Category Archives: Solar

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

Hirsch, J. May 31, 2015. Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies. Los Angeles Times. Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX have collected or received a commitment for $4.9 billion in government support A looming question: Can … Continue reading

Posted in Lithium-ion, Photovoltaic Solar, Subsidies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Renewable Integration, Solar | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wind and Solar diurnal and seasonal variations require energy storage

Excerpts from 14 page: 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.  Large scale implementation of solar and wind powered renewable electricity generation … Continue reading

Posted in Seasonal, Seasonal Variation | Leave a comment

Building a national super grid in America

Building a national super grid in America by Alice Friedemann   June 3, 2015 A national supergrid is seen as essential for integrating renewable power into the electric grid. It is not clear if penetration of renewables beyond 33 or 50% … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Electric Grid, Electric Grid, Electricity, National Super Grid, Solar, Vaclav Smil, Wind | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Pedro Prieto, Photovoltaic Solar | Comments Off on Pedro Prieto: many solar panels won’t last 25-30 years, EROI may be negative

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 April 11, 2015 with responses from Prieto on criticism received at the 2015 … 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, CSP with thermal energy storage, Grid instability | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on 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: Water Constraints

CRS. 2009. Water Issues of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Electricity in the U.S. Southwest. Congressional Research Service. As you can see in the two maps below, the best sites for CSP are also the most water challenged.       … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Concentrated Solar Power: Water Constraints

Concentrated Solar Power: location, location, location

Location, Location, Location:   What follows is from: SBC. June 2013. Concentrating Solar Power. SBC Energy Institute. The best sites are between 10° and 40°, South or North. As you can see in the chart below, this makes a huge difference, … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Concentrated Solar Power: location, location, location