There is a new anti-solar talking point up at the “Brave New Climate” propaganda blog (link omitted on purpose).
The author has discovered that it would actually cost way too much to transport all those solar panels. There would be unbelievable numbers of trucks necessary to get the job done.
I must admit that I had not understood the gravity of this problem before. I was thinking that transport cost is no big deal for solar. Else the Chinese wouldn’t be grabbing all those market shares in Europe.
But if you read that particular propaganda post, you will learn quickly that it is a major logistical nightmare to get all the solar panels into the desert if one wants to generate at larger scales.
There are three possible answers to that.
The first answer: Once solar deploys so much in the World’s deserts that we have to start worrying about truck capacity, it’s game over for fossil fuel. That would be one headache I would really love to have.
The second answer: Choose your deserts by keeping that aspect in mind. Saudi Arabia would get another advantage, since the Arabian Desert occupies about 80 percent of the Arabian peninsula and is therefore easy to reach with short transport distances.
The third answer is pointing (again) to the game changing Aeroscraft airship technology. That will be able to deploy 66 tons of cargo to any place in the desert without bothering to build roads. Forget about trucks and bring in these.
While for the time being the cost of transporting solar panels is very low as a portion of whole project cost, it is actually already now a factor for wind. Especially in a country with a lacking road infrastructure as Mongolia, it is rather difficult to transport the rotor blades to the desert site even with present blade sizes, which will only get bigger with technological advances in wind energy. And since onshore wind is still cheaper than solar, and will stay so for a couple of years, the Aeroscraft technology will make a difference for wind projects before it will make a difference for solar projects.