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The worlds biggest solar PV seller was worth $13bn: now bankrupt

How is the hallowed Green tech industry working out for China? Not so well.

Shi Zhengrong was called a “hero of the environment” by Time Magazine. He was a billionaire who ran the worlds largest seller of solar PV cells. But the glory days of 2008 – 2011 are gone. Another bubble bursts. Wiped out in two years. How fast was this fall?

Chinese solar panel maker Suntech flames out

By , Published: May 3 The Washington Post,

In 2008, CNN named Shi “China’s Sunshine Boy.” In 2009, Fortune anointed him “China’s new king of solar.” That year, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman also cited Shi and Suntech as models of China’s green leap forward — which he called “the Sputnik of our day” and a spur for U.S. clean energy policy.

Now, however, the Chinese Sputnik has crashed to Earth, and the Sun King has been toppled.

… a Chinese court declared the company bankrupt after a petition from eight Chinese banks. On Wednesday, the company announced that its 2012 revenue had plunged 48 percent from the previous year.

Suntech — which in 2011 was the world’s biggest seller of silicon-based photovoltaic modules — was once valued at $13 billion on the New York Stock Exchange; it is worth less than 1 percent of that today. A news report that Warren Buffett might be eyeing all or part of Suntech lifted the battered share price more than 80 percent in one week, but acquiring Suntech could be a risky bet. [Buffett denies this according to Bloomberg]

 

Quartz reports that  just last week Suntech cancelled a major order: “This doesn’t look good. Suntech, the embattled Chinese solar panel maker, has canceled $1.3 billion in polysilicon orders…”

Shi was trained in Australia, under our best.

The rise of Suntech was a rags-to-riches story for its founder. Given up for adoption by destitute parents in a farming area, Shi excelled at school and obtained a master’s degree before moving to Australia in 1989 on an exchange program. He accepted a scholarship to do solar cell research at the University of New South Wales, quickly earned a PhD … [The Washington Post]

An old fashioned glut with new fangled technology. There were just too many solar panels in the world that nobody wanted:

China has about two-thirds of the world’s solar panel manufacturing capacity. China alone, theoretically, could supply all of the world’s solar demand and there would be no room for U.S., German, Japanese or Taiwanese companies. [The Washington Post]

And people said that solar was becoming more competitive with coal?

“Analysts said Suntech’s business model, deliberately pushing down prices to capture larger market share despite narrower profit margins, contained the seeds of its own destruction.” [The West]

The last profit was in 2010:

Suntech recorded a net loss of $1.0 billion in 2011, from a profit of $237 million in 2010, according to company filings. The firm has yet to report financial results for 2012. [The West]

What the government giveth, a bureucrat can take away, and when combined with a  rapid expansion at the wrong time, it became the perfect (solar) storm:

… just as Suntech became the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, the European debt crisis hit. Profit margins collapsed, and customers’ unpaid bills piled up. In June 2012, a puzzled Citigroup analyst noted in a report that as major countries such as Germany and Italy sharply reduced subsidies, Chinese manufacturers led by Suntech boosted capacity 30 percent, “only exacerbating the excess supply conditions.” The report said that “module prices are likely to remain below Suntech’s production costs for the foreseeable future.” [The Washington Post]

If Shi had been doing his research properly and reading skeptical blogs he might have seen the writing on the wall.

Remember how we are supposed to be following China and how China is “going Green”?

Suntech is not unique. Most Chinese solar panel manufacturers have been losing money…

But the Chinese government may not come to the rescue. Indeed the government’s support for solar energy in China has grown tepid, despite an ambitious goal of adding about six gigawatts a year for the next decade. The National Development and Reform Commission approved a feed-in tariff for solar power — a guaranteed fixed-rate payment to developers — of 15 cents a kilowatt hour, but no one wants to pay for it. The state electricity company, State Grid, isn’t allowed to raise rates for households. But the central government hasn’t put the subsidy in the budget, either. In addition, connecting to the grid isn’t easy.

The full story is in The Washington Post, hat tip to  Tom Nelson.

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233 comments to The worlds biggest solar PV seller was worth $13bn: now bankrupt

  • #

    Across the world, a few of the more prominent and expensive casualties are Solyndra, Solar Millennium AG, Energy Conversion Devices Inc, Q-Cells, Solon, Solar Millenium, Solarhybrid, Ener1, Range Fuels, Beacon Power Corp and there’s a whole lot of others. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s probably not a good idea to invest your hard-earned pennies in any company with “solar” in its name. It’s almost as bad a mistake as thinking you had some sort of long-term future employment with one of them.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/the-sun-is-setting-on-solar-power-the-moneys-gone-and-nobodys-asking-any-questions/

    Another one bites the dust …

    Pointman


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  • #
    Backslider

    So why are not all the “greenies” and warmists buying up solar panels?…. hypocrites is why.

    It never ceases to amaze me how these people scream and shout about “durdy coal”, yet how few of them actually practice what they preach. If they did, these industries would be thriving, not going down the gurgler.


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    • #
      crosspatch

      They don’t personally buy them up, they lobby to force other people to buy them up. They think they can waive some magic wand and get “free energy from the sun” or some such baloney. They don’t realize that every one of these starts with a copper mine and smelter, maybe a lithium mine or two for batteries. They are just completely clueless as to the whole picture of what it takes to produce these and are also ignorant as to what happens in 10 years when they all start needing replacement and start heading to the landfill and have to be purchased all over again.


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      • #
        Backslider

        They are just completely clueless as to the whole picture of what it takes to produce these

        Too right. I don’t know about solar panels, however the processes required to make wind generators are downright scary.

        Maybe they think that little green elves put them together?


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      • #
        Greebo

        They don’t realize that every one of these starts with a copper mine and smelter, maybe a lithium mine or two for batteries. They are just completely clueless as to the whole picture of what it takes to produce these

        That’s long been my argument against hybrid cars like Prius. Makes ‘em about as environmentally friendly as the space shuttle.
        The squeezing out of the others, in particular the Germans, means that solar panels are now like electric drills; throw ‘em away when the warranty runs out. Madness.


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    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      If you live in a tent, a van, or your parent’s basement – you could get by with a small solar panel or none at all.


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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      I was at a party recently and had an argument with a hippy dreamer that basically cost me the relationship I was in, as she was so “embarrassed” by my “performance” in putting this fruit cake in his place.

      Basically the guy wanted to argue climate change etc and what it boiled down to in the end was the fact that he was (as they all are) just 100% anti development of any sort. When I put it to him that Africa and Asia have a perfect right to develop their fossil fuels and log their rain forests in the same way we did for the last 200 years and thus allow their populations to enjoy amazing things like electricity and clean water, his response was predictable.

      “I dont give a crap what happens in Africa, I want my kids to have a better life”

      A fine notion but it goes to the hear of 99% of greenies logic. They are extreme conservatives with both anti humanist and eugenicist tendencies. They not only want lower populations (despite the FACT that the countries with the highest pop. densities are almost always the best off) they want to decide where that population will be sacrificed.

      I suggested to him (as I do to all population reductionists) that he can start at home, just grab a hammer and do the world a favour. He was of course incensed by the suggestion that if anyone has to die, it should be his family… But thats these people in a nutshell. His own words damn him as someone with no regard for human dignity, just a selfish, myopic focus oin ensuring his family sponges as much from life as possible and hang the expense for anyone else. He should be a green poster child for at least being honest about it.


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      • #
        Allen Ford

        Nice to hear of a first hand encounter with one of these loudmouths and their predicable reponse. If there is one lesson the world needs to learn, and fast, is to take issue with the vapid noisemakers and dismiss their wafflings out of hand.

        For my part, I instinclively equate the decibel level of assertions, on any subject, as inversely proportional to the meat contained, therein.


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      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        It probably hasn’t occured to him that his life was far better than most peoples on the planet. Yet he still wants a better life for his children.

        The question needs to be asked exactly what a better life wouuld look like.


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      • #
        Ace

        I put it to you that that was no “relationship” you had… just being temporarily beguiled by an air-headed witch.

        Close shave man.

        Count your blessings!


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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Hi Safety

        A sad story but highly relevant to the problem.

        How did we come to organise our society into something which has become so divorced from actual reality?

        The compassion industry has a lot to answer for in the distorted world it presents to the consumers of this guff.

        Younger people are particularly affected and are most likely to be among those brainwashed by concentrated media bombardment.

        The thought that most people in western societies live in a disconnected fantasy world is really frightening.

        KK :)


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      • #
        Streetcred

        LOL … Close shave there Safety, you could have been married to her ! Similar thing happened to me about 22 years ago … party, some hippy no good boasting about how his masters had so far taken him 12 years but no worries as the govt was funding him, etc., etc., … boy ! did I launch into him !! Well, my date was too embarrassed by me rather than the hippy scum-sucker who was attached to her friend … I ended up marrying my date and to this day have never been forgiven, though it must be said that my now wife’s views are now roughly akin to mine … and we haven’t seen her ‘friend’ or the ‘scum-sucker’ since that encounter.


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      • #
        Andrew McRae

        The other way to take the argument is that the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources at the outset of the Industrial Revolution was worthwhile because of the technologies that were later given to the rest of the world.

        The use of timber for cooking and powering smelters and steam engines pretty much decimated the forests of Britain, Italy, and Germany. In many areas the discovery of the wonders of coal saved the remaining stands of trees, just as the later discovery of geological oil saved the whales from whaling. (And remember compared to wood, coal is a low-carbon fuel!)

        The mistake is thinking that an African Industrial Revolution will be an exact repeat of the European one. It won’t. The impact on African forests would be far less due to intensive farming, more efficient technology that has been developed in the intervening 200 years, and the immediate availability of coal/oil/nuclear power. They will skip the tree chopping stage and go straight to electrification produced by coal, nuclear, and maybe some more hydro.
        Just look at telecommunications in developing countries. They are completely skipping the entire wire-in-ground stage and going straight from nothing to 3G digital mobile. Europe and North America never had that option.

        Decent private property rights would make a difference here. If the locals own the land BEFORE a dam on it is proposed then you have the chance for the locals to put a value on wilderness and get compensation for resettlement. Surely if the habitat of the endemic critters is as important to the endemic humans as it is to the foreign hand-wringers then the locals won’t sell at any price? Hahahah! I reckon the locals won’t give too hoots about drowning wildlife habitat because they aren’t as precious about the whole thing as the green city-slickers, I just want to see that land acquisition proceed fairly and squarely as an education lesson for every dyed-red-in-the-wool Green that looks on in horror as progress is made in Africa.


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        • #
          Mark D.

          I thought the forests of Britain fell to make masts and spars for rigging for their navy.


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          • #
            Kevin Lohse

            You’re on the track. The New Forest in Hampshire was declared the King’s property by William the Conquerer. The Navy was the kings to do as he wished, and many men of war were built from that and other Crown forests. Charles I was a grat ship builder, and it was he who took a lot of oak out of the New Forest. If your ever up here, pay a visit to Buckler’s Hard , near Beauleigh near Southampton It’s the site of a shipyard which built ships up to and during the Napoleonic Wars, and is very well preserved. The masts and spars were, however, mainly from Scandinavia, Norwegian fir being the best. Nelson’s action at Copenhagen was carried out to stop Napoleon from denying access to that wood to the Royal Navy.


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          • #
            Ace

            No….the fact, surprising though it is, is that the masts for Britains navy, including HMS Victory which I visited many times in my youth, were imported from Russia. The trade continueed for a very long time I believe.


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            • #
              Ace

              …or as ~Kevin rightly says, Scandinavia too.

