First Solar, Inc. will build the world’s largest solar field in Mongolia, reports the Wall Street Journal. A few interesting points:
- The field is slated to produce 2 gigawatts of power — equal to the output of two coal-fired power plants.
- The field will take up 25 square miles (16,000 acres), as compared to about 200 acres for two coal-fired plants.
- Unlike coal plants, however, no electricity will be produced at night– so the field will need to be backed up by conventional (most likely coal-fired) power plants.
- The estimated cost of such a field in the U.S. would be on the order of $6 billion — twice as much as the cost of two coal-fired power plants. Keep in mind that back-up coal plants (at additional cost?) would be needed to back up the solar field. But First Solar expects the costs to be much lower as it would be using “lower-cost Chinese” (slave/child?) labor.
- First Solar expects China to place a $0.15 – 0.25 tariff (tax) on the electricity produced by the plant — about tripling to quintupling the consumer price of electricity in China.
Is this considered renewable because there seems to be an endless supply of green chicanery?