# The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

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#### ZiprHead

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
It might save him money, or cost him money, depending on where he lives, what subsidies he gets, and how the panels are sited (amongst other factors). But money isn't the issue here.
Where he is having them placed isn't great. Lots of tall trees on the western side of the building, unless he's planning on cutting them down.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
It might save him money, or cost him money, depending on where he lives, what subsidies he gets, and how the panels are sited (amongst other factors). But money isn't the issue here.
Where he is having them placed isn't great. Lots of tall trees on the western side of the building, unless he's planning on cutting them down.
There was a big debate here between the power companies and homeowners about panel siting. The power company wanted people to install west-facing panels, to generate electricity during the afternoon peak of demand, but homeowners wanted north-facing panels to maximise electricity output, and thereby maximise feed-in tariffs.

The vast majority of panels here face north, so I guess the homeowners won that battle.

Meanwhile, most of our electricity in Queensland is still coming from burning coal and gas.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
My brother is getting twelve solar panels installed on his house. I'll report back his result.
I have 40 panels/7.6kW (installed by previous owner). They're west-facing.

So far in 2022:
• Exported 6925kWh of solar @ 5c/10c per kWh.
• Bought 2332kWh from the grid @ ~31c per kWh.
Yet even though we've generated about 3 times as much as we use, we still get pretty large electricity bills every quarter, because our household uses most electricity in the evening when our rooftop solar isn't able to supply any of our demand.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
No battery storage a or DC to AC inverters?

There are ;ighs and appliances designed to work off of DC. You can run a lot directly off DC from batteries.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
My brother is getting twelve solar panels installed on his house. I'll report back his result.
I have 40 panels/7.6kW (installed by previous owner). They're west-facing.

So far in 2022:
• Exported 6925kWh of solar @ 5c/10c per kWh.
• Bought 2332kWh from the grid @ ~31c per kWh.
Yet even though we've generated about 3 times as much as we use, we still get pretty large electricity bills every quarter, because our household uses most electricity in the evening when our rooftop solar isn't able to supply any of our demand.
Do you have an electric car? That will change significantly your electrical use profile esp. if you charge it at night.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
My brother is getting twelve solar panels installed on his house. I'll report back his result.
I have 40 panels/7.6kW (installed by previous owner). They're west-facing.

So far in 2022:
• Exported 6925kWh of solar @ 5c/10c per kWh.
• Bought 2332kWh from the grid @ ~31c per kWh.
Yet even though we've generated about 3 times as much as we use, we still get pretty large electricity bills every quarter, because our household uses most electricity in the evening when our rooftop solar isn't able to supply any of our demand.
Do you have an electric car? That will change significantly your electrical use profile esp. if you charge it at night.
Can't afford one yet. But yes, I would guess that the vehicle would need to charge at night unless we only charge it on weekends or WFH days.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
No battery storage a or DC to AC inverters?

There are ;ighs and appliances designed to work off of DC. You can run a lot directly off DC from batteries.
Two DC to AC inverters. Pretty sure our whole house needs 240V AC.

No batteries. Can't afford them yet and uncertain if they will pay for themselves. I only have the panels because they came with the house.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
No battery storage a or DC to AC inverters?

There are ;ighs and appliances designed to work off of DC. You can run a lot directly off DC from batteries.

Batteries cost even more than the 31 cents/kWh he's paying for power.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
And there I was thinking batteries are free. Learn something new every day.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
And there I was thinking batteries are free. Learn something new every day.
The point is batteries are not an economic replacement to buying power off the grid when the sun isn't shining.

#### Swammerdami

##### Squadron Leader
Staff member
This YouTube video has a more optimistic view of energy storage than seen in this thread. It mentions the Northfield Mountain Reservoir in New England which can power 2 million houses when in output mode, but gives special attention to the iron-air battery being developed by start-up Form Energy. Iron is much cheaper than lithium (and air even cheaper still!) The battery unrusts the iron when it's storing energy, and rusts the iron to release energy.

The video mentions nuclear power only twice. It states that it was nuclear's non-throttlability that led to the building of the Northfield facility many decades ago, and the unexplained fact that nuclear power "is in decline."

I'm reporting on this video in case it interests some Infidels. Please address any complaints to Form Energy investors or whoever, rather than to me.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Conservatives Attack Companies for Being Too ‘Woke’ on Climate - The New York Times - "Conservatives in the U.S. have targeted firms for their environmental policies, but many companies are standing their ground."
Conservatives in the United States, closely aligned with the oil and gas industries, have begun calling foul as companies and investment firms embrace efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address international and local inequities. And in recent months, they have pushed beyond rhetoric to punish corporations that they say are unduly focused on issues that they argue are unrelated to a company’s bottom line.

War in Ukraine Likely to Speed, Not Slow, Shift to Clean Energy, I.E.A. Says - The New York Times - "While some nations are burning more coal this year in response to natural-gas shortages spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that effect is expected to be short-lived."
The energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to speed up rather than slow down the global transition away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner technologies like wind, solar and electric vehicles, the world’s leading energy agency said Thursday.

...
Instead, for the first time, the agency now predicts that worldwide demand for every type of fossil fuel will peak in the near future.

