Category Archives: Solar

Pedro Prieto: many solar panels won’t last 25-30 years, EROI may be negative

Preface. Pedro Prieto and Charles Hall wrote the definitive book on the EROI of solar power, “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment” and has built many commercial facilities himself and witnessed the failure of solar panels long before … Continue reading

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Challenges to the Integration of Renewable Resources at High System Penetration

Preface.  This overview of challenges for wind and solar written in 2010 is still true today. We are far from being able to reach even a 50% renewable grid (excluding hydropower from the total) given the lack of storage, the … Continue reading

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Wind, solar, and natural gas are driving nuclear power out of business

Preface. I’m no fan of nuclear power because we may already be at peak uranium, there’s nowhere to store nuclear waste, and a spent nuclear pool fire could harm millions of people. But renewable wind and solar and natural gas … Continue reading

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Why Concentrated Solar Power is not a good choice for a 100% Renewable Energy System

Preface.  The authors conclude that: In light of the obtained results — a low capacity factor and Energy Returned on Invested, an intensive use of materials—some scarce, and the significant seasonal intermittence) — the potential contribution of current CSP technologies … Continue reading

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Solar PV requires too much land to replace fossils

Preface. This is a brief summary of the Capellan-Perez paper that calculates the land needed to use solar to replace electricity as well as the land needed if solar were to replace all of societies use of energy (i.e. transportation, … Continue reading

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Renewable EROI must include storage, low capacity factor, wide boundaries

[ Trainer argues that when you consider how the capacity factor of wind and solar are to fossil plants, seasonality of wind and solar the number of facilities is quite large to deal with the intermittency problem.  Therefore the storage … Continue reading

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Richard Heinberg: Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions

Preface. This article by Richard Heinberg at Postcarbon refutes a column by Paul Krugmen called “Errors and Emissions Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free?” here.  Most of my friends and family think I’m nuts because articles like this … Continue reading

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Want to go off-grid? You might need hundreds of Tesla batteries

Preface. Although you may not be as far north as Victoria, British Columbia (48.4 latitude), you’d ideally want to be at 30 degrees or less latitude from the equator to even consider the expense of off-grid solar power.  And even … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Photovoltaic Solar | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Why is nearly all solar power built where subsidies are the highest?

If solar net energy return is as high as some solar advocates claim, why does solar need any subsidies? And not just U.S. subsidies, it’s subsidies on top of subsidies when you add in that we’re buying Chinese government subsidized … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Energy Policy, Photovoltaic Solar, Solar EROI | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Wind and solar need natural gas to balance intermittent, variable, and seasonal power

[ The highest wind states are getting to be enormously dependent on natural gas to balance wind and solar as this EIA article about California below shows.  Yet conventional natural gas has peaked — half our natural gas– and is … Continue reading

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