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Old 11-26-2014, 09:08 PM
 
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Interesting read. The article does bring up valid points for discussion.

Solar Energy Costs and Impacts | TheBlaze.com

"... solar is on track to supply only 1.2 percent of the world’s electricity by 2040."
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:21 PM
 
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What I find most interesting about this article is how it states that fossil fuels are in comparison to solar, are much cheaper but it balantly ignores a huge issue. One is a mature technology, the other is an emerging one. It ignores how much government subsidy and tax payer money it took to bring fossil fuels to maturity. By comparison, the subsodies and investment in ALL alternative energies today pales in comparison to that which fossil fuels received.

While solar is progressing slowly, much slower than I would have hoped, the investment in the technology is just not there to see any significant growth in the coming decades.
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Old 11-27-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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Subsidies are different than investments. With an investment there is an expectation or at least a hope of a return otherwise it isn't an investment.

Solar energy harvest has been around for decades. The technology is only emerging in the sense that it isn't ubiquitous like fossil fuels, it is already a commercial market. Fossil fuels are still undergoing experimentation and development so at what point is something considered a mature product? That definition should be backed up by more than someone just saying so.

To your point, how much money in government subsidies and tax payer money did it take to bring fossil fuels to maturity and how long did it take? Please clarify "maturity" and exactly what you're talking about because there are many different types of fossil fuels and some of them didn't need any tax payer money to be developed, people have been using them for hundreds of years.
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
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If there were any subsidies for the development of Steam or liquid/gaseous fuel energy (electricity) resources, I challenge anyone to point a clear proven path of that money..............
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Easy enough to find the data. The difference is that fossil fuel subsidies have been going on since at least 1950, while solar has only been since 1994.

Even with massive subsidies, renewable energy technology cannot survive. Renewables have been getting subsidies for years now; they should be able to stand on their own. | Energy Fact Check
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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The original article, from a paid professional shill for fossil fuels, misses several of the most critical details...

First, renewable energy sources do not contribute any of the carbon pollution that scientists have overwhelmingly identified as the chief danger to our environment today.

Second, the comparison leaves out the high costs in terms of health and human welfare imposed by using fossil fuel.

Third, it does not consider that the scientists have long said, as recently as the latest UN Panel report a couple of weeks ago, that renewable energy harvest can cost less then fossil fuel use when all costs and impacts are factored in.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:25 AM
509
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post

Solar energy harvest has been around for decades. The technology is only emerging in the sense that it isn't ubiquitous like fossil fuels, it is already a commercial market. Fossil fuels are still undergoing experimentation and development so at what point is something considered a mature product? That definition should be backed up by more than someone just saying so.
.
As someone that has owned a solar home for almost 20 years.........

The above statement is absolutely CORRECT. Solar might be at a technological dead end.

In those 20 years, the only change has been price. A $500 panel is now a $100 panel. That is significant, but that change is due to slave labor in China building solar panels for cheap. With the new tariffs on solar panels by the Obama Administration prices will start moving up soon.

I love solar it lets me live comfortably in a special location. As a energy policy for a first world country it makes absolutely no sense except as a means to transfer government monies to the private sector donors via politicians.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
As someone that has owned a solar home for almost 20 years.........

The above statement is absolutely CORRECT. Solar might be at a technological dead end.
Haven't been reading the technology reviews, have you? Or even the international news, apparently.

There are all kinds of technological breakthroughs occurring in the field, from new surface treatments that more than double the output of PV panels, to the discovery of a way to build a solar cell "like a pizza in a pan" by depositing a thin layer of graphene on top of a thin layer of nickel on a silicon base, then floating the top layers off the silicon and adhering them to a plastic or paper base, allowing the silicon to be reused, and leaving the PV material as a low cost flexible film that can be wrapped around curved objects, placed over windows, etc. We're getting close to being able to surface whole buildings with PV material.

Quote:
In those 20 years, the only change has been price. A $500 panel is now a $100 panel. That is significant, but that change is due to slave labor in China building solar panels for cheap. With the new tariffs on solar panels by the Obama Administration prices will start moving up soon.
No, the technology today is vastly improved over what it was 20 years ago, from lighter and thinner panels giving higher output, to micro-inverters increasing efficiency, to computerized controls increasing efficiency and reliability, to vastly improved energy storage systems.

Maybe, but if so probably not for long. For one thing China is expanding both its manufacture and its deployment of solar panels, and is making major commitments to switching from fossil fuels to solar energy, because the government has now awakened to the fact that air pollution causes huge public health care costs and severely reduced life spans. Are we to become the tail on the dog, following China's example, as they eat our lunch? We absolutely should be the leaders in this arena, since we have the best research.

Quote:
I love solar it lets me live comfortably in a special location. As a energy policy for a first world country it makes absolutely no sense except as a means to transfer government monies to the private sector donors via politicians.
Stop trying to make this about politics, and look at the facts. We've barely scratched the surface of using solar power, which experts at MIT have calculated gifts the planet each day with 71X the amount of energy mankind currently uses, and it is energy that is free, and that is renewable, and that is clean and non-polluting. It's been calculated that between solar energy and wind energy, the state of Texas alone could supply all the energy the country needs in addition to what is produced locally if we just build the transmission network to carry it.

Besides, to the greatest extent possible, using the power from the sun to remove the heat from the sun in summer heat is simply a no-brainer that we've barely tapped into. And as that market builds, expanded research and development results, leading to continuous improvement.

Last edited by OpenD; 12-06-2014 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The Island of Misfit Toys
2,766 posts, read 2,547,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
As someone that has owned a solar home for almost 20 years.........

The above statement is absolutely CORRECT. Solar might be at a technological dead end.

In those 20 years, the only change has been price. A $500 panel is now a $100 panel. That is significant, but that change is due to slave labor in China building solar panels for cheap. With the new tariffs on solar panels by the Obama Administration prices will start moving up soon.

I love solar it lets me live comfortably in a special location. As a energy policy for a first world country it makes absolutely no sense except as a means to transfer government monies to the private sector donors via politicians.
It does the job you want it to do. That's what counts. It would be enough for me if solar was able to serve in a civilian application. I imagine putting all private homes on solar would make a good impact on the environment. That's a good reason to keep solar around and to fund it.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:31 PM
 
7,280 posts, read 9,936,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shankapotomus View Post
It does the job you want it to do. That's what counts. It would be enough for me if solar was able to serve in a civilian application. I imagine putting all private homes on solar would make a good impact on the environment. That's a good reason to keep solar around and to fund it.
People have imagined putting solar on all private homes for a long time. Yet, even after they became so affordable you could buy a package at Costco we have yet to see any meaningful efforts to do what you're imagining.

Why is that?

It isn't the costs involved, solar panels are as we've been told relatively inexpensive and the return on the investment is all figured out so why aren't all new homes being built with roof top solar?

What do you mean "fund it"? Fund it for what purpose? Fund it for which people? Fund it to what extent? With 33% tax credits even those that can afford to install roof top solar from pocket change aren't rushing out to put solar on their roof tops.

Are you saying that roof top solar isn't affordable already? Since when?

If solar was the solution or even a good part of it, people would be putting rooftop solar on every house but they aren't. They aren't even putting them on most new construction.

If the adoption of gasoline, oil or natural gas took as long as it's taking solar to get past even a single digit adoption rate, we'd all still be trying to figure out how to get from New York to LA in less than a month.
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