Solar power at midday is so useless, they plan to start charging homeowners for generating it

By Jo Nova

The glut in solar power in Australia is so big that next year solar panel owners in Sydney will have to pay 1.2c a kilowatt hour to offload their unwanted energy between 10am and 3pm. Nearly a million homes in Sydney have solar panels, but only 7% of them have batteries, which means basically, thousands of homes installed hi-tech generators that aren’t very useful. Worse, other homes were forced to pay part of the costs for them. The only winner was China.

Finally, a tiny part of the strangled free market is re-asserting itself, which might slow down future installations, or trick a few people into installing a $9,000 battery. Naturally this unpredictable rule change will hurt the poorest solar owners, but benefit those wealthy enough to afford a battery.

Solar panel owners slugged by Ausgrid for generating too much power

by Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Sydney Morning Herald

The biggest electricity distributor on the east coast plans to charge households with solar panels to export their electricity to the grid during the middle of the day.

Ausgrid will impose a penalty of 1.2¢ a kilowatt-hour for any electricity exported to the grid […]

German solar industry collapsing: unable to make solar panels from solar power

By Jo Nova

About 90% of solar panels installed in Germany come from China, and earlier this year one of the last solar panel manufacturers closed in Germany. Last week, what was left of the industry begged for mercy (and subsidies) which they didn’t get. Now another German solar panel manufacturer has closed down.

For some cruel reason German factories which are close to their customers, can’t compete with distant foreign factories which have access to slave labor, fossil fueled shipping and cheap coal fired electricity?

The bigger question, seemingly, is how did the country that invented the printing press, diesel engines, and the theory-of-relativity get fooled by such a stupid ploy? Someone told them they could save the world with unreliable energy, so they converted their generators to unreliable ones, only to discover that they can’t afford to use unreliable generators to make the unreliable generators they need to keep saving the world?

The only government stupider than Germany is the one that has already seen how badly this worked out and announces they’re going to do the same thing. Australia is not only ten years too late, but China has flooded the market to the […]

Alinta chief admits the transition has “soaring costs”, and has stalled because of the rooftop solar glut

Solar panels eat the profits of the reliable generators for lunch

By Jo Nova

The system is reaching a crisis point and April is turning out to be the month of confessions

His speech was the sound of an industry being tortured. The transition is going backwards. Big projects are stalled. Costs are rising and reliable old assets are being closed too quickly. It’s like we are disassembling the plane as we fly it…

A couple of weeks ago in Australia the chief of Alinta Energy admitted in a big speech that the industry needs to be honest with the public about the costs of the transition. This marks a big shift from the “cheaper and cleaner” misinformation which the renewables industry was practically built on. Jeff Dimery had a stark warning — his company bought a large old coal plant in Victoria for a billion dollars in 2018, and it powers one fifth of Victoria. But to replace that today with renewables would cost $10 billion.

But he also laid bare the crushing effect subsidized rooftop solar PV panels are having on the transition. No news outlets seemed to appreciate the implications of this. Fully one in […]

The most expensive electricity on Earth is in countries with “cheapest sources of electricity”

By Jo Nova

In the Bermuda Triangle of electricity bills, the more cheap generators you add, the higher your electricity bills grow

The experts at the CSIRO tell us that renewables are the cheapest sources of electricity, with all their Capex calculations and their levelised maths, and yet the electricity bills set the house on fire. (It’s Russia’s fault!) Could it be that the experts accidentally forgot to analyze the system cost and that all the hourly megawatt dollars per machine don’t mean a thing?

In the race to the most expensive electricity in the world, this week the UK is the winner. Germany is handicapped by being bundled into the EU27, lumbered with all the French nukes and is therefore not in the running. Australia is missing in action, but possibly only because the price rises were too fast and too much for the Eurostat, the US DoE, and IEA to keep up with, so they gave up.

And people wonder why China is the world’s manufacturing base.

