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View Diary: Killing Coal - A Very Convenient Truth (108 comments)

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  •  JS - we are likely a decade away (0+ / 0-)

    from cheap power storage that can make utility scale wind and solar reliable 24/7/365 sources of power. We'll get there sooner for distributed rooftop solar. Wind and solar will continue to be more widely used to produce electricity, but natural gas powers more than just turbines that make electricity. Many manufacturing processes are powered by natural gas and we would have to significantly increase the consumption of electricity and upgrade the power grid to replace natural gas in our energy mix.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 04:40:52 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  You said: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deepeco, GDbot, FishOutofWater, Egalitare, BYw
      We'll get there sooner for distributed rooftop solar.
      What we actually need is a national crash program on roof-top solar generation in residential and commercial applications.   What we need to accomplish is to create a system that makes it a  easy decision, financially and otherwise, for home owners and business owners to install roof top solar.  

      What we really need is the concept of a energy generation organization that has the business of installing and fostering such roof-top generation.  We also need to head off threats to dispersed generation inherent in utility control and regulation of dispersed generation capacity and metering issues as explained in some recent DK diaries on controversies over Arizona Public Service's metering and charging policies for disbured generators.

      At the same time we need to get serious about photovoltaic manufacturing in the United States.  We've got to recover some of that business that has gone to foreign photovoltaic producers.

      •  PV panels have become a commodity (0+ / 0-)

        If we are going to put public tax money into solar I would much rather see it going into installation rather than manufacturing. Just take the low cost Chinese product and spend the money on the installation. The installation can't be moved offshore and installations actually increase the installed base of rooftop solar in the US. That's a much better way to spend tax money.

        In each state and utility district the utilities have been guaranteed a return of capital on all their infrastructure and a return on capital for all their investments in approved assets. Rooftop solar isn't going to change that agreement between the utilities and their regulators, it has been guaranteed by contract. So the question is who pays? Solar installations are done by people with higher energy bills, larger homes, and have more upscale demographics. Someone has to pay the utilities, should it all be those people who can't afford solar? That's the issue that the utility regulators are struggling with.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:27:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You said: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deepeco, Egalitare
          If we are going to put public tax money into solar I would much rather see it going into installation rather than manufacturing. Just take the low cost Chinese product and spend the money on the installation.
          We should be willing to say to progressive Democrats who are in AFL-CIO manufacturing-based unions that we back their involvement in this industry of the future and that the United States will grow this industry in a competent manner like Democrats usually do when given such economic development and job expansion responsibilities  [ Solyndra being the exception].

             

          •  LS - there is currently huge over capacity (0+ / 0-)

            in the manufacture of PV panels. Now is the time to take advantage of low prices and spur installations. No US company can manufacture standard PV panels in the US and stay in business. The PV market will fluctuate like computer chips. Why do we want to subsidize such a volatile industry? Let the Chinese companies lose money and go broke. We should buy the cheap panels and install them.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:43:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

        There is a global crash program to attempt to leapfrog the competition in solar PV funded by industry. Prices have been coming down much faster than predicted, and not only because China massively overbuilt solar panel capacity. My years in high-tech market analysis suggest to me that prices will continue to fall faster than predicted, because I have observed that even industry experts are mostly unable to appreciate the analogues of Moore's law that apply to many technologies, not just digital semiconductor chips.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 06:21:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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