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India, China: Clean dust, pollution off solar panels every two months, and still lose up to 35% of production?

How often do you clean your solar panels? Spare a thought for the poor sods in the Middle East, India and China, where migratory dust coats solar panels and hangs around in the air, blocking incoming sunlight. Researchers in India who cleaned their panels every few weeks and discovered that they got a 50% jump in efficiency each time. If the cleanings happened every two months, the total losses were 25 to 35 percent.

The article very much blames human pollution for half the capacity loss, but in the detail, the press release admits that 92% of the dust on each panel was natural. Apparently human made particles are smaller and stickier which makes the 8% human-emitted-dust equivalent to the 92% of other dust.

Either way, real pollution and natural dust will slow the clean-green-energy future in India and China until we get auto-cleaning panels or roof slaves. Unfortunately, cleaning panels also risks damaging them, so the price of solar power really needs to include the cost of windscreen-wipers/slaves, electricity losses, damage to panels, and damage to the panel cleaners too.

But solar panels will definitely power all the other parts of the world that are near enough to the equator and not in the path of flying dust, pollution, or under too many clouds, and especially those with electricity demand that peaks at 12 noon daily, which no modern country does.

– Jo

Air pollution casts shadow over solar energy production

Hardest-hit areas are big solar investors: China, India, Arabian peninsula

[Science Daily] Global solar energy production is taking a major hit due to air pollution and dust.

According to a new study, airborne particles and their accumulation on solar cells are cutting energy output by more than 25 percent in certain parts of the world. The regions hardest hit are also those investing the most in solar energy installations: China, India and the Arabian Peninsula.

The study appears online June 23 in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

“My colleagues in India were showing off some of their rooftop solar installations, and I was blown away by how dirty the panels were,” said Michael Bergin, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University and lead author of the study. “I thought the dirt had to affect their efficiencies, but there weren’t any studies out there estimating the losses. So we put together a comprehensive model to do just that.”

With colleagues at the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Bergin measured the decrease in solar energy gathered by the IITGN’s solar panels as they became dirtier over time. The data showed a 50-percent jump in efficiency each time the panels were cleaned after being left alone for several weeks.

The researchers also sampled the grime to analyze its composition, revealing that 92 percent was dust while the remaining fraction was composed of carbon and ion pollutants from human activity. While this may sound like a small amount, light is blocked more efficiently by smaller humanmade particles than by natural dust. As a result, the human contributions to energy loss are much greater than those from dust, making the two sources roughly equal antagonists in this case.

“The humanmade particles are also small and sticky, making them much more difficult to clean off,” said Bergin. “You might think you could just clean the solar panels more often, but the more you clean them, the higher your risk of damaging them.”

Having previously analyzed pollutants discoloring India’s Taj Mahal, Bergin already had a good idea of how these different particles react to sunlight. Using his earlier work as a base, he created an equation that accurately estimates the amount of sunlight blocked by different compositions of solar panel dust and pollution buildup.

But grimy buildup on solar panels isn’t the only thing blocking sunlight — the ambient particles in the air also have a screening effect.

For that half of the sun-blocking equation, Bergin turned to Drew Shindell, professor of climate sciences at Duke and an expert in using the NASA GISS Global Climate Model.

Because the climate model already accounts for the amount of the sun’s energy blocked by different types of airborne particles, it was not a stretch to estimate the particles’ effects on solar energy. The NASA model also estimates the amount of particulate matter deposited on surfaces worldwide, providing a basis for Bergin’s equation to calculate how much sunlight would be blocked by accumulated dust and pollution.

The resulting calculations estimate the total loss of solar energy production in every part of the world. While the United States has relatively little migratory dust, more arid regions such as the Arabian Peninsula, Northern India and Eastern China are looking at heavy losses — 17 to 25 percent or more, assuming monthly cleanings. If cleanings take place every two months, those numbers jump to 25 or 35 percent.

There are, of course, multiple variables that affect solar power production both on a local and regional level. For example, a large construction zone can cause a swift buildup of dust on a nearby solar array.

The Arabian Peninsula loses much more solar power to dust than it does humanmade pollutants, Bergin said. But the reverse is true for regions of China, and regions of India are not far behind.

“China is already looking at tens of billions of dollars being lost each year, with more than 80 percent of that coming from losses due to pollution,” said Bergin. “With the explosion of renewables taking place in China and their recent commitment to expanding their solar power capacity, that number is only going to go up.”

“We always knew these pollutants were bad for human health and climate change, but now we’ve shown how bad they are for solar energy as well,” continued Bergin. “It’s yet another reason for policymakers worldwide to adopt emissions controls.”

This work was supported by the US Agency for International Development and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Duke University.

 

Press Release

REFERENCE

Bergin, M.H., Ghoroi, C., Dixit, D., James Jay Schauer, Drew Shindell. (2017) Large reductions in solar energy production due to dust and particulate air pollutionEnvironmental Science & Technology Letters, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00197

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India, China: Clean dust, pollution off solar panels every two months, and still lose up to 35% of production?, 9.2 out of 10 based on 116 ratings

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117 comments to India, China: Clean dust, pollution off solar panels every two months, and still lose up to 35% of production?

  • #
    Don A

    I just noticed today how dirty our panels are. This is a good motivation to get up on the roof with a hose and a mop. What wonderful fun!

    130

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Or, if things were left to the market to determine, just stay hooked to the grid for plentiful and cheap electricity.

      Then you could let the power company do any mopping that might be required. ;-)

      When I was growing up we lived in Los Angeles and the DWP used to send out trucks with a tall pole it could raise up with a high pressure nozzle on the top of it and they sprayed washed the dirt off the high voltage insulators. I suppose that could be called mopping. But I haven’t seen that done in years.

      I suspect the losses from dirty insulators can get quite high because when I could hear a lot better than I can now I could hear those power lines sizzle when there was a heavy fog.

      90

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        I couldn’t hear it, but the kids could hear the 330kv line at our place crackling when they increased the voltage to 500kv. That line had bundles of 4 aluminium cables about 3 cm in diameter, the bundle about knee high to the blokes working on them. The bundling is to reduce the power loss into the air while keeping the cable diameter down to what can be coiled and transported on the road.

        It was not uncommon to have pole top fires when light rain followed a period of drought, that at just 11 or 22 kv. Damping of the accumulated dust made it conductive.

        70

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        You’re right Roy.

        As I’ve noted here previously I’ve been doing the financials on domestic Solar PVs for about ten years or so now and I have never been able to get the figures to show when I’d be better off financially by installing them. My analysis never included the cost of annual cleaning either. Add that in to the panels’ (fictitious) 20 year lifespan and it makes solar PVs a worse financial sink than they already are.

        Time for the ACCC to investigate the solar PV advertising that undertaken in this country. It looks like very false advertising to anybody with a modicum of scepticism.

        70

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        They sprayed it with a nozzle on a pole? Wimps!

        Our guys just climb up and do it. Mind you, they wear the right protective gear – rubber fetish anyone?

        The sizzle you get in a heavy fog is actually very small bolts of lightning! Just a few microns or so. In a really heavy fog, the pyrotechnics can be better than fireworks, especially when you have high voltage transformers and switch-gear involved.