One major reason is that many countries have responded to soaring prices for fossil fuels this year by embracing wind turbines, solar panels, nuclear power plants, hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles and electric heat pumps. In the United States, Congress approved more than $370 billion in spending for such technologies under the recent Inflation Reduction Act. Japan is pursuing a new “green transformation” program that will help fund nuclear power, hydrogen and other low-emissions technologies. China, India and South Korea have all ratcheted up national targets for renewable and nuclear power. And yet, the shift toward cleaner sources of energy still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, the agency said, not unless governments take much stronger action to reduce their planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions over the next few years. Based on current policies put in place by national governments, global coal use is expected to start declining in the next few years, natural gas demand is likely to hit a plateau by the end of this decade and oil use is projected to level off by the mid-2030s. #### lpetrich ##### Contributor Cleantech News — #1 In EV, Solar, Wind, Tesla News EU Cutting €11 Billion In Gas Costs Via Record Growth In Wind & Solar - CleanTechnica How Inflation Reduction Act Will Subsidize Residential Energy Storage Systems, Including Vanadium Batteries - CleanTechnica Vanadium flow batteries, an alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Kentucky Emerges From Solar Energy Stealth Mode - "Kentucky’s solar energy profile is on the rise, with an assist from indoor farming, green hydrogen and a giant water battery." Water battery = pumped hydroelectric storage system Electrofuels Emerge From Stealth Mode With Assist From Porsche - "Electrofuels are finally having a moment, now that Porsche is eyeballing synthetic fuel produced with green hydrogen." "Electrofuels" - synthetic fuels made with hydrogen from electrolyzed water ("green hydrogen") Advantages over biofuels: One advantage is the ability to soak up excess renewable energy from wind or solar arrays when demand is otherwise low. Grid managers can coordinate with electrofuel producers to manage electricity supply and demand more effectively under a scenario that includes significant variations in wind and/or solar availability. The excess clean kilowatts can be used to power an electrolyzer system, which pushes hydrogen gas out of water. The other advantage has been thrown into stark relief by the twin crises of Russia’s murderous rampage through Ukraine and the growing roster of climate impacts, both of which underscore the fragility of the global food supply. Where energy crops compete for land with food crops, something has to give. #### lpetrich ##### Contributor Electrofuels Emerge From Stealth Mode With Assist From Porsche That was before the green hydrogen trend took off. Also, the carbon capture field had barely gotten off the ground in 2010. Now that both fields are maturing, electrofuels are expanding in other kinds of directions. Last month, for example, the Energy Department awarded a$2.93 million grant to AirCapture, OCOchem, and other partners for an electrofuel project that involves sucking carbon dioxide from waste steam at a Nutrien fertilizer plant and combining it with green hydrogen. The result is formic acid.

“The formic acid can then be stored, transported, and used directly in many industrial, consumer, transportation, and agricultural industries,” the partners explain. “Additionally, it can be used to transport green hydrogen safely and cost-effectively in an energy-dense liquid carrier form to a customer site where the hydrogen can be released for industrial use or as a transportation fuel, replacing fossil fuels.”
AirCapture | Putting Atmospheric CO2 to Work
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. Atmospheric carbon dioxide removal addresses legacy emissions and drives the development of critical, sustainable carbon-negative infrastructure.

By utilizing atmospheric CO2, we can actually turn back the hands of time – reversing much of the damage that has already been done – while enabling our customers to economically build new carbon-to-value industries and alleviate energy poverty on a global scale.

Our mission is to use Direct Air Capture (DAC) to help achieve these goals. DAC can be sited practically anywhere. There are no natural or technical limits to its scale, the quantity of carbon dioxide it removes is verifiable and it is cost-effective today.
Converting Carbon. Storing Energy. - OCOchem
OCOchem is developing and scaling patented and proprietary technology that electrochemically uses carbon dioxide to store energy in the chemical bonds of formates and formic acid.

OCOchem’s founding insight is that there are only two chemicals (formic acid/formate and carbon monoxide) that can be made from CO2 and zero-carbon electricity at a lower cost than their fossil counterparts, and that OCOchem would focus on the one chemical that was a stable unflammable liquid and is generally regarded as safe, formic acid.”
That is,

CO2 + H2 -> HCOOH -

A bare-minimum Fischer-Tropsch-like synthesis.

Formic acid has melting point 8.4 C and boiling point 100.8 C.

Combustion Heat at the Engineering Toolbox

Formic acid: 5.52 kJ/g, ammonia 22.48 kJ/g, methanol: 22.65 kJ/g, ethanol 29.67 kJ/g, gasoline ~ 48 kJ/g
So formic acid is not as efficient for storing energy as other synfuels.

One can extract this energy with a

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Back to Electrofuels Emerge From Stealth Mode With Assist From Porsche

Infinium | Clean Burning Electrofuels - "Electrofuels are ultra-low carbon fuels that use carbon dioxide waste and renewable power from wind, solar or hydroelectric sources to create a hydrogen-based alternative to fossil-based fuels."

CO2 and green hydrogen are fed into the proprietary Infinium production process to convert these products into liquid fuels.

The result? Ultra-low carbon Infinium SAF, Infinium Diesel, Infinium Naphtha and other products that result in upwards of 100% reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional fossil-based fuels.
SAF = sustainable aviation fuel. These are all hydrocarbons, and Infinium's process seems like a variation of the Fischer-Tropsch process.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Wind is now South Dakota's No.1 electricity generator, but not every day
Last year, over 52% of the electricity generated in the state came from wind turbines.

That’s because of a large number of new, better turbines built in recent years. The state was home to 526 turbines before 2019. Another 511 were constructed from 2019 to 2021.

South Dakota now produces twice as much electricity as it uses. It exports the rest to nearby states, according to the Public Utilities Commission.

...
But producing the majority of electricity in a year doesn’t mean wind produces the majority every day. That day-to-day number can vary greatly, Fiegen said.
So they need coal and natural gas as backups.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
What is the population anlevel of industrialization of South Dakota?

From wiki the population is about 900,000.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
On anti-renewable-energy lobbyists:

Michael Thomas on Twitter: "All across the country ..." / Twitter
All across the country, local governments are restricting and banning clean energy projects. I heard rumors that misinformation on Facebook was a major cause of this. So I joined ~40 anti-wind and solar groups to see some of it for myself. The results were bleak.