A European Commission study:

In the next graph is the “rest of the world”. After 2021 Australian electricity prices are unmarked for some reason, but officially they rose 20% two […]

Glut in Californian home-solar causes bubble to pop: sales down 75%

By Jo Nova California was the Land of Solar Panels at the top of the Magic Subsidy Tree but that boom went bust

If solar panels were actually cheap and useful, everyone could have them, they’d pay for themselves, and there would be no point where the panel-party would grind to a halt. But if they were expensive, made something useless, and their product became toxic to the grid itself the government would have to artificially subsidize them to get them onto the grid in the first place, and then pop its own bubble before the bubble popped the grid. And so that time has arrived in California and there is carnage in the market.

The Duck has quacked

In a strange coincidence the Californian government cut the payments for solar-powered-electricity by 75% last year, and sales of solar panels fell to a quarter of what they were a year ago. That’s a “to” not a “by”. One in five solar contractors has already left the market. Careers and businesses — gone.

The new price for solar-powered-electricity is probably slightly closer to the true market value, which is almost zero, or even less for holy-green electricity at noon. The Duck […]

Global glut in solar panels so bad, people are using them for garden fences, just as Australia looks to jump in

By Jo Nova

There is such a glut in solar panels, the Financial Times reported that people in Germany and the Netherlands are using them as cheap garden fencing, even though the angle is not good for catching the sun. Though given that there is also a glut of solar power at lunchtime this is probably a “good” thing.

Solar Panels

Great time for the Australian Government to spend a billion dollars setting up a giant solar panel production industry, eh?

With exquisite timing the Australian Labor government has just announced a Solar Sunshot for Our Regions. It our Prime Ministers ambition for us to be a “Renewable Energy Superpower” twenty years too late. One third of homes in Australia already have solar panels, but only 1% were made here. The NSW State government will also lob $275 million to support the embryonic industry and workers, most of whom will presumably be doorknocking to give away the panels with lamingtons. After we finish building garden fences, we might be using them to build sheds and cubby houses.

The big solar rush is over…

The global frenzy to install solar panels has suddenly flattened out last year when it […]

2,500 football fields of new solar panels destroyed by hail in Texas this week

By Jo Nova

Imagine the outcry if a coal plant was obliterated by hail?

A few days ago, a 3,300 acre solar power plant in Texas suffered major hail damage. This was a plant so new it was still under construction. The Fighting Jays solar project started generating in 2022, but was not expected to be fully complete until the end of 2024. In theory it was supposed to last for 35 years.

It is so large they boasted that it covers 2,499 football fields (like that is a good thing). Despite the vast footprint, it was rated at only 350 MW. At noon at peak production it could generate about half of what one forty year old coal fired turbine makes all day every day, and every night too.

Collecting low density energy is more expensive than the wish-fairies might think.

BREAKING: Hail storm in Damon texas on 3/24/24 destroys 1,000’s of acres of solar farms.

Who pays to fix this green energy? @StateFarm? @FarmBureau? @Allstate?

Or you the taxpayer?

— Corey Thompson (@Roughneck2real) March 25, 2024

At an average construction price of $1 million per megawatt the project likely cost about $350 million dollars. […]

Solar Stocks crashed in the last quarter too, down 40% so far this year around the world

Jo Nova

It seems people only wanted renewable energy if they got cheap loans

Just as the quarterly reporting season revealed crippling losses for wind power and EV’s, so it is with Solar energy.

The general US S&P shares index gained 15% this year but The Invesco Solar ETF (Fund) which invests in solar energy stocks around the world — fell by a dire 40%. Even the US “Inflation Reduction Act” couldn’t save the solar sector. As finances tighten with rising interest rates, apparently solar panel orders are among the first to be cancelled.

Some of the worst performers in the whole US share market are solar shares, with SolarEdge and Enphase losing 70% each this year. A few weeks ago, the CEO of SolarEdge said revenues this quarter were about half of what was expected. He blamed “unexpected cancellations” from European distributors. But US demand was down too. Indeed, the bad news started in California, the largest market in the US, when the government slashed home solar “net metering” payments in April by about 75%. Suddenly, it was going to take 10 years to pay off the panels. Solar panels were a luxury item.

