The Government has announced a comprehensive review of a scheme encouraging households to generate green electricity, amid fears funding could be soaked up by large-scale solar "farms".This is the problem with all this 'Green' energy. Requiring large subsidies for the base installation, it delivers very poor 'bang for buck' throughout the installation lifecycle (Lifetime of the installation). This can be demonstrated by the poor energy returns / efficiency of Wind Farms. Now companies are setting up 'Solar Farms' in Cornwall? They must be sucking up subsidies as fast as the printing presses can spin.
I know Cornwall and its climate quite well. I have friends down there, and walked it's hills and coast paths since boyhood. From May to October there is a reasonable average of around 7 hours a day sunlight. if of course it's not raining or the skies are that awful unremitting grey for days on end. Even in midsummer. 1989 I think was a case in point. I was walking the coast path carrying a fifty pound backpack and it rained so much over four days I reckon I was packing an extra thirty pounds of water at one point. What the hell, I was a lot younger and fitter then, but that's a story for another day.
My point is that weather is not consistent. There are sunny years, and not so sunny years, so building 'Solar Farms' will probably deliver less power than claimed and thus require bigger subsidies, driving the price of electricity per kilowatt/hour upwards. Rather like Wind Power has.
So far, all we've seen from 'Green' sources of power and 'Green' jobs (Most of which are on the taxpayer dollar) is increased cost and poor delivery. Wind Turbine manufacture has all but disappeared from the UK, so those 'Green' jobs are no longer there. The turbines themselves demonstrably deliver single percentage efficiency. Add to that the global climate, which appears to be in a cooling phase, which some have predicted will last another 20-30 years. So an even lower overall deliverable from Solar / Wind and greater need for subsidy will result.
Spain has already hit the buffers on this one, and the UK looks like following suit. How long will it be until scales finally fall from eyes and certain over hyped technologies are ditched? My pessimistic gut feeling tells me it may come under the heading of 'too late', and all too soon.
Update: Some of the suppliers are upset at the prospects of public subsidy costs