Virtually all experts agree that wind and solar energy are clean, safe, and affordable. But many of the posts in these groups would lead you to exactly the opposite conclusion. To see why, let's start by looking at a post I saw A LOT:

The wind turbine on fire post. (showing pictures of burning wind turbines)

In almost every group I saw stories, pictures, and videos of wind turbines on fire. This was surprising to me. I've been writing about clean energy for a while now and I've never heard of a wind turbine catching fire. And that makes sense if you look at the data.

According to a recent DoE study, there were 40,000 turbines in America in 2017. By that point, there had only been 40 incidents. And no one was injured. By comparison, pollution from fossil fuels kills millions every year.

WINDExchange: Wind Energy Projects and Safety

But in these groups, my feed was full of wind turbine accidents. Turbines blowing up, leaking oil, throwing ice at people's cars on the highway. The message was clear: wind turbines aren't safe.

Another argument I saw a lot was the idea that wind and solar are bad for human health. In 2009, Nina Pierpont argued that infrasound from wind turbines causes headaches, nausea, and dizziness. She called it "wind turbine syndrome."

In virtually every group I saw the same link to Pierpont's book. But there's a problem with this research. Since 2009, dozens of scientists have looked for the symptoms Pierpont wrote about. None have found any reason to believe turbines are bad for human health.

I saw similarly misleading arguments against solar. Many groups were full of long posts about how toxic materials in solar panels would eventually make it into their town's water supply. Again, there's no evidence for solar panels contaminating a community's water supply.

The problem is that this misinformation is having real world impacts. It's changing voters' minds. It's changing local policy. And it's slowing down the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Victoria in Boone County, Indiana is an example of someone who used to support clean energy. But then she read about the fires, health risks, and toxins. Now she's not only anti-wind and solar, she's an evangelist for the cause, changing the minds of those around her. These groups, led by passionate activists like Victoria, have succeeded at getting their local governments to pass policies like:
• Wind and solar bans
• Moratoriums that delay projects
• Setbacks that make it impossible to build
Others, like Crawford Anti-Wind—a group in rural Ohio—have taken their fight to the ballot box. Here's what the "Facts" page on their website looks like: (picture of a burning wind turbine)

Groups like these are successfully blocking clean energy all over the country. As of March 2022, wind and solar projects were delayed by local opposition in 49 states. By that time, local governments in 31 states had passed restrictive policies.

Climate Law Blog » Blog Archive » Renewable Energy Projects Face Opposition in 49 States, Local Restrictions in 31 States

In order to meet our climate targets, we're going to need to build a huge amount of clean energy. Unfortunately the misinformation spreading throughout these Facebook groups is making that already daunting task much harder.

Next week I'll be taking a look at who is funding and spreading this misinformation. Stay tuned for Part 2.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
A real-estate developer who fancies himself a physicist and an election-security expert...

Michael Thomas on Twitter: "Recently I learned about ..." / Twitter
Recently I learned about a man who has trained 1,000+ people to block wind and solar projects. I read through all his training materials, presentations, and seminars. Here's what I learned about him and how his students plan to "win the war on clean energy."

The odds are pretty good you haven't heard of this man, John Droz, Jr. He's only been interviewed by a few journalists. And when asked about his influence he always responds the same way: "This story isn't about me."

But the story of climate action and delay in America is very much about Droz. For most of his life, Droz was a semi-retired real estate developer. In 2011, he reinvented himself and became a "physicist." That year, his home state of N.C. debated a bill about climate change.

Droz put together a series of presentations, some as long as 168 slides, and headed to the capital. He had crunched the numbers and looked at the science. According to Droz, climate change was a sham pushed by clean energy lobbyists.
What a conspiracy theory.
Remarkably, many legislators listened to him. Even the Washington Post listened to him. In an article about sea-level rise, they quoted the real estate developer as a "local physicist."

Droz's efforts worked. In 2012, N.C. passed a bill that prevented the state from taking action on sea-level rise. This work got the attention of the biggest climate deniers in the country. That year, ATI, a dark money think tank brought him on as a fellow.

At ATI, Droz developed a playbook that would eventually be used by thousands of people to stop clean energy projects. In 2012, he organized a secret meeting and training session to share his strategy with some of the country's most influential climate deniers and activists.

For Droz, winning the war on clean energy is all about communication. The man is obsessed with what he calls “Press relations (PR) strategy.” Those two letters—PR—are in hundreds of documents he's produced over the last decade.

What’s the goal of this PR? As he wrote, “Public opinion [on clean energy] must begin to change among citizens at large.”But changing minds wasn’t all Droz was interested in. The next line in his memo reads: “Ultimate Goal: Change policy direction based on the message.”

Droz, like many climate deniers, understood the power of offering the public and lawmakers a set of “alternative facts.” All credible experts agree wind energy is better for the environment than fossil fuels. Droz knew it was possible to convince people otherwise.
Claiming things like
After considering the environmental liabilities of offshore wind energy, we should re-examine these marketing claims:
1 - Is Wind Energy really "renewable"?
2 - Is Wind Energy really "sustainable"?
3 Does Wind Energy really give us energy "independence"?

The inescapable answer is NO!
Back to MT.
Clean energy projects create jobs and tax revenue. They're great for local economies. Droz offered an alternative assessment.

(his slide)
Typical Offshore Wind Development Impact:
Net Annual Job Loss
Net Annual Economic Loss
Substantial Property Value Loss
Is this the message the Public is getting?

At the secret meeting in 2012, he proposed an idea: Established think tanks like Heartland, CFACT, and Cato could publish these "alternative facts." And volunteers in communities across the U.S. could present them to local lawmakers.

Of course, these volunteers couldn't just be against clean energy. Droz wrote about this in a later training document titled "What Not To Say." He writes that if you're against something, "You will be painted as a denier and as a person against progress (going green)."