              Bucklers ~Hard was the scene of a dramatic episode in the sixties. A child was dragged virtually kicking and screaming onto a ferry for a boat-trip by his mother and aunt. The child had seen a Public Service Announcement warning of overloaded ferries. Needless to say, I was that impressionable child and the point of the story: I am reminded of CAGW hysterics responding to the public announcement of CO2 overcrowding the atmosphere.

              Dont forget Kevin, Beulieu is also the home of the fantastic National Motor Museum. Previously his Lordships own collection. The last time I visited, with that mother and aunt funnily enough, a confused til girl actually paid us to enter!


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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            Yes, but believe it or not, it was done sustainably.

            For every tree felled in a Royal forest, one was planted as a replacement. For the timber to be useful for shipbuilding, it had to grow straight, and without knots. Left to themselves, Oaks will form into a large bush with only a short trunk. Thus a large number of Foresters were employed to continuously prune young branches off of the lower parts of the trees, before they became big enough to introduce weakness. Foresters were exempt from the Navy Press system used during the Napoleonic Wars, but to get paid, they had to sell the cuttings, either for firewood, or for use in basketry.

            At one time, every wooden bridge in Britain had a stand of Oaks nearby, to provide timber for its maintenance.

            Several lifestyle farmers in New Zealand have recognised that standing long-lived trees, like Oak and Ash, are worth considerably more than pine cut for chipping, and so the pruning techniques use in the 17th century are being rediscovered and employed, in their management.

            You can be green without being rabid.


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      • #
        gai

        Been there done that

        I insisted the loudmouth Airhead head who was holding forth turnover her car and house keys since both had plenty of plastic from oil in them and it was about time she walked the talk.

        Her audience ended up snickering and this was in the heart of Marxist Taxechusets (Boston)

        The best way to hand these airheads is to make them eat their words.


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    • #
      UzUrBrain

      I have been strongly interested in Solar Energy since 1972. I looked into a solar heated domestic hot water system for my hot water heating needs. Being a REAL engineer I did a cost benefits analysis and the true cost of ownership. I used standard accepted engineering methods for determining how long the panels would last. how long the circulating pump would last, how long the tank would last, maintenance, etc. Then I factored these into the total lifetime cost. I found out that I would be better off paying my electric bill and putting the money spent on this system in an investment account. Every few years I did this again, NEVER have may calculations shown that I would be richer at 65 if I spent money on a solar hot water system. I have don the same for solar electric systems, even factoring in government rebates, and selling “excess” to the utility. Again I have never shown a NET profit over investing the money at 5%. Try it yourself, Even with the more “efficient” systems and if you assume that the equipment will work trouble free for the manufactures warranty period, and another ten years. YOU LOSE MONEY over investing that money at 5%. Your investment has compound interest helping it. Your solar system has compound inflation making things worse each year you own it. For most systems if you had invested the money in the same funds that I have, you could pay your electric bill with the earnings, most years, and definitely on average. I love that green more than the other green.


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      • #

        I did the numbers on solar hot water. For two people in a household, economic nonsense. For solar PV with the subsidies etc, best investment I could make. This is not even based on getting a feed in tariff. That’s just cream. At least $600 return per year on a $2400 investment is what I’m getting. Yes, it is nonsense. I’d rather have some nice nukes pumping out cheap electricity.


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      • #
        Monopole

        I did the maths on solar and gas hot water a few months back when our system needed replacing, and solar came out well behind. Not even close. Consequently we have a new gas HWS.

        However, we do have solar PV for economic reasons. We are lucky enough to have locked in full subsidies and good prices. Based on full cycle economic modelling it will take 7 years to pay off. But the ground has shifted and I wouldn’t put in solar PV now.

        The funny part for us is that I work in the oil industry and we have solar PV whereas the professional greenie a few doors down doesn’t. I suspect his wife doesn’t like the look of the panels on the roof.


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      • #
        Peter Miller

        You are absolutely right on the economics of solar power.

        However, it does make economic sense if some government is idiotic enough to guarantee you an inflation adjusted, tax free price of 4-5 times what you have to pay for electricity from the grid for 30 years. That’s why I put solar panels up in the UK – the annual rate of return is around 15%.

        One of the reasons for this insanely huge subsidy was to supposedly guarantee the local manufacture of solar cells – yeah right! Another reason was to help the UK meet EU green energy targets – as if my annual 3,250kW generation of solar electricity would make any difference. However, the most important reason was the gullibility/stupidity of politicians, which has resulted in us all having to pay hugely for their insatiable need to feel smug and superior in matters of green energy.

        Their utterly ludicrous policies of “Greener Than Thou” have put a millstone around the neck of western economies.


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  • #
    Roy Everett

    Investing in a company that operates a real mine is safer than investing in a company that operates a subsidy mine.


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  • #
    inedible hyperbowl

    Whenever, I see a share price fall that looks like the one above, I spare a thought for the (ex)shareholders who have done a *lot* of money.

    So who is next?


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    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      I look at the smart money people who are in the know, get in early, sell near peak and go looking for another subsidized scheme that they can sucker. Rather like a former Vice President.
      These are the people who are really driving the agenda onwards, usually in league with major banks and insurers. It’s just churning money around, your money and mine, under government rules that usually see the government rule makers get some degree of material thanks at the ends of their ‘useful idiot’ escapades.


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  • #

    The Chinese Government’s support for all things renewable might be part of a larger policy of energy self-sufficiency. If renewables are not part of a wider policy, why the huge investment in coal production, and the development of coal to oil conversion plants?


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    • #
      Dennis

      I think that the astute Chinese were exploiting extreme green madness and the opportunities for wealth creation that presented but misjudged how long it would be before the bubble burst. If a product has to be government subsidised to be viable then it is not what the market is going to support without subsidy


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      • #
        Brendan

        If the Chinese knew there was money in left handed screwdrivers, they’d make them by the container load. They are very astute and have shown us just how easy they can manipulate ‘green’ interests in the West in order for them to sell a product.

        They must laugh uncontrollably behind closed doors at just how willing the West has been in giving up one of their few real manufacturing assets in cheap power, and thus succeed in shifting most of the worlds manufacturing to China. That they can be lauded for their green credentials when they are opening a new coal fired power station every fortnight must have them in fits.

        I mean seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up. “We went to Kyoto and got them to agree to wind back their emissions whilst we doubled ours”.


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        • #
          Ace

          ~OOOOOOOOh…conspiracy sounds!

          No they just make and sell shit dirt cheap.

          When I say “shit”….its exactly the same goods as you buy re-branded by Western companies but at a true reflection of the price.

          Exactly the same item costing 80 moolahs in a High Street retailers window is about ten Moolahs over E-bay.

          High Street retailing in such things is a holed vessel. Those are the guys trying to fool the market. Fancy packaing and sales-talk by ignorami who havent a clue what the customer wants but have to shift boxes.

          The Chinese just give everyone what they want at a fair price.


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        • #
          JohnM

          Two words. Maurice Strong.

          Google him and you’ll understand.


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    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      The Chinese are not fools.

      I always read their statements as being support for the West to commit suicide.


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    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Yes these companies like solar in China are a TINY part of the Chinese economy so the Chinese Gov liquidating any or ALL of them (solar companies) is a drop in the vast economy.


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  • #
    Athelstan.

    I shan’t gloat, peoples lives and livelihoods were involved.

    But what I will say is that, the hopelessly beholden governments of the west were at fault, driven on in a mania of green dogma. Though latterly*, the West slowly coming to its collective senses has realised that the photo-voltaic cell is no panacea, still less an answer to the rapacious energy needs required by industrialised Western economies.

    Solar panels, just do not generate sufficient electricity in NH climes especially above 50deg N – ie Britain. Indeed the Spanish saw through this unaffordable scam years ago in that, solar panels and vast arrays of such – they are inefficient boondoggles only feasible by means of a framework enormous subsidy – consumer/taxpayer to the fore. Though only God knows, if the Spaniards couldn’t make it [solar power] work in a considerably sunnier southern clime – why do the British still plough on with Solar?

    All-in-all, it’s a tragedy all round the world, another green agenda ####up and who pays for it all, no prizes for guessing who.

    *excepting the green nutters politicians in the UK of course, where the DECC hurtles in a headlong death dive towards unilateral industrial suicide, taking us [the UK] all with it.


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I wonder if Shi acquired his business management skills in Australia, along with his PhD?

    If so, he may have been cozying up to the wrong people.


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    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      Rereke,
      In the early 1990s I did a number of trips to west China at my expense, to try to get Australian money into Joint Ventures for resource development. This gave a small window into the Chinese method, which was still then in transition to their form of free enterprise. One cannot accuse the Chinese of anything really bad, for the lesson I learned, if correct and widely applicable, is that they are simply more clever, as a group, than we are, in the use of money. Hong Kong, for example, was making heaps of money then as a middle man, handling goods for the convenience of a nice cut off the top, as they went from inland China to a ship to gullible people.
      Aust & NZ are never going to get anywhere significant until the money management class becomes rather better than it is. We have been ripped off on mineral prices by Japan for decades, now China is having its chomp.
      There are too many people negotiating with the Asian tigers, who are simply outclassed. Reminded me of the day a 10 year old kid in a café in Lijiang beat me 5 nil at chess while I took lunch at a roadside café. He might have been the type of guy who came to Uni NSW to get some papers and letters after his name for ‘face’ in China, but I suspect he was not taught much that he would not have otherwise known.


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  • #
    Ian Hill

    The first reverse hockey stick I’ve seen!


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    • #
      Backslider

      Kinda matches “global warming”, doesn’t it?


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      • #

        No it doesn’t. Not even slightly.


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        • #
          Backslider

          Sure it does Margot. Peak in 1997…..heading downhill ever since.

          Too frightening for you to contemplate huh?…. good news is bad news for warmistas.


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          • #

            I don’t believe I have ever seen anybody claim that global temperature has been declining.

            Where is the science to back up this opinion of yours?


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            • #
              gai

              The ‘Science” is the Ice Cores and O18 and this is one of the Graphs

              a BIT OF INDEPENDENT verification:

              Norway is experiencing the Greatest Glacial Activity in the past 1,000 year: PAPER and if you have trouble understanding the paper John Kehr discusses it HERE

              Oh and you might try reading this paper. Here is the abstract:

              The role of solar forcing upon climate change
              B. van Geel
              *, O.M. Raspopov , H. Renssen , J. van der Plicht ,
              V.A. Dergachev , H.A.J. Meijer

              The Netherlands Centre for Geo-ecological Research, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 318, 1098 SM Amsterdam, Netherlands

              Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation of the Russian Academy of Sciences, PB 188, St.Petersburg 191023, Russia

              The Netherlands Centre for Geo-ecological Research, Free University, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands

              Centre for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, Netherlands

              A.F. Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Polytechnicheskaya 26, St.Petersburg 194021, Russia

              Abstract
              Evidence for millennial-scale climate changes during the last 60,000 years has been found in Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic ocean cores. Until now, the cause of these climate changes remained a matter of debate. We argue that variations in solar activity may have played a significant role in forcing these climate changes. We review the coincidence of variations in cosmogenic isotopes (C14 and Be10) with climate changes during the Holocene and the upper part of the last Glacial, and present two possible mechanisms (involving the role of solar UV variations and solar wind/cosmic rays) that may explain how small variations in solar activity are amplified to cause significant climate changes. Accepting the idea of solar forcing of Holocene and Glacial climatic shifts has major implications for our view of present and future climate. It implies that the climate system is far more sensitive to small variations in solar activity than generally believed.

              And if that is not enough The Gerald Bond et al paper A Pervasive Millennial-Scale Cycle in North Atlantic Holocene and Glacial Climates has links to several Abstracts for newer papers that cite that paper. Very interesting reading especially if you had the illusion the earth had a stable climate.