        11

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Wimps? Well, when the insulators look like they are 7 or 8 inches in length, possibly more, with multiple sections making the actual surface area along which there could be a path to the crossarm and thence to ground even longer than 7 or 8 inches, it looks like plain old good judgment to me.

          Mind you, the insulators are way up in the air and I have no good way to accurately judge the length but they aren’t puny little 10 or 15 kV lines.

          But you’re right, Edison people can go up there and stay safe with insulating gloves and insulation to cover the cables (wires?). That’s putting a lot of faith in your equipment and I have nothing but respect for those who do it.

          Near me there is a major high voltage line coming from a generating plant on the coast with insulators I’m told are 14 feet long (4.6 M). I’m also told that any one of those lines can throw an arc 11 feet (3.6 M). Edison people climb up on those lines too. Just the thought of going up there makes me weak in the knees. If anyone has a good guess at the voltage I’d like to know, just to satisfy my curiosity.

          00

    • #
      sophocles

      There is a solution to the problem. The automotive industry has routinely fitted windscreen wipers since before WWII and windscreen washers since, so the cleaning technology exists and is cheaply manufactured. It just needs adapting, slightly. :-)

      30

      • #
        sophocles

        Add a little electronic sensor to monitor cells output and switch the cleaning gear on when it has dropped by a predetermined amount and it has become fit and forget. Plumbing and power consumption will impact power delivery a bit.

        But at least they will be bright and shiny. :-)

        10

    • #
      Michael P Walsh

      “Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney-sweepers, come to dust”

      10

  • #
    cedarhill

    And the Left will simply take that as special feature of solar – increased jobs. Later, they’ll say they need more immigrants to do the cleaning the locals won’t or can’t do. Every Left induced disaster is a benefit, you see.

    240

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      We can be sure that that is their plan. And it will still be their plan when they find out that the panels need cleaning up to twice a week.

      Then they will discover that the abrasion from the cleaning halves the life of the panels.

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    • #
      bullocky

      I expect the cleaning and servicing of roof mounted solar systems will need to be carried out by a ‘Certified PV Maintenance Technician’ (more jobs in ‘training’, too!), lest the terms of the home insurance contract be violated.
      The cost of such will be deemed ‘home maintenance’ rather than be factored in as ‘cost of electricity’.

      150

      • #

        Sorta like this crowd, eh!

        Nice little earner.

        Tony.

        121

        • #
          george

          Haha
          “ARE YOUR POWER BILLS INCREASING?”
          Yes, they will, by about 18% from Saturday in fact.
          Should I still call that solar panel nano-coating mob, Tony?
          Oh, wait…I don`t have solar…hmmm, what to do…
          ;)

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        • #
          Raven

          Hehe . . “Get NANO”

          It’s the “Ming” of solar panels . . .

          40

        • #
          Geoff

          Become your own power station and maintenance crew.

          Yes you got rid of that nasty power company who constantly sent you a bill every month. You are pleased you got screwed by Big Solar (China) and Big Government (Paid by China etc).

          What scheme to get re-elected will the government come up with next?

          Now they tax and trade the air we breathe!

          When will the wheel tax begin anew?

          Then there was the window tax.

          The cash tax.

          The tax on electricity not delivered.

          The gas tax on potential gas.

          The tax on our dreams.

          70

        • #
          toorightmate

          No more rainwater residue???
          I presume they clean with distilled water.

          00

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Tony’s ad for the nano clean mob has a testimonial that tells us that it costs “only” $14 per panel to get the treatment. So on a 20 panel installation that’s $280 pa. and over 20 years that’s $5,600. Add that to your cost of electricity.

          In another of the testimonials we see a poor punter saying it’s a good deal because he saved $150 for the 12 month period. And he’ll be getting the clean next year too. So over twenty years it’s worth $3,000 to him. He doesn’t tell us the cost.

          None of them say how many panels they have installed though. Call me sceptical.

          It’s time the ACCC undertook an investigation into domestic solar advertising. It has a very fake smell about it and the poor old punters are wearing it.

          20

          • #

            Here in New Zealand your chimney cleaner is now obliged to put scaffolding up before he can get to work. They have evolved a way to clean the chimney from inside the house, which unfortunately, leaves the top bit un-inspected. This reportedly has the effect of increasing chimney fires.

            You can’t clean solar panels from inside, so add the cost of scaffolding to your solar panel cleaning budget. Ballpark figure ~$700. And if you think you’d get away without the scaffolding, there are enough citizens with Stasi-like inclinations to nark on you before you got the hose out.

            20

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I’ll definitely be using this treatment again next year” … and the year after, and the year after that …

          “Thank you for my clean … I will be back in 12 months for another clean” … and the year after, and the year after that …

          “I went to check on the output today to see how they were going and the output it was producing is more than what it was when the panels were new” … So it must be magic … or perhaps the installers put up grubby panels in the first place …

          Where do they find these people?

          40

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        True bullocky. If there is one thing we see over and over is that the left/greenies will fight tooth and nail and make the most outrageous and obviously false claims to hide the true cost of unreliables.

        100

  • #
    Leon

    Jo, in deferance to your normally quite considered comments what made you drop down to using slave references in this article?

    211

    • #
      Raven

      I wondered a little about that too, but realistically, solar subsidies are making slaves of all of us.

      60

    • #
      el gordo

      Roof Slaves

      The work is labour intensive and low paid, a wage slave without a future.

      On the other hand its a great opportunity to start up a very small business and become a slaver, its the free enterprise model.

      30

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      How do you get experience in the panel cleaning business? You start at the top, and work your way down.

      50

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      But in answer to Leon, slavery is “severe toil, exhausting labour, drudgery” [Oxford Shorter].

      Given that it is something that people will be forced, by circumstance, to do repeatedly, and on a regular basis, I think the word is a very apt. Of course people could just cover their roof with panels, and never clean them. But then, the whole proposition becomes a farce, because they would be no more beneficial than tiles.

      20

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Ah yes. Maintenance. That’s MAINTENANCE. As in, spending the resources needed to take care of stuff.
    The inception features ribbon-cuttings, photo ops, plaques lauding the creators(or enablers), and great celebration.
    The inability or unwillingness to realize and provide for maintenance is the single biggest reason behind the
    collapse of progressive governance institutions, both physical and political.

    We don’t put enough maintenance funding into either our road and bridges or pension funds.

    They meet the same fate, deferred maintenance being the opposite of compound interest.

    Money grows nicely if you leave it alone, and so does debt.

    We rail against the obvious abuses of power, while subtle but equally damaging erosion on the budgetary side goes unnoticed.
    The folks who built the highway system in the US weren’t completely daft. If your road is going to be pounded by 20 ton lorries
    and attacked annually by frost heave, they will need some work every year. A highway trust fund, ‘dedicated’ to te purpose, was established and
    paid in by users, in an unusual bit of government foresight. But it was much more rewarding to build bike lanes and transport museums than inspect bridges
    and fix potholes, so here we are.

    Solar, and even more wind, have well understood and pretty short maintenance and replacement cycles.
    Windmills, in particular, aren’t much different that aircraft, with hourly operating, maintenance and replacement reserves required.

    It isn’t to hard to grasp the concept of capital cost, direct operating cost, indirect operating cost, and replacement cost amortization.
    Unless you have the progressive mental image of income as a spigot you can turn on at will by taxing the rich, and costs as something you
    can legislate onto the backs of others.

