Solar energy- the white elephant

Germany was recently in news for reasons other than the rape of their women by immigrants, due to their investment in solar energy and how it has been a great step forward in energy generation. Apparently, the German plans to invest in solar energy made it possible for the country to sell its electricity at negative rates (yes, you heard it right!!) i.e. for sometime it was supposedly paying its consumers to consume. This news was of course celebrated by the earth hugging hippies around the world on why this was a huge achievement for solar energy and how this is great news. But deeper analysis and logical reasoning would show why this news was perhaps the most important argument against the use of solar energy, at least at the moment and why Indians should not be conned into using this white elephant called the solar energy.

So , why did Germany sell electricity at negative price?

Simple. They had excess power, by basic supply and demand rule of economics. So if there was excess power, where was it coming from? It was coming from the massive renewable (mostly solar, but others too) sources of power Germany invested in. Now the important question is- if they had produced so much energy from renewable sources that they had excess power to give off, why did they not close down the conventional sources of energy and save money? Is that not obvious? Why did not Germany close down its coal plants and save money there? Because there is something called REALITY as coal plants cannot be turned on and off like a stove. The problem with the renewable sources like Solar energy is that it is not reliable. Even on the most sunny day, it will not provide power 24 hours a day. At best it can give power for 12 hours a day, from 6am to 6pm (being very very generous). So your average solar power plants can generate energy at noon but not at night (technically one can if one heats molten salt and use it to generate steam at night or store energy in some form, but then it greatly increases the cost of any such power generation). Unfortunately for Germans, as with most developed and industrialising countries like India, the peak demand for power is between 10 am to 10 pm. But solar energy cannot produce power at night. So to meet the power demand during night time, one will need conventional backups for power generations like coal/nuclear plants and Germany had to run the coal and nuclear plants during this time. As seen with the example above, even though in theory, solar energy is supposed to reduce the use of coal and nuclear energy, in practice it really cannot.

This is why Germany could not close down the coal plants to save money on electricity generation. Since the peak power generation, if unused would harm the power grid, their government sold the electricity for negative prices and “free”. And of course , the earth hippies who have no clue about economics or reality of life claimed this as a huge achievement for solar energy and how consumers benefited from this “free” power. This is a pathetic argument because the power generated by the solar plants was not “free”. The German consumers, had already paid for that power generation in the form of taxes. The only reason the German government could boost solar energy production was thanks to their massive investment incentives and subsidies (both of which came from German consumers ) which the German government could give to the solar plants in the first place. It is essentially just hippies in the German government, not thinking their stupid plan through and investing heavily in a white elephant called solar power, giving back the now unnecessary extra power they produced from the unnecessary solar power plant for “free”, back to the German tax payers. Neither did the solar investment reduce the coal or nuclear power generation, nor did it save any money for the German government.

Germany of course is a very rich country, which like most western countries have spare money they looted (*indirectly in case of Germany)- from the rest of the world lying around which they can waste on these white elephant projects like solar power generation. But can Indians, with so much poor people afford to waste our money on such white elephants? Our primary commitment and responsibility is to our poor people and not the white trash to absolve them of their guilt of spoiling the environment for last few centuries. Unless the whites, who are responsible for the climate change (debatable) and green house gas emissions for the most part, pay us to use these expensive white elephant like solar energy, we should not be wasting our time and money on it. There might come a time when solar energy would actually be cheaper to use than conventional sources and that should be the time we should start using it. Till then, our most important mission is to lift our fellow Indians out of poverty and the fastest way to do it is through conventional sources of energy.

So what is the underlying fundamental problem behind solar energy?

Solar energy CANNOT generate power during night, no matter how hard one prays at the sun or how hard hippies hope otherwise. So, for every 10 GW energy demand of a country per day, it needs to invest in 10 GW solar power plants to meet power demand for day in addition to investing 10 GW of energy in conventional sources. That is, a total of 20 GW investment for meeting a power demand of 10GW if one uses Solar energy, instead of straight up using coal power or nuclear energy. But of course, coal or nuclear produced electricity cannot be turned off and on as per whims on a daily basis and they need to run side by side as the solar energy, resulting in no net decrease in coal or nuclear generation anyway. Of course, some brainwashed mentally colonised Indians think that this problem can be solved with batteries and storing electricity. Even that is pathetically wrong, ignorant and devoid of reality. There is no battery technology yet which can match such a demand yet nor is there any sign of it being present in near future and molten salt technology is also very expensive. But even if hypothetically, such batteries were present, that still wont change the fact that solar energy installed should be double the amount for the power need than the demand. Why? Again because solar energy produces power only for 12 hours a day if being generous (even though they are likely to function only  8-10 hours a day) while the country would need power all throughout the day. So for a country with 10 GW energy need, it will have to invest in 20GW of solar energy instead of 10GW so that the excess 10GW can be stored in batteries (assuming the process is 100% efficient) for use at night. If instead only 10GW of solar energy is installed to meet 10GW energy demand, then there won’t be any excess energy available for storage in batteries and hence the night demand can’t be met. So even under best possible circumstances, solar energy (20GW) power generation is only half that of conventional power generation (10GW).

All in all, solar energy will be massively wasteful for the investment made in it. That’s why Germany is giving electricity for free WHILE at the same time having massive financial crisis in electricity sector. Will Indians learn from the German folly or will they prove the world that they are second to none in stupidity?

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