HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » New Report: Solar could p...

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:29 PM

New Report: Solar could provide 100% of world's energy needs by 2050 using only 1% of world's land

Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:38 AM PST
New Report: Solar could provide 100% of world's energy needs by 2050 using only 1% of world's land
by beach babe in fl

In a report released today World Wildlife Fund (WWF), reporting at The World Future Energy Summit says it's research shows that not only is 100% renewal energy doable worldwide by 2050 but if necessary it could be accomplished using Solar alone.

Abu Dhabi, UAE- A new report released on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit here today, shows that even if all electricity is to be generated through renewable energy (RE) sources, and with solar photovoltaics (PV) alone, it would take up only an insignificant amount of total land area, contrary to common perception...

...”Research has found that PV power plants provide considerable environmental benefits, including a low carbon footprint and a short energy pay-back time.

Replacing existing grid electricity with PV arrays significantly reduces greenhouse gas and heavy metal emissions as well water usage,” says Lettemieke Mulder, First Solar vice president for Sustainability.


This is important and shows that renewal energy can have a small land footprint. An increasingly crucial value as the world population increases.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/17/1179824/-New-Report-Solar-could-provide-100-of-world-needs-by-2050-using-only-1-of-world-s-land

132 replies, 10521 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 132 replies Author Time Post
Reply New Report: Solar could provide 100% of world's energy needs by 2050 using only 1% of world's land (Original post)
FourScore Jan 2013 OP
aquart Jan 2013 #1
randome Jan 2013 #3
progressoid Jan 2013 #12
adieu Jan 2013 #32
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #57
NMDemDist2 Jan 2013 #74
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #99
Occulus Jan 2013 #126
riverbendviewgal Jan 2013 #2
Motown_Johnny Jan 2013 #4
Recursion Jan 2013 #5
randome Jan 2013 #8
Recursion Jan 2013 #10
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #14
Recursion Jan 2013 #15
randome Jan 2013 #16
jberryhill Jan 2013 #20
ret5hd Jan 2013 #53
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #128
jberryhill Jan 2013 #19
Recursion Jan 2013 #21
jberryhill Jan 2013 #23
Recursion Jan 2013 #25
tama Jan 2013 #30
paleotn Jan 2013 #56
Confusious Jan 2013 #31
jberryhill Jan 2013 #35
Confusious Jan 2013 #37
jberryhill Jan 2013 #49
Confusious Jan 2013 #65
jberryhill Jan 2013 #66
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #86
Confusious Jan 2013 #108
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #119
Confusious Jan 2013 #122
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #127
intaglio Jan 2013 #129
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #36
Confusious Jan 2013 #38
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #45
BSlappedInvisibleHan Jan 2013 #60
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #64
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #88
jberryhill Jan 2013 #50
MessiahRp Jan 2013 #93
Confusious Jan 2013 #107
MessiahRp Jan 2013 #109
Confusious Jan 2013 #111
MessiahRp Jan 2013 #112
Confusious Jan 2013 #123
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #6
randome Jan 2013 #9
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #22
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #89
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #96
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #7
Systematic Chaos Jan 2013 #75
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #106
Systematic Chaos Jan 2013 #113
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #11
NCTraveler Jan 2013 #13
Confusious Jan 2013 #33
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #90
NCTraveler Jan 2013 #95
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #116
Confusious Jan 2013 #110
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #115
Confusious Jan 2013 #121
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #125
cpwm17 Jan 2013 #17
onenote Jan 2013 #26
RC Jan 2013 #48
daleo Jan 2013 #78
colsohlibgal Jan 2013 #18
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #24
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #52
samsingh Jan 2013 #27
Brother Buzz Jan 2013 #28
longship Jan 2013 #29
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #34
longship Jan 2013 #55
Confusious Jan 2013 #69
longship Jan 2013 #70
Confusious Jan 2013 #71
longship Jan 2013 #73
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #81
longship Jan 2013 #83
rightsideout Jan 2013 #42
green for victory Jan 2013 #61
Amonester Jan 2013 #85
dorkulon Jan 2013 #39
Spike89 Jan 2013 #40
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #43
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #79
Spike89 Jan 2013 #117
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #41
Lobo27 Jan 2013 #44
nxylas Jan 2013 #46
Berlum Jan 2013 #47
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #51
leveymg Jan 2013 #54
green for victory Jan 2013 #58
green for victory Jan 2013 #72
upi402 Jan 2013 #59
green for victory Jan 2013 #62
longship Jan 2013 #63
green for victory Jan 2013 #67
upi402 Jan 2013 #131
n2doc Jan 2013 #68
joshcryer Jan 2013 #76
joshcryer Jan 2013 #77
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #80
hunter Jan 2013 #82
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #84
The2ndWheel Jan 2013 #97
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #98
The2ndWheel Jan 2013 #100
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #101
XemaSab Jan 2013 #87
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #92
moondust Jan 2013 #91
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #94
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #102
randome Jan 2013 #103
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #104
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #105
Matariki Jan 2013 #114
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #118
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #120
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #124
upi402 Jan 2013 #130
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #132

Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:31 PM

1. And the oil rich nations?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:34 PM

3. Pay 'em off! Get them into the solar array business!

Planetary climate is too important to everyone. And as the effects of climate change become impossible to ignore, I think the holdouts will be few.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:48 PM

12. Luckily we've sold them plenty of weapons so when their economies go to shit...


...oh hell...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:05 PM

32. They're located at the best places

to install PV solar plants.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:46 PM

57. Who the fuck cares?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:56 PM

74. like us?? there's still plenty of uses for oil

plastics to name just one. oil would still be needed as a lubricant in machines and it's in all kinds of industrial products.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:42 AM

99. Cover 'em up!

Actually, some have already figured this out and are looking at massive solar installations.

Smart of them!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aquart (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:03 AM

126. Why, they can go pound sand.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:33 PM

2. Truly good news

K & R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:35 PM

4. 1% of the land we have now or 1% of what will be left after the ice caps melt?

