What a strange assertion

Insanely cheap energy’: how solar power continues to shock the world
Australian smarts and Chinese industrial might made solar power the cheapest power humanity has seen – and no one saw it coming

Bjorn Lomborg predicted exactly this in Sceptical Environmentalist. Of course, everyone shouted at him for having done so too……

20 thoughts on “What a strange assertion”

  1. Yeah, provided we ignore the unreliability. Not just not despatchable, but totally variable from one moment to the next. Factor in the cost of spinning reserve, maintenance and the recyling of the toxic materials.

    Back-up battery reserve isn’t a thing (one of my clients is a research institute working specifically in energy storage. I feel sorry for the poor dears). Despite that musky EV maker and his claims. We don’t want it to be a thing either given the inherent pollution, production and operating problems.

    The complexity of a national grid is such that connecting unpredictable low quantity and quality suppliers at a lot of different points is a nightmare and leading us to brown-outs, black-outs and serious grid problems if the whole grid collapses.

    Volume of land consumed? No problem

    Low voltage? No problem

    Maximum subsidies per unit generated? Yeah by far.

    Oh and did I say they are ugly?

  2. Lies built on hidden subsidies.

    And even if it were true, what use is solar power at night?

    Oh, you need storage: some magical battery yet to be invented made of compressed unicorns. They’ll be insanely cheap too.

  3. I’m sure all will come good once they are developed to the point where they can work at nigh too. That said, a few years ago there was that solar-farm in Spain that was producing at night… Until the authorities found all the diesel generators tucked-away in hidden spots around the area.

    Wasn’t there a case of a German aristo who worked out that if he covered the roof of his Schloss with solar panels and invested in high-intensity floodlighting he could sell the “solar” energy for enough subsidised money to pay the running-costs of the lights – connected to the ordinary mains – and show a respectable profit?

  4. Little did I know, as a wee sproglet, when I first heard the “Too cheap to meter” bollox when Betty opened Calder Hall that I would still be hearing it over sixty years later. “We’ll have it working by Friday, end of the month at the latest.” As Sir Terry’s alchemists would say.

  5. Well yes. Provided I don’t have to subsidise these things I don’t care if someone else wants to waste their money on them.

    But alas that’s not the way it works.

  6. Australian smarts and Chinese industrial might made solar power the cheapest power humanity has seen . . .

    Yet, oddly, the Chinese solar panel factories are energised by new coal power stations fuelled by Australian* thermal coal
    (*temporarily embargoed).

    But we’re headed towards a future of insanely cheap energy.

    Yet, oddly, the population will be crushed by energy poverty.

    . . . fanned by European political sensibilities . . .

    Fucking la-la-land.

  7. Didn’t PTerry also say that unbillable energy got further away into the future with each passing year? In the 1960s it was only ten years away. In the 1970s it was barely 20 year away. etc.

  8. “Bjorn Lomborg predicted exactly this in Sceptical Environmentalist.”
    S’pose you could heat your house with remaindered copies of it.
    But Bjorn Lomborg’s just a lower class of useless cvnt. The mistake’s opening any sort of dialogue with the climate change nutters. Once you do that you’ve conceded there might be a problem. From then it’s all downhill into poverty.

  9. And if you doubt that assertion just look at the preceding post. That’s where it gets you. Discussing complete bollocks.

  10. Dearieme. Fusion’s an engineering problem. Engineers solve engineering problems. Eventually. Engineers are not “scientists”.

  11. Bloke: +1! I get fed up with people declaiming For Science!!!! When they’re actually doing engineering.

  12. Tsk! Any Nerd knows “For Science!!!” may only ever be used in the context of proper Mad Science..

    Like the immortal gnomish “Ooops!!”, or a certain Wizzard’s “Hey you!” it tells you to start running…

  13. “Never mind. Fusion, y’know.”

    Fusion was 20 years away when I was at school 30-40 years ago, does anyone even dare predict its 20 years away now?

  14. Jim

    Sure; fusion’s 20 years away.

    Could be, too. Problem **seems** to be a control problem. Engineering **might** fix that with better sensor/feedback stuff.

    Hope so.

  15. Just read a short sci-fi story by a Chinese author where someone gets a message from the future showing him how to create a solar plow that turns deserts into vast solar power plants…he decides to use the information then gets a call saying hang on it’s gone too far and people are fighting over land and it’s triggered mass droughts etc.
    Moral of the story that basically every time they try to fix a problem they create new ones and at the end of the story the guy ends up doing nothing

  16. Solar panels. Like most things that are newish technology, they get better all the time and they get cheaper all the time. This was happening through the 70s, 80s and early 90s when there weren’t taxpayer subsidies, and continued at the same rate since then, which largely indicates that the taxpayers’ cash being sprayed at solar panel manufacturers’ customers has done approximately sod all.

    At some point it will be cheaper to make methane by covering deserts that are close-ish to the sea with solar panels — using the resulting electricity to desalinate and electrolyse sea water and run the resulting hydrogen through the Sabatier process — than it will to prospect and sink new wells. After all, any pipelines would be good for centuries rather than a couple of decades until the gas ran out, and it doesn’t matter if the plants only run during the day. There’s already a pretty good transport and storage infrastructure for methane…

    This is what will “solve” increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but the Left will have gone onto screeching about something else as soon as it’s clear that there is a solution that doesn’t involve making everyone else poor. Because the Left are not about saving anything, but rather introducing sumptuary laws so that the Chosen Ones can get nice stuff cheap because it’s banned for everyone else.

  17. Some years back I read someone citing an article from the NYT (I think) about how great EVs were and how very soon they would replace real cars. Really, they’re the thing! The NYT article was from the 1940s.

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