The Trouble with Solar Power

Solar power is, without doubt, the renewable kind of energy that is most heralded as the solution to provide energy. The argument sounds tempting and reasonable, but it is certainly not fully thought through. Let’s have a look at the characteristics of solar power to see how much truth there is in those claims and how far solar power can take us. Continue reading

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The Problem of Intermittent Energy Sources

When you are dealing with intermittent, unpredictable, sources of energy, you can no longer apply the same categories as with the currently prevalent modes of generation. If you want solar power to be competitive without subsidies, grid parity is not enough – at least not if you define grid parity as the average cost of generation being equal to the average price.

In order to be truly competitive they must not only deliver the same quantity of energy at the same average price, but they must compete at actual market prices. This is very likely to be a relevant factor even for private consumers, if plans to introduce a “smart grid” work out. Continue reading

Boreout

I guess I have to apologize for the lack of posts lately.

The main reason being that things are boring, especially in all things economic. We’re still talking about the same-old same-old that we have been talking about for more than three years (or perhaps the last three hundred) without any sign of understanding. So don’t get me wrong here. It is not boring in and of itself. It is rather boring as in the old saying that war is filled mostly with boredom interspersed with short moments of terror.

Paul Krugman put this quite nicely in his recent posts about the British Debt History, Irving Fisher and German Current Account Suplus. Continue reading