Spain’s Solar Energy Crisis: 62,000 People Bankrupt After Investing in Solar Panels

FRANCE 24 English

Seventeen years ago, Spain’s socialist government decided to inject subsidies into renewable energy. As a result, thousands of Spanish families massively invested in photovoltaic energy. But, as you’ll see in our report, the dream rapidly turned into a nightmare.

HT/Ben C

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February 21, 2022 10:13 pm

Not surprised, I am waiting for more news about investors in wind turbine energy supply businesses who have been advised that there will be no more dividends paid, that the major shareholders have sold out and/or that directors recommend that the business declare bankruptcy as the equipment approaches (a) high maintenance costs and/or (b) equipment removal and replacement time.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Dennis
February 22, 2022 9:11 am

According to Wind Europe almost half of Europe’s wind farms will be nearing the end of their natural life by 2030. That’s one heck of a lot of removal and replacement requiring even more subsidies or probably large scale bankruptcy!

Reply to  Dennis
February 22, 2022 11:16 am

The worst part of this is the high-rolling, connected, carpetbaggers get out and make their money from a government-controlled and sponsored Ponzi scheme while the local investors lose because the government hacks need to wash their hands of this criminal activity. 🙁

Mike Lowe
February 21, 2022 10:15 pm

Business 101: Politicians should never attempt to choose business winners. Especially socialist politicians who rarely have practical business experience.

Jeffrey C. Briggs
February 21, 2022 10:29 pm

California is currently considering legislation that will substantially decrease the rate utilities pay homeowners for the excess energy their solar panels generate. This will eviscerate homeowners who expected to pay off their panels in a few years. Furthermore, one community in Imperial County already did this, and surprise, new solar installations came to a virtual halt, costing hundreds of local jobs. And, of course, no more green energy creation. Without subsidies of one kind or another, solar energy production cannot be sustained. Welcome to the green new deal and the Socialist Republic of California.

Reply to  Jeffrey C. Briggs
February 21, 2022 10:39 pm

“costing hundreds of local jobs”. Actually no, those jobs are not real, they are a “Bastiat’s window” illusion. Collapse of the solar panels industry will, pari passu, eventually create jobs.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 21, 2022 10:51 pm

Dismantling and disposing of the stranded assets?
Who is going to pay for that?

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Rafe Champion
February 22, 2022 12:15 am

Who do you think going to pay for it? He is a guy called Tax, Tax Payer, & he’s a really good egg, as he pays for so many failed guvment projects, all over the Western World!!! PS I’m not joking either!!!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 22, 2022 3:10 am

think of all the jobs that will be created when all the solar panels and wind turbines have to be taken down! /s

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 22, 2022 6:10 am

Like the wind turbines in the Altamont Pass in California? A lot of those have been there and inoperable for years, abandoned by their owners.

I think you’ll find that will be the case for a lot of wind turbines no matter where they are – abandoned and left there to deteriorate. Why? Because it’s the cheapest way to deal with a now worthless asset.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DCE
February 22, 2022 7:31 am

Just watched the following YouTube:

World’s BIGGEST Energy Megaprojects
all are “green”- all praised and with little in the way of criticism

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 22, 2022 12:32 pm

Bhadla Solar Farm: avreage temp 115 degrees F. Don’t solar panels function really poorly at that temp level?

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
February 23, 2022 7:32 am

The hotter they get, the faster they degrade, which is why solar panels should be kept in the shade at all times.

Reply to  MarkW
February 25, 2022 5:01 pm

LOL .. good one !

Geoffrey Williams
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 23, 2022 5:10 pm

It’s a bullshit project that will turn into a financial failure and a load of toxic waste and rubble. Just give it time . .

Peter Fraser
Reply to  DCE
February 22, 2022 10:41 am

It’s not a worthless asset but a liability.

Reply to  DCE
February 23, 2022 3:43 am

A junkyard is a junkyard. You pass by junkyards containing cars and think not much of it. I would guess that the land in Altamont Pass is valuable enough such that someone is paying the property taxes, but perhaps it is all abandoned. Nevertheless, whenever I see it I think of a (vertical) junkyard along the Interstate.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  BobM
February 28, 2022 8:14 am

The difference being that junkyards provide spare parts to people who still have “in service” examples of the same cars; abandoned wind turbines are just useless junk that needs to be mostly landfilled.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 22, 2022 7:45 am

Local governments will probably require permitting fees to get this done, then a dumping fee for use of the local landfill plus any other fee they can think of.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 22, 2022 5:47 pm

In LV there Jimmy Carter rebate funded solar water heaters on roof up until about 6 years ago.

I would guestimate they were not removed until the roof needed replacing.

So for residential and much commercial rooftop solar, I will speculate that they will not be removed until there is some other reason making it necessary.

As to the fields of solar, they will just sit there until someone has an economical use of the land that the cost of removal will be included in the purchase price.

Finally, for wind, see the comment about Altamont Pass above. They will just be a blight on the horizon for years to come.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Drake
February 22, 2022 7:53 pm

G’Day Drake;

“I would guestimate they were not removed until the roof needed replacing.”

Correct. Beaumont, CA, 1977. Had a solar hot water system installed on the roof, after a chap from the gas company ran a pay-back program on his “portable” computer. Worked like a charm – for three years – no gas usage at all for three months or longer each summer.

Then it started leaking. The manufacturer – out of business. The installer – out of business. Did hear through the grape vine – a weld from the collector to the 40 gallon tank had not been passivated properly on these units. We shut it down.

