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Old 06-15-2013, 10:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
It might seem that way today but its not. Look at this article.

Current estimates suggest that solar might be as cheap as coal by the end of the decade, and half the cost of coal by the end of the next decade:

The link:When Solar Becomes Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels | azizonomics
...and there is other articles like that dating back decades. Right now the cost of solar panels is suppressed by the Chinese becsue they are dumping product on the market.

Quote:
Jeffrey Ball: China

Wuxi’s industrial zone also is the epicenter of the global solar-energy industry, a sector now in the throes of convulsive growing pains. Specifically, the zone is home to the gleaming glass-fronted headquarters of Suntech Power Holdings Co., which over the last decade sprang from local startup to world’s largest solar-panel maker — and then, this spring, declared that its main business unit was bankrupt.

Lesser versions of Suntech’s bust are repeating themselves throughout China’s solar sector, as other once-triumphant panel makers flirt with insolvency. They grew too fast, propelled by inefficient environmental subsidies in Europe and the United States and by billions of dollars in backing from governments and banks in Wuxi and across China. The Chinese solar stampede was a mad dash for easy money, and at first it seemed unstoppable. But then Western governments dialed back their solar largesse, demand for China’s solar panels failed to keep pace with the industry’s torrid production increases, and inventory began piling up. The result: Manufacturers’ balance sheets began turning red.

I also note there was recent article that a lot of these may be substandard, if that's the case that's not a good thing for the solar industry.

In any event solar and wind are supplementary and cannot replace coal and natural gas which are base power. That's why energy storage is listed above renewables on that list but storage itself introduces much more expense and inefficiency.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,104 posts, read 20,376,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
...and there is other articles like that dating back decades. Right now the cost of solar panels is suppressed by the Chinese becsue they are dumping product on the market.




I also note there was recent article that a lot of these may be substandard, if that's the case that's not a good thing for the solar industry.

In any event solar and wind are supplementary and cannot replace coal and natural gas which are base power. That's why energy storage is listed above renewables on that list but storage itself introduces much more expense and inefficiency.
Growing up I thought the same as you. That is because solar was so expensive that it was nothing more then a novelty. I would always hear the "environmentalists" talk about it but in the real world it just was not practical. Then about 5 years ago I began studying how information technology advances and to my surprise that included solar technology. In the case of solar it doubles every 2 years and if you look at the trend lines that dates back to the 1970's you can see it has followed a predictable rate. That is why today, for the first time ever, there are studies that show solar is reaching parity with fossil fuels and will completely do so by 2018. That is why you see people, companies, cities, and countries switching to solar. They are not doing this because "it feels good" but because its becoming cost effective. That is why I have a goal to be completely off the electrical grid by 2020. That goes for my residence and the companies I own. This is not unique to solar. I am 40 and many of the technologies we have today were not possible when I was a kid in the 1970's and 1980's. We live in a time of Unprecedented change and how we get our energy is part of that as well.

Ray Kurzweil does a much better job of explaining it then I can. This is a link to a 8 minute video. If you get a chance I highly Recommend that you watch it.

http://youtu.be/uX8kFqQyHno

Last edited by Josseppie; 06-16-2013 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
That is why today, for the first time ever, there are studies that show solar is reaching parity with fossil fuels and will completely do so by 2018.
That may or may not be true but it doesn't solve the storage issue. When electric is produced it instantly travels across the wire and if it's not consumed it's wasted. With coal or natural gas you can increase and decrease the output as needed 24/7/365. With solar and wind if the sun isn't out or the wind isn't blowing you aren't making any electric, storage technology no matter what the method increases the cost of solar and wind substantially and also introduces inefficiency. For example we could use the electric to pump water uphill into a storage basin. Now you need a pump, a storage basin, you have energy to run the pump and energy loss through friction as the water is released to power a generator.

For this reason solar and wind will always be supplemental for decades if not centuries to come unless there is some enormous breakthrough. That's why my money is geo thermal, you don't need storage capacity.

And again the cost of solar right now is being driven by a market that is saturated with product. See the slowly declining plateau in your graph and the precipitous drop at the end?

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Old 06-16-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,104 posts, read 20,376,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
That may or may not be true but it doesn't solve the storage issue. When electric is produced it instantly travels across the wire and if it's not consumed it's wasted. With coal or natural gas you can increase and decrease the output as needed 24/7/365. With solar and wind if the sun isn't out or the wind isn't blowing you aren't making any electric, storage technology no matter what the method increases the cost of solar and wind substantially and also introduces inefficiency. For example we could use the electric to pump water uphill into a storage basin. Now you need a pump, a storage basin, you have energy to run the pump and energy loss through friction as the water is released to power a generator.

For this reason solar and wind will always be supplemental for decades if not centuries to come unless there is some enormous breakthrough. That's why my money is geo thermal, you don't need storage capacity.

