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Solar energy pricing

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Guatemala last week inaugurated Central America’s biggest solar plant, with a capacity of 50 kilowatts – enough energy for a small town.

The project, valued at $14 million, was developed by an alliance of Spain’s Gran Solar, Green Group of Guatemala, and Ecosolar Investments of Switzerland.

Costa Rica has the region’s second biggest solar plant, with a capacity of 46 kilowatts.

A competitive market, combined with experienced regulators, should help the expansion of solar energy in Central America.

But until these conditions exist, pricing will be an issue.

Aside from the cost of a panel, solar energy is free.

But it only works during the day, when most householders are away.

During daylight hours, homes can give excess energy to the local electric company.

At night, the company would give it back, minus expenses.

But no one is yet clear, as to how much those expenses will be.

If they are too low, electric companies will lose money.

If they are too high, few people could afford solar panels for their homes.