This article gives us a glimpse of the problems of relying on solar power.
This is the story of Germany’s Energiewende: install as much capacity of each type renewable energy as possible, and hope that one of them works when the others don’t. Currently Germany has well over 40 gigawatts of installed PV capacity, enough to power half of the country at lunchtime on a sunny day. But it all does nothing at night, or in the wintertime when the sun stays blotted out by Germany’s notoriously cloudy climate and short daylight hours.
This past December in Hanover the sun shone for a mere 10 hours over the entire month. In Lüdenscheid the sun was seen for less than one hour!
Not one piece of baseload capital equipment can be retired, despite the fact that half of it is randomly unprofitable depending on cloud cover. Solar PV eats away the low cost competitive advantage. Capital sits there unused, spinning on standby, while wages, interest, and other costs keep accruing. So hapless baseload suppliers charge more for the hours that they do run, making electricity more expensive.
But never mind we might reduce the average temperature of the planet by 0.0001 degrees – if only it were possible to measure it!
via climate science
January 4, 2018 at 01:30AM