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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:18 PM

 

WARNING

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Arrow 128 replies Author Time Post
Reply WARNING (Original post)
Whovian Nov 2012 OP
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #1
Scuba Nov 2012 #2
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #10
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #45
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #54
renie408 Nov 2012 #55
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #70
Pauldg47 Nov 2012 #74
roody Nov 2012 #78
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #88
Victor_c3 Nov 2012 #98
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #112
Swagman Nov 2012 #97
chalky Nov 2012 #106
LeftyLucy22 Nov 2012 #126
patrice Nov 2012 #5
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #12
patrice Nov 2012 #21
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #32
azbillyboy Nov 2012 #44
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #48
renie408 Nov 2012 #57
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #63
Loudestlib Nov 2012 #64
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #66
Loudestlib Nov 2012 #71
GitRDun Nov 2012 #72
renie408 Nov 2012 #77
azbillyboy Nov 2012 #124
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #46
klook Nov 2012 #58
blackspade Nov 2012 #108
roody Nov 2012 #79
drm604 Nov 2012 #96
Silent3 Nov 2012 #14
patrice Nov 2012 #24
Silent3 Nov 2012 #33
AAO Nov 2012 #37
Silent3 Nov 2012 #41
AAO Nov 2012 #47
patrice Nov 2012 #42
Silent3 Nov 2012 #49
AAO Nov 2012 #51
AAO Nov 2012 #50
truebluegreen Nov 2012 #76
patrice Nov 2012 #82
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #117
Curmudgeoness Nov 2012 #8
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #18
Curmudgeoness Nov 2012 #28
99Forever Nov 2012 #104
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #20
alfredo Nov 2012 #61
quakerboy Nov 2012 #22
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #31
Loudestlib Nov 2012 #65
quakerboy Nov 2012 #123
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #34
Raine1967 Nov 2012 #35
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #40
renie408 Nov 2012 #60
DireStrike Nov 2012 #73
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #75
renie408 Nov 2012 #80
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #83
renie408 Nov 2012 #84
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #85
renie408 Nov 2012 #89
Pacafishmate Nov 2012 #90
LiberalLovinLug Nov 2012 #109
SariesNightly Nov 2012 #122
Quixote1818 Nov 2012 #120
DireStrike Nov 2012 #99
grahampuba Nov 2012 #100
Vanje Nov 2012 #43
renie408 Nov 2012 #81
JoePhilly Nov 2012 #53
johnd83 Nov 2012 #56
Festivito Nov 2012 #86
Javaman Nov 2012 #101
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #118
Javaman Nov 2012 #121
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #125
Javaman Nov 2012 #127
Zorra Nov 2012 #107
Ernest Partridge Nov 2012 #113
rhett o rick Nov 2012 #119
dems_rightnow Nov 2012 #3
ZombieHorde Nov 2012 #6
patrice Nov 2012 #4
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #7
Callmecrazy Nov 2012 #26
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #62
reACTIONary Nov 2012 #92
lonestarnot Nov 2012 #9
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #13
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #16
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #27
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #87
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #105
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #111
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #114
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #115
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #11
ErikJ Nov 2012 #15
Whovian Nov 2012 #17
Archaic Nov 2012 #59
Whovian Nov 2012 #67
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #19
Whovian Nov 2012 #25
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #30
Loudestlib Nov 2012 #68
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #103
womanofthehills Nov 2012 #38
rurallib Nov 2012 #23
SleeplessinSoCal Nov 2012 #29
AAO Nov 2012 #36
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #39
joshcryer Nov 2012 #52
jonthebru Nov 2012 #69
jmowreader Nov 2012 #91
Tx4obama Nov 2012 #93
defacto7 Nov 2012 #94
pediatricmedic Nov 2012 #95
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #102
Enrique Nov 2012 #110
RedCloud Nov 2012 #116
woo me with science Nov 2012 #128

Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:20 PM

1. Not at an economically realistic price.

 

It's not some secret conspiracy, its that fact that solar panels are still too expensive and inefficient.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:40 PM

10. Solar generates .04% of the energy in the United States.

 

According to http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

What are you laughing about, the fact that I was right? Solar is not cost effective just because 1 or 2 companies set up some solar panels.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:48 PM

45. It can be, though concentrating solar tends to be more efficient than PV.

If your contention is that ALL solar is not cost effective, you're full of shit to the eyebrows.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #45)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:16 PM

54. It isn't widespread (here) because there are cheaper energy sources.

 

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #54)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:19 PM

55. If we subsidized solar to the extent which we subsidize oil and gas...

then I imagine it would be a lot cheaper.

