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Solar road is $6m epic disaster — 4% capacity, broken and so noisy speed-limits were cut

Solar Road, Normandy, France, photo.

Solar Road, Normandy, France   |  Credit: KumKum

Would you like to drive slower, add to noise pollution and waste money? Then solar roads are for you:

The world’s first solar road has turned out to be a colossal failure…

Ruqayyah Moynihan and Lidia Montes, Business Insider

  • Two years after the world’s first solar road — the Normandy road in France — was set up, it’s turned out to be a colossal failure, according to a report by Le Monde.
  • The road has deteriorated to a terrible state, it isn’t producing anywhere near the amount of energy it had previously pledged to, and the traffic it has brought with it is causing noise problems.

The original aim was to produce 790 kWh each day, a quantity that could illuminate a population of between 3,000 and 5,000 inhabitants. But the rate produced stands at only about 50% of the original predicted estimates.

Even rotting leaves and thunderstorms appear to pose a risk in terms of damage to the surface of the road. What’s more, the road is very noisy, which is why the traffic limit had to be lowered to 70 kmh.

Despite costing up to roughly $6.1 million, the solar road became operational in 2016.

The 1km road is in Tourouvre-au-Perch, Normandy, France made by Colas.

Leaves fall on the road, then cars grind the leaves on the beautiful polymer surface. The road isn’t angled towards the sun, gets brutally hot, and both reduce efficiency. If the top polymer layer were thicker and tougher, less solar energy would get through. Planting trees beside the road would cool it, but the shade…

Who likes trees anyhow? Not the Greens.

 Getting 50% worse than expected every year:

Anna Versai, Technowize, Aug 19th, 2019

The stretch of the road in Tourouvre-au-Perch, Normandy, France was meant to produce about 150,000 kWh a year, which is enough to provide light to up to 5,000 people, every day. Instead, it made less than 80,000 in 2018, and fewer than 40,000 by July 2019.

Meant to power lights for a city of 5000 people:

Translating the Le Monde article, for €5 million in public funds they now generate € 1,450 worth of electricity per year quarter (or not, when does the French financial year end?) and falling.

Financed by public funds of €5 million and supported by Colas (Bouygues Group), the subsidiary Wattway aimed to provide the equivalent of the annual consumption of public lighting in a city. of 5,000 inhabitants.

The general director of services of the departmental council of the Orne made his accounts: “The revenue from the sale of electricity produced by the road should bring us 10 500 euros per year, details Gilles Morvan. In 2017, we received 4,550 euros. In 2018, 3,100 euros, and for the first quarter of 2019, we are at 1,450 euros. “

Not much sun there to start with? From Science Alert:

There proved to be several problems with this goal. The first was that Normandy is not historically known as a sunny area. At the time, the region’s capital city of Caen only got 44 days of strong sunshine a year, and not much has changed since. Storms have wreaked havoc with the systems, blowing circuits. But even if the weather was in order, it appears the panels weren’t built to capture them efficiently.

There are 40 smaller roads like this?

For its part, Colas has admitted the project is a bust. “Our system is not mature for inter-urban traffic,” Etienne Gaudin, Colas’ chief executive of Wattway, told Le Monde. The company also operates 40 similar solar roads, smaller than the one in Normandy.

A solar bike path in the Netherlands works better:

In the Netherlands, a solar bike path has been declared a success. Dubbed the SolaRoad, the bike path is exactly what its name suggests. The electricity generated by SolaRoad is used for various purposes such as traffic management systems, public lighting, households, and electric mobility.

At the beginning of the trial, an energy yield of between 50 and 70 kWh/m2/year was expected. SolaRoad exceeded expectations by yielding 73  kWh/m2/year (first version, built in 2014) and 93 kWh/m2/year (second, improved version, built in 2016).

There were hiccups despite its impressive results. Due to poor weather conditions, a top layer of the solar bike path came off, and a major path had to be shut down.

The French solar road has a capacity factor of 4%

And this was a year ago. Probably that capacity factor is now 2%.

Dylan Ryan, The Conversion, Sept 2018

One of the first solar roads to be installed is in Tourouvre-au-Perche, France. This has a maximum power output of 420 kW, covers 2,800 m² and cost €5m to install. This implies a cost of €11,905 (£10,624) per installed kW.

While the road is supposed to generate 800 kilowatt hours per day (kWh/day), some recently released data indicates a yield closer to 409 kWh/day, or 150,000 kWh/yr. For an idea of how much this is, the average UK home uses around 10 kWh/day. The road’s capacity factor – which measures the efficiency of the technology by dividing its average power output by its potential maximum power output – is just 4%.

In contrast, the Cestas solar plant near Bordeaux, which features rows of solar panels carefully angled towards the sun, has a maximum power output of 300,000 kW and a capacity factor of 14%. And at a cost of €360m (£321m), or €1,200 (£1,070) per installed kW, one-tenth the cost of our solar roadway, it generates three times more power.

Dylan Ryan is a lecturer in Mechanical & Energy Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University.

In Idaho a solar road had an 83% failure rate:

Andrew Follet, Daily Caller, October 2016

Despite massive internet hype, the prototype of the solar “road” can’t be driven on, hasn’t generated any electricity and 75 percent of the panels were broken before they were even installed. Of the panels installed to make a “solar footpath,” 18 of the 30 were dead on arrival due to a manufacturing failure. A short rain shower caused another four panels to fail, and only five panels appear to be presently functional. The prototype appears to be plagued by drainage issues, poor manufacturing controls and fundamental design flaws.

Can’t power a whole microwave oven, April 2017

The Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project generated an average of 0.62 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day since it began publicly posting power data in late March. To put that in perspective, the average microwave or blow drier consumes about 1 kWh per day.

h/t Pat.

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Rating: 9.7/10 (90 votes cast)
Solar road is $6m epic disaster -- 4% capacity, broken and so noisy speed-limits were cut, 9.7 out of 10 based on 90 ratings

164 comments to Solar road is $6m epic disaster — 4% capacity, broken and so noisy speed-limits were cut

  • #
    ivan

    I said when the French monstrosity was proposed that its output would be underwhelming and it might last a year. I was right on the first but wrong on the second, it took about 2 years before being consigned to landfill.

    The whole thing was designed by people with ‘feelings’ rather than hard headed engineering. As any fool knows solar panels need to tilted at an angle to the horizontal and facing due south, in the northern hemisphere, not magnetic south. There are well known formula for calculating the correct angle of tilt, and most roofs are not at that angle. There is a quick and dirty rule of thumb for the angle, it is: add 15° to the latitude.

    The other thing they always forget about with solar roads is the dirt and scuff marks on the panel surfaces which can reduce output to less than 15%

    [***Off topic Comment and all replies to it were Moved to #50 at Unthreaded. Please don't hijack the top of threads with something that has no connection to the topic (or worse, is an advertisement for pet project). - Jo]

    281

    • #
      AndyG55

      “before being consigned to landfill”

      Whoa! Ya can’t put that crap into landfill.

      Toxins levels would surely mean it has to be properly disposed of in an expensive high temp incinerator or chemically broken down to recover the toxins.

      Solar industry will have a huge and very expensive clean-up job in the not too distant future.

      (But will probably leave their polluting, highly toxic panels, to decay just where they are)

      270

      • #
        ivan

        AndyG, we all know what should be done and since there is only one recycling plant in Europe that is doing a lot of virtue signaling and not saying just how much energy is needed to recycle a panel.

        I can’t see many broken panels being recycled especially since pollutants such as lead and cadmium can be almost completely washed out of broken panels by rain water.

        70

    • #
      Bulldust

      Who knew that an impractical solution to a non problem would be unprofitable?

      231

    • #

      @Ivan: As any fool knows solar panels need to tilted at an angle to the horizontal and facing due south… add 15° to the latitude.

      So for Normandy 50°+15 = 65°

      So all the roads running North-South downhill at a grade of 2 in 1 (2 feet down for 1 foot across) should be perfect?

      .. especially if they don’t have trees or traffic, yeah?

      160

      • #

        Not to mention any corners on East West Roads at a 65° high speed camber angle.

        Probably a good 100m on every formula one race track.

        110

      • #
        ivan

        Jo, the engineering answer would be for all east – west roads to have solar panels mounted at the correct angle on the north side of the road but then there is the question of reduced output caused by large lorries blocking the sun from the panels.

        It would be some ride if they actually mounted the panels in the road at the correct angle but I do have to wonder about the tire grip on the glass.

        60

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      This is another typical example of environmental engineering insanity. I suspect we will be inundated by allot more of this crap before this and next decade before they give up on the un-renewable scam. I think these schemes arent really invented by actual engineers, just think tanks on energy and environment with nothing else to do except waste millions of tax money on utterly stupid projects. Many more fingers will be burnt.
      Lets start an award..

      80

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Their obvious conclusion is since the small test road failed, they need to construct many much longer and larger test roads. That way they have have a colossally larger failure upon which to base doing more of the same only more so.