    The hulabaloo 15 years or so from now when the life cycle of all our first generation ‘alternative’ energy devices is ending will be something to behold, for
    those who consume media that choose to report upon same.

    200

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Precisely Richard. The state of Illinois (dominated by Chicago)has followed the policy of deferring, hiding, and not spending on maintenance of public pensions (they would rather hire more public employees, up their pension benefits and garner union votes than try to solve the problems). As a result, the borrowed more and more to meet immediate budgets, without any significant efforts to properly manage their debts. This is a characteristic inbred into Democrats almost without exception.
      Illinois is now being called the Venezuela of American states, and with very good reason. Illinois bond ratings have been lowered to junk and their appears no way out. Unlike companies or cities, states in the US are prohibited from declaring bankruptcy under federal law.
      The solution is not obvious for past malfeasance. But for the future, the solution is to consider voting for Democrats and other “progressive” socialists as akin to voting for cancer, gangrene, or plague.

      90

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Sorry. …there appears….
        Just thinking of leftists gives me the shakes, shivers, and all sorts of maladies.

        30

  • #
    Crakar24

    I look around at panels in my area, most don’t face north, some face east and west have even seen some face south. Nearly all are at the wrong and many are in shade. I think dust is the least of their problems.

    110

    • #
      Crakar24

      Nearly all are at the wrong ANGLE (sorry fly)

      70

    • #
      Tom R Hammer

      I live in the US and there are similar issues locally here. Panels installed facing north of east and west, installations in part shade and future shade (amazes me the number of PV owners who subsequently ignore trees that continue to grow and spread shade over their expensive PV panels), and a majority of home and business owners who have no concern regarding dust and pollution and bird deposits. The local utility provider talks a good game, but it knows where it’s political bread is buttered and isn’t going to challenge its political masters, so we’re looking forward to more of the same.

      100

  • #
    Glen Michel

    Sorry to insert my frustration so early on in the piece.But just try and explain anything to a green/socialist idiot.Forget a diplomatic approach with much nodding of empathy etc. dust on solar panels .Who woulda thunk!

    90

  • #
    Glen Michel

    Oh,moderation . Trying to isolate the offending word.

    10

  • #
    toorightmate

    Funny stuff is dust.
    Three coal mines that I am aware of in QLD which commenced operations in the past 35 years had background levels of dust measured for up to 5 years prior to commencing operations.
    In each case, the background dust levels were LESS THAN Brisbane.
    These mines are in the Bowen Basin.
    My own observation is that the dust in outback Australia does not carry the black grime of the dust in major population centres.
    And, sure as sh*t, the black grime ain’t carbon dioxide.
    The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

    201

    • #
      TdeF

      Dust is very normal in desert areas. Beijing can get 1cm of sand from the Gobi every year. The city is growing upwards. Italy gets so much sand from the Sirocco off Africa that the Roman ruins are 15 meters underground. In Australia, it only takes a wind to push dust around and the dust storms of North America are legendary.

      Quite apart from that, the energy intensity is not greatest on average at the equator. Too much cloud, monsoons and while they have closer to equal day and night, the nights are 12 hours, so no bonus in summer and it is summer all the time. At the solstice, the sun is actually over the Tropics, 22 degrees north or south.

      If you want brilliant blue cloudless skies, try Perth or Adelaide. The sad fact is though that industry needs much more than solar. The insolation is just not enough to power us unless we had solar panels over ten thousand square miles. Now try wiping that down, if you can find any water. As for the batteries, they would be the size of Mount Everest, limited in lifespan and a cost in the trillions not even counting the wiring and pollution.

      No, the only answer to power is nuclear, once we have run out of coal. There is no alternative yet, really just toy stuff, druidic sun and water and wind worship. They have no idea how much power 10 million Smart phones take or 5 million motor cars or even 10 million toasters when the sun is just rising and people want hot water.

      120

      • #
        clive

        The car batteries used in a Tesla generate as much CO2 as driving a gasoline-powered car for eight years. And that’s before they even come off the production line.

        This news, from a study by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, will no doubt delight all those U.S. taxpayers who have been forking out billions of dollars to prop up Tesla’s share price having been assured by their government that subsidizing overpriced electric cars represents a vital step towards “combating climate change.”

        The report, commissioned by the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency, cannot easily be dismissed because it is a meta-analysis (ie a summary) of all the available studies on the subject.
        Via James Delingpole@breitbart.

        90

        • #
          TdeF

          Couple that with expected Lithium battery lifetimes and it becomes a scam.

          The Wikepedia article says “batteries of mobile phones, or other hand-held devices in daily use, are not expected to last longer than three years. ” As Musk’s Tesla has the equivalent of 7,000 Lithium phone batteries with an 8 year CO2 debt and 3 years expected lifespan, it is twice as bad as driving a conventional car plus the actual CO2 from the coal power station, making it three times as bad. Still if the batteries are made in China, the CO2 stays in China. Right?

          50

          • #
            TdeF

            Also consider that the three year life expectancy of batteries is based on cycles. However if you do not actually use your phone much or drive your Tesla anywhere, it will last much longer. Do you feel better?

            However your tesla is already 8 years in debt so if you do not drive anywhere in 8 years, not only have you wasted your money, your car CO2 output is still as great as anyone else’s. Clever.

            40

    • #
      Annie

      When we lived in an inner city suburb of Melbourne the black dust around the house had to be seen to be believed. We were on a busy road where there were also trams. I think I prefer counntry dust.

      70

      • #
        Geoff

        Ain’t diesel a wonderful thing….not. Its only killing you slowly so don’t get worried. Think of all those diesel gen sets we are installing to combat windmillitis of Tassy rent seekers. One genny per windmill. As the light crude reserves run down we can all look forward to a diesel future. Reality will slow suffocate us even as we madly install windmills and panels.

        40

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I always laugh at diesel. The worst offenders are the euro car owners who up until recently looked smug until the reality was that certain manufacturers were gaming the tests. It seemed counter intuitive- logically, how could any engine that burns sludge be cleaner than petrol. Anyway, the cover was blown, and not before time. And now we have a proliferation of dirty urban tractors running around. Own goal….( 4wd exempt of course…)

          50

          • #
            Bobl

            Not particularly true. Diesel is probably as clean as petrol but is more energy efficient so you burn less per hour.

            10

      • #
        Dennis

        When I lived in North Sydney not far from the Harbour Bridge there was black sticky soot covering window ledges and other surfaces, and even inside.

        Solar panels would need very regular cleaning to maintain maximum efficiency.

        30

        • #
          Bulldust

          Here’s the thing. The dust in the air may cause some cooling (I presume) but it reduces the energy received by the solar panel. So clean up the WMD (Woman Made Dust … why must it always be Man Made? That’s sexist, plus it doesn’t spell WMD) and the panels work better to run the air conditioners you need because of the extra energy hitting the earth’s surface. Yeah, makes sense.

          10

      • #
        Binny

        Most of that black dust is tyre rubber.
        Some what ironically electric cars have rubber tyres.

        40

        • #
          Dennis

          And producing batteries for them creates about the same amount of CO2 as an average fossil fuel powered car emissions over eight years of driving.

