Category Archives: Solar

California could hit the solar wall

[ According to this Stanford University article, if California uses mainly solar power to meet a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), on sunny days, for most of the year, more power would be generated mid-day than needed 23% 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

Hitting the solar wall

  California peak and off peak demand in California. Solar produces power when it’s least needed: from 7 am to 4 pm during Off Peak and Super Off Peak time frames.  Adding more solar power makes the problem worse, requiring … Continue reading

Posted in Concentrated Solar Power, Photovoltaic Solar, Seasonal Variation | Tagged , , , | 2 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 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, 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, 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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