    Ten minutes of thinking in the context of the real world would have arrived at the very valid conclusion that the plan would not work. Yet they pushed to have their pathological plan implemented. It is no surprise that it failed. It was designed to fail. Yet we allowed it to happen. Why?

    250

    • #

      Surely all sorts of rubbish would get on the road including stones. These would be ground by the weight of vehicles directly into the road surface and surely cause considerable damage. It won’t work. It can’t work.

      As you say We obviously need a lot more trials, preferably much bigger and more expensive. And. A Coordinator. And a support team. They will also need a fleet of vehicles to get round to the various sites.

      Tonyb

      231

      • #
        AndyG55

        The ultimate green job, using a toothbrush to clean bird poop off and electric road.

        What could possibly go wrong ! ;-)

        200

        • #
          Yonniestone

          You’re assuming Greens know what a toothbrush is let alone own one.

          120

          • #
            Latus Dextro

            …then cars grind the leaves on the beautiful polymer surface.

            One require quantities of noxious ‘fossil’ fuels to manufacture plastics (polymers), whether an absurd virtue signalling solar road or a toothbrush. What an inconvenient truth.

            “Plastics, also called polymers, are produced by the conversion of natural products or by the synthesis from primary chemicals generally coming from oil, natural gas, or coal.” American Chemistry Council

            80

        • #
          tom0mason

          But where to recharge the electric toothbrush?

          120

          • #
            AndyG55

            There might just be enough electricity coming from the road to power an electric toothbrush !

            150

            • #
              sophocles

              Optimist!

              91

            • #
              Latus Dextro

              But where to recharge the electric toothbrush?

              Little chance.
              Total unreliability leading to intended Green Death consequence, a massive increase in dental decay that leads to:
              1. Reduction in the birth rate as no one is attracted to a toothless individual with pyorrhoea.
              2. Increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and diminished life expectancy due to chronic dental infection, bacterial endocarditis and dental abscess.
              3. Inability to eat an omnivorous diet. No sound teeth or gums to masticate meat, or grains that haven’t been soaked and softened, vegetables that haven’t been cooked thoroughly (unlikely, short of an open fire. The ‘disposable’ energy won’t exist for such luxuries). Fruit other than mashed bananas (another unavailable luxury due to an absence of transport) or citrous fruits (same problem)

              The degradations and deprivations and continue to escalate as we de-industrialise, de-populate, and succumb to destitution and despair.

              The ONLY solution is to eradicate this ideological scourge from humanity.
              Judging by the tenor of panicked stridency, it is evident that this is already underway.

              60

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        Surely all sorts of rubbish would get on the road including stones.

        Some tires (tyres) seem designed to pick up small stones and carry them for days, unless popped out with a screw driver or something similar.
        Each stone will smack the surface with each revolution. There are multiple sizes so I’ll not bother with estimates.

        A couple of years ago (when this idea was floated) I suggested they put a roof over a road, and put panels on the roof. That would solve several issues for such a concept.
        All this is assuming there is an overriding issue (global warming?) to be solved.

        40

    • #
      joseph

      “Their obvious conclusion is since the small test road failed, they need to construct many much longer and larger test roads”.

      Adelaide to Darwin!

      90

      • #
        tom0mason

        Yes joseph, let Australia lead the way to the solar highway future …

        Adelaide to Darwin with a minimum of 10 high camber lanes (for optimum solar efficiency) in each direction, reinforce glass surface, with the added bonus of windmill back-up on either side of the highway. That way the detritus on the road is now only a small percentage of the overall surface area and is blown from the surface by the windmills.
        Incidentally the French experiment probably failed because it was too narrow.

        :-)

        70

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          In the outback, it would be covered by road kill…..and how do you get the power all that distance back to where its usable?

          80

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Oh noes..the sky is falling….

            https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-19/iceland-okjokull-glacier-climate-change-plaque-warning-future/11426208

            “With poetry, moments of silence and political speeches about the urgent need to fight climate change, Icelandic officials, activists and others bade goodbye to what once was a glacier.

            “The plaque, which notes the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, warns “we know what is happening and what needs to be done”
            Iceland’s PM says climate change will be a priority when Nordic leaders meet in Reykjavik on Tuesday

            “Okjokull glacier was pronounced extinct about a decade ago by Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurdsson.

            “On Sunday, Dr Sigurdsson brought a death certificate to the made-for-media memorial.
            About 100 people made a two-hour hike up a volcano, where children installed a plaque to commemorate the glacier, now called just “Ok”, minus the “jokull” — Icelandic for glacier.
            The glacier used to stretch 15 square kilometres, Dr Sigurdsson said.

            60

            • #
              Greg in NZ

              Did their ABC mention the OK glacier was only 700 years old?

              It didn’t exist during the MWP, but sometime around 1,300 AD snow began sticking to the volcano’s summit and by the (deep dark cold) depth of the LIA it was a full-blown glacier. Now it’s receded. Amazing – cycles in nature’s eternal ebb and flow – whooda thunked!

              110

        • #
          Gee aye

          No camber needed since the road runs from north to south. You just need to raise the Adelaide end several hundred kms and finish in Darwin at sea level.

          120

    • #

      A (white) elephant designed by a (green) committee.

      180

    • #
      TdeF

      Compared to our unused desalination plants and the presumably unstoppable Snowy II fiasco, an $800Million unused pipe line in Victoria, it is very small change in terms of utter waste. Plus the piffling $444million for nothing Turnbulls gifted their Green friends without warning or reason, to ‘save’ something which does not need saving. As the recipients of this bureaucratic theft have budgeted a mere $130+ million in ‘administration’ fees, I suppose that means a few thousand free meals and first class world flights to observe troubled reefs around the world. How do six people spend say $40Million a year on ‘administration’? That’s $7Million each?

      What possesses people to treat so much of our money in such cavalier way and for the Morrison government to ignore what looks at a minimum incredible self indulgence and at worst straight theft? Stop Snowy II! Build stuff needed for the Pacific Islanders or the poor East Timorese who really need a hand. Get back the unwanted $444Million and pay Indonesians to stop burning down their forests and destroying massive ecosystems. Build harbours and facilities in the poor Pacific islands. The pollies are GINO, Green in Name Only, like former windmill pusher Bob Brown. Clean up the appalling corruption at the top of the Australian government where the PM has acted like the head of the Medici family, another group of bankers. OPM’s. Other people’s money. No care and no consideration. Theft.

      190

      • #
        Hasbeen

        TdeF while I agree with most of your comment, why would you want to build ports & facilities in poor Pacific islands?

        They have very little to export, no income to pay for imports, & don’t need them anyway. They had a great lifestyle for a millennium without money, & could never afford to pay for electricity if my last bill is any indication of likely cost.

        90

        • #
          TdeF

          As you say, poor. As Australia was in 1930. No manufacturing. No automation. No jobs with unemployment reaching 40%.

          Like Queensland, the Pacific islands have potential and we are just appreciating it. Queensland is now bigger than Victoria. Airconditioning and cheap electricity (they still have cheap electricity, 1/3 of our price) make it possible to create jobs.

          New Caledonia is not small. It is 360 km long and a major source of Nickel. It has been exclusively supplied to the Townsville Nickel Refinery whose cash was stolen by the new owner, Clive Palmer, leaving them insolvent. However these islands do have resources and strategic importance and populations who want jobs. In their climates we can grow crops like those in Queensland. The world has gone crazy for avocados.

          Anything we can do to integrate them commercially with Australia will benefit us. Or we can give $400 million to Climate Change and the Clinton Foundation and let people in other countries pay our indulgences and take the lot.

          East Timor has great people and nothing and huge potential and great friends of Australia. We helped them liberate and they look to us. They have no roads, no health care and no oil, nothing, but they want to build their country. It is hard, if not impossible to do from nothing. We have all the oil on our side. At the very least we could help them build their country as a real economy. We have real problem finding cheap labour with the highest rates in the world for labour and electricity, so why not help them to help ourselves? Why go so far to Bali? I doubt it’s for the cultural exchange. At the same time I know the Catholic Carmelites priests have wonderful missions in East Timor and are helping with exchange students, but why aren’t we? It’s not far from Darwin.

          We are hardly being good neighbours and leave it to the EU, China and the UN to pretend to solve problems while we donate the cash. That’s hardly good enough. Consider today’s front page on the Australia warning us to prepare us for a Chinese invasion of the North. Likely or not, we should be building strategic friends with our cash and our proximity, at least South of the Equator. We just leave it to everyone else to help our neighbours. Or give them Climate Change money, something both sides know is a bad joke. Or patrol boats. We should be helping them build their economies at home. We did.

          70

      • #
        sophocles

        TdeF:

        Politicians and Greens have a lot in common for their virtuosity: (pun warning!
        - all projects must never be practical, they’re just green-brushed to look that way and sound important.
        - they’re always untruthfully presented (just think of the uproar if truth got in!)
        - most importantly, they never work well, so money is always available to hide them
        - but hey! Look! They’re saving the planet, a torch bulb at a time.