And again the cost of solar right now is being driven by a market that is saturated with product. See the slowly declining plateau in your graph and the precipitous drop at the end?
Read this report:

A recent report by British Petroleum (BP) found solar power generating capacity surged 73.3% last year. If you’re a dedicated fan of the singularity, statistics like that are reminiscent of Ray Kurzweil’s solar dictum—that solar power is on an exponential path, doubling every two years. To what end? A cheap, clean, and virtually boundless power source for humankind in two decades. Nothing major.

The report has some sunny stats for solar enthusiasts. Beyond that 73.3% global capacity jump in 2011 (a record since the data set’s 1996 inception), capacity ended the period at 63.4 gigawatts (GW), ten times greater than its level five years previously.

That’s pretty positive news. As Kurzweil notes, “We are awash in sunlight.” Just 1/10,000 of the sunlight falling on the Earth’s surface can satisfy humanity’s energy requirements. And that doesn’t imply a landscape littered with panels—in fact, an area equal to just a few percent of the Earth’s unused deserts would suffice.


The link: Surging Solar in 2011 Proof of Ray Kurzweil’s Bold Prediction? | Singularity Hub
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,145 posts, read 18,782,120 times
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Default This is THE most important criticism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
study is flawed....Making future predictions using linear not exponential growth projections
What would you do with a phone that is 1 000 times more powerful than the one you have today? In 2033?
What would you do with a phone that is 1 000 000 times more powerful than the one you have today? In 2053?
One million times.
Only 40 years away.
2013-40 = 1973.
Think about it.
Your cell phone has more storage than all the computers in the world in 1973. All the computers in the world. My only complaint is I still cannot inset 80-column punch cards into my phone.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,104 posts, read 20,376,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
What would you do with a phone that is 1 000 times more powerful than the one you have today? In 2033?
What would you do with a phone that is 1 000 000 times more powerful than the one you have today? In 2053?
One million times.
Only 40 years away.
2013-40 = 1973.
Think about it.
Your cell phone has more storage than all the computers in the world in 1973. All the computers in the world. My only complaint is I still cannot inset 80-column punch cards into my phone.
That will happen. By 2033 computers will be the size of blood cells and thousands of times more powerful then my I phone. What will we be able to do with that? Some of the possibilities are: enhance our immune system, enhance our intelligence, and have vr.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:16 PM
 
37,073 posts, read 38,367,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
Read this report:
Now go look up how many solar companies have gone bankrupt in the last few years becsue of a bloated market.... and again it's not base power and never will be. That's something all the studies in the world will never change.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,104 posts, read 20,376,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Now go look up how many solar companies have gone bankrupt in the last few years becsue of a bloated market.... and again it's not base power and never will be. That's something all the studies in the world will never change.
Your making a common mistake. It's true that today and especially in the past solar was not competitive with fossil fuels. However to take that information and conclude that solar will never be viable is wrong. That does not take into account that solar technology advances and gets better exponentially. The world is full of examples of technology that while common today was looked at much differently when it first came out.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:58 AM
 
37,073 posts, read 38,367,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
However to take that information and conclude that solar will never be viable is wrong.
Again it's not base power, for solar to supersede coal or natural gas you need to store the energy they collect on a massive scale. As I've already pointed out this introduces more costs and inefficiencies. What is going to happen a hundred years from now is anyones guess but solar needs some tremendous advances in storage tech for it to be viable. It certainly will play a role but what that is remains to be seen. If you wanted a real world example you could use it to power a geo thermal heating system in your home.

Geo thermal, no storage needed.

Quote:
That does not take into account that solar technology advances and gets better exponentially.
I don't see that in the graph from the article you linked too. That only occurs the first few years. It slows through the 80's, nearly plateaus through the 90's and 00's and a very precipitous drop in '09 driven by a glut in the market.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,104 posts, read 20,376,103 times
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So right now it’s one percent of the world’s energy. People tend to dismiss technologies when they are one percent of the solution. But doubling every two years means it’s only seven more doublings before it meets a hundred percent of the world’s energy needs. So that’s 14 years. We will increase our use of electricity during that period, so add another couple of doublings: In 18 years we’ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar, based on this trend which has already been under way for 20 years.

This is from Ray Kurzweil

Here is another article with data:

The change is stunning. In 1980, $100 would buy you 5 watts of solar generating capacity. At the end of 2012, the same amount of money would buy you 100 watts of solar generating capacity, or 20 times as much.

Solar is now at the price where in sunny areas it is roughly the same price as grid electricity from coal or natural gas. If this pace continues, in the very near future solar will be far cheaper than any other sort of energy, allowing individuals and businesses to tap into many times more energy than they do today, at a lower cost, with no greenhouse gas emissions.

The link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/singular...imited-energy/

If you have other proven data please provide the link as I would like to see it.

Last edited by Josseppie; 06-17-2013 at 09:40 AM..
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