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Are Solar Panels Sustainable On A Large Scale?

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posted on Apr, 5 2017 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: amazing




If Coal and oil companies can't survive without government subsidies then they need to go out of business. We know there is still a need for oil and coal and new companies with better business models will pop up.

This is what needs to a happen.


The green energy industry gets the lions share of the energy subsidies, or maybe you didn't know that. Germany and Denmark have amongst the highest electricity rates in the world, and thats a direct result of their renewable energy subsidies. You want to pay 4 times as much for your power bill?

www.forbes.com...


Global fossil-fuel subsidies do exceed those for renewables in raw dollars—$523 billion to $88 billion, according to the International Energy Agency. But the disparity is reversed when proportion is taken into account. Fossil fuels make up more than 80% of global energy, while modern green energy accounts for about 5%. This means that renewables still receive three times as much money per energy unit.

But much more important, the critics ignore that these fossil-fuel subsidies are almost exclusive to non-Western countries. Twelve such nations account for 75% of the world's fossil-fuel subsidies. Iran tops the list with $82 billion a year, followed by Saudi Arabia at $61 billion. Russia, India and China spend between $30 billion and $40 billion, and Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, U.A.E., Indonesia, Mexico and Algeria make up the rest.

These subsidies have nothing to do with cozying up to oil companies or indulging global-warming skeptics. The spending is a way for governments to buy political stability: In Venezuela, gas sells at 5.8 cents a gallon, costing the government $22 billion a year, more than twice what is spent on health care.

There's another point that should be made here too. Those fossil fuel subsidies described above, they're not subsidies to the producers of fossil fuels, they're subsidies to the consumers of them. Yes, certainly, there's some leakage as the higher demand for fuels stimulated by the subsidies leads to higher prices for producers. But this is still conceptually different from the renewables subsidies which are expressly designed to go to the producers. Indeed, given the way that most of the green energy subsidies are constructed the producers are subsidised by directly over-charging the consumers.

These are, as I say, very different types of subsidies. We're not wandering around throwing money at Exxon and Shell but we are very much doing so for their counterparts in the renewables industry. And we're not subsidising the consumption of renewables but certain foreign countries are for their citizens.




posted on Apr, 5 2017 @ 08:34 PM
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originally posted by: amazing

originally posted by: TheScale

originally posted by: amazing

originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing




I'm serious. Everyone that we knew after us got theirs ...half the size or roof space.

Half the power. While photovoltaics are showing increasing efficiencies, nothing close to a 50 percent jump in a months time.


Some countries are nearing 60-70% at times.

Name one.


So there's Costa Rica that was 99% energy by clean energy in 2015... Nicaragua which was 50% in 2015... Scotland which is over 90%...Germany as been over 70% in some months...Denmark gets 40% in some months just from Wind energy alone...You can google all of those and there are many more.

And about my panels. Seriously...I can get 95% of my energy needs met during summer with newer panels that are half the size. They are roughly 50% more efficient. You can also google that. LOL

But the big question is, why are we having a disagreement. Don't you want renewables to make up more of or energy production? Because for many of those installations either for home or for a solar or wind farm, once you install it you get free energy for decades.

Some of you guys talk about polution but what's more pollution than oil and coal?



pollution and the burning of fossil fuels is what id like to avoid actually. i just see an ocean of fossil fuels that have to be burned to get solar panels to a point where they can sustain their own ecosystem. many people dont realize it but alot of the panels you see on homes are actually increasing the amount of fossil fuels being burned. the panels are of the older tech and they took more energy to produce then they will ever give back. for example. if they took 100 units of power to produce but only gave back 90 units, then u have a net loss of 10 units. so u end up burning more fossil fuels to get less power out of the panel for use in the end. so that ecosystem will always rely on an outside energy source to be sustainable.

i feel like were just better off waiting to push it till the tech matures abit further and it becomes far more energy positive. who knows maybe another tech will come along that makes solar redundant for large scale systems while we wait. ultimately i feel the best place for solar is just for residential on each home so we can get rid of the massive infrastructure costs we have with power transmission today. still i dont feel like its quite ready for that yet though.