        90

    • #
      sophocles

      Wanted! A Solar Road with a 97% Inefficiency!
      Do you think a southern Hemisphere Road built by a Northern Hemisphere engineer — facing South — could reach that target?

      New Zealand had a coal fuelled power station which was oriented east-west for the generator hall, and the offices and administration section went down the western side into the hill to the south. Meremere in the Waikato. (now well obsoleted).

      20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Talking Heads sums it up…..

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz1fl6u8ut0

    61

  • #
    James Murphy

    The Bouygues group is massive, and indeed, aside from Colas (think of the petroleum products used in road-making…), they own part of Foxtrot International, a significant oil producer in Côte d’Ivoire.

    Funny how this never came up when solar roadways got into the news. Had it been a coal company wanting to build a mine, for example, no financial rock would have remained unturned in the quest to punish those sinning against the holy church of Climatology.

    90

    • #
      Maptram

      In the last week or so, Premier Andrews announced a plan to extract hydrogen from brown coal to export to Japan, with the CO2 being sequestered in the ground. I didn’t see the announcement but I expect there was no mention of the CO2 produced in the production of the energy required to extract the hydrogen. The use of brown coal requires the brown coal to be mined. Perhaps the Greens and fellow travellers could be asked whether they support the use of brown coal for the production of hydrogen. After all they oppose the mining of coal for any other purpose.

      90

  • #
    nb

    ABC headline: ‘Australia falls behind in solar roads’
    You can imagine the rest – lots of sun, long strips of road in outback. Definitely the solution to everything. Absolutely no mention of failure.

    170

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I was explaining to a neighbour who has solar panels how you have to limit the sum output of all panels to about 10% of grid otherwise it can produce instability.

    I dont think he cared too much as he got his panels some time ago.

    I also explained the need for large rotating mass in power stations to produce a stable 50Hz and how the tower collapse plus wind power dropping off the grid due to high winds , that sent SA dark recently as the grid shut down to protect itself.

    Always good to get the message out, I think the Big Lie about solar panels is you can keep stuffing them more into the grid without any impact whatsoever. People just see money saving ( becasue the Looony extreme greens keep sacrificing power stations to their green false gods ) , they usually have zero concept of any of the electrical engineering impact.

    200

    • #
      Chad

      Many Warmist Cult members actually believe the solution to grid instability failures, is to install more solar and wind generation.
      Unfortunately,..they would seem to have convinced some key players in the industry !

      130

    • #
      Analitik

      Usually?

      20

    • #
      TdeF

      I think the answer is for all zero mass systems to produce DC. That would isolate them all from the grid and each other. Matching of amplitude, phase, frequency would be done in the conversion from DC to AC. Any windmill could go down and it would not matter to the rest or to the grid.

      Then you could use DC for long distance networks, eliminating the need for interconnectors and dropping losses to near zero. What I am sure is that when you leave commercial decisions to governments, nothing works. Our NBN is destined to be another white elephant for another $100Bn in debts. The same as desalination plants. The AC grid is looking the same, like the one in England. Windmills and solar should not be connected directly to an AC grid.

      11

      • #
        Analitik

        You do know that all solar panels ARE DC with inverters feeding the AC grid and that all modern wind turbines are DC coupled with inverters connecting to AC, right?

        40

        • #
          TdeF

          Of course. The whole process is DC. Domestic solar is a joke in terms of feeding any grid. This like any distribution system high voltage to low voltage. To suggest that lunchtime suburban solar is somehow converted to high voltage and feed to factories is fantasy. I object to people being paid to pretend to supply others who also don’t need the power. It is again a load on our electricity bills to allow middle class solar owners to get a double subsidy from everyone else for no benefit to anyone else.

          I meant the giant solar farms who host tens of thousands of panels.

          I also haven’t costed it all. It is just that the conversion to AC is premature, just to add to the grid when the variations in solar strength can be very great, if slow. Perhaps solar should never be fed into any grid but consumed locally except it is hard to find industries which can use lunchtime, midsummer solar. Where windmills are random power, solar is predictably not available when you need it, such as at night or midwinter. Neither are commandable or fully predictable.

          30

    • #
      James

      I call them subsidy harvesting panels! That is all they are good for!

      20

  • #
    Maptram

    I can’t see how a solar road would be successful when the sun is blocked by the cars driving on it, unless of course it is used only at night

    80

    • #

      Well Maptrap I think you are being unfair. The advantage of the low productivity in this trial was that the cars covering these panels barely made any difference in actual KWh…

      81

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      A typical car is only 4.6m in length, and typical gap between vehicles would be 18m plus.

      So even if it was heavily trafficked, there would be plenty of space available for sunshine.

      More likely the road was two vehicles per minute per direction. Which is next to nothing as far as shade is concerned.

      The real problem is scoring because of wear, and dust and grime. The project could only fail, it was never going to be a succeed.

      70

  • #
    Earl

    I was returning to Melbourne last week from North East Victoria.
    Tuesday, at about 5:30pm. There was a line of traffic heading north out of the city, unbroken for about 20 kms. I reflected, that there were similar volumes of traffic heading, south, east and west, and what would happen, at 6:00 pm, if all these cars were electric, and arrived home to be plugged in and recharged. It was a still evening, and dusk, no “renewable” energy sources available.
    Where do the CAGW zealots get their information, what do they use for brains, I find this very difficult to fathom.

    181

    • #
      Chad

      Even the RE cult members have differing views on this EV charging dilemma.
      Some believe that all EV owners will get home and plug in to recharge from their roof top solar charged, Home Battery. ( of course ots a 50-100KWh battery, with a equally large solar system to support it ===$$$$$$s )
      others , believe that those EV owners will arrive home and plug in their EV battery to provide power to the house during the evening peak and non solar period overnight. In order to do this they would have recharged their car during the day from public ( or employer ) provided (solar powered, charging points !!
      ( and hopefully, not live too far awaay from that daytime charge point ?
      See !… they have it all figured out !!

      101

      • #
        Hasbeen

        Come on fellers, it’s obvious. All the headlights of the electric cars, shining on the solar roads will generate enough ‘SOLAR” power to recharge all the cars already home on their chargers.

        Who said perpetual motion was hard?

        120

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I think quite a few of hem dont have any form of technical knowledge, so charge off with “well it was a good idea at the time” enthusiasm , with no consideration to the issues involved. Some of them are just trouble makers, who know full well the damage it will do ( socialists ), and some are just dumb.

      One of the problems with modern society is that the tech has zoomed ahead of the average punters ability to understand it, which leaves society wide open to being manipulated ( enslaved ) by the Elite via technology.

      110

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Steve:
        The trouble is that a small group of dreamers comes up with an idea that sounds good. It may not be practical but those (nominally) in charge become enthusiastic and order it be done. Speaking from personal experience, those who raise difficulties like reality are highly unpopular.
        I should mention that the emperor not having any clothes and behaving with good humour on being told is a fairy tale. The renewables scam is an example, who could object to very cheap electricity with no CO2 emissions? Certainly no politician (except Malcolm Roberts) would.
        When it turns out that the renewable electricity is expensive and leads inevitably to blackouts, the publicity will focus on the lack of CO2 emissions. This is why the level of hysteria about emissions has suddenly shot up.
        A few more blackouts and their game will be up.

        90

      • #
        Speedy

        Morning Steve – you’re right.

        Like they say – you can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

        Chooks have a habit of coming home to roost.

        Cheers,

        Mike

        30

  • #
    Peter C

    The French Solar Road is marginally worse that the Central Victorian Solar City project, which was wound up a few years ago.
    A lot of taxpayers money was wasted. There were a number of initiatives including solar parks at Bendigo and at Ballarat airport.

    Medium Scale Solar Trial
    CVSC completed the design, construction and grid connection of Victoria’s first solar photovoltaic parks. The Bendigo and Ballarat Solar Parks were opened in November 2009 and together generated roughly one Gigawatt hour of clean energy per annum.

    http://www.cvga.org.au/central-victoria-solar-city.html

    The solar panels are still there at the Ballarat airport, and may still be functioning, but the signage is all out of date. Money wasted. Who cares?

    140

    • #
      Rob Leviston

      Last time I checked the Ballarat airport site, the ‘meter’ at the site was reading zero output! It also appeared that the tilting solar panels had been removed. That was back in 2017. I don’t know how long the site has actually been out of action.
      The websites that spruik these things, are way out of date! What a bloody waste of money!

      70

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    When it winds from Chicago to LA, more than 2000 miles all the way, then I’ll get my kicks on the solar panel highway …

    Route 66 – Chuck Berry – youtube

    40

  • #
    Bill in Oz

    Supreme dumbness rules
    So why not waste the money
    On a chic green monstrosity
    That does not work !
    Hah !

    60

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    If I’m an engineer asked to get involved in such a project the first question I would ask is this, “What will be the effect on these solar collectors from the pounding of tires day in and day out?”