And solar has the added benefit of being a fairly 'one time' cost. Which would be why corporations are not interested in it.

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Response to renie408 (Reply #55)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:03 PM

70. Exactly...

You can buy a whole bunch of solar panels for the cost of the Iraq / Afghanistan wars.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #54)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:13 PM

74. Your under the influence of oil my friend....

...as soon as we start mass producing the cost will come down....supply and demand. We'll get there though.

Also, new innovations are on the horizon. We liberals are free to create...we love science. Please get rid of that old polluting oil, o.k.?

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:30 PM

78. It has been powering my house for 11 years.

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #88)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:30 AM

98. And don't forget how crappy and cloudy the weather is over there

I lived in Germany for four years and many/most houses had solar panels on their roofs. If they can make it work over there with the weather they have, we should have even more success over here.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #98)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:05 PM

112. virtually all of the lower 49 states are farther south than Germany.

 

Germany's southernmost point- 47.17 N
U.S. - Canada border- 49.0 N

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:26 AM

97. I totally disagree. My friends here with a farm in Australia

have invested in wind power and solar energy and are now supplying 5 connected farms with power.

Admittedly they had the initial funds to invest but they say they will re-coup that investment within 2 years and from then on will be supplying un-used power into the grid.

I always admired that one of Obama's policies was to actively pursue alternative energy. Naturally that was to bring claims of 'communism' !! :

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:25 AM

106. Yes, and at one time oil generated .04% of the energy in the US.

It was called THE 19TH CENTURY.

Now please move aside and let the rest of the us join the future.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:07 PM

126. Solar is actually quite cheap to get going, especially when mass produced.

Big Oil wants you to believe that its less cost efficient strictly because its less profitable to them.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:26 PM

5. You need to learn that just saying something doesn't make it so. Post your sources, so we

can evaluate your information.

Thanks.

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Response to patrice (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:41 PM

12. Here you go.

 

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

There's a reason for coal being 42% and solar being .04%. Solar technology just isn't at the point of being cost effective for the large scale generation of power.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:58 PM

21. Why are assumptions based, apparently, only on "large scale"? Nothing else would make

a significant contribution to solutions?

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Response to patrice (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:12 PM

32. The reality is that it's not cost effective enough for it to be a solution at this point.

 

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #32)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:46 PM

44. Then you better...

...tell those damn Germans to knock it off.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany
I know it's Wikipedia but google Germany solar power and there is tons of info on the subject. Really pisses me off 'cause I'm stuck in the Mississippi of the Desert and we're wedded to nuclear power and other equally odious energy sources while the sun pours down here about 90% of the year. Sure as hell a lot more than in Germany.

BTW why do we have long line transmission for electricity? Oh, 'cause "that's the way we've always done it."

Methinks you work for the API.....

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Response to azbillyboy (Reply #44)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:53 PM

48. It being possible does not make it cost effective.

 

According to the link their biggest plant is 91 MW, while the average coal plant is about 700 MW.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #48)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:21 PM

57. What costs are you counting?

I imagine that if you add the environmental cost and the cost in health expenditure, solar gets a lot more attractive. But like most short term thinkers, all you can see is TODAY and what is right in front of you.

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Response to renie408 (Reply #57)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:31 PM

63. Producing solar panels is damaging to the environment as well.

 

Rare earth mining produces radioactive waste that remains dangerous for millions of years ( Uranium and thorium).

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #63)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:41 PM

64. Solar cells are made from crystalline silicon

WTH are you talking about?

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Response to Loudestlib (Reply #64)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:45 PM

66. The newest solar panels use indium, tellurium and gallium.

 

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #66)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:04 PM

71. CIGS? Who is mass producing those?

These are not the solar cells we are talking about. N/T

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Response to Loudestlib (Reply #64)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:08 PM

72. Here is an article that discusses rare earth mining and environmental issues

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/41856

It seems to me the environmental issues are there, but the situation is not that simplistic:

1). China is the leading global supplier. They flooded the markets with cheap product.
2). Companies in other places shut down because they could not compete given low market price of Chinese product and their location in US and elsewhere where the ARE environmental regs.