Drove by there about two years ago (2019) – the system is still on the roof. (We were told when we bought the place that the roof was slate.)

Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 22, 2022 8:59 am

Actually California is tricky. We don’t get an actual tx – the folks in Sacramento get the utility companies to do the job, and recover their costs from the rate payers – an indirect tax, and the pols can claim that they didn’t raise taxes.

John the Econ
Reply to  Rafe Champion
February 22, 2022 6:26 am

I’ve long argued that in a decade or so we’ll be needing another umteen-billion dollar Superfund program to clear the landscape of all these failed green dreams.

Reply to  Rafe Champion
February 22, 2022 9:01 am

The land owner should pay for it. In all likelihood they will find a way to foist those costs onto the taxpayer.
Private benefit, public cost, the socialist way.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 3:59 am

Hazardous waste disposal.

Reply to  Doug Huffman
February 22, 2022 5:06 am

Word needs to get out to send your solar panels to”

10th St & L St, Sacramento, CA 95814**

for disposal.

** Go ahead and put that address in the map program of your choice. 😁

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
February 22, 2022 5:22 am

When Subsidy Mining, be careful where you dump the Toxic Spoils

Steven Pfeiffer
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 5:07 am

Yes, exactly – “spoons instead of shovels” jobs.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 6:37 am

but their ignorance of Bastiat will create hundreds of teaching jobs

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 6:54 am

I read up to find out about Bastiat’s Window and found the following interesting. The first part is historical though we would need to consider its application for today’s world situation:

The Broken Window Fallacy Reapplied.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 22, 2022 5:57 pm
  • An of course Michael, building all the subsidized unreliable generation capacity and infrastructure to connect them to the grid reduces the over wealth of society because it all needs 100% reliable backup so the funds spent on unreliables, and especially the natural and human resources, could have been spent (applied) to the benefit of ALL society, not just the crony capitalists enriched by the scam.
Jeffrey C. Briggs
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 8:46 am

The jobs lost are for the installers who sprang up to meet the demand, which in the home industry was pretty solid out here in some places.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 7:20 pm

In my Day Job industry it is not the construction and delivery of the equipment to the End User, it is the 20 or so year long Through Life Support contract.

You don’t JUST want someone to pay you to supply something. You want them to pay you to supply AND pay you for the entire life of type to maintain it.

Now not deep dived into the rooftop solar industry, but I am not seeing a massive industry of skilled techs maintaining the products.

Personally I would also like to see a ‘disposal levy’ be made against anyone with home solar to cover the cost when those panels eventually stop working. Or failing that a return to plastic straws. Paper straws are evil!

Reply to  Jeffrey C. Briggs
February 22, 2022 12:31 am

The Australian Energy Market Operator, a cooperative of governments and energy suppliers, has expressed concern as the rooftop solar numbers increase because of the intermittent supply of tiny amounts of energy from so many locations around the grid that effectively destabilise the grid at times.

So it is proposed to stop feed in and related tariffs (credits) and force solar system owners to use the energy for the needs of their property.

Reply to  Dennis
February 22, 2022 1:37 am

Please can you give a link. What you report seems very unlikely, because (a) the market operator makes no policy decisions, and (b) there’s a federal election coming in which the both main parties support renewable energy.

I think the best we can hope for is a reduction in feed-in tariffs and even lower tariffs for new solar. I hope I’m wrong.

Michael R
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 3:05 am

We are building a house in the NT in Australia later this year and we have also been advised that reductions in feed in tariffs means connecting to the system to the grid is unlikely to be a viable option in the near term.

EnergyAustralia has dropped their tariff rates by up to 30% in last ye or so and according to articles from last year, to reach at least 36% reduction.

Locally (where I live) they removed the premium feed in tariff in 2020 of around 24.23c p/kwh to new customers with installations after the cutoff date to now 8.3c p/kwh which is a reduction of around 66%.

WA Followed suit last year but they are even worse. Off peak time grid exporting – like that which happens during the day when you would generate most excess – is now down to 3c p/kwh.

So technically the tariffs are not gone, and they may not go away entirely, but the solar installers we are getting quotes from for our new house and heavily implying to us to look at using the grant for a battery storage solution instead of a feed in tariff as “that may suit us a lot better long term for repayment of system”.

IPART, who provide minimum, benchmarks for pricing in NSW (and I think Victoria) latest fact sheet also states that the tariffs are expected to continue to fall in the next few years as more people take up the solar installations.

Reply to  Michael R
February 22, 2022 6:56 pm

Trouble with solar feeding the grid it is either feast or famine , electricity grids don’t work that way , the base load main power supplies , coal , gas , nuclear are made of very large machinery weighing 100s of tonnes that adapt slowly to varying load .

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 3:13 am

AEMO installs early warning system for surplus solar and rooftop PV shutdowns | RenewEconomy
AEMC says rooftop solar export charge “optional” in bid to calm fears | RenewEconomy
and already many rooftop solar new chums are finding they can’t even feed into the grid and many are being curtailed. The numptys couldn’t see the bleeding obvious with increased solar penetration and the solar duck curve and now it’s increasingly a case of use it yourself or lose it.

Owners could put in battery storage to do that but they know it doesn’t pay the ROI. Just like the large scale unreliables know with their economies of scale so they just put in a couple of hours battery storage to arbitrage and cream off the top of the market providing FCAS. All the Green idiots do is ooh and aah at peak solar and wind output figures while the AEMO is tasked at keeping the lights on and have to make the hard rational decisions.

Reply to  observa
February 22, 2022 8:00 am

Your second link reminds me of Paul McCartney’s Taxman lyrics:
   “If you get too cold, cold, I’ll tax the heat.
   If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”
As a solution to current problems, the AEMC suggests a “solar tax.”
Yep, the Taxman is going to tax your sun!

Thomas Burk
Reply to  NeedleFactory
February 22, 2022 10:32 am

Actually, that’s a George Harrison song, but it captures perfectly the point you are making.

Reply to  Thomas Burk
February 22, 2022 7:31 pm

Thanks for the correction;
you know much more about the Beatles than I do.
I merely recalled the lyrics, googled for them, and saw that Paul had a “guitar solo.” — my Bad! (I plead ignorance.)

What I find interesting (as I write this):
4 upvotes for you (correcting my mistaken source), and only
1 upvote for me, showing the lyrics’ prescience.

Whatever, I have added my upvote to the other four 😉
and hat’s off to Harrison!!

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 3:35 am

there’s a federal election coming in which the both main parties support renewable energy.

LOL. Why do you think Labor did a full backflip on the Coalition’s plan to fund a gas plant at Kurri Kurri after bagging it? Because they know they could well be responsible for keeping the lights on after the election and here’s what the Eastern States have to rely on after dark if we keep going the way we are-
Wind Energy in Australia | January 2022 | Aneroid

Peaks and troughs from 3.4% to 61.5% of nameplate installed capacity if you run your cursor over the graph and that’s in a good wind month. Supposedly that sort of fickle power will charge all the EVs at night we’re all going to be driving by whenever they can stop them going up in smoke on ro-ro car carriers. Do you fully comprehend the real tragedy here? People who go to university actually believe in this stuff.

Reply to  observa
February 22, 2022 5:16 am

I foresee a lot calling off work because “there was no wind yesterday and I can’t make it in until the car is charged up.”

Also, “We’ll send a firetruck out as soon as it finishes charging. In the meantime, do you have a garden hose?”

Simon Derricutt
Reply to  H.R.
February 22, 2022 5:48 am

H.R. – oops, the water pump is electric….

Reply to  Simon Derricutt
February 22, 2022 5:58 am

“Then drink lots of beer and do the best you can, sir.”

Tony Taylor
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 3:11 pm

You probably hope in vain, Mike.

Reply to  Dennis
February 22, 2022 2:10 am

Solar power variability may have contributed to the September 2016 blackout in South Australia during a storm, the clouds of which would have drastically reduced solar PV output (unfortunately not metered), the winds of which caused chaos with the wind power outputs, which are metered:

comment image

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dennis
February 22, 2022 9:13 am

It doesn’t matter who is paying for the output of solar panels, the energy is still injected into the local grid; the grid is still effectively destabilized. Future instillations, however, would be expected to be reduced.

February 21, 2022 10:34 pm

From the video at about 4:30 the voiceover is about a politician’s proposed amendment to a government bill:

“This amendment is to allow the families who built those installations to receive the bonuses they were promused. An amount this deputy hopes to draw from the Future National Fund for Durable Electricity, a new way of financing renewable energy.”

What a mess. You would think a government might learn from its mistakes, but here they are trying to pour even more vast amounts of taxpayers’ money into already-failed renewables. And they are doing it with the usual blatant lie – calling ruinables “durable electricity”.

That’s Spain for you. Spain is such a basket case that it ranks roughly equal with nearly all western “democracies” on the wilful lunacy scale. In other words, Spain is a total disaster, but you don’t have to look far to find similar total disasters.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 6:59 am

Most EU politicians, those in Western Europe, seem to be wearing the same brand of blinkers.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 22, 2022 3:10 pm

Follow the yellow brick road. They all work for the same master. Those who could print all that was needed to buy/corrupt the system. But now that their fake economy is imploding they will just start WWIII .

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 22, 2022 7:55 am

“You would think a government might learn from its mistakes”
There is no need for them to learn from their mistakes, it ain’t their money!

Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 22, 2022 11:46 am

This is exactly true! Noone who doesn’t pay for their mistakes learn from them.

John in Oz
Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 22, 2022 1:49 pm

and they are never held to account for their stuff ups.

They just move on to another government-backed committee/directorship or move to a private industry job that aligns with their previous portfolio.

Alexander Vissers
February 21, 2022 11:55 pm

Trusting a socialist government on investing decisions is never a wise decision, betting all your money on a single horse is a risky investment strategy all the more if the money is not yours. Still this is an outrage in a country with massive public debt..

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 22, 2022 7:04 am

Betting on a good horse occasionally gives a win but this is more like betting on an ass in a horse race.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 22, 2022 7:57 am

Always bet the grey horse, or one owned by the Mafia.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 22, 2022 1:49 pm

bet the jockey …

Dave Fair
Reply to  Alexander Vissers
February 22, 2022 9:20 am

There is no such thing as a “risky investment strategy” when it is OPM.

Vincent Causey
February 22, 2022 12:08 am

If the government never made these ridiculous subsidies in the first place, this poor guy would not be in this position.

Reply to  Vincent Causey
February 22, 2022 9:10 am

I’ve always been amused by how angry subsidy receivers get, whenever someone talks about shutting down the subsidy.

February 22, 2022 12:40 am

A Canadian company and an Australian multi-billionaire Greens minded younger person are trying to buy a coal fired power station in New South Wales that generates about 30% of the State’s electricity at full generator units capacity.

The buyers claim they will replace the generators with renewable energy but it is becoming obvious that they are planning a massive wealth creation exercise in the shorter term and a longer term electricity pricing increase to also benefit their businesses.

This has put State and Federal governments on notice, privatisation of electricity assets now coming back to haunt the politicians who could be facing energy supply shortages and price increases to explain to voters.

Few seem to realise that the basis of the world’s longest interconnected electricity grid was reliable supply from coal fired power stations and customers producing aluminium, steel, cement and various other high users of electricity and benefiting the wider community with low priced electricity.

And since the transition to wind and solar, plus ancillary back up, electricity prices have been rising and the remaining industrial users are considering their future.

You can’t operate an aluminium smelter or steel mill without guaranteed electricity supply.

Reply to  Dennis
February 22, 2022 2:21 am

To me this is one area where private ownership can cause disaster, and makes me advocate state ownership of electricity infrastructure. Dispatcheable generators must be maintained, and only be replaced on a like-for-like basis.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  climanrecon
February 22, 2022 5:24 am

When Harold Macmillan likened Margaret Thatcher’s privatisation policy to selling off the family silver, he probably never realised it was a warning that would come so close to wrecking the economy.

Buying it back is going to be expensive.Possibly not as expensive as leaving ot in the hands of so called “investors”.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 22, 2022 9:13 am

As every true socialist knows, only government can be trusted to do anything well.
The idea that the private sector can’t be trusted with power generation is one of the great lies that the socialists tell each other, and it is easily disproven by all of the privately owned power sectors world over.

Reply to  climanrecon
February 22, 2022 9:12 am

If you want reliable power, the private sector is a much safer bet.
Have you actually bought into the socialist lies that private investors don’t take care of their property?

Reply to  MarkW
February 22, 2022 10:33 am

Private investors take care of their property because their money depends on it, 99.9% of the time this works to the benefit of everyone. But there is no private ownership of tanks and fighter jets (OK, maybe Musk has some), and for the same reasons I think it best for the state to own (but not build or operate) power stations.

Reply to  climanrecon
February 23, 2022 7:41 am

Defense is non-excludable. That is, when you defend a country, you defend the entire country. There is no mechanism by which you can defend one person, but not his neighbor.

Electricity on the other hand is perfectly excludable. So your comment about a private owner taking better care of his property applies here. If you want to screw up a power system, have government run it.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
February 28, 2022 8:33 am

Especially when the government is run by Eco-Nazi loons like ‘Crypt Keeper’ Biden and his puppet masters.

Old Cocky
Reply to  climanrecon
February 22, 2022 12:07 pm

It’s actually legislative and regulatory failure, mostly by not setting and enforcing availability and reliability requirements for a sufficiently long time horizon.
There are multiple other failures as well, such as AEMO attempting to hammer the Perfect Competition round peg into the Oligopsony triangular hole.

February 22, 2022 12:46 am

Yes, but the policies of previous govts, e.g over self consumption, have now been reversed and solar investment has now resumed… this is an historical injustice, based on failed govt policy, not of solar power itself.

Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 1:22 am

Mo, its is based on solar power itrelf, It never nade sense economically.or envitonmentally

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 22, 2022 3:13 am

Griff is just giving the standard excuse of every communist/socialist when collectivism fails. That being: ‘It will work great! They just didn’t do it the right way!’

Bryan A
Reply to  Rah
February 22, 2022 6:29 am

Hitting the Nail on the Head

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Rah
February 22, 2022 8:01 am

But THIS time it will work.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 28, 2022 8:34 am

Forgot the “/sarc”

Michael Elliott
Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 1:40 am

As what is still referred to as ” The Good Book” says “” As ye sow, so shall ye

Ironically Australia is one of the few countries where Renewables should work.

We have wind, & lots of Sunlight, yet even here it’s useless.

It’s all a part of a Dream, which certainly in those parts of the World with cloudy sky’s & variable wind, has become a nightmare.

Michael VK5ELL

glenn holdcroft
Reply to  Michael Elliott
February 22, 2022 4:37 am

It’s very expensive to build interconnectors and grid wiring for thousands of miles from where its produced to where its used or needed , solar or wind and the end user always pays whereas the producers get subsidised . Nothing ever adds up economically in this greeny religion .

Reply to  glenn holdcroft
February 22, 2022 7:14 am

Oh, greeny religion. I thought at first you said greedy religion. My mistake.

Reply to  glenn holdcroft
February 23, 2022 5:29 am

That is called “Gold Plating The Grid”

Reply to  Michael Elliott
February 22, 2022 5:32 am

And as “The Good Book” also says, “Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, and you can expect some crop failures if you are relying on wind turbines.”

(Okay. I admit I may not have remembered my Sunday School teachings exactly.)

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
February 22, 2022 6:32 am

Perhaps …
Expect certain seasonal Crop Failures when Farming Wind or Solar

paul courtney
Reply to  H.R.
February 22, 2022 11:26 am

H.R.: that’s OK, even the Good Book is subject to adjustment by CliSci’s. Your quote now reads, “and you can expect some crop failures from climate change, especially if you worship the false gods called “fossil fuels.”

Reply to  Michael Elliott
February 22, 2022 3:24 pm

For some reason wind is no longer used in the shipping industry. Could be because it made it much more efficient.

alastair gray
Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 1:55 am

You will document please for me Griff that new build UK solar power is entirely subsidy free both on installation and on level playing field access to the retail market. Then I am all for it although the collateral damage of farmland and wild land desecration and imminent starvation when the green energy global famine eventually strikes really don’t seem like a price worth paying

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  alastair gray
February 22, 2022 5:33 am

I’ve challenged Griff to live his life in sync with unreliables and report back on how successful it has been several times dating back many months. No reports yet despite high levels of wind so this giving an ideal opportunity for cherry picking.

No doubt floods in the Home Counties will be blamed for this lack of action this year. February fill dyke, be it black or be it white

Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 6:23 am

They just never did the Ponzi scheme right if you invest with Griff he promises this time it will work.

So lets look at the new Ponzi scheme and see why the industry in Spain thinks you should invest

1.) Spain has lots of sunlight … yes but the peak demand is at night
2.) Spain has experience in this …. yes we just saw how good the experience was
3.) Spain offers tax incentives … yes the old free money from the tax payer.
4.) The “European Green Deal” is coming … yes more freebie money from the tax payer.
5.) Diversity of investment … why invest in one Ponzi scheme when you can invest in many.

Seriously if you believe in this sort of Ponzi scheme then you deserve to lose your money.

Reply to  LdB
February 22, 2022 9:58 pm

It gets scary though when “activist investors” (conmen and scammers, and true believers who know they can’t be wrong) force companies, fund managers, and most terrifying: public pensions to invest in the green ponzi schemes.

Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 9:14 am

Everything is the fault of the consumer who demand reliable power. Once you get rid of that ridiculous demand, wind and solar work just fine.

John Power
Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 1:50 pm

“…this is an historical injustice, based on failed govt policy, not of solar power itself.”
Is it, Griff? As far as I can see, solar voltaics are not an economically viable technology. They are simply not cost-effective. If they were, they would not need government subsidies to support them.
I find it ironic that these ‘renewable’ systems have been sold to societies on the false basis that they (together with wind farms) will sustain society with vital power to meet all its power-and-energy needs cheaply, reliably, cleanly and in everlasting abundance, while in reality it is society that is having to sustain them with ruinously expensive subsidies, tax-breaks and harsh penalties for their competitors so that they can continue failing to deliver the power that society needs, especially at critical times when it most needs it.
And don’t get me started on the appallingly destructive effects that these diabolically-inspired systems are wantonly having on the planetary biosphere that they are supposed to be saving!

Reply to  griff
February 22, 2022 9:52 pm

Solar power, great for lighting up the outdoor decorations – who cares how long they stay on.

Not so good for powering the 21st Century – people complain if the lights go off.

Reply to  PCman999
February 23, 2022 7:45 am

Demanding that the lights stay on is an example of over consumption. Once you break consumers of that bad habit, solar becomes much more practical.

February 22, 2022 1:32 am

Cult leader Klaus often says “Youll own nothing and you’ll be happy”, with emphasis on the ‘ youll own nothing’ part.

alastair gray
Reply to  Klem
February 22, 2022 1:58 am

Well if this political creature delivers on half his promises he will probably consider himself more honest than most politicians. He of course will own lots and definitely will be happy in smug gloating of the impoverishment of the masses of little people. Same goes fro the Gretas and the rest of the self righteous turdocracy of Davos

Reply to  Klem
February 22, 2022 9:17 am

I think he actually meant, “You’ll own nothing and I’ll be happy”.

Mostly because government has given what you used to own, to him.

Bruce Cobb
February 22, 2022 1:44 am

But, according to carboneconomics, if only they invested in more ruinables, they’d be fine.

alastair gray
February 22, 2022 1:50 am

And that is in Spain where the sun shines
God knows what sort of buggars muddle we will make of it in the UK but the woke green slime will pile in like vultures to fleece the taxpayer. Unfortunately at payback time it is the gullible little sheep who will pay. A bit like LLoyds really

February 22, 2022 2:06 am

When productivity matches conventional power Weather-Dependent generators might become viable.

Screenshot 2021-09-04 at 13.45.19.png
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  edmh
February 28, 2022 8:42 am

Not even then…they still wouldn’t provide the power when and where it is needed – still at the whim of the weather.

Peta of Newark
February 22, 2022 2:35 am

Its all so depressing..
Not least it’s exactly what the ‘European Common Market’ – precursor to the EU, did to all gthe farmers in that economic zone. Going back 30 and 40 years.

Their ‘support system’ created the then infamous Butter, Cheese and Beef Mountains, also Wine Lakes
Then it cost the EU untold fortunes to put all this stuff into cold stores all dotted around The Union. Just producing it was the thin end of the wedge.
Ultimately vast amounts of this unwanted produce was given away to Eastern Europe

This solar scheme was a brainchild of the EU – it says in the video somewhere that “Spain was expected to do its climate duty”

II tried to do some sums for the guy….
As best I can tell, a solar farm cost in 2007 about $4.6 per Watt
Just eyeballing his setup, I see 6 lots of panels, each panel being roughly 6ft by 3ft in size – call that 2 square metres and each ‘lot’ being 13 by 7 panels
Lets call that 1,000 square metres and each sqm will produce (standard sun of 1kW/m2) 200Watts and hence would cost just over $900,000. He paid 1 million
In Spain, that should produce on a 24/7/365 basis 30kW

He paid $1 Million so his cost wasn’t too far out of the way, esp for the tracking system he has and will produce 263,000 kWh per year
But he borrowed the money, mentions 15 years so, just roughly, means he will be paying back $2 Million = $133,000 per year capital and interest

Thus, he has to sell each unit of electricity at about 50 cents per unit

Holy Cow, do they not have accountants in Spain, who the <expletive> advised this guy?

