Debate Magazine

Evil Climate Sceptics Bashing Solar Power as Per Usual...

Posted on the 10 May 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

... or maybe not?
Emailed in by Ben Jamin' and Physiocrat, article by Euan Mearns
A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk [1] estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be 0.83. If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime. A PV panel will produce more CO2 than if coal were simply used directly to make electricity.
Worse than that, all the CO2 from PV production is in the atmosphere today, while burning coal to make electricity, the emissions would be spread over the 25 year period. The image shows the true green credentials of solar PV where industrial wastelands have been created in China so that Europeans can make believe they are reducing CO2 emissions.

Please note, the article refers to solar panels at temperate latitudes such as Europe. Solar panels might well be net energy generators in very sunny areas - the question is, how far from the Equator is the break-even point at which the return turns negative?

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