Sunday 25 February 2018

Letters to the Editor: Everyone knows solar power won't work here - it's about grants

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang, China.
A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang, China.
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Supporters of renewable energy claim that wind and solar-generated electricity are a secure, affordable, low-carbon energy supply for Ireland despite the inherently variable and intermittent nature of these energy sources.

The ESB and Bord na Móna have advertised a project to cover 2,500 acres of depleted bog in the Midlands with solar panels, which they claim will supply power to 150,000 homes. However, a study by the Adam Smith Institute on the performance of solar power in the UK, which has a similar solar regime to Ireland, concluded that the capacity factor is a mere 9pc when the panels are new and generates less than a 10th of its nominal output over the course of a year.

Solar produces hardly any power in winter when demand is highest and output is severely intermittent, being less than 10pc of installed capacity 66pc of the time, and exceeding 60pc only 0.08pc of the time.

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