Another solar manufacturer gives up

BP Logo

BP Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems to be a trend now, last October it was Siemens who gave up on solar, now it is British Petroleum, who has been in the solar business nearly 40 years, and has made the last closure announcements, finalizing what they announced in 2011.

In the news today:

(Reuters) – British oil major BP shut down the remnants of its solar unit on Wednesday, drawing a line under the business on which most of its Beyond Petroleum tagline of the early 2000s was premised.

The unit, which BP has been scaling back since 2008, is the latest sun energy business to fall victim to rampant competition from China, falling prices, overcapacity and lower government subsidies on which the industry still depends.

Solar Millennium on Wednesday became the second German solar company to file for insolvency in December, following module maker Solon.

U.S. company Solyndra LLC folded earlier in 2011 while Swiss bank Sarasin said in a recent study that Conergy and Q-Cells were among the German solar companies most exposed to the sector’s crisis.

“The continuing global economic challenges have significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long term returns for the company, despite our best efforts,” BP said in an internal letter to staff.

The company confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to exit its large-scale projects at Long Haven in the U.S. and Moree in Australia.

BP announced plans in July to abandon its household and industrial rooftop solar activities to concentrate on the larger projects but said on December15 that even those were no longer viable.

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87 Responses to Another solar manufacturer gives up

  1. DaveG says:

    Maybe the British + the Australian governments and Obama’s shiny new EPA chief should mandate every home, business and bicycle should have a solar panels or face heavy fines or a stint in the coal mines. Yeah that will create a demand!!!!

  2. kim says:

    New logo? Maybe a Sinclair dinosaur munching on a thicket of windmills.
    ============

  3. Tom in Florida says:

    “….and lower government subsidies on which the industry still depends. …”

    So was this truly an industry or was it a grand government experiment that has failed.

  4. Rick Bradford says:

    What a Rogues’ Gallery — the batting line-up starts: McKibben, Hansen, Mann, Pachauri, Gore.

    Perhaps they’ll make a card deck out of them and start giving them away with baby formula and bubble gum.

  5. MattN says:

    My company (AGC Flat Glass) closed it’s North American solar division last November.

    It’s over….

  6. u.k.(us) says:

    “The continuing global economic challenges have significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long term returns for the company, despite our best efforts,” BP said in an internal letter to staff.
    ————————-
    The investors are leaving in droves, eh.
    I guess we’re cooked now, right ?
    It was a plan to save the world when it started wasn’t it ?
    It appears you’ve given up. Towards what reality.

  7. Bill H says:

    jim2 says:
    March 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Go to this site and nominate Anthony Watts as a Climate Change Abolitionist!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/interactive/climate-change-abolitionists-fighting-sustainable-world

    ======================================

    That should be the wall of shame…A good 90% of those folks are criminals. ECO TERRORISTS and such… They way they all lie is rather disheartening…

  8. Bill H says:

    Tom in Florida says:
    March 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    “….and lower government subsidies on which the industry still depends. …”

    So was this truly an industry or was it a grand government experiment that has failed.

    ========================================

    Government sponsored FAILURE…

    and we all paid for this foolishness…

  9. Niff says:

    jim2 at 7:15 Go to this site and nominate Anthony Watts as a Climate Change Abolitionist!

    Abolitionsists, or slavers? Oh the noble cause! Isn’t it pathetic and childish? Transparently ignoble?

  10. geran says:

    Interesting! Solar power is not that hi-tech, I can’t understand why they don’t get it.

    1) Plant an oak tree.
    2) Cut down the tree after it has converted enough solar energy H2O, and CO2 into wood.
    3) Cut up the wood and ignite it so the energy can be released.
    4) Repeat.

    It works every time it’s tried….

  11. DAV says:

    Today I was watching a Science Discovery Channel program on big machinery. The episode was about the largest mining machine in the world. It’s located at a surface coal mine next to a power plant in Germany.

    What’s interesting is the comment about the station’s output and the mention of the huge number of wind turbines it would take to replace it.

    Might be another indicator of changing views.

  12. u.k.(us) says:

    jim2 says:
    March 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm
    ——
    Loser, word not spoken.
    Try another one.

  13. Ben says:

    Looked for article link… Was this an article from Dec 2011?
    Seems to read the same. Do you have an updated link to a newer story?

    BP turns out lights at solar business
    LONDON | Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:29am EST

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/21/us-bp-solar-idUSTRE7BK1CC20111221

  14. aharris says:

    And so China corners the Global solar power market to … do … what exactly? Other than burn up a lot of government capital from the rest of us.

  15. A.D. Everard says:

    Well, the wailing greenies cannot lament that it’s for lack of trying. It wouldn’t have lasted this long except for the subsidies. Seriously, there shouldn’t be such a thing, or, if so, subsidies should only last a year. What a massive waste of taxpayer dollars the world over. Thank God solar is crashing, or those pay outs would never bleeding end.

  16. MorningGuy says:

    Couldn’t compete with China, there is going to be a lot more of this going on in the present climate, i.e. production outstripping demand by a factor of 2

    http://gigaom.com/2012/12/25/5-charts-that-show-the-amazing-growth-in-solar-in-2012-charts/

    I predict panel prices are going to fall even more, already solar is cheaper than new coal in some countries and it’s only going to get cheaper, I predict we are going to see a boom in solar but only the strongest panel manufacturers with the lowest cost structures will survive, that is in China…

  17. Catcracking says:

    Hopefully we can soon get the US government to stop wasting our tax dollars on Solar rather than doubling down on failed energy subsidies. There is too much evidence that this is a lost cause except in special situations.
    No, instead we will pull back on border security, White House tours for kids, airport security, etc.

  18. DAV says:
    March 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Today I was watching a Science Discovery Channel program on big machinery. The episode was about the largest mining machine in the world. It’s located at a surface coal mine next to a power plant in Germany.

    What’s interesting is the comment about the station’s output and the mention of the huge number of wind turbines it would take to replace it.

    Might be another indicator of changing views.

    Do you mean this machine????? :-)

  19. It should read ‘Siemens’ not ‘Seimens’.

    [Reply: Fixed, thanks. — mod.]

