Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

Announcements & News => Media Watch => Topic started by: stuartiannaylor on May 27, 2011, 11:34:16 AM



Title: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: stuartiannaylor on May 27, 2011, 11:34:16 AM
A new photovoltaic park has opened in Les Mées, in the southern department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Spread across 36 acres, the park, built by Belgian firm Enfinity, joins several other plants built on the vast Puimichel plateau. By the end of 2011, solar panels will cover 200 hectares and produce around 100MW, making it the biggest solar array in France. Enfinity's €70m investment has included work to preserve the landscape with space for grazing and a system without a concrete foundation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/picture/2011/may/26/solar-photovoltaic-france?intcmp=122

I still don't understand why solar farms in this country should be penalised for utilising economies of scale to provide sustainable green energy?


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: Baz on May 27, 2011, 01:13:16 PM
All that and yet it only serves 8000 famillies, and that only in daylight I assume.
Someone who comes up with a really good use for all that shaded space under panels is going to make a fortune one day.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: EccentricAnomaly on May 27, 2011, 03:50:04 PM
All that and yet it only serves 8000 famillies, and that only in daylight I assume.

The average French person uses 851 W (Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electric_energy_consumption#cite_ref-tonto.eia.doe.gov_2-9)) of electricity. Assuming a "family" is three people that would be just over 20 MW so it's much more likely that this is worked out on the basis of total energy consumption averaged over the year.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: dhaslam on May 27, 2011, 04:42:45 PM
It isn't very  good use of space.  If the same  panels were placed on  individual houses there would be 200 hectares  available to produce biomass  or food.    The area does seem too much  for 8000 households  or more like 2000 households if  you take the output as 16, 000  megawatt hours   divided by 2000 =  8 000 kWh per household.   This would mean that each house would have  about quarter of an acre of  panels.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: desperate on May 27, 2011, 04:58:15 PM
All that and yet it only serves 8000 famillies, and that only in daylight I assume.
Someone who comes up with a really good use for all that shaded space under panels is going to make a fortune one day.

In that area a wine cellar or two might be a good thing.

Desp


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: rt29781 on May 28, 2011, 11:48:46 AM
Solar panels are everywhere now in France.  The major supermarkets now have panels covering their car parks.  We have a vignern nearby that has covered the roof of theri barn with panels.  Very impressive stuff.  When we came to France 7 years ago there were very few panels.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: smegal on May 28, 2011, 01:10:15 PM
I still hate solar farms. I think energy crops to AD are better on so many levels.

At least they can be put back to food within one season with minimal cost impact.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: rt29781 on May 28, 2011, 05:43:14 PM
I still hate solar farms. I think energy crops to AD are better on so many levels.

At least they can be put back to food within one season with minimal cost impact.
Um solar panels 10-20% efficient at converting sunlight to electricity, crops at best 0.5%....No contest.  And especially useful if solar panels are used on ground that cannot grow crops....


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: smegal on May 28, 2011, 06:09:03 PM
AD can provide heat and electricity 24/7 (or at least when it is needed), PV only when the sun shines. Not to mention the upfront costs of the PV.

AD can also be used for waste so this helps to write off some of the initial cost.

The more I learn about PV the less I like it.

It has a place, on the roofs of warehouses and distribution centres etc, as well as to a lesser extent on houses. PV on the ground like this, is a waste of land.

AD is the future. I am a bit dubious of the use of maize or grass silage but it is better than filling fields with PV panels.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: billi on May 29, 2011, 07:42:56 AM
 ::)  its not a lot area PV ground-mounted needs to produce a significant amount  of electricity

here is ( i marked it red) the targeted PV area (ground-mounted)   for Germany  in 2020  to supply 6.6 % of Germany s total electricity demand
Its a map about  alternative technology will need how much space for the energy generation 

I would not say this is a land eating technology   and some kind of farming would be possible underneath

But sure it should preferable be installed on "Wasteland"

Billi


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: martin on May 29, 2011, 09:27:46 AM
I can't see the sense in using good agricultural land for large pv arrays, but there's a great deal of land and buildings that could/should be used instead, and to write the technology  as useless just because some of it may be badly sited is frankly potty - the more I get to know about PV, the more I realise that it is one of the best technologies we have to help in the fight against out own energy greed and stupidity. (It repays it's embodied cost in around 3 years, and will then sit there producing electricity for probably 50 years, no mechanical parts to conk out or require replacement and unlike nuclear won't leave behind a deadly legacy for generations to come, as well as near bankrupting us from the cost........).

As for "AD", if this means anaerobic digestion, I agree, it is a much under-used technology which should also play it's part, BUT to grow crops specifically for that use worries me greatly, reeking as it does of the very worst sort of high input, chemicalised wasteland monocultures from which we need to move with considerable speed as they are truly "planet wrecking"


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: smegal on May 29, 2011, 09:49:17 AM
You are kind of right. I am worried about the German model for AD where farmers have an incentive to grow energy crops just to AD. That said all it would take is a shortage and the land can be put to better use within a season.

Another advantage is that the digestate is natural [ish] and is high in N, P and K so it reduces the dependence on petrochemical fertilizer.

PV has a place but I don't think that it is on fields.

The problem is that it is easy to throw PV at fields especially when there are financial incentives. I think the government was right to rush through a reclassification of the FIT, otherwise we would be losing agricultural land for decades. 

With regards to the lifetime of the modules only time will tell. I would bet that by 25-30 years it would be uneconomical to continue to use current modules due to performance degradation. That said there may be the option to export them to third world countries (probably cheaper than re-cycling the raw materials).


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: DonL on May 29, 2011, 09:54:45 AM
When visiting Spain I have seen large PV arrays mounted on rocky ground that was certainly not used for agriculture. Althogh this environment also has a value and it could be argued that it is being compromised, we should not think that building large arrays necessarily means a loss of agricultural land.
I suppose much of the obviously suitable, non-agricultural land in the UK is in National Parks and AONB's  stir:


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: martin on May 29, 2011, 09:59:23 AM
I think (as has been pointed out), that there's a decided lack of joined-up thinking, and a lamentable ignorance among those in power about all the different aspects of our life that are all interdependent, and the fact that most are either deliberately or unwittingly in the thrall of the multinationals who seem intent on wrecking the place as fast as possible.
As an illustration, properly done anaerobic digestion is an intrinsically "green" technology, but sadly there'll be the lobbyists from Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta and Shell chomping at the bit wanting to get in on the act - "let's rip out even more hedgerows, GM monocultures as far as the eye can see - ooh look, that nice Mr Paice (of DEFRA fame) has removed most of the restrictions already"

We have some big battles to fight, not least against that sort of pressure and dangerous bias............ ;)


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: DaveSnafu on May 29, 2011, 10:29:21 AM
A good look at that picture will show its at about 2000m amsl, the only thing that,ll grow up there is goats and marmots.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: brackwell on May 29, 2011, 12:03:40 PM
Does any one think a farmer is going to give up good land for PV.  Its like set a side,they give up the cr*p land which wasnt productive in the first place. You will never get the better of a canny farmer as financial survival focuses the mind wonderfully.  Probably use the panels as free shelter for the pigs etc.

Ken


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: stuartiannaylor on May 31, 2011, 01:39:19 PM
A good look at that picture will show its at about 2000m amsl, the only thing that,ll grow up there is goats and marmots.

Thats a good point as everybody seems obsessed by the term "farm". A "solar farm" doesn't have to be fertile farmland, it could be the top of a large commercial building to barren moorland.

The question was basically why are economies of scale (more efficient use of renewables) in solar farms getting such a bad reception in the UK?


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: Baz on May 31, 2011, 02:18:47 PM
A good look at that picture will show its at about 2000m amsl, the only thing that,ll grow up there is goats and marmots.
Not a problem if the marmots are banned.  exhappy:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1390419/Marmite-banned-Denmark-contains-vitamins.html?ITO=1490


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: MR GUS on May 31, 2011, 03:25:47 PM
It's not available in Norway either, not that that stops folk indulging!


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: Kombi on June 08, 2011, 08:21:54 PM
It won't be long before some thugs come and ripp some panels off...just wait and see!!


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: murraymint on June 09, 2011, 06:18:31 PM
I can vouch for the fact that goats grow even up to 2500m, Pedro does very well out of them near Oria, Spain.


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: Other-Power on June 12, 2011, 11:48:25 PM
The question was basically why are economies of scale (more efficient use of renewables) in solar farms getting such a bad reception in the UK?

The FIT is more about just making power its putting people in tuch with the tecnology first hand and not sticking it in a field and forgetting about it again.

There are solar parks getting in under the FITs pre August 2011 price drop, Wheal Jane in Cornwall has a 1MW system going in now.  I think the big issue was the amount of money going to foreign companies, the big PV parks would leak money away from the UK economy faster then a broken sieve. 

Jon


Title: Re: Huge solar photovoltaic farm opens in France - big picture
Post by: billi on June 12, 2011, 11:58:11 PM
More pics here from the photographer http://www.gettyimages.ie/Search/Search.aspx?assettype=image&artist=BORIS+HORVAT#4