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Solar Power Shocks The World – Guardian

April 25, 2021

By Paul Homewood

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https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/apr/25/insanely-cheap-energy-how-solar-power-continues-to-shock-the-world?utm_term=1d81c1dd3ee7bab2f95754ec1e3703b4&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUK&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTUK_email

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

 

 

 

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BP Energy Review

51 Comments
  1. April 25, 2021 10:48 am

    LOL

    • Curious George permalink
      April 25, 2021 7:08 pm

      Shocking, positively shocking.

  2. HotScot permalink
    April 25, 2021 10:51 am

    Whale Oil Beef Hooked.

    That much?

  3. Mack permalink
    April 25, 2021 11:10 am

    When you use slaves to make the panels and don’t factor in the energy sources you have to pay for when the panels aren’t working, I’m surprised they aren’t even cheaper!

    • April 25, 2021 1:46 pm

      You would think that by now some bright spark would have figured out a way to compare electricity generators that takes into account all their individual properties: cost, capacity factor, reliability, dispatchability, independence, fuel cost, and even, if they wanted, carbon dioxide emissions in construction and operation. I’m willing to bet that solar does not win a fair competition.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      April 25, 2021 9:50 pm

      Meanwhile The Guardian takes the piss out of itself.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/23/revealed-uk-solar-projects-using-panels-from-firms-linked-to-xinjiang-forced-labour

      Well it would be “insanely cheap” if it uses slave labour. Then again the Guardian itself is the product of slave labour finance.

  4. April 25, 2021 11:13 am

    The Guardian is funnier than “The Onion”

  5. Gerry, England permalink
    April 25, 2021 11:38 am

    Yes, solar power is sometimes so cheap you can’t give it away, so you have to pay people to take it to save your grid. LOL

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 25, 2021 11:53 am

    I’ve just scan-read the article.

    I can find NO price comparisons in it. Nothing that shows solar prices in comparison to oil, gas, coal or nuclear.

    No numbers, no unit cost comparisons, no inclusion of back-up costs for when the sun doesn’t shine, no battery capacity or running costs.

    Nothing.

    Yet again we have to endure more Guardian climate propaganda.

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 25, 2021 12:11 pm

      Indeed. It is a goofy puff piece.

      ‘In a quirk of history, what had begun as an American drive to wean itself off oil was eventually taken up by China, which made solar power dirt cheap in the process.’

      Cirrusly, China is weaning itself off oil?

      • bluecat57 permalink
        April 25, 2021 1:35 pm

        Not “dirt cheap”, dirty and cheap.
        The environmental damage caused by mining and manufacturing far outweighs any benefits.

  7. James Neill permalink
    April 25, 2021 11:55 am

    what happens when it is cloudy or at night?

  8. Ray Sanders permalink
    April 25, 2021 12:11 pm

    UK 20th January 2021, 13.8GW of solar capacity produced 1.19GWh which is a capacity factor for the day of ZERO POINT THREE SIX PERCENT (0.36%).
    https://www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/
    You will not read that in the Guardian.

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      April 25, 2021 5:26 pm

      I must have missed something. As a percentage of 13.8 1.19 is 8.6% I think. So you could say that solar panels are achieving less than 10% of installed capacity. Even steam engines did better than that.
      The Guardian’s defence is that the owners have had to reduce staff drastically in at least 2 tranches in recent years.

      • H Davis permalink
        April 25, 2021 7:19 pm

        The full potential for a day of the installed capacity is 13.8Gh times 24 hr or 331.2 Gwh. It actually produced 1.19 Gwh. 1.19/331.2=.00359 or 0.36%.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        April 25, 2021 7:36 pm

        13.8GW x 24 hours is 331.2 GWh of “theoretical” output, at least in the Arctic in midsummer.

        In reality, we only have a limited idea of actual solar output, mostly dependent on the data extrapolations made by Sheffield University.

        https://www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/

  9. fretslider permalink
    April 25, 2021 12:13 pm

    The Guardian

    A leading member of the Narrative Driven Media

    Written by hacktivists

  10. Gamecock permalink
    April 25, 2021 12:14 pm

    It is astounding that journalists don’t know that the sun doesn’t shine at night. Does journalism school teach you how to be stupid?

    How ’bout the price of land to put them on? Is land getting cheaper? You’d have to cover Wales to get enough power to run the rest of GB.

    • bluecat57 permalink
      April 25, 2021 1:32 pm

      They don’t teach it. They enhance that natural ability in Leftists.

    • devonblueboy permalink
      April 25, 2021 2:18 pm

      Now there’s an idea!!