What this means to me is that long term, prices will rise. China will need more domestically and the market prices will return to a place where US supply can compete.

As with all other extraction industries, the environmental risks can be managed, it just will cost more for solar panels, ok by me.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #63)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:30 PM

77. Ok...top this...

We are never going to run out of sun. Well, not for a few billion years. We passed Hubbert's Peak 30 years ago. We have do to SOMETHING different within the next 50 years.

So, since you seem to think solar is a no-go, you pick.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #48)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:56 PM

124. Sweet Jesus!

If everyone had solar panels on their houses we wouldn't need 700 MW coal plants! So you work for the "clean" coal industry too. Your imagination is severely limited. With your outlook, we'd all still be wearing loin cloths and hunting for food with spears.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:51 PM

46. Yeah, it's called 'Subsidies'.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Federal_coal_subsidies

Coal is pretty cheap, but getting less cheap all the time. We wouldn't use it AT ALL if we required the coal mining companies to restore the areas they are blasting and leveling (entire mountains) to their original state.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #46)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:23 PM

58. That's what is often conveniently ignored

when evaluating the cost of energy production. Coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy production all have high costs that can't be measured in dollars alone.

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Response to klook (Reply #58)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:01 PM

108. It's measured in dollars...

but the coal, oil, and gas corps don't pick up the tab. We do.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:33 PM

79. Small scale is more efficient.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:18 AM

96. Your original claim was that solar power is to inefficient and inexpensive.

That link doesn't say anything about cost or efficiency. You were asked for a cite for the original claim. Is that the best you can come up with?

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Response to patrice (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:42 PM

14. So you consider a conspiracy to suppress solar energy the null hypothesis...

...with the burden of proof belonging to others to prove a conspiracy isn't going on?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:00 PM

24. No. Actually, I just wanted to see the sources on those claims about economics etc.

Not seeing that suggests that perhaps you're the one with conspiracy theories.

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Response to patrice (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 PM

33. It suggests no such thing

You're basically saying, "Unless you act like the burden of proof is yours, and provide for my demands for evidence, then the burden of proof which should be mine becomes yours."

The price of solar panels and other solar energy sources is out there. Do you really need links to studies to know that solar isn't so cheap that people are strapping solar panels to their rooftops left and right, that big solar farms aren't spontaneously forming?

Since cheap solar would be such a boon for so many people, the very fact that it isn't all over the place makes is pretty clear that price is holding people back. If you think that price is artificially high, you're the one with the conspiracy theory that bears the burden of proof.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #33)


Response to AAO (Reply #37)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:39 PM

41. What assertion did I make?

I responded to someone else's response to a response to the OP. What assertion do you think I'm personally making that I need to support?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #41)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:52 PM

47. Sorry - I was terribly confused. Pardon me, please! I will delete the offending post.

 

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #33)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:39 PM

42. I need you to provide exactly what you're talking about & to quit trying to make the case that all

information is identical.

They're your claims: Post the sources so people can evaluate the quality of the information.

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Response to patrice (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:55 PM

49. OK, what claim do you think I'm making?

Someone else in this thread seems confused by that, so maybe you are too.

That bit about "all information being identical"? I haven't a clue what you're talking about.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #49)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:58 PM

51. Definately some voodoo going on tonight on this thread.

 

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #33)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:57 PM

50. No. If one is shooting down an idea, there needs to be some factual support.

 

Otherwise it will be hard for people to take the idea seriously. Pacafishmate made an assertion. Pacafishmate was challenged. Pacafishmate is the one that needs to respond to the challenge.

And that is JMHO.

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Response to patrice (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:25 PM

76. If you took away the subsidies that fossil fuels receive

and gave them to renewables instead solar would be cheaper. Even as it is it's getting cheaper every day. And that's before you add in the hidden environmental and health costs of fossil fuels. If we didn't allow power companies to externalize the actual costs of their businesses the cost equation would look far different.

All it takes is political will and the willingness to push for new technology instead of relying on 100-yr-old methods that are destroying the planet. This is what we get when we allow corporations and the rich to direct how our govt. spends money. How much innovation has been stifled because the fossil fuel corporations wanted it that way?

If you want some information on a different approach, check out Germany (bunch heads-in-the-clouds dreamers over there, you betcha).

Boy am I tired of the Can'ts! it used to be in this country that we COULD, and DID!