    The forward tread of a tire is descending very fast, it hits the road and is suddenly stopped before it’s bottom position because no matter how you inflate the tire it flattens out a little in contact with the road surface. You might as well be hitting the toad with thousands of hammers with the weight of an automobile behind them. The bulk of the noise of the tires on the road is because the tread is being slammed into the road surface.

    I recognized this factor as soon as I saw what the dumb deal was. And I’m not even an engineer. What was the matter with the real engineers? :-(

    Then there is everything else. Is the less than sterling performance a surprise?

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    • #
      Annie

      Poor little toad, being squished by thousands of hammers ;)

      41

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Toad road — if you screw up your car will be toad. If the author of that mess screws up I don’t know what they do to him. Hopefully close down his computer and send him to dinner with mama.

        Nice catch, great retort. ;-)

        60

        • #
          Annie

          Toad of Toad Hall loved driving his car, to the peril of all else iirc.

          50

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            The whole neighborhood around here has little toads by the bucket full. When it’s dry the population dies down to just the best survivor types but when there’s been a wet winter they reproduce like crazy to make up for the dry weather.

            I moved in here after a rainy winter and the grass hadn’t been cut for nearly a month. So come Saturday I haul out the lawn mower and get to work on the back yard. The next thing I know there were probably 50 little toads jumping out of the grass in front of me trying to get out of the way. I laughed so hard I had to stop and have a cold beer while I considered my toad safety issue.

            40

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              I think maybe toad abatement should be added to the civil engineering curriculum. After all, you cant have them being squished and leaving a slippery road surface surface. ;-)

              40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        But it was a cane toad. Met a bloke in Fiji who used them to practice his golf iron shots. Seemed a good idea until he bent the shaft.

        70

    • #
      sophocles

      Roy,
      for all we know, they could have been told to “shut up, do as you’re told, and just build it.” That’s what engineers are for, according to some layers of management. It’s also why liability escape clauses are such a well studied contractual accessory.

      20

  • #
    Greg in NZ

    Skippers Canyon Road label as dangerous is ‘absolute nonsense’
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11577944

    “The stretch of road in the South Island is the third most dangerous in the world, according to an international watchdog…

    “Website dangerousroads.org – which searches for the world’s most dangerous routes – labelled Skippers Canyon Rd, 25 minutes from Queenstown in the Mt Aurum Recreation Reserve, as ‘unbelievably scary as it’s totally narrow and difficult to manoeuvre your car’”.

    Skippers, more a goat-track than a ‘road’, was my office for 5 years in the early 90s; it’s where I learned (and perfected) how to be a 4WD tour guide, both in summer’s torrid heat and dust and winter’s frigid snow and ice. Yes it’s narrow, yes it’s scary, yes it’s spectacular, but that’s why people want to go there (preferably as a passenger and not driving their own rental city car). Hardly a week went by without seeing a vehicle/wreck which had slid/careened/rolled off the road, whether it was a tourist car or a tour operator’s van/bus/4WD. Happy to say all my passengers always got home safely – even if the driver needed a stiff whisky or two afterwards :-)

    With the region’s reputation for hot sunny summers, wouldn’t surprise me if some nutbar scientivist proposed turning Skippers into a ‘solar road’ – as with the French disaster above, no doubt vested parties would make a killing while Tim and Trish Taxpayer would bear the cost. And as for the ‘most dangerous’ road of all?

    “A highway to hell in Turkey which has taken a toll of numerous lives in recent years is named as number one”.

    50

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      So . . .
      we’ve got the third most-dangerous road in the world (allegedly) while you guys are (allegedly) the third most-prolific plant food exporters according to the latest research – well done, congratulations!

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/397017/australia-third-largest-exporter-of-fossil-fuel-emissions-research via ABC

      Funny how an odourless, colourless trace gas essential for photosynthesis and humanity, is phonetically engineered into the nightmare-inducing term, ‘fossil fuel emissions’ (this time by their ABC’s Newspeak Orwellian Department, or NOD). Turning a blessing into a curse – just like majick! – is easy with the write tools [spelling & meaning intended].

      40

    • #
      sophocles

      I had a car insurance policy which had a clause in it telling me the policy was not to be driven on the Skippers Canyon Road. So I didn’t drive it on that road. It afforded me a lot of amusement. I never had the opportunity to try driving the car on that road, either.

      That was back in the late 1970′s …

      40

    • #
      Graeme#4

      IIRC, Skippers Canyon Road was explicitly mentioned on the hire cars’ T&C as a road where you weren’t allowed to drive.

      10

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    $6 million down the drain – ‘a fool and his money’
    If I was French I would say ‘our money’.
    GeoffW

    50

  • #
    pat

    a perfect energy storm is brewing:

    behind paywall:

    18 Aug: UK Telegraph: Former National Grid director says ministers should impose limits new wind and solar farms to help avoid power cuts
    Colin Gibson, who was power network director of Britain’s electricity system, claimed that some existing turbines and solar panels may have to be disconnected, and new developments restricted, to “secure” the system after major power cuts earlier this month.

    In an analysis co-written by Dr Capell Aris, a former grid engineer, Mr Gibson states that the system failure revealed several “serious problems” with the operation of the national electricity network, which require an “immediate, independent, expert review”…
    Renewable plants, such as wind and solar farms, which generate power intermittently, do not provide inertia, and wind generation alone now accounts for 17 per cent of the UK’s electricity…
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/18/former-national-grid-director-says-ministers-shouldimpose-limits/

    reminder:

    Professor Tim Green, co-director of the Energy Futures Laboratory, Imperial College London, believes the two generators disconnected were at Little Barford and Hornsea.
    He said: “The first generator to disconnect was a gas fired plant at Little Barford at ***16.58. Two minutes later Hornsea Offshore wind farm seems to have disconnected…

    behind paywall – note new time “just after 4.53pm” for the call he takes, & wind is now usually mentioned fist:

    18 Aug: UK Times: Interview: National Grid’s John Pettigrew — the man who keeps the lights on . . . most of the time
    The National Grid boss rails against Labour plans to take over the utility. Now he has to explain the worst blackout in decades
    by Rachel Millard
    John Pettigrew was driving home to the Midlands two Fridays ago when he took a call from a lieutenant. It was just after ***4.53pm and the chief executive of National Grid was looking forward to seeing his family. However, the moment he answered, his weekend evaporated.
    Two large power generators — the Hornsea wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire and the Little Barford gas-fired power plant in Bedfordshire — had failed simultaneously. National Grid’s frequency was dropping below the standard 50Hz to as low as 48.8Hz, knocking out 5% of the country’s power supply and causing blackouts…

    Even before the blackout, Pettigrew had plenty on his plate, not least the mammoth task of overhauling the system to cope with more wind and solar energy, and potentially adapting gas pipes to run on hydrogen to meet government targets for net zero-carbon emissions…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/4d6be344-c0f5-11e9-9c7a-44d1639b233d

    more to come.

    40

    • #
      pat

      18 Aug: Guardian: Small energy companies risk going bust in financial shock
      Suppliers must pass renewable subsidies to Ofgem in August
      by Jillian Ambrose
      Thousands of homes could lose their energy supplier in the coming months as a result of a financial shock looming over the industry’s smaller companies.
      Suppliers are due to pass on millions of pounds’ worth of renewable energy subsidies, collected via energy bills, to the energy regulator, Ofgem, by the end of the month.

      This deadline has in the past proved fatal for financially unstable energy suppliers, and it is feared that a string of collapses may follow in the coming months. Suppliers have until 31 August to pay their share of the renewable energy subsidies, or can opt to pay the amount owed – plus interest – by 31 October…READ ALL
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/18/small-energy-providers-fears-key-financial-deadline-renewable-subsidies

      behind paywall:

      18 Aug: UK Times: Octopus wraps its arms around Co‑op Energy
      by Liam Kelly and Rachel Millard
      Octopus is believed to be in talks to acquire some or all of its mutual rival’s 370,000 customers to add to its own 800,000 client base, taking it over the 1m mark.
      Co-op Energy is owned by the Midcounties Co-operative; its brands include Flow Energy and GB Energy. It made a loss on £423m of sales last year due to rising wholesale costs…

      Advisers at PwC were appointed to explore options for Flow and GB Energy, including a sale. Any deal with Octopus would be the latest move to consolidate the rapidly changing household energy supply industry. Last week, The Sunday Times revealed that challenger Ovo was in talks to buy the electricity and gas supply arm of ailing power giant SSE, which would turn it into the UK’s second biggest supplier behind British Gas. The market share of the big six energy suppliers – British Gas, Eon, Npower, SSE, Scottish Power and EDF – has plummeted from 99% in 2011 to about 73% today, amid pressures such as the price cap, carbon taxes and rapidly evolving technology…
      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/4f471f82-c111-11e9-9acd-30d026e93823

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      https://notrickszone.com/2019/08/07/german-agency-for-disaster-preparedness-calls-on-citizens-to-be-ready-for-widespread-blackouts/
      “the German Federal Grid Agency is having to intervene more and more frequently in order to compensate for grid fluctuations.”
      To prepare for blackouts, Unger told Die Welt that citizens needed to keep “candles and matches” and always have a “battery-powered radio on hand in order to be able to receive news even when the power is out.” He added: “Every household should have a supply of food and drinking water.”

