Monday, 13 May 2013

Rabid anti-solar propaganda: Exposed

PJ sent me a link to a graph showing the "almost Moore's-law-esque cost decline rate" of solar panels.

Well, it's certainly going down, but it looks suspiciously linear, at least in the projections from 2013 to 2020, while Moore's Law suggests exponential decline (halving in price, doubling in power every eighteen months). It's not clear where the projections come from, but there's more information here, from the same writer.

This graph came from an article about research from Citi Bank: "These 10 Technologies Are Completely Changing The World". Solar was number 10. I felt immediately that it was put at number ten grudgingly. That the writer didn't really want to add it, but gave in at the last minute. It had e-cigarettes as the number two "disruption", which I struggle to believe will change very much at all. 

Above solar in the list were new ways of getting fossil fuels out of the ground, and switching from oil to gas in vehicle fuel. Fracking is not going to completely change the world, I hope. It'll leave some pretty big scars on it, but in terms of the precious economy, all it will do is is leave the tap running longer. 

One glimmer of sunshine was a factoid in the comments that 75% of young people would give up their car rather than their smart phone. The source of this is unclear, though the commenter thought he'd seen it in the LA Times.  

As well as solar being put to the bottom of the list, the language was dripping with derision and angry denial.

Quote: "Solar can even be viewed as a "parasite," stealing demand from previously installed generation."

How terrible. Nasty solar taking away that demand for those poor suffering thermal power stations. Robbed of their opportunity to burn coal and send all that lovely carbon dioxide into the air.

Then it has this bizarre quote: "
As solar gets cheaper, it will be possible to use it when there's less sunlight out." 

How is the cost of solar going to make it work when it's less sunny? Like, is a car going to go faster if the price goes down? What they actually mean is that as solar gets cheaper, it will become financially viable to install in climates or situations with less sunlight. Wouldn't it be great if journalists understood what they were writing!

It goes on to quote Citi bank: "Its nature means that the technology keeps getting cheaper, while alternatives gradually become more expensive, and so the 'problem' only becomes exacerbated."

And why is it a problem? I can only speculate, but here are a few ideas:

1. Human existence is only complete if we can drive cars whenever we need to move more than a few metres. Cars, to be real cars, must be filled up with petrol, must be run by engines that cause several explosions every second, and must send noxious gases out of the exhaust pipe. The exhaust gases are essential because they may be needed for poison in an emergency. Solar power threatens denying us this basic human right, cutting off our oil supply and forcing us into vehicles that are quiet, and free of fumes from evaporating benzene at the filling station to oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur leaving a trail behind. Or to actually use those things hanging below our arses called "legs".

2. It's a Chinese plot. As we know, most solar panels are made in China. Or Japan. Or was it Hong Kong? No it's definitely China. Could be Korea though. Anyway, it's definitely not America. Or Britain for that matter. Old oil companies are not making money from them, as they would be from oil coming from all those middle-eastern countries that we've been spending so much time and effort invading over the past few decades. Those nasty foreigners are flooding the market with cheap products, and capital is flowing out of the west to buy them up. It's just not fair. 

3. Sun worship is a pagan trait of Zoroastrians. It is offensive to all Christians, and should be guarded against. Solar panels are not innocent generators. They are evil symbols of solar worship. They are miniature temples to Zoroaster and as they spread, the future of Christianity is at risk. They are literally taking over, from our roofs down and soon people's faith in Jesus will be shaken as they realise that it is the Sun that is all powerful, that is giving us life, light, hope, and reductions to our electricity bills and possibly even grants or tax rebates. 

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