Sorry

Just couldn't help myself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:35 PM

5. But wouldn't that require about 300% of the world's Lanthanides?

I haven't looked much at solar since my Generation & Distribution class in grad school, but that was still a sticking point 5 years ago.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:41 PM

8. Whatever is needed can probably be synthetically created.

We need a 'Man to the Moon' project to get this underway. No turning back!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:43 PM

10. I'm all for a "Man on the Moon" goal for renewable energy

"I pledge that by the year 2023, the US will use 100% domestic renewable energy. We choose this not because it is easy, but because it is hard, etc."

But then the alarm clock always rings. Sigh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:50 PM

14. I think that could be done but it would be more like WWII level of societal effort

Scrap drives, Victory Gardens, Rosie the Riveter, Manhattan Project, GI Joe, Normandy Beach, Guadalcanal, Coral Sea and all.

We won't do it but we could with sufficient provocation, extraterrestrial invasion maybe.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:52 PM

15. Yeah. I wish things other than imminent death brought that out in people

Unfortunately our effects on the ecosystem are killing us too slowly to bring that kind of pressure. I actually do think we'll find a lot of solutions once things get much much worse, but a whole lot of people will unnecessarily die to get people to care enough. C'est l'homme.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:53 PM

16. Or a fake Ozymandious invasion, ala Watchmen.

Nah. Wouldn't work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:09 PM

20. No. We cannot "synthetically create" various elements

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:04 PM

53. i don't think you can synthetically create elements.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:16 AM

128. Actually, the moon would be the best place to put solar arrays.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:08 PM

19. Why on earth would you want to use lanthanides?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:12 PM

21. Have they fixed that in the last 6 years?

They have the right mix of electrons out past whatever valence and total mass. Shortage was a big problem back when I was studying this. (Though contrary to popular belief, the phrase "rare earths" isn't about their scarcity, though some are scarce.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Recursion (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:36 PM

23. They are used in certain exotic PV's


But give me a boule of Czochralski grown silicon, some phosphorus, some boron, some aluminum, some oxygen, a wafer saw, clean water, some furnaces, an evaporator, and a buttload of organic solvents and I'll give you all the solar cells you want.

If you want to go with poly-Si cells, we can skip the CZ grown silicon, or go with any of a number of thin-film Si technologies.

There are a lot of different ways to do PV. There are some that use lanthanides for spectral conversion to obtain marginal efficiency improvements, but at some point if you are talking about a really, really huge scale, then you simply mark off a point in the efficiency/cost/scalability space, and go with it.

It's all a matter of what you want to pay for what efficiency. But if someone is handing me 1% of the earth's surface to play with, then I'm not going to care a whole lot about the efficiency.

Everyone else is going to care about what I do with that buttload of organic solvents, though....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:44 PM

25. Cool, thanks.

That's what I get for a survey course. There's a reason I stuck with Signals!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:04 PM

30. And how much usable energy

 

do you require for all of that? What's the latest on EROEI front?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:38 PM

56. Easy.....

We tap all our existing fossil fuels for the juice to make all those solar cells. Oops. Sorry. That's how we got into this predicament in the first place.

I hate to be so pessimistic, I really do, but I don't see "party animal" Homo sapiens taking anything but the easy path until it actually and figuratively burns or arses. By then it's too late.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:05 PM

31. But the exotic PVs have higher efficiency

The report is based on regular silicon PV, that's 20%

Drop down to using thin film, that's 10%

Drop down to using emerging PV, 5%

For each step you double the amount of land needed.



You can power the United States using a quarter of Arizona by PV alone. That's 1% of the land area of the 48 states.

I'm sure most people would say they're 'OK' with it, but what about the people living there already.

What about the wildlife? Do we even have enough rare earth elements?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:25 PM

35. And the Tesla is a great car


The point is that if you are going to do something on a very large scale, you have to make choices among cost and efficiency. It's the same as anything else.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:28 PM

37. What about land area

You're going to have to kick some people out of their homes, give up farmland, or if you want someplace that's uninhabited that gets a lot of sun, that means distance, which means burning power in transport, which means more land.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:54 PM

49. Oh, I thought I got the land for free


It's that "Agenda 21" the kooks are on about, right?

I was going to use northern Mali, but that's off this month.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:26 PM

65. Agenda 21?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #65)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:28 PM

66. Shhhh...

The massive global UN conspiracy to, uh, try to survive on this planet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:11 AM

86. Roofs? Parking lots? and then of course vacant land. A lot here, a lot there in parts of

California and Arizona that are not settled and have no water would be great.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #86)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:26 PM

108. You think cities take up 1% of the land mass of the United States

or the world?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #108)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:42 PM

119. Cities and desert lands.

What percentage of the land do deserts take up?

Here in L.A. we have solar panels on our hillsides in some area. There is plenty of space for wildlife to manage quite well under and around the panels. I really don't think that most Americans fathom the amount of desert area that there is in the world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #119)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:10 PM

122. There's a lot

But it's it areas usually far away from where the electricity needs to be.

I'm sure you could cover the Sahara with solar, but the people living there (yes, people live there, very few, but they do) wouldn't like it, getting the power to markets such as Europe and the middle east and southern Africa would be hard.

Short of a worldwide demand for something like a moon project, I don't see it getting done.

We don't have the will to do our own country. It gets co-opted by people thinking their own heir own little pet peeves are more important.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #122)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:03 AM

127. We'll find the will.

Insurance rates will continue to skyrocket due to global warming.

When people complain about the high cost of alternative energy, remember that the true cost of fossil fuels is hidden in things like insurance rates, asthma, droughts and the ensuing food shortages and the other effects of climate change.

Look beyond the obvious pump costs.

I know I am a bit off topic, but I wanted to remind people what your problem is really about. We are not just destroying our earth and our infrastructure. We are also destroying our history.

I posted this elsewhere, but it applies here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #122)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:13 AM

129. As you, yourself, have pointed out

the area required is only for regular, 20% efficiency PV. Go to 40% and the area required halves. Use roofs and parking lots and the virgin land goes down. Cover over fly waste tips, oil sands excavations and other polluted areas then even less undeveloped land is needed.

The other thing you are missing is that even current generation methods use a variety of energy sources. Coal, gas, nuclear and hydro are all used currently and multiple renewable sources will be needed in future. Factor wind, tidal stream and hydro - down goes the land area required again.

