Solar is doomed to fail

Posted by: Barthélemy Barbancourt

Tagged in: Untagged 

With over 700 solar panels over 1 1/2 acres, the solar farm should produce 147 Kilowatts at maximum power, enough electricity for 20 homes.

The $27,689 tax bill for the Charleston Township prop­erty means that the owners are losing money, even when being paid a premium price of 45 cents a kilowatt hour by Consumers Energy, he said.

“That Michigan property tax burden works out to a cost of 12.3 cents per kilowatt hour,” Field said. “That amount is more than the retail value of the electricity.”

For comparison, Field re­searched the property tax for the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert Township along Lake Michigan. He found that the annual real and personal property taxes for Palisades are just over $12 million or .2 cents per kilowatt hour.

“The property tax burden on our solar project is 60 times as much as the property tax burden on the nuclear power plant when calculated on a per kilowatt hour basis,” he said.

OK, 1.5 acres to supply electricity to 20 homes?  The city of Minneapolis has 163,540 occupied housing units in the city. That means it would take 12,265.5 acres of solar cells to power just the homes in Minneapolis, never mind the offices and businesses. The means over 19 square miles of land must be covered by solar cells. The city it's self covers 58.4 square miles so an area 1/3 the size of the city would be required just for the homes for just 382,578 people.

There are 5,266,214 people  living in MN so we would need to cover about 265 square miles of MN with solar cells just to supply electricity to thier homes, add in another 265 square miles for the businesses and we'd need to cover over 500 square miles of MN with solar cells just to try and power our state.

Does anyone think that this will ever happen?

Comments (12)add comment
JW of Minnesota
written by JW of Minnesota , May 16, 2011

No. I think current NSP rates are .5 cents/KWH. Imagine your electric bill times 10.

Barthélemy Barbancourt
Yeah, .45 a KwH is pretty high
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 16, 2011

Anyone with a brain and a calculator can come up with about 10 reasons why Solar will never be a major part of our energy supply.

Reason #1: Night

Bill C
written by Bill C , May 16, 2011

reason #2: clouds (especially in the winter when we can go 2-3 weeks or more without seeing the sun)

Jonny Texas
I don't know about doomed
written by Jonny Texas , May 16, 2011

It has potential it just needs to be done in the right ways. Solar north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi.

You also don't use productive land that can demand $27,000 bucks in property taxes. You place it on marginal land that isn't good for anything else, Southern Arizona or Utah or all of Nevada that isn't a cathouse or casino.

The technology still needs more work. The steam powered car had potential it needed the ICE to actually take off. I am not sure what the breakthrough would be to push it over the edge.

What can I say, I'm an optimist

Jonny Texas
written by Jonny Texas , May 16, 2011

that first sentence should end with "is a waste of time."

written by TomC , May 17, 2011

Never say never, but solar will become a reasonable alternative when it becomes an economically reasonable alternative--without government subsidy. The same with wind, ethanol, or any other power source. Technology and the market will find and determine the best source of energy at any given time and for any given circumstances. Again, without the help of government.

An interesting thing about the article is that it gauges solar array output based on calculations and ideal conditions. You would need significantly more acreage and off-peak storage to have a usable array in Michigan or Minnesota--especially in January. It's crazy to even consider this as viable or green. Only government could rationalize such a decision, wasting significant amounts of tax money--their free, unearned, extorted dollars--in the process.

Government should get the hell out of energy, including regulations, research and subsidy of production, distribution, or sales.

good luck with that
written by Nobody , May 17, 2011

Tom. We have the physics cops, they're everywhere and never sleep. And getting the govmint out of energy? PFFFTD! never happen. Remember the "Woodsman" in the fairy tales? He was the one alowed to harvest firewood in the Kings forest, to ration it out to the serfs.

written by TomC , May 17, 2011

It was his kind that Robin Hood "stole" from, not the rich who earned their living legitimately. The James Taggart types who use the power of government to become rich.

Robin Hood
written by Nobody , May 17, 2011

Took from the rich, in his case the Sheffif of Notingham (Knotingham?) IOW da govmint.

written by Woody , May 17, 2011

I am the woodsman!! Coo coo ka choo.

JW of Minnesota
written by JW of Minnesota , May 18, 2011

This is slightly off topic, but similar in that in reminds me of why I don't care for envioro-wennies.

I was driving next to a car with vanity plates "B Green". Problem was, it was a 740iL. Typical envioro-wennie. Hey you, plebe, ride a bike, buy stupid CFLs, take a deuce with only 1 ply, but I'll drive my V8 sedan.

written by Nobody , May 18, 2011

You may be the woodsman. Robinhood shot an arrow into his heart. Coo coo ka effing hoo mutha.

I've been looking into the past to see the future. I think human nature is what it is.

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