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #76)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:37 PM

82. Thank you! Bookmarking your response.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #76)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:11 PM

117. Excellent, excellent post nt

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:38 PM

8. What you forget is that the more solar panels are produced,

purchased, and refined, the lower the prices will be. You see this in every new technology that comes along, from computers to television screens and music. If we refuse to start the process, we will never get to the next level....and the next and the next.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:55 PM

18. I'm all for solar.

 

I'm just saying let's not make baseless claims like what the OP's picture is positing. I.e. that rich people gathered together and decided to subvert solar energy.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:04 PM

28. It may or may not be exaggerated that all the world's energy

could be generated by solar panels in North Africa. I don't have the details or knowledge to know if this is possible. But I do say that the "powers that be" are, in fact, working to subvert solar energy---at least until they can figure out a way to make more profit from it than they can make with the conventional energy sources.

I say that this is what I believe just from looking at the reality. There is no problem with big business supporting government subsidies for conventional energy methods, and that even includes the ill-conceived ethanol program. But just talk about solar power, and these same people are screaming bloody murder over even one dollar in government help to get these companies moving. I just call it like I see it.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:32 AM

104. Enough energy from our star...

... falls on the face of our planet, in one hour, to supply the energy needs of the entire world for a year.


You are fucking clueless.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:57 PM

20. Bingo ...

By holding to the previous argument, the internal combustion engine would never have been created. Wait, forget the internal combustion engine ... we would be burning trees because it was far less cost-effective than mining coal.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:26 PM

61. Economies of scale

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:59 PM

22. Try looking for reality, not propeganda

You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

1) many places are drastically increasing solar penetration in the market. Just read an article about how Solar in Hawaii is becoming so common that its starting to challenge the grids ability to deal with it. And look at other countries who are increasing far faster than we are.

2) economic cost.. I priced solar for my own roof. I would break even in 5-6 years. But I am stuck with an HOA who wont approve the panels. The more that are made, the lower the price gets. The more we do it, the better deal it is.

3) even factor out the first two, and you are still incorrect. Because you ignore the costs. Coal may be cheaper per watt than solar. Until you count in Hurricane Sandy, the loss of habitat and the poisons released by mining in west virginia, and the asthema in kids around the power plants. Then it starts being a little less affordable. But you dont count those costs, they get passed on to others.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:09 PM

31. So environmental damage is ok, just as long as YOU or YOUR kids don't have to deal with it?

 

Solar panels require rare earth elements. The mining process for rare earths is extremely bad for the environment. When they extract rare earth elements, uranium and thorium are always present in the ore mixture. After extracting the rare earths the mining companies like to dump the toxic leftovers where they then either dry and turn to dust or leech into the soil, causing unimaginable agony for anyone who happens to live there. It's not all peachy like you imagine it, and YOU clearly do not know what you are talking about. All energy has environmental costs.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #31)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:44 PM

65. huhhhh?

Silicon (Si) is an abundant non-metallic chemical element which makes up almost 30% of the earth's crust and is the 7th most common element in the Universe

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:44 PM

123. I challenge you to do the research

And find out exactly how much environmental damage is created by the making of a solar panel. And then compare that to the damage done to extract coal or oil for the same quantity of energy produced by a solar panel over its 20+ year life span.

And then look at how much of a solar panel can be recycled into a new solar panel. VS how much of the coal or oil can be reused to create more energy after it is first burned.

And then we can have an informed conversation. Because this one is clearly not informed or well thought out, on at least one side.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 PM

34. The truth is a most elusive thing in the alternative energy sphere

Every huckster in the world does some calculations on a bar napkin, and somehow it is going to save the world. The OP is one of those. The reality is that increases in performance are coming incrementally and steadily but that is often lost in the hype. Some days it makes me crazy...

Your own system could not break even without significant tax advantages or other gov incentives in 6 years. The math just won't support it. If that is what is being pitched to you, take another look. With CA style incentives, then it is quite possible.

Are you in CA? If so, you can force the HOA via the CA Solar Rights Act

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:28 PM

35. You funny. n/t

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:37 PM

40. Solar accounts for just .04% of U.S. power.

 

If it's so great why is it almost non-existent?