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  • #
    handjive

    List:

    36 Of Obama’s Taxpayer-Funded Green Energy Failures

    “The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered.

    The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.”


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  • #
    Bruce

    More tripe from Flim Flannery on the greening of China: http://www.thegwpf.org/china-green-energy-leader-laugh/


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    • #
      Dennis

      How can he be so stupid


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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        He’s had years of practice.


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        Allen Ford

        Congenital idiots are, by definition, idiots from birth. Sadly, no one seems to have recognised this condition in Timmo before entrusting him to responsiblities way beyond his intellectual capacity.


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      • #
        JohnM

        He’s paid handsomely to make his comments, whether that’s directly through the Climate Com or via his books.

        If he did the 180-degree turn that you want him to do and logical and evidence says he should do, his income will plummet along with his reputation and his credibility on any matter.


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  • #
    Drapetomania

    Backslider
    May 7, 2013 at 5:07 am · Reply
    So why are not all the “greenies” and warmists buying up solar panels?…. hypocrites is why.

    No..some might have a solar hot water system for their shower.. :)
    That will surely save the world right.?
    And they drive cars and are connected to the grid..just like us.
    Try and get our resident trolls/$CAGW$ advocates to tell us if they are off the grid and dont own a car..
    It would be like trying to extract the raw data from a “climate scientist”.. :)


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    Peter Miller

    It is always the same when the music stops.

    In this case the ‘music’ was a combination of unsustainable subsidies, bad science and economic downturn.

    At least, solar panels made some sense – not much – in countries with lots of sunshine. On the other hand, there are wind turbines, which are only loved by greenie fundamentalists and greedy land owners with a subsidies addiction.

    Given a choice, I would prefer to see the manufacturers of wind turbines go bust than those of solar panels.


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      Niff

      I suspect the windpower industry isn’t that far behind solar in the colossal crash stakes.


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      Peter Miller

      I got to thinking about my solar panels.

      They have a rated maximum generating capacity of 3.9kWh.

      However, over a year the average generating capacity is 0.37kWh.

      The UK’s generating capacity is circa 55,000MW.

      So I generate one part in 150 million of the UK’s generating capacity.

      So if the UK were to rely on my type of solar power – and assuming there was some way.of storing it – then the cost of building sufficient generating capacity for the country would be circa A$1,900 trillion, or about 717 times one year’s GDP.

      Yup, solar power really makes sound economic sense.


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    Alexander K

    Back in the early 1970s a friend and I investigated solar water heating units and built a rooftop unit that utilised a stainless steel collector unit that had to be glued together as it was far too thin to weld manually. Stainless steel has horrible thermal qualities, but my friend had the benefit of a lifetime’s experience with the stuff, and our unit was considerably more efficient than the best that the old DSIR (Dept of Scientific and Industrial Research) could come up with in copper and utilising a small electrical pump to circulate the water through the solar collector rather than relying on thermo-syphoning as our unit did.
    Anyhow, the unit worked incredibly well and produced hot water in copious amounts for many years, but the local authority decided that this was an affront to their supplying of electricity and therefore heavily loaded consumer electricity bills to dissuade anyone foolish enough to attempt to NOT use electricity as an energy source and install such a unit.
    At that point, we lost interest in harnessing Solar energy as it was obvious that we would never beat City Hall.
    In our view (and we investigated the economics of PV very thoroughly) City Hall would always win through them rigging the game to achieve their desired outcome.
    The Green Mania, which many of the world’s bureaucracies have fallen victim to, has ensured that said bureaucracies have tried to rig the game through offering unrealistic financial incentives for installing PV cells (always using other people’s money, of course) but nothing, in the long term, will keep unrealistic schemes afloat, even in China.
    As they say in Yorkshire, ‘yer can’t get out for nowt!’ Attempts to use wishful thinking on an industrial scale, such as the recent rush to use wind and solar power, will always end in tears and the laws of physics will always have the last laugh.


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    Andrew

    Spain saw through the scam years ago?? They were, as recently as 2011, hosting Tony Windbag’s “study tour.” He gave back gushing about how we should be more like Spain. (And yes, it would be funny if it wasn’t so true.)


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      Dennis

      Tony also backed NBN Co claiming that while he cannot use a computer he consulted a constituent who is a Telstra technician and another person who was a local government mayor.


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    Yonniestone

    As Monckton said China knows that CAGW is a scam, but they will play along and take economic advantage slowly but surely.
    China is one of the last old world civilizations left, I wonder why?


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      Safetyguy66

      I agree, they arent that stupid. They are doing (publically) what is required to remain regarded as a “team player” in this nonsense world of fictitious energy solutions. While in the background they are quietly continuing to sensibly build their economy on real technologies, not crack pipe fantasies.

      What a shame we couldnt be that smart in Australia… Julia could have announced the carbon tax as kicking of in 2020 on the assumption we dont meet RETs then change their mind when the time comes. But sadly I think she got sucked in to the BS for real.


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        Dennis

        Just about everything she offers has a commencement date target years into the future, NDIS 2019 (levy from 2013 looks suspiciously like a revenue grab to prop the budget)or 2 more elections away, 2013 and 2016 and maybe 2019 too?


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      Dennis

      China tried to tell the Copenhagen delegates about 3600 years of China civilisation during which time there were three warmer than at the time of Copenhagen conference and that each warmer period was more prosperous with greater crop yields, grasses for animals etc. They knew that the stupid people of the world were target markets for China making wealth from natural Earth Cycle baseless fears.


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      JohnM

      Advised to do so by Maurice Strong.


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    Backslider

    Clearly the Chinese have misread the market that would be created by CAGW alarmism…. they did not take into account that the level of hypocrisy amongst the alarmists would see far less sales of their panels than they expected. I’m sure they thought that every good “green” girl and boy would be throwing panels on their roofs…. uh uh, just ask Brooksies, Mattb, JFC et al.


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      Mattb

      well I do have them. And in fact Perth’s grid is almost at saturated capacity for them, and other grids (I think up north) won;t take any more. So this is a story of a bad business strategy, and perhaps greedy/ignorant investors, rather than a lack of demand in Australia for panels on rooftops.


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        Heywood

        “greedy/ignorant investors”

        Actually I think this describes a vast majority of those with rooftop solar, especially in the states with ridiculously high FITs.

        They are merely indulging their selfish desires by using other electricity user’s money.

        How many people would bother with solar if it wasn’t subsidised at all?? I don’t think I would be too far off if I said less than 5%.


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          Mattb

          You may be right. I got in when the FIT was the standard electricity cost minus GST, with a payback of about 12 years. The window of absurdly high FIT was relatively short but yes pretty absurd.

          I mostly regret my rooftop solar as it just goes towards the MRET, so if no one had rooftop solar then the govt would have had to provide it anway. SO basically the higher FITS were a bribe for the consumer to come up with some up front costs, and provide the land, to house panels the govt had to find somewhere for.

          But heck we all make mistakes.


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            Heywood

            ” if no one had rooftop solar then the govt would have had to provide it anway

            I am intrigued by this statement… How so? Just so it can meet its RETs?

            I highly doubt that they would have stumped up the cost of providing rooftop solar 100%.


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            • #
              Mattb

              No I mean the govt has a mandated renewable energy target, so have to provide a certain level of renewable power. When rooftop cells get installed they count towards the RET (at least I understand that to be the case), so somewhere along the line a kW of cells is a kW of installed capacity that the govt is no longer mandated to provide.

              Actually since 2011 they split the target in to large scale and small scale, but the point is still generally valid.


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    RoyFOMR

    Just to add a wee bit of fuel to the fire here’s a link to the German experiment with solar from the excellent Pierre Gosselin’s site
    http://notrickszone.com/2013/05/06/leading-economics-publisher-calls-germanys-subsidized-solar-industry-a-capital-destroyer-of-historic-dimensions/


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    Safetyguy66

    I think a lot of this sort of failure comes down to the general way in which green groups just dont seem to be comfortable telling the truth about anything. Green energy promoters having been telling people for 20 years or more that solar and photovoltaics are performing at levels that can substitute more common energy sources. Not only was that not true 20 years ago it is certainly no more true today.

    Green energy proponents propensity to start their sales pitch with a fear factor(the most base level of selling anything) then move on to an exageration of the products performance and closing with a guilt trip (the second lowest for of selling behaviour) is now coming back to bite them as enough of their dodgy, half baked solutions are now in the market for people to realise its authentic frontier gibberish.

    So given that their choices now are basically admit the BS and start being honest about renewable performance, or keep lying. I assume they will just keep lying.


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    WheresWallace

    To be fair you should also mention others that are benefiting from the rapid increase of clean energy.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/biggest-us-solar-firm-bounces-back-20130507-2j476.html


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  • #

    When is someone going to do the math? When is someone going to do an Energy Returned On Energy Invested analysis of solar pv? Oh, they already have! And the results are not good .

    This is probably why you haven’t heard anything about this dog called solar pv. When the truth gets spread around and people begin to understand that solar pv will only return 48% of the energy needed to create it, maybe all this alternative energy crap will finally meet the doom it deserves.

    And Wind Power is worse with an EROEI of no more than 0.29.


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      WheresWallace

      They should do that for all investments, not just solar. And they should consider the long term environmental impact and cost to future generations.


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    Dennis

    If the Russians and others are right about the coming mini ice age being at its low temperature point by 2040 green and red tape must be cut immediately and a plan developed with funding for some new coal or gas fired power stations as a matter of urgency


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      Safetyguy66

      But if we had any sense we would have been doing this for years.

      There is NO REASON Australia has to suffer such high power prices. We could produce so much energy we wouldnt know what to do with it and the rest of the world wouldnt even notice, no one of any importance cares if we build a few more coal or gas power stations. We could be offering industry and the public some of the cheapest most efficient power on the planet, but no, we have to focus solely on one issue out of the myriad of issues associated with energy production, emmisions. Its just pure madness and our children, far from condeming this generation for building fossil fueled power systems will condemn us for not doing it when they enter a world of no local industry or manufacturing, high unemployment and high basic living costs. When it never had to be that way.


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        Olaf Koenders

        Exactly. The only thing that stands in the way of free enterprise and wealth generation is gubberment..


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          Safetyguy66

          And thats fine sometimes, people cant be allowed to run rampant, but just getting on with business is painted as irreversible global destruction. The epidemic of doomsaying in a country where every single measure of human well being has been skyrocketing upwards for 200 years and shows no sign of abating, is inexplicable.


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            Graeme No.3

            What you could have added is that switching to modern coal fired power stations would reduce emissions by more than wind turbines could ever do.

            (see TonyfromOz article – Upgrade coal power and cut 15% of emissions. March 27th, 2013 )


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      Ace

      The Russians are certainly building more nuclear ice-breakers. Increasing the number in service, not replacing existing ones. They aint cheap either.


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        Dennis

        I was discussing the coming mini ice age with friends and we wondered about electricity supply and blizzard conditions or even ice bringing grid systems down. Obviously learn from people now living in those conditions and making provision of foods that store well, lamps, LPG appliances for emergency use and even timber burning heater-stoves in our homes where possible. But the message needs to be spread now so that people are prepared as the cooling continues to 2040 mini ice age starting point. Maintaining the now not fooling most people climate change global warming nonsense is ridiculous.


