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Solar ... In the news

edited 7 January 2013 at 6:48PM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Here's a thought provoking article/question. I don't know if the numbers are correct, but it's an argument for renewables (in this case PV) based on financial investment, rather than environmental grounds:-

    The new 'peak oil'? A dollar invested in solar yields more energy than a dollar invested in oil
    Oil versus solar - the arithmetic

    The numbers are relatively easy to calculate. A barrel of oil represents 1,700 kWh of thermal energy. So Shell's yearly production of oil has an energy content of about 1,800 terawatt hours. That is, very approximately, the same as the UK's total consumption of energy from all sources. How much energy would Shell's $29bn produce if it were invested in solar PV farms?

    Assuming a 22% capacity factor (much better than the UK but below the average in the US), an installed cost of $1 a watt and a 35 year panel life, the number comes out just ahead of the energy value of the oil that Shell produces each year.

    [Editor's note: In fact, it gets even better than this. Burning oil produces heat energy, while solar panels produce electrical energy. Battery electric cars can turn that solar energy in to motive power at an efficiency of about 80%, while gasoline-fired cars turn their oil into motive power at only 25% efficiency. So the energy produced by solar panels is worth about three times as much per kWh as oil energy in transport applications.

    Likewise if oil or gas is used to generate electricity (typically at ~50% efficiency) then the solar energy is about twice as valuable as oil energy because it's electricity to begin with.

    In a third case, where the solar energy is being used to make hydrogen by hydrolysis, then synthesised into energy-dense fuels and feedstocks like methane, methanol and ammonia, that can be done at an efficiency of around 60%, a figure that will surely increase with R&D investment up towards 70%. That creates a penalty for solar versus oil - but not a very large one, especially as solar gets ever cheaper.

    The fact that renewable electricity can be turned into fuels and feedstocks currently based on oil and gas also, in the long term, sets a 'ceiling' for future oil and gas prices. As soon as the price of those fuels rises above a certain level - perhaps around $50 per barrel of oil using technologies now becoming available - it will become profitable to built huge solar to methanol plants in the Sahara, or wind to ammonia plants on the Falkland Islands.]

    In other words, if Shell really sees its role as producing the energy the world needs, then its $29bn would be better going into exploiting solar energy rather than drilling wells and building pipelines. Rather than trying to destroy Shell, one of the world's most efficient allocators of energy capital, we need to persuade it to divert its considerable skills towards the renewable economy.

    Mart.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    kevin6666 wrote: »
    I'm gonna call bs on the tax for off-grid installs in Spain for the moment and the same for the 'fines' for going off-grid.

    Looks like Spain thinks the 'sun tax' is BS too, and are hopefully going to remove it.

    Parliament In Spain Removes Punitive ‘Sun Tax’

    Fingers crossed they'll get rid of the generation tax (called an export tax, but not based on export!!!!) that makes domestic grid tied PV uneconomical in Spain at the moment to protect the supply side leccy generators.

    Mart.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Looks like Spain thinks the 'sun tax' is BS too, and are hopefully going to remove it.

    Parliament In Spain Removes Punitive ‘Sun Tax’

    Fingers crossed they'll get rid of the generation tax (called an export tax, but not based on export!!!!) that makes domestic grid tied PV uneconomical in Spain at the moment to protect the supply side leccy generators.

    Mart.

    There was never any Sun Tax (or any other Tax) for Off-Grid Installations. Its been lost in translation and to believe such a thing is borderland fantasy land stuff. The reality is even in Sunny Spain no one would or could really go of grid without reverting to a caveman like lifestyle.

    If the UK can't/won't make retrospective FIT rate cuts then introducing some nice grid charges could be the way to go for grid connected systems.
  • edited 10 March 2016 at 11:10PM
    zeupaterzeupater Forumite
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    edited 10 March 2016 at 11:10PM
    kevin6666 wrote: »
    .... If the UK can't/won't make retrospective FIT rate cuts then introducing some nice grid charges could be the way to go for grid connected systems.
    Hi

    What on earth do you think the ~25% of the electricity bill attributed to 'Delivering Electricity to your Home' covers ? ... the charge which you mention is already covered between the standing charge and the unit price ... we pay our suppliers for grid connectivity within our bills and they in turn pay the DNO and National Grid on our collective behalf.