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:24 PM

60. In 1850, how much did electricity contribute to US power?

That's not exactly a good argument, right? Cause it is sort of backwards thinking.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:09 PM

73. If you don't realize why that's a bad argument, there's little point arguing with you.

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Response to DireStrike (Reply #73)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:14 PM

75. So you are a conspiracy theorist?

 

If it was economically viable it would account for a larger share of the energy market. Oil companies are not sabotaging solar.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #75)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:34 PM

80. Huh?

No, I don't think he is a conspiracy theorist because he recognizes that saying 'there isn't more of it, so that must be evidence that it isn't viable' is a ridiculous argument. What you are saying is similar to a guy in the 1890's saying that there is no future in electricity and light bulbs because comparatively few people had them.

You seem bizarrely determined that the only viable fuel is a fossil fuel. Gee, you and yours are going to be seriously shit out of luck in about 100 years, huh? Why not be AHEAD of the curve for once?

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Response to renie408 (Reply #80)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:38 PM

83. I'm saying that it isn't viable right now, duh.

 

Obviously it may become viable in the future, but if you look at the picture in the OP, it suggests that oil companies are undermining solar. I am arguing against that position, not against the idea that solar may become viable in the future.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #83)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:42 PM

84. No, that is actually NOT what you have been saying throughout this entire thread.

It might be what you are morphing your argument into since everybody is pretty much calling you a dumbass, but its not what you have been saying all along.

And when you are repeatedly doing everything you can to look like a dumbass, you might want to hold up on throwing around that 'duh'. Cause that is the sort of thing that pisses people off.

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Response to renie408 (Reply #84)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:55 PM

85. What I've said all along is that as of right now solar is not viable for large scale utilization.

 

If you would look at the original post you'd see that this thread started as a conspiracy claim. I merely stated that solar is not the best option with the current available technology.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #85)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:04 PM

89. Your initial statement was that

solar is too expensive and inefficient.

Several people pointed out that fossil fuels are largely subsidized in this country, which largely contributes to their lower price. It has been mentioned more than once that if solar was subsidized to the degree that fossil fuels are, the price point would be more attractive.

To which you started up with the '.04%' thing. Then there was the 'NO!! Solar is bad for the environment, too!!' thing.

And lastly, the OP makes a fair point that you have done zero to contradict. There are a lot of people making a lot of money off of fossil fuels who have little or no interest in promoting solar and a lot invested in squashing it. That may not be the primary reason solar is not more prevalent, but it isn't fantasy, either.

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Response to renie408 (Reply #89)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:10 PM

90. I still hold to my statement that at this time solar is not efficient enough

 

to replace conventional energy sources. Once again AT THIS TIME. It's obvious that technology will improve over time and solar will at some point in the future become efficient enough for large scale use. However, I don't think that oil companies are "squashing" solar. If you have proof of this, please provide it. Not investing in solar does not equate to squashing. Show me evidence of coal or oil interests maliciously hindering the advancement of solar energy.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #90)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:45 PM

109. Have you ever watched "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

You actually believe that Oil companies are so shiny and pure that they would NEVER stoop to using their money, power and influence to stall development of an industry if it competed with their primary source of revenue? Where do you live Pleasantville?

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #109)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:28 PM

122. Big Oil Killed the Electric Car

n/t

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #90)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:07 PM

120. It depends on how you look at it, if in several years you have paid off your initial investment

and are off the grid paying zero for energy then not only is is cheaper in the long run but your bills end up zero once it's paid off. I use solar and am off the grid right now. My initial cost was $20,000 and my energy bills use to run about $200 a month so it will take about eight years to pay off my solar panels. Since I bought them 4 years ago in four years I will be saving $200 a month and almost $2,500 a year that I would have been paying for gas and electricity. So you are dead wrong as it is efficient enough and is getting more and more efficient and a lot cheaper every year. In a few years it will only take a couple of years to pay off the solar panels.

&feature=relmfu

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #75)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:58 AM

99. There are many reasons besides a conspiracy that it might not have market share.

You can't think of even one?

And to class existing large markets destroying competition as "conspiracy", and presumably unlikely, betrays a profound ignorance of how markets work.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #75)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:43 AM

100. What a lame response.

'are you a conspiracy theorist'.. please.
If you dont think the fossil fuel industry plans to squeeze every last dime out of their infrastructure before letting solar and other renewable energies enter the market on a large scale you are as daft as the day is long.
If its not overt 'sabotage' its lobbyists and PAC.



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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:44 PM

43. "Too expensive and inefficient".....