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  • #
    David Maddison

    YouTuber Thunderf00t did a critique of solar roadways five years ago.

    https://youtu.be/H901KdXgHs4

    70

  • #
    pat

    Spectator’s Dominic Green gets his Greta views into the Sunday Times:

    18 Aug: UKSundayTimes: Greta Thunberg and the plot to forge a climate warrior
    The teenage activist Greta Thunberg wants nothing more than to change the world. The shadowy cabal behind her has other goals
    by Dominic Green
    Greta Thunberg’s great American adventure has begun. Last Wednesday, she set sail from Plymouth like the pilgrims did, her Mayflower a zero-carbon but very expensive racing yacht; her goal not religious liberty but a camera-rich turn at the UN’s climate change conference in New York.

    Meanwhile, on dry land, GQ magazine recently appointed Greta its “game changer of the year”, with a cover image in which the teenager, whether she realises it or not, strikes a stern, finger-pointing pose reminiscent of Lord Kitchener’s First World War recruiting poster and tells Britain’s feckless carbon-emitters: “To do your best is no longer good enough.”…

    The Greta phenomenon has also involved green lobbyists, PR hustlers, eco-academics and a think tank founded by a wealthy former minister in Sweden’s Social Democratic government with links to the country’s energy companies. ***These companies are preparing for the biggest bonanza of government contracts in history: the greening of the western economies. Greta, whether she and her parents know it or not, is the face of their political strategy…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/greta-thunberg-and-the-plot-to-forge-a-climate-warrior-9blhz9mjv

    18 Aug: BBC: Can ***big investors save the world?
    By Tom Espiner, Business reporter
    PIC: While young people have been demonstrating against climate change, big financial players are putting on pressure from a different direction
    The men and women who control trillions of dollars’ worth of assets are flexing their muscles. And as shareholders they are in a position to put pressure on companies to do the right thing.
    Climate Action 100+ is a group of more than 360 investors with more than $34tn (£28tn) in assets under management.
    They are worried not just about damage to the planet, but about the long-term viability of their investments. In short, irreversible harm to the environment would reduce or even wipe out the value of those investments.

    This group, which includes influential institutional investors such as the Church of England Commissioners, aims to engage with “systemically important emitters” in which they hold shares to curb greenhouse gas emissions and improve governance.
    One of those firms is the oil giant BP, which recently had its annual general meeting.
    Climate Action 100+ put forward a shareholder resolution to get BP to demonstrate that its strategy was consistent with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the international plan to limit global warming to 1.5C.
    The resolution, which was supported by the BP board was approved and is now legally binding.
    Various institutional investors were behind the BP resolution including Hermes, HSBC, Legal and General, and Aviva Investors…

    Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors: “We only have the next five to 10 years to deal with the risks associated with climate change and make sure they don’t become real.”
    If there is no action taken, the risks “will become real in the next 20 to 30 to 40 years,” and in the “very long term, a potentially catastrophic issue”…
    “If global governments, if humanity doesn’t prevent climate change…. $43tn could be wiped off global shares – roughly a third of their value,” says Mr Waygood…
    ENDS WITH PIC OF PROTEST PLACARD “VOTE GREEN OR FORGET YOUR PENSION SCHEME”: Environmental activists and investors both take a long term view.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49330150

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    • #
      pat

      channelling Orwell:

      17 Aug: Guardian: How Greta Thunberg became the new front in the Brexit culture war
      Nigel Farage and his hangers-on need a new rallying cause, so they’ve turned on this 16-year-old with frightening vitriol
      by Gaby Hinsliff
      She looks both younger than her age and old enough to have the cares of the world on her shoulders. Face scrubbed clean, dressed in a severe black jacket, Greta Thunberg stares unsmiling from the cover of this month’s GQ magazine. It’s an arresting, even unsettling, image: her outstretched finger points accusingly at the reader, in the manner of a wartime recruitment poster. Your planet needs you, millennials…

      It’s selfishness, rather than misogyny, that is surely the root cause of this rage at the very idea of being asked to give up any individual freedom – to fly, drive, eat a steak, carry on with our oblivious lives as if nothing was happening – for the greater good. But female climate campaigners are perhaps uniquely prone to press the buttons of what might be called toxic libertarians; people who combine a burning desire to do what the hell they like with fury at the very idea of being nagged, nannied or told what to do, especially by women. We are way beyond arguing about the science here, and fast moving beyond politics too, at least in the conventional sense of debating how far and how fast it’s reasonable to move in a democracy, or whether the moral absolutists of movements such as Extinction Rebellion have thought hard enough about the impact on other people’s livelihoods.

      ***There is still a perfectly legitimate political argument to be had about the need to secure democratic consent for sweeping changes in people’s lives. But those arguments are giving way to something altogether nastier: not climate crisis denial, so much as ***climate crisis nihilism. The nihilists don’t necessarily deny that the planet’s frying but, essentially, they refuse to feel bad about it; they want their sunshine holidays and their 4x4s, come hell or (possibly quite literally) high water, and screw anyone who gets in the way.

      If Brexit is any guide – and there is an interesting overlap with the sort of hard Brexiters who no longer argue for no deal on its merits, but solely on the grounds that ***it’s what they wanted and they’re damn well going to have it – they will increasingly use social media to bully their opponents out of the public sphere and embolden their supporters…
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/17/greta-thunberg-brexit-culture-war-nigel-farage

      51

  • #
    Ruairi

    For a short while the traffic had flowed,
    On the world’s very first solar road,
    Now this costly Wattway,
    In decline and decay,
    Has poor output and traffic has slowed.

    150

  • #
    pat

    dry report from BBC, but is stating 49,000 homes, as opposed to lower figures being reported:

    18 Aug: BBC: Didcot power station: Power cut as cooling towers demolished
    Thousands of households lost electricity moments after a disused power station’s remaining cooling towers were demolished.
    Didcot A’s 375ft (114.3m) high towers were brought down using explosive charges at 07:00 BST.
    Moments later, witnesses said, a nearby electricity pole went up in flames.
    Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said material related to the demolition had struck overhead power lines.
    Up to ***49,000 homes were without power until it was restored by 08:20…
    PIC: Onlookers saw an explosion (bottom left) as the towers fell
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-49375917

    18 Aug: Oxford Mail: Didcot Power Station demolition: SSE confirms debris DID cause power cut
    By Harrison Jones
    IT’S been confirmed that debris from the Didcot Power Station demolition DID fly off and hit cables, causing an explosion which injured bystanders.
    Footage shared with the Oxford Mail shows the moment the debris flies off as the towers collapse…
    Residents have called for answers as to why people were allowed to stand so close to the explosion site, and how debris could have come loose…

    TWEET: Jon Talbot
    Didcot Power Station Blowdown Including an overhead bang! On left of the towers, some debris hits pylon causing large flash! Then cables above start swinging, but about 500 yds away a massive explosion, setting fire to the pylon and causing damage to nearby cars! @SSE @RWE_UK
    VIDEO 19 SECS
    https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17844787.didcot-power-station-demolition-debris-hit-power-cables/

    TWEET: John Talbot
    Looks like the wrap used to cover the explosive charges is the culprit IMO as it flies off and hits nearby cables. Cropped clip at 10% speed from my iPhone video #didcotdemolition #didcotpowerstation
    VIDEO 10SECS
    18 Aug 2019
    from replies
    printready: That’s the smoking gun evidence. Great spot!
    Jon Talbot: Nice one namesake!
    val: @TheOxfordMail @BrownandMason @RWE_UK @BBCOxford clearly not all the necessary safety precautions appear to have been taken..
    https://twitter.com/jochta/status/1163036118100692993

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    • #
      pat

      Updated 19 Aug: UK Sun: FIREBALL PANIC Didcot power cut – Families flee in terror after electricity pylon explodes into flames during station demolition leaving 40,000 homes without power
      by Brittany Vonow
      Footage shows a terrifying fireball erupt moments after the three cooling towers were demolished in the Oxfordshire town.
      PIC: Plumes of smoke can be seen billowing into the air after the towers were demolished

      Shocking video shows sparks raining down on families that set a three-year-old girl’s hair on fire.
      It also triggered a blackout for thousands of homes and traffic lights for more than an hour…
      Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSE) insisted the fault “wasn’t linked to the demolition” – but later said the incidents were “probably linked”…

      A mum told The Herald Series (LINK): “My five year-old ran away so she wasn’t hurt, but the three year-old was busy watching videos and some of her hair was burnt.
      “At the moment we aren’t sure what caused it. It was frightening though. Everybody screamed and ran.”…
      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9728904/didcot-power-outages-tower-demolition/

      40

  • #
    David Maddison

    Since solar roadways are an obvious failure, you can bet they’ll be introduced into Australia- and fail again.

