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View Diary: New Report: Solar could provide 100% of world's energy needs by 2050 using only 1% of world's land (204 comments)

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  •  Of course power storage and transmission (11+ / 0-)

    needs to be addressed too, covering for night time and cloud cover

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:00:01 PM PST

    •  see my comment below....n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, alwaysquestion

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:13:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember the T. Boone Wind Project? (4+ / 0-)

      Looked promising -- capturing wind in the heartland. Problem was getting the electricity to the parts of the country that need it. Too many boundaries to cross.

      One of my favorite lines is that the power grid in this country is so Byzantine even the Byzantines are envious!

      •  Transmission (3+ / 0-)

        A problem in getting the wind energy from west Texas to the population centers. That librul Texas gummint funded $5 billion to build high capacity transmission in the CREZ (competitive renewable energy zone). Supposedly this will be finished this year.

        Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

        by grubber on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:03:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lunar energy, perhaps? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:02:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  which we know how to do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If we have the will to do it.

      The notioin that it can't be done should be dead. Now the question only is whether we will.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:11:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Transmission is the big thing. (5+ / 0-)
      Of course power storage and transmission needs to be addressed too, covering for night time and cloud cover.
      Power storage is so expensive that it's cheaper to install more wind turbines and shut some off when it's real windy or demand is low.  But wind power is generated in rural areas and needs to be transmitted to where it will be used.  

      One great thing about photovoltaic solar power is that it can be installed on rooftops and other places near where it will be used, so it doesn't need as much transmission.  

      Check this out:

      Now, in a major effort at the University of Delaware, a much more detailed and specific look at how a shift to renewables could replace, watt for watt, the current system in a large regional grid called the PJM Interconnection, representing 13 states and one fifth of the US grid.


       “At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90 to 99.9 percent of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today’s.” the authors wrote.


      The 99.9 percent figure can be achieved with, for example, 17 GW of solar power, 68 GW of offshore wind, and 115 GW of onshore wind. The most cost-effective solutions featured huge excesses of generation capacity—up to three times the load requirements at times—in order to minimize costly power storage additions.

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed... (0+ / 0-)

      The diary title got me all excited that there was a substantive breakthrough in storage announced, but alas, no.

      I'm more sanguine about transmission-- no fundamental problems there. The physical infrastructure is simply (hah!) a matter of time, money, and fighting NIMBY. We don't need fancy new non-existent super-conducting technology to do what we need.  And the software infrastructure is interesting and complex, but we've written sytems with that kind of complexity before, you just have the fed/state/local jurisdiction battles to fight, and corporate legal  battles to fight, etc.

      •  The NIMBY issue is a big one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        Don't think so?

        Do a Google search using the words "power line cancer" and get back to me.

        •  Well, I did that, and the top three links all said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "no evidence of any significant effect, and the small correlations that do exist look to be non-causal".  (That is, causal correlation is low-income, not exposure to 60Hz fields.)

          So what is your point, exactly?

          I know that most people don't want wind turbines or power lines in their back yards, but as I said, that is not a fundamental problem, but a political and legal one.

          The US government is quite willing to massively violate the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments with no good reason whatsoever, and most people are happy to go along because.... who knows why.

          I'm happy if the US government throws it's weight around a little to build power transmission infrastructure to save civilization as we know it. :-)

    •  it's never night time for Earth. (0+ / 0-)

      Half of us are in day and half in night, always. Solar feeds the day shift basically.

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