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    pat

    Scrap fuel subsidies and price CO2, urges World Bank
    LONDON, May 6 (Reuters Point Carbon) – The world’s nations must scrap fossil fuel subsidies and put a price on emitting carbon dioxide if the planet is to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the president of the World Bank…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2336656

    recommend reading all of the following:

    January 2010: CanadaFreePress: Patrick Wood: Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?
    Forces are already at work to position a new Carbon Currency as the ultimate solution to global calls for poverty reduction, population control, environmental control, global warming, energy allocation and blanket distribution of economic wealth.
    Unfortunately for individual people living in this new system, it will also require authoritarian and centralized control over all aspects of life, from cradle to grave…
    Because the energy supply chain is already dominated by the global elite, setting energy production quotas will limit the amount of Carbon Currency in circulation at any one time. It will also naturally limit manufacturing, food production and people movement.
    Local currencies could remain in play for a time, but they would eventually wither and be fully replaced by the Carbon Currency, much the same way that the Euro displaced individual European currencies over a period of time.
    Sounds very modern in concept, doesn’t it? In fact, these ideas date back to the 1930’s when hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens were embracing a new political ideology called Technocracy and the promise it held for a better life…
    The social movement of Technocracy, with its energy-based accounting system,
    can be traced back to the 1930′s when an obscure group of engineers and scientists offered it as a solution to the Great Depression…
    The principal scientist behind Technocracy was M. King Hubbert, a young geoscientist who would later (in 1948-1956) invent the now-famous Peak Oil Theory, also known as the Hubbert Peak Theory. Hubbert stated that the discovery of new energy reserves and their production would be outstripped
    by usage, thereby eventually causing economic and social havoc…
    Hubbert received all of his higher education at the University of Chicago, graduating with a PhD in 1937, and later taught geophysics at Columbia University. He was highly acclaimed throughout his career, receiving many honors such as the Rockefeller Public Service Award in 1977…
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/19380


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  • #

    Our company is one of the few “sustainable” solar businesses. Our sales are always justified on the basis that we can supply a cheaper source of power than traditional hard wired power. That generally means that we supply solutions beyond the power grid or where power is very expensive to supply. Unfortunately we tend to get lumped with all the greenie solar companies.


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    • #

      Now, before some of you start in with the red thumbs here for John, perhaps I could explain the basics behind this, because in applications like this, I’m actually OK with it.

      What is happening in this application is that during the day, the solar panel is being utilised to charge a battery, and as soon as it reaches that point when normal street lighting starts to wink on, this lighting also comes on. The low energy consumption relatively high intensity LED lighting gets its power source from the batteries that the solar panel’s generated power has charged during the day.

      The only outlay after installation is for replacement batteries, and as usual with most batteries in solar applications, that comes in at around every five to seven years.

      I’m assuming these are quality batteries with a three/four day outlook if there is prolonged overcast, and that is what is referred to where it says 20% depth of charge, hence on a normal day the panel charges the battery back to full, and then during the night, the lighting consumes 20% of the battery’s capacity.

      Considering that the panel’s electricity generation depends on light, there will always be some level of light even on heavily overcast days, so there will be some level of charging, hence a quality solar system should have batteries capable of still supplying power even in overcast, hence that five day requirement.

      Withe reference back to rooftop solar power, I’m comfortable with those (non grid connected) systems if they are stand alone, where the panels charge the battery bank, and the battery power then supplies the Inverter to supply the residence’s power during non daylight periods. Those systems that are connected to the grid is where I find (extreme) fault with, because the residence is still a net consumer of power from the grid, and the owner relies on everyone else to pay for their indulgence.

      This use of solar panels in this lighting application is stand alone, and actually is a good idea in areas where a grid connection may be too expensive.

      I still have some (minor) qualms about the type of battery used and battery disposal, but as far as the application goes, this actually is a good use for solar power.

      Tony.


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        Safetyguy66

        Decentralisation of power generation makes good sense for sure. In Australis particularly we have a 19th century attitude to the location and transport of power. Build big generation assets miles from anywhere then build big transport infrastructure to ship the power. Its actually smart to do everything we can to encourage local energy solutions as they are by nature, much more likely to be efficient.


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          Mattb

          I’m not sure tony would agree with you. local power production makes sense where it makes sense, but why you’d do it in spite of the fact that a big nuke or coal plant can do the job for a pittance?


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            Safetyguy66

            Yeah living in Tassie, I guess Im thinking more of the people in small towns that are quite remote and could benefit from some sort of local solution. Your right, and as usual its about dogma, its a solution that does not necesarrily fit every problem.


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          Wally

          If you study power system engineering (ie real stuff that makes things work vs airy fairy things), stabilising large power grids with lots of feeds is quite hard.

          Small decentralised power generation makes it harder to stabilise a grid.

          Economies of scale also mean that a thumping big power station is usually able to make power cheaper than a bunch of small ones, certainly for base load. Modern (large) power stations are also more efficient than they used to be.


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        • #

          Decentralisation of power generation makes good sense for sure.

          Only if the grids aren’t inter-connected. Otherwise, providing stability between uncoordinated generators becomes very, very expensive and prone to cascading waves of outages.


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      • #

        You need more than 3 days’ “storage” to allow for dull days.

        In 2011, I did some number crunching on a local agricultural research station’s data for insolation and plotted sequential “dull days” on which total insolation was more than 1 standard deviation below the long-term mean insolation.

        Plot

        It shows fairly regular “solar outages” of 5 days almost every “winter”; with some lasting 10 days or more.


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        • #

          Bernd,

          most of the (reputable) Companies that supply Off Grid rooftop solar systems recommend a battery bank with that 5 day discharge time.

          Off Grid solar is (positively) horrendously expensive, mainly because of the batteries, and then you need to consider that they need replacing every 5 to 7 years and for an average residential application, you’d be looking at around 20K every 5 to 7 years, so if the system lasts the full 25 years (Huh! As if!) then you’re looking at the original set and between 3 and 4 sets of batteries.

          Tony.


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          • #

            They’re still going to need a diesel generator once a year. Of course, that won’t start if it’s only used once a year.

            Best, if one can afford PV for off-grid, to have enough batteries for about 3 days’ needs and a diesel generator to top up during the day when the sun refuses to show up and the batteries won’t hold up for another night.

            Note that the chart I plotted showed consecutive days with significantly less than average insolation; one standard deviation below the mean. Obviously, any competent system designer and installer of off-grid systems will dimension the system for insolation significantly below average, to provide sufficient electricity at least 90% of the time. Variability of insolation is substantial. To be 99.9% supplied by PV alone, one needs to dimension the system for “zero” insolation; about 10% of the nominal PV panel rating under bright sun. There could be two weeks of such low insolation.

            It gets VERY expensive for pure solar. Diesel fuel is pretty cheap.


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          • #
            FarmerDoug2

            Tony
            That seems about right. I’ve had/used solar panels, battery’s and generator (off grid) for over 25 years. Incidently one of my panels has finally given up though I can’t rule out physical trauma. I have never cleaned them.
            Doug


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        Backslider

        As somebody who has lived with this scenario (I had power lines running over my property, but the authority refused to connect me) all I can say is, do not get too excited. I was in north west NSW where there is miles of sunshine. You need at least sixteen panels for a small household and a massive bank of storage batteries. It all costs a LOT of money and do not expect any subsidies if its a necessity and you cannot connect to the grid.

        You also need at least a 5Kva genny to do the things you cannot expect your solar system to do.

        Better alternative: get yourself an old one pot old Lister (like in shearing sheds) and hook an alternator up to it. That will run your lights, tv, washing machine etc. Fire up the big genny when you need to.


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          NoFixedAddress

          Ronaldson & Tippett was the choice were I grew up in South West NSW.


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          • #
            Yonniestone

            Hey NoFixedAddress, Ronaldson & Tippett engines were made in Ballarat and later made Austral engines, before towns were connected to the electrical grid they used to use these engines hooked up to a generator to run the towns power.
            The old factory is still standing and from Howitt st you can just make out Ronaldson & Tippett on the rusty iron, if you google earth it there’s a photo of it.


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        gai

        I agree.
        Solar and even wind power is very useful in niche markets like street or yard lights or livestock water tanks or way off the grid living.


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      • #

        And an extremely limited one.


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      Peter Miller

      Solar power obviously makes sense if you live in a relatively remote area and where there is a reasonable amount of sunshine and you have the ability to store the electricity generated during the day.

      Solar power has the added advantage of being most abundant when you usually need it the most, i.e. during the day.

      There are undoubted instances where solar power makes a lot of sense, but it is obviously not a universal panacea for our future energy requirements. If you are looking for that, then shale gas (frakking) and nuclear are the obvious answers – unless you are card carrying greenie, of course.

      If the solar power industry had been allowed to develop naturally without political interference, then it probably would be a lot more cost effective than it is today.

      I was recently told the new metals printing technology is imminently about to result in a substantial drop in the costs of producing solar panels – does anyone know anything about this?


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      • #
        Dave

        Peter

        There’s a bit about it HERE, mainly using printers such as inkjet, aerosol jet, and spray coating to apply the different components of the solar cell. These can be directly coated onto metal roofing sheets for new houses. I think TATA in the UK has already done this with metal sheets.


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        Wally

        I think thats the Dye Solar processes – check out Dyesol (the company).

        It’s very inefficient, though.


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    Ross

    Meanwhile Tom Nelson reports the scamming of Government solar schemes continues

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/shock-solar-tax-credit-is-abused-in.html


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  • #
    Rick Bradford

    We will hang the capitalists with the rope that they sell us

    Lenin is supposed to have said this.

    In this case, the ‘rope’ we sold to China is the infantile Green renewable energy dogma, and so the Chinese have been happily providing the West with the wind turbines and solar panels which will beggar our economies and improve their own relative competitiveness.

    Good business.


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    JFC

    Is this not just the free market at work? Companies come and companies go, so what? The ones with the best business model presumably will survive. After all how many resource companies have died in the last hundred years? Thousands? Yet we’re still mining stuff. If you’re saying this is the end of solar then I would reckon that a very brave call worthy of Dick Morris.


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Is this not just the free market at work?

      No dumbass, what part of the concept of subsidies did you not understand?

      Wait a minute, what part of “free” do you not understand…….

      Wait a minute, you don’t understand anything at all.


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        Dennis

        Maybe he things that the market is a creation of subsidised demand by socialist manipulators? He needs to research socialism and capitalism. Capitalism is how Communist Chinese and other business people create wealth from free markets.


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    • #

      That’s what puzzles me about people like you JFC.

      Surely, you’d do some research into WHY it is that Solar power just doesn’t work.

      Here in Australia, at an absolutely horrendous cost we have more than one million rooftops with solar power systems, and yet it supplies barely 2% of the DAYTIME power consumption, and nothing at night, so overall, less than 1% of total power consumption.

      You could construct ten huge Solar PV commercial scale solar plants at a horrendous cost, and still only supply less than 2% of DAYTIME power consumption, and again, nothing at night, so also less than a half percent of total power consumption.

      You could construct 10 Commercial large scale Concentrating Solar Plants with heat diversion capability, again at a horrendous (prohibitive cost) and still supply just on half of one percent of total power consumption, and even then, on average, for only 16 hours a day. Even if the theory actually works out and they can scale them up, those ten CS plants will still only supply 1.5% of total power consumption.

      For the life of me, I can’t figure out why you can’t see this, or to take the time to find it out for yourself.

      You just blindly plough on ahead thinking that because it’s me who is telling you this then it must be lies.

      Go and actually find out.

      Then you’ll see why Solar is such an expensively useless failure.

      Tony.


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      • #

        Time for another guest post, by the sounds of things, Tony. The last one is holding a steady position in the charts, thank you.

        You know where I live ;-)


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        Ace

        Could it be that the unfounded respectability of domestic solar derives from the association made with high technology by its use on spacecraft?