  20. Don Bennett says:

    I was still working for bp when they rolled out the “Beyond Petroleum” branding. That branding still brings on a gag reflex. I worked my entire carrer in the natural gas production and processing business with first Amoco and then bp when they bought Amoco back in 1998. The fields and facilities I worked wirh made a lot of money for the company and when we saw that the company was going whole hog with the “beyond petroleum” bs, we were, to say the least, pretty discouraged. All the while, our maintenance and capital budgets were cut year after year. I retired in 2003 but then consulted for bp in 2005-2007. When anyone asks who I worked for I say, “bp but I’m heritage Amoco”. That makes a big difference in our world. (Oh, and do we ever have some names for that logo! And, no, I won’t tell you!)

  21. SAMURAI says:

    RENIXX (an index tracking the world’s largest solar and wind “Renewable” energy companies) has tanked over 90% since 2008; it’s collapsing about as fast as CAGW theory.

    Do you think a correlation exists between these two phenomena?

    The business model for large-scale solar and wind technology is a massive failure. There is perhaps, a niche market for wind/solar providing an intermitent and expensive back-up power system for individuals but that’s about it. The cost/kWh makes solar/wind uncompetive and wasteful on a large scale basis.

    http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=RENX:GER

    In my opinion, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) are by far the most logical and sustainable “renewable” alternative energy source available in terms of providing unlimited power at a cost cheaper than existing conventional fossil fuel sources.

  22. Mario Lento says:

    DaveG says:
    March 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm
    Maybe the British + the Australian governments and Obama’s shiny new EPA chief should mandate every home, business and bicycle should have a solar panels or face heavy fines or a stint in the coal mines. Yeah that will create a demand!!!!
    ++++++
    CA is already ahead of this notion. We have mandates to purchase energy from renewable sources, if I recall to the tune of 33% by 2020. We are being FORCED to by this expensive energy. That’s how stupid the CA pubic is where I live. It’s unbelievable.

  23. Lets see? In the past few days we have discovered on WUWT that the Temperature is cooling or stable, the water vapor level in the air is falling and soler energy firms are folding. Is that a hat trick? I certainly hope so. Al Bore, eat your heart out.

  24. Mario Lento says:

    @stan stendera says:
    March 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm
    Lets see? In the past few days we have discovered on WUWT that the Temperature is cooling or stable, the water vapor level in the air is falling and soler energy firms are folding. Is that a hat trick? I certainly hope so. Al Bore, eat your heart out.
    +++++
    yes – hat trick, and Gore got rich off of the stupid saps that he scared the hell out of. He’s now rich off of the taxpayers’ sweat and labor. And CA seems poised to put the frosting on the stale cake. This is just UNBELIEVABLE what’s going on.

  25. Jake2 says:

    Meh. I don’t think BP has any real interest in solar. It was just greenturfing for PR reasons. In fact, I’d prefer if they get out of the technology so they don’t get any important patents they can sit on and prevent other companies from using the technology for if they so choose.

  26. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Don Bennett says:
    March 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Nice one! Yeah – it still makes me puke too.

  27. Gilbert K. Arnold says:

    /@ Don Bennett: One of the more “printable/spoken” names for BP is Beyond Pathetic.

  28. Peter says:

    Korean solar companies are not doing well either, judging by this article titled “Bets on solar cells and batteries don’t pan out”.

    http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2966948&cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist1

  29. ScottT says:

    @ jim2 – I vote for Professor Dino Saur, who gave his all fighting climate change; unfortunately the cold got him in the end :-)

  30. richard verney says:

    SAMURAI says:
    March 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    “…The business model for large-scale solar and wind technology is a massive failure. There is perhaps, a niche market for wind/solar providing an intermitent and expensive back-up power system for individuals but that’s about it. The cost/kWh makes solar/wind uncompetive and wasteful on a large scale basis.
    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Agreed.

    Solar has its place for those who are off grid. Where I live in Spain, there are many villas in remote mountain areas. The cost of connecting to the grid is very high. For such properties, a solar array (and solar thermal) makes sense on an economic basis. It would not work in all countries due to high latitudes and cloudiness, but for Spain it works OK since Spain is a sunny country.

    Personally, I can’t see wind working even on a small scale, well apart from driving a water pump on farmsteads. Redundant 18th century technology.

  31. richard verney says:

    Mario Lento says:

    March 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm
    “…CA is already ahead of this notion. We have mandates to purchase energy from renewable sources, if I recall to the tune of 33% by 2020. We are being FORCED to by this expensive energy. That’s how stupid the CA pubic is where I live. It’s unbelievable.”
    /////////

    Stupid may be, or is it all the grass they are smoking?

  32. Sparks says:

    In the 80′s around about the time the politicized man-made climate activists made the transition from their man made cooling scare to the man made global warming scare, there was a huge discovery and an advancement in field of superconductivity and it was claimed to revolutionize the worlds energy, it was also widely claimed that superconductivity was a major step forward in energy efficiency and the applied technology would supply energy to consumers at a fraction of the cost, almost immediately there was outrage from the usual sources, activists of all persuasions crawled out from under their moss covered rocks to proclaim that cheap efficient energy was a bad thing. Politicians, professors and some of the most influential people at the time spoke out against it, it was casually said; to give people cheap efficient energy would be a dangerous thing, demonizing energy was the flavor of the month for the misanthropist.

    Moving forward 30 years or so, we now have expensive and inefficient electronic gadgetry plugged into our energy grids across the planet, we now have energy policies dictated to by environment policy which are run by advocacy groups promoting climate disaster and imminent Anthropogenic doom at ever turn, large tax break charities for the super rich pushing carbon trading markets and long-ago gone rogue environmental activists stifling industrial potential and technological innovation. We now have skyrocketing energy prices, for every kilowatt produced by a failing so-called “green energy” initiative, advocates of the “green” policies and laws receive and will continue to receive a financial reward for their failure. The the fattened calf that is the “green energy” fiasco, labeled as “sustainable” is in fact unsustainable and it’s time to take daisy to the market. We are now back to where we were 30 or so years ago, it’s been one giant 30 year balls-up after another in advocacy driven energy policy in my opinion it may well have be intentional.

  33. Silver Ralph says:

    The problem BP faces, is that the systems do not work as advertised.

    A colleague installed water and photovotaic panels, and made the big mistake of decommissioning his gas heater. His wife divorced him three years later, citing her husband’s inability to provide her with hot water and heating.

    Evolution in action (no more kids) – I think Darwin would be smiling in his grave.

    .

  34. DrD says:

    BP is NOT “British Petroleum”. It used to be but it is now an international company with a new name.