If only solar panels […]

The Spy problem with not-so-smart solar inverters


By Jo Nova

Soon we may have hackable transmitters and receivers on every roof…

When storms hit Adelaide last November the first thing the AEMO did was ask people to switch off their own solar panels so they didn’t swamp and crash the fragile wounded grid. Some 400MW of rooftop PV was also remotely shut down through the combination of smart inverters and voltage controls. Imagine if a foreign power could launch a cyber attack — one that switched a large energy source on or off at the wrong moment?

Last year “a hacker gained access to PV systems in the Netherlands that were operated via a monitoring tool from China’s Solarman“. That meant a Dutch government agency was suddenly called on to investigate and report on the risks. According to PV magazine:

“The hacker was able to view the personal data of Dutch customers, create new customers and delete existing users,” reported Tweakers. “He was also able to find out how much electricity customers’ solar panels generate via GPS coordinates, and download, adjust and upload inverter firmware.”

In May this year a report by the Dutch National Digital Infrastructure Inspectorate (RDI) found that many […]

5 Megawatt solar plant destroyed by hail

By Jo Nova

Hail destroyed most of the three year old Scottsbluff community solar project in Nebraska this week. Solar energy might be free but collecting it requires vast acreages of fragile and expensive infrastructure.

Imagine if a three year old coal plant was “destroyed by hail?”

Scottscliffe was a 5.2MW plant with 14,000 panels that started operating in the Spring of 2020. In theory it was going to reduce the “carbon footprint and stabilize city costs for the next 25 years”. Instead it will increase the toxic metal in landfill.

There were tornadoes in the area at the time, but there doesn’t appear to be damage to the fences, trees or poles surrounding the plant.

About a quarter of the panels may have survived, or at least don’t have damage visible from 100 meters away…

We hope they had insurance.

Baseball-sized hail took out a 5.2-megawatt solar farm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on Friday

Kevin Killough, Cowboy State Daily

[Don Day, Cowboy State Daily meteorologist] said that the region around southeast Wyoming has some of the highest frequencies of hailstorms in the country. “It’s ground zero,” Day said.

The average […]

Solar Panels now in “top five” worst slave industries

A Xinjiang Re-education Camp | Wiki

By Jo Nova

Greens create slavery

What’s more important — freeing people in slave labor camps today or making the world one hundreth of a degree cooler a century from now? Oh the dilemma.

It’s just another unintended consequence on the road to Climate Heaven. If solar panels were actually efficient and competitive they’d make network electricity cheaper and theoretically, at least, there would be money to pay for real wages. Instead competition is cut-throat, and no country with a lot of solar panels can actually afford to make solar panels.

New Walk Free study shows Australia’s push for green transition exploits slave labour

By Jenna Clarke, The Australian

Leading Australian philanthropist Grace Forrest is warning ­Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen that the push for Australia’s green energy transition could force more people into slavery.

The comprehensive international study, five years in the making, shows Australia’s supply chains and products at risk of human exploitation for the first time, including solar panels which are imported from China at a cost of close to $2bn.

“For the first time, we […]

Six gigawatts of total wind generation collapsed in 16 hours last week, and nobody cared

By Jo Nova

Just another day of Wind turbine failure — 6GW in 16 hours

There was no cyclone, no storm, no national disaster, but our national infrastructure collapsed just the same. Blame a high pressure cell.

Last week TonyFromOz noticed that the output from all 79 industrial wind plants in Australia disappeared overnight from 6GW to just 0.4GW. Imagine if an entire state of coal plants failed in the space of 16 hours and nobody cared?

Wind plants fail all the time and wreak havoc on the grid. It’s just “business as usual” or rather “subsidies as usual”. The rainbow list of acronyms below the graph shows every single wind plant in five states of Australia was accounted for in this dismal tally.

Wind turbine failure: TonyFromOZ

Billions of dollars rests on whether we can stop high pressure cells forming near Adelaide…

As Tony points out, the more wind towers we build, the worse this mayhem will be. Weather comes and weather goes but when the doldrums hit, it wipes out all 79 industrial plants together. Only wind plants built outside the high pressure cell could smooth out this failure. Offshore wind farms would have failed at […]

Big solar goes Big Bust: Largest solar plant in the world dies before it can be built

By Jo Nova

This was the glorious green future that just collapsed today.