        Ive not seen this discussed. But thats a powerful sales pitch, seeing people at the cutting edge of technology depending for their lives on solar power.Although the US astronauts used instead to use hydrogen fuel cells. And the Soviets used a lot of nuclear on sattelites. So its only partly true even then. But those are gigantic panels on the ISS.

        I know nothing about solar cells, but Ive a hunch the domestic ones bear little comparison to those used in space. And of course, in space, sunlight is abundant without atmospheric interference and……noone can hear you scream….no I meant to say, power consumption is very low on spacecraft.

        …and noone can hear you scream!


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        • #

          Ace, you mention here:

          I know nothing about solar cells, but Ive a hunch the domestic ones bear little comparison to those used in space. And of course, in space, sunlight is abundant without atmospheric interference and…..

          You are correct. The ones used for orbiting satellites do indeed bear little comparison to the ones used here on the surface.

          The first space vehicle to utilise solar cells was the original Vanguard in 1958, and solar power is currently used in a number of applications. the IntelSats used them extensively. Hubble uses it. The Mars Rovers used them. It’s a long list.

          While panels used in residential applications here on Earth can have a total power generations of 320 Watts, there are some solar panels for spacecraft applications that can generate 1KW, and there is development going on to have a 1MW panel, hopefully by 2015.

          However, what needs to be taken into account here is that the absolute bestest of the best technology for solar cells (the ones they use in spacecraft applications where money is no object) have an absolute efficiency of 29%, so where I see the average claim that they can operate at a 33% efficiency rating in a rooftop solar power application, well, the polite way of expressing my thoughts on this is that it, umm, just makes me smile!!!

          If you really do wish to have a look at the basics, then I can direct you to a Post of my own that details some of those basics, at the following link.

          Residential Rooftop Solar Power

          Tony.

          POST SCRIPT. Note where I mentioned that spacecraft technology is developing a hoped for 1MW Panel by 2015, and the natural thought is that this technology will then filter down to commercial and residential use. Note also that in that same paragraph I mentioned that 1MW Panel, I also added the bracketed money is no object rider.


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            crakar24

            http://www.originenergy.com.au/files/1.5kW-Panels.pdf

            This link states it is up to 14.9%

            Also remember the panels used in space are designed for a zero atmosphere conditions which i would guess would substantially add to the cost.

            Another consideration would be the design. it would call for higher quality components as it would need to last the entire length of life of the equipment.

            The tracks would be made of pure gold not copper, another cost.

            power consumption is very low on spacecraft.

            Are you sure? take a communications satellite it recieves a very low signal from the ground, the signal needs to be amplified and then retransmitted all steps require power, then of course there is the noise generated inside an amplifier and when you are dealing with low signals this is something you must avoid so they use very low noise amps which need to be cooled to minus 100 odd degrees which uses power.

            Then you have inertial navigation systems, communications systems, routers, filters etc power to drive the array to get best sunlight and the list goes on.


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              Ace

              Its true that I was thinking of manned vehicles and the sats you cite will use more power. However, none of that compares to running an oven, a grill, household heating, full household illumination, television, computers, audio system, and even a vacuum cleaner (and in John Brookes case, on top of the heating an air conditioner for him to “bask” under). all at the same time? Surely!


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          crakar24

          During the summer just gone i used less than half of the power i used the summer before.


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            Ace

            During the trousers I wear I take up a whole lot less of the waist-band than I did two years ago!

            Thats true. All my clothes are baggy and I can no longer afford to replace them And green taxes have had a part in that on both aspects.


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      Eddie Sharpe

      Free market is what some people think is just like a market where you go and pick stuff up for free, like guvmint handouts. The commercial equivalent of their free market concept is subsidies.


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      Mark

      Dunno why KFC doesn’t google “Spanish economy” to find out just how dumb his thought bubbles are. Went absolutely berserkers on renewables they did and look where they are now. Up #%€? creek in a barbed wire canoe with a crowbar for a paddle.

      Oh wait, Spain can’t afford the canoe or the paddle now so they’re just up the creek.


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      Ace

      ..And Bagger 288 just keeps on going…keeps on going…keeps on going……..long may she continue to!


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    macha

    Article in teh SMH today (letter to the editor) claiming roof top solar should now be mandatory!. Huh? I wonder how anyone that suffers from the sun-shadow from a neighbour would fare? Not everyone can be on the “high” or “sun” side.
    It’s already becoming a growing nightmare for councils where a mulit-story building goes up AFTER the neighbour has installed a solar system. Who pays – as if someone actually needs to (caveat emptor). But in this current government matntaility of a welfare society, I bet it ends up being (all) taxpayers.


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      Safetyguy66

      “Mandatory” is like nectar to the modern left. They have utterly forgotten and or abandoned the true left values of socila empowerment and allowed themselves to be hijacked by the intoxicating power of “The State” as a tool to enforce.

      “Governments and the ad hoc proceedings of an informal assemblage such as a mob, or of a more formal group like the KKK, boils down to the force the group can muster to impose its will on others.”

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/casey1.html

      Greens have no issues with extending or enhancing the powers of government to enforce their ideology on others. The gap in reality between the days when the local lord would send a couple of guys in chainmail to kick your door in and take your goat and the behaviour of the modern left/green aliance is almost nothing. They beleive they are occupying some sort of moral high ground and that it justifys any invasion of personal freedom they may deem appropriate. When you compare this to the origins of the left movement in opposition to the French aristocrisy and its policies condemning much of its populace to poverty, its almost mind boggling that they still consider themselves as politically left, when they are so clearly extreme conservatives and borderline despotic dictators.

      “At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has sometimes been disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition.” – Lord Acton

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/dieteman/dieteman31.html


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      Safetyguy66

      Sorry for the double up, but this is uncanny considering it was written in 1960. Its application is so contemporary, it could have been written by any one of the regular posters on this forum, as recently as yesterday.

      “At a time when most movements that are thought to be progressive advocate further encroachments on individual liberty,[1] those who cherish freedom are likely to expend their energies in opposition. In this they find themselves much of the time on the same side as those who habitually resist change. In matters of current politics today they generally have little choice but to support the conservative parties. But, though the position I have tried to define is also often described as “conservative,” it is very different from that to which this name has been traditionally attached. There is danger in the confused condition which brings the defenders of liberty and the true conservatives together in common opposition to developments which threaten their ideals equally. It is therefore important to distinguish clearly the position taken here from that which has long been known – perhaps more appropriately – as conservatism.”

      Im sure many of us dont necessarily consider ourselves “dyed in the wool” Liberal voters, but we find ourselves attached strongly to that party now because it is closer to our natural understanding of preservation of freedom.

      Hayek was, as I am discovering more and more with my readings, a friggin genius and probably way ahead of his time.

      http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDwQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cato.org%2Farticles%2Fwhy-i-am-not-conservative&ei=R1yIUezZPI-yrAfF94DYAQ&usg=AFQjCNFn98Cg8D8eA5DV2jGiBKBqc-HwqQ&sig2=iGxacJZRUVqlYuyKBigI1Q


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    Dennis

    Off topic: another live cattle export beat up by ABC 7.30 and this time aimed at Egypt. Elders Australia proved that the 4 Corners claim about Indonesia was a stunt or set up, they operate feed lots and slaughter facilities in Indonesia. I check who Animals Australia who provided the 7.30 fairy tale and guess who, the extreme Greens they be.


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  • #
    handjive

    Carbon dioxide level up-date:

    April 29, 2013
    Carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere are on the cusp of reaching 400 parts per million for the first time in 3 million years.

    Results:

    27 April 2012
    Australia will officially be drought free for the first time in over a decade next week as the final two Exceptional Circumstances (EC) declarations come to an end.

    May 6, 2013
    New Zealand’s worst drought in 30 years is over
    .
    2007
    UN-IPCC/CSIRO/BoM/Climate CommissionProjections for end of drought: 0 zero

    (December, 2012) New climate modelling and analysis by the CSIRO and the Bureau of the Meteorology was carried out for the report using the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s scenarios on future global greenhouse gas emissions.


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    • #
      handjive

      Oops. Link:

      Greenhouse gas levels highest in 3m years
      Carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere are on the cusp of reaching 400 parts per million for the first time in 3 million years.


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        Safetyguy66

        ”At this pace we’ll hit 450 ppm within a few decades.”

        “The 450 ppm level is considered to be the point at which the world has a 50 per cent chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. Any higher and the odds of avoiding searing temperature rises of 4 or 5 degrees by the end of the century become prohibitively risky.”

        And the justification for those emotive and flakey assertions are what exactly ?

        Im getting really tired of people getting all shrill with statements like “we have to do something before its too late” ? Do what? Too late for what?

        Im constantly reminded of Cpl Jones from Dads Army…. DONT PANIC, DONT PANIC!!

        I mean seriously, highest level in 3 millions years and its spoken about with a level of certainty that makes you feel like any second now someone from 3 million years ago is gonna come on camera and tell us how bad things were back then. Speculation posing as science at every turn.


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          Dennis

          Yet Flannery admited to Bolt that if all nations cooperated on lowering CO2 emissions now that global temperature would fall by 0.04 per cent in about 1,000 years. It never adds up does it.


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            Safetyguy66

            Nope the more closely you study the number these people claim to beleive, the more contradictions you discover.

            I think Ned Flanders summed it up “I did everything it said in the book, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff”

            If Tim is right then we are alredy screwed no matter what. But if Tim is right, it would be the first time.


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        theRealUniverse

        Theres NO such entity as a greenhouse effect (or gas, gasses do not trap heat they conduct heat!) in the atmosphere. There has never been any proof of such a physical phenomenon.


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          Backslider

          Theres NO such entity as a greenhouse effect

          I suggest that you go out into one of our lovely and dry deserts… t-shirt and shorts kinda stuff…. then wait for nightfall…. you will freeze your sorry ass off.

          Go into the same on a cloudy night…. then come back and tell us all why its warmer.


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          • #
            Safetyguy66

            Different time of year ? j/k lol


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          • #
            theRealUniverse

            Im not sure what that has to do with “green house effect” in planetry atmosphere? What you have said is radiation from a warm surface to the atmosphere. In other words the 2nd law of thermodynamics heat is transferred from HOT to COLD not the reverse as in the so called “greenhouse effect”.


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        • #

          you might need to change your name to anotheruniverse


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          theRealUniverse

          To add:

          ..The demonization of carbon is not going to solve any of our problems; in fact, it makes them considerably worse. It merely appeases our environmental conscience, and diverts our attention from the real eco-issues. It adds enormously to the cost of energy, negatively affects the broader mass of mankind, and at the end of it all, does no good for the world about us. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant (quite the opposite, in fact), and is not in any sense a greenhouse gas (witness Mars). Controlling our carbon output is useless (and hideously expensive) as an eco-weapon. Wind farms and electric cars are criminal in terms of their pollution index, and do nothing good in real terms. As long as we have 7 billion people multiplying exponentially, we have a gargantuan problem that cannot be ignored by the privileged few who wear their green badges with overt pride.
          Hilton Radcliffe, Astrophysicist

          Looks like MOST of the Astrophysicists including Piers Corbyn DONT believe in it means 1. Climate scientists crooks, dont know scally squat about real physics.
          2. For the reference the so-called “GHG” theory has been shown to be non-existent by experiment!