  35. MorningGuy says:

    Mario Lento says:

    March 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm
    “…We have mandates to purchase energy from renewable sources, if I recall to the tune of 33% by 2020. We are being FORCED to by this expensive energy.”

    Yeah I think that ship has now sailed, I think we all have to come grips with the new reality…

    “The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date”, said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of BNEF.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/rising-risk-prices-out-new-coalfired-plants-report-20130207-2e0s4.html

    It’s becoming that fossil fuels are now the more expensive energy, sure wind and solar is intermittent and will always need some kind of fossil fuel base load, but renewables are now cheaper

  36. mwhite says:

    “Night Falls On China’s Solar Industry”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/night-falls-chinas-solar-industry/

    “Suntech, the world’s highest-selling producer of solar panels, has just fired its founder and chairman as it scrambles to pay a $541 million bill”

  37. Ryan says:

    So I guess BP posters all over Brussels trying to get th EU to invest in their solar research will be going too, leaving only Shell to promote its green technology.

  38. Ryan says:

    @Mario Lento
    Sorry, but you are talking utter rubbish. Read this from the pro-green, pro-EU BBC and ask yourself if renewables really are cheaper as you claim:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21575288

  39. Mario Lento says:

    Ryan says:
    March 8, 2013 at 2:24 am
    @Mario Lento
    Sorry, but you are talking utter rubbish. Read this from the pro-green, pro-EU BBC and ask yourself if renewables really are cheaper as you claim:-: You are not quoting me. I called renewables more expensive, as they are more expensive.

    Ryan, you are confused. I never said they were cheaper; rather quite the opposite.

    MorningGuy says:
    March 8, 2013 at 1:02 am

    You’d be wrong. Fossil fuels are much cheaper than subsidized energy, regardless of what bunk articles are forced into your head. If you can’t do the math, I cannot help you. And given all of this, fossil fuels are artificially being made more costly due to carbon taxes and CO2 regulations.

  40. Barry Woods says:

    Fun Photo of BP tanker filling ip Greenpeace’s boat the ‘Rainbow Warrior”

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2865/greenpeace_caught_with_pants_down

  41. arthur4563 says:

    Having researched solar panels for several years now,, I have come to the conclusion that
    practical solar energy is an illusion. Virtually everything that comes out of the mouths of solar enthusiasts represents illusion. One can start with the STC ratings of panel output – they overstate panel output by roughly 12 to 15%. Then there are the deterioration losses, sometimes
    1% per year, plus inversion penalties of 4%. For rooftop systems there is a cost virtually everyone will have to pay but I’ve never seen mentioned, and its a whopper : virtually every
    house with a rooftop array will have to replace the roof long before the panels go bad. Installation costs are the largest cost factor when installing a rooftop system. – accounting usually for 60% of the $35-$40,000 for a 6KW system (providing actual power of 4.5KW over its lifespan), or
    less than half what’s needed. So if you factor in installation, de-installation and then re-installation costs of that panel system, the economics go from good grief to holy shit.
    For solar farms, based on California’s figures, a typical current nuclear reactor rated at 1500 MW
    can produce as much power as 80,000 acres of solar panels!!! That’s 125 square miles.And
    solar panels have been estimated by more than 20 studies worldwide to be responsible for at least twice the carbon emissions as nuclear power, often three times more. Today nuclear power is the lowest cost power there is – cheaper than coal since 1999. AGW buffoons who like solar and dislike nuclear are not only economic morons, the’y’re environmentally brainless as well.

  42. Bob says:

    I remember BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” ads. Seemed like they were simply just embarrassed to be in the petroleum industry and used actors who couldn’t pronounce “oil.” I figured if they didn’t want to be in the petroleum business, I’d do my best to help them out and buy my products from the competition.

  43. Bob says:

    In November, the State Corporation Commission approved a Dominion Virginia Power rate increase totaling $80 million to pay for their solar pilot project. They were asking for $110 million. Heaven help us if they build the real plant.

  44. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Catcracking says:
    March 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Hopefully we can soon get the US government to stop wasting our tax dollars on Solar rather than doubling down on failed energy subsidies. There is too much evidence that this is a lost cause except in special situations.
    No, instead we will pull back on border security, White House tours for kids, airport security, etc.

    Interesting. In all the claims of pending crises due to “sequestering” $44 Billion ($1.0E12) [1.16% of the 2012 US federal budget], I have not heard that seas will rise and polar bears will go extinct because we can no longer fund climate research. Maybe I’ve just missed it. You’d think the AgitProp folks would have at least tossed in warnings about more “superstorm” Sandys, but I haven’t heard a peep.

    Seems like they’re missing an obvious opportunity.

  45. arthur4563 says:

    A week ago came the unexpected report of local warming from wind farms. Got me to thinking. Solar farms are large and most of the square footage is occupied by solar panels, which, bt design, are built to absorb solar radiation, converting roughly 15% into electricity, the
    rest into heat. Solar panels get very warm (which decreases their efficiency). So would anyone out there care to check the effect of one of California’s large (15 square mile) solar farms on
    temp stations close to the facility, for the daytime and then for heatsink effects at night ?
    I think the effect might be surprising. It also occurred to me that solar buffs who view the Sun as a kindly natural source of power might reconsider. If the Sun were a retail product it would be banned :by the FDA and EPA both : This product is a known carcinogen :can cause skin cancer and even blindness if stared out for a period of time

  46. David says:

    Well – HERE’S some recent research that all western governments will want to ignore…
    David Keith, professor of applied physics at Harvard (no less), has published a paper in ‘Environmental Research Letters’ which really made me sit up and take notice..
    Are you ready for this..?
    WIND FARMS CAN CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE
    Yep – you read that right. The nitty gritty is all down to wind ‘shadow’ – in other words the reduction in wind after a turbine has taken the energy from the wind – which can also have a detrimental effect on the efficiency (I use the term loosely) of those turbines downwind..
    Now the interesting bit. On large installations (and some are planned to be gigantic) the energy taken from the wind can be sufficient to REDUCE the amount of wind in that region – making the turbines less and less efficient over time..
    This phenomenon is summarised at the end of an article in the UK’s ‘Professional Engineering’ magazine by the co-author, Amanda Adams of the University of North Carolina, as follows:
    ‘One of the inherent challenges of wind energy is that, as soon as you develop wind farms and harvest the resource, you change the resource, making it difficult to assess what’s really available.’
    You see..? There’s no such thing as a free lunch..!