But it’s a win for the rare Typhonium plant, and possibly also for millions of crabs around Indonesia who might have been hypnotized by undersea cables like the ones near the UK are. And who knows what that cable would have done electromagnetically for turtles, dugongs, whales and dolphins? Where are the Greens when giant experimental industrial parks span 5,000km of wilderness?

Today the massive Sun Cable project collapsed into voluntary administration four years after promising to build the world’s largest solar power plant in the Northern Territory. Sun Cable was a $35 billion project supposedly to collect those sacred green electrons on a 12,000 hectare “farm” in Australia (120 square kilometers) and send them to Singapore via an 800 km land cable and then a 4,200km undersea cable. It was theoretically going to be nine times bigger than the largest solar plant in the world, and use a cable 6 times longer than the longest one ever built.

So this was ambition-on-steroids, and had economies of scale up the kazoo, and possibly as much sunlight as any place on Earth, but it was still obscenely […]

Wild West voltage spikes in South Australia and a billion watts of wasted solar

By Jo Nova

South Australia survived the big scary sunny day yesterday, but had to shut off solar power and throw all those sacred green electrons into a thousand open circuits.

Yet again, another spooky voltage spike appeared, suddenly leaping from 245 to 257 volts in less than three minutes and shaking down any impertinent solar panels. That was at 10am. From then on, despite the growing sunlight, the combined solar output of South Australia stayed flat at around 1.2GW. Compare this to last week — before the safety cord to Victoria broke — then, solar generation was peaking at 2.1 GW. So the great renewable wonderland is managing to keep the lights on, but nearly a billion watts of solar power is sitting uselessly on rooftops and in fields every sunny day at lunch time.

This is not the cheap and efficient golden path to the future, but the Bolshevik elephant that eats your retirement plans. Despite the oversupply of unreliable generation, yesterday the state was using fossil fuels to supply between 20% and 80% of their electricity.

Mark Jessop recorded the voltage and commented: “Lovely sunny day here in islanded SA, which of course means @SAPowerNetworks has bumped […]

Renewable records tumble? How the ABC turns a grid headache into a glorious solar achievement

by Jo Nova

With all the calm language of a paid ad agency, the ABC is breathless because an esoteric measure called “minimum operational demand” has hit a record or two. This glorious moment may have only lasted 30 minutes, and it isn’t actually a useful thing, but it’s a “record”.

In fact, “minimum operational demand” is a grid management headache, not a badge of honor. It’s the midday moment when solar panels all work — and it’s becoming such a problem that two states in Australia have said all new solar panels need “smart” controllers so that the guys in the central control rooms can turn the darn things off. That’s how good it is.

Renewable energy records tumble around the country as rooftop solar power soars

by ABC Energy Propaganda Reporter, Daniel Mercer

Soaring power production from households and businesses with rooftop solar panels has sent records tumbling across Australia as output from fossil fuels falls to all-time lows.

The record so-called minimum operational demand excludes the power generated by consumers with their own solar panels, which met 92 per cent of South Australia’s overall needs at one point on October 17.


NetZero destroys NetZero: Europe can’t make solar panels because green electricity costs too much

By Jo Nova Ironies don’t get better than this: Thanks to the renewable energy transition, Europe can’t afford to make renewable energy.

When will the message get through that renewable energy is not sustainable?

European photovoltaic plants and battery cell factors are temporarily closing or quitting altogether because of obscenely high electricity prices. When the plants were built they expected to pay €50/MWh, but now they are €300 – 400/MWh. And the situation may last another couple of years, so it’s hard to see how these manufacturers can avoid leaving permanently.

So much for all the solar jobs. Europeans are being reduced to being installers while the production of panels shifts to coal fired China because electricity is so much cheaper. Most of the wind turbine industry has already moved to China.

