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Old 11-24-2014, 09:33 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,871,871 times
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The plant in question was subsidized with billions of dollars. Also, it isn't based on solar panel systems which is what the report concerns itself with.

Are you trying to compare a heliostat system to solar panel systems? The report is specific to solar electric systems that are panel based.

As someone else here took such effort to say, the plant at Ivanpah isn't panel based but one that uses heliostats.

The report doesn't speak to heliostat projects in California getting to parity. Many if not all the systems being used in the report as data points are subsidized.

Can't help but notice you aren't on the list to be cited for being off topic.

Just saying.
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,367,509 times
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Unless there are literally tens to hundreds of anything the resulting engineering knowledge base, all the installations are experiments. Even if they do not meet expectations they are successful if they provide information. Sometimes this information can be very expensive.

The investment by Chevron (formerly California Standard Oil) in this project is rational because Chevron is an ENERGY company currently heavily dependent on low cost petroleum and the petroleum is getting more expensive to find, transport and use. They are gathering information for their own corporate future. This makes sense.

Related to this "Green Energy" discussion were comments about hydroelectric energy production at Hoover Dam and, presumably other similar power plants. When this project was finished in the 1930's it produced the expected energy from each of the turbine generators as they were installed and tested. This was because hydropower was a well understood technology for nearly 500 years old with the electric portion almost 60 years old in the '30's. Recently, after nearly 50 years of operation, the original turbines were replaced with more efficient devices and the original alternators were rewound with modern higher purity copper and thinner insulation. The result was a 50% increase in yield for the entire power plant.

High intensity solar collector power plants simply do not have the decades of operating experience to be considered anything but experimental.

This entire discussion has totally ignore a well understood technology that can provide endless renewable power. This is nuclear fission using a fuel recovery and breeding system. The fuel processing system is the key to the effectively endless power. Fission reactors create new fissionable materials in normal operation and can be designed and fueled to produce far more fissionable fuel than the rector can consume. This was know when the nuclear power industry began but the fuel recycle was ignored, or actively suppressed, for several reasons.

IMHO - This technology should be instituted as a source of base load electrical, and in some variations, high temperature industrial applications, as a vital part of an alternate fuel energy supply system. The other sources such as PV electrical, direct or remote solar heat (I use direct solar heat in my condo during the winter), wind and geothermal heat among others. I also believe the more capital intensive and complex systems should be government owned to avoid all the negative aspects of placing profit over everything else. For example the TVA still produces electricity at a lower cost than the neighboring privately owned utilities.

I hope this thread can continue with the discussions of the technology without the distractions of personal fights and diversions into peripheral topics such as copyright law.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:01 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,871,871 times
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If experiments are to be funded using the treasure of the country, then the country should own it, not a gathering of individuals who enrich themselves at the country's expense.

Let Chevron invest in BrightSource, no problem but when government funds is the predominant funding there is virtually no risk to business and that is contrary to the purpose of government and the foundation of our system of business and its relationship to economics.

Chevron will reap rewards on it's investment no matter what happens because it is now a creditor of BrightSource. If BrightSource folds, Chevron will be in line to get all the development results, which were paid for by the country for less than pennies on the dollar, essentially it will get them for almost nothing compared to what the country invested. That is not what government should be doing.

If the development of Ivanpah was such a good deal, then why didn't Chevron invest more? Surely Chevron has the money. Here is why: if you were Chevron and knew the government was going to remove investment risks from Ivanpah then why would you invest more than a pittance in it, knowing that if it fails you're out very little but if it works the pay off is exponentially greater than your investment?

I've said it before, the same people running and controlling fossil fuel sources in the country are the same that will run and control renewables. Chevron is proof that it is happening.

If energy is such an essential need and who can argue that energy isn't a strategic concern, then why are billions upon billions being funneled into private businesses that in our systems of business and economy should be taking the risks so that if rewards come they are earned instead of a gift from the country?

If government removes risk then that isn't business it is welfare.

It has been said over and over again that renewables are the way of the future and said with such fervor that it is a sure thing. If it is all that, then why would government need to eliminate as much as possible, risk of businesses that are supposed to innovate and invent?

When did it no risk no reward theories go out the window? If government needs to remove risk from businesses on the scale that is being done with projects like Ivanpah, then something is wrong.

If Ivanpah will reach it's goals in 4 years, okay then start giving the money back to government with interest. What is with all the free lunches?
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:46 PM
 
240 posts, read 195,112 times
Reputation: 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
The plant in question was subsidized with billions of dollars. Also, it isn't based on solar panel systems which is what the report concerns itself with.

Are you trying to compare a heliostat system to solar panel systems? The report is specific to solar electric systems that are panel based.

As someone else here took such effort to say, the plant at Ivanpah isn't panel based but one that uses heliostats.

The report doesn't speak to heliostat projects in California getting to parity. Many if not all the systems being used in the report as data points are subsidized.

Can't help but notice you aren't on the list to be cited for being off topic.

Just saying.
Interesting take, I guess everything you read has a bias, sad really
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:45 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,871,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taajsgpm View Post
Interesting take, I guess everything you read has a bias, sad really
I understand not wanting to be negative but the truth always works, especially when taxpayers are bilked for billions.

Sad is the money that seems to evaporate and unlike the renewables, is a finite source that should be conserved, not squandered.

