Thursday, February 21, 2008

Will it produce enough energy to burn some cash?

Oh, you have got to read this post over at Depleted Cranium wherein he rports on Spain's massive, 120,000 total solar panel energy park.
Exactly how much this cost? Well, I’ve actually had a lot of trouble figuring that out. None of the pages on this project seem to want to come out and say what the bottom line cost is. I’ve seen figures of about 130 million euro awarded to the construction company, but that does not include the land or the taxation subsidies this has received from local and national authorities. If anyone has the numbers I’d appreciate them, but based on other installations of recent years, I estimate this had to be at least a quarter billion Euro in expenditure. That’s about 370 million US dollars. Again, this is only an estimate because while the project loves to publicize that it will produce up to 28 million US dollars in electricity revenue each year, they don’t seem to want to mention what the cost of building the damn thing is! (Oh and by the way. In Spain, solar electricity is paid at a premium through a subsidized electrical system, so that 28 million dollars is really not all its cracked up to be)

So how much power will this thing produce?

Go and find out, really. It's fucking hilarious.

Oh, OK; I'll give you a clue as to whether it's high or low.
The project claims to reduce CO2 by 42,000 tons a year, but I’m wondering if this little piddle in the ocean actually reduces CO2 at all. With the construction, fabrication of the panels, trees cut down and the pitiful power output, I’d be surprised if it gets much above break even, at best. It may have increased net CO2. But then again, it really isn’t about the environment is it? It never was.

Indeed. This would, of course, be an awful lot funnier if, first, it wasn't so horrifically expensive and, second, if our government weren't trying to drive us the same way...


James Watt-the-fuck said...

20 fuckin Megawatts! Peak! FFS! You could fit two 1.7 Gig PWR nuke or coal fired plants in the same footprint.

To power output graph puts the minuscule 20 MW output nicely in perspective; add 3 more "power stations" of a similar size to produce the equivalent power output of the diesel powered vessel that shipped the solar panels from Asia.

Still, it will make a lot of technically illiterate Guardian readers feel really chuffed "that something is at last being done to stop global warming".

Shug Niggurath said...

We're better than those dago fucks though, we're getting windmills.

The Remittance Man said...

To put it into a perspective I understand, our plant at KUL draws 70 megs of power. Add the 10 megs the open pit needs and you can see this thing wouldn't even power a medium sized mine let alone a city.

Anonymous said...


Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...