Thursday, February 21, 2008

Berkeley Prof Calls Solar Power A Loser

It's hardly a secret, but the overall picture for solar energy is a little... cloudy.

The director of the UC Berkeley Energy Insitute, Professor Severin Borenstein is out with a 38 page paper that basically says what the solar power industry and a lot of politicians don't want you to know: solar is expensive-- it can't compete at this point with fossile fuels and it costs more than other renewables.

He tells the San Jose Mercury News that peopel are "throwing away money" by installing solar.

Predicatbly, the solar industry flacks are in an uproar, calling the report "deeply flawed" and a "publcity stunt".

The Merc notes:

"Under the most likely scenario, the cost of a 10-kilowatt solar system would be three or four times as much as the electricity it'll produce, Borenstein found. And even using a more favorable set of criteria, the cost would still be as much as 80 percent more than the value of the electricity it will produce."

Solar panels a 'loser,' prof says [San Jose Mercury News]