Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
interestrateripoff

Spain's Financial Crisis Claims Another Victim: The Solar Power Industry

Recommended Posts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/30/new-europe-spain-solar-power

Spain had one of the world's most ambitious – and generous – plans to boost the amount of electricity it generates from the sun. That dream, for the solar industry at least, has turned sour. Just days before Christmas, the government slashed the level of subsidies that all new and existing photovoltaic (pv) solar projects will receive. But even the powerful utility companies, who opposed the solar industry, are now warning that the fallout could be long-lasting and reach far beyond the energy sector.

The row has pitted the renewable lobby against Spain's three biggest utilities – Iberdrola, Endesa and Gas Natural – which have been urging the government to take action to stem the wave of subsidised renewable projects being built, particularly solar ones.

Carlos Salle, Iberdrola's director for regulation, told the Guardian that divisions between the renewable lobby and the rest of the energy industry are even deeper in Spain than elsewhere as a result. "We have more controversy here in Spain with renewables against non-renewables … this is an aspect of our system – it provokes problems."

Another Madrid-based businessman, from one of Spain's leading companies, was franker, likening relations, only half-jokingly, as a "war". The Asociación de la Industria Fotovoltaica (Asif), Spain's solar industry body, accuses politicians of telling lies, exaggerating the costs of generating electricity using solar pv to justify the cut in subsidies.

It is more than just bragging rights between rival generators at stake. The solar pv industry alone received subsidies last year of €2.6bn (£2.28bn), a sum neither the country – nor the utilities – can afford. The utilities have paid out €20bn to subsidise solar and wind projects, and are still waiting for the government to pay them back.

.........

The utilities also complain that their coal and gas plants, which the government wanted them to build a decade ago after several black-outs, are losing money because they are now only needed for half the time. But the Spanish regulator forces the firms to keep them on standby for times when the wind stops blowing or at night when solar does not generate.

Excellent. You would have thought the big power generators would have been involved in building the solar plants.

Can't they sell this spare capacity on the European market? Just a pity they can't cable it to the UK but I'm guessing we are too far away?

Still I'm sure it won't result in any defaults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent. You would have thought the big power generators would have been involved in building the solar plants.

Can't they sell this spare capacity on the European market? Just a pity they can't cable it to the UK but I'm guessing we are too far away?

Still I'm sure it won't result in any defaults.

It's a standing problem with renewables. So far, it's been avoided in northern Europe because of the interconnections with Norway; the big hydroelectric plants there can be turned on and off to compensate for fluctuations from wind and solar with no adverse affects.

However, once that option is maxed out, you are placed in the position where you still need fossil fueled plants to cover the gaps - they cannot be retired - but you won't use them as much. So you will still be paying all the capital costs, staffing costs and maintanance costs but selling less electricity to cover it. In many cases you will also be running them at lower efficiency, so the fuel savings are lower.

The hard thing is getting the green lobby to acknowledge this..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So despite nuclear bubbling away evily at the other side of the world, no one is thinking "hmm, solar doesn't emit toxic sh*t"?

:)

Nuclear at least provides useful amounts of electricity before *ahem* creating pretty human-free wildlife refuges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The equation is simple enough. You look at the initial costs, the ongoing costs and lifetime of the product. You then compare this with the revenue you can make selling the electricity to the grid at inflated prices. What has changed is the declining prices of solar panels making it a much more attractive proposition. You sell your green electricity to the grid at 60c a kwh and buy back what you use at 8c a kwh. It is the electricity companies that are forced to pay and must pass these costs on. The electricity companies don't install themselves because the deal does not apply to them. It is only fair that as costs fall, so must the price for green electricity.

The anti-green angle is just posturing. The real deal is they are making a killing selling this electricity and don't want those profits reduced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nuclear at least provides useful amounts of electricity before *ahem* creating pretty human-free wildlife refuges.

