Although much lauded as the future “clean” power generation, wind and solar present serious problems in their unavoidable variation in performance on every time scale.
The extent of that constant variation is hidden neatly (and deeper and deeper) as time-series data are summated into weekly/monthly/annual power generation reports.
Hidden or not, that variation is a serious problem and a major source of inflated costs as more and more “renewables” are added to the grid.
The reality of that variation is glaringly obvious in the base data recorded in the NEM web-site. That source provides a detailed list of every power generation facility connected to the grid together with maps showing precise location and hour by hour performance details over the last few operating days for each and every facility.
The data for solar, wind and battery power is summarised in the link below (click the image to read the full PDF document) and appears to show admirably, the weakness of constant and largely unpredictable variability in both solar and wind power generation across all locations within Australia.
Richard Blayden – Founding Member of the Saltbush Club, Engineer, BSc Hons – Engineering/Thermodynamics (UK) and avid blogger in on-line climate discussion forums.
I keep hearing that since solar power is cheap it pays to add it to the generation mix. Sometimes this claim is caveated, saying that it only pays up to a certain fraction of total generating capacity. Typical limits range from 30% to 60%. Moreover this claim that it pays to add solar is made by conservatives as well as liberals. We are, after all, just talking about money, not principles.
In reality this “solar pays” claim is like saying it pays to add a small, high mileage car as a second car. It ignores the added cost of buying two cars instead of one. With two car payments to make, you would only save money under very unusual conditions. For example, where you mostly drove the small car, drove a lot, and fuel was very expensive. None of these conditions hold when it comes to adding solar to the grid.
By the time solar energy reaches Earth’s surface it is spread very thin – even midday sunshine will not boil the billy or make toast. And solar collectors will only convert about 20% of that weak energy into electricity. Thus thousands of solar panels are needed to collect significant energy, and lots more to charge the expensive batteries needed to maintain electricity supply overnight and during cloudy weather. Despite these disadvantages, force-feeding of “green” energy by all levels of government has given Australia nearly three million solar collectors (mainly imported from China).
It requires scads of land to generate significant electricity from the sun’s weak rays. But even in sunny weather they produce nothing for 16 hours every day. And a sprinkling of dust, pollen, ash or salt, or a few splatters of poop from birds or flying foxes can reduce output by 50%, while night, snow or heavy cloud cover snuffs them out completely. Continue reading “Australia’s Giant Green Gamble on Solar Energy Toys”
Solar panels have compounds that are semiconductors, the physics that governs these components do not “like” extremes in temperature.
And the solar energy has to get to the semi-conductors. Who is going to clean off the snow?
The Institute for Energy research (IER) reports:
“Record cold temperatures have hit parts of Europe and Asia causing electricity prices to spike as the normal generating supplies of electricity could not keep prices in check. Spain registered its coldest temperature on record, at -35.6 degrees Celsius, and several areas of the country, including Madrid, are under 18 inches or more of snow and may get record-breaking snowfalls. The electricity price in Spain soared to nearly €95 ($116) per megawatt hour—up 123 percent from prices the previous week and nearly three times higher than the 2020 average.”
“Have you ever heard of unobtainium? It’s the magic energy mineral found on the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar. It’s a fantasy in a science fiction script. But environmentalists think they have found it here on earth in the form of wind and solar power.”
They also heat the planet, blanket wildlife habitats and cause other ecological damage.
By Duggan Flanakin
The problem of solar panel waste is now becoming evident. As environmental journalist Emily Folk admits in Renewable Energy Magazine, “when talking about renewable energy, the topic of waste does not often appear.” She attributes this to the supposed “pressures of climate change” and alleged “urgency to find alternative energy sources,” saying people may thus be hesitant to discuss “possible negative impacts of renewable energy.” Continue reading “Solar Panels Generate Mountains of Waste”
Solar energy is very dilute, so solar collectors usually cover huge areas of flat arable land, stealing farmland, starving wild herbs and grasses of sunlight and creating “Solar Deserts”.
Wind turbines steal energy from winds which often bring moisture from the ocean. These walls of turbines then create rain shadows, producing more rain near the turbines and more droughts down-wind. Turbines work best along ridge lines where eagles also seek thermals, so birds and bats get chopped up by these whirling scythes. They also annoy neighbours with noise and increase bushfire risk. Continue reading “Not So Green”
Australia has granted major project status to AU$22bn solar, storage and transmission project which intends to sell unreliable energy to Singapore by undersea cable from Darwin. Here is the LINK to that story.
Ways to profit from a gigantic scam include milking subsidies & tax benefits and ramping shares. No government should bestow Major Project Status on a doomed “project” where no profit will ever be made from selling a product to a willing buyer. Australians call on the Prime Minister to guarantee that not one cent of public money will be committed to any fraudulent plan aimed at subsidies and lurks.
Any government which endorses a scam deserves to be brought down. Who will receive the greatest reward from the CCP for billions of dollars worth of materials and/or components for useless solar panels? Any fund manager who goes anywhere near a scam will be exposed. Any individual who encourages any private investor to contribute to a scam will be committing an unconscionable crime.