Windfarm good news in the US

Subject: Windfarm good news in the US
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 15:53:09 +1000
On Tue, Apr 10, 2007 at 03:19:36PM +1100, Evan Beaver wrote:
> Further to this the statement 'we have plenty of solar' is slightly
> erroneous. We also have plenty of water, just not where it's needed.
> Building mega-solar farms in the desert (they will need to be big for
> economics of scale) sounds good, but the power will have to be
> converted to AC (which is expensive in terms of power and dollars) and
> then transmitted a long way.

I may the only person on birding-aus that cases but I have to correct
this, high voltage DC (HVDC) not AC is the best technology for shifting
large amounts of electricity over long distances.

Efficiency isn't a problem either.  Currently losses might be 10-15% in
transfering power by HVDC over the 2000km from Alice Springs to Sydney
and new approaches might significantly reduce these losses.

The infamous 3 Gorges Chinese hydro project has 2 3GW HVDC lines running
almost 1000km to the coast.  Incidentally enough capacity to transport
the power from every PV panel in the world (fully-illuminated).

Cost is definitely a problem for large scale solar, but there is a
serious proposal to transfer solar power to Europe from north Africa:

Costs are decreasing too. One story I found amusing was, that
a successful Silicon Valley manufacturer of LCD panels for very large
screen TVs is turning their expertise to manufacturing similarly very
large PV panels.  They are talking about halving the cost of panels for
large installations:

And to add some token bird content, Sunday & today I've had a few
Yellow-faced Honeyeaters passing through here (inner Sydney) - the first
of the season.


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