I believe there was a topical joke which had "Cernobyldropoff" as it's punchline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The equation is simple enough. You look at the initial costs, the ongoing costs and lifetime of the product. You then compare this with the revenue you can make selling the electricity to the grid at inflated prices. What has changed is the declining prices of solar panels making it a much more attractive proposition. You sell your green electricity to the grid at 60c a kwh and buy back what you use at 8c a kwh. It is the electricity companies that are forced to pay and must pass these costs on. The electricity companies don't install themselves because the deal does not apply to them. It is only fair that as costs fall, so must the price for green electricity.

The anti-green angle is just posturing. The real deal is they are making a killing selling this electricity and don't want those profits reduced.

Not sure about the Spanish scheme but the in the UK Scheme, it is your neighbours who don't install who will pay. The electricity company simply spreads the cost

out.

Spain has far more sun the UK too...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a standing problem with renewables. So far, it's been avoided in northern Europe because of the interconnections with Norway; the big hydroelectric plants there can be turned on and off to compensate for fluctuations from wind and solar with no adverse affects.

However, once that option is maxed out, you are placed in the position where you still need fossil fueled plants to cover the gaps - they cannot be retired - but you won't use them as much. So you will still be paying all the capital costs, staffing costs and maintanance costs but selling less electricity to cover it. In many cases you will also be running them at lower efficiency, so the fuel savings are lower.

The hard thing is getting the green lobby to acknowledge this..

There are plenty of ways to store excess energy once we have that problem. As you say at present hydro stations can be turned on at very short notice. However there are other things from producing hydrogen with excess electricity to compressed air storage which is beginning to be used in Germany. There are always technical solutions, but obviously if you have a few old underutilised coal power stations kicking about, it is cheaper to use them than invest in storage technologies.

Edited by BalancedBear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are plenty of ways to store excess energy once we have that problem. As you say at present hydro stations can be turned on at very short notice. However there are other things from producing hydrogen with excess electricity to compressed air storage which is beginning to be used in Germany. There are always technical solutions, but obviously if you have a few old underutilised coal power stations kicking about, it is cheaper to use them than invest in storage technologies.

Problem is, all storage mechanisms are inherently 'lossy' (unless you can revert the second law of thermodynamics). Not a problem for small scale peaking storage, such as compressed air, but for large scale, long timescale schemes it's a vast problem. And an uncosted one, at that..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that they cut existing tarriffs.

The whole UK boom in PV panels relies on the buy in tarriffs which I think at present are index linked and guaranteed for 25 years. Without them PV panels are a white elephant.

Watch out for similar cuts coming to a Country near you soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that they cut existing tarriffs.

The whole UK boom in PV panels relies on the buy in tarriffs which I think at present are index linked and guaranteed for 25 years. Without them PV panels are a white elephant.

Watch out for similar cuts coming to a Country near you soon.

Yes - Index linked and tax free. The Feed in Tariff rises from 41.3p per kWh to 43.3p from 1 April forsmall scale Solar PV. We have a 4kWh system installed and even in Manchester(!) will be looking at an initial tax free 10.5% income pa which will rise from tomorrow. Although, it appears to be a good investment for us ( Subject to no retrospective reduction in FITs ) it does appear to be a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.

There does seem to be some disquiet about the generosity of the Solar FITs as I understand they have slashed the FITs for large Scale Solar PV by 70% for new installations.

UK Solar Panels Subsidies slashed

M21er

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a standing problem with renewables. So far, it's been avoided in northern Europe because of the interconnections with Norway; the big hydroelectric plants there can be turned on and off to compensate for fluctuations from wind and solar with no adverse affects.

However, once that option is maxed out, you are placed in the position where you still need fossil fueled plants to cover the gaps - they cannot be retired - but you won't use them as much. So you will still be paying all the capital costs, staffing costs and maintanance costs but selling less electricity to cover it. In many cases you will also be running them at lower efficiency, so the fuel savings are lower.

The hard thing is getting the green lobby to acknowledge this..

Problem with the green lobby is that they see the world as they would like it to be, not as it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The equation is simple enough. You look at the initial costs, the ongoing costs and lifetime of the product. You then compare this with the revenue you can make selling the electricity to the grid at inflated prices. What has changed is the declining prices of solar panels making it a much more attractive proposition. You sell your green electricity to the grid at 60c a kwh and buy back what you use at 8c a kwh. It is the electricity companies that are forced to pay and must pass these costs on. The electricity companies don't install themselves because the deal does not apply to them. It is only fair that as costs fall, so must the price for green electricity.