  47. MorningGuy says:

    Ryan says:
    March 8, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Sorry, but you are talking utter rubbish. Read this from the pro-green, pro-EU BBC and ask yourself if renewables really are cheaper as you claim:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21575288

    sure the Germans have paid dearly for solar and wind, but HAVE is the operative word, and I’m not talking about the old price for renewables, I’m talking about the new price…

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9841

    see figure 1 – price of system installed in Germany, note it’s gone from 5Euro/kW to 1.75Euro/kW and it’s going down like a brick balloon… what do you think that price is going to be in 2020 ???

  48. Anders Valland says:

    For the record, BP is not British Petroleum. It is…just BP.

  49. Yorkshireman says:

    @MorningGuy

    If you’re taking orders, I’d like a 5kW unit on my south-facing roof. Where do I send the cheque for 8.75 Euros? :)

  50. george e. smith says:

    Solar City just announced a new quarter of losses double what Wall Street had projected.

    And they don’t pay one plugged nickel in rent, to put their inefficient solar panels (which they can’t sell) up in your valuable solar energy space, to collect a small amount of your energy to sell to you for under the PG&E rate.

    So how are they losing money, when they pay nothing for the energy ? And likely getting taxpayer subsidies to pay for their lousy solar panels.

  51. Sustainable photovoltaic salvation is the most ignorant of the green meainie parlor tricks. Exposed to sunlight certain elements will surrender a loose outer shell electron, which is a one-way, one-time element erosion process. The cheapest and most popular are the crystal Silicon grid, Boron emitter, and Phosporus conductor cells, producing 1.5 watts, at 1.5 volts per square foot. Sunlight strips the outer shell fifth electron which travels across the stable four outer shell Silicon cubic grid by way of the three outer shell electron Phosporus atoms. To be usable 24/7 this direct current must be stored in batteries, capacitors, flywheels or some other energy loss system. To be transported over distance requires a DC/AC inverter with losses. This system consumes five times the investment & recycle energy that it produces in the entire service cycle. Production involves toxic waste that no civilized country will allow workers or the environment to endure, hence production in a third world, slave state, toxic waste dump. For more on this read “Green Prince of Darkness” at Canada Free Press or the updated version at the Faux Science Slayer website.

  52. Tomas says:

    BP British Petroleum. Only Obama used name British Petroleum to signify that BP is a foreign(=bad) company. BP is a multinational company(mainly british and american)

  53. There is oil, there is nuclear, but there is nothing else yet “beyond petroleum”.

  54. c1ue says:

    Shouldn’t forget the other high profile solar failures:
    Miasole: Raised $411 million plus a big stack of government guarantees, sold for $30 million
    Alta Devices: Raised $120 million, on fire and going down fast

  55. DirkH says:

    FauxScienceSlayer says:
    March 8, 2013 at 8:06 am
    “Sustainable photovoltaic salvation is the most ignorant of the green meainie parlor tricks. Exposed to sunlight certain elements will surrender a loose outer shell electron, which is a one-way, one-time element erosion process. ”

    No it’s not. If it were a PV cell would lose its efficiency immediately. It’s not necessary to spew BS to be against subsidizing the stuff. In California, with 2,500 sun hours and high PG&E prices, PV should already be economic without subsidies.

  56. Mario Lento says:

    @Ryan and MorningGuy: You are both unable to process slight;y complex matters and thus have been reduced to only being able to regurgitate parts of what people tell you to say. The fact is that Germany pays some of the highest electricity prices in the world. Why is that? Why is Germany putting up a whole string of new coal plants? Tell me oh wise ones? That money stolen from its citizens is in part used to subsidize the solar cells. Price they pay for PV solar panels is not the whole price they pay for solar. They are taxed dearly for this nonsense. So be careful when you use words such as “utter rubish” in place of intelligent comprehension and ability understand that you both are useful to those getting rich off of your ignorance.

  57. DirkH says:

    MorningGuy says:
    March 8, 2013 at 5:41 am
    “sure the Germans have paid dearly for solar and wind, but HAVE is the operative word, and I’m not talking about the old price for renewables, I’m talking about the new price…”

    We continue to pay 250 EUR per capita and year to the owners of PV and wind so they can pay back their credits. (20 bn EUR a year; exponentially rising; was 16 bn EUR a year before)

    “see figure 1 – price of system installed in Germany, note it’s gone from 5Euro/kW to 1.75Euro/kW and it’s going down like a brick balloon… what do you think that price is going to be in 2020 ???”

    Prices for PV go down by half in about 10 years since 1980. Still, as long as there is no mass storage this just serves to irritate the existing power plants which we can’t get rid of, and does nothing to bring down electricity prices, which are now at 0.25 Euro / kWh. (private household end price)

  58. chris y says:

    I have been tracking solar PV pricing for many years.

    First the good news-
    A cash-only DIY complete residential system here in sunny Florida (utility rate is 13 cents/kWhr) has just hit the 5 – 6 year payback period without federal tax credits or rebates, and no feed-in tariff. Last year grade B panels were available for 80 cents/Watt. Right now a small container (132 panels) of grade A panels can be purchased for 37 cents/Watt. A small container of thin film panels can be purchased for 33 cents/Watt.

    These prices crush the viability of solar thermal power plants.

    Now the bad news-
    The solar PV industry has admitted that current panel prices are unsustainable. They are hemorrhaging cash. A sampling of 2012 negative profit margins:
    Canadian Solar, First Solar, JA Solar Holdings, Jinko Solar Holding, LDK Solar, MEMC Materials, ReneSola, SunPower, Suntech Power, Trina Solar, Yingli Green Energy.

    Suntech, the world’s largest manufacturer of panels, is on the verge of bankruptcy.

    At least one major US retailer of solar PV panels and BOS components has hinted that a tsunami of panels is about to hit the US market. If you are interested in solar PV for your home, 2013 may be a good year to find great bargains on panels.

    Renixx, the renewable energy industrial index, has dropped from a peak of 1600 in 2008, to 195 today.

  59. James at 48 says:

    This one’s actually quite sad. I considered BP to be one of the old school solar vendors along with ARCOsolar and Exxon Enterprises. The !#!%$# China price is to blame.

