If solar panels were ever going to replace fossil fuels, they would have done so long ago. After all, they’re not exactly an emerging technology. Solar panels have been around for over half a century, which is plenty of time for the tech to mature and become cheap. Yet, solar remains one of the most expensive ways of making electricity — and even the Climate Cult are tacitly admitting that they’re not going to get much better.

According to the Conversation:

‘As the world heats up, solar panels will degrade faster – especially in hot, humid areas. What can we do?’

Well… Not build our energy grid on the back of a solar technology. That would be the logical response.

It’s a bit like the revelation Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen had last week when a few unloved transmission lines fell down in the wind. Imagine how much worse the problem would be if, say, energy plants were built in the middle of nowhere requiring thousands of kilometres of transmission lines strung across difficult to reach terrain. It’s not as if that would expose the grid to a major security risk the next time it gets a bit windy, or burny, or floody…

Because the bleeding obvious fact is that solar panels are an outdoors thing. That’s where the sunlight is, after all. But outdoors isn’t a very safe space for fragile sheets of glass and silicon wafer.

The article correctly notes that solar panels can be damaged by the weather. My favourite are those pesky tennis ball-sized hailstones we used to get when I was a kid. Did Bowen’s department include, ‘Holy heck, huge Summer storm!!!’ in the costings? Somehow I doubt it.

Moving on. Because ‘the Earth is getting hotter and extreme weather arrives more often’ these brilliant new solar farms are going to see their output fall over time due to increased damage.

So, even the government reports which, sotte voce, admit that we’d have to blanket most of the country in vast fields of glass, are outdated. Because their assumptions of just how much solar farms will output (on a good day) are, if they really believe the world is going to continue warming, far too optimistic.

This piece warns that 2059 will be the peak period for solar panel degradation – which means that none of the solar panels installed today need to worry because they’re all going to be ripped out and thrown into landfill long before then.

This is another carefully ignored problem with solar: output begins to drop after a decade or so. Which means that we’ll be stuck on a never-ending treadmill of replacing the damned things. It’s a bit like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge… if the Sydney Harbour Bridge was coated with paint that left behind vast lakes of toxic waste in third-world countries.

At least the article goes into the weaknesses of solar energy, including its natural (and substantial) loss of output over time. Critics can hate on nuclear and coal all they want, but at least you get what you pay for. Consumers are beginning to learn a similar lesson about e-cars … they’re expensive as heck, overstate their range, take way longer to charge than promised, perform poorly in pretty much any weather condition that isn’t a showroom, lose charge over time, and then demand a battery replacement that’s worth more than a new petrol car.

Solar panels – aside from being battered by nature out of a cyclic sense of irony – are susceptible to delamination, discoloured encapsulants, ribbon corrosion, and internal circuit failure, or so says the article […]

If you were an engineer taking this article and its claims seriously, you would not pick solar panels at all. They represent a costly investment – not only in money but land and raw materials. If they’re going to be especially vulnerable to hot weather, keep in mind we are talking about Australia which boasts some of the hottest temperatures on Earth

Unfortunately, our “Climate Change and Energy Minister”, “Boofhead” Bowen, isn’t an engineer’s arsehole. Instead, he studied economics — and went directly from university into Labor politics.

And it shows.

A sensible person would commission nuclear plants instead. As a bonus, they fulfil the activist brief of saving the climate.

You build them once. They last more than 100 years. We’ve got billions of years of fuel reserves sitting in the desert. Nuclear couldn’t care less what the weather is up to, and they put out steady baseload power.

Spectator Australia

All of which makes far too much sense ever to be Labor party policy.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...