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can countries use solar energy in large scale for industry?

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Posted by hemin on January 11, 2007, 9:01 pm
 
can countries use solar energy in large scale for industry?
because of the rainy wether in europe i think its hard to use
solar energy there .
any ideas?


Posted by R.H. Allen on January 11, 2007, 9:58 pm
 
hemin wrote:

PV can be scaled up to any size. Whether it's useful for industry
depends on exactly what you have in mind. Without storage it can't
supply 24-hour electricity and is subject to climate-induced
fluctuations in available power. It is usually used to meet peak loads
rather than provide the sort of base load that a factory typically uses,
but it can certainly provide at least *part* of what an industrial
facility would use.


It comes down to economics more than it does climate, though the two are
obviously related. If you put a PV system in a particular location, it
only needs enough sunlight to be economically competitive with
alternative sources of electricity at that same location. PV makes the
most sense in sunny locations where electricity costs a lot to buy or
generate; it makes the least sense in cloudy locations where electricity
is cheap. But then, it's entirely possible for it to be more
cost-effective in a cloudy location than in a sunny one if the cloudy
location has expensive electricity and the sunny one has cheap electricity.

A case in point, Germany currently has more installed PV than anyplace
else on earth. It also has relatively high electricity prices and a very
attractive subsidy program for PV, both of which factor into its
popularity there. In the United States, California has the most
installed PV even though Arizona gets more sunshine because California
has much higher electricity rates. In fact, New York, New Jersey, and
Massachusetts -- all in the cloudy northeastern U.S. -- will all
probably have cost-effective PV before Arizona will because their
electricity is expensive and Arizona's is not.

Posted by anthony.dunk on January 11, 2007, 10:06 pm
 
No, not without some means of energy storage (e.g. hydro or thermal).
Even in sunny countries like Australia this is a problem. At night the
sun is down and many industries work 24 hours.

Of course if the industry was such that it could just operate when
there was enough sunshine then perhaps it could be entirely solar. But
while there are cheaper and more reliable energy sources I don't see
many industries switching to solar.

I read a while back that Google in the US is planning to run its
operations partially from solar power.

hemin wrote:


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