    As for 'retrospective' ... are you serious, or do you misunderstand the meaning of 'retrospective' and really mean to describe/promote a commercial 'breach of contract' at a particular (/future) point in time by the energy industry ? ... Whichever understanding you may apply, once such a contract breach precedent is set in the energy sector you can say goodby to investment confidence across the board, there'd almost certainly be large scale energy supply projects such as EDF's UK nuclear program cancelled almost immediately, but with what you propose needing the government to support & condone such a breach, it's not only the energy sector which would be affected, there'd be a potential collapse in confidence in any government contract ..... maybe a little more thought about the unintended consequences is needed ...

    I really don't understand why you're continually unleashing such illogical negativity on these boards ... if you really want to change government policy to allign with your own views it's up to you to 'grow a set', put your ideas and yourself forward in your own name and seek personal public support from your peers, not slink into a corner of anominity on an internet forum and incessantly moan directly in the faces of others who have absolutely no influence over government policy which you obviously detest but would almost certainly tend to consider your arguments tedious, illogical, poorly researched and often extremely immature ...

    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    zeupater wrote: »
    I really don't understand why you're continually unleashing such illogical negativity on these boards ...

    I have a theory, but outlining it here might be regarded as an ad hominem attack. My request for him to indicate if he understood why the FIT was set up as it was, was never answered. I couldn't be bothered to deal with the rest of the inconsistent drivel on display, but thanks for you taking the time Zeupater.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    kevin6666 wrote: »
    There was never any Sun Tax (or any other Tax) for Off-Grid Installations. Its been lost in translation and to believe such a thing is borderland fantasy land stuff.

    I see, so the tax being removed doesn't actually exist, other than in a fantasy land. Best tell the Spanish legislature then, and save them some time.

    kevin6666 wrote: »
    The reality is even in Sunny Spain no one would or could really go of grid without reverting to a caveman like lifestyle.

    Extreme statement - I'm guessing you've never tried to work this out, or chatted to off-grid folk in Spain (or France, England, Wales and Ireland).

    Have a play with PVGIS and Spain, you'll see that just 5kWp of PV (south facing 50d pitch) can supply around 500kWh Dec/Jan and 700kWh July/Aug. Hardly caveman like levels of consumption!

    Add in some additional PV, batts, inverter heat pump ....... are you still so sure of your statement?

    Here's an old post of mine, with costs and ideas supplied by an off-gridder:
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    So, regarding batts he kindly showed me a recent quote (Apr 15) he got for his father, it's €2,663 for 40kWh. So approx £2k.

    Hybrid solar inverter charger, I was a little out, he quoted €1,028 for a 3kW (4.5kW max) model. Let's call it £1k for a little flexibility.

    Petrol gennie guess wasn't bad, around £600.

    PV costs, he's quite a bit lower, but admits that would be mostly DIY, so I'll stick at £4k.

    Something else he added, which might be of interest was:-

    Mr Cool DC 48V 100% Solar Inverter Air Conditioner

    The idea is to supply both cooling and supplement heating, but (declaration - not sure if I've got this right) these devices have high draw start ups (only a few secs) that might exceed the inverter's max, hence why you'd need an off-grid (battery) model, so approx twice the 'normal' price at around £1k.

    kevin6666 wrote: »
    If the UK can't/won't make retrospective FIT rate cuts then introducing some nice grid charges could be the way to go for grid connected systems.

    I already pay grid charges, around 20p/day. Given that my use of the grid is less than half the average household, and I help reduce demand on the local grid for the DNO, then it seems you are already behind the curve, and unaware of reality yet again.

    Mart.

    PS Thanks again for saying the 'sun tax' doesn't exist, that's made my day.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    zeupater wrote: »
    I really don't understand why you're continually unleashing such illogical negativity on these boards ...

    Have you noticed how the spin has got more extreme and bizarre as the technology costs dropped.

    Now we just get these nonsense posts, with false information, or a growing number of references to denialist sites, and arguments that leccy is only needed in the evening.

    I genuinely thought (a few years back) that these anti guys, would one day say, 'actually, things have gone well, I didn't expect that, and I can now see there's a valueable place for PV'. But instead we just keep getting this ever more extreme desperation.

    Can't we all just get along!

    Mart.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • lstar337lstar337 Forumite
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    How solar power could help solve SA's energy crisis

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35840403
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    lstar337 wrote: »

    Filed by the BBC under world:europe, you really do despair...
    I think....
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
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