...like personal computers used to be.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #43)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:35 PM

81. Dude, there is no future in those things...

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:12 PM

53. Was not the same true as we shifted from horses to cars?

When horses were the main mode of transportation for people, cars using gasoline seemed ridiculous.

You could get feed for a horse anywhere ... but you might not be able to get gas for a car.

At one time, it was cars and gas that were "still too expensive and inefficient".

It might be time to rethink such things.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:19 PM

56. I agree that it is still too expensive

It will likely remain too expensive because the energy is so diffuse compared to other sources. Unless solar panels become as cheap as copy paper it will probably always be far too expensive per watt generated.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:56 PM

86. Good job responding Pacafishmate. You stand your ground well.

I disagree with you as do many others around here, but I appreciate you posing your arguments with dignity, moreso than those who agree with me herein.

1. The current small amount of implementation will grow. Oil and coal will diminish.
2. The cost per MWhr will decrease. Oil will become more expensive.
3. The rare earths may be ecologically difficult, but so is coal and fracking gas.
3.1. There are and will be more organic methods of harvesting solar energy.

I wish you well.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:12 AM

101. Oh really? I just had panels installed on my home...

with the federal rebate it came to roughly $7500 out of pocket. I will get a $2500 deduction on my taxes.

They are designed to cover my electric bills even in the high summer months.

With my savings I will pay off the panels in 5-6 years.

My first years savings, very conservatively speaking is $1000. My installer told me to expect a higher savings.

the person who turned me onto the solar panel company, just had a $93 dollar surplus last month.

So what were you saying?

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Response to Javaman (Reply #101)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:09 PM

118. I support changing to solar, however, your post isnt a fair argument.

I dont know about today, but up until recently, solar power wouldnt pay for itself. In other words the cost of making, installing and life expectancy were more than the cost of the power generated. You need to recalculate without considering subsidies, rebates and tax breaks. You may get break even at 5 years but with the help of tax dollars. Without tax subsidies and tax breaks your break-even point may be beyond the life of the panels.

I believe we should subsidize solar and stop subsidizing oil. But just trying to keep the discussion honest. I have read headlines that solar was becoming efficient to pay for itself, but havent seen much proof yet.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #118)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:30 PM

121. So rebates are bad to get a new tech going?

not in my book.

Subsidizing does happen in the solar industry, just no where near the level it happens in the fossil fuel industry.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #121)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:45 PM

125. I didnt say anything of the sort. Shame on you for using that logical fallacy.

I support rebates and tax credits for solar. I want solar to succeed. I want subsidies for oil to end.

And the OP doesnt bother me but it is a bit of hyperbole.

I was defending a poster that has an opinion and should be able to state it w/o getting ridiculed. I dont agree with everything he said and I dont know the latest data but until recently solar power would not pay for the cost of manufacture and installation. That doesnt mean we shouldnt continue development. That doesnt mean I believe "rebates are bad".

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #125)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:14 AM

127. Yes shame shame on me.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:29 AM

107. So, exactly how much is breathable air worth to you? nt

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:40 PM

113. Wrong on four counts

Four points of rebuttal:

Solar power does not enjoy the subsidies given to petroleum and coal.

If widely adopted, solar prices will drop substantially due to economies of scale.

Due to depletion, petroleum prices will inevitably rise. Due to technological development
the cost of solar has dropped dramaticaly and will continue to do so. The cost curves
will surely intersect, as they have already in several countries. Then solar will be cheaper everywhere.

The "cost" of fossil fuels typically does not include "externalities" -- e.g., health costs of
air pollution, and most significantly, global warming.

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Response to Ernest Partridge (Reply #113)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:14 PM

119. As I see it, he wasnt arguing against any of those items.

I bet he would agree with you on all of those. The issue is whether solar power, without government subsidies, is efficient to pay for itself. I dont know. Up until recently, it hasnt been. I have seen headlines stating that maybe it is reaching that point. When it does it will be a huge deal.

I would love to see solar power subsidized and oil not subsidized.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:24 PM

3. The plan is....

The plan is to provide 15% of Europe's power by 2050.

A far cry from "enough free energy to power the world" right now.

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Response to dems_rightnow (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:28 PM

6. I read "can" as "could potentially..."

I am not really sure though how the sign is meant to be taken.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:24 PM

4. Snagged, thank you very much!

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:29 PM

7. The moon can create enough free solar energy for the whole solar system

 

but how do we get that energy back to earth.
And how do we get North Africa's "free" energy to New York, Buenos Aires, Perth, and Honolulu?

