[ExI] Solar power makes UK people poorer

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 14:11:00 UTC 2011

The Register has an article about the latest electricity and natural
gas price increases.
For the first time the power companies are blaming 'green' power.

The British people can look forward to another four years of climbing
electricity prices - and then those prices staying high for at least a
couple of decades past that point.
Why? Because of government regulations imposed on the energy
companies, whose effect is to drive up prices and pass the resulting
extra cash to the owners of renewable power generators: from massive
windfarms to rooftop solar panels on houses.

Typically solar installations cost £4-5k per kilowatt of peak output.
They yield perhaps 800 kilowatt-hours (units) per kWpeak each year: on
the order of £80-£100 worth of electricity. They will pay for
themselves in 40 to 50 years: but they will only last for 20.  (So
they have to be subsidised).

The story's not quite so grim with other UK renewables, but in
general, in a renewables-powered future, energy or anything which
involves much energy - food, transport, manufactured stuff - basically
everything - is going to be a hell of a lot more expensive. In other
words, we're all going to be very poor.

(Remember, the UK doesn't get very much sun, compared with countries
nearer the equator).
So it looks as though the UK needs the costs of solar power
installations to drop to about 20% of current prices.


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