Category Archives: Solar

Solar PV cells using rare elements unlikely to scale up enough to replace fossil fuels

[ Sunshine may be free, but the materials to make solar contraptions aren’t.   Since sunshine arrives in a diluted form (2500 kWh/m2), vast expanses of solar photovoltaic panels will be needed to produce the world’s 15 Terawatts of power that … Continue reading

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Will perovskite solar cells ever work out?

Van Noorden, R. September 24, 2014. Cheap solar cells tempt businesses. Nature #513 470-471. [Excerpts. Of interest because rarely do obstacles get mentioned in the news. Most are optimistic hype making it sound like a solution to the energy crisis … Continue reading

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Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar Photovoltaics

Book review of “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment”, by Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall. 2013. Springer. Reviewed by Alice Friedemann, www.energyskeptic.com, last updated May 26, 2016 UPDATES: 2016-05-26 The real EROI of photovoltaic systems: Professor Hall … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Charles A. S. Hall, Debt, Electric Grid, Energy, EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Pedro Prieto, Photovoltaic Solar, Solar, Solar EROI | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Would Tesla, li-ion batteries, SolarCity or SpaceX exist without $4.9 billion in government subsidies?

[ Tesla made no new battery breakthroughs — batteries aren’t much better today than they were 200 years ago.  All they did was build a better battery management system (BMS) by stringing teeny-tiny batteries together — thousands of them, and … Continue reading

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Capacity value of solar is low as penetration increases which could suppress investment

Notes from 33 page: NREL. 2014. Representation of Solar Capacity Value in the ReEDS Capacity Expansion. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-61182 March 2014 Comparison of Capacity Value at High Penetration. Several researchers have conducted modeling efforts to quantify … Continue reading

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The potential role of concentrating solar power in enabling high renewables

[The word “water” appears nowhere in this document, even though that’s a major limiting factor for CSP with thermal storage. Dry cooling is possible, but it lowers the EROI and raises the already way-too-high capital cost. An electric grid that’s … Continue reading

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Wind and Solar diurnal and seasonal variations require energy storage

Mulder, F. M. 2014. Implications of diurnal and seasonal variations in renewable energy generation for large scale energy storage. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. 14 pages. Excerpts: Large scale implementation of solar and wind powered renewable electricity generation will … Continue reading

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Building a national super grid in America

Building a national super grid in America [ By Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation, 2015, Springer] A national supergrid is seen as essential for integrating renewable power into the electric … Continue reading

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

See my review of “Spain’s Solar Revolution” for background on what follows: Our study concluded that, when analyzed what we called “extended boundaries energy inputs”, about 2/3 of the total energy inputs were other than those of the modules+inverters+metallic infrastructure … Continue reading

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CSP with thermal energy storage is seasonal, so it can not balance variable power or contribute much power for half the year

Concentrated Solar Power not only needs lots of sunshine, but no humidity, clouds, dust, smog or or anything else that can scatter the sun’s rays.  Above 35 degrees latitude north or south, the sun’s rays have to pass through too … Continue reading

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