Last edited by Mack Knife; 11-25-2014 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,614,623 times
Reputation: 10575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
If experiments are to be funded using the treasure of the country, then the country should own it, not a gathering of individuals who enrich themselves at the country's expense.
Let Chevron invest in BrightSource, no problem but when government funds is the predominant funding there is virtually no risk to business and that is contrary to the purpose of government and the foundation of our system of business and its relationship to economics.Chevron will reap rewards on it's investment no matter what happens because it is now a creditor of BrightSource. If BrightSource folds, Chevron will be in line to get all the development results, which were paid for by the country for less than pennies on the dollar, essentially it will get them for almost nothing compared to what the country invested. That is not what government should be doing.

If the development of Ivanpah was such a good deal, then why didn't Chevron invest more? Surely Chevron has the money. Here is why: if you were Chevron and knew the government was going to remove investment risks from Ivanpah then why would you invest more than a pittance in it, knowing that if it fails you're out very little but if it works the pay off is exponentially greater than your investment? I've said it before, the same people running and controlling fossil fuel sources in the country are the same that will run and control renewables. Chevron is proof that it is happening.
There appears to be a lot of misinformation packed into this poster's multipart screed. I don't see any evidence that Chevron is an investor in Ivanpah, which is listed as being owned by Bright Source, Google, and NRG. And it is only a minority investor in Bright Source, by virtue of being a partner with Bright Source in the Coalinga project, which launched 2 years earlier, is only a 10th of the size of Ivanpah, and uses a CSP tower array to generate steam to extract oil from rocks, not to generate electricity. It's a different breed of cat, aligned with oil industry needs.

Also, as noted before, contentious comments about government backing and loan guarantees really belong on the Politics and Other Controversies forum, not on Green Living, which is dedicated to respectful discussions about our environmental sustainability.

FWIW, I believe the design focus for large solar energy installations will now turn away from this type of CSP (concentrating solar power) Tower for the simple reason that solar PV (PhotoVoltaic) panels have dropped in price over 80% since Ivanpah was designed, which was a wholly unpredictable development. This means that the CSP type plant no longer has the kWh cost advantage it did when Ivanpah was designed and the permitting process for it began, back before the current administration.

But that's the nature of experimental development of new technologies... there's no way to answer all the questions on paper... or a computer screen. Once you get to actual construction and operation there are always unexpected factors that get revealed.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:45 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,871,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
There appears to be a lot of misinformation packed into this poster's multipart screed. I don't see any evidence that Chevron is an investor in Ivanpah, which is listed as being owned by Bright Source, Google, and NRG. And it is only a minority investor in Bright Source, by virtue of being a partner with Bright Source in the Coalinga project, which launched 2 years earlier, is only a 10th of the size of Ivanpah, and uses a CSP tower array to generate steam to extract oil from rocks, not to generate electricity. It's a different breed of cat, aligned with oil industry needs.
Who owns the Ivanpah facility?
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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Seems there is a lot more to the mess that is Ivanpah Project:

"But for all its scale and beauty, in terms of the future of renewables, Ivanpah is already irrelevant."

Ivanpah Solar Plant Already Irrelevent - Business Insider

And plenty more about the squandering of 2 billion in tax payer money:

"Ivanpah cost $2.2 billion. Warren Buffett paid the same amount for the world's largest photovoltaic plant just up the road outside Bakersfield. That plant will generate 1.5-times as much power as Ivanpah."

From that same article.

You see, the pay anything no matter what thinking is just a waste of money and resources. So much for conservation. Strange how as long as it's tax payer money going down the drain in the name of solar it is okay.

But there is a face saving grace if you believe that Ivanpah Project really makes sense:

"It's not that Ivanpah itself won't be cost-effective. BrightSource locked in a 20-year power purchase agreement with local utilities that includes fixed pricing, and the vast majority of costs were borne up front, according to Shayle Kann, director of GTM Research. That means the Energy Department, which lent the project $1.6 billion, and Google, which put up $168 million, will likely see a decent return. "

From that article as well.

Now pay attention. The Ivanpah project isn't going to make a return on it's efficiency or energy harvest, it is a pricing scheme that "might" do it.

I think Ivanpah is a mess and on it's own is a disaster in solar energy.

Now lets hear about how Warren Buffet is so wrong.
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,614,623 times
Reputation: 10575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Who owns the Ivanpah facility?
As I said, and as all the major news sources agree, the majority owners are Bright Source, Google and NRG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Seems there is a lot more to the mess that is Ivanpah Project:

Quote:
"But for all its scale and beauty, in terms of the future of renewables, Ivanpah is already irrelevant."
Ivanpah Solar Plant Already Irrelevent - Business Insider
May be, in terms of the FUTURE of renewables, but hindsight is always 20/20, eh? That comment was made in February 2014, years AFTER the project started, when it was viewed as cutting edge. The design was absolutely relevant when it was planned. But nobody could predict that the price of PV panels would drop 80% over the next 5 years, not even Warren Buffet. He made his investments AFTER the bottom dropped out of the market.

Quote:
And plenty more about the squandering of 2 billion in tax payer money:
That isn't accurate, and in addition, that contentious discussion does not belong here. Please take it to the Politics and Other Controversies forum
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:27 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,871,871 times
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Part of smart investing in renewables is not making the investment BEFORE the bottom drops out.

I bet that is why Warren Buffet wanted nothing to do with the Ivanpah debacle.

Follow the money, who owns Ivanpah Project. Then who owns BrightSource? If BrightSource is a primary owner of Ivanpah Project then disassociating the owners of BrightSource is hardly valid. What it is, is a smokescreen.

I think the Ivanpah Project is already a loser and in the end will be revealed as a squandering of taxpayer money that could be much better spent on other projects worthy of such an enormous investment.
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