Solar panels have been placed in the Mollymook Surf Club and Mayor Green could hardly contain himself praising himself and the Council for this wonderful action. Well, actually he could contain himself, because nowhere in the media release was what it cost. A piece of economic jiggerypokery?
A feeble attempt was made at justification by a statement in the release that the setup “.. can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the normal generation of electricity by up to 300 kilograms each year.”
Sure it ‘can’. But it won’t. Not this year. Not next year. Not the year after.
The only saving possible would be if the power plant engineers up there in the Hunter Valley said, “Boys, cut production of power today – there’s two solar panels down there at Mollymook and they tell me it’s nice and sunny there today with no sign of rain.”
So the inefficient and costly solar panels go in and there is no benefit to you, me, or Green.
Because unless they have found a way to overcoming the handicaps that reduce power from solar on cloudy days, and cutting it out entirely at night, and reducing it again when the seagulls and pigeons mistake it for a dunny, it will not be cheaper than getting it from the grid. In fact, most stats show that solar power panels cost about 5 times more. (This fact is usually accompanied by the airy claim that prices will come down real soon now)
There is a mindset which thinks that “green” energy is “free” energy. There is no such thing. Coal, oil, natural gas, solar, wind … are all resources. There is always a cost associated with harvesting any resource. All have their own advantages and disadvantages. The cost-per-KWhr, should be the determining factor in making any energy system decision – not a poppycock pretence that the Council is leading the way in saving the planet.Because solar panels power output costs about five to ten times, depending, on what we would pay just getting it from the grid.
It’s about time this poppycock stopped. When President Obama in his State of the Union address to the U.S. Legislature said something similar concerning climate change they laughed in his face.