One of Droz' most effective students, Susan Ralston, mastered this principle. She named her organization "Citizens for Responsible Solar." The group has blocked huge projects across Virginia. Their main argument: Solar should be on rooftops, not rural land.
"Solar belongs on rooftops, near highways, commercial, industrial-zoned land, marginal or contaminated areas, not on rural-agricultural land."

Except that one can put the panels on posts, letting farmers farm the land underneath. That's agrivoltaics, and I've seen oodles of news stories about agrivoltaics in renewable-energy publications, complete with pictures of agrivoltaic installations.
By far the most unique tactic, I saw in Droz' training materials was his suggestion that clean energy opponents never compromise. According to Droz, the way to win "the war on clean energy" is to come out with aggressive demands and stick to them.

(his slide)
-- A Wind Ordinance's Key Regulations --
• A well-written Property Value Guarantee
• 1 Mile (10x) Setbacks from Turbines to Property Lines
• A 35 dBA Acoustical Limit 24/7 at Property Lines
• Meaningful Environmental Tests
• Adequate Decommissioning Terms and Conditions
Me: seems like an effort to regulate wind energy to death, like TRAP laws for regulating abortion clinics to death.
This approach has led his students to pass laws that literally or effectively ban clean energy in communities across the United States. When they don't succeed at that, they file lawsuits that can drag out for years.

All around the country, clean energy opponents are using this playbook to block solar and wind farms. Projects that could have offered substantial carbon emissions reductions in almost every state have been blocked as a result.

As for John Droz? He's reinvented himself once more. In searching public records for his name, I came across dozens of emails to officials everywhere from Arizona to Pennsylvania about his "independent analysis of the 2020 election." Droz is now an election security expert.

Later this week I plan to publish a story about who is funding and spreading clean energy misinformation. Stay tuned.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
What was he doing in the construction industry? Being yet another paper-pushing middle manager?

Michael Thomas on Twitter: "For the last month ..." / Twitter
For the last month I've been reporting on a group of people who travel across America blocking wind and solar projects. This group has passed clean energy opposition laws in states across the country. Here's the story of one man who has been doing this for 10+ years.

For more than a decade, Kevon Martis has traveled the country with little more than a 100 slide PowerPoint presentation. His goal: Stop America's transition to clean energy.

Martis spent most of his career in the construction industry. But in 2011, he rebranded himself as an energy expert. He quickly learned that, armed with enough studies and facts, people would listen to him.

In 2012, after successfully blocking a project in his rural Michigan town, Martis was invited to a meeting in D.C. with some of the country's most influential climate deniers. The event was organized by John Droz of ATI, a think tank funded by fossil fuel companies like Arch Coal. At the meeting, Droz laid out a strategy to stop clean energy projects across the country.

Key to the strategy was the spread of misinformation, something that Martis proved very effective at. Over the next few years, Martis traveled everywhere from North Dakota to Ohio to D.C. with a presentation full of misleading facts and cherry-picked studies. In his presentations, he often cites a London School of Economics study that found wind turbines decreased nearby property values by 11%. The study had a sample size of 3 parcels of land. Studies with larger sample sizes have shown little to no impact on property values.

Another common tactic is playing a video of a solar inverter that makes a high-pitched screech. Martis claims all solar farms make this noise. But that isn't true. It's a video of a single inverter that broke — a rare event made to seem regular.
Kevon Martis: Solar Farm "Sound" - YouTube

