Excellent article by Zachary Shahan at Cleantechnica countering the claims of some anti-solar propaganda peddler the name of which is not worth noting here. It’s about time I added that site to my blogroll, and I have done so just now.
Here is what Shahan writes about the “sun doesn’t shine at night” talking point:
Solar doesn’t work at night (for the most part) — who cares?!
Lomborg focuses a little on solar not working at night (solar PV, that is). Yes, solar doesn’t produce electricity at night, and the water doesn’t come out of the shower head when I turn the shower off — no problem. Wind is often more abundant at night, so mixing wind and solar works well (which Germany and anyplace with much clean energy does). Additionally, as noted above, peak demand isn’t at night, and what solar is most useful for (at the moment) is covering peak demand. Aside from wind, there are many other ways to fill in at night when needed, but the bottom line is that diversity is key, and no one is ever going to try power a country 100% from solar (at least not in the near future), so this is really a completely moot point.
I have thought about that a bit at the occasion of reading this, and came up with another point. Solar peaks at day, when most energy is needed. And it also peaks in summer (in places where there are differences between the seasons).
Now, remember that with global warming, winters will on average become milder and summers hotter. The last winter was mild in Europe as well as in the U.S., leaving natural gas reserves full and prices low as a consequence.
That of course means that one would want to peak solar in summer rather than in winter, as it helps to deal with added demand from global warming, as opposed to peaking in seasons where energy demand will go down as a consequence.
And air conditioning in summer will always be most necessary when there is much sun.