The big problem is that storage is essential. It might be necessary to use some current hydro as pumped storage but local storage will also be hugely important. I have a suspicion that Elon Musk is producing the Tesla not solely for the motoring side but largely for the battery technology. Currently the Roadster has a pack capable of delivering 215 kW from a pack weighing 450 kg and occupying about 0.25 cu metre.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:26 PM

36. 20+% is no longer exotic, it's mainstream for SunPower. 44% is exotic.

Multijunction cells are exotic (and very cool in the principles applied), but 20% is almost the modern industry standard.

Good stuff!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #36)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:29 PM

38. Yea, I said that's what the report is based on

The other person said that you could just use thin film.

Which means a drop in efficiency. Which means more land.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:45 PM

45. Got it. Also, I'm confident that the 1% figure is too great.

High quality modules, especially, wouldn't take up that much space.

No time here at work to check the math, but I've seen calculations done for just the US supply of energy and I think it's like 1/10 the area of the state of Nevada.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #45)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:56 PM

60. But if we use 1%

But if we use the 1% number and a Sharp 230 W solar panel with an installed footprint of 20 sqft, we would need about 83 Trillion solar panels. At current pricing that comes in at a paltry 4 quadrillion dollars. Before wiring, inverters, control, distribution, and let's not forget the whole need for power storage (the sun does set), grid balances, ad nauseum. Considering the fact that the US consumes 26% of the world’s power production I think we are going to need a LITTLE more area than 1% of the lower 48.

Insolation rate, cloud cover compensation, maintenance, all the factors people tend to ignore require a pretty high redundancy multiplier to assure you have enough power WHEN and WHERE you need it. Then there is the whole storage technology for load balancing and mobile power needs. Hydrogen? You will pay some pretty hefty efficiency penalties moving the power in and out of that form.

I have a solar power system on my home. At 80% subsidization (Louisiana has best solar deal going) the numbers do not add up. IF solar power made economic sense every new home in America would be optimized by roof pitch and orientation and be covered with solar panels. They are not because even with an 80% government tax credit, it does not make economic sense today.


I must admit I do not like the way my math is adding up. To swag it in from calculating the power needs another way (starting with a world demand of 15 TW) I get 360 billion solar panels at 144 trillion dollars (solar panels only: no infrastructure). Against an annual GLOBAL GDP of 70 trillion or so, it's going to take a while to do the job.

Maybe we ought to stick to proven, low cost technologies while we work on these making the new stuff economically viable. Or we could establish a worldwide dictatorship, put every single person on the planet on a subsistence level standard of living, kill off the 250 million or so intransigent folk who just will not get with the program, and by 2050 we should have it all done.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BSlappedInvisibleHan (Reply #60)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:20 PM

64. We need just 1/6000th the land surface at 100% efficiency.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BSlappedInvisibleHan (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:25 AM

88. An in the opposite corner,

deteriorating pipelines, refineries bellowing smoke and sometimes breathing fire, cars coughing out poison gases, to say nothing of factories blowing gaseous trash into the air. Lots of infrastructure investment that we will have to make in the relatively near future.

Same for nuclear, and as we see maybe every 15 years, it's just a matter of time until the next Fukushima or Chernobyl.

All the looming costs, and we haven't even started talking about the filthy, coal-burning power plants.

"stick to . . . low cost technologies" that have been proven to have external costs? You mean like asthma in young children who live near freeways, melting glaciers and icebergs, and ever rising sea levels? Sandy and Katrina, droughts and all the extreme weather conditions that are related to global warming?

No. If the true cost of petroleum and coal were known, we wouldn't not burn it. We would use it solely for chemical manufacture and similar very important purposes.

Gas is a different matter. It should be used as little as possible but will be needed to supplement renewable energy until we can store and transmit renewable renergy.

I don't think that oil and gas are priced to reflect the cost they impose on our society and on us. Extraction, refining, marketing and storage are just the initial costs. If those fuels were accurately priced, we would use a lot less of them and the switch to renewable sources. Those renewables would seem quite efficient and economically wise.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:55 PM

50. Ah, well, I didn't know there was a PV technology assumption in the report


Fire up the III-V concentrator cells!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:02 AM

93. What about Eastern California where it's mostly desert?

Eastern Cali, parts of Nevada... this should be easy since there are completely unusable lands out there we could put these solar panels on and use that to fuel the world.

Good luck doing this though if the oil/gas and electric company lobbies get involved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MessiahRp (Reply #93)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:25 PM

107. California is a long way from the east coast

Which requires a long run of electrical cables, which means energy loss, which means more solar cells, which means more land.

And good luck finding a piece that's not settled or won't have something on it.

The 'sonoran desert' isn't empty.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #107)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:28 PM

109. There's a lot of unused land in the US right now. We could make this work if we wanted to.

eom

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MessiahRp (Reply #109)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:46 PM

111. Is there any land that has absolutly nothing on it

No view from a house, no plants, no animals, no nothing?

There's always going to be someone to fight it, whether it a home owner, a business owner or an environmentalist.

I think it'll be a long hard fight for every square inch.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #111)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:51 PM

112. I'm sure there is. Also, rooftops in cities...

Some cities are already putting in place programs to increase rooftop gardens. If we financed rooftop solar, we could cover a lot of square miles in major cities.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MessiahRp (Reply #112)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:13 PM

123. Yea, but as my other post pointed out

There's enough city space, IF you covered every square mile of cities with solar panels.

Being generous, say a quarter of that COULD be covered by panels. We still need to find 18,000 square miles.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:37 PM

6. Now imagine ...

if the report is true and accurate, if additional resources were turned to figuring out how to efficiently desalinate and channel sea water into drought areas in a way that along with the additional rain-fall cause by (new growth) vegetation expiration, will return to the sea?

