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Stephan Kohler, Head Of The German Energy Agency, Argues Against Green Energy Subsudies
Posted: 20 November 2012 12:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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TimB - 20 November 2012 12:19 AM

Robert, you ignored the point that I made previously:

The portable phone was competing with an inferior product capability (e.g., CB radio and walkie talkies).  Solar power will be competing as an alternative to an energy production and delivery system that is ubiquitous and which is effective despite its long term problems.

I think it’s the other way, you ignored my points or didn’t understand them. Solar power will be competing with inferior alternative energy productions, which will be more expensive, less reliable, more dangerous, time consuming, require heavier maintenance, dirtier, non renewable, and have little or no public and political support.

Economic incentive alone is the crushing blow. No one is going to pay more for energy than they have to, regardless of whether it’s an environmentally conscious individual, penny pinching corporation or ruthless business model seeking to make money.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 12:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Robert Walper - 20 November 2012 12:39 AM
TimB - 20 November 2012 12:19 AM

Robert, you ignored the point that I made previously:

The portable phone was competing with an inferior product capability (e.g., CB radio and walkie talkies).  Solar power will be competing as an alternative to an energy production and delivery system that is ubiquitous and which is effective despite its long term problems.

I think it’s the other way, you ignored my points or didn’t understand them. Solar power will be competing with inferior alternative energy productions, which will be more expensive, less reliable, more dangerous, time consuming, require heavier maintenance, dirtier, non renewable, and have little or no public and political support.

Economic incentive alone is the crushing blow. No one is going to pay more for energy than they have to, regardless of whether it’s an environmentally conscious individual, penny pinching corporation or ruthless business model seeking to make money.

I didn’t ignore your points. I am skeptical of your time frame.  For the 3rd time, I hope you’re right.  But I’ll believe your optimistic assertions (as you say will occur within the next 10 to 20 years) when I see them coming to fruition.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 01:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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TimB - 20 November 2012 12:49 AM

I didn’t ignore your points. I am skeptical of your time frame.  For the 3rd time, I hope you’re right.  But I’ll believe your optimistic assertions (as you say will occur within the next 10 to 20 years) when I see them coming to fruition.

Fair enough, although I’d assert the next five years will make the conclusion much more obvious. Twenty years is a timeframe I consider the more conservative one when such a transition will be close to complete.

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Posted: 20 November 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Wow ! price is coming down to .50$ per watt. Only the greatest optimist would consider that good ! Hydro electricity is .065$ per KILO-watt here in B.C.  That is with every one involved making money…not just a few getting my tax dollars as a wind or solar subsidy.
The current situation is viable only as an experiment…it should not be scaled up until it is competitive .

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Posted: 20 November 2012 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Well, many Germans think wind farms are ugly, unlike PV installed on roofs. That’s the reason so much of the fixed feed-in tariffs go into PV. I got a 5.5 kW PV system on my roof. My return on investment is 8% per year over a period of 20 years. But wind farms are cheaper than PV.

I think we should invest in Greece, Southern Italy, Spain and Portugal to build solarthermal power plants, which are more efficient than PV. It would create jobs in these countries and help solve the debt crisis. Solarthermal also works at night using superheated oil. The same should happen in the American southwest.

Renewable energies are already competitive if you factor in the price for the damage created by burning fossil fuels or having to store nuclear waste and pay for dismantling nuclear power plant when they are no longer in service.

[ Edited: 20 November 2012 07:36 AM by dansmith62 ]
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Posted: 22 November 2012 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Robert Walper - 20 November 2012 01:33 AM
TimB - 20 November 2012 12:49 AM

I didn’t ignore your points. I am skeptical of your time frame.  For the 3rd time, I hope you’re right.  But I’ll believe your optimistic assertions (as you say will occur within the next 10 to 20 years) when I see them coming to fruition.

Fair enough, although I’d assert the next five years will make the conclusion much more obvious. Twenty years is a timeframe I consider the more conservative one when such a transition will be close to complete.

I think that you agree that your time frame depends heavily on solar power being economically competitive with current sources of energy production/provision.  For now, the low cost of natural gas will likely put a bug in that.  For now, the cost of solar without government subsidies is very far above natural gas, and wind power is also significantly above natural gas (but not as much as solar.) Federal subsidies for renewals are declining drastically every year now. See link:

http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/Gas_Boom_Challenges_Renewables_Nuclear.pdf

It is imperative that renewable alternatives become as or more affordable (to average consumers) than non-renewable sources . Until that happens, I don’t expect a drastic shift to take place.

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Posted: 22 November 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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It seems apparent that the views on alternative energy sources are vastly different between the U.S. and Europe, possibly because the suppliers of carbon based energy in the U.S. have such a strong voice in government that interest and activity in wind and solar have been suppressed and work has been slowed down and reduced.

Occam

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Posted: 22 November 2012 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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TimB - 22 November 2012 12:06 AM

It is imperative that renewable alternatives become as or more affordable (to average consumers) than non-renewable sources . Until that happens, I don’t expect a drastic shift to take place.

Already happening. The German company Manz is the first one (that I’ve caught) to announce they have reached the point of producing solar technology that is viable without government subsidies.

This is just the beginning; there are plenty of solar technologies in the works and coming down the pipeline that will make it even cheaper and more easily integrated just about anywhere, such as 3D solar cells and photovoltaic paints and pastes.

I’m aware my position may sound a bit of an overly optimistic ‘hippie’ one, but it’s a subject I’ve been following very closely on the simple fact of how important energy is to the survival and well being of our civilization. I’m not invested in any way for any particular energy source, it’s just after being initially quite skeptical on the solar front and then digging into the issue, I essentially realized ‘Huh, solar is going to win. Awesome.’

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Posted: 22 November 2012 11:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Occam. - 22 November 2012 10:57 AM

It seems apparent that the views on alternative energy sources are vastly different between the U.S. and Europe, possibly because the suppliers of carbon based energy in the U.S. have such a strong voice in government that interest and activity in wind and solar have been suppressed and work has been slowed down and reduced.

I think it is due to your election system… In Europe it is possible that Green parties make it in the national parliament and so can speak with a national voice. In the US all the power plays are done in the 2 big parties, and the only moment people can vote all the minority parties go under in your district system. The big parties are of course a great place for the suppliers of carbon based energy to lobby.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Occam. - 22 November 2012 10:57 AM

It seems apparent that the views on alternative energy sources are vastly different between the U.S. and Europe, possibly because the suppliers of carbon based energy in the U.S. have such a strong voice in government that interest and activity in wind and solar have been suppressed and work has been slowed down and reduced.

Occam

Exactly. The children of conservative Americans will have to buy green technology from Europe and Asia in the near future. Why has America become a nation of importers instead of producers, they will ask their parents.

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