There are many different ways that you can consider to provide electricity for your power needs. You can consider a diesel generator, solar panels, a Winglette wind generator, or simply buy your power from the local utility Company. Every system has advantages and disadvantages. You can only make the right choice if you can compare the advantages and disadvantages of all that is available.
A study was undertaken to compare the various systems with each other. All the costs involved, as well as interest rates, and inflation was used to draw a comparison between the various systems. We can now see how expensive each product is.
Four (4) systems were considered. All were sized to produce the same nett results in terms of energy production. The total energy cost were calculated, and the nett present value were determined taking into account interest rates, possible price increases, inflation rates, maintenance and replacement values.
The systems were compared over a period of 30 years. The following table shows the results. The Winglette wind generator was taken at costing 1.0 unit currency. All the systems were then compared to the Winglete. For example: Solar panels, requires a capital outlay of 4.1 times that of the Winglette wind generator, to produce the same amount of energy. These comparisons were drawn for an average wind speed site.
In the following table, the power rates for South Africa of US$ 5.8 per KW-hour, was chosen to calculate total energy cost. (It is 38.00 per kW-hour in South African Rand.)
|Power Supply||Capital outlay||Total energy cost over 30 years.|
|Winglette wind generator||1.0||1.0|
|Local Utility Company||0.0||1.3|
The following conclusion can be made:
- Of all the types of power supply systems, the Winglette wind generator is by far the cheapest.
- Although buying power from your local utility Company, do not require any capital outlay, the total energy cost is at par, or even and expected 30% higher than the wind genrator, for the next 30 years.
- Solar panels, at their present cost levels, require a capital outlay of more that 4 times that of the Winglette.The total energy cost is a staggering 14.0 times higher that that of the Winglette.
- ( There are promises of technological breakthroughs that will cut panel cost by as much as 80%. With even such dramatic cuts in panel production costs, the capital outlay figure comes down to only 1.8 times that of the Winglette, and energy cost lowers to 4.0 times that of the wind generator.)
- Diesel generators has a capital outlay of one half (0.5) of the complete Winglette wind generator system. Its total energy cost goes to a frigtening 48.0 times that of the wind generator. With the latest increases in fuel prices, one must decide to use diesel generators only as emergency backup power units.
- Where electricity from the utility grid is not readily available, the Winglette wind generator is by far the most attractive choice.
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