We have looked on Blog 1 at the cost of producing electricity from the sun with PV panels, but what about when they produce it? We now know just how uneconomic it is but does it at least generate when we need it?
Surely the best generators would broadly be able to produce most when we need it most and least when we need it least. Our maximum demand is in midwinter at about 6 in the evening, and we demand least in midsummer at about 5.30 in the morning so what does PV do?
This Blog will concentrate on the amount PV produces across the 12 months, as we clearly need most in winter and least in summer, but the next will show when across each day it produces. Dr Graham Sinden in Oxford has analysed a period of more than 20 years to show what wind power averagely generates across a year against what we use and his chart is shown below, but I have added the equivalent plot for the power PV produces:
In fact, as you can see, PV produces EXACTLY when we don’t need it and does not produce when we do. So unless you can store your power (which requires the additional cost, carbon cost and environmental cost of the batteries) – it doesn’t even remotely do what is required. So now we can see PV is extraordinarily expensive and there is no correlation between when it produces the power and when we need it.
Much more information on all aspects of PV is given on the Brief on this topic which is on hyperlink but Blog 3 will specifically explore the demand/generation relationship across 24 hour periods and through the year.