          30

        • #
          Bobl

          Was gonna say that, mixture of Tyre rubber , bitumen and brake linings.

          10

    • #
      sophocles

      The black grime = rubber dust + diesel soot (more rubber than diesel).

      20

  • #
    ROM

    In tropical regions the big solar panel pollutant is mostly moss growth from the very high humidities experienced in tthe tropics.

    From Malaysia via Sciencedirect;

    Influence of Dirt Accumulation on Performance of PV Panels [ 2014 ]

    This work was done under somewhat artificial conditions using artificial lights as the source of the PV illumination.
    The counter is that the condions were controllable and [ assumed to be] identical in each phase of the research..

    Abstract;
    Accumulation of dirt or particles like dust, water, sand and moss on the surface of solar photovoltaic panel obstruct or distract light energy from reaching the solar cells. This is a major problem since the light obstruction materials pose as external resistances that reduce solar photovoltaic performance.
    The present work was performed to analyze the effects of accumulation of such dirt or particle son the output performances of solar panel. Experiments using different obstruction materials were conducted under controlled conditions using spotlights to simulate source of solar radiation.
    It was found that the external resistance could reduce the photovoltaic performance by up to 85%.

    &

    4. Conclusions
    This study shows that opaque particles tremendously affect the performance of solar PV, in particular moss, which could reduce the output power by up to 86%. To overcome these problems, a proper maintenance operation for the solar panels would be necessary. Particles like dust and sand can be reduced naturally when washed away by rain but for moss proper cleaning would be required. The study also concludes that water droplet from rain would not significantly affect the performance of solar panel.

    —————–

    And the volumes of commercial PV panel cleaning water and cooling water for solar towers required;

    Water Requirements for Large-Scale Solar Energy Projects in the West [ USA ]

    This study estimates how much water would be required to meet Renewable Portfolio Standards for electricity generation in five western states if 100 percent of this demand were supplied by solar power. Future renewable electricity demand (net of current supplies) is estimated for 2025 and 2035.
    One scenario assumes the most water-intensive solar thermal technology supplies all this future demand.
    Although not a feasible scenario, the assumed water intensity (1057 gallons/MWh) provides an upper-bound estimate of solar power water consumption that may be compared with regional water balances. A second scenario assumes the water intensity of future projects is comparable to the average of solar projects actually being deployed.
    Water intensity for these 34 projects with 8.7 GW of capacity averages 228 gallons/MWh – a lower rate than many conventional electricity facilities (i.e., coal, natural gas, nuclear).
    Water requirements by 2035 would be 0.8 percent of regional consumptive use of water under the upper bound scenario and 0.2 percent of consumptive use based on current, average water intensities.

    .
    Not included in this water useage figure is the fact that the big centralised power generators such as coal and gas and nuclear are built close to large sources of cooling water.

    Widely distributed and spread solar generators will generally be built some distance often well out into dry desert type regions and far from any sources of cooling water which then has to be piped to and then distributed over the large acreages of the solar farms and in volumes that in total are not much less that is used by the fossil and nuclear fuelled generators.
    ————

    And then every twenty or so years the whole solar farm mess has to be decommissioned and cleaned up as the farm’s solar panels / solar system’s performance declines by its normal anywhere from a best of 0.5% per year up to 4.5% per year and becomes economically unprofitable.

    91

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    The Left think that carpetting outback Australia will supply endless quantities of electricity. They ignore the losses in the lengthy transmission lines, the problems of dust in the atmosphere that can cut solar isolation by 50% on a ‘clear day’ and somewhat more in a dust storm which are not unknown out here. Now it appears that they will have to ignore the dust settling on the panels as well.

    Someone, I forget who, commented that the best place for solar in South Australia was near Mt. Gambier. It was cooler, so the panels performed more efficiently. The panels were washed regularly by rain, and consequently there was little dust in the atmosphere. I wonder how many red thumbs I will get from the gullible.

    183

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Solar is alright but nukes run at night.
      (So do all fossil fuel power plants.)

      80

    • #
      Dennis

      Cooler and therefore more efficient.

      Which is what an auto electrician explained to me yesterday regarding solar panels not performing well under very hot conditions in northern and central Australia.

      40

    • #
      Binny

      We use solar pumps in our livestock bores/wells. They work great, but the biggest killer of solar panels is heat. We have to budget 8-10 years on panel life.

      50

      • #
        Dennis

        So convenience factor high but cost effectiveness low?

        20

        • #
          Binny

          Still cost effective, mainly due to the ability to deliver when most needed. The alternative is windmills, huge capital outlay and dry season ‘wind droughts’ are common. However the service life is no where near the 20+ years advertised.

          30

    • #
      Bobl

      On the other hand the low latitude of mt Gambier means less insolation and dust can permanently scratch the glass. Solar panels should not be used where high velocity dust is present which is most of the interior. Solar cells don’t like frequent temperature cycling, the expansion/contraction causes micro fractures and premature aging.

      20

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    Gerry, England

    In response to a spam email about wasting money on installing solar panels, I replied to query what impact testing had been carried out on the panels. Anecdotal evidence from the last Little Ice Age suggests that large hailstones is a feature of such a period. On various blogs you might have seen mention of intense hailstorms with golf ball or larger hailstones over the last couple of years. The anecdotal evidence talks of milk bottle sized hailstones. Strangely, the solar panel pushers didn’t respond.

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      Dennis

      I have noted that sales and marketing material for solar systems do not mention the estimated working life before replacement would be needed and therefore the cost of future replacement, and factor that into the “savings” achieved.

      They also ignore financing cost, loss of income on monies invested or interest on the monies borrowed.

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      Dennis

      Looks like a new marketing opportunity for hail sensing hoods, and for motor vehicle protection too.

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        Annie

        That made me smile. I don’t know useful that would have been when we were hit by a massive storm in the Jura in France a few years back. We had huge hailstones falling for about an hour. The car was completely heavily mottled by the hailstones and we thought our UK insurance company would write the vehicle off (a Volvo V70). They decided to repair it and it took weeks, lending us a rather nasty little Alfa Romeo to use in the meantime. The cost was about £3,500 and the poor chap who did the work said it was the worst he’d ever tackled and there were plenty of others as the Leicester area in UK had had similar trouble with a storm. He could only do a certain amount at a time as his eyes boggled with the work. The odd dent can still be seen in certain lights (yes, we shipped that same vehicle to Aus).

        You’ll be glad to know that some of the hailstones came in useful. They were bouncing into our room from the windowsill so my husband used some in our Gin and Tonic!

        I cannot imagine how solar panels would survive such a storm. A lot of windscreens were smashed then.

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          Dennis

          Annie, a couple of years ago I just made it home as a hail storm started, luckily the gates were open but the shed was locked so I parked under a large leafy tree near my house. When the storm passed the car was covered in shredded green leaves and looked like it had been driven through a swamp. The ground was white with an inch or two of hail stones for a considerable distance around the area.

          I thought my vehicle was undamaged but as you commented, in certain light I can see tiny dents.

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          Gerry, England

          How strange but I think I recall that storm. I certainly remember a big storm in the Jura when I was there but not at my precise location.

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            Annie

            I think it was on the 30th June 2012 Gerry, England.

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              Annie

              I’ve just realised it’s the exact anniversary of that occurence.
              We’d watched that storm build up from the west throughout our drive up from the Haute Savoie (sp? still a bit jetlagged!). We had just unloaded our stuff into our room before the storm hit and we watched helplessly as the car was being damaged so badly. There was nowhere to put it under cover. It was a miracle the windscreen survived but all the slightly facing window seals were damaged to the point of needing total replacement. The bonnet was also replaced but the roof was gradually knocked pretty well straight by that long suffering man.

              According to our hostess, her mother in Geneva said the reports on the storm mentioned how many cars lost their windscreens.

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    As with all other green initiatives, these little hiccups with solar can be fixed simply by a proportional increase in…brochures, of course.

    Because when Aussies are being tested by harsh realities like dust, grime, hail, wear and tear etc our green bureaucracies State and Federal are always ready to help out with their very best…brochures!

    When the first fleeters were starving after the wreck of the Guardian, when the Japanese invaded New Guinea, when the Snowy needed to be harnessed…what pulled us through?

    That’s right. Government brochures.

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      Dennis

      Be fair, without government brochures, other advertising and silly road signs millions of public servants would be jobless.

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      ‘Brochures!’ And here I was thinking it was ‘courage.’

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Brochures are an inevitable by-product of memoranda. It is the Public Servant’s way of sharing the pain with the populace.

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        Graeme No.3

        A good brochure can involve many public servants for weeks, possibly months, what with preparation, meetings, consultation, meetings, redesigns, meetings, inclusion of minorities, meetings, costings, meetings, approval from on high (not that high RW) and final release.
        Whether anyone ever reads them, except when waiting in the foyer because the staff are all at meetings, is a moot point.

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    Yonniestone

    Dust is the least of the problems with solar panels, how about the thousands of tons of toxic waste accumulating from the dead ones!http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449026/solar-panel-waste-environmental-threat-clean-energy

    And before anyone mentions the nuclear power waste think of how much power nuclear generated compared to solar per ton, solar is almost creating waste for the sake of it.

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    john

    You should see all the solar farms along I-90 (and elsewhere) in Massachusetts…after a snow storm. It takes a couple of days before the snow self clear…add to that the short winter days.

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      OriginalSteve

      Ah yes but its all cleared by people whose houses have no electricity so they have to come along and clear off the snow….see, who says green schemes can’t create employment.

      One funny was when some places swapped from incandescent bulbs in traffic lights to LEDs and had many traffic accidents. The lights filled up with snow as previously the build heat had melted the snow and kept them clear of snow…

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    john

    You should see all the solar farms along I-90 (and elsewhere) in Massachusetts…after a snow storm. It takes a couple of days before the snow to self clear…add to that the short winter days.

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    Ken Stewart

    Also less known is that the hotter it gets, the less efficient solar panels are. IIRC 10% drop for each additional 5 degrees aver 20C (those figures might be off- can someone verify?).

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      Dennis

      I can’t verify but it is what an auto electrician told me yesterday about solar systems and northern/central Australia hot conditions.

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      Binny

      Yep I’m in the QLD dry tropics – 8 to 10 years is the life expectancy of the solar panels on our livestock bores.(heat damage) unless a hail storm gets them first, but we can insure against that.

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      RobK

      Ken,
      Nearly right, it’s about 4-5% drop for every 10deg C of panel temperature, which on a hot day can easily be 60-70deg C. That’s for a monocrystaline cell. If the panel is made up of poorly matched cells losses can be worse.

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    Dennis

    What about those commercial “solar farm” businesses, how often do they clean their panels, how many hours a day on average do they achieve an efficient production level and what is the time factor provided for to replace them at more cost?

    The question in my mind is: Are they cost effective businesses or just business taking advantage of government provided taxpayer money paid as subsidies?

    And are provisions made in accounting for replacement of equipment before profit and dividends to shareholders?

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    pat

    how many Aussies live by the sea? a cousin does, yet she was not informed about the need to clean the panels, or the perils of salty air.
    at least those who live by the sea and have owned solar hot water systems should be aware.

    picked a random forum to illustrate the solar industry’s failure to inform:

    Whirlpool Forum: Solar panel reliability close to ocean
    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2335868

    the letter has been published in the journal Nature! lol.

    29 Jun: Guardian: Fiona Harvey: World has three years left to stop dangerous climate change, warn experts
    Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres among signatories of letter warning that the next three years will be crucial to stopping the worst effects of global warming
    Warnings over global warming have picked up pace in recent months, even as the political environment has grown chilly with Donald Trump’s formal announcement of the US’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement. This year’s weather has beaten high temperature records in some regions…

    The authors, including former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, argue that the next three years will be crucial…

    Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, added: “The maths is brutally clear: while the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence [before] 2020.”…

    ***Coal use is showing clear signs of decline in key regions, including China and India…

    They set out six goals for 2020 which they said could be adopted at the G20 meeting in Hamburg on 7-8 July. These include increasing renewable energy to 30% of electricity use; plans from leading cities and states to decarbonise by 2050; 15% of new vehicles sold to be electric; and reforms to land use, agriculture, heavy industry and the finance sector, to encourage green growth…
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/world-has-three-years-left-to-stop-dangerous-climate-change-warn-experts

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    • #
      Allen Ford

      Ho, hum! How many times have we been warned, over the years, that there are only x years left before climageddon whacks us over the head, only to find in the fullness of time that the allotted time passes without incident, climate wise?

      I would not trust that malevolent pair to tell me the time, let alone take their gloomy predictions seriously.

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    pat

    comment in moderation re salt air…

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    Neville

    Here’s a solution, if you want to create jobs you could pay one group to dig holes and another group to fill them in.
    Or perhaps we could pay a group to smash windows and another group to replace the broken glass.
    According to Lomborg’s PR study on the Paris COP 21 BS and fra-d there would be no measurable difference by 2100 in temp at all. Surely smashing and digging is a much better way to waste endless trillions $ for the next 87 years and you wouldn’t have to clean the clueless solar panels?
    OH and the US govt EIA report tells us that co2 emissions will increase 34% by 2040. Little wonder then that Dr Hansen called COP 21 just BS and fra-d and said that a belief in S&W is like believing in the Tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. IOW S&W energy is a fairytale. Here’s Lomborg’s PR study link.

    http://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impact-of-paris-climate-promises

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      Neville

      Here’s the 2016 EIA report showing soaring co2 emissions until 2040. Of course nearly all the increase in co2 comes from the NON OECD countries.
      Their mitigation fra-d and con trick is probably the greatest porky told since humans stood on two legs.
      This multi trillion $ fra-d is so easy to understand, yet all govt’s and an unhealthy percentage of people seem to believe it.
      Remember it took Harry Markopoulas JUST 5 minutes to understand Bernie Madoff’s fra-dulent PONZI scheme but he had to fight for another 9 years before govt authorities started to act.
      And that record PONZI scheme was chicken feed compared to the mitigation of their so called CAGW.

      https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/emissions.pdf

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  • #
    pat

    any more “errors” and soon nothing in the “climate models” will be accurate!

    28 Jun: Nature: Overlooked water loss in plants could throw off climate models
    Errors could cause researchers to overestimate the rate of photosynthesis when water is scarce.
    by Heidi Ledford
    (Heidi writes about biology and medicine, and has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Heidi has written for The Oregonian, edited for the Berkeley Science Review, and freelanced for a few other publications)
    This in turn could jeopardize models of how individual leaves function and even of the global climate. The errors are particularly pronounced when a plant’s water supply is limited — a condition of increasing interest as plant breeders and climate scientists grapple with the effects of global warming.

    “If you’re trying to understand why a crop you’re growing or a particular plant is able to survive and do better under drier conditions, you may misinterpret that,” says plant physiologist David Hanson of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Hanson presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Honolulu, Hawaii, on 25 June…
    https://www.nature.com/news/overlooked-water-loss-in-plants-could-throw-off-climate-models-1.22206

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    Stephen Brown

    My nephew runs a game camp adjacent to the Lower Zambezi River Game Reserve in Zambia. He tried solar power to run the 12V lighting system he had for the accommodation units in his camp. It was an expensive installation and required a very large battery bank to hold the power generated during the day-light hours.
    After a few weeks it became obvious to him that the entire set-up had been a colossal waste of money.
    Why?
    He had to employ a full-time worker to keep the solar panels clean. No one knew what prompted birds to shit on the polished panels, but they did, far more frequently than would have been expected.
    Dust on the panels?
    It couldn’t be brushed off. This is real natural dust, the stuff with silaca in it. The Lower Zambezi Valley is about as far away from industrial pollution as you can get. This dust has to be WASHED off. Pump water. Hose the panels. Lose money doing so.
    Result for Chongwe.com was to install a state-of-the-art diesel generator. It is cheaper to run!

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      Dennis

      Travellers in Outback Australia note the many four trailer fuel tankers travelling on the roads supplying mines, pastoral properties, road houses, etc.

      Diesel generators are still the primary source of electricity away from electricity grid supply.

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    TdeF

    Interesting how distraction news works. The Australian is showing that Abbott’s boat policies are working. Morrison is threatening states about the utterly unfair GST distribution supporting South Australia for doing nothing and punishing Western Australia for mining. Then blaming bans on exploration for the lack of gas when we cannot even build a coal mine. No one blames the RET for the fact that coal and gas are so severely penalized that they are unsaleable at a profit?

    All hail solar panels and windmills! Free eternal energy? Not free, not eternal, not cheap, not reliable, not predictable (except at night), not adequate and utterly absurd for manufacturing which needs steady abundant, cheap power. Worse, the disposal of broken unusable windtowers and solar panels is a massive pollution problem and cost for the next generation. Solar panels would be banned under environmental heavy metal pollution laws, except that they are exempt. The next generation will not thank us for a polluted land with no jobs except as waiters.

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      el gordo

      ‘Interesting how distraction news works.’

      Tony says we should build coal fired power stations and Malcolm quickly comes out with his hydro scheme, pure politics.

      Now that the science is settled …

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      … a polluted land with no jobs except as waiters.

      They also serve, who only stand and wait.

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    Miner49er

    Everybody knew this twenty years ago. (think your car windshield.) Eyes wide closed happy talk leads to trillions of dollars of misinvestment.

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    Mark M

    Don’t forget snow & goose poop …

    “He’s developed a pretty cool system that uses a tracking set of sprayers to remove snow – and to wash the panels when they are dirty (did I mention that goose poop, yes, goose poop, has become a significant sun blocking issue on our system?).”

    http://solarchargeddriving.com/2012/02/07/lets-stop-brushing-off-snow-on-panels-problem/

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    Mark M

    The difference between this prediction of doomsday global warming and a previous prediction of doomsday global warming is that this time he really mean it …

    June 28, 2017: World has three years to save humanity from climate change, warn experts

    “The article was signed by more than 60 scientists, such as Professor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University …”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/world-climate-change-save-humanity-experts-global-warming-rising-sea-levels-food-a7813251.html

    April 1, 2014: Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036 by Michael Mann

    “The rate of global temperature rise mayhave hit a plateau, but a climate crisis still looms in the near future”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Armageddon in 2036, according to Scientific American.

      It is 2017 now, so Michael Mann is forecasting that the threat of climate change will stop or decrease round about the time when he retires.

      Now that coincidence, seems to be more than just coincidence, to me.

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    clipe

    Power failure here in Brampton, Ontario Canada. Running on laptop battery and google phone hot spot.

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact I just finished viewing a Katie Hopkins video? (;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTo0crpK8Zs

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      clipe

      Alright, I’m used to the occasional (non-weather related) short-term glitch, but this is getting too South Australian for my liking.

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    pat

    should have paid more attention to the fact Bruce Mountain, who warned about SA soon having the highest electricity prices in the world, is “director of energy and utilities consultancy firm, Carbon and Energy Markets.

    his many articles at RenewEconomy, incl –

    Solar and battery storage beating best retail offers in S.A. by a quarter

    Tesla’s price shock: Solar + battery as cheap as grid power

    Wholesale price rises whodunit: Gas or renewables?
    Renewable generation in SA has depressed wholesale prices compared to what they otherwise would have been…

    should have prepared me for the interview with 2GB’s Mike McClaren.
    he exonerates wind and solar early in the piece, but it’s enough to listen from 11 mins in where he says (paraphrasing) -

    renewables have nothing to do with electricity price rises. wind & solar now cheaper at an average cost than coal or gas. transformation in energy, old world vs new world (of renewables). Mountain finally admits he doesn’t know if the total cost of the new world is higher than the total cost of the old world, but simply saying wind & solar are driving up our costs is not right.

    AUDIO: 13mins29secs: 29 Jun: 2GB: Michael McClaren: Power prices highest in the world
    Poor governance and market oversight is to blame for power prices soaring out of control, says energy expert Bruce Mountain.
    http://www.2gb.com/podcast/power-prices-highest-in-the-world/

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    Bodge it an scarpa

    The world of Facebook is now beginning to feel the pain of skyrocketing energy costs, and I believe it is an opportunity to correctly educate them on the realities of the Climate Change scam, Renewable Energy etc. I do my best, occasionally at a cost of personal friendships, but it’s a price I am prepared to pay. I am no scientist or engineer of any sort, just a humble retired motor mechanic, contributions I make on various Facebook posts re Climate Change, renewable energy etc are basically what I learn from reading the articles and comments on Jo’s blog here.
    I have mentioned it here previously, although I rarely post, that I believe that this fine blog’s value is quite under utilised, in that it is basically
    ‘preaching to the converted’. If more of you much more qualified than I, got down in the gutter so to speak, and engaged in the unwashed misinformed public in social media, presenting out argument in easy to understand, non technical terms,we might have some hope of winning this war. I haven’t checked Jo’s FB page in some time, but last time I did it hadn’t been updated for ages. All the ‘ insider’ well deserved accolades in the world from the likes of WUWT are well and good,but it gets us nowhere if the general populace is unaware of this blog’s existence.
    Regards, Bodge.

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      Bodge it an scarpa

      An ‘Edit’ function would be handy. A few minor spelling and other errors I could have corrected.

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        pat

        Bodge it an scarpa -

        an example. Jo gave John McLean’s petition for Australia to exit the Paris Agreement great coverage, but I heard a caller to 2GB’s Michael McLaren mention it this week, and sadly he knew nothing about it, even tho he has positively referenced Jo’s blog on his program in the past, and he is clearly a CAGW sceptic.

        given our MSM gives coverage to individual CAGW zealots ALL THE TIME, why hasn’t McLean put out a Press Release (maybe he has?) and say he is available for interviews? if he hasn’t done this, he should, and then he can complain if no MSM follows up.

        perhaps he could send the press release to Tom Switzer and Chris Uhlmann at ABC, two individuals who might be open to reporting on the petition.

        the petition is a good topic for discussion on a multitude of ABC programs – AM, Breakfast, The World Today, PM, 7.30 Report, Q&A, Lateine, to name a few.

        taxpayers fund ABC, so they deserve to be informed about the petition. and coverage should not be mocking or loaded with CAGW zealots to attack him.

        yet this is the sum total of McLean climate articles on ABC:

        20 Dec 2010: ABC: The Cancun Christmas con
        By John McLean
        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-12-20/the_cancun_christmas_con/42392

        29 Sept 2010: ABC: A response to Lewandowsky
        By John McLean
        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-04-01/33364

        what a disgrace.

        also, it would be nice if ABC promoted the cinema dates, or arranged for ABC-TV to air “Climate Hustle” after it is shown in the cinemas Jo listed.

        the publicly-funded ABC must serve the public.

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          pat

          P.S. how much better informed Australians would be if Jo was a weekly guest for 5-minutes on one of the 2GB talk show programs, giving a round-up on the weeks’ real CAGW news?

          so much more interesting, too, than many of the “pundits” who do get these regular slots.

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            Bodge it an scarpa

            The sad fact is Pat, that Jo does not get the regular MSM coverage that we all would like her to. When I link to ‘Jonova’s Science Blog’ on my various relevant FB posts, ‘Shares’ and ‘Comments’, I get what to amounts as blank stares ! This blog unfortunately is unknown to the great unwashed, I’ll informed out there, and if more of the very knowledgable contributors here would engage them on social media, at least we could have half a chance of educating them. Those who have tried would agree that it is quite frustrating, as the general populace is pretty dumb and apathetic, but these are the people,who represent the majority unfortunately,we must provide with the true facts so that they will eventually cry enough and force the change we all want.

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        sophocles

        You’re not alone in that. :-) . It’s a case of proof-read, proof-read, and proof-read. When you think you’ve got it right, then proof-read it again.

        (And after all that I can still post with some ‘orrible errors in it … :-) ).

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    Okay then, let’s talk insolation, because that’s what this is all about.

    Insolation is the amount of light falling on those panels to generate power in each of those individual solar cells, and there’s usually 72 individual cells to make up a solar panel, the more cells, the larger the output of that panel.

    When the Sun is directly overhead, the cells generate their maximum, so as the Sun rises, and then falls, the cells generate less.

    Also, there is a difference between Summer and Winter, again due to the angularity of the light falling on the panels, in much the same way as that angle differs as the Sun Rises and falls.

    Now, that maximum is usually at a single point during the middle of the day, but it’s curved, and the whole insolation period during the day looks similar to a bell curve, so zero just before the Sun rises and after it sets, and then rising during the morning and falling after that peak.

    Okay, this Thread mentions dust etcetera subtracting from the maximum insolation, hence power generation.

    Let me say here, that even the most pristine, cleanest perfect panel will NEVER generate its maximum, and you might think that where I say ….. never, that’s pretty definitive.

    As an example, I’ll show you actual insolation curves for a (relatively) large scale solar power system, and this is the one at UQ.

    What I have done here is to pick the best ones I could find for both Summer and Winter, not all that easy really as in Summer, you’ll only get around 10 or twelve days where it’s as good as this, and similar in Winter, also around 10 to 12 day where it is at best, with no overcast at all during the day, because any overcast, even a cloud flitting across the face of the Sun detracts significantly from the total power being generated, and after passing generation takes time, (albeit small) to build up again.

    Okay then, this link shows a best case Summer insolation curve, 24Jan2017. Power generation starts around 5.30 and ends at around 6.30. Note the curve up and down to the maximum of 4766KW at around midday, but it’s at its best from around 10AM till 2PM.

    Okay, now look at the left of the image with the informational data and see that this system has a maximum power rating of 5796KW, so that means this good day, the power generation was only 82% of maximum rated power. Note the best day was only 5243KW, and that’s 90%, and if you click on it, you’ll see it was an overcast day, probably with some rain to clean the panels to their best, hence a little higher generation, but still only 90%.

    This second link shows a best case Winter insolation curve, 29Jul2016. Start time 6.45AM stop time 5.15PM. Similar looking bell curve, and the maximum is at around Midday again, this case 3739KW, which is 65% of maximum, with the best generation between 10AM and 2PM.

    Okay now, keeping that in mind, let’s then look at the Jacobs Report, which Finkel based his assumptions on.

    That is at this link, and it’s a pdf document.

    Once at that link, scroll down to the top of page 31, and you’ll see their version of those Summer and Winter insolation curves.

    Not how both curves look nothing like ….. real insolation curves, rising almost vertically to 100% in Winter and staying there from 10AM till 2PM, and in Summer, similar, staying at 100% for almost nine freaking hours.

    These insolation curves are so far divorced from reality, that they are positively laughable.

    People actually believe this stuff without even bothering to go and check.

    This is what future power generation requirements get based on.

    It will not happen.

    Tony.

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      Dennis

      And the politicians realise that voters are being given deceptive information. I am thinking about the BoM inquiry ordered by the Minister responsible after it was reported to him that BoM climate change media release data often does not match BoM historic data.

      Management at BoM admitted there were errors and omissions contained in the climate change media releases and undertook to take steps to ensure it would not continue.

      But when the Minister advised Cabinet and PM Abbott recommended that an independent audit, due diligence, be conducted his proposal was rejected by a majority of Cabinet Ministers.

      The same “Black Hands” faction members who undermined and voted Abbott out of the leadership role.

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      pat

      TonyfromOz -

      Giles is at it again:

      28 Jun: RenewEconomy: Giles Parkinson: “Baseload”: An outdated term that should not be confused with “reliability
      The “coal versus no new coal” debate has come to define the battle lines over Australia’s energy future. It can basically be boiled down to one concept: the assumption that we have to rely on baseload power for the reliability and security of out electricity supply.

      A new report from the US highlights how the concept of “baseload” is really just an artefact of an old industry, and points out that baseload should not be confused with reliability. The two do not go hand in hand, and hanging on to the term is getting in the way of planning for the future…

      The Brattle Group report (LINK) was commissioned by the NRDC, a US-based NGO, just as the Trump administration prepares its own battle over the future of “baseload” in a rapidly changing energy market. It prompted this series of tweets…READ ON
      https://reneweconomy.com.au/baseload-an-outdated-term-that-should-not-be-confused-with-reliability-34961/

      same Brattle, but the link to Bloomberg/Businessweek fails to connect to the story and further searches show only other website mentions. seems Bloomberg pulled the article!

      29 Oct 2014: Brattle Group: Brattle Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek for Report on the Potential Impact of Coal Plant Retirements on Future Power Prices
      The Brattle Group was recently featured in a Bloomberg Businessweek article, “Breathing Cleaner Air to Cost Americans on Utility Bills,” which outlines the implications U.S. electricity markets will face as clean-air regulations shut down more coal-fired power plants, forcing producers to rely more on natural gas.

