Published April 26, 2015 in peer-reviewed journal, these two Swiss scientists find that deploying solar panels at high latitudes in countries like Germany and the UK [and by extension New England, Washington, Oregon, the Dakota’s, Idaho, Michigan, Canada, Alaska] is a total waste of time, energy and money.
The scientists conclude in their words: “an electrical supply system based on today’s [photo-voltaic] PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather a non-sustainable energy sink” and that “it has become clear that photovoltaic energy at least will not help in any way to replace the fossil fuel.” The scientists add, “photovoltaic technology would not be a wise choice for helping to deliver affordable, environmentally favourable and reliable electricity regions of low, or even moderate insolation“.
Assuming this new study is replicated by other scientists, Europe and the United States have wasted very huge sums of money.
All that is achieved is to raise the price of electricity and destabilise the electrical grid. “…more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime.”
The scientists’ analysis uses energy-invested versus energy-returned instead of a financial comparison.
A PV panel will produce more CO2 than if coal were simply used directly to make electricity. Worse than that, all the CO2 from PV production is in the atmosphere today, while burning coal to make electricity, the emissions would be spread over the 25 year period.”
~ These comments are from these two extensive reviews except the direct quote from the scientists. The original paper is behind a paywall linked here.