Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Another solar prediction likely to be proven false.

The general point is true - the fact that nuclear installations operate on a 60 year operational timescale does make them financially very vulnerable to disruptive innovation in energy production (altough electricity prices would have to fall very far indeed before they get turned off on economic grounds. The marginal cost of keeping an extant reactor operating is insanely low.) heck, a superior nuclear reactor design could completely wreck your financial return.

But predicting distributed solar is going to be the killer? In europe? Nuh-hu. Kite gen. Large scale storage. Conventional wind. Solar imports from the sahara? Sure, I can see those pushing prices down. Solar panels on your roof?

Eh. No. Just not happening.

by Thomas on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 06:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tend to agree with you on this point, but how about if the marginal cost of PV roof tiles over normal roof tiles is 0.  That is, what happens if painting or whatever a reasonable efficiency PV costs no more than a similar no functional coating?  This is not completely unlikely, given the amount of research into thin film, organic, self-assembling PV coatings.  If you could get PV paint-in-a-can in a variety of colours with a similar life expectancy to normal paint, and get useful energy out I can see the price of PV electricity being very competitive.
by njh on Tue Mar 27th, 2012 at 11:34:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is actually quite likely to happen - Mass producing a rooftop tile with integral solar cells and slot-in connection with all neighbouring tiles is doable industrial engineering, and I dont see any inherent reason why this would be that much more expensive to put up than a conventional roof. Which would make them universal on new build and renovations where the roof needs replacing regardless. Retrofits..
Ever had to have a roof replaced? Not cheap. Not cheap at all. So this would scale up very, very slowly as roofs are replaced at the natural rate.
by Thomas on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 10:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It probably depends on the expected life of the average roof.  European and Australian metal and tile roofs have 50+ year design lives.  American asphalt shingles have an expected 15 year life.
by njh on Sun Apr 1st, 2012 at 12:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.. wait, what? 15 year design life is.. Not a house, that is a glorified cardboard box. You couldnt get away with building a summer cottage to standards that sloppy here.
by Thomas on Sun Apr 1st, 2012 at 05:26:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once in a while you should check electricity prices in the German market.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 03:10:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series