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That must be because wind doesn't really make sense in a residential setting (as Crazy Horse is fond of pointing out) and out in the middle of a field it doesn't make sense to build anything below the MW range.

Whereas a square metre of solar panel has the same efficiency wherever you put it, and in a residential setting it doesn't compete with other land uses since it's mounted on roofs.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:01:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, thats what I implied with my comment, but expressed badly.

However, it still looks to me as if private citizens are more willing to invest their money in energy than companies are.

by Fran on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:09:50 AM EST
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it still looks to me as if private citizens are more willing to invest their money in energy than companies are.

Have you had a chance to check whether industrial parks are as full of rooftop solar installations as residential areas?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:13:09 AM EST
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All kinds of businesses I see driving from Bischofswiesen to the Passau area have solar panels on their roofs and even solar installations that are stand-alone and substantial. I can't discern the ownership of some of the stand-alone solar fields I see.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 01:01:44 PM EST
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All good points, but the 17% reduction is on total global wind investment not local German investment and so my query is whether wind energy investment has peaked or whether we are simply seeing a temporary blip in what has always been a volatile market. Is wind investment becoming less attractive compared to other investments, or are we approaching saturation of suitable sites in some markets.

Obviously the global financial crisis has impacted on investment generally, and the increased affordability of solar may also have "crowded out" some investment that might otherwise have gone to wind. Solar is obviously much more scalable/flexible than wind and may also need less grid infrastructure enhancement. Even in Ireland there are increasing numbers of standalone street signs powered by standalone solar panels - and I have even seen one with a small wind rotor attached as well!

I could see huge expansion of solar in poorer third world countries with warmer climates and poor generation and transmission infrastructures as the cost of solar continues to go down.  Wind will always be more of an industrial scale technology requiring greater scale/investment/infrastructure/technology and it doesn't look like there is the same scope for cost reduction as there is with solar.

So are we moving from wind to solar as the leading renewable technology on an ongoing basis? Obviously there is scope for both as the intermittancy patterns are different, but has wind passed its peak?


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:26:21 AM EST
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BNEF (at the link below) provides a breakdown of investment per sect excluding small distributed capacity:

Wind is largely flat, but still larger than solar. what's missing in that graph is the massive volumes of small solar.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:56:47 AM EST
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by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:57:14 AM EST
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You also see that 2011 was shaping up to be a good year, until the financial crisis of the later part of the year, which definitely slowed a number of things down.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:58:23 AM EST
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The problem in 2011 may turn out to have been peak finance, not peak wind.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 10:10:19 AM EST
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Just like 2009 was peak sanity.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 10:21:54 AM EST
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Maybe in Europe.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 14th, 2012 at 02:48:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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