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        • #
          theRealUniverse

          Backradiation is supposed thermal radiation emitted or reflected by a thermodynamic system
          towards the primary source of thermal radiation.
          As a system absorbs thermal radiation, it immediately emits the absorbed radiation in all
          directions. If we imaginarily divide an absorber system into two identical symmetrical
          subsystems, the amount of radiation emitted from one subsystem will be always a fraction
          equal to 0.5 of total emissions.
          For example, a system emitting a total amount of 100 J to all directions would emit 50 J from
          the upper subsystem and 50 J from the lower subsystem.
          Backradiation would be thermal radiation emitted by any subsystem towards the radiating
          source.
           The Greenhouse Effect is an imaginary process that would be the result of backradiation
          absorbed by the source of primary thermal radiation, in opposition to the universal trajectory
          of events, i.e. against natural spontaneous progression of entropy, from low level to high
          level.
           Entropy is the trajectory that any process or event happening in the known universe follows,
          which is related to availability of energy microstates of thermodynamic systems.
          Entropy is considered to be irreversible, that is, that once the universe has increased its
          h entropy, there is no way to revert such increase of entropy.

          ttp://principia-scientific.org/publications/New_Concise_Experiment_on_Backradiation.pdf
          Now you have a problem dear beleivers.


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          • #
            Backslider

            The Greenhouse Effect is an imaginary process that would be the result of backradiation absorbed by the source of primary thermal radiation, in opposition to the universal trajectory of events, i.e. against natural spontaneous progression of entropy, from low level to high
            level.

            Clearly somebody does not even understand what the GHE is.

            Try my desert experiment. You will see clearly that there is in fact a GHE.


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            Joe V.

            You can perhaps admire these guys at Principae for sticking to their, well principles.
            They are making Chris Moncktons position however appear positively mainstream.

            Could this be something of positioning for the glory, as the vanquished warmist position collapses ?


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    pat

    WUWT has put up a thread on this con game:

    6 May: Yahoo: Bill Clinton and Bloomberg unveil ‘climate risk’ project
    NEW YORK—Former President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new climate initiative Monday to help cities measure their risk for severe weather and natural disasters…
    The project will be run through C40, a coalition of major cities around the world that united to study the impact of climate change on their municipalities. The group, chaired by Bloomberg, merged two years ago with the Clinton Climate Initiative—an offshoot of Clinton’s philanthropic foundation.
    Known as the C40 Risk Assessment Framework, the “climate risk” project, as Bloomberg referred to it, would develop a consistent set of measures by which cities could assess their risk of a natural disaster, including hurricanes and floods…
    “If you can’t measure a risk, you can’t manage it,” Bloomberg added, warning that a damaging storm like Sandy could happen again.
    Bloomberg and Clinton argued that having a consistent measure of risk would help lawmakers prioritize on where to spend money to ward off natural disasters and sell voters on why infrastructure is necessary…
    A framework “gives legislators something to hang their hats on … an independent measure of what the risks are,” Bloomberg said.
    ***The mayor added, “It’s like a rating on your bonds. People will believe it.”…
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/bill-clinton-bloomberg-unveil-climate-risk-project-214502570.html


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  • #

    I want you to have a look at this small excerpt from an earlier Post here at Joanne’s site.

    The national installed capacity is now at 2.452 GW from 1,011,478 solar PV systems

    That means the average installation comes in at 2424 Watts.

    The average panel has the capability of generating 225 to 320 Watts, depending on the panels used.

    This means that going on the most common 225Watt panel, then that means that the bulk of these rooftop systems are the smaller ones, the 7 panel systems, which generate a maximum of 1575 Watts. Now, just saying that does not indicate the actual power being delivered for consumption, either by the residence, or being fed back to the grid.

    Here’s how they are rated. Let’s look at an average 12 hours of clear bright cloud free daylight, more in Summer, and less in Winter, but an average of 12 hours.

    12 hours at 1.575KW comes in at 18.9KWH. This system is rated to deliver 6.3KWH, and notice here that is exactly 33.3%, which is slightly problematic, because the maximum theoretical delivery for a solar cell is 29%, but hey, every retailer has a fudge factor.

    So, over an average day, this system delivers (theoretically) that 6.3KWH. Part of that is being already consumed by the home, and the remainder is fed back to the grid. Keep in mind that this is for clear cloud free days, provided the panels are kept pristinely clean all the time.

    The average fridge consumes around 3.5KWH a day, so any further consumption eats (considerably) into the amount being fed back to the grid. So, if the residence has a stay at home Mum who does her chores during the day, then very little (if any) power would get fed back to the grid.

    Hence, the advice (usually whispered, while no one can hear) is that the householder puts off as much power consuming home tasks as possible until after hours, hence, when the home is being supplied FROM the grid, and that will maximise the feed in tariff returned to the owner.

    So, with the average so low, virtually all of these systems are the small ones, so, in fact, very (very) little power is being returned to the grids around Australia, so little in fact that it’s of no use anyway.

    Sort of puts the BZE plan for Australia into perspective, eh!

    Then there’s the Islanding effect, meaning that in the event of power blackouts, residences that do have rooftop solar systems are also blacked out totally, as the Inverters have to stop generating so no power is fed back to the grid, and that also cuts off all power to the residence as well.

    Grid connected rooftop power is something every electrical power consumers pay for, and the bulk of the money goes straight to those who have these systems, as an out and out bribe to satiate their green superiority complex.

    Tony.


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    • #
      Dave

      Hi Tony,

      Something else bothers me in regard to solar system installations:
      It’s the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) that are equal to 1 MWh of renewable electricity deemed to be generated. These are then sold through the STC Clearing House for a fixed price of $40 (excl. GST).

      My questions:
      1. How many STC’s are given say for a 2,000 watt system to the installer?
      2. In fact is this power paid for, not actually delivered – yet the STC’s are still sold?
      3. Is this whole system of REC’s, STC’s & LGC’s etc all a bigger scam than solar systems?

      If they are paying $40 for 1 MWh at instalation – then how much of this 1MWh is actually produced?
      Are we in fact paying double, triple or even more for this MWh STC?


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      crakar24

      Sorry Tony but i must humbly disagree with some of your comments.

      Firstly to the corrections,if your FIT per Kw is higher than what you pay then yes you should use a bulk of your power at night time however if your FIT is lower then you should endeavour to use a bulk of your power during the day time.

      The average power generation in SA is a factor of 5.1 (about 7 in summer and 3 in winter) so you use the 5.1 figure to calculate generation V cost etc (obviusly factors apply re North facing panels etc) and i would imagine the closer you move to the equator the higher the factor you apply.

      How did you arrive at the average system size? For example i have 16 panels at 190 watts each.

      Lastly, i take offence to this statement

      Grid connected rooftop power is something every electrical power consumers pay for, and the bulk of the money goes straight to those who have these systems, as an out and out bribe to satiate their green superiority complex.

      Let me get one thing straight Tony when you live in a state whose only boast is that they have the highest electricty prices in the world you are going to do something about it. Would you honestly expect me to sit here and say “Oh no i wont reduce my electricity bill on account that Tony will have to pay extra?”

      I installed panels because it was a smart financial investment not because of some green ideology and now my bills have been halved primarily due to the fact that i use a lot less electricity my feed in tarrif is very low but my usage is also very low.


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      • #

        crakar24,

        at least you’re honest enough to say you did it for economic reasons.

        The average I arrived at is by dividing the total power so far (in Nameplate only) of that 2.452GW by the number of installations, 1,011,478.

        The two subsidies are things that, as consumers without rooftop power, we all pay for in the increased cost of electricity, whether we are residential consumers, or for those consumers in the other 2 groups, Commerce and Industry. That first subsidy is at installation, and the second is the FIT. Anyone receiving FIT higher than the average wholesale price for electricity is again, receiving something we are all paying for in increased electricity charges.

        FIT, no matter what it is is still something that the rest of us have to pay for. I based it mainly on the current carrot in Queensland, prior to its winding back, that being 44 cents per KWH, power that is purchased from rooftop system owners, power that can only then be sold back at around 24 cents per KWH, the average retail cost for electricity in the Residential sector.

        So, if you’re receiving more than the average wholesale price paid by providers for the power they purchase from the grid, then all of us are paying for that.

        Grid connected rooftop solar, no matter what the size of the installation, still sees those system owners as net consumers of power from the grid than contributors of power to the grid, power that is not relied upon for any other purpose.

        I would have no qualms at all if these systems were sold minus all subsidies, and in that manner, people would then be making a conscious decision based on their green principles no matter what the cost, but to then make the rest of us pay is something I think of as unfair.

        If they had to compete on that no subsidies whatsoever reason only, then I’m willing to say that they wouldn’t have sold 1% of those current more than one million systems.

        There’s just no way to be diplomatic about this.

        Tony.


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        Andrew McRae

        a state whose only boast is that they have the highest electricty prices in the world

        Hey! That state also gave the world Sir Don Bradman, Sir Mark Oliphant, and me!

        Well two out of three `aint bad. Bradman was such a bore.

        And let’s not forget such wonderful home-grown inventions as the Stump Jump Plough…and… errr.. nothing after the 19th century apparently.

        yeah, shame about those electricity prices eh.


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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Andrew:
          Actually Bradman was from NSW.

          Tony,
          the payback time for solar cells has improved as the price has dropped. Whereas it used to be around 55 years, it is now ALMOST down to the time that high quality cells last. In other words you might just pay for them about the time you have to buy a new set. Tying your money up for 25 years+ without getting any profit at all.

          It is only subsidies that make solar cells worth it (if you’re connected to the grid).

          I’m with crakar24 on this. I thought that taking advantage of a stupid government decision was an economic decision. I went for good quality cells in the hope that they last the 5-5.5 years payback time and beyond.


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        • #
          Len

          Don Bradman came from NSW.Bowra, I think.


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      • #
        Wally

        I put solar in AFTER the FIT came down.

        South Australia:
        Retail price for grid power is about $0.30 / kW-hr.
        FIT is approx $0.24 / kW-hr.

        So its now no longer about showing ones greeny superiority, its about $.

        As in a previous post my pay back is about 6 years, and I don’t sponge off others (power bills) for the privilege.

        I’m aware that in some states of Australia the FIT is still very high, and sooner or later sanity will need to prevail there.


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  • #
    Eddie Sharpe

    …the bulk of the money goes straight to those who have these systems, as an out and out bribe to satiate their green superiority complex

    .

    While there are always the Green zealots and the entrepreneurial types who will just mop up any Government going, aren’t most of these solar PV users just citizens who have been duped , into investing their hard earned in expensive roof tiles, on the promise of cheaper energy ?


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      Dennis

      I believe that is correct Eddie.


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      crakar24

      Eddie,

      Please explain how one is duped with solar panels.


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      • #
        Eddie Sharpe

        Dupe – A person who functions as the tool of another person or power.

        If dear old Moonbat of the Graundian reckons were being duped,


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          crakar24

          Eddie Sharpe,

          You have still not answered my question, i will sit here and wait in vain i am sure.


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          • #
            Eddie Sharpe

            I’m sure you’re happy to sit in the dark, as long as it lets you feel content. And who am to disavow you, you complete dupe.


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            Eddie Sharpe

            “…. you complete dupe….”

            Sorry, that was uncalled for. If you’ve already shelled out on grid connected PVs you’ve got my sympathies. All you can now do is try & make to best of it.
            The Costs of Solar Installation and Upkeep – for Dummies.


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            • #
              crakar24

              Eddie,

              Regardless of the fear i have of getting another 4 thumbs down could you please (this time) explain why i am being duped?

              I have allowed you to avoid answering the question once however the pleasantries will not be extended further.

              If you simply made the statement in haste and you have no evidence to base your statement on then i will accept that as a response.


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              crakar24

              OK Ed have it your way, your link provides teh following information:

              1, You face some dangers: Active electrical systems can shock you if you don’t know what you’re doing. Water heating systems can scald you. You’re much safer sitting in front of your TV than climbing around installing solar equipment on your roof.

