November 14, 2012

Another solar power company down the tubes after massive government spending

In North Africa this time -- from Germany's Der Spiegel:
Desertec's Promise of Solar Power for Europe Fades
Supporters hailed the Desertec Industrial Initiative as the most ambitious solar energy project ever when it was founded in 2009. Major industrial backers pledged active involvement, politicians saw a win-win proposition and environmentalists fawned over Europe's green energy future. For a projected budget of �400 billion ($560 billion), the venture was to pipe clean solar power from the Sahara Desert through a Mediterranean super-grid to energy-hungry European countries.

Today, a scant three years later, there is still little to show for the project but the ambition.

The list of recent setbacks is daunting. The project has failed to break ground on a single power plant. Spain recently balked at signing a declaration of intent to connect high-voltage lines between Morocco and the rest of Europe. In recent weeks, two of the biggest industrial supporters at the founding of the initiative, Siemens and Bosch, backed out. And perhaps most tellingly, though last week's third annual Desertec conference was held in Berlin's Foreign Ministry, not a single German cabinet minister bothered to attend.

"Much to his regret, Minister R�sler could not participate in the third Dii Desert Energy Conference due to conflicting schedules," the German Economy Ministry said in a statement explaining Philipp R�sler's absence. "Notwithstanding, the federal government, in principle, is willing to support a Desertec pilot project in Morocco. However, there are several open questions. Therefore, Minister R�sler has advised against too much euphoria."

Political backing for energy from the desert, in other words, is evaporating.
I have said it before and I will say it again. There is no green energy. It simply does not exist. Every attempt -- solar, wind, tide, geothermal, etc... has show-stopping problems when you try to roll it out to full scale production. None of these technologies will be able to provide a baseload feed. People are so twitterpated about uranium reactors that they reject all nuclear options. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors offer a significantly better approach -- intrinsically safe (Thorium does not go Ka-Boom) and the waste materials only need a few hundred years of storage before they are safe. Relatively cheap to build too -- cheaper than Uranium reactors. We have enough Thorium in the earths crust for several thousand years of operation. Grrrr.... Idiots -- every one of them. Posted by DaveH at November 14, 2012 3:31 PM