  60. Chuck Nolan says:

    “The unit, which BP has been scaling back since 2008, is the latest sun energy business to fall victim to rampant competition from China, falling prices, overcapacity and lower government subsidies on which the industry still depends.”
    ———————————————–
    They left out ‘bad idea’ in their excuse list.
    cn

  61. Chuck Nolan says:

    kim says:
    March 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm
    New logo? Maybe a Sinclair dinosaur munching on a thicket of windmills.
    ============
    Nice visual, kim
    cn

  62. Crispin in Waterloo but actually in Jakarta says:

    The Beyond Petroleum campaign was the brainchild of the Old Man who preceded the jerk who lost his job over the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

    The philosophy applied was PK Prahalad’s book “The Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” now known as BOP. The formation of the “Emerging Markets” team at the global level was key to it and Main Man on that super dozen was Roberto Bocca. This dynamic and forward thinking group was leading the charge into new territories which would bring BP’s considerable capacity in monetary and engineering muscle to bear on the problems of the poor. We in Africa cheered.

    The Old Man was stabbed in the back by the antics of the young man who he was mentoring, evicted on the basis that he was crazy and wasting money. The Young Man killed off everything that was of any benefit to the emerging markets – fired the lot.

    This is the same guy who said, while the oil still volcanoed into the Caribbean, “I want my life back.” True to his wish he was evicted. In Africa we cheered again. My hope is that under their new management the Emerging Markets team will be restored to its glory position applying Social Capital Investment thinking with the muscle of a large corporation. That might attract back BOP experts like Craig Cohon who is whiling away his time running Cirque du Soleil in Russia.

    I have recently seen some top of the line BP solar PV panels in Malaysia. Really well made, they are, literally the only power available in villages in remote mountains (which is what that technology is good for).

  63. Peter in Ohio says:

    mwhite says:
    March 8, 2013 at 2:09 am
    “Night Falls On China’s Solar Industry”
    ————————————————–
    This tells us everything we need to know about the folly of governments thinking they can advance an industry/technology/economy through subsidies. Every possible negative outcome that classic economics predicts could result from such government intervention has been realized; fraud, price distortions, production inefficiencies, opportunity costs and lost equity.

    The loss of capital is the biggest travesty. Just how much could have been done to improve the lives of people, especially in developing countries, with the billions of dollars wasted by wealthy governments tilting at windmills?

  64. Johannes Kantelberg says:

    It should now be obvious that we will reach peak solar and peak wind long before we reach peak oil, peak coal and peak gas. The shear minuteness of the energy density of solar and wind power means the world will soon run out of physical space on which to erect these things. Low energy density is much more serious than intermittency.

  65. DirkH says:

    MorningGuy says:
    March 8, 2013 at 1:02 am
    “It’s becoming that fossil fuels are now the more expensive energy, sure wind and solar is intermittent and will always need some kind of fossil fuel base load, but renewables are now cheaper”

    Sorry, I’m reading the comments from bottom to top… So the Morning-Guy says, renewables are now cheaper, as long as they have Big Sugardaddy Fossil Fuels holding its tiny hand and giving it pocket money ALL OF THE TIME? Because that’s what it is – “some kind of fossil fuel base load” is providing a SERVICE to Tiny Renewables; and Tiny Renewables expects this service to be provided for free? No, Morning-Guy; services are not free, and neither are lunches where I come from. Pay up if you want Sugardaddy to bail you out every time the sun don’t shine or the wind don’t blow.

  66. Mario Lento says:

    DirkH says:
    March 8, 2013 at 11:53 am Sorry, I’m reading the comments from bottom to top… So the Morning-Guy says, renewables are now cheaper, as long as they have Big Sugardaddy Fossil Fuels holding its tiny hand and giving it pocket money ALL OF THE TIME? Because that’s what it is – “some kind of fossil fuel base load” is providing a SERVICE to Tiny Renewables; and Tiny Renewables expects this service to be provided for free? No, Morning-Guy; services are not free, and neither are lunches where I come from. Pay up if you want Sugardaddy to bail you out every time the sun don’t shine or the wind don’t blow.
    ++++++++++++
    Well said…

  67. RS says:

    Solar’s problem in a nutshell:
    Residential solar costs about $5,000 per peak KW, installed.
    Large scale commercial solar costs about $4100 per KW.

    In sunny south Texas, that 1KW will produce about $138 of electricity per year, retail.
    In rainy Seattle, that 1KW will produce only $42 of electricity.

    If instead, one took that $5,000 and purchased dividend stock, the dividend return would be $250./yr plus appreciation on the capital.

    It’s a no brainer for those who can get past the ideology and still think.

  68. Mac the Knife says:

    Related News:
    Rentech is closing its synthetic fuel demonstration plant in Colorado, announces plans to sell 450 acres of land near Nachez MS procured for a full scale synthetic fuel production plant with integral CO2 capture capability. They were the beneficiaries of a $23 Million dollar federal grant.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/03/07/Green-Fuel-Company-Awarded-23-Million-in-2010-Is-Shutting-Doors-in-2013

    Frankly, I’m sorry to see this project get mothballed. Rentech has a catalytic method for converting coal to synthetic ‘fuel’ gas, which can be used as a feed stock to make fertilizers, auto/diesel/jet fuels, plastics, the equivalent of natural gas etc. ‘Not ready for prime time’ just yet, it appears. Que lastima….
    MtK

  69. Berényi Péter says:

    Actually, I have already seen solar panels constructed using next century technology. They are soft, flexible sheets attached to a fractal support, they are not producing electricity, but an energy rich, non-toxic, not flammable chemical made of water and air, to be stored locally for later use (when it gets dark). These solar panels are not expensive, are recycled when disposed of, have a pleasant shade, smell good and oh, they are greeen.

  70. Crispin in Waterloo but actually in Jakarta says:

    @Mac the knkife

    “Rentech has a catalytic method for converting coal to synthetic ‘fuel’ gas, which can be used as a feed stock to make fertilizers, auto/diesel/jet fuels, plastics, the equivalent of natural gas etc. ‘Not ready for prime time’ just yet, it appears.”

    SASOL has been doing this for decades, profitable, using its base cost equivalent of oil at $29.00/bbl. I am suspicious of anyone who is trying to do the same thing and needs ‘lots more money’. These money-losing propositions are ‘churning’ and ‘pot-boilers’ for companies, not real R&D with a viable solution in mind. They are the industrial equivalent of, “I only came to the wedding for the food.”

  71. Big D in TX says:

    @Morningguy:
    Those figures are absolutely horrendous, and of course skewed by Australia’s abominable policies.