Am I dreaming?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:42 PM

9. Dream on!

And I mean that in the most optimistic vein possible!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:19 PM

22. Thanks ...

I'm just so tired of all the reasons for all the things we "can't" do ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:26 AM

89. People who think solar energy is unrealistic do not live in Arizona, New Mexico or Southern

California.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #89)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:13 AM

96. Or ...

are invested, either intellectually or financially, in the status quo.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:39 PM

7. Hellz yeah!

 

I'm going to get a fleet of life-sized solar dozers to mine lithium for my iPhone 5000!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoOneMan (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:04 PM

75. Have teh solerz saved YOU yet?

You have the mark of an unbeliever. For shame.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Systematic Chaos (Reply #75)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:28 PM

106. It isn't as if I don't "believe" in solar

 

Its that I do not think that producing enough solar panels (with our industrial coal backbone) to extend our lifestyle to 8 billion people (including the production of the necessary appliances like refrigerators for Africans) will ever actually materialize to a reduction in aggregate carbon emissions. Even if this solar feat was accomplished and more net available energy existed, it does not mean mankind will suddenly throttle itself and stop using dirty fuels; if we possessed self-restraint in terms of consumption, wouldn't that have been illustrated already? So no, I do not believe technology is a magic diet-pill panacea to allow us to continue our ostentatious earth-raping, and I do think we may need to revise some habits or perhaps out entire economic structure.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NoOneMan (Reply #106)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:56 PM

113. I got ya. I feel exactly the way you do.

The whole "teh solerz is gonna save us!!" thing is a long-running joke of mine.

I should have included the smiley or something to save you the trouble of explaining. Sorry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:45 PM

11. Do the necessary elements exist in such quantity on Earth?

It's a serious question. I don't know.

There is no doubt that eough solar energy lands on Earth to do almost anything.

At some point in engineering scale the amount of certain less common elements becomes pertinent, though, hence the question.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:49 PM

13. My math could be wrong....

But I believe that is 575,000 square miles. Interesting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NCTraveler (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:13 PM

33. A quarter of Arizona

would be 1% of the land area of the 48 states.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:31 AM

90. But you put the panels on roofs and buildings and parking lots as well as desert land.

You don't have to dedicate 1% of the country only to solar panels.

If we still had kids in the house, solar energy might be feasible for us considering the amount of sun we could capture on our roof and perhaps in a place that is already cement in our backyard.

Imagine. We live on a hill in S. Calif. In our backyard we have an area that is entirely cement. Just why it is cement I do not know although I have several theories. If we had solar panels over that area, we could produce enough energy to take care of our own needs plus. Plus, the area would be shaded in the summer. (by the panels)

We don't do it because the cost of putting the panels on our house is not justified by the electricity bills for just the two of us. Or so we have been told by solar panel installation companies. I think that could easily change well before 2050.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #90)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:50 AM

95. I think that is a big question.

Do we supply our own power or do we continue to use power centers. Parking garages that will power the garage and a portion of a mall. Roof tops for individual houses.

or

Larger grids. A couple of square miles in the desert that would help to deliver electricity to Las Vegas.

Whatever we do, the more people who use it on their homes or business, the better the technology and the more feasible it becomes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NCTraveler (Reply #95)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:11 PM

116. We will probably need to do some of each. Homes, schools and desert solar ranches.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #90)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:44 PM

110. Adding up the area of every city

Excluding any in Alaska, because I lived there, and they're mostly trees,

the total square area of 149 cites in the United states is around 24,546 square miles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_area

A quarter of Arizona is 28,500 miles.

So if we covered every square inch of the cities with solar panels, we could do it.

PS. opps, forgot, every city isn't like Tucson. The efficiency will go down in more northern latitudes, as they don't get as much sun, so you'll need more land area.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #110)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:11 PM

115. But that land isn't hard to find in the deserts of the Southwest.

And as long as the panels are arranged around the little creatures and plants that survive in the desert, there isn't a whole lot else to do with the land other than drive past and look at vast stretches of it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #115)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:03 PM

121. There are some large plants, like the cactus.

The Saguaro Cactus is a protected species. There are a lot of protected species and habitats.

National parks, federal preserves, state parks, state preserves, etc.

I'd like to see it done, I'm just pointing out the problems I see.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #121)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:01 AM

125. And Joshua trees, but that can be dealt with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:57 PM

17. 1% of world's land is a lot of land

The amount of natural resources needed to cover that much land is huge.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cpwm17 (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:54 PM

26. About 575,000 square miles I believe

Roughly the land mass of Alaska.

The problem of course is that it would have to be spread over many smaller, non-contiguous areas. And not all areas are equally usfeful as locations for solar farms.

We should be doing more with solar no doubt, but I'm not sure that simplistic declarations regarding the amount of total land mass that it would take (without considerations the complexities) are all that helpful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onenote (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:53 PM

48. And not only that, if one of the worlds volcanoes erupts, solar efficiencies could/will plummet.

 

It is very stupid to have all your energy needs in one basket, no matter how spread out it is.
Solar, wind, natural gas (methane) and nuclear, all are needed in the future.
And while we are working on that, we need to get our population numbers down to something reasonable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cpwm17 (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:11 PM

78. About 1 percent of the U.S. landmass is covered by pavement

So I recall reading back in the 80's.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:57 PM

18. Time To Finally Aim That Way

Solar always made the most sense, it's there, it will not run out, it's clean.

We need to pump big bucks toward this and quit wasting big bucks on wars, empire, and making sure multi millionaires and billionaires don't have to pay forward much at all.

Great things are achievable if enough people quit believing the lies of Fox News and right wing radio - and thus finally begin voting for their own self interest.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to colsohlibgal (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:40 PM

24. Why do you think belief has anything to do with the problem we face?

 

Great things are achievable if enough people quit believing the lies of Fox News and right wing radio


Checkout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_opinion_by_country

There really isn't a strong correlation between citizens' belief in global warming and emission levels. GDP is more strongly correlated to emission levels. Of the top "man made/warming serious" countries, Japan is probably the best. They've been shifted to nuclear and now toward renewables; this might have more to do with their small coal reserves than "green" awareness.

Im not sure convincing people about the truth of global warming and its potential harm will have a significant impact on emissions; it has not in the past so this idea is based on pure optimistic speculation

In America, there is this great theodicy-like belief that our evil rich people fool us is the problem. In countries that widely understand the issues, many of them are still increasing their emission levels. I wonder if the real problem is the belief that we can forever preserve industrial civilization and increase GDP/production without further ecological harm. "Greeniness" tells people we can accept the status quo of industrial civilization until technology one day magically catches up and the numbers begin to balance out in our favor; its great because it requires no real change in personal habits like a diet pill.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to colsohlibgal (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:03 PM

52. Yep. However.....

The truth is, there are still plenty of people who DON'T believe in climate change, skeptic or outright denier. As much of a problem as that is, perhaps the worst problem we have to face is the Establishment itself; there are many powerful and wealthy people who would benefit monetarily from a business-as-usual fossil fuel usage scenario. And their influence stretches into many, many, governments.