That's not quite true though. Manufacturing of solar panels is also more efficient and getting more efficient every year. Also less material is needed for solar panels and solar systems every year. The market and entrepreneurs will drive this...What we need government to do is stop subsidizing oil and coal companies and stop making laws that make it hard to install solar panels and stop creating new charges for renewable and electric cars etc.

For example, in Florida there are laws that make it nearly impossible to install individual roof top solar, if you wanted to do that. Why? Because the monopoly power companies don't want to lose money and pay elected officials to pass laws that favor them. This is what needs to stop.

If Coal and oil companies can't survive without government subsidies then they need to go out of business. We know there is still a need for oil and coal and new companies with better business models will pop up.

This is what needs to a happen.



again though the efficiency you are talking about is in conversion of light into electricity. the efficiency im talking about is in production costs. a panel with the best technologies barely produces more power then it takes to manufacture. to get off fossil fuels entirely means the solar panels need to be able to produce enough power not just for our needs but also to replace the panels when they inevitably fail.

just for an example and im shooting high on this, if a panel produces 50% more power then it cost to create then 2 out of 3 panels has to have all of their energy produced over their lifetime put straight back into sustaining the solar panel ecosystems. so for every 3 million panels made only 1 million will give us usable power. that is not efficient and we end up making panels simply so we can make more panels.

then u take into account the environmental impacts cause they take up space. it will inevitably disrupt wildlife migration routes, disrupt the natural state of the environment, produce hazardous waste during production and recycling etc etc. this is before u take into account the monetary costs on top of it.

the more i look at it the more id like us to wait till the technology matures and keep investing in small scale tests till we find that breakthrough that allows us to build tens of millions of panels instead of tens of billions of panels.



posted on Apr, 5 2017 @ 08:44 PM
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a reply to: TheScale


the more i look at it the more id like us to wait till the technology matures and keep investing in small scale tests till we find that breakthrough that allows us to build tens of millions of panels instead of tens of billions of panels.


Still you run into the problem of what happens when the sun don't shine.

There is no solution as of yet to the storage of the power.

You'd have to have alternative means of energy generation on standby.

The energy grid does not like intermittent sources of power, load it up with too much of this and you will destabalize it and have rolling blackouts, then it won't be the people saying, oh, we are saving the world, it will be "who in the bloody hell is responsible for this fiasco.'

Solar has it's place, and it's not for primary production.

Hydroelectric is stable and green.

Nuclear is not accepted in North America it's become a 'not in my backyard' solution.

Guess we wait for fusion to mature.



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 01:40 PM
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originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing




If Coal and oil companies can't survive without government subsidies then they need to go out of business. We know there is still a need for oil and coal and new companies with better business models will pop up.

This is what needs to a happen.


The green energy industry gets the lions share of the energy subsidies, or maybe you didn't know that. Germany and Denmark have amongst the highest electricity rates in the world, and thats a direct result of their renewable energy subsidies. You want to pay 4 times as much for your power bill?

www.forbes.com...


Global fossil-fuel subsidies do exceed those for renewables in raw dollars—$523 billion to $88 billion, according to the International Energy Agency. But the disparity is reversed when proportion is taken into account. Fossil fuels make up more than 80% of global energy, while modern green energy accounts for about 5%. This means that renewables still receive three times as much money per energy unit.

But much more important, the critics ignore that these fossil-fuel subsidies are almost exclusive to non-Western countries. Twelve such nations account for 75% of the world's fossil-fuel subsidies. Iran tops the list with $82 billion a year, followed by Saudi Arabia at $61 billion. Russia, India and China spend between $30 billion and $40 billion, and Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, U.A.E., Indonesia, Mexico and Algeria make up the rest.

These subsidies have nothing to do with cozying up to oil companies or indulging global-warming skeptics. The spending is a way for governments to buy political stability: In Venezuela, gas sells at 5.8 cents a gallon, costing the government $22 billion a year, more than twice what is spent on health care.

