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by Viv Forbes, winner of the 1986 Australian Adam Smith Award for “outstanding services to the free society”
and Chairman of The Carbon Sense Coalition

In the days of Queen Victoria they said, truthfully “the sun never sets on the British Empire”.

But it does set on Australia, every single day. Even the green power engineers in Parliament must have noticed that the sun also sets on all those solar panels that their mandates and subsidies have plastered onto Australian roofs.

Solar energy is most intense on the equator but weakens towards the poles. It disappears when the sun sets or cloud obscures the sun. For just six hours or so per day during summer, in a clear tropical desert area, solar energy is reasonably reliable and collectible, although always very dilute. But at times of peak demand, about 6.30pm in winter, solar panels contribute nothing to electricity supply.

Billions have been spent on researching ways to store massive amounts of solar energy to cover the eighteen hours per day of low or zero solar supply.

Many things will work in the lab, even a big bank of car batteries. But once real engineers take over from green dreamers, academics and climate alarmists, most of their fanciful energy storage schemes become horrendously expensive or impractical.

But nature has provided us with the answer and some decade soon an academic will re-discover that the solar energy of yesteryear is stored in concentrated form in prodigious quantities as COAL.

So abundant, reliable and cheap is this stored sunshine, that even green Europe is rediscovering it. Seventeen coal-fired power stations are being built or modernised in Germany, the solar panel capital of the world. China, the world’s biggest exporter of solar panels, is building 363 coal-fired plants for itself.

Green energy policies have destroyed the reliability and economics of power in Europe for zero benefits for the climate or the environment – reliable low cost energy is being forced out by unreliable high cost energy. Australia should have learned from Europe’s solar subsidy stupidity. Subsidised solar panels may be good for harvesting votes, but they are not sensible for generating grid power. Only proper power stations will keep the lights on 24/7.

Those who wish to use solar panels should be free to do so providing they accept all the costs and benefits of their decision.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  2. Put Windmills in National Parks
  3. Magnifying National Disasters
  4. Please Don't Feed the Animals
  5. Buy Birdsville Made?
  6. The Economics of Flood Risk
  7. Touring Bureaucrats
  8. Our slip-shod laws to blame
  9. Why Wind Won't Work
  10. A Profusion of "Prices"
  11. R.I.P. Ron Kitching - pioneer, explorer, author, family man, entrepreneur, scholar
  12. The Carbon Pollution Lie
  13. Closing Down Australia
  14. The Anti-Industry
  15. The Pyramid Builders
  16. Carbon Tax Bribery
  17. Crown Monopolies
  18. Carbon Tax Job Losses
  19. What Next, a Tax on Water?
  20. Carbon Health Warnings Coming Soon
  21. Growth Mythology
  22. The Tax Collection Industry
  23. Propaganda Puts Paid to Proof
  24. The Milk of the Welfare Teat is Watered Down
  25. "Crops for Cars" as Bad as Everlasting Drought
  26. Poll speech sets record
  27. The Emissions Trading Casino
  28. The Contract Society
  29. A Model Ministry
  30. The Five Point Plan to kill the economy with High Cost Electricity
  31. Put a Sunset Clause in the Carbon Tax
  32. Stuck on Red
  33. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  34. Carbon Tax Lies and Bribes
  35. The Middle of the Road
  36. United against taxes
  37. Call for Govt administrator
  38. Property & Prosperity
  39. "The Science is Settled" BUT Durban Climate Summit Not Cancelled
  40. No End to Fuelish Policies?
  41. The Right to Discriminate
  42. Sell the CES
  43. Free Water Costs Too Dam Much
  44. Creating Unemployment
  45. Viv Forbes Wins 1986 Adam Smith Award
  46. 1985 news item on Tax Payers United, Centre 2000 and the Australian Adam Smith Club
  47. Having the numbers is not the same as having the truth
  48. Who's Who in the Workers Party
  49. David Russell Leads 1975 Workers Party Queensland Senate Team
  50. Caught in a welfare whirlpool
  51. Global Warming Season
  52. Mining in Queensland, Past, Present and Future
  53. WEATHER IS USUALLY UNUSUAL
  54. Political branch formed
  55. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  56. Viv Forbes on Libertarian Strategy and the Constant Resources Myth
  57. The New Brisbane Line?
  58. Carbon Lies
  59. We Mine to Live
  60. Save the taxpayer
  61. Solving Three Canberra Problems
  62. Vested Interests in the Climate Debate
  63. Carbon Tax Retrospective?
  64. Carbon Price Propaganda Taxes the Truth
  65. Don't Burn Food for Motor Spirit - Feed People not Cars
  66. Two Big Climate Taxes
  67. Greens Rediscover Hydrogen Car
  68. Atlas of Australia
  69. Shutting Out The Sun
  70. Safety Mania
  71. Coal - Sinking in the Swamps
  72. Hobbling the Competition
  73. Cubic Currency Coming
  74. "Dear Government"
  75. Viv Forbes mocks Flannery in 1988
  76. What we have is not a drug problem but a drug law problem
  77. Smoking, Health and Freedom
  78. Privatise Now! while they are still worth something
  79. The Electoral Act should allow voters to choose "none of the above"
  80. The New Federalism
  81. Sunset for Solar Subsidies
  82. The mouse will roar
  83. The Road to Homelessness
  84. Planning & Prosperity
  85. Viv Forbes and Jim Fryar vs Malcolm Fraser in 1979
  86. Quip, Quote, Rant and Rave: four of Viv Forbes' letters to the editor in The Australian in 1979
  87. Australia's First Official Political Party Poet Laureate: The Progress Party's Ken Hood in 1979
  88. Our homeless regulation refugees
  89. Progress Party and Workers Party lead The Australian
  90. Viv Forbes in 1978 on loss-making government, the Berlin Wall and misdirected blasts of hot-air
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