    We don’t have Donald Trump to stop most of this garbage.

    90

  • #
    pat

    17 Aug: Paul Homewood: Solar Industry Struggling In China, Following Subsidy Cuts
    Funny how the renewable lobby keeps telling us how cheap solar power is.
    China’s solar industry is apparently falling apart at the seams, since subsidies were cut last year:

    PV Mag: Singyes finally publishes details of last year’s annus horribilis – 16 Aug 2019…

    Singyes are by no means the only company affected…READ ON
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/08/17/solar-industry-struggling-in-china-following-subsidy-cuts/

    read all:

    18 Aug: Paul Homewood: The Real Story Behind Wind Farm Constraint Payments
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/08/18/the-real-story-behind-wind-farm-constraint-payments/

    50

  • #
    Dennis

    If only the trillions of dollars squandered on man made global warming caused by carbon dioxide hoax had been spent on improving living conditions and helping people ho live in poverty.

    And making provision for the next Little Ice Age.

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    • #
      Enoch Root

      The “conspiracy theorist” in me considers whether this might be “by design”: Those preaching depopulation will be very happy when the real catastrophe hits and we are unprepared after years of going in the wrong direction.

      120

      • #

        It’s reasonable to suggest “by design”. After all, the term “conspiracy theorist” was concocted by spooks to cover up their spooking…and their designs.

        My idea is that we are not looking at a brilliant globalist master plan but at the squabbles of crime families all bidding for dominance and pleading similar motives. They clash, they collude, they vary, but nearly all of them agree on critical points of attack such as climate and population scares, which are the old Technocracy and eugenics given an acceptable face for a new century.

        As to why these cosmopolitan elites want such control, it is vain for sane people to try to understand the real motives of the criminally insane. Scientism, trans-humanism, the single technocratic surveillance state, abolition of God, man as God…we see their moves, but not why anyone would waste a day of this brief Holocene building a shabby Babel to nowhere.

        For all their resources and power, globalists are just crims with bad taste.

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        • #
          el gordo

          ‘ … abolition of God …’

          Where do I sign up?

          They are well meaning individuals who think the world is coming to an end, because of the hand of man. Its millenarian madness, a cyclic phenomenon imbedded in Revelations.

          There is no overarching conspiracy from the top down, but on the ground in polite society, climate change is never mentioned. Its a conspiracy of silence and its the fault of the media.

          30

          • #
            Bill in Oz

            Eg you wrote ” the top down”

            But did you intend “top clown” ?

            40

            • #
              el gordo

              The argument put forward is that it is a universal conspiracy, intelligently designed to transfer wealth from rich to poor. There is some merit in this theory, but its much bigger than that.

              30

      • #
        el gordo

        Spoke to a fellow yesterday who said the world is over populated and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this is the high point of growth, like the MWP and RWP.

        We know in advance that populations will decline in the coming century as humanity becomes middle class and stop having children.

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  • #
    pat

    17 Aug: Mashable: Tesla is testing a low-priced ‘Rent Solar’ program for homes, but read the fine print
    By Adam Rosenberg
    It’s a pretty straightforward deal: for as little as $50 monthly, you get all the necessary panels and other hardware, plus installation, support, and ongoing maintenance. There’s no up front cost for the installation and no long-term contract commitment.

    There’s one big catch, however: if you decide to end your commitment and want the solar panels and hardware removed, you’re paying Tesla $1,500 to get that done. You’re also going to pay the same amount if you start with an option that’s too large for your needs and decide to downsize.
    Tesla’s FAQ on the program notes that the company charges the fee to cover costs, and it “does not make a profit.” The FAQ doesn’t mention what happens if you end your monthly service and decide to keep the panels and related hardware. Presumably, that puts you on the hook to buy whatever equipment was installed…

    ***VIDEO: 50SECS: WATCH: Solar roadways might be closer than you think — Future Blink
    https://mashable.com/article/tesla-rent-solar-program/

    18 Aug: CBS SanFrancisco: Tesla to Offer California Homeowners $65 Monthly Solar Panel Rental Plan
    VIDEO: 2min31sec: California becomes first State to require solar power for new homes (WATCH – MOSTLY NEGATIVE)
    AP: The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at $50 a month — or $65 a month in California — for a small set-up.
    Musk says consumers can cancel anytime, although Tesla’s website says there’s a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition.
    Besides California, rentals will be offered in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.
    MUST TWEETS
    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/08/18/tesla-solar-panel-business-offers-rentals/

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  • #
    pat

    17 Aug: LasVegasReviewJournal: Forced migration to wind and solar could hamper Nevada economy
    by RICHARD A. EPSTEIN
    (Richard A. Epstein is a professor at the New York University School of Law, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a distinguished service professor of law emeritus and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago)
    Last year, Nevada voters, by a 59 percent majority, endorsed Question 6, the Renewable Energy Promotion Initiative. If adopted again in 2020, it would amend the state constitution to require that 50 percent of the state’s energy portfolio come from renewables —wind and solar — by 2030. The consequences of this could be tragic for Nevada…
    Supporters of Question 6 presume that the world may well burn to a crisp if immediate and prompt steps are not taken to deal with rising carbon dioxide levels, rising temperatures and rising seas. But this causal chain is broken at every link.

    Yes, carbon dioxide levels have climbed steadily over the past 100 years, from about 305 parts per million in 1920 to about 412 ppm today. But global temperatures have not moved in lockstep with those increases. Looking just at the past 40 years, global temperatures reached highs in 1998 and again in 2016, after which they plunged. Neither of these moves had anything to do with carbon dioxide levels…
    Indeed the 0.56 degree Centigrade (1 degree Fahrenheit) fall in temperatures between February 2016 and February 2018 marks the largest year-over-year decline in temperatures in the past 100 years, while carbon dioxide concentrations continued their slow rise…
    Claiming that carbon dioxide is “the” cause of global warming grievously oversimplifies the scientific record.

    And that misattribution will have disastrous consequences if Question 6 receives an affirmative answer, for now the costly move to wind and solar will pour valuable resources down the drain for no good effect. Make no mistake about it, fossil fuels are vastly more efficient sources of energy. No matter what Nevada voters say, they will remain worldwide the central source of energy for decades to come…READ ON
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/richard-a-epstein-forced-migration-to-wind-and-solar-could-hamper-nevada-economy-1828863/

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  • #

    They’re mocking us now.

    It’s like the rustbucket hyperloop for oversize Dinkies and those sunken wave-gen contraptions. They’re testing to see how absurd, how wasteful, how futile they can make a project…not after light use but from the very inception.

    You don’t lay out masses of unadjustable solar panels at latitude 48 in a cloudy region then run cars over them unless you are testing the folly and conformity of the public at large. There can be no other purpose, except for the usual green plunder and subsidy hunting, and there are less blatant ways of going about that.

    No. This is mockery.

    STOP GLOBALISM.

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    Enoch Root

    Might have been shared around here already. Sorry if this is a repeat:

    https://cei.org/content/citizens-guide-climate-change

    40

    • #
      Serp

      I had a quick dekko at it and found it a reasonable synopsis of the situation and noted that such documents are legion by now but unfortunately they are swamped by the enormous volume of shrieking alarmist bulletins which are daily delivered scores of times to the general western audience.

      All one can do is catechize people advocating climate emergency: I like to ask them, politely, to explain how did Hannibal get the elephants over the alps? and how did the Vikings create settlements in Greenland? and to think about the millions of undersea volcanos and, TdeF’s favourite, that warming oceans necessarily release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

      Of course my message is soon overwritten by the MSM and a few weeks later I am obliged to repeat the exercise. Eventually reason will supervene but it is all too easy to become impatient with the process.

      00

  • #
    PG12

    I am Sorry but I must have missed something.

    “which is enough to provide light to up to 5,000 people, every day.”

    Why do they need light during the day. (or are they preparing for the return of the Dark Ages)

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      Gee aye

      seriously?

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        AndyG55

        I guess if you lived in a basement, you would need lights on during the day, right GA !

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          Gee aye

          A day is a 24 hour period – the quote did not say daylight – but apart from that, the quote is giving a guide to the amount of electrical energy produced. It could easily have been “heating 200 homes” (oh what would be the point of that in summer?).

          And before you go all illogical, yes solar panels can provide light at night too and you would never guess how.

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            AndyG55

            GA, some basic thinking.

            During the daytime, lights are generally not needed

            During the night time, there will be no solar energy from the road (not that there is much now)

            I’m sure you think solar panels can provide light at night..

            … well yes, I remember them managing that in Spain somewhere ;-)

            The quote gave absolutely no idea how much the road was meant to provide.

            Light could be a single 3w LED for all we know.

            I know its difficult for you, but at least try tobe sensible, GA

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            AndyG55

            And NO,

            unless its hooked up to a very large battery, it is not going to provide lighting for anyone except cellar dwellers when it is actually needed.

            Be sensible, GA.. if you can find a way.

