Those who refuse to learn by reading will end up learning by feeling. Great Britain is finding out that going without coal power is a lot easier said than done.
They don’t work well in the winter either. Photo: P. Gosselin
Summer temperatures in the UK have boosted the demand for electricity, and so the country has “started burning coal again for electricity generation for the first time in a month and a half,” reports Blackout News here, citing the Telegraph, June 13, 2023.
Apparently in the summery weather, Britain’s solar panels have refused to cooperate. In the heat, their efficiency dropped considerably and so the country’s electricity demand could not be met without coal power.
Coal to the rescue
“On Monday 12 June, a unit at the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire, owned by German energy company Uniper, went back online in the UK after a weeks-long break. Another coal-fired power station was kept on standby in case additional power demand arose in the early afternoon,” according to Blackout News. “The yield of solar energy the previous weekend was almost a third less than the weekend before. This was due to the high temperatures, which exceeded 30 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country,”
Solar’s many technical drawbacks
This represents yet another technical drawback solar energy faces. It not only works extremely poorly in the wintertime, when energy is really in high demand, but also in the summer when temperature climb in the range of 30°C. The only time solar panels seem to work is when they are not really needed.
Work only when you don’t need them
Solar panels are designed to work best when their surface temperature is 25″C. But in the summertime, their surfaces can easily reach 60 or even 70°C. According to the rule, every degree temperature over 25°C means a 0.5% loss in efficiency. That means at 65″C, the panel loses 20% of its rated efficiency.
25% less output
“Alastair Buckley, Professor of Organic Electronics at the University of Sheffield, explained that the higher temperatures have contributed to much of the decline in solar energy production. Compared to a cool, cloudy day, solar panels could be more than 25 per cent less efficient,” writes Blackout News.
In Germany, where nuclear power has been phased out, the country is coping with its energy troubles in its own brilliant way: importing nuclear power from France!
So well green energies are working here in Europe!