The anti-green angle is just posturing. The real deal is they are making a killing selling this electricity and don't want those profits reduced.

"What has changed is the declining prices of solar panels making it a much more attractive proposition."

In that case - why have they been subsidised with 2.4 Billion euro subsidy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"What has changed is the declining prices of solar panels making it a much more attractive proposition."

In that case - why have they been subsidised with 2.4 Billion euro subsidy?

Well, if they have declined in price enough to become more attractive then maybe the subsidies have served their purpose i.e pump priming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)

Coal – China 278

Coal – USA 15

Oil 36 (36% of world energy)

Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)

Biofuel/Biomass 12

Peat 12

Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)

Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)

Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)

Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)

Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

from :- link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)

Coal – China 278

Coal – USA 15

Oil 36 (36% of world energy)

Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)

Biofuel/Biomass 12

Peat 12

Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)

Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)

Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)

Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)

Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

from :- link

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/8419796/Wind-turbines-hit-bat-populations.html

Bats are being massacred by wind turbines and they are very important to agriculture.

The law of unintended consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)

Coal – China 278

Coal – USA 15

Oil 36 (36% of world energy)

Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)

Biofuel/Biomass 12

Peat 12

Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)

Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)

Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)

Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)

Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

from :- link

The vast majority of solar capacity (and almost all at utility scale) is ground mounted.

These guys are more likely to die of sunstroke than they are of falling off any roof...

blythsolar.jpg

Edited by CrashConnoisseur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nuclear at least provides useful amounts of electricity before *ahem* creating pretty human-free wildlife refuges.

...and think of all the opportunities for evolution to occur in the new refuges. Nothing like high mutation rates to supply variation on which natural selection can act.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't they sell this spare capacity on the European market? Just a pity they can't cable it to the UK but I'm guessing we are too far away?

No, we are not too far away. Very high voltage DC can transmit with losses of a couple of % from Spain.

Europe is building large network to allow power transmission all across the north sea area. In time the UK could get power from the Sahara desert.

It's a standing problem with renewables. So far, it's been avoided in northern Europe because of the interconnections with Norway; the big hydroelectric plants there can be turned on and off to compensate for fluctuations from wind and solar with no adverse affects.

Obsolete thinking.

Having a efficient power distribution network will allow balancing of all energy production methods.

The hard thing is getting the green lobby to acknowledge this..

The problem is a the number of people who have no ****ing idea what they are talking about.

Edited by Peter Hun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if they have declined in price enough to become more attractive then maybe the subsidies have served their purpose i.e pump priming.

Hang on - the Tax payers have already been taxed and 2.4Billion Euros of taxed monies diverted to reduce the prices of the panels!

They are still paying the full whack but in a disguised way.

It would be cheaper to start Govt factories producing them and not let huge amounts of taxes be diverted to profits going to the hidden Billionaires who have set the whole Carbon/Greenhouse/Ozone/icemelt Scams into motion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obsolete thinking.

Having a efficient power distribution network will allow balancing of all energy production methods.

The problem is a the number of people who have no ****ing idea what they are talking about.

Hmm. Yes, we can get all our power from the Sahara at night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Yes, we can get all our power from the Sahara at night.

Sure you just build double the capacity you need. Maybe even triple, half the load in the day is used for general consumption. The other half is stored either in molten salts, electrolysed water or even jump pumping water to somewhere high.

Since people tend to be asleep for much of the time you don't need that much stored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Yes, we can get all our power from the Sahara at night.

Well, if you believe that you are really dumb.

With energy generation generated over the entire continent and more, the demand can be balanced out. N uclear for instance, generates power overnight when there is little demand.

Edited by Peter Hun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if you believe that you are really dumb.

With energy generation generated over the entire continent and more, the demand can be balanced out. Nuclear for instance, generates power overnight when there is little demand.

The thread title does refer to Solar..

Of course if you are prepared to use large scale power sources like nuclear plants, then there isn't much logic in building a large scale HVDC system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.