Generating electricity from solar panels in cold, cloudy northern Europe is like growing paw-paws in Iceland – it can be done, but who would be so silly as to try?

Germany was silly enough to try. Germany gets about an hour of useful sunshine per day in winter – solar power is weakest just when they need it most. But they have installed about half of the world’s solar panels. Germany’s Q-Cells, once the world’s biggest manufacturer of solar panels, just went broke. So did four other German solar companies.

Sunny California also tried, but despite a half billion dollar loan from U.S. taxpayers, solar panel manufacturer Solyndra went broke. Solar Trust of America, recently offered $2 billion in loan guarantees from U.S. taxpayers, has also filed for bankruptcy.

All the European PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain ) have tried – and the waste of taxpayer funds on failing green-energy schemes is a major reason for their parlous financial state.

The only sensible participant in the solar industry is China – they make panels very cheaply using coal or nuclear power and sell them to green dreamers.

The reason green energy creates so much red ink is pretty obvious – it just needs one day’s observation of the sun.

Full strength solar energy is available around midday for maybe 8 hours each day, providing the skies are clear, and there is no dust on the panels, and you are in a tropical zone. For the other 16 hours of the day, most electricity must come from reliable energy sources like gas, hydro, coal or nuclear. This about doubles capital and operating costs for no increase in output.

With all this compelling evidence of the failures of solar electricity, why is the Australian government frittering $1.5 billion on green toys like the Moree and Chinchilla Solar farms?

Green gambling is for private speculators, not for captive taxpayers.

Viv Forbes

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