Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Apr 06, 2018 4:20 am

Hmm, what a suspiciously cheap price for a new coal plant! Why not apply the same scepticism as is repeatedly done for PV plants? Please include financing, insurance, maintenance, fuel and provide historic data of actual construction costs and output over a year for an existing, similar plant!

Haha, in fact, I just banged "cost of building new coal plant" in google and top result is an article about a controversial proposal by the Aus government to build new coal plants: http://theconversation.com/new-coal-pla ... dies-72362

Look at the cost per MWh, note the word "uninvestable" concerning financing and note it would have to be paid for by taxpayer subsidies.

Pot, kettle?

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 12:47 am
Proposed Saudi/china....7200MW. , usd$5000m. = $0.70/kW
BUT... Those are all "Nameplate". capacities, before CFs are applied.
So the real cost per kW is 5-8 times that amount !......$4.0 - $8.0+ Usd$/kw..
What is this crazy maths? Watts is POWER not ENERGY.

If you have a 200HP "nameplate" car and drive it for an hour a day does it really only make 200/24 = 8.3HP? If it cost you $50,000 to buy did it "really" cost you $50,000 x 24 = $1.2m?
Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 12:47 am
The 220MW solar plant would, at best, supply 385,000 MWh per year ...of intermittent power , with possibly none on some days !
Please quote the last day in recorded history where Australia received zero solar illumination. Or anywhere in the World for that matter excluding the Poles during the winter.

This may seem like a minor point, but it's indicative of some of the nonsense stated in this thread by people with a blatant political agenda.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 5:49 am

Punx0r wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 4:20 am
Please quote the last day in recorded history where Australia received zero solar illumination. Or anywhere in the World for that matter excluding the Poles during the winter.

This may seem like a minor point, but it's indicative of some of the nonsense stated in this thread by people with a blatant political agenda.
How do you live in UK and are not familiar with days of 100% cloud cover and rain? How much energy do you think these panels were producing during and after this typical snow fall. Which is just about every day during January and February.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 5:59 am

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 12:47 am
Cephalotus wrote:
Apr 05, 2018 4:38 am
A large scale photovoltaik power plant costs less than 0.8 USD/Wp in Germany and most of the rest of the world.
FYI....
Check a few typical recent PV builds around the world.
Australias largest ..220MW, usd$240m = $1.1 /kW
Indias largest......1000 MW usd $1100m = $1.1/kW. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurnool ... Solar_Park
Proposed Saudi/china....7200MW. , usd$5000m. = $0.70/kW
$1.10/ W nameplate for solar is much cheaper than anything that is happening in the USA right now.
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Proposed pricing can be discussed but isn't real until the project is actually completed at that price.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Apr 06, 2018 6:14 am

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 05, 2018 7:41 pm

You do realise that the "FIT" is an incentive payment (subsidy) paid in addition to the income recieved from sales of power at market rates ?...( currently approx Eu 50 MWh )
Wrong again: In German EEG FIT is not the same as a "Marktprämie".

There is a calculated weighted average market value on the solar power produced in Germany:

It is not an "currently approx 5ct/kWh", but has been:

2012 4.495 ct/kWh
2013 3.936 ct/kWh
2014 3.333 ct/kWh
2015 3.171 ct/kWh
2016 2.952 ct/kWh
2017 3.474 ct/kWh

(ct = €ct)

So the FIT for solar power plants in Germany is higher than the average market value and that DIFFERENCE are the subsidues. This is not a add on price. (Marktprämie)
By any other name the FIT is a subsidy paid to the operators of the solar facilities by all electricity consumers.
Yes. Very transparent. No hidden taxes involved like for nukes.
I do not believe there is any direct correlation between the FIT and the capital or operating costs of any solar system.
So you believe that investors in Germany pay more for their solar PV power plants than they are able to earn in 20 years selling the electricity?

.....Feed-in tariffs are a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies by providing them remuneration (a "tariff") above the retail or wholesale rates of electricity. The mechanism provides long-term security to renewable energy producers,...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed-in ... in_Germany
Exactly.

And exactly in line with what I'm saying.
Last edited by Cephalotus on Apr 06, 2018 6:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Apr 06, 2018 6:40 am

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 12:47 am

BUT... Those are all "Nameplate". capacities,
Of course.
before CFs are applied.
So the real cost per kW is 5-8 times that amount !......$4.0 - $8.0+ Usd$/kw..
because this is nonsense as others already told you (many times).

The capacity factor is included in the calculation of the producing cost of electricity per kWh.

You should stop to mix kW and kWh. Power and energy are not the same.

Maybe this document can help you to understand the Basic facts on PV in Germany:

https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/content/d ... ermany.pdf

It's "pro PV" by nature of the publisher, but the supplied data is true.
And ...you still have the issue of intermittent supply and the added cost of storage or back up generation (eg, Germany and Australia)
As long as PV power is below 100% of demand there is no Need for storage (simplified of course)

If there is excess power on some hours per year you need storage not for 100% of solar energy, but maybe for 1-2% (or you just throw them away, which makes the rest ca. 1-2% more expensive, which is what we do now)

Btw, nukes also need backup and storage, just look at France.
One detail from that is a quote for a new build HELE , coal fired, 2400MW generator at Au$2000m (usd$1500m). Which means usd$ 0.63 /kw.. With a CF of 90%+
A CF of 90%+ is only good for the power plant Operator, but horrible for the grid.

You Need very flexible(!) fossil power plants, not those that run continously. A flexible power plant can not have high CF.
The 2400MW hele plant could supply 19,000,000 MWh per year , on demand ,continuous 24/7.
There is no continous demad, especially if you wnat to include RE in your grid.

The result of such a coal power plant is that you will have to burn that coal for the next 40 years in a very unflexible grid.
The second option is, that investment in that power plant is wasted money.

Your agenda is burning coal forever.

That's your right but I belive that it is a stupid idea to promote technology from the 19th century as a solution for the fututure of the 21st century.

I assume that you also do not believe in a future with electric cars either but believe in burning Diesel forever?

What will Australia look like in a world 4K hotter than today?

Germany is cold and wet and sitting north of the Alps. 4K will harm us, too, but Australia?

(4K is the difference between the last ice age and today and we will most likely reach it with BAU during the 21st century. You are not even talking about BAU, but promoting to burn MORE coal.)

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Apr 06, 2018 6:52 am

Punx0r wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 4:20 am
Hmm, what a suspiciously cheap price for a new coal plant! Why not apply the same scepticism as is repeatedly done for PV plants? Please include financing, insurance, maintenance, fuel and provide historic data of actual construction costs and output over a year for an existing, similar plant!

Haha, in fact, I just banged "cost of building new coal plant" in google and top result is an article about a controversial proposal by the Aus government to build new coal plants: http://theconversation.com/new-coal-pla ... dies-72362

Look at the cost per MWh, note the word "uninvestable" concerning financing and note it would have to be paid for by taxpayer subsidies.
The $2bn figure is a real estimate from the coal industry , put forward for exactly the reason you are questioning....Because many other inflated numbers had been posted in the media with no real experience behind them. Much like the dik who wrote the article you linked to.
The PV plant costs are real, actual completed projects.
Coal is seen as being "uninvestible". Simply because. Finance organisations are not prepared to risk the social backlash of a non RE investment.....not because of the financial risk.
What is this crazy maths? Watts is POWER not ENERGY....
If you were following the thread you should notice these costs ( $$/W ) are simply construction costs comparing alternative technologies with different specific POWER outputs.
I touched on annual energy production ( MWh/ yr) later in the post to indicate the horrendous difference in scale and capital cost for solar.
.....Please quote the last day in recorded history where Australia received zero solar illumination. Or anywhere in the World for that matter excluding the Poles during the winter.
This may seem like a minor point, but it's indicative of some of the nonsense stated in this thread by people with a blatant political agenda.
Unlikely for the whole country, but not unusual for whole States (and more) to have several consecutive days of 100% cloud cover, such that the effective solar production is insignificant (<5% of theoretical max)
Much The same thing also happens with wind !
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Apr 06, 2018 7:23 am

