Thursday, August 12, 2021

Are solar power plants really green energy ? Continuation

This text is a continuation of my reflections on the impact of photovoltaic power plants on climate. In the part Are solar power plants really green energy ? I presented some figures which show that the heat generated by the currently working solar power plants (they produce more than 4 times more thermal energy than they produce in the form of electricity) is such a big part of the heat emitted by humans, that after converting this heat into CO2 amounts, it is more than a half of the effect generated in 2020 on the whole Earth!
This amount of heat energy is unlikely to have no effect on global warming.

More concrete signals that the development of a solar power plant infrastructure could lead to climate disruption and rising temperatures.

  1. Urban Heat Island effect (UHI)

    The UHI is a real phenomenon.
    The paper "The Effect of Urban Heat Island on Climate Warming in the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration in China" presents the effect of UHI on climate warming based on an analysis of the effects of urbanization rate, urban population and land use change on the warming rate of mean, minimum (night) and maximum (day) air temperature in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) using observational data from 41 meteorological stations. In conclusion, the authors found that observations of daily mean, minimum, and maximum air temperature atmeasurement stations in the YRDUA from 1957 to 2010 showed significant long-term warming due to background warming and UHI. The warming rate of 0.108 to 0.483°C/decade for mean air temperature is generally consistent with the warming trend in other urban regions in China and other urban areas in the world.
    Thus, the authors showed that urbanization significantly enhanced local climate warming.
    The solar power plants based on photovoltaic panels are even hotter islands of heat than highly urbanized agglomerations. During the period of most intense sunlight, the temperature near a solar power plant can be up to 3 degrees Celsius higher than the temperature in a similar environment without solar panels and similar solar conditions.


    The similarity in heat generation between the two cases - densely populated metropolitan areas and solar power plants - suggests the same effect - warming the air over a larger area.
  2. Correlation between Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and number of heat waves (HW)

    Due to lack of access to data, I have to rely on visual comparisons (if anyone knows data to analyze or can make it common, please contact me).
    Below I illustrate 2 cases: USA and Europe (Germany in particular).


Without access to detailed data, it is difficult to conduct a more detailed analysis of the correlation between the number of the HW and the increase in electricity produced by the growing number of solar plants.
However, the suggestion given by the available data presented above is at least worth a closer analysis.

The ideas in the European document "Fit for in the a Solar Future: Commission climate package is landmark achievement but more ambition is possible" could prove devastating .

Take care

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