Some tactics are just strange. Once he and a few other people traveled around the Midwest to energy forums dressed up as a “death turbine.” The idea was to convince people that wind energy is dangerous, another falsehood.
(picture: "Giant Green Lies! $windle!") This strategy often works. Martis has helped pass anti-clean energy laws in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. He's convinced 10 local governments to pass highly restrictive wind and solar ordinances that make it almost impossible to build projects. Following some of these successes, ATI — the think tank funded by fossil fuel companies — brought Martis on as a Senior Policy Fellow. (ATI later rebranded to E&E Legal). In recent years, Martis has become something of a guru to other clean energy opponents. He regularly advises resident groups around the country. When I recently joined 40 local opposition Facebook groups, I saw his name and presentations all over. One executive at a clean energy company told me that if Martis gets to a community before them, their project is almost destine to get delayed or blocked. This spread of misinformation and the fear that it evokes in local residents and lawmakers is that effective. And it appears the number of groups using these tactics is quickly growing. Most of the groups that I joined were started in the last two years. As I've written before, in order to meet our climate targets, we're going to need to build a huge amount of clean energy. The misinformation spread by Martis and think tanks like E&E Legal is making that already daunting task much harder. Next week, I'm teaming up with one of my favorite climate journalists to publish the next story in this series. Subscribe to my newsletter below to get that in your inbox. Or if you think Twitter will still be around by then, you can follow me here. Michael’s Newsletter | Michael Thomas | Substack #### lpetrich ##### Contributor This jet fuel is made from CO2 pulled from the atmosphere | CNN Business Air Company is on a mission: to help lower the airline industry's global carbon emissions with carbon-neutral jet fuel made from CO2 already in our atmosphere. CNN Business's Clare Duffy visited the company's facility in Brooklyn, New York to see if fuel made from thin air could power airplanes in the future. CO2 + H2 -> jet fuel AIR COMPANY | Carbon Technology Leader for a Decarbonized Future Under "Technology", At AIR COMPANY, our purpose begins with our technology. Working with nature, rather than against it, our patented and proprietary AIRMADE™ Technology imitates the recipe of photosynthesis. Using only renewable energy, our system utilizes CO2 to create sustainable alcohols and fuels—with just oxygen as a byproduct. These CO2-based alcohols and fuels are then applied to a variety of consumer and industrial products, helping to decarbonize our economic ecosystems. The steps: 1. Capture CO2 2. Electrolyze H2O making H2, O2 3. "Carbon Conversion" CO2, H2 -> H2O, alkanes, alcohols 4. Distillation 5. Outputs Alkanes: saturated hydrocarbons, those with only single bonds. Alcohols: take a hydrocarbon and replace at least one -H with -OH. As is typical of industrial chemistry, it uses catalysts. Makes methanol (CH3OH), ethanol (CH3CH2OH - drink alcohol), and SAF - sustainable aviation fuel - presumably aviation-grade kerosene #### lpetrich ##### Contributor pv magazine International – Photovoltaic Markets and Technology Floating PV to reduce ammonia emissions – pv magazine International - "Intergia will install a floating PV system for self-consumption in the slurry pond of a pig farm in Spain. The project is aimed at studying both an expected reduction of ammonia emissions, and the long-term degradation of the PV components in the environment." The Hydrogen Stream: Egypt to host 3.6 GW of electrolyzers at Suez Canal – pv magazine International - "Globeleq has revealed plans to build a green hydrogen facility in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and Air Liquide has agreed to run a hydrogen production unit for TotalEnergies in France. Doosan Fuel Cell, meanwhile, has said it will export 105 MW of hydrogen fuel cells to China by 2026." So Egypt will export hydrogen? Will some Organization of Hydrogen Exporting Countries emerge? Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ... Optimized tilt angle boosts solar generation in France, Italy by 4% – pv magazine International - "A group of researchers from Italy has proposed formulas to determine the optimal tilt angle for PV installations in France and Italy, claiming improved positioning would result in an increase in collectible solar energy of up to 4%." Not much, I must say. One would get more energy by making the panels track the Sun, though one needs a tracking mechanism for that. #### lpetrich ##### Contributor Is hydrogen about to have its solar moment? – pv magazine International - "As Longi and other solar manufacturers kick off massive growth in hydrogen generation capacity, expect large price decreases resulting from steep learning curves, echoing the rapid advances experienced by the solar power industry since the 1970s." Because of - effects that wind energy and solar energy have experienced since the 1970's, even though photovoltaic cells are over a century old and wind energy has been used for centuries. Floating PV for water pumping, desalination – pv magazine International - "An irrigation community has built a 786 kW floating solar array on a small water reservoir in Murcia, Spain. The facility will provide power for a solar water pumping system, a desalination unit, and the community itself." Weekend read: Elusive longevity – pv magazine International - "The expected lifetime of PV inverters is significantly shorter than that of modules. In many projects, inverter replacement is included in financial calculations from the start, despite the high costs. Research is being conducted into the causes of faults to develop more durable inverters and components. But plant design can already improve the lifespan of inverters in use today, reports pv magazine Germany’s Marian Willuhn." Inverters take direct current and make alternating current. They switch their inputs between their outputs to turn DC into AC. They use power transistors for the switching and big capacitors to smooth out the AC. NREL updates interactive chart of solar cell efficiency – pv magazine International - "The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a new, interactive version of its research cell efficiency chart for a range of PV technologies." #### Swammerdami ##### Squadron Leader Staff member #### lpetrich ##### Contributor Cleantech News — #1 In EV, Solar, Wind, Tesla News Technological Revolutions: Part I - CleanTechnica Lots of anecdotes on how much technology has improved over the past few centuries, then adoption curves from Technology Adoption - Our World in Data Figure 8 shows the uptake of many technologies over the last 105 years. Taking the 30% to 90% uptake time period, we have the following roughly for each technology: from horse drawn carriage to automobile — 70 years, from telegraph and letter writing to telephone — 60 years, from ice box to refrigerator — 10 years, new technologies of microwave oven — 25 years, air conditioning — 15 years, color TV — 15 years, and more recently the cell phone < 10 years. In each case, the new or superior technology became widely used or replaced the inferior technology in relatively few years after reaching a tipping point. I expect the same rapid uptake for battery electric vehicles. Technological Revolutions: Part II — Have Electric Vehicle Sales Reached the Tipping Point? - CleanTechnica For me, the tipping points came in 2014 when Nissan was offering Nissan LEAF leases for a payment of$200/month. I figured that I would save more on gas per month than I would pay on the LEAF lease. The LEAF was a wonderful car for local driving but didn’t meet our needs for our commute each year from our winter home in Utah to our summer home in northern Wisconsin. My second EV tipping point came in 2019 when we figured out a way to finance a long-range Tesla Model 3. The 300+ mile range and fabulous Tesla Supercharger network made long-distance driving only slightly more trouble than driving a gasmobile.

World's Biggest Floating Offshore Wind Farm Is Powering Oil & Gas Platforms In The North Sea - "Floating offshore wind turbines raise the stakes for nuclear energy stakeholders, with shorter construction time from start to finish."
The massive, 88-megawatt Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind farm revved up in Norway last week, pretty much on schedule following a construction period of just two years. The rapid pace from start to finish could help undermine the case for new nuclear power plants, though in terms of global decarbonization it’s a mixed blessing. All of the clean kilowatts from the wind farm will be used to power offshore fossil energy operations.
Such rapid deployment means trouble for nuclear energy: "Red Flag For Nuclear Energy"
n 2019, researchers with the MIT Energy Initiative took a long look at the delays and cost overruns that bedevil the US nuclear industry. They concluded that something was fundamentally out of whack. The general expectation for a given technology is that costs drop over the years, as adoption increases and capacity grows. Not so for the US nuclear industry, though.

“…rising construction costs and project delays have hampered efforts to expand nuclear capacity in the United States since the 1970s,” MIT explains. “At plants begun after 1970, the average cost of construction has typically been far higher than the initial cost estimate.”

MIT notes that nuclear energy stakeholders continue to project rosy assumptions about construction timelines based on a conventional technology “learning rate” model, even though the evidence indicates that the nuclear industry has not followed the conventional model in more than 50 years.

