Deserts not so friendly to solar panels after all

I came across this interesting article on Principia Scientifica about the world’s leading solar energy farm in the Mojave Desert:

More Alternative Energy Follies

It turns out complex engineering doesn’t like wind and sand – who would have thunk it? More interestingly, to compensate for much lower than expected utilisation they now pre-warm the panels using humungous amounts of natural gas.

Even more interestingly the solar farm is part venture-funded by Google and two of their engineers (Stanford PhDs) recently said of their renewables project RE<C:

As we reflected on the project, we came to the conclusion that even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. Trying to combat climate change exclusively with today’s renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.

Difficult to argue with that.

H/Ts to Repeal the Act!  Campaign to Repeal the Climate Change Act and The Register for bringing these to my attention.


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