Category Archives: Solar

Is there enough renewable energy to replace fossil fuel electricity generation?

NREL. July 2012. U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This document is a thought experiment that uses GIS mapping to estimate how much renewable power could possibly be generated in each state regardless of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration, Solar Thermal, Wind | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Solar Thermal ESOI (Energy Stored on Invested)

Barton, N. April 17, 2013. ESOI for solar thermal. Published information is available to evaluate the ESOI score for the most common solar thermal storage technology – a molten 60-40 mixture of sodium and potassium nitrates, commonly known as … Continue reading

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Solar Photovoltaics (PV) limited by raw materials

This paper (excerpts below) shows that there are limits to growth — there simply aren’t enough minerals in the world that can be produced physically and/or at a reasonable cost for the most popular kinds of PV being made now. … Continue reading

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Distributed Generation is destabilizing the Electric Grid

Electricity distribution is designed to flow one way from a centralized system to customers. But Distributed Generation (DG) from solar  PV and wind violates this. Impacts caused by high penetration levels of intermittent renewable DG can be complex and severe … 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.  Reviewed by Alice Friedemann, Olmedilla, Spain 60MW Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant. Source: SolarNovus Large Solar Installations around the world. Finally, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Debt, Electric Grid, Energy, EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Photovoltaic Solar, Solar | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Ivanpah Biggest solar power plant ever – $2.2 billion for only 100 MW

The $2.2 billion dollar Ivanpah Solar power plant generates 100 MW of power when you take the 25% capacity into account (not 400 MW).  That’s enough power for 25,000 to 50,000 homes (not 140,000 as claimed).  There are 116,700,000 households … Continue reading

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Renewable incentives destabilize, harm electric grid

Wald, Matthew L.   7 Oct 2014. How Grid Efficiency Went South. New York times. Summary: 1) society would be better off if homeowners faced their rooftop solar panels westward, the peak time more energy is needed, but they won’t because … Continue reading

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Science : No single or combination of alternative energy resources can replace fossil fuels

Experts question new energy sources. Oct 31, 2002. AP. (APOnline) — None of the known alternate energy sources are technically ready to take the place of fossil fuels experts say in a new study: Martin Hoffert, et al 2002 Advanced … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Fusion, Nuclear Power, Solar, Wind | 1 Comment

Wind & Solar need thousands of tons of steel, aluminum, cement, concrete, copper but produce little energy

Summary of Sergio Pacca and Darpa Horvath 2002 Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Building and Operating  Electric Power Plants in the Upper Colorado River Basin ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY / VOL. 36, NO. 14 pp. 3194-3200 As you can see, Wind … Continue reading

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The “Solar Revolution” is financial, not from new breakthroughs

Jeff Himmelman makes the case that the “solar revolution” is caused by new financial instruments and strategies in the New York Times August 9, 2012 article “Here Comes the Sell”: The innovation that has pushed Sungevity and the rest of … Continue reading

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