      The Brattle study featured in Businessweek describes the likely causes and magnitudes of feedback effects of coal plant retirements on short- and long-term wholesale electricity prices. The report finds that the main drivers for feedback effects will be the reduced supply for electricity generation and increases in the cost of natural gas due to increased gas demand from replacing the coal retirements.

      Brattle estimates the loss of cheaper coal units will result in an increase in power prices by as much as 25 percent on grids that serve about a third of the U.S. population. The study also found that the biggest impact will likely be in the Midwest and Northeast, where the demand for gas for heating spikes during the winter months…
      http://www.brattle.com/news-and-knowledge/news/brattle-featured-in-bloomberg-i-businessweek-i-for-report-on-the-potential-impact-of-coal-plant-retirements-on-future-power-prices

      full article:

      Nov 2014: Hortialliance: Breathing Cleaner Air to Cost Americans on Utility Bills
      by Naureen S. Malik and Harry R. Weber
      http://www.hortialliance.com/news/breathing-cleaner-air-to-cost-americans-on-utility-bills/

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        pat

        (from cached version)
        28 Jun: E&E: Grid: Coal interests answer criticism from oil and gas lobby
        by Rod Kuckro
        The leading interest group representing coal producers, railroads, some utilities and rural cooperatives was taken aback last week when the American Petroleum Institute issued a report that questioned the role that coal plays in powering the nation’s electricity grid.
        “With respect to coal, you don’t need coal as a baseload fuel to make the electric system reliable,” said API Chief Economist Erica Bowman (Energywire, June 23). The study, “Diversity of Reliability Attributes: A Key Component of the Modern Grid,” was produced ***for the nation’s oil and natural gas lobby by the Brattle Group…

        “We agree with Brattle’s report that the growth of intermittent generation will place new challenges on the electricity grid,” said Michelle Bloodworth, chief operating officer at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
        “However, the Brattle report fails to adequately address two major problems that a move toward a renewable-heavy fuel mix backed by natural gas can pose. The first is fuel security, and the second is the impact on the grid’s resilience,” she said.
        “We’re not saying we don’t think renewables have a role. And we certainly think nuclear has a role. So it was kind of surprising that API would make the statement that we don’t need the coal fleet in order for us to have reliable electricity. I certainly would take issue with that,” she said…

        Energy Secretary Rick Perry is slated to receive a study next month by DOE staff on electricity markets and reliability. Some in the electric sector think the much-awaited document will be used to make a case for subsidies to preserve coal and nuclear plants.
        The API study and another released Monday by the Natural Resources Defense Council are counterpoints to the DOE study (Energywire, June 27).
        Perry yesterday defended his study at a conference in Washington sponsored by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which is part of the Energy Department.
        He took a swipe at the Obama administration’s strong support for renewables.
        “These politically driven policies, driven primarily by a hostility to coal, threatened the reliability and the stability of the greatest electrical grid in the world,” Perry said.
        “It’s not reasonable to rely exclusively on fossil fuels. It’s not feasible to rely exclusively on renewables,” he said.

        The coal industry likes to underscore that coal-burning power plants can operate 24 hours a days and that typically a plant has a 90-day stockpile of coal — fuel security that supports reliability of the grid.

        Natural gas, by contrast, is delivered via pipeline just in time for use, Bloodworth said.
        “Natural gas would have to be available at all times to back up more renewables,” but a significant amount of gas supplies for electricity generation is backed up by non-firm contracts, which means there is no guarantee that gas will be available all the time, she said.
        In the PJM Interconnection and the Midwest Independent System Operator, the nation’s two largest electricity markets, approximately 40 percent of the gas is supplied under non-firm contracts, she said.
        A former gas industry executive, Bloodworth also faulted Brattle for avoiding “the issue of resilience.”

        “We believe that increased natural gas to back up renewables could make the electricity grid less resilient,” she said, suggesting that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should “adopt regulatory changes that properly value attributes, such as on-site fuel storage, that enhance grid resilience.”

        The natural gas industry likes to emphasize the quick-start capability of a gas-fired plant that allows it to ramp up and down to regulate the intermittency of renewables.
        But Bloodworth countered that such ramping can’t occur if the gas supply is not contractually ensured, noting that few gas plants have any on-site storage.
        “I think the opinion of the coal producers is that it’s fine to have healthy competition as long as we have a level playing field,” Bloodworth said.

        “Competitors compete; that’s what they do,” said William Hogan, a professor of global energy policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
        “The big overarching story here is the miracle of shale and having so much natural gas available and having relatively low prices. It is an enormous boon to the gas industry and the economy and obviously is not good for things that compete directly with natural gas. That’s the way markets work,” Hogan said.
        https://www.eenews.net/energywire/2017/06/28/stories/1060056688

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      Sceptical Sam

      Tony,

      There’s a five letter word that describes this disinformation. It starts with f and ends with d.

      An ACCC inquiry into the false advertising of the solar PV industry is long over due. Fines need to be imposed. Corrections need to be made. Unsuspecting Australian consumers are being dudded.

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      The reason for the idealised insolation characteristic is because politicians and bureaucrats (and other control freaks) don’t seem to understand equations with more than one variable. They insist on a number from their technical advisors and won’t stop asking until they get that number.

      Duffie & Beckman apparently wasted their time writing a 700+page text book on solar engineering in the 1970′s, describing e.g. the rational relationship between solar panel orientation, longitude, latitude, time of day and seasonal variability in particular locations. From those things, one can rationally calculate the minimum solar energy onto collector; with reasonable certainty (99% or better); at a particular time and; with the power of calculus; over any arbitrary period.

      Such “magical powers” allow one to calculate the required collector sizes and energy storage requirements for a reliable energy supply for every day of the year. From those dimensions, costs can be estimated and compared to the costs of providing energy by other means with equal or better reliability.

      Failing to exercise such magical powers will result in the unnecessary waste of money and resources; the risks to the health and well-being of individuals and societies.

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    All solar panels and windmills! Do you have physical energy? Infinite is not cheap, it is not cheap, it is not reliable, it is not foreseeable (except for the night), it is impossible and cheap enough for manufacturing and not completely absurd, not free, not eternal. More importantly, the disposal of broken windless ornaments and solar panels is a major pollution problem and cost for the next generation. Solar panels will be banned under the laws of environmental heavy metal pollution, except where they are exempted. The next generation will not thank us for dirty land unemployed except waiters.

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    dennisambler

    I have often thought the opportunities with solar panels lie with the fantastic potential for the window cleaning industry.

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    World Solar Challenge competitors and those in similar solar-powered car races know all too well that you wash the dust off at every opportunity during the day. In hot weather, the cooling effect of the water spray’s evaporation also pushes up the cell efficiency — for a little while.

    There was a solar car wiki to which I contributed far too many pages called “Speedier Than Light” running out of UniSA. There was ample content which documented the practical limits of PV. The wiki’s been largely offline for a number of years now. :-(

    Efficiency drops sharply; especially when avian bombing runs leave whole cells largely blotched out. Clouds matter almost more than anything. Dust is not to be sneezed at!

    There have been dozens if not hundreds of studies on the effects of dust accumulation on PV solar.

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