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High-tech solar projects fail to deliver – MarketWatch

June 14, 2015

H/t David Dohbro

Another bright idea bites the dust!!

If you look back at history, you will see that it is littered with ideas that failed. It is of course the successful we are all benefitting from now.

What is different is that in those days it was not governments who picked the winners and losers.

  1. June 14, 2015 8:49 pm

    “One big miscalculation was that the (Ivanpah) power plant requires far more steam to run smoothly and efficiently than originally thought, according to a document filed with the California Energy Commission. Instead of ramping up the plant each day before sunrise by burning one hour’s worth of natural gas to generate steam, Ivanpah needs more than four times that much help from fossil fuels to get plant humming every morning.”

    Oh dear. And it gets worse:

    “Once built, U.S. government biologists found the plant’s superheated mirrors were killing birds. In April, biologists working for the state estimated that 3,500 birds died at Ivanpah in the span of a year, many of them burned alive while flying through a part of the solar installment where air temperatures can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    I wonder if the RSPB would have a view on that carnage?

  2. Ben Vorlich permalink
    June 15, 2015 6:55 am

    If you look back at history, you will see that it is littered with ideas that failed. It is of course the successful we are all benefitting from now.

    This is the key point, had it been done without taxpayer assistance then there would be no cause for concern, the experience could be built on and another James Watt could have solved the energy issues and hey presto. Although making an energy source which is off for half the time useful is still a major challenge in the real world.

  3. June 15, 2015 7:44 am

    In talks I give I make the point that winners are picked by the market and all that is left for Governments to pick are losers.

  4. June 15, 2015 8:05 am

    News : today The still suspended stock Hanergy had almost a $billion in order cancellations
    … Yes Hanergy cancelled orders from itself to itself for almost a $billion. (solar PV corp)

  5. June 15, 2015 10:43 am

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    ‘Just too expensive.’ Who knew?

    • Jason Calley permalink
      June 15, 2015 2:32 pm

      Hey oldbrew! “Just too expensive” I know what that means for ordinary people like you and me, but (sadly) it does not mean the same to the politically well connected. Politics is based on a fiscal model that uses unconstrained borrowing, self-authorized counterfeiting, and confiscation of funds at gunpoint from the producing class. Why on earth would they even consider a concept like “just too expensive”?

      (P.S. I always appreciate your many comments and posts at Tallbloke’s Talkshop. Thanks!)

    • Boyfromtottenham permalink
      June 16, 2015 9:09 pm

      I wonder if ivanpah’s owners still get paid the premium rate for the energy that they generate using gas instead of sunlight? If so, this a perfect boondoggle – build a “solar” plant that doesn’t work with vast taxpayer subsidies, power it with gas and still get paid as if it was generating “renewable” energy! What a scam.

      • steverichards1984 permalink
        June 18, 2015 7:20 pm

        Just like the Spanish did a while back with their diesel backed PV systems…


  1. Ivanpah Solar Project Still Failing to Achieve Potential | ManicBeancounter

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