So NoOneMan, amazingly enough, is actually correct on something: Belief doesn't necessarily correlate with action. But it seems that a fair number of people on here are actually blaming civilization itself for our climate woes. Not only does this highly bizarre way of thinking not only impede our ability to wake people up and to fight the System, but it may actually HELP it, partly because this mindset shifts responsibility away from those who are most culpable. It also makes us look like a bunch of crazy Luddites, and given that we already still have to deal with disinfo from the denier propagandists and those who aid them, we really can't afford to have to deal with Looney Tunes wacko crap from the fringes of our side as well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:57 PM

27. that would be awesome

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:02 PM

28. Not until I receive my promised flying car

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:03 PM

29. But where is storage tech today?

When the sun sets, I need my furnace more than daytime. That's when I burn my energy efficient lights -- usually one 13 watt fluorescent.

Solar cannot do it alone without storage.

So we need research into that as well.

Batteries are fine, but I don't know if they are capable to provide the world's power needs.

Here in Michigan, winters are cold and dark. It's worse in the Dakotas and Minnesota, to say nothing of Canada. Etc.

So, how do we store the power?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:18 PM

34. Hydrogen, pumped hydro... (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:15 PM

55. Electrolysis of sea water, I was thinking.

Burn hydrogen during the night. Thermodynamically, it's a loser, but the system would be designed to take that into account. Pumping water uphill would be even less efficient, I would think, and would depend on certain local geology.

These are tough problems, especially given that our current infrastructure is not set up to deal with these issues. But, I agree with others here. It is doable using current technologies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:34 PM

69. You do realize that seawater has to be distilled

before it can be used in Electrolysis, which makes it an even more expensive proposition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distilled_water

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #69)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:39 PM

70. That may be true, but the water can also be used for other purposes as well.

Irrigation? Drinking? Electrolysis.

If there was infrastructure available, it could serve more than one purpose.

Still, storage is a problem that has yet to be solved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #70)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:55 PM

71. Yes, but there's a reason it's only used when there's no other choice

It takes a massive amount of energy. Energy which will be lost as you try and use it for storage.

Which means you have to add more PV to take that into account.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #71)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:42 PM

73. Very true...

But you have to do that for any PV. You're always going to have to store enough energy for night, etc.

The question is, what's the most efficient storage. Batteries? Pumping water up hill? Etc.

We need to put billions into this!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:53 PM

81. We're using pumped hydro right now with Diablo Canyon nuke power at night.

Google "Helms Pumping Station".

Using wind, there's no such thing as a "loser" because presently we have to bury any excess energy or idle turbines, so even an inefficient storage/recovery scenario is a winner in the end.

Wind farms with on-site H2 electrolysis systems with storage and generators.

It's a pretty good scheme compared to nothing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #81)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:51 AM

83. Cool, let me clarify "loser"

I meant in the thermodynamic sense, more theoretical, than in practice.

I am with you. All of them are winners when you are getting your power from sun, wind, and even nukes. If you can store excess power from off-peak hours to use later, that's great.

Thx.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:35 PM

42. Electric cars would help store the power and keep the grid going at night. Also don't forget wind.

It's called Vehicle to Grid or V2G. Thousands of electric cars tied to the electric grid while charging during the day from solar would also act as giant capacitors to keep the grid balanced during high demand at night.

With level 2 and 3 EV charging, EVs will be able to charge quickly during the day. As they are sitting in the garage or driveway with the cords still plugged in they could feed electricity back into the grid as needed.

Don't worry about not having enough electricity for your car to get to work. The system would prevent EV battery packs from discharging below a certain point.

There are also stationary battery back up power supplies or stationary fuel cells. The fuel cells and battery back up systems would charge during the day and supply needed energy during the night.

Don't forget wind either. Wind energy tied in to the grid with solar would provide electricity. It would all be networked together.

We got solar on our house in 2012 and it supplies 70 percent of our electricity. I also have an electric car but that does help keep appliances going during power outages. Alot of my friends have used their Nissan Leafs to keep their refrigerators going during the 2012 storm outages.

So backyard hobbyists are actually doing this already.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:56 PM

61. Solar Two was a start

 

now it's mothballed



Solar Two

One of Solar Two's heliostats is shown in 2003 with the solar power tower in the background

In 1995 Solar One was converted into Solar Two, by adding a second ring of 108 larger 95 m² (1,000 ft²) heliostats around the existing Solar One, totaling 1926 heliostats with a total area of 82,750 m² (891,000 ft²). This gave Solar Two the ability to produce 10 megawatts—enough to power an estimated 7,500 homes.

Solar Two used molten salt, a combination of 60% sodium nitrate and 40% potassium nitrate, as an energy storage medium instead of oil or water as with Solar One. This helped in energy storage during brief interruptions in sunlight due to clouds. The molten salt also allowed the energy to be stored in large tanks for future use such as night time—Solar Two had sufficient capacity to continue running for up to three hours after the sun had set.


Solar Two was decommissioned in 1999, and was converted by the University of California, Davis, into an Air Cherenkov Telescope in 2001, measuring gamma rays hitting the atmosphere. Its name is now C.A.C.T.U.S.. Solar Two's 3 primary participants were Southern California Edison (SCE), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

"We're proud of Solar Two's success as it marks a significant milestone in the development of large-scale solar energy projects," said then U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.
"This technology has been successfully demonstrated and is ready for commercialization.
From 1994 to 1999, the Solar Two project demonstrated the ability of solar molten salt technology to provide long-term, cost effective thermal energy storage for electricity generation.", Boeing

On November 25, 2009, after 10 years of not producing any energy, the Solar Two tower was demolished The mothballed site was levelled and returned to vacant land by Southern California Edison. All heliostats and other hardware were removed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Solar_Project

http://costofwar.com/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to green for victory (Reply #61)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:03 AM

85. And now...

Morroco copied the 'self-destroyed' technology, and is planning to sell power surplusses to Europe soon...

