Ed Hoskins has sent me a summary of his latest post on ‘green energy’ profligacy, which well worth a click and read.
It seems that the UK with the least performant solar energy environment in Europe has allowed to be invested about £30 billion with an output of less than 1 GW as and when the sun shines.
This amounted to a total of about 9.6GW nameplate solar installations yielding the equivalent of about 0.9GW of power, but only when the sun shines. The capacity factor for Solar energy in the UK is only ~9%. This is the least performant solar power in the whole of Europe.
Even though according to David Mackay DECC well understood that solar energy should never have been considered viable in the UK, the department still oversaw these huge continued expenditures and dispensed with about £19,000,000,000 in 2014 and 2015. That amounted to more than the full cost of Hinckley Point C: the wasted expenditure seems never to have been questioned or discussed.
The point about DECC understanding the uselessness of UK Solar is at minute 16+
The full amount of ~£30,000,000,000 cumulative expenditure on Solar energy is never stated explicitly because the full sum is well disguised. The sum is subsumed in subsidies, overcharged electricity bills, feed-in tariffs and other government mandated CO2 reduction support mechanisms.
According to EurobserER recorded data and costed using to US EAI comparative capital cost data, the UK recently increased its Solar installations massively:
- in 2014 from 2,782MW to 5,230MW an increase of +88% equivalent to ~£9,500,000,000
- in 2015 from 5,379MW to 8,917MW a further increase of +65%. equivalent to ~£11,400,000,000
These were the most rapid growth rates for Solar installation throughout Europe.
Using US EIA data of overnight capital costs for comparison, the total capital cost of solar installations has amounted to about £30,000,000,000 and just recently in 2014 and 2015 the UK committed some £19,000,000,000 to Solar energy installations.
Using the same US EIA comparative figures, this £30,000,000,000 capital investment could have provided
- ~40.0 Gigawatts of gas-fired installations at 87% capacity
- ~6.5 Gigawatts of Nuclear generation at 90% capacity
Whilst the costs of Hinckley Point C, (at ~£18billion), are much discussed and now even questioned by government as to viability, the much greater and less productive sum expended to contribute less than 1 Gigawatt of power from UK Solar installations has been ignored. This significant sum has essentially been wasted at the expense of the British taxpayer and British electricity buyer.
The outcome of the following analyses fully justifies David Mackay’s assertions of “delusion” and non viability with comparative cost effectiveness calculations.
- solar power in the UK is about 41 times less cost effective than gas-fired power.
- wind power overall is about 11 times less effective than gas-fired power.
- coal firing is about 3 times less cost effective than gas-fired power.
Although this is a trivial calculation I think that this is very much in the vein of the late David Mackay’s back of the envelope calculations