I wrote earlier this year about the Kangaroo Island Council’s decision to partner with the Federal Government in a scheme to subsidise the installation of solar panels on houses on the island.
About 200 households applied for and will receive grants of $8,000 for solar panels which will produce about 100 watts of electricity per hour. During daylight hours. On a good day.
So taxpayers have paid about $1.6 million to generate enough electricity on Kangaroo Island to run an extra 200 lighbulbs (or globes if you prefer) while the sun is shining.
Does anyone seriously think this is the most efficient way we could spend money and resources to generate electricity?
Total PC Gaming Magazine reports in issue 22 that the 11 million World of Warcraft players around the world, including individual players’ computers, servers, and data transmission, use about 6.6 gigawatts of electricity each day. About the same amount of power each day as was generated by solar panels worldwide for the whole of last year.
That does not mean that WoW players are a selfish bunch of wasters. It just means that solar power is an expensive toy, and will never be a realistic alternative to fossil fuel, hydro-electric, or nuclear electricity generation.