Saturday, 30 May 2009

How do we make solar power affordable?

I should rephrase that to be "how do we make solar power look affordable"?

At present, there is a wide disparity between the price of electricity from coal or gas-fired plants and solar/wind/tidal/moonbeams/unicorn farts. For a long time now, the strategy of the greens/loons/tinfoil hats has been to say, "Look, the price of solar has come down dramatically over the last 5 years/10 years/since the Apollo 11 landings".

Sure, but it is still uneconomic. The disparity is still huge.

So how do we close the gap? Do we strive to make solar/wind/unicorn farts cheaper?

No. Instead, we change tack and make coal-fired electricity more expensive. Once the price has gone up enough, people will say, "Look, solar is now just as cheap as coal - isn't that marvelous"?

You idiots. If that happens, solar will not be as cheap as coal. Coal will be as expensive as solar.

Sure it's marvelous, if you don't mind paying 30% of your income in power bills, or living like a stone age hunter-gatherer.

ETS - a backdoor and nice sounding method of making uneconomic ideas look palatable. I prefer to call it an IEP - Increase Electricity Price.

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