[ExI] Solar power makes UK people poorer

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Wed Jun 8 16:16:38 UTC 2011

Il 08/06/2011 17:35, Eugen Leitl ha scritto:
> On Wed, Jun 08, 2011 at 08:18:47AM -0700, spike wrote:
>> Hi BillK, no one ever promised green would be cheap.

> GE thinks solar PV will be the cheapest form of energy (wind is
> already cheaper than new nuclear) in 5 years

Then, PV make sense as an investment in five years, not now.
If wind is cheaper than new nuclear, we could ask ourself if the cost of
new nuclear is inflated by burdensome and not useful regulations and
taxes and if the wind cost compute all the costs or only what is
expedient to compute. If you want compare wind and nuclear, you must
compare them for all their feature.  Do nuclear stop working when the
wind stop blowing? Do you added the costs of storing the energy output
of the wind farms? The costs of the gas plant needed to compensate the
wind farm when the wind don't blow?

And what about your favourite "climate change". What if, after we invest
in wind farms, the climate change and there is too much or not enough
wind for the wind farms?

> http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-26/solar-may-be-cheaper-than-fossil-power-in-five-years-ge-says.html
GE is typically clueless, so that doesn't necessarily mean much.

In five years a sizeable part of the world economy could be powered by
LENR or some hot fusion device. Or oil and coal.

>> a lot there.  800 kWh per kWp is way below the economic threshold
>> by my BOTECs.  I have an Oregon property with twice that
>> insolation, but it is still marginal for rooftop solar, probably
>> still a no-go.

> Keep checking back every couple years as new prices and new 
> technology come in.

In between keep your money (gold) safe.

> Markets deal very poorly with long-term planning.

In fact, governments all over the world are better. The current deficits
and debts are proof of their ability to plan long term. The current and
recent wars show they are good at planning long term. The USSR was,
probably, the best able to plan long term.

> They didn't anticipate peak fossil. In practice FITs do help with
> market bootstrap, see Germany.

In fact, I could say the governments of Germany anticipated peak fossil
moving from nuclear to coal. Or it will buy electricity from its nuclear
neighbours at higher costs. Or both.

>> installations that do not pay?  If yes, vote them out.  Get a
>> government which understands energy economics.

> In practice voters are clueless, and politicians pass the best laws 
> money can buy. In fact, special interest groups actually write the
> laws themselves, and have them passed.

Then? Are these government planning for the long term or are they
auctioning their services to interests groups.

One or the other, you can not have it both ways.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list