“On-grid solar is a perfect storm for taxpayers: concentrated benefits for the industry, diffuse cost for ratepayers and taxpayers, and a strong positive public sentiment for solar created by energy Malthusians.”
I have been a passionate solar energy enthusiast since I was 13 years old. My 8th grade science project was a solar powered car. I read everything I could about fuels cells, solar cells, microwave beaming solar-powered satellites, battery chemistry, ocean thermal energy, wind power, and compressed gas storage.
In college, I studied engineering focusing on solar energy. I now run a solar company in Tucson, AZ which I started 16 years ago. SunDanzer Refrigeration designs, manufactures, and sells solar-powered refrigerators for off-grid use and vaccine storage. My solar refrigerator design was recently selected as NASA’s Commercial Invention of the Year for 2011.…
This post reproduces a front-page story in the New York Times business section that excitedly reported a breakthrough with solar energy as represented by a heady energy company named Enron. Formed in the mid-1980s, Enron had just entered into the solar business and was destined to revitalize–if not save–the U.S. wind industry just a few years later.
Good press, for a half century now, has created an Enron-like illusion of the coming competitiveness and profitability of solar and wind energies for on-grid electricity. Basic energy physics explains why the sun’s (dilute) flow cannot compete against the sun’s stored (dense) energy embedded in natural gas, coal, and oil.
“Federal officials, aware that solar power breakthroughs have shined and faded almost as often as the sun, say the Enron project could introduce commercially competitive technology without expensive Government aid.”
– Allen Myerson, Solar Power, for Earthly Prices, New York Times, November 15, 1994.