Way to go!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:30 PM

39. Didn't I see this on the news in the '80s?

A group of Asian businessmen had a plan for several massive solar power plants that could power the world. Then nothing, of course.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:30 PM

40. Solar (and other "emerging" technologies) are why we need government

Even when they are better than the existing technologies, businesses won't pull the trigger until they can be sure it won't be cheaper/better if they wait a year or two. It is the same equation with electric/hybrid cars, but businesses are often dealing with much higher dollar figures. It doesn't even matter if the electric car is cheaper to operate than a gas model, what risk managers look at is "will there be an even better option in a year and can we get another year out of our old car?"

So, as long as solar/storage technology improves, it actually inhibits implementation. A company faced with a $1 million retrofit that will save them $100K/year if done today won't make the investment if it is likely that the retrofit will only cost $800K and save them $120K/year if they wait 2 years. From a pure fiscal standpoint, it has nothing to do with existing technologies.

So, businesses hold off on their investments which kills progress on the technology. You need to break the cycle. When government steps in, the risk equation and investment issues can be minimized.

The market will always be shortsighted. It is government's role to clear these hurdles so that progress can occur.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Spike89 (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:42 PM

43. Good point, and very true. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Spike89 (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 PM

79. Everybody knows computers will be better and cheaper next year, does that inhibit

implementation ?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:24 PM

117. Actually it did for a long time

IBM competitors (when IBM = mainframe and mini-computers) had an almost impossible task...it wasn't until the cost got low enough (desktop PCs) that the risks were minimal enough that business jumped from big blue and the other big iron manufacturers.

Even though computers did indeed follow the pattern, they eventually broke through because they were a new thing, not just an incrementally better replacement.

Oh, one other point...I think you'll find that the government had a huge role in making computer technology happen--the military was at the forefront and helped bring the costs down to where a few commercial interests were able to jump in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:33 PM

41. Who could imagined that we could get energy from the Sun

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:44 PM

44. Sad!!

When I see awesome stuff like this it makes sad at the same time. Because of the innovation that has been denied in the name of money. My thinking has always been that if someone developed the tech to make fossil fuels obsolete. They would either be killed or WW3 would start.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:47 PM

46. Energy needs or electricity needs?

The headline refers to providing 100% of the world's energy needs, but the story only refers to 100% of electricity demand. That's a pretty important distinction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:47 PM

47. Make it so

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:02 PM

51. Daily Kos diarist got it wrong; not 'worldwide', in selected locations

The report, Solar PV Atlas: solar power in harmony with nature, shows through seven cases- six countries and one region- less than 1% of the total land mass would be required to meet 100% of projected electricity demand in 2050, if generating electricity only with solar PV .

WWF teamed up with First Solar, 3TIER and Fresh Generation to develop the report. It looks at Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, and the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?207268/Solar-PV-power-in-harmony-with-nature--new-WWF-report-says-land-requirements-are-insignificant


Which is fine for those regions, which, as the map at the report shows, all have more solar irradiance than anywhere in Europe, the eastern half of the US, or the eastern half of China. And the figure they use for per capita electricity use in 2050 is one third the current US per capita use.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:12 PM

54. Shhh! Don't upset the nukers with such ideas. It doesn't fit into the future of life on

Mars.

First we nuke the moon.

Then we come back and take over.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:50 PM

58. While the US was executing the PNAC plan, Germany became the leader in PV

 

how did THAT happen? Germany?

some of what Germany has built:









Here's what the US built after starting ]


Germany has surpassed the US in, of all things, Solar Energy.

Shame.

Solar power in Germany

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_in_Germany

Germany is one of the world's top photovoltaics (PV) installers, with a solar PV capacity as of 2011 of almost 25 gigawatts (GW). As of 31st of October 2012, there were 31.62 GW of photovoltaics connected to the electrical power network. The German solar PV industry increased to about 7.6 GW in 2012, and solar PV provided 18 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity. Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050. Germany has a goal of producing 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2050.

A feed-in tariff is the most effective means of developing solar power. It is the same as a power purchase agreement, but is at a much higher rate. As the industry matures, it is reduced and becomes the same as a power purchase agreement. A feed-in tariff allows investors a guaranteed return on investment - a requirement for development. A primary difference between a tax credit and a feed-in tariff is that the cost is born the year of installation with a tax credit, and is spread out over many years with a feed-in tariff. In both cases the incentive cost is distributed over all consumers. This means that the initial cost is very low for a feed-in tariff and very high for a tax credit. In both cases the learning curve reduces the cost of installation, but is not a large contribution to growth, as grid parity is still always reached.
****************


Will Obama keep his promise to install Solar Panels on the White House?

Let's all hold our breath...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to green for victory (Reply #58)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:01 PM

72. Here's Olmedilla de Alarcón Spain

 



Ruler=1.77 miles

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:54 PM

59. Storage Storage Storage

No way to store non-sun period power demand.

Dispatchable energy source is key - ground source geothermal, methane, or pump water uphill during sun and let it fall at night turning micro turbines.

http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html
Must see. Bill Gates Ted talk

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to upi402 (Reply #59)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:17 PM

63. Electrolysis: 2H2O -> 2H2 + O2

Burn the H2 at night. Storing hydrogen efficiently is very difficult, though. You lose some, but that would be true of any storage.

Pumping water uphill would be very inefficient, I would think. Storage batteries would be very expensive and long-term reliability may be a problem.

I am intrigued by the idea of some smart grid tech which stores excess generation automagically.

The best thing is to pour billions of dollars into this and do all of the above and more. I do not think we have a long time before we all realize that this needs to be top priority. We need our top people working on it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #63)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:28 PM

67. "I do not think we have a long time before we all realize that this needs to be top priority"

 

Anyone paying attention in the 70's knew that. Then that ridiculous president Reagan weaseled his way into office and of course there was an 8 year void- which became 12 with King George1.

Clinton had no excuse not to go full bore for independence.

But he did less than nothing, while playing with his interns.

So, why is that?

