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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:13 AM
Original message
NYT: Disconnect between public perception of solar electricity and reality.
The New York Times - which I often find reports energy issues in a rather abysmal fashion by the way, particularly when it discusses nuclear energy, reports in this way on the solar industry:

The trade association for the nuclear power industry recently asked 1,000 Americans what energy source they thought would be used most for generating electricity in 15 years. The top choice? Not nuclear plants, or coal or natural gas. The winner was the sun, cited by 27 percent of those polled.

Using the Suns Heat, Not Light (July 16, 2007) It is no wonder solar power has captured the public imagination. Panels that convert sunlight to electricity are winning supporters around the world from Europe, where gleaming arrays cloak skyscrapers and farmers fields, to Wall Street, where stock offerings for panel makers have had a great ride, to California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggers Million Solar Roofs initiative is promoted as building a homegrown industry and fighting global warming.

But for all the enthusiasm about harvesting sunlight, some of the most ardent experts and investors say that moving this energy source from niche to mainstream last year it provided less than 0.01 percent of the countrys electricity supply is unlikely without significant technological breakthroughs. And given the current scale of research in private and government laboratories, that is not expected to happen anytime soon.

Even a quarter century from now, says the Energy Department official in charge of renewable energy, solar power might account for, at best, 2 or 3 percent of the grid electricity in the United States...

...But Vinod Khosla, a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur who focuses on energy, said the market-driven improvements were not happening fast enough to put solar technology beyond much more than a boutique investment.

Most of the environmental stuff out there now is toys compared to the scale we need to really solve the planets problems, Mr. Khosla said...



http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/16/business/16solar.html...

The answer according to the Times? More research...

All of the research of the last 50 years hasn't produced much apparently.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. One of the biggest problems we have when it comes to change
is the damned "bigger, better and more" idea. The energy department is forever thinking bigger. There is nothing wrong with starting little and especially when it allows the individual freedom and independence. They want a magic pill that will solve all the problems at one time.

One of the reasons that solar is moving so slowly is that it is very expensive. If they had used all that money spent on Iraq to subsidize energy alternatives we would be a lot further ahead. What if FDR had used the money for rural electrification to fight a war instead?
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. the better analogy...
would be: what if FDR had insisted on rural electrification using solid gold wiring. Because its better! It conducts more efficiently, and eventually market driven research will bring the price of gold down to that of copper!
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. The government must make big tax incentives for solar set-ups.
The initial outlay is quite a bit, but I know folks in the hills outside Tombstone where there is no electric available that use solar and have every convenience. Like the petroleum industry, big power companies don't want solar or anything that could cut into profits.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Actually one of the world's largest solar companies IS an oil company.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 09:34 AM by NNadir
That would be BP (Beyond Petroleum.)

I hardly think the power industry is trembling in fear.

Like I said, the public perception is nonsensical and filled with all kinds of myths.

There already are huge tax breaks in many states and there have been such tax breaks for years. They have not made solar PV a useful form of energy on a significant scale.

Most of what solar PV has generated is complacency.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Doesn't BP stand for 'British Petroleum'?
I think "Beyond Petroleum" is just their propaganda slogan designed for consumption by the sheeple. All the big oil companies are doing it now.

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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. It used to be. Now, though, their name is officially just BP.
While it's not technically their name, "Beyond Petroleum" is the branding they use for their $800 million per year in alternative energy research.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. Germany gets 10% of its power from solar. 20% by 2020.
:shrug:
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Really? You do time travel?
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 09:42 AM by NNadir
Next time you travel to 2020, could you bring back a list of the winning lottery numbers?

Try to get better data when you go.

Germany does not produce 10% of its electricity from solar right now:




For now, the technology remains expensive and barely registers as a fraction of total energy production -- less than 0.5 percent. The government hopes to increase that figure to 3 percent by 2020.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...



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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Whoops. Combined solar and wind...
The country is now the No. 1 world producer of wind energy, with more than 16,000 windmills generating 39 percent of the world total, and it is fast closing in on Japan for the lead in solar power. Wind and solar energy together provide more than 10 percent of the nation's electricity, a rate that is expected to double by 2020.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/12...




10-12-29-31-35-44*








*2020 Lotto. Pm me for the date and Powerball number.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Um. Juergen Trittin has never been too good with numbers.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 10:52 AM by NNadir
Your link dates from 2004.

It was more like 7% of German electricity.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table63....

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table28....

In 2007, Germany is talking about building 26 massive new coal plants, mostly because of the actions of Juergen Trittin, internationally famous asshole.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,4727...

As of 2004, Germany produced 28% of its electricity from nuclear power, which the scientific illiterate Trittin pushed to destroy for arbitrary reasons. Wind and solar cannot (and probably never will) be able to do what nuclear does, provide baseload continuous power, but even if they did, the 20% would mean an 8% increase in the use of dangerous fossil fuels and the generation of dangerous fossil fuel waste.

In fact every single nuclear power plant that has ever been shut by appeals to public ignorance has been replaced by dangerous fossil fuels.

Thanks for the lottery numbers. If I'm still around in 2020 and am not killed by climate change before then, I'll play them.

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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Ah, nuclear.
Bright idea.

Nuclear waste facilities aren't as pretty as you think.





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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. Nuclear: max 13,000 tons of waste per year, worldwide. Coal, 14 BILLION tons of waste per year.
And guess which one vents all its waste directly into the air instead of safely storing it?
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Safely?
My father worked at Hanford for a big chunk of his career. The underground tanks leaked. Cesium contaminated the groundwater and leeched into the Columbia River. Thusly, also the waterlife, the Pacific Ocean and points beyond.

I'm not predisposed against nuclear energy but asserting a safety that isn't necessarily there doesn't move the yardsticks forward for me. I also see the folly of fossil fuels.

Tidal generators, solar, wind and biomass seem the likeliest of suspects.


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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. Hanford was always a disaster area.
There was a time when they simply vented their surplus radioactive material, mostly iodine, directly into the air. Nearly three quarters of a million curies, before they finally installed filters. That place was designed and built back in the 40s, before a modern understanding of radiation really came about.

Anyway, show me a tidal generator or solar installation that can produce 2,000 megawatts continuously, every day. It's not like I relish the thought of fission plants in every city, but compared to the very large and growing danger of fossil fuels, and the knowledge that major commercial-level Bussard/Polywell reactors are probably 30 years out, it seems a simple equation to me.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. From the charts with the article, we'll be adding more energy from renewables than fission.



Based on those charts,
fission had billions more research dollars,
but we'll be adding more energy from renewables than fission.

Renewables will add 47.1 billion kilowatt-hours more than nuclear:

renewables 2005: .9+15+15+23+38+265=356.9
renewables 2030: 7+52+23+28+102+308=520
renewables increase: 163.1

fission 2005: 780
fission 2030: 896
fission increase: 116

That's about a 15% increase in fission.
We have about 100 plants, a 15% increase is about 15 new plants.
The "nuclear rennaissance" is 15 new plants.
:popcorn:

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Reference?
Actually the history of soothsaying on solar energy and renewable energy has been rather poor.

The reason for the large growth in coal in this report is NOT technical. It mostly has to do with the rhetoric engaged in by the reflexive antinuclear industry.

It doesn't have to happen, although the endless appeals to antinuclear stupidity are trying to MAKE it happen.

In the last two years, we've seen the endless predictions about the immanent demise of nuclear power dumped and disippated like, say, 28 billion tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste.



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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Reference? The article you linked to in the OP. nt
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Oh. I see that.
I should look at the pictures more.

Actually, it is pretty clear from the OP that I am not particularly fond of reporting of the New York Times on energy issues in general and nuclear issues in particular.

Who knows? Maybe solar energy will get to 5% without a zillion years of more research.

No one would object, I'm sure. I don't think it will happen, but no one who cares about dangerous fossil fuel waste would object.

One of the high point of New York Times reporting on nuclear issues was Judith Miller's repetition...um...I mean "reports"...about Scooter Libby's concern about Niger uranium.

The last I looked several hundred thousand people were dead as a result.

The New York Times is the bestest, goodest, and most wellable at nuclear reporting.

Of course, several hundred thousand dead in Iraq hardly compares with the much larger number of people who will die of fossil fuel waste this year, but who's counting?

Has the New York Times checked with the Oracles of Gore to see if they're close by the way? I mean, have they asked you? Please tell us with your expert knowledge of all of Al Gore's opinions, should we believe this article or not?
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losthills Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
15. Solar energy is a free and boundless power source.
All other forms of energy available to us are converted solar energy with many hazards and great expense involved in converting them again for our use. So why would intelligent people not decide to go right to the source itself, and skip all the environmental degradation?

We can't build a solar power plant that would replace a coal, oil or nuclear fired plant at this time because our government and our corporations have not spent the billions that they have developing the inferior sources. That's because there is no money in it for them. Once the plant is built, they cannot make more billions selling us fuel for it because it doesn't require any. Think about that...

But yet any person can run their own home on a combination of wind and solar power, and live as well as anyone with no power bill whatsoever, and many people around the world are doing it today. And there is no reason to believe that what works for one home cannot work for everyone's home. Yes, it's very expensive to set up an "alternative" system, but they work very well, and if our whole society got behind it, the costs would plummet below what we pay today. Because the source of the energy is free.

Free...
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Bad metaphor
That's like saying it would be more efficient for us to find a way to eat grass than to eat cows.

Coal is a more concentrated form of energy than solar. This morning at work we talked about building a 500 MW solar PV plant that would require 3,000 ares (!) of land to build. 3,000 acres of mirrors creating an abiotic desert.

I'm a fan of solar PV, but that was a bit shocking.

Meanwhile, you can build a 500 MW (or greater) coal plant on less than 100 acres. :shrug:
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losthills Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Coal was concentrated over millions of years,
and is being used up in a few. With the environmental degradation and incredible expense of digging it out of the ground before you can use it... And the pollution and greenhouse gasses that are produced when you use it.

Go to the sun itself, which produced the coal, and skip all the expense and pollution.
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razzleberry Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. coal costs next to nothing
thats why everybody uses it

> incredible expense of digging it out of the ground before <
that is not true
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Coal is a funny thing... because we have alot of it and most of world's fossil
Edited on Tue Jul-17-07 11:36 AM by Bread and Circus
remaining fuel energy is coal.

However, a huge problem with coal is Carbon Dioxide emissions, at least as I see it. That's not counting all the other poisons and hazards that come into play when mining and burning it.

I wish we'd just leave it in the ground.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. 3,000 acres isn't that much land if you really think about it.
My uncle alone owns 1,000 acres just for farming corn and beans.

Additionally, when it comes to land use and direct solar capture, the key places are already deserts.

Third, you are missing the point that solar energy drives the ocean currents, waves, and pumps the water that flows as rivers. Additionally, the wind as well.

When folks are talking about "solar" energy, they aren't just talking about PV farms. Rather, what we are really talking about is harnessing the various forms of solar energy in various ways to form a portfolio of energy:

Wind
Direct solar (via PV, parabolic troughs, stirling engines, etc.)
Rivers
Ocean Currents
Tidal

I'm all for a variety of energy sources that get away from fossil fuels. If nuclear energy is in that equation and can be delivered relatively safely, then I'm all for it. However, just one nuclear disaster with the resulting fallout (ie Chernobyl) should be seen as a cautionary tale.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. 3000 acres is a HUGE amount of land. It's nearly five square miles, the size of a small town.
Edited on Tue Jul-17-07 12:22 PM by TheWraith
Furthermore, a 500 megawatt solar plant would only produce close to that a small fraction of a day. Meanwhile, a 2,000 megawatt nuclear plant can be built on just 30 acres, and runs at that capacity 24 hours a day.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. You can get about 900 megawatts from 4500 acres via stirling dishes
that's about 225,000 to 270,000 households, which serves about 600,000 to 900,000 people. 4500 acres is 7 square miles, which is 2.65 miles per side (if the farm were square).

est. 750,000 people / 7 = 107,142 people supplied per square mile
300,000,000 people / 107,142 = 2,800 square miles
square root of 2800 = 53 miles per side (if the farm was square :) )

US = 3,718,695 sq miles
2800/3,718,695 = .000752952 = .0753% of land to supply enough household electricity for the U.S.

That would take about 16 million dishes (dishes are projected to become about $50,000 each)
50,000 x 16,000,000 = 800,000,000,000 = $800 billion dollars

This is less than what we are going to spend on the iraq war, ultimately.

And what do we get in return, enough energy capture for all residential electricity use for the life of the stirling dishes that is safe, domestic, emission free aside from production and installation industry emissions, and doesn't leave a legacy of nuclear waste or the specter of a meltdown in your backyard.

Well, anyway my math is fuzzy and the concepts are just theoretical to spell out a point.

But stirling dish solar farms are just a small part of the equation, there's also:

Solar concentrators (using fresnel lens) and concentrated PV - solar sunflowers
traditional PV's
Solar towers
Wind power
Wave power
Tidal Power
Ocean current power (a 12 mile/hr current is equivalent to a constant 110mile per hour wind)

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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-19-07 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. You're forgetting that any kind of solar power only produces for a few hours a day.
Plus you've got some bad figures. You can only get, even at theoretical maximum, about 500 megawatts from 4500 acres of Stirling engines. When you figure that this only works for about three to four hours a day around solar noon, it doesn't compare favorably to a 30 acre nuclear facility which produces 2,000 megawatts 24 hours a day.

Furthermore, it's going to take one company twenty years to produce 500 megawatts worth of Stirling engines. And since it's sunlight dependent, you still need to add yet more production capacity to build some kind of supermassive power storage mechanism, to hold the billions of watt-hours that would need to be held over from noon to the later hours.

About your math, you need to increase the number of dishes--and as a result, the cost and space--by a factor of six, plus all the area needed for whatever way we found to store that power, something we can't do right now. So 16,800 square miles, 96 million dishes, and 4.8 trillion dollars. Not including storage costs, displacing any people living in that 16,800 square miles, the economic and environmental cost of that much industrial production, finding sites to place these dishes, etcetera, etcetera.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. If a developer was talking about putting houses there
I would be totally appalled.

3,000 acres is a LOT for that about of energy.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-19-07 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. Agreed.
We're chewing up our undeveloped spaces too fast already. I don't want to have to pave over a state or two for solar energy.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. People in cities live at too high of a population density to capture their own energy imo
So, not everyone can "get off the grid".

However, I do believe we can get off of fossil fuels within 30 years if we wanted to. It would be the greatest gift we could give to our children.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. "Getting off" fossil fuels
However, I do believe we can get off of fossil fuels within 30 years if we wanted to.

Actually, we will be getting off fossil fuels in a big way in 30 years, that's not really a problem. The problem comes if you expect that we will get off fossil fuels and continue Business As Usual. That's going to be a wee bit harder.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Don't be too sure
There's a lot of coal in those hills. :(
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. That demonstrates a profound ignorance of the issue.
"All other forms of energy available to us are converted solar energy with many hazards and great expense involved in converting them again for our use. So why would intelligent people not decide to go right to the source itself, and skip all the environmental degradation?"

For starters, solar power would be vastly more environmentally destructive than almost anything else other than coal. Why? Because to produce enough energy to satisfy even just the requirements of the United States, you'd need to effectively pave over the entire state of Nevada with solar cells and their maintainence facilities. Then, on top of that, you'd need a ridiculously massive capacity for energy storage, since solar cells only produce power at peak for a few hours a day. Call that another few hundred or thousand square miles despoiled. Lastly, you'd basically need to strip mine a couple of mountain ranges to get all the chemicals and minerals you need to produce solar cells, and you'd need to multiply production capacity many thousand fold in order to build them, all of which creates further environmental damage.

"We can't build a solar power plant that would replace a coal, oil or nuclear fired plant at this time because our government and our corporations have not spent the billions that they have developing the inferior sources."

No, we can't build it because we can't build it. Solar power has been a dry hole. We've poured tens of billions of dollars into it over the last 50 years, and it's never even remotely paid off. That is, unless you seriously believe that every scientist that's ever tried and failed to improve solar cell efficiency had been in on this conspiracy you postulate.

"But yet any person can run their own home on a combination of wind and solar power, and live as well as anyone with no power bill whatsoever,"

I notice that you're suddenly mentioning wind power, since it wouldn't look to good for you to admit that solar paneling installed on the average home would only provide about a third of their overall power requirements. And even your overly optimistic scenario here requires people to have a 60 foot tower in their back yard with a windmill bearing 17 foot blades.

"And there is no reason to believe that what works for one home cannot work for everyone's home."

That's one of the most ridiculous things you've said yet. Out of curiousity, how many apartment dwellers do you think can put up wind turbines? Do you really think that the average person can afford the $23,000 it costs to get a solar system installed, when it won't even pay for itself for at least 20 years?

"Yes, it's very expensive to set up an "alternative" system, but they work very well, and if our whole society got behind it, the costs would plummet below what we pay today. Because the source of the energy is free."

No, it's not. There's no such thing as free energy. You can get a certain amount of what seems like "free energy" by setting up a wind turbine or a solar panel, but they are still not maintainence free, and you need to factor the cost from the initial investment divided by the life of the hardware. Solar is vastly more expensive, per kilowatt-hour, than any other form of electricity known to man.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. This was a stupid and irritating article
It's all about solar PV, and treats solar thermal as some freak Bush-hydrogen car-switchgrass plan. :P
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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
30. EPRI water power generation projections
Electric Power Research Institute water power generation projections (conservative according to EPRI)

Wave and In-Stream Tidal Energy and other Ocean Energy Sources are potentially important energy resources and should be evaluated for adding to our energy supply portfolios

Indigenouskeep the wealth at home and increase energy security

A balanced and diversified portfolio of energy supply options isthe foundation of a reliable and robust electrical system

Clean, low greenhouse gas emissions and minor aesthetic issues

Economics appear to be close to other options in spite of much less Government research support

Existing Capacity/

Technology Potential By 2010By 2025

Conventional hydropower 62,300; 525;10,000

Capacity gains at existing hydro 4,300; 375; 2,300

New small & low power hydro 58,000; 125;2,700

New hydro at existing dams (16,700);25;5,000

Hydrokinetic 12,800; 115;3,000

Ocean Wave energy 10,000 -20,000;84;10,000

TOTAL 85,100 -95,100

Projected

724(2010)

23,000(2025)



http://www.hydro.org/EPRIEESITheFutureofWaterpower06080...

www.epri.com/oceanenergy
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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. some Commercial Ocean Power projects in process
AUSTRALIA ACHIEVES WORLD FIRST WITH WAVE-TO-ENERGY PLANT

On October 26, 2005 Energetech Australia generated both electricity and fresh water from the sea at Port Kembla with their wave-to-energy plant. The machine, named Uiscebeatha (meaning water of life) performed beyond expectations. Sea trials over several months had an average aerodynamic efficiency of the turbine between 52 and 81%, with an average of 69%. The results indicate the technology is capable of producing more power than has previously been claimed by both Energetech and independent research.

In general, the device performed better than previous wave tank, wind tunnel, and computer simulation tests had predicted. The structure will soon be permanently deployed, with connection to the grid via an 11 kV cable. It is expected to generate a maximum of 500 kW of power, as well as to operate in desalination mode to produce fresh water.

http://energetech.com.au:8080/index.htm



BERMUDA TO USE U.S. TECHNOLOGY TO PRODUCE RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM OCEAN CURRENTS

The Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) and Current to Current Bermuda Ltd., a subsidiary of Current to Current Corp. based in Burlington, Massachusetts, have agreed to utilize the renewable energy inherent in the ocean currents off the island of Bermuda. The agreement is for 20 years and intends to provide nearly ten per cent of the islands electricity needs. Current to Currents patented technology uses a submersible, cylindrical unit that incorporates a gearbox to produce electricity via a generator. It is 150 feet long utilizing a four-blade turbine and will be sunk between 75 and 200 meters below sea level. It is expected to produce about 10 megawatts. The device was developed in the U.S. by a team of scientists and technologists led by Dr. Manfred Kuehnie who has many patents including satellite and credit card reading technologies. The Bermuda site is to be the first deployment of BELCOs Submersible Power Generators (SPG). Garry A. Madeiros, BELCO president and CEO, said that they looked closely at offshore wind generation and acknowledged its viability, but because of the intermittent nature of winds they opted to develop the more consistent ocean currents as a preferred source of renewable energy. BELCOs chief marketing officer, Helen Manich, said that the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR) will conduct current-flow testing in April and May to determine the best location for the SPG, which will be constructed in the U.S. and barged to Bermuda.

13 February 2006, Hamilton - Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) announced today that the Company has entered into a contract to purchase renewable energy that will be generated from ocean currents.

The agreement between BELCO and Current to Current Bermuda Limited is for the purchase of up to 20 megawatts (MW) of power. The first 10 MW is scheduled to be available to BELCO by the end of 2007. http://www.bermudagas.bm/bhl/news/news45.html



PORTUGALS OFFSHORE WAVE FARM UNDERWAY

During March the Pelamis (latin for sea snake), the wave-generating device built in Scotland, will begin the journey from Scotland to Portugal as the initial element of the wave farm to be installed off Portugals coast. Pelamis is a series of large articulated tubes, which move up and down with the swell of the sea, driving a turbine to produce power. For over a year it has been producing electricity off the coast of Orkney, successfully feeding the power grid near the town of Stromness, Scotland. Developed by Ocean Power Delivery Limited (OPD) of Edinburgh, three Pelamis P-750 machines have been contracted for by a Portuguese consortium, led by Enersis, to build the worlds first commercial wave farm. It will be located 5 km off the coast of Portugal, near Povoa de Varim. This first phase will have an installed capacity of 2.25 MW and is expected to meet the average demand of more than 1,500 Portuguese household. Subject to the satisfactory performance of the first stage, an order for a further 30 Pelamis machines is anticipated. Further information is available at www.oceanpd.com .


likely not the most cost effective technology available- lots to choose from

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