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              JS

              They’ve clearly used the ridiculous metric of “provide light to” rather than the usual “power x homes” to bump the numbers up as saying “this will power 50 homes” (allowing for 15kwh/home/day) sounds as rubbish as you’d expect.

              What nobody seems to have picked up on is that they have spent (in round numbers) $6,000,000 to save $10,000 each year which means even if it worked as-designed it would take a mere 600 years to pay for itself. Don’t take investment advice from this lot!

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                Gee aye

                agree. I was trying to make this point. Andy is fixated on something so stay clear.

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                AndyG55

                You are the clown that thinks solar power for lighting during the day is actually useful !

                Its your fixation on writing nonsense.

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                Gee aye

                I can see you are struggling with understanding this one so I’ll just agree with your statement.

                Indeed there are minimal lighting needs during the day and why they diverted the power from the road to be wired in such a way that it exclusively powered only the lighting circuits in 2000 homes is bizarre. Imagine how much money they must have spent to do such a thing!

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                AndyG55

                Yawn, GA is having a junior’s moment. !

                It was, as these things always are, a stupid comparison, that fooled the poor little fella. !

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            Greg Cavanagh

            Most solar installations don’t have battery backup, they simply sell it to the grid as-is.

            Using a 5,000 house metric is nothing other than that, it doesn’t actually provide power to 5,000 houses. They sell it to the grid when it’s produced. Nothing at night.

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            Peter C

            And before you go all illogical, yes solar panels can provide light at night too and you would never guess how.

            You are straining credulity now Gee aye.
            Please don’t say Batteries!

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    pat

    19 Aug: RenewEconomy: Back to drawing board for 200MW Victoria solar farm, as VCAT dismisses appeal
    by Sophie Vorrath
    Plans to build a 200MW solar farm in Camperdown in Victoria remain at a standstill after an appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal failed to overturn the local council’s decision to block the project.
    The Bookaar solar farm – a joint project of Infinergy Pacific and the McArthur family who own the land slated for the development – has proposed to install 700,000 PV panels, inverters, a substation and battery storage.

    But the project met with strong local opposition for reasons including its size, visual impact and loss of agricultural land. And in September 2018, it was voted down by the Corangamite Shire Council over what were described as “lineball” planning issues – no doubt helped over that line by broader community concerns…

    Stewart McArthur, who owns the land that would host the solar farm, was a federal Liberal Party MP for the Victorian Division of Corangamite from 1984 until his defeat in 2007. Bev McArthur is currently serving as a Victorian Liberal MP representing the Western Victoria Region.
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/back-to-drawing-board-for-200mw-victoria-solar-farm-as-vcat-dismisses-appeal-33933/

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    pat

    19 Aug: MirageNews: ANZ boosts clean energy finance program to $250 million
    ANZ today announced it had extended its collaboration with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), committing to facilitating a further $100 million of finance to help Australian businesses cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions through innovation.
    The additional finance will take ANZ’s total commitment to $250 million, with a focus on enabling businesses to purchase small-scale solutions to reduce their energy use, carbon footprint and fuel consumption…
    Investments include small-scale rooftop solar and battery storage, improved insulation and low-emission or electric vehicles…

    Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO, Ian Learmonth, said: “We welcome the renewed commitment from ANZ as we continue to work together to break new ground by introducing clean energy technologies to new sectors, businesses and projects.
    “Investments like these are helping us reduce Australia’s carbon emissions by supporting business borrowers looking to use energy efficiency and renewable energy to make real and positive changes to their operations,” he said…
    LINK FULL PRESS RELEASE
    https://www.miragenews.com/anz-boosts-clean-energy-finance-program-to-250-million/

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  • #

    Sorry. I’ve been trying to move the “fifth law” comments to Unthreaded where they belong,( #50) and some comments have been orphaned down here — tossed out of their nests. It’s a pain when someone hijacks the top of a thread with something off topic. Will keep juggling comments to fix.

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  • #

    How come my post was deleted?

    [Not deleted. Moved to #50 at Unthreaded with all the others. - Jo]

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  • #

    A comment about the unintended consequences of a solar road, using a road metaphor, wasn’t germane to the thread?

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    Geoffrey Williams

    Off topic but interesting just watched video on afternoon TV news showing the demolition of 3 cooling towers at Diddcott A in the UK. Not a good job either as nearby by power lines were damaged causing local power failures. Seems such a waste . . .
    GeoffW

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    pat

    Sky Australia still going on about the Pacific Islands and following up with this:

    19 Aug: ABC: Australia is the world’s third-largest exporter of CO2 in fossil fuels, report finds
    ABC Science By environment reporter Nick Kilvert
    When we think of big fossil-fuel-producing nations, it’s usually Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and maybe Venezuela that spring to mind — but a new report places Australia near the very top of that list.
    The analysis, released today by public policy think tank the Australia Institute, measures fossil fuel exports according to their carbon dioxide-emissions potential.
    It ranks Australia as the world’s third-biggest exporter behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia.
    In other words, when Australian fossil fuels — primarily coal — are burned overseas, the amount of carbon dioxide they produce is higher than the exported emissions of nearly all the world’s biggest oil- and gas-producing nations, like Iraq and Kuwait.

    Australia mines about 57 tonnes of CO2 potential per person each year, about 10 times the global average, and exports 7 per cent of the world’s fossil fuel CO2 potential, the report found…

    The report comes days after Australia stymied efforts by small island states to get Pacific-wide consensus on their declaration for stronger action on climate change…

    But CO2 emissions from Australian fossil fuel exports aren’t so black and white, according to the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).
    Australian fossil fuel exports, namely gas, are helping to reduce worldwide CO2 emissions, according to APPEA CEO Andrew McConville…

    But Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor also claimed Australian fossil fuel exports were helping bring down global emissions in a statement in June, following the publication of Australia’s latest quarterly emissions figures…
    But that claim is ***”silly” and relies on false assumptions according to Frank Jotzo, director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy at ANU…
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-08-19/australia-co2-exports-third-highest-worldwide/11420654

    Updated 19 Aug: Bloomberg: Coal-Loving Australia Is Third Biggest Emissions Exporter
    By James Thornhill
    “Australia has a unique opportunity, and obligation, to face up to the climate crisis through policies to limit its carbon exports, starting with a moratorium on new coal mines,” it said. “The scale of exports from countries like Australia bring into stark relief why efforts to reduce world emissions must limit both demand and supply.”…

    In terms of its own greenhouse gas pollution, Australia generates 1.2% of the world’s emissions while having just 0.3% of the population, according to the report…
    (The Morrison) government last week rebuffed calls by leaders from its island nation neighbors for a commitment to phase out coal, and watered down language on climate change and coal in the communique that followed the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu…

    The AI based its analysis on data from the International Energy agency, with coal and gas figures for 2017 and oil for 2016. Emission factors for the fuels are from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    (Updates with details from Pacific Islands Forum in eighth paragraph.)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-18/coal-loving-australia-is-world-s-3rd-biggest-emissions-exporter

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      pat

      TWEET: Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Senator for NSW
      Australia’s export of fossil fuels makes us a world leading contributor to the climate crisis.
      It’s time we declared a climate emergency and moved beyond the coal, oil and gas that’s poisoning our planet LINK Guardian
      19 Aug 2019
      https://twitter.com/MehreenFaruqi/status/1163210138062221312

      TWEET: Adam Bandt, Greens MP
      As today’s @theage editorial shows, things have shifted and the #Greens’ plan is now publicly accepted as the right thing to do.
      We’ve got a plan to get Australia out of coal by 2030 & look after workers and communities along the way.
      Time for the others to back us. EXCERPT
      16 Aug 2019
      https://twitter.com/AdamBandt/status/1162497181397291008

      24 Jul: EurActiv: German Greens want to ban domestic flights by 2035
      By Florence Schulz
      Germany’s Greens plan to make domestic flights ‘largely obsolete’ by 2035. To this end, they want to introduce a tax on kerosene and gradually increase rail traffic. The EU, however, is far from finding a solution on how to tax air travel. EURACTIV Germany reports.
      https://www.euractiv.com/section/aviation/news/german-greens-want-to-ban-domestic-flights-by-2035/

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      Graeme No.3

      pat:
      I thought that Indonesia was ahead of us in the amount of coal exported, and obviously way ahead in oil exports.

      But if we try we can still beat them.

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      Bill Burrows

      Now we wouldn’t want double counting would we? So if Australia has to count the emissions generated from its exported coal and gas the importing Asian countries can presumably subtract all the emissions from burning these Australian sourced fuels from their net emissions accounting also?

      Likewise Australia would exclude from its accounting all the emissions arising from burning liquid fuels imported into this country. Taken to its logical conclusion the biggest net importers of fossil fuels will fast approach zero net emissions (since they will not have to include emissions generated from imported products in their GHG accounting). Such countries (e.g. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc) will no doubt then be deified by Saint Greta of Thunberg.

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    Phillip Bratby

    Now who could possibly have predicted this? Obviously, anybody but a green!

