Category Archives: Solar

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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California hits the solar wall

[ What is a solar wall?  Read part 1: California could hit the solar wall and then excerpts from the following article in the financial times, Britain’s Wall street journal.  I’ve also reworded some of it. Renewables are rendering existing … Continue reading

Posted in Natural Gas, Solar | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar PV, Part 2

[ Pedro Prieto presented an update on June 20, 2017 at the International Society for Biophysical Economics “Spain’s Solar Revolution Revisited: six years later” here: Pedro-Prieto_ISBPE_2017-Spains-solar-revolution-revisited.pdf.   See the pdf for more information Losses in book overestimated and revised Before / … Continue reading

Posted in Charles A. S. Hall, EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Pedro Prieto, Photovoltaic Solar, Solar EROI | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar PV, Part 2

California could hit the solar wall

[ According to a Stanford University article below this introduction (followed by excerpts from two California Energy Commission reports), if California uses mainly solar power to meet a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), on sunny days, for most of the … Continue reading

Posted in Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Taxpayers are paying for a concentrated solar project — Ivanpah– that doesn’t work

Ivanpah in the news: Dvorsky, G. May 21, 2016. The World’s Largest Solar Plant Just Torched Itself. Gizmodo (Australia). Misaligned mirrors are being blamed for a fire that broke out yesterday at the world’s largest solar power plant, leaving the … Continue reading

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Net metering and the death of US rooftop solar

April 22, 2016 by Roger Andrews at euanmearns.com “Net metering” allows anyone with a solar installation to sell surplus solar power to the grid when the sun is shining and to purchase power back from the grid when it isn’t. … Continue reading

Posted in Other Experts, Photovoltaic Solar | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

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

Posted in Photovoltaic Solar | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Tilting at Windmills, Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar PV, Part 1

Book review by Alice Friedemann at energyskeptic of “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment”, by Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall. 2013. Springer. Conclusion: the EROI of solar photovoltaic is only 2.45, very low despite Spain’s ideal sunny … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Energy Resources, 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, SolarCity or SpaceX exist without $4.9 billion in government subsidies?

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

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