              To get a solar system credit from the government you must have it installed by electricians. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ big fail

              2, You face equipment challenges in freezing weather: Solar water heating panels can freeze up in the winter. You have to pay attention to how they’re working. Many new solar thermal heating systems get around the freezing problem by using some form of anti-freeze, but there are still a good number of existing and new systems that still use water exclusively.

              BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ big fail again this is talking about solar hot water.

              3, You’re on your own for upkeep and repairs: If you have a big array of solar panels on your roof, it’s your problem. If they break, you pay. When they get old, you update. Warranties run for 25 years for solar PV panels, but you may have to pay some labor costs to have warranty work done. At the very least, you have to understand your system so that you’ll know when it’s not working properly. If a single panel goes out in a solar PV system, for example, the production may suffer to the tune of 25 percent or more. You’re the one responsible for determining how your system is working and taking the necessary measures when it’s not working properly.

              Warranty Ed? Oh thats right they dont work in your reality thats why when my inverter shit itself they came out and replaced it FOR NOTHING. Sorry Ed but i’m gunna call this as a BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ fail

              4, Solar panels affect other roof maintenance tasks: If you need a new roof, for example, you have to either pay a contractor to remove and then reinstall the panels once the new roof is in place, or you have to do the work yourself. In general, you can expect to pay a contractor around $1,500 to remove and reinstall panels when you put on a new roof. This estimated price fluctuates quite a bit, depending on the type of roof you have, and how large a solar system you’re working with. In addition, while your panels are removed and the roof is being changed, you’re not going to be generating any solar power.

              Wow i hope i dont need anew roof soon, FFS ED this is pathetic and you are a joke so the next time you call someone a dupe think again dick head.


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        Eddie Sharpe

        I’m glad to see someone’s still getting it right though.

        Is the DEWP acronym meant to be pronounced as dupe (djuːp) or derp (du:p / der:p)

        Some department of government not being taken in by the Green dreamers


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    Eddie Sharpe

    Is it just coincidence, or does Wayne ($20Bn deficit) Swan, take his name from the Swannee river.

    Where did the money go ?


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    • #
      Joe V.

      Apparently it’s “Swanny”, to his friends.

      Nah @JoeHockey – I’m pretty proud of guiding Aust through the GFC, avoiding recession & helping create 926k jobs while you sat on your hands


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    Sceptical Sam

    Now this is one for the “stories tall and (un)true” shelf.

    ABC’s Dr Karl the krook (or is it crock?) had a caller interested in knowing the payback period for energy consumed in the manufacture of PVs.

    His answer: 18 to 40 months depending on cloud cover.

    And with the temerity of a Flim Flam look-a-like he assured the poor enquirer that PVs have a Guaranteed life of 25 years! He didn’t guarantee that the company would still be in existence though. You’d have to find that out the hard way when you toddle along after 12 years or so with your stuffed PVs under your arm to get your money back.

    It can be heard here at the 2:00 minute mark if you can stand it: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s3750393.htm

    I suggest you let it load then slide the marker along to the 2:00 minute mark – that way you’ll avoid the self-important childish ego that’s on display.

    I despair.

    Surely this has to be false pretenses?


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      Sceptical Sam

      Correction.

      4:00 minute mark.

      Sorry.


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      Mattb

      What’s wrong with his answer?


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      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Have you got PVs?

        Would you like to give us a look at your 25 year guarantee?


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          Mattb

          Sorry I thought the emphasis of your post was: “His answer: 18 to 40 months depending on cloud cover.” re the paybacks on embodied energy.

          As with all things… a warranty is only as good as the fine print. If you pay for quality panels you’ll get a quality system. TBH at the time my calcs were that I was better off with cheapies that failed in 10 years than quality product that lasted 30… sad reflection on the rebate structure at the time as the quality panels were almost 5 times the out of pocket expense.


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            Andrew McRae

            Does that mean… that the panels that last are unaffordable and the panels that are affordable don’t last?
            No wonder they call them “renewable”, they’re meant to be renewed!

            God I’ve been such a naive fool about these renewable energy systems. I thought “renewable” meant a sustainable energy supply, but it really means forced upgrades due to planned obsolescence!


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              crakar24

              Andrew,

              What MattB is trying to say is that you can pay say 8K for a system from Zen or you can pay half that amount from another installer. The only claim Zen make to justify the high price is that they have a higher quality system.

              Lets do the math, say you spend 4K on a 3Kw system and you save $1,000 a year on your bill. Therefore you will pay it off in 4 years, however with Zen it will take 8 years.

              The 18 to 40 month period is a little short but more like a minimum of 48 months.


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                Mattb

                The 1st two paragraphs are spot on Crakar, but the third paragraph “18 to 40 month period is a little short” is nor right – as the 18-40 month is not an economic payback, but the period it takes the cells to generate the energy that it took to make them in the 1st place.


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            Graeme No.3

            Of course you can pay them off in 40 months, so long as your FIT is around 75 ¢. Are you getting that much?


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      crakar24

      Its true some people fell for “the man in the van” companies you needed to do a bit of reasearch into it unfortunately there are people out there that are more prone than others to get scammed (which is an indictment on Gillard et al) its a bit like a Nigerian banking scam when we think “who would be stupid enough to fall for that”.


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    Rod Stuart

    It’s just as tonyfromoz said: windmills have a life cycle of 12 to 15 years.


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      theRealUniverse

      ..AND they catch fire..!


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      Dave

      Real Universe,

      Also Solar panel fires are causing concern, they just bringing in regulations (July 2013) to ensure that new installations meet fire regulations.

      Currently I think firefighters won’t put water on the roof with panels unless they are guaranteed that the solar system is totally isolated. Meanwhile the house burns down.

      Memories of Garrett’s Pink Batts failure. Will be good to see Midnight Oil back together again after September 14th.


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        crakar24

        Dave,

        In actuality it makes no difference, the first thing they do is cut power which then isolates the solar system. If they cant cut power to any property then it will burn.


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          Dave

          Thanks crakar24,

          But isn’t the cable from the solar panel on the roof to the inverter still live? I thought this was the problem even though the main switch is off. Some units have an isolation switch at the panel when mains are cut off, but not all. Just what I heard.


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          Dave

          Sorry, forgot this article I read in The SC Daily.


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            crakar24

            Yes thats true Dave there will be a DC voltage on wiring in your roof from the panels to the inverter/switch next to your inverter. This does not equate to fire fighters being electrocuted as your link you posted can attest to.


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  • #

    I’m sorry folks for posting off-topic but I saw this and thought of you.

    Is Julia Gillard the most influential person of 2013?
    Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister, is a nominee for Time 100, the American magazine’s annual poll to decide the most influential people on the planet. But just what is her appeal and is she worthy of inclusion? Dr Brooke Magnanti reports from down under.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/9986451/Is-Julia-Gillard-the-most-influential-person-of-2013.html


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    Yeah, a PhD in pyramid selling. But he forgot the punchline for pyramid schemes, you have to get out before they collapse, he hung in for the long haul and saw the result.

    If you want to learn about solar panels ask a salesman for a meeting. They have the true figures and all they do is spend a fortune on an initial investment to reap the interest payments till you may make a profit eventually. People are doing it as a hedge against low interest rates and poor investments, the things don’t actually generate any useful power and the entire industry are fully aware of that, as are long term users.


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    pat

    are renewables really replacing coal already?

    Coal generation falls to record lows in Australia
    BEIJING, May 7 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Falling demand for electricity and increased supply of renewable energy has brought coal’s share in Australia’s electricity generation mix to its lowest level in almost 15 years, according to consultants Pitt and Sherry…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2337788?&ref=searchlist

    EU will vote until it gets the result it wants:

    EU Parliament to vote on CO2 backloading in July
    LONDON, May 7 (Reuters Point Carbon) – The EU Parliament’s environment committee will hold a second vote on a draft law to prop up EU carbon prices on June 19 before a vote in the full assembly in July, Matthias Groote, the chairman of the parliament’s environment committee said Tuesday…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2338057


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      Eddie Sharpe

      Aren’t European Elections like multiple choice quizzes ?
      But it’s OK if you get the wrong answer, because we can keep retaking the vote until enough of you to matter learn the right one, and if that’s not working we can remind you what a bit of austerity is like, or say we’ll have to raid your bank accounts if you don’t get it right.


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    pat

    8 May: AFR: Laura Tingle and Marcus Priest:
    Labor’s carbon package is in tatters, with $1.4 billion of tax cuts scheduled for 2015 to be dumped in next Tuesday’s budget, and cuts to clean-energy initiatives, because a slump in the European carbon price has forced Treasury to halve the revenue expected from the sale of carbon permits.
    The dumping, or indefinite deferral, of a second round of tax cuts that were supposed to be funded by the carbon price will damage Labor’s attack on the Coalition over its plans to repeal all spending measures associated with the government’s clean-energy package, and all but one of the measures associated with the mining tax…
    Finance Minister Penny Wongconfirmed the report that the tax write-down in the current financial year will amount to $17 billion. The shortfall will rise to more than $20 billion in 2013-14…
    When the government announced its controversial carbon price reforms in 2011, it outlined a package of ­household assistance that over­compensated low-income households for the expected impact of a carbon price.
    The government sold the package as Henry Review-inspired tax reform and trebled the tax-free threshold to $18,200 in 2012.
    It legislated for a further increase in the threshold to $19,400 in 2015, a move it said would improve the incentive to work at low incomes.
    This measure was to be funded by an expected increase in the price of carbon when emissions trading began in 2015-16.
    However, the collapse in the carbon price puts the move – estimated by Access Economics’ Chris Richardson to cost $1.4 billion a year – out of the government’s fiscal reach…
    Market analysts now expect the EU carbon price to be between $9 and $15 a tonne, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week urged action on the backloading proposal, giving a boost to the ailing emissions market.
    Greens leader Christine Milne said the government should axe funding for the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute and Carbon Capture and ­Storage Flagships program to help pay for other initiatives.
    This would save $768 million over four years.
    “It makes no sense to waste millions in taxpayer dollars promoting the illusion of ‘clean coal’ – when after years of rhetoric there is still no coal-fired power station capturing carbon pollution and storing it underground,” Senator Milne said…
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/labor_axes_carbon_price_tax_cuts_tma1oiJwcXCt3a9QgedciK


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    pat

    when will national MSM, including TV news/current affairs cover all these costs?

    8 May: Gold Coast Bulletin: Andrew Potts: Carbon tax to cost council $6.2 million
    RATEPAYERS will feel the sting of the federal carbon tax with Climate Change Minister Greg Combet confirming Gold Coast City Council will be slugged with a bill of at least $6.2 million when the hit on local government takes effect in July.
    Concerns over the financial impact of the Gillard government’s green charges have had Gold Coast council bureaucrats nervous for some time. At one point Mayor Tom Tate vowed the council would not pay the carbon tax, a pledge he later had to back away from…
    Council figures obtained by the Bulletin show the cost of the carbon pricing will be passed on to ratepayers through additional charges on city services…
    (Mayor and LNP member Tom Tate)”This money is meant to help the environment but our local area is pristine so the city will not get anything for it.
    “I could spend the money in a much wiser way than this.”…
    Mr Combet’s spokeswoman said Cr Tate’s take on the tax was over the top.
    “Cr Tate should spend more time governing for Gold Coast ratepayers, rather than joining Tony Abbott’s misleading scare campaign,” she said…
    http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2013/05/08/451543_gold-coast-news.html


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    Manfred

    Apologies – off thread.

    To Pat:
    Meanwhile Fox News today highlighted rising sea levels, most notable in the Caribbean with Grenada in developing trouble and the BBC World Service highlighted the rapid, continuing acidification of the Arctic Ocean.
    Honestly, why does anyone consider it worth living given the inevitable death, taxes and climate change?


