Solar Energy Initiatives

In recent times, the concept of EROI for solar panels has received widespread interest because of an article by Karel Knip and the reactions to it. Although they were fierce, the key question remains whether solar panels are suitable for supplying the required demand-following energy to our complex society, if we do not want to end up unintentionally at the level of prosperity of the 19th century or earlier. The answer is no.

It is actually simple. Suppose that pumping 1 liter of oil costs me exactly the same amount of energy than the energy content of that pumped liter, then I have no use for this. The point is that there must also be sufficient energy available to transport, refine, re-transport and finally deliver the energy to maintain our society at the very least (at the pump), the petrochemical industry, etc.). The same applies to solar panels. The IEA standard ignores this when assessing solar panels. The more correct standard is the extended. I quote:


ERoEI (Ext)

Where IEA = methodology employed by the International Energy Agency and Ext = extended boundary as described by Murphy and Hall, 2010 [2,3]. The difference between the two is that the IEA is tending to focus on the energy used in the factory process while the extended methodology of Murphy and Hall, 2010 includes activities such as mining, purifying and transporting the silicon raw material.

In my opinion, Ferroni and Hopkirk correctly follow the extended ERoEI methodology of Murphy and Hall and include the following in their calculations:

Materials to make panels but also to erect and install panels

Labor at every stage of the process from mining manufacture and disposal

Manufacturing process ie the energy used in the various factories

Faulty panels that are discarded

The capital which is viewed as the utilization of pre-existing infrastructure and energy investment

Integration of intermittent PV onto the grid

And that gives us the result of ERoEI:

2203/2664 kW he / m ^ 2 = 0.83

But now the winter months. They show an average daily power of 1.5 GW, where 39.5 GW is required, so 3.8% of the requirement. This is only part of the story. Namely, the question-following is more important. We can see that fossil backup has to fill the ‘holes’. Without this backup, sitting in the dark was blown. A regression analysis of the relationship between day demand for electricity and day supply by solar panels over those 4 months shows a correlation coefficient r of -0.07672. The equation is: y = -0.0109x + 2.2284 with R² = 0.0059. So there is no question of question-following. Solar power, as well as wind energy, only provides the required power in a few percent of the time. This weather-dependent unreliability is reason to install solar panels, just like wind, to be regarded as an inferior element in energy supply. The cause, in addition to the aforementioned weather dependence, is their inferior power density on which medieval society was based.

Power density production Density (W / m2 minimum) Density (W / m2 maximum)
Fossil energy 1,000 2,000
Nuclear energy 2,000 4,000
PV 4 12
Wind 0.5 1.5
Biomass 0.4 0.6
Ethanol 0.25 0.3
Hydropower 3 10

If we look at storage in a NAS battery of € 5 million (2 MW and 12 MWh) then you end up with actual storage due to a loss of efficiency of 10% and a charging capacity of 70% at around 8 MWh and 2,000 charging cycles over 10 years (Fred Udo), at € 0.27kWh, which exceeds the market price of € 0.025 / kWh by a factor of 10. This seems to me to be no reason to base our electricity supply entirely on solar panels. This alone shows that renewable is unable to sustain our civilization, despite all the arguments of Urgenda, Greenpeace and Milieudefensie. The minimum threshold is 8. Renewable without storage does not come close;with storage only wind.

jeroen-3 cutout

But then we also have the costs. For the Dutch electricity production from 13 GW installed capacity, 1,344 hours of storage are required for the aforementioned 2-month wind silence. 17.5 TWh. This division by 8 MWh gives 2.2 million required batteries = € 10,920 billion = € 1,092 billion per year = per household including 2.5% interest charges € 144,680 / year.

All in all, this seems to be reason enough to reject solar panels, renewable energy in general, as serious sources of energy for our modern society. Only ideologically blinded people lack the view of the whole, as is, unfortunately, the case with many of our representatives. The fundamental difference between renewable on the one hand and fossil and nuclear-fired power stations on the other is that renewable supplies 100% unreliable and is more than 250 times more expensive if the inevitable storage is included. Not wanting to face this fact is the result of compartmentalized group thinking, partly due to misleading information from the environmental movement, and does not testify to the required scientific insight and common sense that may be required of a representative of the people.

It must be realized that renewable energy belongs in the pre-industrial era. Seen in this light, it seems desirable for our vigilant, value-free thinking and lobby-free government to finally come up with a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis that takes into account the above.

The physics of wind and solar energy is not a subject of discussion at these parties, because people do not understand anything about it or want to know nothing about it and only prefer to follow politically correct group thinking. This is not the first time in history. Malleus was once Maleficarum, or The Witch’s Hammer, the handbook of witch persecution. This writing has cost the lives of tens of thousands of innocents. The current version is the 5-year report of the IPCC. This writing costs hundreds of billions of wastes on a social-democratic ideology that could have helped developing countries to a higher level of prosperity years ago. The irony cannot be greater.

The conclusion is that renewable energy in its current form should not be part of the energy supply, other than at the local level and at its own costs. In my wild years as a credit analyst at a well-known large bank, we granted an abbreviation to a certain bank.