Timmy elsewhereDecember 21, 2013December 21, 2013 Tim WorstallUncategorized6 CommentsAt the ASI. The disaster of Britain’s solar industry: we’ve built the inefficient type too soon. previousHmm, wonder if they’ve thought this through?nextTimmy elsewhere 6 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere” Jim December 21, 2013 at 11:59 am I’ll make a prediction – I’d say there’s a good chance the discrepancy between the performance of panels currently being installed and that of those of say 10 years hence will be so huge that the State will refuse to continue subsidising the old ones, for the 25 year period initially agreed. Owners will be faced with either loss of subsidy or paying a large capital sum to replace inefficient panels. bloke in spain December 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm Sorry to rain on the whole domestic solar parade here but as the great Ed Balls once said, so what? The highest efficiency solar panels are ever likely to produce is in the 40% range. That’s physics. The largest area of sun facing, fixed solar panels you’re ever likely to install on a British roof is about 12m2. That’s architecture. We don’t tend to build houses with great areas of unobstructed roof. We have hips & valleys, gables & dormers & all the features people expect in a pleasant looking house. Incident sunlight at earth orbit is worth a bit over 1kW/m2. That’s reality. Fold that lot together & allow for it’s not always noon, we do have winter, we do have clouds, most roof areas don’t face due south & by the time you finish the average power you can get off roofs is something under 1/2kW/h in year round, daylight hours. Now the economics. Early adopters are all easy installations. It is relatively simple to panel a detached bungalow in the country or suburbs. It is one hell of another matter to panel a 3 story high terrace in a city. (See costs of roofing same). That’s serious scaffolding to conform to safety regulations. No council safety officer, or as importantly liability insurer, is going to be looking kindly on a couple of blokes manhandling large panels up ladders & across slippery roofs over streets full of people. So retrofitting the majority existing buildings for solar is far from just the cost of the PV’s. Certainly not. worth 500W/h at any conceivable electricity prices.. Gamecock December 22, 2013 at 1:04 am Solar PV will not become competitive in our lifetimes. They are too soon by a few centuries. Runcie Balspune December 22, 2013 at 2:19 am The point of this initiative is to “save the planet”, in that sense do solar panels actually achieve this? Does the energy cost of manufacture, installation and maintenance over the lifetime of the panel result in a net saving compared to the fossil fuel burned if they had not been used. And if they need batteries to store the generated power, count those as well. Not only are solar panels inefficient through design and positioning, but because a lot of energy is used to heat water you may as well install solar heat pipes instead which are a lot more efficient and probably take less energy to manufacture, even considering the pump it needs. Like CFL bulbs, and their vastly superior replacement LEDs, the technology is already outdated and should not be promoted. Mr Ecks December 22, 2013 at 6:59 am Tim’s interest in “efficient” solar power is one of his quirks. BIS nails it right–on its best day low-tech solar is piddle-power–you could get more useful energy by pissing against a turbine. High-tech SP –microwaves beamed from orbit etc–that is another story but the eco-freak scum hate that idea as much as they hate technology in general(except where it enables their middle-class+ lifestyle). bloke in spain December 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm “Tim’s interest in “efficient” solar power is one of his quirks.” But not a bad quirk to have. The physics also says; PV’ing the area occupied by the average coal fired power station would yield as much energy as the station is producing There’s a very good case for PV. But not. NOT! Domestic PV in the UK. What’s your plans for this pre-Xmas week afternoon? Mine are to spread out on the terrace with a good book & work on the tan. That’s why not. Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.