“…in the case of nuclear plants, learning rates are negative,” MIT emphasizes. “Costs just keep rising.”
What can be done?
As one solution to the learning rate issue, the US Department of Energy has been focusing on SMRs (small modular reactors), in partnership with the firm NuScale Energy. Instead of reinventing the construction wheel at each site, NuScale’s SMRs are standardized, prefabricated, and pre-permitted.
That's good. Not having to design each new reactor separately, that seems like a great help.
The SMR pathway seems more promising than the full-scale approach. NuScale claims a construction schedule of less than three years for its Voyager SMRs, starting with the pouring of safety concrete. Site preparation could add a significant amount of time on top of that, though.

NuScale also does not anticipate its Voyager SMRs to be up and running until the end of the decade, while wind and solar development continue apace. However, as long as other nations continue to pursue nuclear energy, US energy policy will more than likely continue to support the domestic nuclear industry as well.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines Are Ready For Their Offshore Moment
Vertical axis turbines missed their moment in the 1980s, but they are back, and they are getting bigger. That may come as a surprise. The technology was confined to niche applications and all but written off just a few years ago. Now they are poised for a new growth spurt in the rooftop field, and they are even heading out to sea.
Rooftop wind turbines?
Others have also caught on to the upscaling idea. The Norwegian company SeaTwirl, for example, is bringing a 1-megawatt vertical axis offshore wind turbine to market. The company is banking that wind developers will be attracted by cost benefits of packing more turbines into one offshore array.

At the other end of the scale is the Massachusetts firm ARC Industries, which is marketing a 3-kilowatt vertical axis turbine for rooftop use. The company just deployed its first model, dubbed the Orb, on the roof of a parking garage at Burlington International Airport.
SeaTwirl – The future of offshore wind
Arc | Orb

Wave Energy To Gild The Floating Wind Turbine Lily - "Ireland hitches floating wind turbine star to wave energy workhorse in massive new 1.1 gigawatt offshore clean power project."
Floating Solar Plus Wave Energy Smackdown Looming For Fossil Fuels - "A sea monster of troubles is coming for fossil energy stakeholders, in the form of offshore floating solar panels with wind turbines and wave energy, too."
Green Hydrogen Hitches A Ride On Wind Power - "Strohm and Siemens Gamesa thumb their noses at green hydrogen skeptics with new scheme for attaching electrolyzers to offshore wind turbines."
PV Windows Unlock Goal Of Increased Energy Efficiency Of Skyscrapers - CleanTechnica
German Electric Car Ambitions May Be Software-Limited - CleanTechnica - "Software issues are delaying electric car production by Volkswagen. That in turn is placing the EV revolution at risk."

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Thanx.

Large Scale Solar Roofs Getting The Respect They Deserve - CleanTechnica - solar canopies for parking lots, for instance.

It stated that France was moving to mandate solar canopies for parking lots, so I fact-checked that assertion.
France Mandates Solar Panels On Most Parking Lots; A Great Marriage With The EV
In a surprisingly strong move, the French Senate has voted to require that all parking lots in France above a certain size be covered with solar panels. This is forecast to generate 11 gigawatts, adding to France’s 160 gW capacity and nearly doubling the amount of solar. What’s particularly interesting is the relationship between these panels and the electric cars that will park under them.

The law requires lots with more than 80 spaces to comply in 5 years, lots over 400 spaces have less time. This is rather aggressive, and will no doubt get pushback from lot owners.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
Great during the day. Not so much at night.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
Great during the day. Not so much at night.
I don't just mean daytime. I mean a complete-daytime-nighttime cycle.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed.
List of deserts by area - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
The environmental damage, both from the manufacturing of such vast acreages of panels, and from their deployment (deserts are fragile ecosystems, not empty land awaiting our finding a use for them) would be VASTLY greater than simply generating the same amount of electricity from nuclear fission. It also be far more expensive, both to build and to maintain, and far less reliable.

It would be less good than nuclear power on pretty much every metric you could use to compare the two technologies. Environmental impact, complexity, distribution of energy produced, cost, reliability, safety, waste disposal, decommissioning...

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
Great during the day. Not so much at night.
I don't just mean daytime. I mean a complete-daytime-nighttime cycle.
No matter how you phrase it, or parse it, the output of a solar cell in the dark = 0 watts.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
Great during the day. Not so much at night.
I don't just mean daytime. I mean a complete-daytime-nighttime cycle.
But we need a percentage of that 40 TW of power at night too... and we can't store it without more gimmicks. Forget about the issue of transmission!

We need energy sources that don't produce carbon and are readily available on demand. That means hydro (in some places now days), geothermal, and nuclear. Niagara is always flowing, Costa Rica always has water running, the Earth is pretty hot below the surface, and nuclear runs all day. THESE are the options. 24/7. Wind and solar are limited by a glass ceiling called intermittency, that isn't nitpicking, its the nature of the source. Germany bet the house on solar and lost. Islands like PEI can't generate enough wind to power itself... and if PEI can't do it (a small, lightly populated province/park surrounded by water)... no one can.

We need to get our heads out of the clouds and start figuring out how we can generate enough nuclear energy in our country (and China / India) in order to stop the warming before it runs away from us and living on Earth becomes less pleasant.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
Great during the day. Not so much at night.
I don't just mean daytime. I mean a complete-daytime-nighttime cycle.
No matter how you phrase it, or parse it, the output of a solar cell in the dark = 0 watts.
Actually, they've developed something for night time generation... but the wattage is tiny, about 10^-5 smaller.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...

Paris will eventually see 600 fuel cell taxis. The long-running project HysetCo just acquired the cab operator Slota and plans to replace its 600-vehicle diesel fleet with the Toyota Mirai gradually. They also want to install two new hydrogen filling stations this year.

