Category Archives: Photovoltaic Solar

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

[ In Charles Hall’s latest 2017 book, “Energy Return on Investment: A Unifying Principle for Biology, Economics, and Sustainability“, he says that he has embarked on a project to discover why solar advocate EROI results are so much higher than … Continue reading

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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

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

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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. This book is the best EROI study that has ever been done. It is based … 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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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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Short-circuiting a solar boom in Japan

Spain is still feeling the painful effects of the costs of overbuilt solar PV, and now Japan is finding itself in the same position.  This article does a lousy job of explaining that the grid must be in exact supply … Continue reading

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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, Concentrated Solar Power, Photovoltaic Solar, Renewable Integration, Wind | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments