Almost a billion sunk: Giant solar power plant, after four years of superfluous

737 million dollars, will see the US taxpayer will probably never be. So much money then US had given to Secretary of energy Steven Chu in the company solar res

Almost a billion sunk: Giant solar power plant, after four years of superfluous

737 million dollars, will see the US taxpayer will probably never be. So much money then US had given to Secretary of energy Steven Chu in the company solar reserve for the construction of Crescent Dunes, in the Form of loan guarantees. The huge solar power plant a was the promised profits. Now, the majority of the tax money is likely to be gone.

Who visited Crescent Dunes in the Nevada desert, is likely to still be impressed. In concentric circles 10.347 mirror series a like a skyscraper in the grace tower in the middle. The is filled with a special salt mixture, the concentrated solar radiation is heated by the mirror melts, the tower falls and in the Base water to be heated, driven with the turn to wind turbines.

the power plant could also create solar power

Theoretically, the Crescent Dunes would have generated enough electricity to power the nearby big city of Sparks with its 100,000 inhabitants. The big advantage: The heat energy in the molten salt, a certain amount of time to save. The power plant cannot generate electricity when the sun is not shining.

electricity from the desert power plant is much> too expensive

The are now literally sunk in the desert sand. Because as the investment in 2015, went into operation, were out of date components already technically. The development of new, cheaper Solar Panels in the desert, the power plant was obsolete the colossus. For comparison: The megawatt-hour from Crescent Dunes costs $ 135. The newer solar farms in Nevada to offer the same amount of current for 30 dollars.

The Problem is that the thermal system by solar reserve in comparison with photovoltaic systems is very maintenance-intensive. About a dozen workers are employed at Crescent Dunes. Photovoltaic systems to run almost fully automatically.

High-loss will want to be a political game ball,

blame for the mess, none. Those involved at the time, politicians prefer to remain silent, solar reserve refused to comment to the system. 737 million Dollar loss for the taxpayers to sound enormous, but the sum makes up only 2.9 percent of the budget, that the US Department of energy for renewable energy available.

Because Crescent Dunes is a project of the Obama Era and the current Trump-forms of government the new energy anyway hostile to, she uses it for a spin. "There is a growing list of failed projects like this," says Chris Edwards to the financial news Agency Bloomberg. He is a Director at the libertarian Cato Institute, and was previously economic Advisor in the U.S. Congress.

Other economic experts are more relaxed to see the failed project. "As a Ministry you have to have one to two of such profound failures," says Yale Professor Kenneth Gillingham – he was, in turn, economic advisers under Obama. His justification: "If not, it shows that it has not invested aggressively enough."

The logic behind it is the same applying also Startup investors. You put your money in many promising projects. Maybe a tenth of it pays off in the end. However, if the tenth is the new Facebook, or Netflix, earned an Investor so much money that he can afford to pay for the other nine failures loose. Same, Gillingham argues, also applies for the funding from the U.S. Department of energy.

So it goes with the solar power plant

Crescent Dunes since August, the Department of energy. It has taken over the investment, because solar reserve is no longer able to service its debt. By the end of 2018, the only customer of the power plant, jumped with NV Energy, a group owned by Warren Buffett, since April it is at a standstill. A buyer is now to be found, which takes the system either back in operation or their parts sold for profit.

The residents in the nearby towns take the situation with Humor. "It is dead," says Linda Taylor, in the Motel, many workers descents, "but it is really nice. You can see it for miles.“

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Update: the solar industry for the immediate abolition of the conveyor lid

calls The solar industry for a faster departure from the funding cap for photovoltaic systems calls. In an open letter to the German solar industry Association (BSW), threw with other industry associations, consumers and environmentalists, the government inaction before. "In spite of considerable urgency," and although the abolition of the 52 gigawatts of solar cover is a part of the climate package, "has not been implemented this project in 2019, unfortunately, by law", criticized the authors.

The Renewable energy sources act (EEG), enshrined funding limit of 52 gigawatts stipulates that solar installations are no longer supported, and as soon as this total capacity is installed in Germany. For plants with a maximum power output of 750 kW there shall be no more feed-in tariffs. The BSW is expected that this limit "is reached in April 2020".

The hazardous already started planning and the business model of many installers, the market, break into the threat, warned the Federal Council in November, and a corresponding EEG-amendment to the draft on the way. The implementation must now be made "promptly and without delay" in an early article of the law, to challenge the economic and organizational representatives. There is an acute need for action existed"".

"A temporary stop in the subsidy" would be consumers", utilities, private entrepreneurs and other investors unsettle" and "trust in the climate policy credibility of the Federal government to massively shake up", they explained more in the Letter. It was "not comprehensible, if, in addition to the serious problems of the wind industry and now the solar industry with over 30,000 employees in avoidable difficulties would be".

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Updated Date: 13 January 2020, 01:00

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