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    Chad

    Update on last weeks UK grid failure..

    https://www.ft.com/content/8b738eac-c024-11e9-89e2-41e555e96722

    National Grid’s preliminary investigation into the blackout that caused widespread disruption in England and Wales last week has raised the possibility that it was caused by the world’s largest offshore wind farm accidentally going offline.

    The provisional report, which was submitted to regulators on Friday, suggests for the first time that the Hornsea offshore wind farm, which is owned and run by Denmark’s Orsted, may have tripped offline seconds before an outage at a smaller, gas-fired station.

    The findings, which were relayed to the Financial Times by people briefed on the report, suggest the blackout may have been avoided if not for an error at the wind farm.

    A lightening strike has also been hinted at as the initiator, but i am sure that will be twisted to being caused by “climate change” we all know the root cause was the lack of “ spinning reserve”. But we may never see that in print or hear that admitted.

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    pat

    this makes clear what business Penn State is in!

    18 Aug: PhiladelphiaInquirer: Solar as a crop? Penn State to install state’s largest solar array on 500 acres of farmland.
    by Ellie Rushing
    Glenn and Catherine Dice have been farmers all their lives…
    But in the last year, the Dices added a new crop to their fields: solar panels.
    In a growing trend across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, the Dices have agreed to a 25-year contract to rent 134 acres to Lightsource BP, a London-based solar company with an office in Philadelphia. Lightsource is renting a total of 500 acres of land from seven Franklin County farm owners to install a utility-scale solar array with 150,000 panels, in what will be the largest solar installation in the state.

    It will sell the power generated to Pennsylvania State University, providing 25% of the university’s electrical needs for all its campuses…
    While this 70 megawatt installation would be the state’s largest when it’s complete in July 2020, larger arrays will soon eclipse it, said Carl Jackson, director of utility-scale solar initiatives at Penn State…
    “Pennsylvania has a tremendous amount of farmland, the cost [of solar] has come down, and the state has taken some initiatives to promote solar.”…

    “Think of this like a really good food exchange,” said Jeffrey Brownson, an associate professor of energy and mineral engineering at Penn State. “We think of energy as an extractive process, but you can design and work a solar farm that is … more along the lines of a sustained farm practice.”…

    As a nonprofit, Penn State is not eligible for the 30% tax incentive that comes with installing solar. Since Lightsource is eligible, purchasing the electricity through that company significantly reduces the university’s entry cost and liability…
    “We didn’t want to increase our costs in order to cut our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rob Cooper, director of energy and engineering at Penn State. In the first year, the university expects to save about $272,000 by switching to solar. Across the 25 years, it expects to save about $14 million…

    This arrangement may become increasingly popular for large nonprofits such as hospitals and universities, said Edward Johnstonbaugh, a renewable energy educator with Penn State Extension…
    https://www.inquirer.com/business/solar-energy-farms-pennsylvania-penn-state-crops-20190818.html

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    pat

    18 Aug: TimesOfIndia: Gujarat: Developers Shying Away From Solar Auctions
    AHMEDABAD: Auctions of solar power capacities in Gujarat continue to receive lukewarm response from renewable power project developers. Given the situation, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) could finalise bids for only 150 MW as against the tendered capacity of 950 MW…

    The financial bids were opened on August 16. Tata Renewable Energy has won a bid for developing 50 MW plant in Dholera Solar Park by quoting a tariff of Rs 2.75 per unit. State-owned GSECL bagged a project contract for 100 MW capacity to be developed in Raghanesda park at a tariff of Rs 2.65 per unit, said sources…
    Industry players say the current uncertainty looming over the solar industry has dampened investor sentiments…
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/developers-shying-away-from-solar-auctions/articleshow/70719333.cms

    19 Aug: FinancialExpressIndia: Rooftop solar hardly going through the roof
    RTS has the potential to contribute significantly to mitigation and has strong linkages to the local economy, but state governments and distribution utilities are not supportive of RTS.
    By Dhruba Purkayastha
    (The author is director, US-India Clean Energy Finance)
    India is to have 100GW installed capacity in solar by 2022, of which 60GW is expected to be attained from utility scale, and 40GW from rooftop solar (RTS). As of June 2019, installed capacity for solar is 30GW—and RTS accounts for 4GW, owing to recent growth in installations.
    This limited growth in RTS has thrown up concerns with discoms losing revenues from higher tariff slabs for commercial and industrial consumers. Now, many RTS developers and EPC players have shut shop as amidst these concerns their business models don’t seem viable…

    This is surprising, given the inherent benefits of RTS, and various policy and regulatory initiatives (including subsidies) that had been undertaken by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE)…
    Both globally and in India, RTS programmes have been driven by incentives in the form of direct capital subsidy, tax credits, net metering and Renewable Power Obligations. But now some state governments and regulators are constraining deployment of RTS by imposing a variety of restrictions, such as capping—it translates into a reduction to a certain percentage at the local level (distribution transformer) load, and as a percentage of connected load per customer…

    RTS deployment has been supported by technical assistance and concessionary lending from the World Bank and ADB through PSBs. These have not been adequately used…
    Given the transformative potential of RTS supported by improving technologies and falling prices of solar electricity generation and battery storage, it is imperative that state governments and discoms engage positively with market players…
    https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/rooftop-solar-hardly-going-through-the-roof/1679065/

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    pat

    12 Aug: RenewEconomy: Macquarie buys $1.77 billion stake in mammoth UK offshore wind farm
    by Michael Mazengarb
    Scarce information about the deal is currently available, with initial reports coming from the UK’s Financial Times…
    It will potentially be Macquarie’s second major acquisition in the offshore wind energy market, following an announcement last week that a European arm of the bank had acquired Ocean Breeze Energy, the owner of the 400MW BARD 1 Offshore wind farm in Germany…

    While Macquarie has been cautious in building its presence in the Australian renewable energy market, it has been more ambitious in its expansion into the international market.
    The banking giant has recently acquired significant stakes in a portfolio of Mexican solar projects. Last year Macquarie also issued £500 billion in bonds for further investments in clean energy projects…
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/macquarie-buys-1-77-billion-stake-in-mammoth-uk-offshore-wind-farm-32475/

    18 Aug: Loop21: Iberdrola sells 40% of its East Anglia One offshore wind farm to Macquarie for some 1,750 million euros
    By Davies Miller
    Iberdrola has signed an agreement with Green Investment Group (GIG), of the Macquarie Group, for the sale of a 40% stake in the East Anglia One (EAO) offshore wind farm for 1,630 million pounds sterling, some 1,750 million euros…
    The closing of the transaction is pending the usual authorization by The Crown (E)State…

    When it enters into operation in 2020, the park will be the largest in the world, with an installed capacity of 714 megawatts (MW), with which it will supply 600,000 British homes with clean energy…
    https://loop21.com/iberdrola-sells-40-of-its-east-anglia-one-offshore-wind-farm-to-macquarie-for-some-1750-million-euros

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    Serge Wright

    I’m sure there would be weight restrictions, meaning these roads would not be semi conductors ;)

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    Joe

    Here is the GM link to the road if anyone wants to take a look.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@48.5871731,0.6471928,154m/data=!3m1!1e3
    Or just search Rue Charles de Gaulle down in Tourouvre. You can see the panels in the aerial pics. The StreetView data however, is prior to the solar paving.
    It is a pretty tiny road. They seem to have a grid supply alongside. You would think that if they wanted some solar power for some special reason, it would have been cheaper to buy a 50m x 50m patch of dirt alongside there somewhere or even the bits between the on and off ramps at the junction to the south.

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    TdeF

    Forget this 15 degrees optimal nonsense, Normandy is at 50 degrees which means in winter the sun is at 90-50-11 or 39 degrees to the horizontal. This is the maximum elevation at midday.

    Then the day length is only 8 hours, a third of the day. At the end of the first hour or for the last hour, the sun is say at 4 degrees to the road. Two more hours at 8 degrees. A glancing angle at best for four hours a day. Then even a hill or tree or building casts a long shadow. So nothing. London at 50N is closer to the latitude of Heard Island at 53S. Our winter sun in cool Melbourne or even Hobart in September is as strong as midsummer in London.

    That is if the road is not covered with snow or rain or dirt and the trees do not block the light at low elevation. Solar in winter in Paris is absurd. By the time you get to 60 degrees in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Glasgow or Moscow, the sun is rarely above the trees on a rare cloudless day. Even arrays of solar panels do not make sense because if you tilt them and rotate them, you have to space them further and the area required is immense. Seriously, why bother? It’s a Green fantasy for the hot deserts of the world none of which are in Europe and few people live in a hot desert. Then there’s Las Vegas.

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    Eddie

    Grand Prix tracks might have made a little more sense, like Last Mans or Monza which are driven on less and with a suitable camber in places.

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    Marjorie Curtis

    I’ve only just seen this. Who in the world had this bright idea? They need to be executed. Of course, that is not either PC or Green. Silly me!

    00