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      handjive

      Checking that sea level rise in the Caribbean:

      On the Top Ten List of Luxury Island Resorts, Virgin Gorda, discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, is considered one of the most scenic of the British Virgin Islands.

      Famous for its sailing, translucent waters and beautiful beaches this little slice of heaven has also escaped much of the modern development that has swept the Caribbean.

      Virgin Gorda is also home to a spectacular rock formation called The Baths and the adjoining Devil’s Bay beach.
      .

      For $7,000 a night you can monitor sea level rise. Recording acidity is free when swimming.


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      gai

      If you want to complain about climate change wait for a Dansgaard-Oeschger event or the slide into glaciation. A piddling 1C changes is NOTHING!

      “Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises” (2002)
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1
      Executive Summary

      “…Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age….

      Dr. Richard B. Alley chaired the National Research Council on Abrupt Climate Change. for well over a decade and in 1999 was invited to testify about climate change by Vice President Al Gore. In 2002, the NAS (Alley chair) published the above book.


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    Bite Back

    So the boom went bust, did it? How sad!

    Seems like that’s been happening a lot lately. There must be a lesson in there somewhere. Isn’t it called, honest markets?

    I’m not really sad of course. This is the natural result of stupidity. So let it play out and be done with it. But that will be the last thing our “leaders” will think of. I expect they’ll protect the guilty at the expense of the innocent as always. :-(


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    Wally

    This is pretty simple. It’s just another case of a business failing for 2 reasons:

    1. Any business dependant on government subsidy is asking for trouble. Governments can and will change rules or subsidies at any moment, which changes the business case overnight. Such businesses are fragile, dependent upon government largesse, and are therefore highly risky.

    2. Any business that slashes margins, or even runs at a deliberate loss, in order to grow market share is also being poorly run and presents a high risk.

    When you put 2 high risk business practices together there are inevitable failures. I have little sympathy for the management or investors who should (according to efficient market theory) be well aware of how the business is being run and what the regulatory environment is that the business works in. Knowing the risks, don’t complain about the inevitable failures.


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    tckev

    Solar energy relies on a non-renewable source anyway.
    Tell me where do you get another sun when you’ve worn this one out?

    :-)


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    WheresWallace

    It’s not all bad news in the solar industry.

    Loan Program Made Infamous By Solyndra Has Created 20,000 Jobs While Its Cost To Taxpayers Is Shrinking

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/07/1977001/loan-program-20000-jobs/

    Large-Scale Solar Power Plants Now Cost Effective in Oregon

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/07/1975731/large-scale-solar-power-plants-now-cost-effective-in-oregon/


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    • #

      Great. 20,000 more people who might as well be paid to cast spells to change the weather. How is the country richer by tying up people doing something useless?

      And solar is “cost effective”? I’ll believe it when I see it. The Executive summary states:
      “In 2011 solar energy economics changed. Energy from best-­‐practice large-­‐scale solar power plants became cheaper than Oregon’s electric utilities
      avoided costs of fossil-­‐fuel electricity generation.”

      “However, this future is not guaranteed. Formidable market barriers including availability of suitable land, transmission and distribution system constraints, lack of cost-­‐effective financing and others inhibit building out the solar resource. Solar energy needs access to sufficient land that is close enough to the electric transmission and distribution system.”

      So as long as someone gifts them lots of land close to areas that need electricity that has no better use, and interest rates fall below their already-historically-small-level, and we take into account how much CO2 emissions theoretically cost assuming (with no evidence) that relative humidity stays constant in a warming world, THEN solar in oregan can be called “Cost effective”.

      Is that right?


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        Just on this same point, available land, that bastion of green environmentalism, California, had to actually build their one of their Concentrating Solar Plants in the Mojave Desert. I mean, no one wants to live there, so the land (1800 Acres required for this plant) could be actually used for something. They had to construct the infrastructure to get the power to the California grid.

        The plant, just to construct the thing, cost $1.6 Billion, and they secured a Government loan, (at mates rates) for $1.2 Billion.

        So, here we have two huge solar fields, and in this case this is a parabolic trough design plant, in other words, the parabolic mirrors on a horizontal plane in long parallel rows with the compound passed through pipes at the focal point, with the mirrors following the Sun throughout the day.

        There is no capacity for heat diversion at all, so probably the best you’ll get on a bright clear Sunny Summer day, and hey, this is a desert after all, you could conceivably have generation from the time it takes for the compound to actually reach its molten state enough to make steam to drive the turbine to drive the generator, from around 9AM till the compound goes less than molten, say 4PM, and that’s the best case scenario. Over an average year that might average out at around three and half to four hours a day, and that’s about the top Capacity Factor for these types of plant around 12 to 16%.

        So, each Solar Field is hooked up to a generator capable of generating 125MW.

        So here we have 250MW in all at a CF of 16% tops, generating around 350GWH each year.

        Pretty impressive eh!

        For some perspective, that’s around the same power delivered by Bayswater in 7 days, five and a half if all 4 generators are in operation.

        All that for only $1.6 Billion.

        Solar and bang for buck sort of don’t go in the sentence together, eh!

        But hey, don’t worry, it’s somewhere out there in the desert.

        Tony.


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          gai

          Actually Tony in this case you are incorrect. First a lot of people (Desert Rats) were evicted from their homes with no compensation.
          From 2011:

          L.A. County’s Private Property War

          …The men demanded her driver’s license, telling her, “This building is not permitted — everything must go.” Normally sassy, Marcelle handed over her ID — even her green card, just in case. Stepping out, she realized that her 1,000-square-foot cabin was surrounded by men with drawn guns. “You have no right to be here,” one informed her. Baffled and shaking with fear, she called her daughter — please come right away.

          As her ordeal wore on, she heard one agent, looking inside their comfortable cabin, say to another: “This one’s a real shame — this is a real nice one.”

          A “shame” because the authorities eventually would enact some of the most powerful rules imaginable against rural residents: the order to bring the home up to current codes or dismantle the 26-year-old cabin, leaving only bare ground….

          Tough code enforcement has been ramped up in these unincorporated areas of L.A. County, leaving the iconoclasts who chose to live in distant sectors of the Antelope Valley frightened, confused and livid….

          L.A. Weekly found in a six-week investigation that county inspectors and armed DA investigators also are pursuing victimless misdemeanors and code violations, with sometimes tragic results. The government can define land on which residents have lived for years as “vacant” if their cabins, homes and mobile homes are on parcels where the land use hasn’t been legally established. Some have been jailed for defying the officials in downtown Los Angeles, while others have lost their savings and belongings trying to meet the county’s “final zoning enforcement orders.” Los Angeles County has left some residents, who appeared to be doing no harm, homeless….

          Take note that this happened to the people living in the Antelope Valley

          Largest Solar Power Plant In World Now Under Construction
          April 29, 2013

          MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. have just marked the start of the 579-Megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects with a community celebration….

          Once completed, the solar projects are expected to produce enough energy to power approximately 400,000 average California homes with clean, renewable solar power.

          According to Paul Caudill, president of MidAmerican Solar:

          The Antelope Valley Solar Projects are already creating needed jobs and economic opportunity in local communities, while at the same time, providing direct, long-term environmental benefits. We look forward to continuing our involvement in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and, as we move forward, in the surrounding areas.

          MidAmerican Solar owns the Antelope Valley Solar Projects, while SunPower is designing and developing the projects and is the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor.

          Next notice Sunpower

          Solargate Spreads
          New revelations suggest that the brewing scandal involving the solar panel industry may run much deeper than the failed Solyndra company…. officials at at least four other solar companies that received billions in loan guarantees have donated large sums of money to prominent Democrats like President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Barbara Boxer. In addition, tumbling stock prices suggest that some, if not all, of the companies in question may be heading for financial trouble…

          According to The Daily Caller’s John Rossomando:

          Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States. Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.

          … In the same vein, SunPower, spent almost $300,000 in lobbying fees with a close confidante of Harry Reid’s, as well as making hefty campaign donations to influential Democrats.

          Meanwhile, the value of these companies appears to be dropping precipitously. The price of both SolarReserve and SunPower stock has dropped more than sixty per cent in just a few months… Nonetheless, not only have they received billions in federal loan guarantees, the Department of Energy just authorized a billion more….

          Since I linked these three articles I am sure Looney Lew will now label me as a Conspiracy Theorist /sarc


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        WheresWallace

        Again Joanne your link is broken.

        I can’t see where the article say people will be casting spells. Delving into such ridiculous rhetoric doesn’t further the debate on climate change.

        —–

        REPLY: I didn’t say it did. Solar works just like “spells do”. Link Fixed. – Jo


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      Roy Hogue

      It’s not all bad news in the solar industry.

      Don’t bet on it.

      Loan Program Made Infamous By Solyndra Has Created 20,000 Jobs While Its Cost To Taxpayers Is Shrinking

      Large-Scale Solar Power Plants Now Cost Effective in Oregon

      Only in somebody’s dreams.

      If you want debate, debate with TonyfromOz. Don’t throw around this kind of propaganda. :-)


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    theRealUniverse

    Inconvenient Facts for the [SNIP names] that post troll on this site and any Govt. agents that may frequent it..
    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews13No13.pdf


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    crakar24

    This from Bolt is surely more worthy of debate rather than the merits of reducing your power bill via solar panels

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/combets_mendacious_carbon_scheme_collapses_tax_cut_pulled/


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    • #
      gai

      But…..but…..but…..it has been really hot in Australia…and…..and….and…we have a drought what more evidence do you filthy nazi loving deniers need
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      YOu missed this one at Ice Age Now

      Wintry blast to hit New Zealand

      “While it is still very cold on the Northern Hemisphere, an early “cold outbreak” will hit the other hemisphere,” says reader. “That’s how ice ages start.”
      free payday loans online

      Snow, heavy showers and hail are expected during the weekend – with forecasters predicting icy weather to send temperatures plummeting for New Zealand’s coldest weekend of the year yet.

      The MetService says a cold outbreak is expected over the South Island on Sunday, and snow may fall to 300-400m. There is a chance of heavy snow about the hills and ranges on Sunday and early Monday….

      No doubt Mother Nature will be targeting Australia next


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    pete of perth

    Tony might have a comment.

    A workmate has recently installed solar but was surprised he received a large power bill. Turns out that the voltage limits set for feeding electrons back into the grid were exceded by the voltage in the local grid and thus the smart-meter did not feed into the grid. The voltage in the local grid is effected by adjacent solar panels. Are these limits divulged during the sales pitch?

    Pete


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      crakar24

      Are you talking about the taps on the transformers?

      Or has your mate got a digital meter and not a smart meter?


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        crakar24

        HA, red thumb for asking a question, no doubt the thumbs downer has no idea what the answer is but still give a thumbs down what kind of person would do such a thing…..sore loser? vindictive idiot? who knows.


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          Graeme No.3

          You may have a troll enemy.
          As we know, trolls have difficulty reading things.
          Even more difficulty understanding plain simple facts, however often it is explained to them.

          But looking at 49.1.1 it appears that it is angry and lashing out at anything that moves.


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            crakar24

            Yes Graeme they tend to lash out at concepts they do not understand, however i view red thumbs as a term of endearment. Its not the number of red ones that make me laugh its the lack of thought that goes into their application.

            Cheers


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    crakar24

    Here is something more important than a dodgy link from Dick Ed

    http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2013/05/republican-introduces-bill-to-require.html

    What do you think will be the result if they put a politician in charge of the peer review process?


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      gai

      I think Science is already too politicized and this will spell the end of true science and the age of US Lysankoism. I do not care WHAT party came up with the idiotic suggestion.

      Open Review via the internet is what works.


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