Casting Doubt On Solar Panel Energy Efficiency

For many years, I’ve expressed my doubts in regard to the efficiency of solar energy. I have never been convinced that solar energy with today’s technology is cost-effective or energy efficient. In addition, here in Ontario, I question the use of arable land being turned into “solar farms.”

I have not been able to locate it, but there used to be a website where you could look at the project specs of all the solar and wind farm installations in the Province of Ontario. I am not sure if they have been removed or are just harder to find. But I do recall that many of the solar farms that were being planned or that were in operation seemed to generate about 10MW of power for every 100 acres of land.

To my mind, that is a total waste of land. Don’t forget that this figure of 10MW is a maximum amount, and on cloudy days or at night time, power generation from solar is zero. Yet we have a Liberal government led by a Nanny Stater, Premier Kathleen Wynne, who seems intent on taking this province down the road of inefficient, expensive, and economy killing “green energy.”

I am fully supportive of the use of “green energy” where it makes sense, and where it indeed provides an economical and clean source of energy. However, I believe that over the long run, today’s technologies do not have a net gain either in CO2 reduction or in energy production. There is also the problem of what to do with solar panels once they have reached their end of life. It is my understanding that many of them cannot be recycled, and under many of the governments’ environmental regulations, they cannot even be shipped off to landfills due to the toxic chemicals they contain.

Today, I came across a study that was published in the peer reviewed Energy Policy journal, entitled “Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation.

The findings of the authors of the paper support my doubts and skepticism about the efficiency of photovoltaic sources of energy. We really need to re-examine the use of solar power as an energy source, especially when the findings include this:

In other words, an electrical supply system based on today’s PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather a non-sustainable energy sink or a non-sustainable NET ENERGY LOSS.

Of course, this paper was not covered much in the mainstream media – and I’m not sure why. From the stats provided by Altmetric, only one news outlet reported on the paper; nrc.nl.

Politicians and proponents of solar energy need to wake up, and fast.

One thought on “Casting Doubt On Solar Panel Energy Efficiency

  1. Thanks for the great share! I also like the idea of Energy Efficiency. The best part I like is this: The reliability and availability of modern energy sources cause people to tend to assume that it will always be accessible. And as for the case of non-renewable energy sources, most people do not know or maybe even refuse to accept that it will eventually run out.

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