Unless the solar energy was actually lunar energy, we're doomed. ;-)
Between November 2009 and January 2010, about 4,500 megawatt-hours of electricity was pumped by "solar sources" into the Spanish grid after the midnight but before 7 a.m. The subsidized price paid for this amount of solar energy is about 2.5 million euros and the authorities assume that this is the total amount of fraud.
That's of course ludicrous because if the diesel engines could have been running at night, they were probably running during the days, too. Both during the nighttime and during the daytime, it is always economically better to get energy by burning fossil fuels than from the solar sources.
It's not clear to me whether the nighttime solar producers were shining diesel-produced light on their solar panels, or whether they directly connected the wires to other sources. Whatever the trick was, it can be done during the daytime, too.
So the actual amount of "fake" energy is surely at least 5 times bigger than the estimate above. However, most diesel producers of the "solar" energy are probably smart enough not to produce their product before 7 a.m. So I actually guess that most of the "fake" solar energy was produced (and probably is still produced) during the daytime, so the actual damages may be orders of magnitude above those few millions mentioned above.
The diesel-produced fake "solar" energy may be a significant portion of the electricity labeled as "solar".
At any rate, a couple of people in Spain have earned tens or hundreds of millions of euros more than they deserved, receiving the market price of electricity inflated by a factor of 5 or so. What remains overlooked is the fact that the same thing holds for all the producers of solar energy. They're also robbing the whole system, our whole nations, giving us the same energy as others but receiving much more money for that. Most of them will never be arrested.
A solar trade group wants an investigation because their diesel solar colleagues are damaging their "image". Well, as far as I am concerned, their image can't be damaged more than it already is. They're thieves and freeloaders living out of nepotism, friends in the governments, and irrational hysteria. And they have always been.
The environmental subsidies - distinguishing different kinds of "energies" which are physically indistinguishable - and the price of CO2 permits are really designed to allow similar kinds of fraud. With these policies distorting the economy and prices, most of the new transactions will be fraudulent. You can't avoid it.
The example above was very simple. You don't have to be a clever trader, fraudster, or a physics PhD to invent that you can shine a light bulb on your solar panel. But even if this possibility is banned and prevented - not sure how - you may invent more complex ways how to circulate and store the electricity or CO2 so that you make a lot of money at the end.
In 1968, the main author of the proposed reform of the Czechoslovak socialist economy with a human face, Dr Ota Šik of Pilsen, found a mine and a coal power plant in the city of Ostrava such that the plant burned all the coal from the mine, and the mine consumed all the electricity produced by the power plant. A useful pair, indeed. ;-)
Again, this was a simple example but an environment without clear market prices allows you to create more sophisticated "loops" that are just losing money that not even Ota Šik could instantly see.
Via Freddie Stoller & Czech media.
Another Spanish trick: how to reduce air pollution
Around 2009-2010, Madrid claimed to have reduced its air pollution considerably. How did they do it?
The state prosecutor’s office found that in 2009 the Madrid municipality had quietly moved nearly half its pollution sensors from traffic-clogged streets in the city centre to parks and gardens.As Anthony Watts mentioned in February 2011, they used the same trick that was previous exploited to increase the global warming trend.