There's another point that should be made here too. Those fossil fuel subsidies described above, they're not subsidies to the producers of fossil fuels, they're subsidies to the consumers of them. Yes, certainly, there's some leakage as the higher demand for fuels stimulated by the subsidies leads to higher prices for producers. But this is still conceptually different from the renewables subsidies which are expressly designed to go to the producers. Indeed, given the way that most of the green energy subsidies are constructed the producers are subsidised by directly over-charging the consumers.

These are, as I say, very different types of subsidies. We're not wandering around throwing money at Exxon and Shell but we are very much doing so for their counterparts in the renewables industry. And we're not subsidising the consumption of renewables but certain foreign countries are for their citizens.


Well in the USA...Here's a list of the biggest subsidies from the us Government.

Nike
Shell
Chrysler
Ford
Gm Motors
Intel
Alcoa Aluminum
Boeing

Just those 8 are to the Tune of Billions of Dollars in Taxpayer monies. not a single Green company on that list

then...

Globally. the difference between fossil fuel and renewable subsiidies is $523 billion(fossil fuel) to $88 billion(renewable) LOL That's not even close.



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: amazing

Did you even bother to read the Forbes article that I linked to?

And what of your outlandish claims of those countries that make 60 % of their power from solar? No response to my rebuttal?

Keep spouting your unsubstantiated nonsense, when you get something right, I will agree with it.


In psychiatry, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive

edit on 6-4-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing

Did you even bother to read the Forbes article that I linked to?

And what of your outlandish claims of those countries that make 60 % of their power from solar? No response to my rebuttal?

Keep spouting your unsubstantiated nonsense, when you get something right, I will agree with it.


In psychiatry, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive


Yes I did. And I also gave you a few countries to look at in my first reply. Didn't see them? Google Germany, Scottland and Costa Rica for one. No nonsense here. Again you seem like you want Solar and renewables to fail? Every year the technology advances as do the ammount of energy all countries in the world get. It's a good thing.



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: amazing

Um, I did reply to your 'list of countries' did you miss that?

originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing

Your claim was for solar energy production, that is not even close to the case.

Costa Rica gets 80% of it's energy from hydroelectric and geothermal power.
en.wikipedia.org...

Germany gets 6% of annual electricity needs from solar.
en.wikipedia.org...

Scotlands solar generation power is labelled as 'micro' looks like about 1 percent or thereabouts, I don't have the time to do the calculations.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 05:35 PM
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originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing

Um, I did reply to your 'list of countries' did you miss that?

originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing

Your claim was for solar energy production, that is not even close to the case.

Costa Rica gets 80% of it's energy from hydroelectric and geothermal power.
en.wikipedia.org...

Germany gets 6% of annual electricity needs from solar.
en.wikipedia.org...

Scotlands solar generation power is labelled as 'micro' looks like about 1 percent or thereabouts, I don't have the time to do the calculations.
en.wikipedia.org...



I did miss that. I'm not sure how to say it. You're looking for mistakes or things to pick apart. I'm not that good of a researcher or a scientist so that's rather easy to do. Ive read several articles explaining that Germany has hit, I though, 70% of energy from renewables. That's pretty true. Costa Rica has had years of over 90% from renewables.

Again, I'm not a statistician and I don't have time to collate graphs make spreadsheets so I'm very easy to pick apart, but I know that's pretty true. Again, you seem like you want renewables to fail? LOL



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 05:37 PM
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The Thread Asks: Are Solar Panels Sustainable ...


solar panels will be a multitude of Industries...

including the recycling of the once mined 'Silver' used in the components, keeping a sizable workforce employed year round

the Security industry infrastructure needed to safeguard the huge acreages of Solar Farms, transport the old units out & the new units in will be great for low-tech humans...
think of a busy Ant Colony in constant action with the ongoing development of these 'sustainable' Solar Farms with the continual upkeep and labor intense needs of Solar...

made-to-order for the elites in governing-the-masses
being profitable or sustainable is of secondary importance... creating an many branched industry infrastructure which is easily managed is the priority to keep the masses under-the-thumb
edit on th30149151875306452017 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 05:46 PM
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a reply to: amazing

No, you are not understanding.

