Rising Sun
Subsidy-Free Solar?
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  • Tom

    This is good news. The main problem with solar has always been the storage issue. Anything that moves us towards being able to tell OPEC that they can drink their oil for all we care is a boon.

    • jxxx mxxx

      Fracking does just that. Thanks for the endorsement!

    • CosmotKat

      Can you cite how efficient this mode of alternate, but expensive source of energy, is? I suspect without all sorts of tricks this approach is costly, subsidized surreptitiously to disguise the true cost.

      • CaliforniaStark

        Yep. You were correct in your suspicions.

        “Anesco’s Shine admitted that the Clayhill farm would not pay with solar by itself at the moment – the storage support is key to ensuring its viability because by providing grid balancing services to the National Grid it can receive the extra payments offered to electricity generators that help to ensure high voltage transmission systems remain stable and absorb excess power when solar and wind load the grid.”


        “Anesco recently made headlines when the UK’s national energy regulator Ofgem ruled earlier this month that three of the developer’s 5MW solar farms could retain their financial support under the government’s Renewable Obligations (RO) scheme after retrofitting energy storage batteries. Anesco made a big move into solar-plus-storage in April when it retrofitted 12MWh of energy storage to 10 of its large-scale PV plants around Britain.”

        If the subsidies are not coming in through the front door, you often find them entering from the back door.

  • PCB

    So what your telling us is, although the sun does now set on the British Empire, the good news is that at least now they have storage capability?

    • Andrew Allison

      . . . has now set . . .

  • Fat_Man

    Sure, whatever you say. This facility is not too far from London. At London, in the month of December, the sun is above the horizon about 8 hours a day. At solar noon, it is about 16° above the horizon. I also understand that it is sometimes obscured by clouds. Further, even during the summer, the high temperature is usually under 75. Many, if not most, buildings can do without air-conditioning.
    I will believe in Tinkerbell, long before I belive in subsidy free solar in England.

    • Curious Mayhem

      The farm is an interesting experiment in technology. But it’s not scalable to industrial-level power, nor can it be made cheap enough to compete even with nuclear.

  • Andrew Allison

    “. . . . if it weren’t also for the dramatic and ongoing fall in panel prices.” Would those be the panels of questionable quality you were taking about last week?

  • Louise Ronci

    Before we start proclaiming a new era for solar
    energy, we should bear in mind that available battery technology so far can
    only save few hours a day of energy. In the case of Bedfordshire’s solar farm,
    the storage capacity is only 6MWh (equivalent to 21,6000 megajoules (energy
    stored in joules), while the solar farm can produce 10MW (10 megajoules per
    second or 36,000 megajoules per hour), so the total battery storage capacity less
    than one hour of solar power!

  • Rodney

    “Importantly the project also has 6MW of storage capacity on site”

    This communicates nothing. MW is a unit of power, energy per unit time. Either use energy units or give a time duration for the effective use of that 6MW.

    • Louise Ronci

      The 6MW in the text is a typo it should be 6MWh (MWh is a unit of energy and MW is unit of power)

      • Rodney

        Thanks. Not exactly a whole lot of stored energy. I had been wondering if the storage unit was drawing 6 MW in peak power times to then release in non-peak power times or drawing enough power in peak power times to release 6 MW in peak power times. Assuming the 6 MWh stored energy is released over a 12-hour period, that is a continuous rating of 1/2 MW, not a whole lot. Emergency diesel generators at power plants or on CVN’s have several times that capacity.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We call things Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History until they happen. Why bet against entrepreneurs? The past says they have worked out lots of kinks which were pooh-poohed first.

  • macrol

    Oil, gas, coal have enjoyed huge subsidies for years but solar is expected to move forward on its own in its infancy

  • marcossantiago

    It doesn’t require a super computer to calculate the land area and battery capacity required for solar power to make even a small dent in the needs of Britain. As Tony Soprano was fond of saying: fuhgettaboutit!

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