The Solar Industry Is Dying. Good Riddance

solar cloudyIf you still own shares in solar energy it’s probably a sign that you’ve been in the sun too long: the sector is tanking – and deservedly so – as reality dawns that this is a Potemkin industry, an Enron of a con-trick, whose survival depends not on the energy it generates but on the subsidies it squeezes from the taxpayer.

Consider Exhibit A:  the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the California desert. This $2.2 billion project, heavily backed with federal grants by the Obama administration, is absolutely brilliant at killing birds. According to some estimates it accounts for 28,000 a year (the workers at the plant nickname them “streamers” because they fall from the sky like burning comets), though the company denies this. What it’s not so good at is the job it was designed for: generating electricity.

It has failed to produce sufficient quantities of its exorbitantly expensive power (it charges between $135 and $200 per megawatt hour; the market rate for conventional electricity is $35 per megawatt hour) as required by its contract with PG&E Corp and may have to shut down unless bailed out by the California state authorities.

Exhibit B is the solar energy firm Abengoa, now on the verge of the biggest corporate collapse in Spanish history, after the Spanish government decided to turn off the subsidy tap essential to its survival.

This was the company that in 2010 President Obama was boasting about having lured to the US as though it represented some kind of major coup.

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Comments (5)

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    If some joker stood out in a field in California and shot 28,000 birds a year out of the sky ,as the “green “wind turbines do, that person would be in jail .
    The global warming fraud is actually anti plants, animals and sea creatures who happen to have no voice . The core of the fraud is humans insatiable green for money and power .

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    Pete West


    What beats me is how the price of solar panels has always been so high and it’s never dropped like most technology does when it gets older!

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    Steve Frankes


    [quote name=”Pete West”]What beats me is how the price of solar panels has always been so high and it’s never dropped like most technology does when it gets older![/quote]

    Simple they are subsidised by the taxpayer! so why should they reduce such a profitable scam.

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    I’m a huge Delingpole fan, but here I feel he may be too focussed on the present.

    History has shown that man’s ingenuity has often confounded the experts. True, solar power as it is at present is an expensive disaster, with the 650,000 solar installations in the UK producing a measly 5,000 MW of power.

    However, look at what they’re coming up with here in British University science departments:

    Manchester: graphene wafers are used with other materials to make a thin and flexible kind of “coat”for the outside of buildings. Still uncompetitive, but wait.

    Oxford: a new kind of solar cell that can be printed on to glass. No need for toxic materials.

    Teddington: panels as thin as cloth that can be printed on a 3-D printer in any colour. Actually works better on cloudy days. Eventually will be made into clothes to be worn.

    Sheffield: first team to produce solar cells using a spray-painting process.

    Liverpool: have found a way to replace the toxic elements in conventional panels with a chemical found in bath salts – magnesium chloride.

    I don’t think we should give up on man’s ingenuity just yet.

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