If the US wanted to be energy independent, we would be. We would have started a serious program in the '70s, or the '80s or the 90's or maybe we would start one now.

But there is nothing but crickets. We were surpassed by GERMANY in SOLAR ENERGY.

Shame. Great great shame. And total stupidity, combined with greed and an unwillingness to upset the 100 yr plans of US energy companies, who then donated even more to keep the status quo.,

You are right- we do not have a long time to figure it out. We could start by learning from freakin Germany!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #63)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 04:04 AM

131. Smart grid entails proprietary protocol problems

I talked to a senior manager at a large utility company in the NW. The Dept. of Homeland Security wont let any old data tranfer happen on their grid. Meter readers have been replaced with smart meters that send signal data for each customer with the new style meter. Grid security is serious business.

I lost hope for smart grid technology interfacing with small net metering, or production metering generation installs.

Grid headroom is a problem, just like peak demand periods are a problem. Windmills stand idle because there is not the headroom to transfer the power generated on existing grid near the Columbia River in WA and OR.

Commercial areas need energy during the day primarily - so that's hopeful.
Residential needs 'non-sun hours' energy. This requires storage or dispatchable energy sources.

We need to do it all, it seems to me. Pumping water up hill when there's too much sun energy for use at night is one option - but lifting any mass and releasing it to allow gravity to harvest the potential energy is the same concept. Hawaii does the water thing, I'm told.

Solar may get cheap if we employ a 'Manhattan Project' type effort with respect to thin metallic film nanoparticle technology. Low cost per watt hour is the key.

Rebates from the utility companies incentivise early adopters in my area. More of that would increase installations. Portable energy for cars is important.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:30 PM

68. Except they will never be allowed to build it because of a few endangered species

while tens of thousands of other species and entire ecosystems go extinct due to climate change, some desert reptiles will be doing just fine. And the Oil and coal companies will love it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to n2doc (Reply #68)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:07 PM

76. I don't see desert ecosystems "doing just fine."

Some desert reptiles may be able to migrate, but I doubt it. This paper explains it to a degree. Of course, the technophile in me would love a "let me raze the deserts" full pass, but society doesn't exactly work that way.

And you'd need a massive manufacturing ability, in any event.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:08 PM

77. Possibilities aren't necessarily realities. Fossil fuels remain most profitable.

It's unfortunate, but that's the way things stand right now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:36 PM

80. Actually, less than 1/10 of 1% of the planet. 0.08% with 20% efficient modules.

Total land mass: 148,300,000 sq km

X .00083 = 123,578.sq km

Mississippi has about 125,433 sq km

So, covering Mississippi with solid solar photovoltaics would serve the WORLD'S 2020 electrical energy needs.

Not that the people there would support such an idea.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:53 AM

82. Installing solar over previously undeveloped land...

... or existing farmland is a vile idea.

We're destroying the planet's ecosphere yet we're planning to "save" it by destroying more of it?

That makes no sense.





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hunter (Reply #82)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:55 AM

84. Yours is the classic blindness.

The current scenario that these technologies would completely ERASE include mountaintop removal and the addition of billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

Which is the greater harm, billions of tons of carbon added to an already overtaxed atmosphere, or the loss of traditional use of some land?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #84)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:27 AM

97. What's the downside we have to worry about?

Human civilization may not feel it, at least not right away, since we're pretty good about privatizing the profits of the planet and socializing the costs to the rest of life(we're a pretty good corporation), but as long as we live in physical reality, everything will have a cost.

If we'd be coming out ahead in the carbon in the atmosphere vs. land use issue, what would we be falling behind in?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #97)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:40 AM

98. No argument here.

Maybe you meant to respond to the reply above mine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #98)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:58 AM

100. Nope, got the right post

If we're erasing mountaintop removal and the addition of billions of tons of carbon in the atmosphere, there has to be a cost to doing that. The good things about doing it are the easy part. I'm asking what we're giving up. What will the negative be?

The world's energy needs(not really the world's though, more like just human energy needs) is no small thing. We altered our environment when we hunted with sharp sticks. Now we're talking about the ever increasing global energy needs of 7/10/whatever billion of people. There has to be a downside to actually being able to satisfy those needs and wants.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #100)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:04 AM

101. With this many people, it boils down to the lesser of evils.

Solar Wind and Hydro all have an environmental cost.

What we gain in contrast to fire/fossil fuel based generation is that we leave the carbon where it belongs, in the lithosphere, and don't send it into the atmosphere.

Additionally, we don't need to go through the literally endless extraction and refinement processes to acquire and deliver fuel to the plants.

There is no fuel.

No fuel required with wind solar hydro.

The further out one does an analysis the more it makes sense, and at some point in the analysis not doing it looks suicidal.

We are presently suicidal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hunter (Reply #82)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:18 AM

87. +1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hunter (Reply #82)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:01 AM

92. wait so putting pv on rooftops is destroying more land?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:23 AM

91. "world" by 2050?

Renewable energy leader Denmark has an official goal of 100% renewable by 2050 and it's a pretty small country.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:38 AM

94. But we only need to cover 1% of the oceans with oil slicks to do it with oil'

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:35 AM

102. The problem is that the global economy doesn't work that way.

As the global economy keeps expanding, its need for energy will prompt it to include renewable energy alongside existing fossil fuels, rather than replace them. If renewables become cheap enough, then demand for fossil fuels will drop. That will cause their price to drop, which will make them more attractive to those nations or regions that don't have renewable energy.

The problem is that the global economy is based on energy, and it can expand fast enough to incorporate all the energy that happens to be available.

My latest writing on the subject is over in E&E at http://www.democraticunderground.com/112733540 but here are my conclusions:

Basically I've come to the conclusion that no amount of policy change or renewable energy will slow global warming so long as the world economy remains intact, and continues to function under its current paradigm.

It seems that the paradigm that has trapped us runs like this:

- Nations compete in an unconstrained manner for power on the world stage;
- Wealth = power;
- Real wealth = manufactured goods;
- Manufactured goods embody energy; and
- Fossil fuels provide the largest source of available energy.