  11. Harry Davidson permalink
    April 25, 2021 12:54 pm

    I understand that Michael Mann has a peer reviewed paper nearing publication showing that you can get good efficiency from them at night if you use the right science.

    • bluecat57 permalink
      April 25, 2021 1:31 pm

      You didn’t complete that last sentence.
      … science to hide the diesel generator.

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        April 25, 2021 1:35 pm

        That would be engineering. Mann doesn’t do engineering, he finds it unhelpful.

    • Lorde Late permalink
      April 25, 2021 9:19 pm

      I suppose you could shine huge halogen lights on the panels at night that might keep them going…….
      Oh no sorry didnt think that through…..
      Doh

  12. April 25, 2021 1:03 pm

    1st March – 24th April 2021 Total UK electricity generation:

    Solar = 5.4%, 23.7% of capacity
    Biomass = 8%, 3.96% of capacity

    http://energodock.com/united-kingdom/country-overview

    Which fuel type is better for the environment, Uighur’s and the taxpayer again?

  13. Ian Wilson permalink
    April 25, 2021 1:20 pm

    Or follow the example of a Spanish solar farm which was seen to be generating at night – turned out they were running a diesel generator to claim the subsidies. (Irrelevant, but it seems Spain has form – large EU grants were given to set up an equestrian centre, then the recipients used it to open an enormous brothel)

  14. Broadlands permalink
    April 25, 2021 1:23 pm

    How many miles per gallon or km per liter does solar power generate? Especially at night.

  15. bluecat57 permalink
    April 25, 2021 1:30 pm

    I will get some solar when I get it directly into MY large house first for under $5,000 without subsidies.
    It works for me when the grid is down.
    And I can store 4 days of power for under $1,000 without subsidies.
    And it needs to charge my flying car.

  16. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 25, 2021 2:59 pm

    Also note that the land under those previously ecologically valuable countryside solar farms is effectively dead.

    The greens like to pretend these solar farms can hover over a wild flower meadow or have sheep grazing between. Which is of course nonsense. The access required for cleaning and maintenance ensures the soil becomes compacted, the loss of light radically alters the growing conditions, and you have a rain shadow under each panel. At best you have a mixture of bare earth and weedy grasses .

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 25, 2021 3:36 pm

      I was hoping vipers could still live there.

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      April 25, 2021 5:00 pm

      Easy now. Sheep wander in and out of the rows of panels on a solar farm north of Cambridge visible from the train.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        April 25, 2021 5:51 pm

        Yes, surviving on far more supplemented feed no doubt. It’s a waste of previously much more productive agricultural/natural land and contributing to the loss of diversity etc. Sheep can be housed in/wander around an abandoned factory – won’t survive if they aren’t fed will they!

  17. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    April 25, 2021 4:22 pm

    I’m shocked – I tell you. Shocked!
    Freelance journalist Royce Kurmelovs writes about Australia, Crime and Justice, Military, Politics – but not “sport.”
    This article uses the term “ cheapest energy ” when he means electricity. Camel dung (dried) is cheaper energy.
    He should stick with reporting on school board meetings, and stray dogs.

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 25, 2021 5:57 pm

    It’s very sad. The old Manchester Guardian was a great paper, a conscience pricker of the mighty. And had an educated literary style. Sad sad

  19. tomo permalink
    April 25, 2021 6:24 pm

    Out of the Deep Green Resistance stable…

    https://www.brightgreenlies.com/

  20. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 25, 2021 7:04 pm

    Got to laugh at the BBC’s Climate Propaganda File, the farmer moaning about the cold April and it’s consequences – grass not growing fast enough, extra feed/straw cost etc.

    It’s only ~1C below average at the moment, about the same as 1983 & 89, yet being warmer is only bad they are forever telling us, only has negative consequences – cold like the old days before industrialization is what we want apparently – clueless!

    (Yes lack of rain may have not helped either but this time of year and after the fairly recent wet weather, even when the surface is superficially dry, the soil still has plenty of moisture reserves near the surface.)

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      April 25, 2021 7:46 pm

      The grass certainly hasn’t been growing much at all. Overnight frosts, cold temperatures and the prolonged dry spell have taken a toll. I have horse paddocks beyond the garden (not mine!), and they first delayed putting the horses out, and still continue to top up feed with hay. I’m told grass doesn’t really grow below 8C. Saves on mowing, but the dandelions operate to different rules.

      • C Lynch permalink
        April 26, 2021 10:14 am

        Same here in Ireland. April has been very dry but also cold – there’s been a frost almost every night.

