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Last weekend half of Germany was solar powered

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    That's actually pretty mind-boggling. Good for them!
  3. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    I really like they way they have used solar pv for long stretches along the roadways in Europe. It bugs me that we don't do the same, instead we have Mass Highway crews weedwacking the adjacent areas' next to the highway...this area could be so much better used for solar.
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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  5. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

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    I would be grateful if we had trees along the highway to suck up some vehicle pollution. It would also save the tax payers money on grass mowing.
  6. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Godddammn hippie-talk like this is a gonna bring down the empire.
  7. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Some day...maybe.

    Isn't it all solar energy anyway? It's just a question of how much it is processed.
  8. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

  9. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Nice. In round figures, if their peak output near the solstice, during unusually clear weather is 50% of (typical?) demand, then their PV is contributing ~5% of electricity on an average basis? That is, I was assuming an 900 peak hr/year harvest, Arizona it isn't.

    Anyone have better figures for German PV capacity factor? Were the generous subsidies attached to a real site survey (as seems common in the US nowadays), or did anyone with a patch of blue sky get panels and a check?

    Edit: Oh yeah....the subsidy is all on produced electricity, up to $0.50/kWh in the beginning IIRC. Begs the question if there were some questionable (i.e. shaded) installs.
  10. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Pretty much. I consider nuclear the exception.
    Some forms of tapping it have different consequences than others.
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I wish it was that easy.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Technically wouldn't tidal energy be considered more lunar than solar?
  13. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Probably gravity, along with hydro-electric.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hydro-electric indirectly depends on the sun to drive the precipitation cycle, so I was considering that a form of solar. But technically a planet could have tides without the sun. Not sure about geothermal. Would this be an indirect form of nuclear energy?
  15. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Is it for certain that the heat in the earth is driven by nuclear decay? I was thinking a good amount was residual from the time of earths creation and some was created by friction created by movement of the earths core.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not sure semipro. That's why I posed it as a question.
  17. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    My understanding was that it is both....the formation energy is easy to compute, and it is not enough to account for the heat lost over 4 billion years and the remaining heat....radioactivity fills the bill.
  18. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Same here.
  19. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I want renewable energy to be "real". I really do. However, it seems the same promoters of nuclear power ("too cheap to meter") are now selling wind farms:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/20/the-fallacy-of-subsidized-parity-in-energy-pricing/
    http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/2012/wind-turbine-output-a-lie-vermont-ny/
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/306468-the-real-issue-with-solar-energy-isn-t-its-cost

    I know you're always going to put your best foot forward in a sale but if these things are truly competitive they wouldn't need subsidies. (I know, I know all about oil+gas subsidies) Nanotech and solar are going to happen, no doubt. But if we're going to spend a trillion dollars on getting there I'd rather spend it on R&D and get there sooner rather then blanket the country in solar panels that will be outdated in 10 years.

    But if you're in to the big bad conspiracy theory against renewables:
    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/01/german-utilities-fight-solars-cost-cutting-merit-order-effect/
    http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/29/how-german-solar-has-made-all-german-electricity-cheaper/

    If we can figure out the storage problem with renewables, then we will see old money dive into it feet first. The problem isn't making it work, but the need for an on/off switch (shutting down the mine, shutting down the gas turbine for "repairs"). That way you can fix the price so you can charge people as much as you want! Right now it's just too risky for them to throw a billion dollars at it without knowing for certain they will get their ounce of flesh from us all.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    In the U$ the problem with solar is, they don't own it.Therefore it is not feasible.
    firebroad and Dune like this.
  21. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Eventually they will. Nobody owns the internet either but eventually the economy of scale will make cloud computing worth it. People will leave the hardware biz and computers will be dummy terminals with a fat pipe. Any type of real autonomy will be too expensive.

    Grid storage is really a great idea, and more efficient/cost effective than building out every node for 100% peak demand. If you add electric vehicles to a smart grid it gets easy peasy. If they can figure out a way to store it so the can depend on the market price (vs being at the mercy of the weather) I bet we will see the power companies embracing renewable energy as a way for them to cut the cord away (gas+coal). I just hope we keep the middle man out of it (like Enron and HMOs).
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    We could have done the same with half the money we've wasted in the last 10 years(and are still presently wasting) on nonsense. America does not think ahead anymore, just far enough ahead to the next election.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Carter proposed this in 1979? Regan pushed this aside and we have not had a comprehensive strategic energy plan since. Instead, oil über alles has been our motto.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I am just waiting for that "next" breakthrough that makes solar a no brainer. Shortly after, I will have half an acre of panels and an electric car.
  25. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I don't know if you came up with that or recycled the saying, but you sure said a mouthful!

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