At the EU level, the proposed regulation on the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure includes the creation of hydrogen filling stations every 150 kilometres by 2025 on major roads.

These legislative incentives encourage hydrogen taxi fleet projects, which are spreading across Europe. The Clean Hydrogen Partnership, which gathers the European Commission, the fuel cell and hydrogen industries and a community of researchers, for example, has launched several initiatives like Zefer – a project to deploy 180 fuel cell electric vehicles in Paris, London and Copenhagen.

“Hydrogen is the ideal fuel for taxis because of the long-range, intensive use and short recharging time,” Clean Hydrogen Partnership CEO Bart Biebuyck has said.

Other hydrogen taxi fleets have launched across Europe.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member

We need energy sources that don't produce carbon and are readily available on demand. That means hydro (in some places now days), geothermal, and nuclear. Niagara is always flowing, Costa Rica always has water running, the Earth is pretty hot below the surface, and nuclear runs all day. THESE are the options. 24/7. Wind and solar are limited by a glass ceiling called intermittency, that isn't nitpicking, its the nature of the source. Germany bet the house on solar and lost. Islands like PEI can't generate enough wind to power itself... and if PEI can't do it (a small, lightly populated province/park surrounded by water)... no one can.
PEI = Prince Edward Island?

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed. - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
Great during the day. Not so much at night.
I don't just mean daytime. I mean a complete-daytime-nighttime cycle.
No matter how you phrase it, or parse it, the output of a solar cell in the dark = 0 watts.
Actually, they've developed something for night time generation... but the wattage is tiny, about 10^-5 smaller.
40W/(1 X10^5) = 4 X 10^-4W.
Great! What can I power with that I wonder?

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
There are online tools that give average radiance given latitude and longitude.

Look up efficiency for commercial solar panels. watts in/watts out.

Assume a conservative 50% power supply conversion efficiey.

watts/m^2 useful electrical power out = watts/m^2 sunlight * panel efficiency * power conversion efficiency

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed.
List of deserts by area - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
The environmental damage, both from the manufacturing of such vast acreages of panels,
Like...
and from their deployment
Like...
(deserts are fragile ecosystems, not empty land awaiting our finding a use for them) would be VASTLY greater than simply generating the same amount of electricity from nuclear fission. It also be far more expensive, both to build
News to me.
and to maintain,
Photovoltaic cells are almost absurdly easy to maintain.
and far less reliable.
That is almost too silly to respond to.
It would be less good than nuclear power on pretty much every metric you could use to compare the two technologies. Environmental impact, complexity, distribution of energy produced, cost, reliability, safety, waste disposal, decommissioning...
Waste disposal??? bilby, are you serious?

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Panels are easy to 'hot swap'. Same with electronics.

The voltage across an entire array can be several hundred volts for mains power generation. Locally between points in the array the voltage is low. Easy to work on.

A demonstarion was built inthe southwest by a utility. It used all off the shelf equipment. DC panel to mains voltage was accomplished by paralleling a number oflow power commercial off te shelf inverters. If one fails easy to isolate and replace without shutting down

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Panels are easy to 'hot swap'. Same with electronics.

The voltage across an entire array can be several hundred volts for mains power generation. Locally between points in the array the voltage is low. Easy to work on.

A demonstarion was built inthe southwest by a utility. It used all off the shelf equipment. DC panel to mains voltage was accomplished by paralleling a number oflow power commercial off te shelf inverters. If one fails easy to isolate and replace without shutting down
This. It's not hard to build circuits to permit hot-swap of just about every active component in them.

And if the voltage isn't too high it's not that hard to simply protect yourself while working with hot wires. You have to keep your mind on doing it safe but it's usually not that hard other than getting used to it. Yes, that black wire is hot. It's the only exposed wire, my gloves will keep the voltage off me, my shoes will keep any charge away from my ladder and my ladder is sitting on an insulator besides. Being able to reason that it was safe didn't make it easy.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Though I concede that that's unlikely, because deserts are too large and widely-distributed.
List of deserts by area - the most usable ones are subtropical ones like the Sahara, Arabian, and Australian Deserts. I estimate that a typical solar panel can produce about 40 watts per square meter of electricity when averaged over a day. That's 40 megawatts per square kilometer or 40 terawatts per million square kilometers. The Sahara Desert has an area of 9.2 * 10^6 km^2, Australia has 2.7, Arabia 2.33, ...
The environmental damage, both from the manufacturing of such vast acreages of panels,
Like...
and from their deployment
Like...
(deserts are fragile ecosystems, not empty land awaiting our finding a use for them) would be VASTLY greater than simply generating the same amount of electricity from nuclear fission. It also be far more expensive, both to build
News to me.
and to maintain,
Photovoltaic cells are almost absurdly easy to maintain.
and far less reliable.
That is almost too silly to respond to.
It would be less good than nuclear power on pretty much every metric you could use to compare the two technologies. Environmental impact, complexity, distribution of energy produced, cost, reliability, safety, waste disposal, decommissioning...
Waste disposal??? bilby, are you serious?
I am absolutely serious.

Only one electricity generation technology in history has managed its entire waste stream such that it has caused zero deaths, zero injuries, and zero environmental damage.

The nuclear power industry has been quietly doing this thing their opponents shriek is impossible for seventy years, and can continue to do it indefinitely - and unlike the waste materials from other industries, their unique waste is, uniquely, self eliminating.

Opponents of nuclear power like to tell us that the waste remains hazardous for thousands of years; They don't like to mention that the waste from their 'alternatives' remains hazardous forever.

Even a very large number is dramatically lower than infinity.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...

