JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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Solar Homes use more grid electricity than non-solar homes

There are probably more solar panels in QLD than anywhere else in the world. Back in February last year, the boss of the Queensland state power company announced the awkward result that households with solar panels were using more electricity than those without. Apparently people without solar were turning off the air conditioner because electricity cost too much, but the solar users didn’t have to worry about the cost so much.

Queensland solar homes are using more grid electricity than non-solar, says Energex boss

Feb 2016:  Solar-powered homes in south-east Queensland, which boasts the world’s highest concentration of rooftop panels, have begun consuming on average more electricity from the grid than those without solar, the network operator has found.

Terry Effeney, the chief executive of state-owned power distributor Energex, said the trend – which belied the “green agenda” presumed to drive those customers – was among the challenges facing a region that nevertheless stood the best chance globally of making solar the cornerstone of its electricity network.

From October 2014 in Queensland, the average grid electricity use of solar homes started to exceed the average use of people without solar power and stayed higher for the at least the [...]

Nevada reversal: solar earnings rate drops from 12c to 2c — May “destroy rooftop solar power”

If only solar generation was affordable?

In Nevada there is a lot of sunlight and a lot of solar panels, but they generate electricity at a cost of 25 – 30c per kWhr. With subsidies and tax benefits, the cost “falls” to 15c. (In this context,  the word “falls” means “is dropped on other people”.)  But the retail rate for electricity is 12.5c.  So having solar panels doesn’t help you much unless you can sell that excess electricity, which the state of Nevada was buying at 12.5c. That price sounds fine and dandy til we find out that they could have bought the same electricity at wholesale rate of around two cents.

So Nevada has decided that’s what the state will pay… 2c, not 12.5c. The latest decision is to apply normal free market rules. Nevada will now pay wholesale rates for electricity. No more shopping for boutique electrons.

Taking into account all the tax cuts, subsidies and total costs, who would have thought that paying 15 times the wholesale rate for electricity would be economically unsustainable?

Battles Over Net Metering Cloud the Future of Rooftop Solar

One of the fastest-growing markets for residential solar, Nevada is the [...]

Renewables subsidies are slashed in UK. Solar, Wind, Hydro industry “shocked”

Renewable power is always as “cheap as coal” except when subsidies are slashed, then it’s “the end”, “terrible”, and “fragile”.

If only renewable power could actually compete with coal.

Greenclick tells us the UK solar industry is “reeling” in “shock and anger” as the UK conservative government cuts the renewables feed-in tariff there by as much as 86%. Even for the hydro industry (about the only renewable industry that can survive on its own), the news could spell the “end”.

Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, which represents more than 300 green energy businesses, said: “The proposals in the Comprehensive Feed-in Tariff Review are, quite simply, terrible news for homeowners, businesses, communities and those local authorities which have plans in place to develop renewable energy schemes.

“The levels of reduction in support announced today will severely curtail development of small-scale onshore wind and solar projects and endanger jobs and investments across the country.

“The cuts could also spell the end for much of the hydro industry, which has enjoyed a recent renaissance but relies more heavily on Government support because of the length of time taken to develop projects and the sector’s [...]

US Schools teach kids high tech ways to waste money

Steve Goreham highlights a school program which spends 30,000 dollars to save 300. The program is called “Wise” and hopes to change global weather.

Presumably with such profligate wastage, delusional ambition, and little practical purpose, it will breed future political leaders.   — Jo

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US citizens pay for “solar school” foolishness

By Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times

Solar systems are being installed at hundreds of schools across the United States. Educators use solar panels to teach students about the “miracle” of energy sourced from the sun. But a closer look at these projects shows poor economics and a big bill for citizens.

Earlier this month, the National Resources Defense Fund (NRDC) launched its “Solar Schools” campaign, an effort to raise $54,000 to help “three to five to-be-determined schools move forward with solar rooftop projects.” The NRDC wants to “help every school in the country go solar.” The campaign uses a cute video featuring kids talking about how we’re “polluting the Earth with gas and coal” and how we can save the planet with solar.

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