can increase air pollution, since they may release pollutants or soil-carried pathogens into the air.
Cost of disposing of hazardous waste from solar power plants
Solar power plants are not the only source of hazardous waste. Electronic and toxic waste are routinely disposed of under state mandates. However, differing state laws have prompted the U.S. Congress to consider national regulations. Industry executives prefer a uniform national standard. Nevertheless, solar power plants have demonstrated that a global regulation is needed to minimize the environmental impact of their waste.
For instance, the manufacturing process for solar panels involves the use of hazardous chemicals. Hydrofluoric acid, one of the strongest acids on the planet, can cause severe harm if not handled properly. Another alternative, sodium hydroxide, may be better suited for industrial use, but it also comes with its own set of issues.