Maybe 60000 people went bankrupt but The Plan worked = maybe about 60 people in the financial services industry made a mint. And most of them = retired politicians & civil servants.

Just like all good socialist systems and contratry to what they claim, THAT was The Plan here

February 22, 2022 2:58 am

I feel empathy but have no sympathy for them. If you gamble on a government keeping their promises, you better be ready to pay the price when they don’t. Those that do otherwise are fools and you know the old saying about what happens to a fool and his money.

February 22, 2022 3:37 am

A lesson learned once again … “Capital is necessary but not sufficient” … especially when spending other peoples’ money.

February 22, 2022 3:47 am

I cannot for the life of me understand the economics of renewables.

You invest significant amounts of money up front, relying on a long tail of revenue to pay it off.

The only time you can produce energy is when everyone else does, you end up flooding the market. The price you receive is very low, possibly even negative, but you have to accept it because this is the only time you can generate revenue.

You can not store wind or solar to produce when others cannot.

Because you have relatively low cash costs you can sell at very low prices, in effect you are locked into selling as much as you can to try to recoup some of the capital, which is degrading regardless of whether you supply or not.

The only thing keeping this afloat is subsidies. The underlying business model is horrific. You have no chance at all of making money from the underlying business as a stand alone model.

Reply to  Dean
February 22, 2022 10:00 am

Yep, that is the double speak of this whole thing.

What you have just described is the economic commoditization of electricity.

Economically, a commodity is a product in which any individual producer has no pricing power.

Since there is no product differentiation (electricity is electricity) so once there are no operating costs, there are no economies of scale, and hence no differentiation between “businesses”.

Consumers want this, businesses will not since it will never producer greater than market scale returns. In essence the best you can do is offset your operating costs. The entire business “profit model” here is the subsidy. When the subsidy dries up, so do the profits, and thus the business..

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Gino
February 28, 2022 8:53 am

Actually there is some ‘product differentiation’ – electricity produced by wind and solar is worse, since its frequency is inconsistent, unreliable and unpredictable, and transmission losses are greater, since the best sites for such weather dependent generation facilities are generally a great distance from the places the energy is needed and used.

Doug Huffman
February 22, 2022 3:58 am

“You can’t imagine the Prime Minister bankrupting your country.”. Wanna bet? Ask the Canadians. For that matter, ask right-wing Americans.

Reply to  Doug Huffman
February 22, 2022 6:57 am

Or even (if you are British) ask Johnson or Rishi Sunak (Fishy Rishi as we know him!).

Reply to  Doug Huffman
February 22, 2022 7:30 am

What is “right-wing” about freedom? Maybe a review of Reagan’s speech “A Time for Choosing” is needed. Here’s the important pull quote:

You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down – [up] man’s old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

paul courtney
Reply to  _Jim
February 22, 2022 11:50 am

Mr. _Jim: Neither poster said freedom is right wing, but when the left opposes freedom in every policy choice, is does look that way.

Reply to  paul courtney
February 22, 2022 12:13 pm

I suggest a paradigm change or shift in thinking is required here paul; embace Reagan’s speech from way back in 1964. Did you happen to view ANY of the livesreams from Ottawa this last week? FREEDOM was a key message literally shouted by the demonstrators regularly, and also visible on much signage too … and the protestors have very much been slandered by the ‘regime’ and press in Canada these last few weeks, and maligned as being with the so-called ‘RW’ in America.

February 22, 2022 5:35 am

Having successfully deployed solar panels in Michigan, of all places, I’ll expose my secrets for all who care to listen. The solar panels were a success after years of failures using land-line power.

I have two boat lifts, powered by a single 12v lead acid battery. It was nearly impossible to keep the battery charged with conventional power because of tripped ground fault interrupters, terminal corrosion in the high humidity, and water always spraying over everything. The solution was a solar panel. It has a Zener diode voltage regulator, and a discarded satellite dish angle mount on a pole. It works perfectly, so here are the simple rules:

  1. Remove the panel every fall for protection from the weather and reinstall it every spring.
  2. Partially submerge the battery in fresh water to keep it cool.
  3. Because of rule 2, keep all voltage levels below 20v for safety.
  4. For simplicity, maintain a due south fixed panel direction angled at mean summer sun angle.
  5. Grossly over rate the name plate power output to deal with clouds and short days.
  6. Use only in the summer.
Reply to  Tom
February 22, 2022 6:47 am

The secret to homeowner successful solar is to think small. Attempts to sell it back to the grid make up front costs very expensive. Identify a specific base load you can attempt to replace. In the winter I just run several 300W incandescent light bulbs off of my 1760 watt array. Yes, heat isn’t the optimum use for a solar panel, but it’s a direct hook-up with no inverter, batteries or other electronics, just some dc fuses. In the fall and spring I use a bucket heater to provide some heat to a hot tub, again, displacing some base load. Again, no wear and tear on expensive electronics. The summer is the catch. I do have a couple lead acid batteries and a 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter which I fire up during A/C season to run a small portable A/C unit. I only run the A/C on sunny days. It will not do much to cool the whole house, but it will take some of the load off the outside compressor.

I will get my investment back much faster than if I were trying to run my whole house and sell power to the grid.

Reply to  billtoo
February 22, 2022 9:04 am

Bravo; I did a ‘paper’ exercise along those lines with those considerations a few years back, but never pulled the trigger to order any panels … I usually have a few hundred Watts of steady draw year round given the ham radio/computers in use here, so I was going to include a few hundred Watt +- grid-tie inverter just to offset my grid-power consumption, no intent of selling any power back to the powerco …

Barry Anthony
February 22, 2022 6:21 am
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 22, 2022 9:26 am

And when the taxpayer subsidies disappear, so do the “investors”.

Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 22, 2022 11:22 am

Your link talks only about CAPACITY, not actual electricity delivered.
So we can discount those numbers by ~ 70% for anyone expecting a constant reliable supply of electricity.

Anyway, as I said about the milking of taxpayers to be the “investors” –

“And this growth can only accelerate if recent COP26 commitments are kept and the proposed federal Build Back Better legislation is enacted into law.”

Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 22, 2022 1:58 pm

Crime in New York & Atlanta are up too.

Whatever you encourage (or subsidize) will expand.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 22, 2022 10:13 pm

From nothing to next to nothing, Griff

Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 23, 2022 7:49 am

Once again, Barry demonstrates that he is not as smart as he thinks he is.
1) Going from 1% to 2% is a 100% growth, but is not impressive.
2) It’s hardly surprising that something that is both heavily subsidized and in many cases mandated by government, is growing rapidly.

John the Econ
February 22, 2022 6:31 am

During the Obama era, all the “smart” people were arguing that we needed to emulate Spain, with their “green jobs” initiatives and whatnot. Where are those people now? In or cheering on the Biden Administration.

John Bell
February 22, 2022 6:35 am

I know some leftists around here in SE Michigan, they do not have solar panels on their roofs, the hypocrites. My gf of 6 years ago came back from Germany in 2015 and complained that in the USA we have very very few solar panels on roofs, and there are lots in Germany, but then the price for electricity is 3X higher in Germany than here.

Reply to  John Bell
February 22, 2022 12:07 pm

” … but then the price for electricity is 3X higher in Germany than here. ”

You are very certainly right. But…

  • Germany has about ten times more inhabitants per km² than the US (80 Mio people in 350,000 km²); this was one of the major reasons to give up over the long term nuclear energy in electricity production, as all trials to find a valuable place for end storage of all nuclear waste failed since 1976.
  • As we want also to give up coal and lignite over the long term, the (of course very controversial) decision was made to invest in Renews.
  • To motivate little investors (private house owners, little firms), a generous subsidiary program was set up, allowing all them to enter produced but not used electricity back into the networks.

Thus, yes yes: we pay a lot of money each month for both shutdown of nuclear and setup of renewable energy – including huge underground high-voltage power lines from the North Sea (where the big wind farms are built) to the south of the country, where the power is needed but wind is scarce.

Our next huge investment will be an infrastructure able to store 2 TWh/day for several days, in order to cope with windless periods.

In the US, let me guess: all nuclear waste will simply put into some of your huge deserts. Right?

How much do you pay – in your today’s electricity bill – for dismantling [not: decommissioning!] of all nuclear places (plants, reprocessing areas, etc) and for the final treatment of all waste accumulated since beginning of the nuclear era?

In France, it is evident right now that all collateral costs of the use of nuclear energy will have to be paid – as income taxes of course – by the children and grand-children of the people who enjoy these days’ pretty cheap electricity bills.

Reply to  Bindidon
February 22, 2022 4:42 pm

All of the nuclear raw material used in nuclear power plants was right here on earth to begin with. Where was all that stored before it was mined and enriched for use?

Oh that’s right, in the ground and in the ocean where it always has been. Funny how its only unstorable waste once humans touch it.

Reply to  Bindidon
February 22, 2022 10:13 pm

Germany’s energy failures are political and mental – on the level of “nuclear power has the cooties” – not sane, rational planning. If super-green Sweden can get the storage done, why can’t Germany – are the Swedes smarter?
And you should be reprocessing the ‘spent’ fuel – still lots of life left – and imagine how much more on top of that with breeding.

Reply to  Bindidon
February 23, 2022 7:54 am

There is no need to store nuclear waste, reprocess it like France does.

I love how you take pride in forcing other people into poverty. All so that some government insiders can get even richer.

February 22, 2022 6:51 am

Somehow I don’t feel sorry for this guy and all of the others who bought that pipe dream. They choose a business model that was based on government promises to milk all of the taxpayers for indefinite period of time in effort to make a life of “investors” to be a “decent “ one.
So, as it happens once in a while, the scheme stop working and now “investors” are upset. Too bad. Better luck next time – or not.

Reply to  Bumbum
February 22, 2022 9:41 am

“That pipe dream is sold to the unwary,” I live in Arizona and had a solar power sale person call me and claimed the the grid would “store” my excess power. I told him that a lie, the grid cannot “store” power. The grid use the power as it produce my power I produce during the day is use up at the time of production. He tried to argue the point with me. That how dishonest or stupid they are.

