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The only comment I have for now is that a solar panel installed in central Germany generates half of the electricity it would in southern Portugal...

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by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 11:22:01 AM EST
The lack of a HV European transmission grid really bites then. Otherwise you could have gotten German investment to put panels in Portugal and share the energy generated...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 11:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but you also have to factor in the incremental capital cost of the transmission network required, and the costs of transmission loss.  Anyone know a simple formula for calculating transmission loss as a function of transmission distance for a given voltage? At one point does it become uneconomic to transmit solar energy over long distances?  Does it make sense to transmit solar energy not just South/North for increased yields, but also East West for increased daylight window?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 12:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a quick estimate, HVDC is a capital investment of roughly $1.5 million/km (above ground, land based). The losses are supposed to be about 3% per 1000 km.

Nb41

by nb41 on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 12:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Losses much less than I would have guessed.  Almost immaterial in the context of the efficiencies a larger grid can facilitate.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 12:47:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Luis de Sousa:
a solar panel installed in central Germany generates half of the electricity it would in southern Portugal...

this burns, when i think about greece and southern italy too.

entire countries' economies have been hijacked by the energy status quo...

many firms must have done well off this growth, with corresponding employment benefits.

why has no-one pushed for this in the oh-so-poor, PIIGS countries, heck why isn't it a EU initiative? lend them more money to install solar and lower their energy bills, all these bigwigs and their endless meetings to eke out more loans to repay interest on old loans, and this is like an 800lb gorilla!

giving crooked governments more money is a fish, giving the people solar is like giving them a rod and reel.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 03:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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