    • tomo permalink
      April 25, 2021 8:43 pm

      I caught “Gardener’s Question Time” today while driving an errand.

      One of the panel launched into a bit of an eco-rave and the audience seemed to respond with what sounded like some lamely contrived clapping + hooting. The local Greens got on the guest list….. a la QT?

    • Gray permalink
      April 25, 2021 8:48 pm

      Clever stuff this carbon dioxide, it makes it warmer and colder and wetter and drier.

  21. It doesn't add up... permalink
    April 25, 2021 7:55 pm

    Here’s the real solar shocker for the Guardian:

    https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-d77c65c8-ba89-4faf-be5f-20cbc4302536

    Real costs don’t seem to have fallen that much, and at £15,000 or so per real kW of generation (allowing for the poor capacity factor achieved by the typical installation) are hardly a bargain. With subsidies largely withdrawn, fresh installations have been virtually at a standstill for several years.

    Data from BEIS.

  22. Devoncamel permalink
    April 25, 2021 9:01 pm

    The last paragraph, it’s a blatant appeal for money. Is the Grauniad financially embarrassed?
    Surely not.

  23. Graeme No.3 permalink
    April 25, 2021 10:13 pm

    Solar panels work for home owners in South Australia in reducing electricity bills, which cost has been increased by the cost of subsidies for “renewables”.
    Firstly there are Certificates for the estimated output for the first 5 years, which the buyer never sees as the Solar Panel company sells these on market and reduces the price the buyer has to pay. Who buys these Certificates? The Retail electricity companies HAVE to buy them by law and they add that cost (plus a bit) to the quarterly bill for everybody.
    Then there is the FIT (feed-in tariff) which the customer gets for any electricity exported to the grid. This is now about 8¢ a kWh ($80 per MWh or about £40) and that goes to increasing the retail customer’s bills. As the retail price is inflated by grid charges, GST (your VAT) etc. it is very difficult to “reduce your bill to nothing with FREE energy” there are grumbles about low FIT rates, That leads to ever larger capacity being installed to increase returns, which in turn causes supply to exceed demand in the middle of a sunny day and the Government introducing legislation allowing them to turn off your panels remotely.
    Once the sun sinks in the sky, panel output drops and demand (early evening) rises, along with the rates from the grid. The “solution” is for customers to install a battery to collect the excess daytime power and help the Grid meet demand. The State government announced a interest-free loan for customers to buy solar+batteries but that had a very poor response.

    The original enthusiasm for solar was boosted by very high FIT’s (anything up to 6 times the current rate) and that made Solar PV a good investment (provided your equipment stayed working) of 11-17% p.a. Even now, it is estimated that (thanks to the increased electricity prices) solar pays for itself in about 7 years (when your inverter guarantee runs out), but the average system now installed is 5.5 to 6.5 kWh with approx. 3100 sunshine hours p.a. for Adelaide.

    If you get the impression that the right hand of the government doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, then I can assure you that it also doesn’t know what the right hand is doing as well.

  24. April 25, 2021 10:21 pm

    This is the new normal after Covid, reality need not intervene, perception is everything.

    I am just trying to work out whether to have the 2nd dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine, the first one really had some unexpected side effects, I felt really unwell.
    I tried to make sense of the MHRA report on risk/benefit of covid versus blood clots etc, but as the reported adverse cases keep sort of doubling every week, from 30 to 79 to now 168, I think I will wait a bit and see what happens as nobody seems to have any idea what is going on.

    The only thing I concluded is our regulator the MHRA is way behind the curve, unfortunately it turns out the Europeans we criticised for restricting the use of this AZ vaccine had the correct data and correctly analysed the risk. We were perhaps blinded by vaccine nationalism not them.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      April 25, 2021 10:48 pm

      Seek medical advice about the symptoms you suffered and whether they indicate anything in your own medical history that would indicate caution. I used to suffer regularly with the tetanus and typhoid shots I had to have for international travel, sometimes even bed ridden for 2-3 days. There was no getting round them though. Things improved when they developed monoclonal vaccines. Most vaccinators are asking about symptoms suffered after your first shot before delivering second shots, but it makes sense to ask the question ahead of that.

  25. April 26, 2021 3:54 am

    We are in the Glasgow hype era of the age of climate change.

  26. dennisambler permalink
    April 27, 2021 1:36 pm

    Vast acreages taken out of productive use, destruction of habitat, etc etc, very environmentally friendly. And there’s always Ivanpah and its similar installations,

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/americas-concentrated-solar-power-companies-have-all-but-disappeared

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