Daily Insolation Parameters

Latitude: 40.780 Longitude: -73.970

Insolation at Specified Location

This web page produces a numerical table of sunrise, sunset, daily insolation at top of atmosphere, and sunlight-weighted cosine of the zenith angle at a single specified location. The produced table contains data for a single month, or if a month is not provided, data for a single calendar year. Latitude and longitude must be given in degrees and hundredths of degrees, not degrees and minutes. Default location is the Central Park weather station, New York City.

"Insolation" means sunlight received from the Sun at top-of-atmosphere. On a global annual basis, about 57% of insolation is incident on the Earth's surface. Clouds are the main cause of this decrease, but even clear sky will have some reduction. To determine incident sunlight at the surface, click to the "LINE PLOTS" web page, but there data is limited to monthly values on the Model's 4×3 degree resolution grid.

BYC January

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time
(Longitudes -82.5 to -67.5) Sunlight
Weighted
Daily Cosine
Average of
Sunlight Zenith
Date Sunrise Sunset (W/m²) Angle
---- ------- ------ ------ -----
2012/01/01 7:20 16:39 154.47 0.350
02 7:20 16:39 155.14 0.351
03 7:20 16:40 155.87 0.352
04 7:20 16:41 156.65 0.353
05 7:20 16:42 157.50 0.354
06 7:20 16:43 158.40 0.356
07 7:20 16:44 159.36 0.357
08 7:20 16:45 160.38 0.359
09 7:2
Death Valley August

2012/08/01 4:54 18:53 452.99 0.739
02 4:55 18:52 451.61 0.738
03 4:56 18:51 450.19 0.737
04 4:57 18:50 448.75 0.736
05 4:58 18:49 447.27 0.735
06 4:58 18:48 445.77 0.734
07 4:59 18:47 444.24 0.732
08 5:00 18:46 442.68 0.731
09 5:01 18:45 441.09 0.730
10 5:02 18:44 439.48 0.728
11 5:03 18:43 437.83 0.727
12 5:03 18:41 436.16 0.726
13 5:04 18:40 434.46 0.724
14 5:05 18:39 432.73 0.723
15 5:06 18:38 430.98 0.721
16 5:07 18:37 429.20 0.719
17 5:07 18:35 427.39 0.718
18 5:08 18:34 425.55 0.716
19 5:09 18:33 423.69 0.714
20 5:10 18:32 421.80 0.713
21 5:11 18:30 419.89 0.711
22 5:11 18:29 417.95 0.709
23 5:12 18:28 415.98 0.707
24 5:13 18:26 413.99 0.705
25 5:14 18:25 411.97 0.703
26 5:15 18:24 409.93 0.701
27 5:15 18:22 407.87 0.699
28 5:16 18:21 405.78 0.697
29 5:17 18:19 403.67 0.695
30 5:18 18:18 401.53 0.693
31 5:19 18:17 399.37 0.690

as a rough estimate

Using 50w/m^2 at the surface, solar cell conversion deficiency = .2, and power conversion efficiency .5.

watts/m^ power genrated = 50w/m^2 * .2 * .5 = 5w/m^2 NYC

Solar-cell efficiency refers to the portion of energy in the form of sunlight that can be converted via photovoltaics into electricity by the solar cell.

The efficiency of the solar cells used in a photovoltaic system, in combination with latitude and climate, determines the annual energy output of the system. For example, a solar panel with 20% efficiency and an area of 1 m2 will produce 200 kWh/yr at Standard Test Conditions if exposed to the Standard Test Condition solar irradiance value of 1000 W/m2 for 2.74 hours a day. Usually solar panels are exposed to sunlight for longer than this in a given day, but the solar irradiance is less than 1000 W/m2 for most of the day. A solar panel can produce more when the sun is high in the sky and will produce less in cloudy conditions or when the sun is low in the sky, usually the sun is lower in the sky in the winter.

When it comes to regions, two important aspects that affect the solar PV industry's efficiency are the dispersion and intensity of solar radiation. These two variables vary greatly between each country.[1] The main global regions that get subjected to high radiations throughout the year are regions in Asia like the middle east, Northern Chile, Australia, China, and Southwestern USA.[1][2] In a high-yield solar area like central Colorado, which receives annual insolation of 2000 kWh/m2/year,[3] such a panel can be expected to produce 400 kWh of energy per year. However, in Michigan, which receives only 1400 kWh/m2/year,[3] annual energy yield will drop to 280 kWh for the same panel. At more northerly European latitudes, yields are significantly lower: 175 kWh annual energy yield in southern England under the same conditions.[4]
Schematic of charge collection by solar cells. Light transmits through transparent conducting electrode creating electron hole pairs, which are collected by both the electrodes. The absorption and collection efficiencies of a solar cell depend on the design of transparent conductors and active layer thickness.[5]

Several factors affect a cell's conversion efficiency value, including its reflectance, thermodynamic efficiency, charge carrier separation efficiency, charge carrier collection efficiency and conduction efficiency values.[6][5] Because these parameters can be difficult to measure directly, other parameters are measured instead, including quantum efficiency, open-circuit voltage (VOC) ratio, and § Fill factor. Reflectance losses are accounted for by the quantum efficiency value, as they affect "external quantum efficiency". Recombination losses are accounted for by the quantum efficiency, VOC ratio, and fill factor values. Resistive losses are predominantly accounted for by the fill factor value, but also contribute to the quantum efficiency and VOC ratio values. In 2019, the world record for solar cell efficiency at 47.1% was achieved by using multi-junction concentrator solar cells, developed at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, USA.[7]

Solar panels are usually able to process 15% to 22% of solar energy into usable energy, depending on factors like placement, orientation, weather conditions, and similar. The amount of sunlight that solar panel systems are able to convert into actual electricity is called performance, and the outcome determines the solar panel efficiency.

Solar electric systems have no moving parts, no high pressure steam, and no high temperatures. Turbines and high pressure steam systems require periodic maintenance and system shutdown. High pressure steam is dangerous.