European solar PV manufacturing at risk from soaring power prices – Rystad By Jules Scully, PV Tech

Around 35GW of PV manufacturing projects in Europe are at risk of being mothballed as elevated power prices damage the continent’s efforts to build a solar supply chain, research from Rystad Energy suggests.

The consultancy noted that the energy-intensive nature of both solar PV and battery cell […]

Still no free lunch: 62,000 people bankrupted by Spain’s solar subsidy-industry

The Socialists in Spain offered bonanza subsidies to build solar plants. People accepted them. Too many people accepted them.

Then the Socialist-rulers realized they could not pay them all. But the solar panels had been built. The debts were all accrued. All that was left was for investors to learn the true value of surges of surplus energy at the same time of day.

Sadly people faced losing their homes, in what must have been a grueling realization.

If only Socialists could do maths, they could have seen this coming. It’s not even quantum mechanics, it’s just arithmetic.

If only investors researched their investments and remembered that if it looks too good to be true, everyone else will pile on, and supply will wildly exceed demand, especially because no one really wants extra electrons for lunch.

Teach the children. The government should not be picking winners, but if it does, buy something else.

h/t Jim Simpson

9.8 out of 10 based on 54 ratings

Who needs trees: Welcome to a black glass wilderness

Greens destroy wilderness one innumerate fantasy at a time. If only they had enough fossil fuels underground they might have saved this forest.

A solar wilderness. Tiahang Mountain Solar plant.

“Industrial solar farms require 300-400 times more land than natural gas or nuclear plants” — — Michael Shellenberger @ShellenbergerMD

Dystopia await all those who think solar power is free


Solar panels on Taihang Mountain have a theoretical capacity of 20MW

“It can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tons annually replacing 7,500 tons of coal each year. “

Since China consumes 4,319,921,826 tons of coal each year, that’s one plant down, and only 575,145 more to build…

9.9 out of 10 based on 74 ratings

Renewable bandaid burns money: New transmission line alone costs as much as new advanced Coal Plant

The Humelink transmission line does not connect a single large city.

Just another hidden renewable subsidy.

Boy O boy, that bill blew out fast:

Households could be up for $2b electricity transmission cost blowout

Peter Hannan, Sydney Morning Herald

Transgrid now expects its proposed HumeLink – a 500-kilovolt line connecting Wagga Wagga, Bannaby and Maragle – to cost $3.317 billion, up from $1.35 billion estimated in January 2020. That would make it “by far the most expensive transmission project” in Australia, said Bruce Mountain, director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre…

NSW Households will be forced to pay $60 per year above their already-inflated-costs whether they want renewable energy or think windmills are a bird-killing, shamanistic health-hazard that won’t stop storms, floods or droughts any better than crystal shields do.

We can see why the government won’t let people choose to buy green power voluntarily.

Transgrid said the steel and materials costs more, but wow, golly, there was also a bill for “environmental offsets” through the Kosciuszko national park of an eye-watering, wait for it, $935 million. Perhaps they are transplanting the trees they cut […]

Nothing shows how pathetic solar and battery power are like the pitiful celebrations

Strap yourself in: Solar Power and batteries made a whole town 100% renewable (for 80 minutes).

It’s an Australian first! Put out a press release. No seriously, they did:

Solar and battery microgrid takes WA town to 100% renewables in Australian first

Western Australia has again demonstrated its remote renewable energy generation chops, after successfully powering the Pilbara town of Onslow entirely on a combination of large and small-scale solar and battery storage for a total of 80 minutes.

Only 520,000 minutes short of a whole year.

“The milestone achievement was announced by WA energy minister Bill Johnston on Friday morning after being demonstrated by state government-owned regional utility Horizon Power, which established the solar and storage microgrid next to an existing gas plant.”

Onslow is a metropolis of 847 people sited in one of the sunniest zones in one of the sunniest countries in the world. With at least 3650 hours of sun a year, Onslow vies for a top ten position globally.

If solar power was going to make it anywhere, this would be it. But we all know what keeps the lights on in Onslow and it isn’t solar power.

The […]