As long as that paradigm holds, climate change cannot be stopped. The world will continue to burn all the fossil fuel that'rs required to support the maximum level of economic activity possible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GliderGuider (Reply #102)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:42 AM

103. The global economy CAN work that way if enough international cooperation gets underway.

The more the effects of climate change become obvious, the more pressure will be brought to bear on other nations to sign treaties, sign up for massive loans for energy conversion, etc.

We have treaties in place regarding nuclear weapons. Not always effective, of course, but they are there and have had an effect. We can have economic treaties that include incentives for energy conversion, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randome (Reply #103)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:47 AM

104. Let me know how that works out.

Colour me skeptical. Really, really skeptical.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:10 PM

105. YOU are the alternative power!

http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/solar-tubes.aspx

In Stock! Now Shipping!

Excellent for winter heating systems and summer projects. Boil water using only sunlight! Use this box of 10 tubes for your own science or hobby projects, or for building your own powerful solar-powered home heating systems.

...

Each solar evacuated tube soaks up the energy in sunlight, absorbing it into the super-insulated inner tube of their incredible double-wall heating system. Once inside, the heat of the sunlight is trapped inside the inner wall of the inner glass tube, creating a powerful solar thermal collector. Highly-reflective layers of steel, aluminum, and copper trap the infra-red energy of the sunlight, and the nearly perfect vacuum between the inner wall and the outer transparent wall protect the inner tube from heat loss due to convection, just like a high-grade drink thermos. This thermos effect can quickly heat water to boiling temperatures in direct sunlight, and keep the water well over 100 degrees, even over night! Perfect for you DIY, home improvement, solar hot water heater.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:58 PM

114. Yes, now please

But I guess first we'll have to deal with the Koch brothers before we can even hope to get away from fossil fuel.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 02:37 PM

118. check out the solar towers here- going up in AZ and TX, i think. pretty f'in cool!

EnviroMission Solar Tower

Location:La Paz, Arizona, United States
Status: Approved/Pending Construction
Chimney use: industrial
Structural type: chimney
Materials: concrete, reinforced
Roof: 2,625ft
Architect: Schlaich Bergermann & Partner
The structure is a solar thermal power station. An early design had a checker-board pattern on the chimney and a flared base.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EnviroMission

***

http://azremagazine.com/news/building-green/super-solar-tower-rise-desert-floor

***

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/09/hyperion-energy-solar-tower_n_1265393.html

***

“The exit from the PPA does not in any way prevent EnviroMission from resubmitting to any
future SCPPA RFPs for renewable energy, however it does now provide EnviroMission with
additional options to meet those interests expressed by the project financier in the environmental
credits and ownership of the project, that have to this point in time, been outside the scope of the
financial negotiation,” Mr Davey said.
http://www.enviromission.com.au/IRM/Company/ShowPage.aspx/PDFs/1379-25959338/ChairmansAddresstoShareholders

***

EnviroMission has received the first
tranche payment of US$200,000 of a US$2,000,000 Solar Tower development license fee
agreement with a Texas based development group.
http://www.enviromission.com.au/EVM/Company/ShowPage.aspx/PDFs/1386-81071105/TexasDevelopmentTransactionUpdateFirstTrancheReceived

***

The project management team, including businesses directly involved in the
delivery of the La Paz Solar Tower, including; Hensel Phelps; Faithful+Gould; Aon;
Arup; Cemex; Terracon; Greenberg Traurig; and, Sprung Construction, continue to
work to schedule in anticipation of confirmation of project finance.
http://www.enviromission.com.au/EVM/Company/ShowPage.aspx/PDFs/1379-25959338/ChairmansAddresstoShareholders

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to FourScore (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:19 PM

124. The EnviroMission tower is expected to be completed in 2015

The Australian company EnviroMission proposes to build the world's tallest solar updraft power plant, or chimney, in Arizona. With a 2,600-foot tall tower that would be the centerpiece of this giant non-polluting power plant, it would be the second tallest structure on the planet (as of 2011) – only 100 feet shorter than the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai UAE.

...The EnviroMission tower is expected to be completed in 2015 and will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 200,000 homes. (Scroll to bottom for additional resources)

Other Solar Updraft Tower Examples

Jinshawan Updraft Tower - world record - In December 2010, a solar updraft tower in Jinshawan in Inner Mongolia, China started operation, producing 200-kilowatts of electric power. The 1.38 billion RMB (USD 208 million) project was started in May 2009 and its aim is to build a facility covering 277 hectares and producing 27.5 MW by 2013. The greenhouses will also improve the climate by covering moving sand, restraining sandstorms.

Ciudad Real Torre Solar - There is a proposal to construct a solar updraft tower in Ciudad Real, Spain, entitled Ciudad Real Torre Solar. If built, it would be the first of its kind in the European Union and would stand 750 metres tall – nearly twice as tall as the current tallest structure in the EU, the Belmont TV Mast – covering an area of 350 hectares (about 865 acres). It is expected to put out 40 MW of electricity.
http://www.solaripedia.com/13/371/5043/solar_updraft_tower_glass_roof_manzanares_spain.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:21 AM

130. Thin metallic film, nanoparticles, plasmonics, supramolecules

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120427142143.htm

Progress is on the way.
But this country will give it a pass for the crack money offered to politics by the corporate masters.

Other countries will own us as we stubbornly decline from hegemony.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:33 PM

132. K&R

“This is an exciting project for the U.S. Army,” said Garrison Commander Colonel Leo Pullar. “A sunny location like New Mexico provides an ideal site for solar power. This project illustrates the U.S. Army’s commitment to going green, our focus on operating on net zero energy, and doing what we can to help protect the environment.”
http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2013/01/army-opens-solar-power-system.html

***

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/01/19/solar-power-installations-hit-record-massachusetts/FcUjPRPC90tydJWgBfSYyI/story.html
The surge in installations more than doubled the amount of solar power in Massachusetts to 194 megawatts — enough to power around 30,000 homes, according to the state Department of Energy Resources. Moreover, with a number of projects already scheduled for installation this year, Massachusetts is likely to achieve its goal of having 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity well before a 2017 deadline.

“We are pretty hot on solar,” said Richard K. Sullivan Jr., the state’s energy and environmental affairs secretary. “I won’t even use one of my favorite phrases, ‘cautiously optimistic.’ We will hit our goal.”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread