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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:43 PM

Wouldn't it be great if America did this?

31 replies, 2750 views

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Reply Wouldn't it be great if America did this? (Original post)
Playinghardball Feb 2013 OP
Hulk Smash Feb 2013 #1
year of the cat Feb 2013 #4
WillyT Feb 2013 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #3
pampango Feb 2013 #5
felix_numinous Feb 2013 #6
freshwest Feb 2013 #7
felix_numinous Feb 2013 #8
Swede Atlanta Feb 2013 #9
badtoworse Feb 2013 #10
Blanks Feb 2013 #11
badtoworse Feb 2013 #15
Blanks Feb 2013 #18
badtoworse Feb 2013 #20
Blanks Feb 2013 #21
badtoworse Feb 2013 #25
Blanks Feb 2013 #27
badtoworse Feb 2013 #28
Blanks Feb 2013 #29
badtoworse Feb 2013 #30
judesedit Feb 2013 #12
The Wizard Feb 2013 #13
badtoworse Feb 2013 #16
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #14
badtoworse Feb 2013 #17
Blanks Feb 2013 #24
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #19
Blanks Feb 2013 #22
KG Feb 2013 #23
liberal N proud Feb 2013 #26
Art_from_Ark Feb 2013 #31

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:47 PM

1. Own Germany? No thanks. I wouldn't understand a word they say.

 

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:48 PM

2. HUGE K & R !!!


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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:48 PM

3. yes it would...

and we could...but first we'd have to eliminate all the right wingers.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:49 PM

5. It would be great, but we helped set up a progressive German society after WWII but forgot to

set one up here, so it is not likely. Maybe the Germans and other Europeans can return the favor.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:06 PM

6. Yes it would be great

if energy, food (public gardens and orchards) and water could be part of the commons--owned by the public.

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Response to felix_numinous (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:12 PM

7. That's not what it is - unless your definition of the Commons is private property.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:31 PM

8. Oh I was not clear

enough--I know that the Commons is public. I was expressing how I wish things could be... Thanks for the correction freshwest!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:52 PM

9. Neither the Republics nor Democrats in Congress would ever allow this.....

 

It is imperative that the American people must now and always be beholden to corporations for everything. Any attempts at self-sufficiency in energy, food, etc. must be crushed or the markets for the fat-cats are diminished.

This would never, ever happen here. Not now. Not without a revolution with the heads of the big banks, energy companies, etc. twisting on the end of a pike.

Nice idea though.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:08 PM

10. What's so great about it?

What difference does it make who owns the solar panels anyway?

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:27 PM

11. You're kidding right?

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Response to Blanks (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:27 AM

15. No, I'm not kidding

Solar energy costs what it costs and it's still not all that cheap. If an energy company can deliver solar power cheaper (think economies of scale), why is it better to have homeowners producing higher priced solar power?

A house might install a 2,000 watt solar system and an energy company might install a 20,000,000 watt system. Which system do you think would be cheaper on a $ per kwh basis?

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:52 AM

18. It seems to me that it is better for individuals to own it because...

Then there are people not dependent on huge companies to produce their energy. Also it makes people more educated about their own energy demands.

Of course it is better if an energy company installs a 20,000,00 watt system than an individual homeowner installs a 2000 watt system, but it is better if 1000 people install a 2000 watt system.

I'd like to see cooperatives where people own the solar panels within a reasonable distance from their house (over a parking lot for instance) so that they can periodically view them and have some control over the resources used to generate their electricity.

'Economies of scale' is a buzz word that investment types use to hide their Ponzi scheme from their investors. I think that we need to decentralize production (with more strict monopoly laws) of almost everything.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:18 PM

20. Electric cooperatives have existed for decades

I've personally had business dealings with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative which serves parts of Virginia and Maryland. As a practical matter, being served by a coop is not much different than being served by an electric utility, except that it might be a little cheaper.

Unless you are willing to install a lot of additional (and expensive) equipment such as battery storage and power inverters, you will still be dependent upon the electric company for part of your electric needs. You would also have to be comfortable living with a limited capacity to use electric powered devices (most likely no air conditioning). Yes, it's possible to go completely off the grid, but in my opinion, it's not worth the money or the hassle.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:02 PM

21. I live on a cooperative now.

I never suggested living off the grid (or even the cooperative being off the grid).

What I'm talking about is being able to invest retirement funds into an alternative energy source.

Why can't our retirement funds (IRA, 401K, state pensions etc.) be invested in something local; something that has a guaranteed income over time (as long as electric energy is being consumed) can be monitored by the investors and creates local jobs. Something that the local utility has to compensate us for if we produce more than we use.

This model that we have where we send our money off to some genius; where they invest money in the kind of silly bullshit that we see on Trump's stupid celebrity show; that model seems to get retirements cleaned out every 10 years or so.

No, I want to be able to have my money go toward something that I know people are going to be buying, and that 'product' is going to be more expensive over time, and once that equipment is put into place; it doesn't require many inputs (cleaned off occasionally).

That's what I'm talking about. If I want to go count how many solar panels (or windmills) that I am part owner of; I just ride my bike out to where they are, and start counting.

Granted that isn't exactly the same as a cooperative, but it's crazy to accept that we 'need' energy and we are completely dependent upon someone else to provide it.

That's why I think it's better for individuals to own the PV panels. Really, it's about controlling a basic need.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:54 PM

25. You should be careful about investing your retirement funds in solar energy projects

I've been in the independent power business for about 30 years and for the last few years, I've been advising private equity on investing in energy infrastructure. I'll give you the same advice I give them - proceed with caution.

There are two aspects to a solar energy investment that you need to be aware of. A lot of the government incentives that have made solar energy investments attractive are tax driven. If you're not paying taxes, than you don't have a way to use the tax credits and accelerated depreciation that the government has implemented to encourage solar energy. If you are investing IRA or 401k money, you have no way to use the tax benefits, so the investment becomes substantially less attractive.

The other thing to keep in mind is that a substantial portion of the revenue from a solar energy project comes from Renewable Energy Credits or REC's (Many states have requirements that utilities and other load serving entities procure a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. The way states keep track of compliance is with these REC's and they can be sold to an entity and used to achieve compliance with the standard). In many cases, the value derived from the REC's is greater than the value paid for the energy itself. The problem is that the value is only there because of state mandates and these can be eliminated if the state so chooses. In addition, the value of the REC's depends on the supply which will increase as time goes on and more solar panels are installed. Currently, no one will commit to a contract to buy the REC's for more than 3 years into the future. For that reason, many private equity investors will not invest in projects that are too dependent on the sale of REC's for their revenue. If the pro's are being cautious, what does that say about solar energy as an investment?

I do think that more broadly defined infrastructure (conventional power plants, water facilities, natural gas pipelines and processing facilities, toll roads, airports, etc.) is a area in which to invest. Private equity is making substantial (many $ billions) investments in these areas because they are stable, provide current cash and can act as a hedge against inflation. I'm not sure if there are retail mutual funds that do this type of investing, but it would be worth researching and considering if there are.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:49 PM

27. I'd invest in buggy whips...

Before I would invest in any of the things that you recommended.

Toll roads and natural gas pipelines as a hedge against inflation - while the people I support oppose expanded use of fossil fuels, Fracking and privatization; I don't think so.

You remind me of the people who were trying to consolidate my debt, and then when they found out I didn't have debt to consolidate; they decided to try to sell me life insurance.

I support renewable energy sources. I'm not seeking investment advice. Now, go away.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:02 PM

28. I don't give damn what you invest in...

and I doubt you'd come close to the minimum investment required for our fund.

You strike me as one of those people who invest their 401k money with their heart instead of their brain, and then, when their investments tank, they whine about how the 1% has screwed them out of their retirement (again).

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:50 PM

29. This is a thread about solar panels.

You're probably right. Whatever it is you do is probably too big time for me.

I came in here to sing the praises of the Germans who seem to be wisely investing in their future. I'm not interested in toll roads, natural gas pipelines, or coal fired plants.

If I were interested in them; I'd be in the toll road threads, the natural gas pipeline threads etc.

Perhaps that's where you should take your high caliber investment advice. I'm not buying.

Thanks for your time.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:09 PM

30. You're welcome and good luck

I wasn't trying to sell you anything or give you you investment advice. At the same time, I don't like to see people make bad investment decisions if I can help them. What I told you about investing retirement money in solar energy is the truth. What you do going forward is up to you.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:46 PM

12. Wow! We will go back to bartering unless things here change.The 1 % can keep their money & put it

where the sun don't shine. Good job, Germany

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:00 PM

13. Legislators are getting big money

to sustain fascism.

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Response to The Wizard (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:44 AM

16. That's total bullshit

There's nothing stopping anyone here from installing solar panels on their roof.

Do you know anything at all about how our power system works? I'd say not.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:50 PM

14. Here in the SW US certain energy company's already have big solar installations

 

and they sure don't want competition. They have lobbyists at all levels of government. That's why in Ca. they let the tax credits for home solar system expire.

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:48 AM

17. Tax credits don't change the cost of solar energy

They just change who's picking up the tab. The cost of panels (and wind for that matter) has come down a lot - it's time for renewable energy to stand on its own two feet.

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Response to badtoworse (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:19 PM

24. That is changing the cost.

It's time for defense contractors to stand on their own two feet.

Let's spend all the money that we're wasting on bombs and bullets on alternative energy and try to get a few more years out of the planet.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:11 AM

19. I have what may seem like a dumb question...

I would love for this to become a reality for all. But for now, does anyone know if one could write the cost of a solar setup into their mortgage?

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:13 PM

22. There are programs to refinance...

Or there were...

You can google 'refinance solar panels' and there are hits.

The real question is: would it be cost effective? It may be worth a few phone calls.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:17 PM

23. this country needs a 'uniquely american solution', kinda like the ACA.

whereby we're all forced to buy solar energy from overcharging cartels...

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:58 PM

26. In America everything must lead to corporate profit

That is how it is done!



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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:24 PM

31. Jimmy Carter tried it

Last edited Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:34 PM - Edit history (1)

He got a comprehensive energy policy passed that included, among other things, provisions for ordinary citizens to be able to set up home wind/solar power generators, and sell whatever excess they produced to the energy grid. He even had solar panels installed at the White House. And then Reagan came along as the proverbial bull in the china shop and destroyed Carter's visionary policy.

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