[ExI] Solar power makes UK people poorer

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Jun 8 16:16:35 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of BillK
Subject: Re: [ExI] Solar power makes UK people poorer

On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 4:18 PM, spike wrote:

>> ...My main criticism of the Register article is that it gets too tangled 
> up in issues that are actually a completely different problem.  
> Government subsidies on solar are making the rich richer and the poor 
> poorer.  Sure, but clear away the clutter and look at it this way: does
rooftop solar pay?... spike

>...Looks to me as though the UK government has decided to go for solar and
wind power regardless of the current high price. Hmmmnn. Does that mean they
think they have no choice? If oil and natural gas are running out and
rapidly increasing in price, then they need an alternative. As the Register
comments, all energy will be much more expensive in future, and we will all
be poorer...

Ja, but it isn't just that.  If we are talking about rooftop PV, the poor
not only are less able to capitalize rooftop PV, they also own less rooftop
per person than the rich.  The rich, on the other hand have sufficient money
and may choose higher power bills over having their rooftops cluttered with
PV and solar water heating.  The rich may also not wish to make the privacy
sacrifice of having a maintenance person coming by to service their solar
equipment.  It really isn't free in that area.  The economic analyses often
ignore maintenance costs.  I do that too, since I think I can maintain a
solar installation.

>...But hopefully solar will become cheaper in a few years, as mass
production kicks in.  BillK

Ja, no doubt.  Regarding my previous post on the topic, I think there is
plenty of economic utility in salvage PVs.  I know there were several solar
installations around here which have disappeared in recent years, and I
wouldn't be at all surprised if one could find solar equipment in the local
landfill.  I want to collect that stuff, haul it up to where there is a lot
of open ground and use it there.  

Problem: I am competing with falling water as a prime mover in Oregon.  This
year there is so much falling water, they are giving away power, begging
people to take it and use on something.  The power company is asking the
wind turbine people to furl their sails for a couple months until they can
drop that water into the sea: too much power being generated to sell it all.


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