Reply to  MAL
February 23, 2022 4:28 am

I don’t think that most of the sales people are necessarily liars. They provide some information about the product they sale and it’s the consumer’s job to decide if they will or will not buy it. At least in your case you had a choice. However, as taxpayers we almost never have a choice or say in decisions of what kind of stuff government buys and pays with our money.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Bumbum
February 23, 2022 5:16 am

I think any sales persons would rather simply pitch what the company tells them to pitch even if they know it might be misleading (being kind here). I once had a very short stint training to sell “hurricane” windows. During the demo I was to place the demo window on the floor an jump on it to demonstrate how tough and unbreakable they were. I did that in training and the window broke. I was told to be sure I landed with my feet on the outer edge near the frame not in the center. I thought that was dishonest and quit that day.

Walter Horsting
February 22, 2022 7:24 am

Energy should be on an even and level ground.

US energy subsidies 2018.png
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Walter Horsting
February 28, 2022 9:04 am

To really get the impact of the graphic, you need to couple it with a side-by-side that shows how much energy each of those produced.

February 22, 2022 8:01 am

shares in EU top three wind turbine companies down 58% in last year.

February 22, 2022 8:38 am

That’s not a problem in the U.S., we’ll just add it to your student loans and erase them later. Bankruptcy is an industry here with a lobbying group.

February 22, 2022 8:58 am

What, they couldn’t afford to light them up at night any more?

February 22, 2022 10:07 am

The lack of business sense is stunning. Virtue signalling is not a business plan.
Of course the bankrupt government cannot pay for useless energy.
Reality takes its toll.

Paul Johnson
February 22, 2022 11:02 am

Never make a short-term investment based on a long-term government promise.

Joel Patterson
February 22, 2022 11:24 am

A lot more like gambling than investing.

February 22, 2022 11:27 am

What’s the matter here?

I tried to get that strange France24 youtube stuff

Nothing to see there.

But on dozens of web sites having gullibly reposted this misinformation, you can see it.

Since I recall that the Spanish right-wing government under Mariano Rajoy had retroactively, and hence illegally retracted the subsidies on investments in photovoltaic plants previously offered by the former socialist government and used by ten thousands of little Spanish investors, I translated the text in Charles Rotter’s head post in Spanish, and found indeed lots of hints on the fact that France24 did nothing else than to woefully misinform.

Here is the real source of the info (2016-2018):

To say the least: this is simply disgusting.

Reply to  Bindidon
February 22, 2022 3:08 pm

Yes, governments offering taxpayer funds to subsidize people who want to distort the rational operations of open markets is simply disgusting.

Crony capitalism, I believe it is sometimes called.

But what can be created by one politician’s whim can be destroyed by another politician’s whim.

That’s the risk investors in artificially- created markets take.

Reply to  Mr.
February 23, 2022 8:02 am

Having government take money from people who work and give it to people who will vote for the government has nothing to do with capitalism. That’s pure socialism.

Reply to  Bindidon
February 23, 2022 1:32 am

Since Solar is so fabulously efficient, why does need subsidies at all? Everyone should be falling over one another to convert to it, no?

Reply to  Bindidon
February 23, 2022 8:01 am

Misinformation: Anything a socialist disagrees with.
Right wing: Not a socialist or a communist
Illegal: Any action by government that a socialist disagrees with.

God forbid a subsidy that a socialist approves of, ever by withdrawn.

February 22, 2022 11:31 am

But it’s a green bankruptcy.

Rich Lentz
February 22, 2022 1:09 pm

My Electric Utility has been pushing Home rooftop Solar panels. They send a flyer with every Bill, advertise on TV, etc. They will buy any excess generated each hour. They publish a “Calculator” web page. Here you can put in the average of your electric bills, or Average KWH used each month. I entered all of my info the web page and after including the 10% needed as an up front payment , my monthly “electric” Payments (loan and payments for “service charge, taxes, etc, went from a present $180 per month “equal payment” to $286 per month for ten years, subject to rate changes. That included their estimate of Maintenance/Repairs. Did not include Increased property taxes or increased homeowners insurance.

Tony Taylor
February 22, 2022 3:09 pm

Roof-top solar here is headed in a similar direction.

February 22, 2022 6:06 pm

Renewable sunshine. Disposable Green tech with forward-looking capital costs.

February 23, 2022 3:47 am

I see LG are getting out of the solar panel business-
LG to Close Solar Panel Business | LG NEWSROOM
They were making top end panels with 25yr guarantees but most want a 10 year horizon and cheap.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  observa
February 23, 2022 11:50 am

For a long time, the half-life pf PV manufacturers has averaged about 10 years.

Matthew Sykes
February 23, 2022 6:15 am

Same in the UK, Cameron scrapped the feed in tariff. Should have invested more in pumped water.


February 23, 2022 12:28 pm

The report said that he is dealing with the Socialist party. Well there’s your problem, he is dealing with socialists!

February 23, 2022 3:05 pm

It’s all very well to go gung ho with unreliable generation but that means you need reliable storage-
State Farm Files $1.27 Million Claim Against Tesla For House Fire (
The winds of change are blowing through the lithium battery sector for all sorts of reasons-
Tesla’s reverse on battery cells signals shift for electric vehicles – ACAPMAg
The problem of how to make large incendiary batteries safe and reliable without their threat to property and life isn’t going away anytime soon-
The Largest Lithium-Ion Battery in the World Keeps Melting – DNyuz
Houston we have a problem!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  observa
February 28, 2022 9:45 am

So more “range issues” for worse-than-useless BEVs. LOL.

And does anyone with a functioning brain think the same cost and supply issues, supply chain noise aside, were not going to arise from trying to shove BEVs down everyone’s throats anyway?!

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