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 6:52 am
The $2bn figure is a real estimate from the coal industry , put forward for exactly the reason you are questioning....Because many other inflated numbers had been posted in the media with no real experience behind them. Much like the dik who wrote the article you linked to.
The PV plant costs are real, actual completed projects.
Coal is seen as being "uninvestible". Simply because. Finance organisations are not prepared to risk the social backlash of a non RE investment.....not because of the financial risk.
Right, but when estimated $/W are quoted by PV people you jump all over them as unreliable/fraudulent/subsidised?

No, they are uninvestable because it is very unlikely to make money over its projected life. If you really think big investment institutions are primarily driven by public acceptance over profit you are naïve!

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Apr 06, 2018 8:50 am

Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 6:52 am
Unlikely for the whole country, but not unusual for whole States (and more) to have several consecutive days of 100% cloud cover, such that the effective solar production is insignificant (<5% of theoretical max)
The numbers I've seen (quick google) are 10-25% of output on a cloudy day, not zero.
Hillhater wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 6:52 am
the reason you are questioning....Because many other inflated numbers had been posted in the media with no real experience behind them. Much like the dik who wrote the article you linked to.
Does anyone have a lifetime operating cost for a coal plant? Including construction, fuel, maintenance, repairs? We don't necessarily need to consider imposed costs like finance, insurance, carbon tax, or emissions compliance.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 9:08 am

Punx0r wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 8:50 am
The numbers I've seen (quick google) are 10-25% of output on a cloudy day, not zero.
What does cloudy mean? Solar PV will produce near 0% with 100% overcast skies and during rain and snow and well after snow storms while still covered with snow for days at a time in sub 0C weather.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Apr 06, 2018 9:34 am

You tell me? What cloud conditions have caused PV output to fall to "zero" (let's be generous and say <1%) compared to the same day with no cloud cover?

I'm not sure why snow laying on panels has been brought up...

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 9:52 am

Punx0r wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 9:34 am
You tell me? What cloud conditions have caused PV output to fall to "zero" (let's be generous and say <1%) compared to the same day with no cloud cover?

I'm not sure why snow laying on panels has been brought up...
Because you keep saying that solar pv never has any days of 0%.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Apr 06, 2018 10:19 am

sendler2112 wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 9:08 am
What does cloudy mean? Solar PV will produce near 0% with 100% overcast skies and during rain and snow and well after snow storms while still covered with snow for days at a time in sub 0C weather.
?? No they don't. I get 10-30% of full power on cloudy days. During sub OC weather cells become much more efficient and produce more power at a given light level. And if snow is an issue, then people mount arrays vertically. Vertical mounting works better during the winter (lower sun angle) and there's no snow accumulation.
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 11:24 am

??? I've never seen any grid scale solar farms that change the tilt of the panels.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Apr 06, 2018 11:41 am

sendler2112 wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 11:24 am
??? I've never seen any grid scale solar farms that change the tilt of the panels.
Really? At Intersolar 2017 there were over a dozen vendors with grid-scale tracking systems. A quick blurb from PV Magazine:
==================
Trackers dominate U.S. utility-scale solar (w/charts)
Among the many findings in a recent report by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs is that 79% of new U.S. utility-scale solar capacity in 2016 involved tracking systems.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Even among the remarkable work done by the U.S. Department of Energy’s network of national labs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) stands out for its research on solar. And while the lab’s annual reports on PV system costs are eagerly awaited by many, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the data LBNL publishes.

Yesterday the lab published Utility-Scale Solar 2016, the fifth edition of its annual report on projects’ costs, performance and pricing trends. This veritable encyclopedia of data for solar geeks includes figures on the geography of installations, installed prices, capacity factors and operations and maintenance costs, but what stands out as a top-line statistic is the dominance of tracking technology.

According to LBNL, 79% of the new utility-scale solar capacity (defined as projects larger than 5 MW) that came online in 2016 featured tracking systems, for a total of 5.8 GW. The overwhelming majority was single-axis tracking, although a few OCI Solar projects in Texas with dual-axis tracking supplied by Sun Action Trackers have come online in recent years.
==================

Note that with active trackers, the strategy is to orient hard-east or hard-west during snowstorms. With fixed arrays the strategy is to change the orientation manually twice a year (vertical for winter, latitude for summer.)
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 12:03 pm

None of the grid scale or medium farm scale solar PV installed in my area feature any racks that move. Not even manually.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Apr 06, 2018 12:19 pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 12:03 pm
None of the grid scale or medium farm scale solar PV installed in my area feature any racks that move. Not even manually.
Odd. Maybe they got a really, really good deal on PV, such that the added expense of trackers wasn't worth it. (In most cases, it is.)
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 12:23 pm

How many big PV farms in Cali have trackers? I see only SolarStar has them.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Apr 06, 2018 1:25 pm

Given that it is an everyday occurence to extract oil from literally miles below the ocean and seafloor, long distances from the coast, why is it assumed our grid would fail for want of an adjustable mounting bracket or a man armed with a broom?

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 1:40 pm

Yes. And we will learn to control the weather to eliminate snow storms. And be able to build 3,000 more 600 MW solar plants and 10,000 more BigF'nBatteries just for the USA. And 10 times that amount the world over. 10 world GigaFactories output for 170 years for batteries. And then figure out how to replace the other 3/4 of continuous energy consumption that is not electrical.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Apr 06, 2018 5:00 pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 1:40 pm
Yes. And we will learn to control the weather to eliminate snow storms.
Nope. Just use tracking mounts. Or get a snow removal robot. Or a guy with a broom. No need to "control the weather."
And be able to build 3,000 more 600 MW solar plants and 10,000 more BigF'nBatteries just for the USA.
Yep. We have no problems building things. If we can build loads that fast, one megawatt at a time, we can build sources that fast, 600 megawatts at a time.
And 10 times that amount the world over. 10 world GigaFactories output for 170 years for batteries.
Or 17 years for 100 gigafactories.

How many gigarefineries are there, again?
And then figure out how to replace the other 3/4 of continuous energy consumption that is not electrical.
Yep. Thermal loads (like cement manufacture) are good candidates for direct solar thermal. Electrification of transport will take out a big chunk of that energy. And once we cut fossil fuel demand by 75%, what we have left will last much, much longer.
How many big PV farms in Cali have trackers?
Let's see - Genesis, Cal Valley Solar Ranch, Antelope Valley, and the Imperial Valley Solar Farm all use trackers. (The solar-thermal plants, of course, also use trackers.)
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Apr 06, 2018 6:13 pm

billvon wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 5:00 pm
We have no problems building things. If we can build loads that fast, one megawatt at a time, we can build sources that fast, 600 megawatts at a time.
We have built a staggering amount of things and a staggering amount of people over the last 150 years due to consuming a staggering amount of stored fossil energy. This one time gift will soon be leaving us, Long before we are ready to leave it. The biggest transition in human history will be forced on us ready or not. Too many people think we have it made. That we can just put up some solar panels. This false hope will leave us complacent until far too late to bring this high flying civilization in for anything other than a crash landing. We would need to stop everything we are doing and focus what we have left to build out a replacement for 17TW continuous. Or even 10TW with additional efficiency and austerity. Much of which demands the high storage density that only liquid fuel can provide for our large mining, farming, and construction machines. And the entire debt based free market system we have cannot function without continual growth. Increasing GDP and increasing population demand increasing energy consumption at nearly 1:1:1. If energy availability is decreased, the other two will be forced down.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Apr 06, 2018 10:48 pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 6:13 pm
We have built a staggering amount of things and a staggering amount of people over the last 150 years due to consuming a staggering amount of stored fossil energy. This one time gift will soon be leaving us, Long before we are ready to leave it. The biggest transition in human history will be forced on us ready or not. Too many people think we have it made. That we can just put up some solar panels.
No one thinks "we can just put up some solar panels" - just as no one thinks we can just run everything on coal. Solar PV is just one part of the solution.
This false hope will leave us complacent until far too late to bring this high flying civilization in for anything other than a crash landing. We would need to stop everything we are doing and focus what we have left to build out a replacement for 17TW continuous. Or even 10TW with additional efficiency and austerity.
Only if we wait until the last minute.
Much of which demands the high storage density that only liquid fuel can provide for our large mining, farming, and construction machines. And the entire debt based free market system we have cannot function without continual growth. Increasing GDP and increasing population demand increasing energy consumption at nearly 1:1:1.
Nope. We will in the future need to increase WORK done, not energy consumed. They are not the same.
If energy availability is decreased, the other two will be forced down.
See above.
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Apr 07, 2018 5:37 am

Punx0r wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 7:23 am
Right, but when estimated $/W are quoted by PV people you jump all over them as unreliable/fraudulent/subsidised?
Thats because most of them are ...
...unreliable and fraudulent.. ( based on Nameplate capactiy, not output capacity) with intention to disguise real world performance.
.. Subsidised ..most solar projects are recipients of public ly funded grants, priority supply contracts, and rebaate schemes .
Punx0r wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 7:23 am
....No, they (coal) are uninvestable because it is very unlikely to make money over its projected life. If you really think big investment institutions are primarily driven by public acceptance over profit you are naïve!......
There are currently over 1000 new coal fired plants being constructed around the world.
Somebody must believe they are a useful investment ?
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Apr 07, 2018 6:11 am

Cephalotus wrote:
Apr 06, 2018 6:40 am
The capacity factor is included in the calculation of the producing cost of electricity per kWh.
You should stop to mix kW and kWh. Power and energy are not the same.....
But we are not discussing the cost per kWh,..we are discussing the capital cost in $/W.....remember ?
...As long as PV power is below 100% of demand there is no Need for storage (simplified of course)...]
Yes, but how do you keep a PV power supply higher than demand overnight ?

There is no continous demad, especially if you wnat to include RE in your grid....
......Germany has a minimum continuous demand that never drops below 50GW,..
Australia has a continuous demand that never drops below 18 GW..
Both countries have significant RE in their grid.
There will always be a continuous minimum demand.
..Your agenda is burning coal forever..
No. My agenda is show people how impractical solar and wind are as primary grid scale power sources, and to identify realistic practical alternatives before these increasing power costs and unreliable supply sources cause long lasting economic harm.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Apr 07, 2018 6:46 am

Some of you have not yet grasped/accepted some of the simple cost basics of solar... (and wind,..but that is for later)
An example..
Australia urgently needs to replace at least 2GW of power capacity.
From recent build data, solar is being installed at approx usd$1.0 /W and coal slightly less, but lets say its the same $1.0 /W for simplicity.
So , in simple terms they cost the same per Watt to build. ..or about usd$ 2.0 bn.. ?
Not quite.
Because the solar has a CF of 20% compared to the coal plant CF of 90%+ then we would have to install at least 4.5 times as much solar capacity at a cost of $9.0bn....
.....and at least 30+GWh of storage if that is to be a continuous supply...... (thats another $10bn approx. !)
Then be prepared to replace all that solar again in 20-25 yrs, whilst the coal plants are proven to last 50 yrs +

....... And after all that you are still dependant on the weather with a solar plant
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