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:03 PM

26. Transmit it by microwaves

I believe Nicola Tesla (who invented three phase alternating current) first proposed that idea. A brilliant scientist but a lousy economist. How do you bill for it?

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Response to Callmecrazy (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:29 PM

62. The day that starts happening I will build a Faraday cage around my house

 

A slight software glitch in the beam-steering computer and whole cities could be in a huge microwave oven.

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Response to Callmecrazy (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:19 PM

92. Callmecrazy, U Crazy!

Sorry to call you crazy, I couldn't help it with your nick name. None the less, there is NO WAY to transfer electricity from North Africa to North America via microwaves.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:40 PM

9. Can they make them affordably enough to put on every roof-top?

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:41 PM

13. Yes, it was already done. Patents were bought and you never heard from them again. n/t

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:49 PM

16. If true, please post the patent numbers. There are no secret patents unless they are classified by

the US government.


Alternatively, quit posting this bad lie

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:04 PM

27. While one can make the argument that every little bit helps, the higher latitudes

have inherently lower efficiencies. For example, PV panels in NYC will not do as well and the same panels in Arizona.

Current costs in NYC at commercial installer prices are not breaking even today.

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #87)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:48 AM

105. Germany does not have any place like the American southwest

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:18 PM - Edit history (1)

The physics remain regardless of numbers and percentages, Due to latitudes they will get less out of an equivalent panel located nearer the equator.

That is in no way denigrating their efforts...it is the basic physics

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #105)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:01 PM

111. EXACTLY- just imagine how much power we could generate all along the southern latitudes.

 

If Germany can make it work as well as they do- we could do even better. virtually ALL of the lower 49 states are farther south than the southernmost part of Germany is. Germany's southernmost point is at 47.17 North latitude- most of the border between the U.S. and Canada runs pretty much along the 49.0 North latitude line.

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #111)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:59 PM

114. The key issue is infrastructure

I run a big solar plant on my property here in SoCal. I could grow it larger but am limited by the copper...

Germany makes them work as well as they due to a national energy policy and the tools to enforce it. Tools unavailable in the US, somewhat by design.

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:38 PM

115. I was wrong. They do have it and products are entering the consumer market now.

 

This kind of distributed power model is trouble for the energy production industry. How are they going to bill people for power they capture from the sun and convert with small scale equipment that they own?

Google thin film flexible solar. There's an interesting picture of something that can be done right now in the LA Times, a guy in Chatsworth that powers his whole 6,000 sq. ft. Mc Mansion with these panels. As with any new technology, it is expensive and production is not that great, but as it moves forward it will get better and cheaper.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:40 PM

11. K&R Nevada and Arizona can easily handle North America. Ditto.

 

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:45 PM

15. Enough wind potential in US to supply 15 times more electricity than we use

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:52 PM

17. To the naysayers: If we put as much cash into solar and wind as we do a war

 

we would be able to be oil free in a decade. HOWEVER the oil industry would find this detrimental to their books and since they fund so many politicians it is not likely to happen as all war in the last 50 years seems to be about oil.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:23 PM

59. And here endeth the thread.

You are of course absolutely correct.

I work in the energy industry. We have coal, coal, coal, natgas, and some solar/wind.

Our customers are clamoring for more renewable. So they're building it themselves because we're busy maintaining OLD coal plants.

One DUer above mentions that solar plants are small, coal/nuclear are big. We have several massive coal turbines. But all of our natgas, and several of our coal turbines are smaller than our solar/wind locations.

If inexpensive, safe storage shows up for solar/wind power, it'll be the beginning of the end for the dirty stuff as far as I'm concerned. Once the argument about baseload goes away, things could be interesting.

If we had a law that stopped lobbying for clean coal or other bullshit like that, maybe we'd spend our money on newer sources. But that won't happen until we're forced to, or the subsidies switch.

One problem I see coming. There are a LOT of union folks in old coal plants. When you decentralize the power generation to solar farms and wind farms, there may be a big fight from an entrenched employment system.

How sure are we that coal will continue to be king? We bought a coal mine. The seller must be thanking their lucky stars.

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Response to Archaic (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:47 PM

67. Plus 1000

 

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:57 PM

19. An easy soundbite, but unfortunately not even close to true

The US could potentially produce enough energy but there is no technology to get it to where it is needed.

