[clug] OT: Solar power recommendations and advice

Keith Goggin keith.goggin at bigpond.com
Tue Apr 20 18:06:33 MDT 2010

matt andrews wrote:
> On 20 April 2010 09:47, Peter Barker <pbarker at barker.dropbear.id.au> wrote:
>> Domestically generated power
>> from solar *should* reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the more widespread
>> the better.  Whether it's the best use of that money is another matter.
> Quite so.  In terms of the large-scale electricity problem (rapidly
> reducing emissions from the grid), the cost of solar PV is far higher
> than other options.
> To anyone interested in these issues I recommend this (long) analysis
> by Peter Lang:
> http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/01/09/emission-cuts-realities/
Thanks Matt, Peter Lang's paper provides a little objectivity on a 
complex matter that is either not well understood or is seriously 
mis-represented by far too many people in the world.

Lang's conclusions [P23] are:-

"Business as Usual (mostly coal) is the least cost option but has the 
highest CO2 emissions.
The Nuclear power option will enable the largest cut in CO2-e emissions 
from electricity generation.
The Nuclear option is the only option that can be built quickly enough 
to make the deep cuts required by 2050.
The Nuclear option is the least cost of the options that can cut 
emissions sustainably.
Wind and solar are the highest cost ways to cut emissions.
A mixture of solar thermal and wind power is the highest cost and has 
the highest avoidance cost of the options considered. Mixing these 
technologies does not reduce the cost, it increases the cost.
The results are sensitive to the input assumptions and input data, but 
the ranking of the options, and therefore the conclusions, are robust to 
the changes of inputs tested."

And from <http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/21/2878385.htm> 
today we have:-

"Meanwhile an audit has found Federal Government programs to tackle 
climate change have been poorly planned, costly and in some cases have 

The Audit Office report says the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program has 
achieved only 30 per cent of its original emissions reduction goal.

The Audit Office has also revealed that the cost of the solar panel 
rebate scheme has blown out to about $1 billion.

The Environment and Climate Change departments are considering some of 
the office's recommendations"

All of this is based on a yet unproven assumption that anthropogenic CO2 
is causing or will cause dangerous global warming, a matter hotly 
disputed by at least some eminent scientists.


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