So, looks like we’re done here

Buckley said India’s “absolutely transformational” forecast was also driven by technological advancements that have led to the price of solar energy falling by 80% in the past five years.

We never did need to change the structure of our economy. We just needed to make non-fossil fuel generation cheap. Since we’ve done so, we’re done.

Problem solved.

21 thoughts on “So, looks like we’re done here”

  1. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    No matter what happens we won’t stop hearing about it until the environmentalists get their population crash of several billion and we shift back to a feudal society.

  2. It’s cheap to require vast new transmission grids for distributed failure and 24/7 backup plants for when they all fail?

  3. They can afford to do this, yet we still have to tax poor people here to send them hundreds of millions of pounds. Our entire political class is immoral.

  4. Solar piddle power only works in sun-baked rat holes.

    It is fuckall use to us.

    Unless you are suggesting we get our electricity by depending on sun-baked ratholes. Which is an even worse idea Tim.

  5. > “forecast”, “predicts”, “by 2027”

    So they’re not actually there yet. A quick glance at Wikipedia suggests that in 2016, renewables + nuclear account for just 16.5% of India’s electricity capacity.

    > 57% of India’s total electricity capacity will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2027

    Capacity. There’s that word again. Your solar panel’s capacity is irrelevant at night; your wind turbine’s capacity is irrelevant on a still day. The capacity figures for renewables are hopelessly detached from the real-world outputs. There’s a place for renewables, but they do themselves no favours by lying about the figures.

    > with advancements in energy efficiency expected to reduce the need for capacity increases by 40GW over 10 years.

    Hah. First, they’ve not heard of Jevons’ Paradox: the cheaper energy gets, the more we use. Second, half of India is literally dirt poor. If even a fraction of those poor are to see a rise in their living standards, it will require a lot more energy consumption.

    On the bright side, at least it doesn’t require public subsidy. Just don’t invest your own money in it.

  6. “Jevons’ Paradox: the cheaper energy gets, the more we use.”

    Where’s the paradox? More like Jevon’s statement of the bloody obvious.

  7. Mr Ecks – have you seen the electricity generated by panels in the UK these days?
    Good chunk of power possible for a house with a few panels.

    Perhaps the panels have improved in efficiency since you last investigated them.

  8. > More like Jevon’s statement of the bloody obvious.

    Indeed it is; but apparently it still eludes India’s energy minister.

  9. Jeez, Tim, you an economist and all.

    Efficiency differentials.

    If Hydrocarbon based energy is x% per annum more efficient, i.e. cheaper, than renewables, and energy makes up y% of an economy, what is the effect on the available wealth in an economy, compounded over z years?

    Many human enterprises, including businesses and governments, fail when their competitors are a part of a percent more efficient.

  10. @Fred Z

    Except thermal generation is about as efficient as it’s going to get.

    Solar has been getting massively more cost effective, and even if we don’t get more gains in efficiency the inertia of current improvements will make it cheaper.

    I didn’t believe it when I first heard it, but I think we’ve already passed the point hat solar wins – we just need 20-30 years for it to filter through.

  11. “Otherwise known as Econ 101”: au bleedin’ contraire, otherwise known as “as every schoolboy knows ….”

  12. Martin–piffle. The amount of the Sun’s energy that gets here is limited by the atmosphere.

    Where on the Earth it is very hot that can be enough to generate some electricity.

    In the UK it adds a small dose of hot water IF you are lucky and have enough roof space. And assuming you don’t die after falling off the fucking roof while trying to fix the things. Piddle power.

    Is your house and electrics powered by solar?

  13. “Solar piddle power only works in sun-baked rat holes”

    And even there it STILL produces f**k all at night. Once more, the eco mob assume that “the grid” magically takes over when the sun don’t shine. Guess what – you don’t just turn the petrol on and pull a recoil starter when tens of GW’s are needed…

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    I think this article can be summed up in three simple sentences:

    1. The Indian government has long been too incompetent to provide electricity to the voters
    2. The Indian government used to tell people they should feel virtuous about being poor and not like the West at all, but they now tell them that soon some magic hand waving technology will come along to solve all their problems
    3. Much to everyone’s surprise the West seems as if it may be on the path to creating said magic hand waving technology.

    There is a corollary to all this – unfortunately solar power does not solve the basic problem which is the corruption and incompetence of the Indian government.

  15. @maffski:

    “Efficiency” as you use that word may not mean what you think it means.

    “we just need 20-30 years for it to filter through” –

    As P. J. O’Rourke says, and I paraphrase, ‘cuz I can’t find his exact words – “Every fucking lunatic lefty government scheme starts with the claim that we must spend fucking titanic amounts of money now to save thruppence later.”

  16. “Guess what – you don’t just turn the petrol on and pull a recoil starter when tens of GW’s are needed…”

    As I understand it, the British government is now paying companies to keep vast numbers of diesel generators ready to use whenever the ‘renewables’ aren’t producing enough power.

    And, pretty soon, Westerners will have to do what the rest of the Third World does, and have a generator of their own when the grid doesn’t work.

  17. It can’t be stated too often that solar panels may work well in India, but in the UK (or Germany or Scandinavia) they will never recover the energy needed to manufacture them, no matter how cheap they become. So they do absolutely nothing to reduce CO2 emissions (if that’s the problem you’re trying to fix).

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