    Take the following with this disclosure and caveat: I work in the energy industry in Texas for one of the largest companies in the nation. The numbers represented here are abstract generalizations, real market prices change by the minute – but you will get the idea.

    A breakdown of electricity cost per MW by source:
    Hydro: $55
    Nat. Gas: $66/76
    Coal: $78
    Wind: $88
    Nuke: $145
    and just for fun,
    Solar PV: $200-450+?

    Again, don’t berate me if you have a source or personal information that disagrees with these numbers; I am talking in generalizations about the Texas grid/market. Why Texas? It’s where I live and work, and it is a special case: Texas has its own grid compared to the rest of America. Also several things to keep in mind about these numbers:
    How you calculate the cost per MW delivered greatly affects the price. For example, hydro looks like the clear winner because it’s so cheap, and it is, AFTER the dam, etc. is built. Nuke is expensive because it has to account for decom/dismantle costs on the backend. The gas split is for two main types of gas plants, combined cycle and peakers.

    Also, there is lots more to consider besides just price. People don’t want/need cheap power, they want cheap and reliable power. Reliability and grid stability is hugely important, and that makes a good “mix” of power delivered to the grid important. There are different types of demand to be met – generally speaking, baseload, and peak demand. Baseload is the power you need on all the time, low and slow – like street lights, hospitals, whatever else. Peak demand is just what it sounds like – people wake up and do stuff requiring power. A good example here is a summer afternoon – you know that pretty much every A/C unit in the state will kick on around 4pm, which is a big jump in the load and amount of power required.
    SO, a breakdown of usefulness by source:
    Hydro: good baseload, and potentially peak power (just open/close more gates). Drought can affect this – every lake in Texas is fake (except for Caddo lake which was made by a “natural dam” in a big storm… lol)
    Gas: combined cycle is more traditional generation – burning gas to heat water for steam. Better for baseload. Peaker plants are typically gas fired turbines – imagine jet engines – and they can switch on/off in minutes or seconds – great for handling dynamic load.
    Coal: good base. Not generally fast to fire up/power down.
    Wind: you get power when the wind blows. The wind doesn’t care what time of day/year it is.
    Nuke: great base, somewhat good for peak as well (depends on plant design – nuke can scale up/down its output more easily than say a coal plant).
    Solar: depends on the weather, and only during daytime.

    So now you see, to deal with changes in load it’s important to have different generation capability to handle it. Most generation here comes from coal and gas, because they are the cheapest and among the most effective at their respective roles and scalability.

    Now when it comes to what’s best to build going forward, let’s also consider uptime. Nuke is by far the most reliable, it will be online delivering to the grid perhaps 92-95% of its lifespan. Hydro is also usually very reliable, and can change with weather patterns… basically in Texas, we get what we can. Coal and CC gas will be up maybe 80% of the time, can vary quite a bit depending on type/age of plant. Peakers by definition are only on when needed, as they are more expensive and less efficient than CC gas. Wind… you get what you get. The global average I believe is around 20%, Texas is a little higher… maybe 22, 23%. Remember when the wind is down, the “backup” gas plants have to power up to compensate. The “backup” running the other ~80% of the time. And solar is not even worth talking about, there’s so little of it anyway.

    So let’s see here. Compared to wind power, a plant burning hydrocarbons is 15-30% cheaper, on average 4 times more reliable, and most importantly, controllable. Your state/country mileage may vary, but it shouldn’t by much, unless you have stupid policies implemented like Australia. In fact there’s more going on than what I’ve already written. The production tax credit has expired, and shows no signs of being renewed. That was a national 2 cents per kw subsidy from the government to help wind power be more competitive. And, in Texas, gas has been so cheap, it drives market prices for all types of power. So much so, that it was becoming not economically feasible to build more generation. Try increasing your load for a few years without increasing your generation alongside and let me know how it works out. So, the PUC is increasing the heat rates, which is the cap on which wholesale power can be sold on the market. Those 60 or 70 dollar prices are allowed to spike up to $3000/MW in dire peak demand circumstances. But going forward, that is being increased 50% to $4500. There is talk of doubling that to $9000 in the future. Of course these costs will probably filter down to the end consumer – but most projections I’ve seen are an increase in yearly costs around $200 per family. $17 per month to ensure I won’t suffer a rolling blackout during summer/winter seems fair and affordable to me, we’ll see how things pan out in the years to come. Certainly this is a pittance compared to the costs that drive energy poverty in the UK and elsewhere. The costs that make coal so expensive versus wind.

    So when you talk about renewables being cheaper than coal/gas, Morningguy and others, let’s remember to keep some things in perspective. First of all, consider the government policies that horribly alter the end price. In Australia they have renewable subsidies on top of carbon taxes. There is no real reason for coal to be that expensive there, it is in fact their second highest export behind iron. Australia has a lot of coal. Secondly, price is not everything. You must consider reliability, uptime, and delivery/ability to meet demand. And to that end, if you can’t control that delivery, what good is it at all? Renewables in general really need that breakthrough of energy storage technology to be worthwhile and competitive, and even then, I see that as a crutch propping up inferior technologies. Current batteries, pumped water, etc. just fails versus traditional power generation.

    IMO, if we really want to get away from conventional generation, nuke is the ONLY feasible way to go. It is cheap enough, extremely safe and reliable, scalable, and we can build different kinds of plants to handle different kinds of loads. There are some good reasons why we process grains with electrically powered machines and not windmills these days.

    For more fun information, check real time and forecast conditions at http://www.ercot.com

    On topic:
    Commercial, large scale solar PV is a joke. It works in space, not on the ground. We have things like clouds, nighttime, dust, etc. that really get in the way. When you factor in cost, uptime, reliability, and other relevant concerns to large scale power generation, it’s just awful, worse than wind. Competition from China notwithstanding, the only reason there has been a slight solar boom in the USA is massive tax credits and other incentives.

  72. MorningGuy says:

    RS says:
    March 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Solar’s problem in a nutshell:
    Residential solar costs about $5,000 per peak KW, installed.

    ummm… no …try under $1,000 per kW now here is OZ

    http://www.dollarsolar.com/solar-systems-product-range/?gclid=COLc0cOa7rUCFQxepQodLWcA7g

  73. MorningGuy says:

    DirkH says:
    March 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

    So the Morning-Guy says, renewables are now cheaper, as long as they have Big Sugardaddy Fossil Fuels holding its tiny hand and giving it pocket money ALL OF THE TIME? Because that’s what it is – “some kind of fossil fuel base load” is providing a SERVICE to Tiny Renewables; and Tiny Renewables expects this service to be provided for free? No, Morning-Guy; services are not free, and neither are lunches where I come from. Pay up if you want Sugardaddy to bail you out every time the sun don’t shine or the wind don’t blow.

