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NetZero destroys NetZero: Europe can’t make solar panels because green electricity costs too much

By Jo Nova | October 9, 2022

Ironies don’t get better than this: Thanks to the renewable energy transition, Europe can’t afford to make renewable energy.

When will the message get through that renewable energy is not sustainable?

European photovoltaic plants and battery cell factors are temporarily closing or quitting altogether because of obscenely high electricity prices. When the plants were built they expected to pay €50/MWh, but now they are €300 – 400/MWh. And the situation may last another couple of years, so it’s hard to see how these manufacturers can avoid leaving permanently.

So much for all the solar jobs. Europeans are being reduced to being installers while the production of panels shifts to coal fired China because electricity is so much cheaper. Most of the wind turbine industry has already moved to China.

European solar PV manufacturing at risk from soaring power prices – Rystad

By Jules Scully, PV Tech

Around 35GW of PV manufacturing projects in Europe are at risk of being mothballed as elevated power prices damage the continent’s efforts to build a solar supply chain, research from Rystad Energy suggests.

The consultancy noted that the energy-intensive nature of both solar PV and battery cell manufacturing processes is leading some operators to temporarily close or abandon production facilities as the cost of doing business escalates.

It’s not the only thing in jeopardy:

“Building a reliable domestic low-carbon supply chain is essential if the continent is going to stick to its goals, including the REPowerEU plan, but as things stand, that is in serious jeopardy,” [said Audun Martinsen, Rystad Energy’s head of energy service research].

Tell us what “affordable means:

The consultancy revealed that while power prices in Europe have retreated significantly since record highs in August, rates remain in the €300 – 400/MWh (US$297 – 396/MWh) range, many multiples above pre-energy crisis norms.

While Europeans have benefitted from reliable and affordable electricity, the research suggested that low-carbon manufacturers have based their build-up of production capacity on stable power prices of around €50/MWh.

And the country with the most fossil fuels wins:

The high costs of European PV manufacturing were revealed in a recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which found China is the most cost-competitive location to manufacture all components of the solar PV supply chain, with costs in the country 35% lower than in Europe.


Eric Worrall | What’s Up With That? | October 9, 2022

… Shortly after the above was published, a French solar module plant was closed;

Maxeon closes French solar module manufacturing plant

The obvious question, if renewables are so cheap, why don’t these plants relocate to a large plot of land, disconnect from the grid, and power their manufacturing facilities from their own low cost renewable energy products?

Seems an obvious solution – but for some reason renewable manufacturers seem to be choosing to shutter their plants, rather than switching to consuming their own product.

October 9, 2022 - Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | ,

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