Germany gets 6 percent of it's annual energy production from Solar, Costa Rica gets next to no energy from Solar.

I'm not trying to pick apart your posts, it's just that what you are posting is patently false and misleading.

I'm in no position to dictate if renewables fail or not, I will however be directly impacted by rising energy prices if it public opinion sways political policy and people actually believe numbers that are tossed about as if they are true.

You don't have to be a statistician producing spreadsheets and graphs to know the difference between 6 and 60 percent of annual electricity production do you?


Here's a chart anyone can understand, notice the countries with a higher amount of renewable energy have a higher price associated with their electricity.



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 06:00 PM
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originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: amazing

No, you are not understanding.

Germany gets 6 percent of it's annual energy production from Solar, Costa Rica gets next to no energy from Solar.

I'm not trying to pick apart your posts, it's just that what you are posting is patently false and misleading.

I'm in no position to dictate if renewables fail or not, I will however be directly impacted by rising energy prices if it public opinion sways political policy and people actually believe numbers that are tossed about as if they are true.

You don't have to be a statistician producing spreadsheets and graphs to know the difference between 6 and 60 percent of annual electricity production do you?


Here's a chart anyone can understand, notice the countries with a higher amount of renewable energy have a higher price associated with their electricity.


So here's one article I found...On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.
In the first quarter of 2014, renewable energy sources met a record 27 percent of the country’s electricity demand, thanks to additional installations and favorable weather. “Renewable generators produced 40.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, up from 35.7 billion kilowatt-hours in the same period last year,”

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about...and when talking about Solar many times I lump all renewables in as do a lot of the articles I read. My apologies. But this thing in Germany keeps happening and there are stories like this all over the world.

I think I just need to be more specific when discussing things with you. Sorry. I don' t do a good job of talking about the overall issue sometimes. not sure how to do that better. I'll work on it.



posted on Apr, 6 2017 @ 07:05 PM
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a reply to: amazing
I have nothing against people putting solar panels on their houses, I think it's a great idea if you can afford it.

Germany still only makes 6% of it's annual electrical production from Solar.

German consumers pay for the country’s clean-energy expansion through a surcharge on their bills. The fee is inflated by the rebates for consumers that use their own power and by aid for companies that are large energy users. It jumped 18 percent to 6.24 euro cents a kilowatt-hour this year. German households are now paying more for electricity than any other nation in the European Union except Denmark.

Do you wish to be charged four times as much for your energy?

The German people are getting sick of it as well, it's no longer, 'we are saving the world from C02' it's becoming, who the hell is responsible for these huge increases.

The whole Germany clean energy program is a fiasco heavily subsidized and regulated by the government.

Wall Street Journal Link


It makes you wonder if there’s any form of energy-price signal that governments won’t ignore. Germany’s 16-year-old Energiewende, or energy transformation, already has wrecked the country’s energy market in its quest to wean the economy off fossil fuels and nuclear power. Traditional power plants, including those that burn cleaner gas, have been closing left and right while soaring electricity prices push industries overseas and bankrupt households. Job losses run to the tens of thousands.

Now the effort to suppress additional wind-power development threatens to make matters worse. By favoring solar, Berlin would be picking the power source that most exacerbates the problems with the energy transformation. It’s the most expensive, requiring the greatest subsidies—at least €116 billion in today’s prices over the lifetime of the solar capacity built between 2000 and 2014. Germany has a climate and geography with about as much sunshine as Alaska, so solar is also the least reliable renewable.

edit on 6-4-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-4-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 04:08 PM
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originally posted by: TheScale
...
again though the efficiency you are talking about is in conversion of light into electricity. the efficiency im talking about is in production costs. a panel with the best technologies barely produces more power then it takes to manufacture. to get off fossil fuels entirely means the solar panels need to be able to produce enough power not just for our needs but also to replace the panels when they inevitably fail.
....


I´ll say this respectful: total bull#. You can get 260Wp modules for 130€ and they come with 10 year warranty. I run 6200Wp on my roof. Last year I produced around 10.000 kW/h and it was a bad year, looking at some other years. That´s roughly three times as much as I pulled from the grid last year. None of the panels or inverters failed and the system was installed in 2008.

Yes, we need something stable for the base load of the grid, solar alone won´t do it. But the rest of your post is factual wrong.



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: TheScale

Well, speaking as a consumer who utilizes panels for my outdoor shed...

I'd rather utilize my own panels and components than rely on a utility co. to serve my electrical needs.

I intend to make my home become self-sufficient. But that seems to be a no-no, huh?





posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 04:25 PM
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a reply to: D8Tee

A private household in Germany pays around 25€cent per kw/h. Depending on the deal you made, you pay around 16€cent per kW/h at night (23:00 - 6:00).

My roof is equiped with a 6200Wp system, mounted at a steep angle (dirt can´t attatch) and is pointed towards south. Even with the mid range sunlight we get in germany, last year I produced exactly 9847 kw/h.

6200 : 250Wp = 25 Modules

25 * 140€ = 3500€ + 1200€ for the inverters and 700€ for the mounting system and 570€ for the cables.
Makes 5970€.

Let´s take 23€c/kwh for mixed day and night usage.

5970€ : 0,23€ = 25956kw/h I would have to produce to get even.
That´s roughly 3 years for me. I have a contract over 20years and I get 43c per kw/h that I push into the grid. So I actually make around 300€ a month from solar power....




edit on 8-4-2017 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: verschickter

They still giving those 43c per kw/h contracts out?

I agree you have a good thing going with your rooftop generation, if govt subsidies were not involved it may not be as attractive is that right?

Solar just isn't that great as a means to power the grid itself, which you have pointed out.

You have a good understanding of how things are working over there thank you for contributing to the thread.


edit on 8-4-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 04:38 PM
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a reply to: D8Tee

No it´s from 2009. Currently around 13cent.



I agree you have a good thing going with your rooftop generation, if govt subsidies were not involved it may not be as attractive is that right?

3 years and the costs are even, calculated with 23c (around what you pay for power from grid), like I said. Currently battery systems get durable and prices also drop. If I spare the money from the pv-system for a year, I can afford a 6kwp battery storage and use almost no power from the grid.

You still need grid power for frequency and voltage guidance and "keep-alive" charge of the batteries.
edit on 8-4-2017 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 04:48 PM
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a reply to: D8Tee
to add something more...

We still need a baseload (gas, coal, atomic). Then there is the merit-order-effect. That has to do with situations like when the clouds disperse and suddenly PV-systems all over germany start pushing power into the grid. Then some other power plants need to be shut down. That costs money. Mostly gas plants because they can power up relative quickly.

Most wind turbines in south germany can be shut down remotely. PV systems need to be regulated 100/60/30/0% remotely to avoid the merit order effect. The big grid owners do that via GSM or frequency codes on the grid.


edit on 8-4-2017 by verschickter because: typo



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 05:30 PM
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originally posted by: verschickter
a reply to: D8Tee
to add something more...

We still need a baseload (gas, coal, atomic). Then there is the merit-order-effect. That has to do with situations like when the clouds disperse and suddenly PV-systems all over germany start pushing power into the grid. Then some other power plants need to be shut down. That costs money. Mostly gas plants because they can power up relative quickly.

Most wind turbines in south germany can be shut down remotely. PV systems need to be regulated 100/60/30/0% remotely to avoid the merit order effect. The big grid owners do that via GSM or frequency codes on the grid.

It was my understanding that the Nuclear industry in Germany is being shut down.

From what I can glean from the web, about 6 percent of the electricity in Germany is generated via photovoltaics.



edit on 8-4-2017 by D8Tee because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2017 @ 05:35 PM
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one thing i think we can all agree on is it is a pain in the butt to find any solid data. i keep searching and everyone seems to have different numbers on efficiency's, adoption rate, cost etc etc.




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