    Why don’t you cut out all the emotive language them maybe we can have a rational conversation.
    Why do you see it as us against them? I think power companies benefit from a mix of technologies.

  74. bob.us says:

    Maybe they’re responding to Lockheed’s announcement that the production of trailer-sized 100MW fusion reactors is just ten years away.

    http://www.dvice.com/2013-2-22/lockheeds-skunk-works-promises-fusion-power-four-years

  75. _Jim says:

    Discovered while view dailyjobcuts.com today:

    SoloPower confirms layoffs as company restructures, struggles mount
    February 27, 2013

    SoloPower, the solar panel maker struggling to launch its first production line in Portland, confirmed Wednesday night that it will cut its workforce as it attempts to restructure operations.
    A spokesperson for the California-based company declined to discuss further details but said it would issue an announcement soon.

    The layoffs are the latest signal of distress at SoloPower, where production delays have placed state and federal loan guarantees in peril.

    Note that last line …

    http://www.oregonlive.com/money/index.ssf/2013/02/solopower_confirms_layoffs_as.html

  76. DirkH says:

    MorningGuy says:
    March 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    “Why don’t you cut out all the emotive language them maybe we can have a rational conversation.
    Why do you see it as us against them? I think power companies benefit from a mix of technologies.”

    As long as there’s no storage, the combination of fossil fuel power infrastructure and renewable energy is inefficient and expensive. Hope that’s unemotive enough for you, Morning-Guy.

  77. DirkH says:

    MorningGuy says:
    March 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm
    “Why don’t you cut out all the emotive language them maybe we can have a rational conversation.
    Why do you see it as us against them? I think power companies benefit from a mix of technologies.”

    Ok, a longer answer, I got disturbed by the kids. First, I don’t see it as us vs them, but a fight for money between consumers, the green/warmist movement, energy companies, solar companies, and of course the bureaucracy (the state).

    For a private citizen in California, PV makes economic sense even without subsidy, as PG&E is one of the most predatory energy supplier in existence, and 2,500 sun hours a year are enough to make it worthwhile.

    That PG&E would not neet to extort as much money from customers were it not for the most insane policies by the Cali government is obvious; but PG&E is something the Californian citizens will have to live with, just as I have to accept the existence of the Green scourge in Germany.

    For a society as a whole, a combination of the existing fossil fuel infrastructure plus solar cells is always more expensive than just the existing fossil fuel infrastructure. We can call it an unnecessary vanity; in the eyes of the green part of the electorate, it is seen as virtuous; they support this squandering of wealth. I am against it as I see better use for the wealth. But again, I have to accept the gargantuan squandering of money that happens in Germany. Just as I have to accept the catastrophic consequences of EU policies.

    I mentioned that PV panels go down in real prices by 50% in 10 years. Still, this does not comprise a storage solution. If you ever want to make the case that for a society as a whole a switch to PV is cost-efficient, it is not enough to point to the existing fossil fuel infrastructure and say “See? We don’t need no storage because we have fossil fuel base load.” You and the other proponents of solar need to show that your system is cost-efficient with a storage solution.

    The alternative is that you sell the PV electricity for bulk spot prices. You will then realize that all PV owners produce at the same time, driving the spot price into the negative. This does happen on the EEX in Germany. If supply exceeds demand, prices must fall to zero; when the glut threatens the grid, even to negative. An even more bizarre situation than Soviet Union style planned economy, invented by the economic geniusses of the Green movement.

    I have nothing but disdain for such idiocy.

  78. MorningGuy says:

    DirkH says:
    March 9, 2013 at 4:02 am

    “If you ever want to make the case that for a society as a whole a switch to PV is cost-efficient, it is not enough to point to the existing fossil fuel infrastructure and say “See? We don’t need no storage because we have fossil fuel base load.” You and the other proponents of solar need to show that your system is cost-efficient with a storage solution.”

    Your argument seems to boil down to solar can’t be made economical by itself because there is no economical storage solution yet… but no one is suggesting 100% solar, there are limits, I think with proper load matching i.e. installing more west facing systems that export power to eastern areas they could shift the solar production peak to better match peak afternoon times, that could also spread the peak.

    Besides this again you allude to the cost of solar and I agree it was expensive, but is not now, and is dropping even further.

    You also have to realise that if solar becomes cheap enough there will be less need for storage, as there would be installed unused spare capacity on tap.

  79. DirkH says:

    MorningGuy says:
    March 9, 2013 at 5:23 am
    “You also have to realise that if solar becomes cheap enough there will be less need for storage, as there would be installed unused spare capacity on tap.”

    Prove your point. Become a solar tycoon. Refuse any subsidy. Sell at bulk spot prices. Or store it in your own storage solution, that you bought with your own money, to be able to sell your precious electricity when the competing solar tycoons can’t deliver because the sun refuses to shine, which will give you better prices. Assuming you have a spot market for electricity in the US.

    An existence proof is needed. Don’t beg for free base load assistance. Nobody needs a drag on the economy.

    Well, I’m talking hypothetically, as the US as well as the EU are no free energy markets. But maybe you understand the concept of a free market. Maybe you can even begin to understand that a free market would produce greater wealth than what we have now.

    If you can’t I can only give you a link.
    “Economic Calculation In The Socialist Commonwealth”
    By Ludwig von Mises (1920)

    http://mises.org/econcalc.asp

  80. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Berényi Péter says:

    March 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Actually, I have already seen solar panels constructed using next century technology. They are soft, flexible sheets attached to a fractal support, they are not producing electricity, but an energy rich, non-toxic, not flammable chemical made of water and air, to be stored locally for later use (when it gets dark). These solar panels are not expensive, are recycled when disposed of, have a pleasant shade, smell good and oh, they are greeen……”””””

    So what is the conversion efficiency; from say 1,000 W/m^2 air mass 1.5 solar input at earth surface. to whatever form of output human benefit, these wonder panels are going to supply us with.

    The sun limits us strictly to about that level in input power density, I mentioned, and we can presently get between 20 and 40% of that converted to readily understandable grid electric power.

    So we don’t want to waste resources, pursuing some wonder alternative technology, that isn;t going to at least match what we already know how to do.

