Skip to comments.Solar power failures adding up
Posted on 01/08/2012 6:05:28 PM PST by Libloather
The Orange County Register
December 29, 2011 10:03 AM
Sooner or later, the laws of economics prevail, even in heavily subsidized industries like solar power. The latest evidence that government manipulation cannot overcome economic reality is the decision by BP PLC, the giant British energy company, to leave the solar power business.
BP has developed solar energy for 40 years and for more than a decade touted its Beyond Petroleum campaign. The Wall Street Journal suggested, however, that BPs solar experiment was more gimmick than serious investment. BP spent millions trying to go green, but simultaneously spent billions on its traditional gas and oil business.
Solon became the first publicly traded solar company to file for bankruptcy in Germany, unable to repay loans of 275 million euros. Since 1990 Germany has imposed mandates that utilities must pay higher-than-market prices for solar and other so-called renewable energy sources, driving retail costs 46 percent higher than conventional sources, Bloomberg New Energy Finance says.
(Excerpt) Read more at ocregister.com ...
Nobody, not even the government, can create a market where one doesn’t exist naturally.
Call me crazy, but I'm starting to think that it's a boondoggle.
Wasteful subsidies like tax credits for watching others install a monster PV solar electric system for bipartisan, middle class, debt-supported suburbanites. But those modules look so cool on the McMansion (other story, see real estate pork and derivatives failure). ;-)
I wonder how many BTU’s you can get burning a solar panel in your fireplace?
A few hundred billion dollars here, a few hundred billion
dollars there and pretty soon you're talking serious money.
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[Nobody, not even the government, can create a market where one doesnt exist naturally.]
Well, yes and no.
“I don’t think there’s any choice” but to reduce or remove subsidies for ethanol and other biofuels, Daschle said, acknowledging that the once-inviolable Department of Agriculture budget has become open for review as political realities intrude....”
Observe the ethanol Mandate (and thus the market) remains despite the removal of subsidies.
I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that BP and their political prost..., err, our fearless leaders, never figured out how to impose a solar mandate... yet.
Solar energy is a concept that LOOKS so damn simple, but obviously only on paper.
I guess it is mostly due to poor watt density of collectors.
Whatever, the concept is obviously tailor made for scam artist and Obama type crooks.
Without taxpayer subsidies, it could not exist.
In the short run of say the next half century, oil will be cheaper than solar.
Algae is the next order of oil. The cost of exploration and recovery plus the political costs have created a small but significant market shift. New technologies in growing algae farms will make it possible for nations to grow their own oil. Not only for our nation but for China, India, and other oil poor nations.
This will act as a cap to the price of oil. Yes it will take time to develop the capacity. And yes, it will only be a trickle at first. No, it is not just around the corner. But the trend has started. Soon (15 to 20 years?) algae for oil will be another farm crop. One that can grow on poor soil and arid climates. Much of the south western US qualifies as desert to semi-arid land. Much of the south west is not really farm land now. At best, it is poor grazing land. But it could be used for algae farming once the infrastructure is put in place.
Production rates of 2,000 barrels per acre per year have been demonstrated. That works out to 1.25 million barrels per square mile. The US currently consumes about 6.6 billion barrels per year. At 100 percent replacement, that would required about 7,000 square miles be converted to algae production.
The total land of the US is 3,700,000 million square miles. Less than 2/10ths of one percent of the land mass would be required.
This seems like a much better use / conversion of solar energy - to algae then oil instead of to electricity.
And when these companies go out of business there’s going to be no warranty on all those solar panels they sold that were supposed to be good for 20+ years...
That could create a substantial cost increase to operate these panels long term over what was planned for.
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