We cannot even get enough transmission lines inside California due to distribute what we can produce around SoCal. I say that as someone who operates largest private solar plant I know of and is limited by what the current wire can support.

The reason I get so riled up about such CRAP is that such cheesy soundbites makes it harder for those actually working on the issue to get things done.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:02 PM

25. Okay, tell me why transmission lines can't be re-routed?

 

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Response to Whovian (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:09 PM

30. It more than just rerouted...there is a dramatic needed for increased lines

The process has started, but its a 10 year thing...when expedited 20 years otherwise. That is within Socal and is no where near getting PV based power to NYC.

The other issue is spinning reserve. Basic requirement that may need some new science (vice engineering) to solve without traditional powerplants being with us until the next century

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #30)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:51 PM

68. Don't we need to upgrade the grid as it is?

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Response to Loudestlib (Reply #68)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:27 AM

103. Depends on the concept we end up with

Its hardly robust today, so some upgrading is clearly called for.

There is a raging argument about centralized vs decentralized approaches. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I fully expect to see some of each in the US given our tendency towards local control vs strict national policy. I see that as a good thing since it will give us a chance to experiment with both and see what works for us. Others abhor that dual approach insisting on one way or the other. What works for Wyoming may not work for NYC kind of thing

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:36 PM

38. wind turbines in Willard NM

They connect to an old transmission line that was in place and only used as a backup for yrs.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:00 PM

23. gotta steal that picture!

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:07 PM

29. Note - The Dark Side of 'The Cloud'.

There is going to be more and more demand that isn't often talked about.

"Internet technology now uses more electrical power than any other American industry except for manufacturing. How much energy is wasted to keep your information available full time? Is there a dark side to "The Cloud?" Also, the US Supreme Court will consider legalizing gay marriage, and the TSA is removing X-Ray scanners from major American airports. we find out why.

Banner image: Interior of Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina"

http://www.kcrw.com/news/programs/tp/tp121123the_dark_side_of_the

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:29 PM

36. How do we save it and ship it over to the US? An electric grid in outer space?

 

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:37 PM

39. So very true.

Of course, there's plenty of other places that could use it, too: How about the Mojave Desert or the Australian Outback, for example?

Solar is one of the power sources of the future. Let's make sure that dream comes true sooner, rather than later.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:01 PM

52. They're going to power Africa eventually. The PTB be damned.

The technocrats in Libya had a plan for sustainable energy but Gaddafi shot it down (it's but one of many reasons there was an uprising). The plan was for totally renewable by 2035. I expect it to happen at least in Libya.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:53 PM

69. What they are speaking of

is providing solar power to supply Europe and other parts of Africa. The guy who thinks this is bunk is wring because he mentions today's percentage. The future is not today, is is coming down the pike. So if China gets the lead on manufacturing Solar arrays then it could certainly come true. If it is left up the the United States, well, you are correct it will never happen due to the intransigence and cowardice of our leaders.

We need to think about conserving oil, there is only so much and as we use it up it will become more costly.
Part of me says,"Lets get it over with, burn all the oil up already so we can move on to other sources."

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:14 PM

91. What a load of crap

Electricity can't be put in a ship and sailed around the world like petrol, coal and uranium can. Until you can figure out a way to do that (and no, you can't run submarine cables for power all the way around the world) North Africa cannot create enough free energy for the entire world.

Now, you COULD use the electricity to separate water into its constituent elements then combine it with carbon from coal into petroleum...but that's not what the OP meant.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:20 PM

93. Two videos regarding SOLAR that I recommend everyone watch, below


Solar power is taking over




Of Germany's Renewable Power Owned By Individual Citizens



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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:59 PM

94. K&R

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:04 AM

95. Solar is only part of the solution, we will still need large power generators for industry

This is going to take a combination of power generating sources to meet our needs. Solar will never do it alone.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #95)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:23 AM

102. Not today...

We need some new science to be able to handle heavy industry, energy storage, and transportation. That is not there yet.

However it is easily within our engineering capacity to greatly expand alternative energy for most residential use.

What I preach about this is that it cannot be overnight. It will be gradual and the better for it.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:58 PM

110. i'm skeptical

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:59 PM

116. Whow! Who discovered it was very sunny in North Africa?

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:23 AM

128. K&R

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