    And these soft flexible sheets with their fractal support; how well do they stand up during the 150 year storms, that come along about every five years or so ??

  81. MorningGuy says:

    DirkH says:
    March 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

    “Sell at bulk spot prices. ”

    Here in Oz the feed in tariff from solar is now matched to wholesale electricity prices, so effectively people that install solar ARE now selling back at wholesale spot prices, it went from 60c/kWh – which was insane BTW, now down to something like 8c/kWh which is much more sustainable. But even at these prices payback times are hovering around 5years even with interest on the outlay as the electricity prices here have gone up dramatically up due to privatisation of electricity suppliers a while back. After people get free electricity.

    “An existence proof is needed. Don’t beg for free base load assistance. Nobody needs a drag on the economy.”

    No i really don’t understand this “us against then” “all or nothing” mentality. People with solar don’t beg for base load they pay for it, just like any other customer, they pay monthly service charges for the connection even if they don’t use any, that’s like saying anyone that buys electricity begs for it. Solar has benefits as it offsets the need for peak capacity for the base load guys, seem to be working just fine in Germany (apart from some load matching challenges) and here in Oz, in SouthAus 1/4 of house have solar – 1/4 ! and it seems to work just fine, no need for “an existence proof”.

  82. DirkH says:

    MorningGuy says:
    March 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm
    “Here in Oz the feed in tariff from solar is now matched to wholesale electricity prices, so effectively people that install solar ARE now selling back at wholesale spot prices, it went from 60c/kWh – which was insane BTW, now down to something like 8c/kWh which is much more sustainable.”

    That is not a spot price; that is a fixed price; see also price fixing by politicians.

    “No i really don’t understand this “us against then” “all or nothing” mentality.”

    You don’t understand my position at all. The price of a good in a free market is determined by supply and demand, not by political price fixing. The resulting price is the market clearing price. A politically fixed market is a suboptimal market. It leads to oversupply or undersupply. Not sometimes; ALWAYS.

    “People with solar don’t beg for base load they pay for it, just like any other customer, they pay monthly service charges for the connection even if they don’t use any, that’s like saying anyone that buys electricity begs for it. ”

    Again, you do not understand me. Your solar installation has no marginal use value for any customer. Every customer needs stable power around the clock. Your solar installation cannot provide that. You need the service of the existing base load capacity to ride your parasitic venture on top of that, but you do not want to pay a fee for the provision of that service – by which I mean not a price per kWh but a price for the round-the-clock buffering of your intermittent power source. The value of that service is equal to the price you would have to pay for a battery bank you install yourself.

    “Solar has benefits as it offsets the need for peak capacity for the base load guys, seem to be working just fine in Germany (apart from some load matching challenges)”

    It works really awfully. As you don’t know the difference between the politically fixed FIT tariff and the spot price, let me give you an introduction.

    You already know what the politically fixed subsidy paid to the owners of solar panels is, so I won’t explain that further.

    Now, the spot price is a very different price. It is the market clearing price paid at an electricity exchange where energy distributors bid for quantities of electricity. Providers of electricity offer quantities of electricity. Think of it as a nonspot auction or a stock exchange.

    Now, when a lot of intermittent power from PV panels comes in, it drives down the spot price. According to German law, which Australia has imitated, the intermittent power from PV panels must not be rejected, so this glut is put on the spot market and quickly overwhelms the demand, driving the price to zero and below. (The high politically fixed price paid to the owners of PV panels is paid out by a slush fund which is charged up by a mandatory fee paid by end consumers like me. At the moment this is about 5 Eurocents per kWh.)

    Now this has some funny consequences, or disastrous consequences, depending on your point of view. When we reach negative spot prices we PAY the Swiss and the Austrians with their pumped hydro to take energy from the German grid.

    The second not so funny consequence is that the fast open cycle gas turbine plants that used to serve in times of peak demand have much less hours per year where they can sell their electricity for good prices on the spot market. Either the solar panels or the wind turbines drive the spot prices down – most of the time – except for longer periods in winter.

    This means that these peaker gas plants become extremely uneconomic, to a point where EON wants to shut down several of them. But in Winter they are our last resort to prevent a blackout. So we will probably have to pay EON and other peaker plant owners some extra compensation – my aforementioned fee for the service of keeping reserve capacity available.

    In other words, an entirely distorted, destroyed and inefficient mockery of an energy market.

    But as you have shown that you do not know what a market is, do not care about it, and do not understand that any alternative to a free market must be more expensive and inefficient, I guess I’m barking up the wrong tree here.

    And that’s my last word on this thread.

  83. MorningGuy says:

    DirkH says:
    March 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    “But as you have shown that you do not know what a market is,”

    This is my last post too, I understand fully whats happening, and the issues with solar in Germany

    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/23/german-solar-bringing-down-price-of-afternoon-electricity-big-time-more-charts-facts/

    and how solar is pushing the price of electricity down in peak periods removing fat margins that load buffering companies enjoyed.

    But I’m not advocating 100% solar as you constantly seem to imply I am, I’m not even advocating solar to the point it introduces load balancing issues. I’m saying soon to be cheaper than new coal solar has very valid place amongst the mix of options, as a means to shave the peak demand curve during the day. That’s all I’m saying – no need to create a strawman and put words in my mouth and say I’m advocating solar to the point it becomes a load balancing issue.

  84. Mario Lento says:

    MorningGuy: Let’s make it simple. You feel that PV Solar has a good place into the energy mix. So you are happy that taxpayers all are paying more money for energy to make solar more competitive. Every solar cell I see on a roof, has made my energy cost more money. Whether or not you understand what’s happening, has no effect on reality. That’s why you are being jumped on.

    If you knew where the money came from and how it affected energy prices, we could have an intelligent conversation with you. However, you will choose to read misinformation.

    You have no answer for why Germany has the second highest electricity prices in the world… after having succeeded in using a lot of PV solar panels. Mind you, right now PV solar only provides less than 5% of their total electricity.

  85. Dr Green says:

    It is very sad that the government is not doing enough to help manufacturers using renewable resources. Reforms and subsidies are what they need to sustain.

  86. Mario Lento says:

    Dr Green: What do you mean by sustain? How much have you donated to the cause? Please be honest here. Typically, it’s another boondoggle which requires other people’s money, money that we don’t have. And your green so called sustainable energy is not so sustainable without subsidies.

Comments are closed.