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View Diary: Solar Energy Cheaper than Coal? (351 comments)

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  •  don't have to use solar that way (12+ / 0-)

    just feed whatever energy you're producing back onto the grid.. lower your monthly bill.    Even if it only reduces the daily electrical usage 15%, imagine 10 million homes across the nation doing the same thing.   That's a lot of energy that coal-powered plants don't have to supply anymore.

    -- No matter what the cost is, winning is all that matters. Give your support to Hillary Clinton for president! --

    by soros on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 05:03:51 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Works fine on the micro level (7+ / 0-)

      But it's useful to look at the difference between base power needs and peak power needs.  Base power is needed 24/7, and coal supplies a lot of that need.  Coal plants are built to operate at a steady level for maximal efficiency -- cutting them back during the day is attractive to us, but not to their owners.

      Gas turbines are used a lot now for peak power needs.  This can be more easily replaced by solar, since peak power occurs during the daytime.  Solar is at least predictable for this use, unlike wind, the unpredictability of which has to be balanced elsewhere in the grid.

      Replacing coal will require a steady supply of renewable energy.  Short of a vast fleet of plug-in hybrids or electric cars to provide storage for solar, that's not going to happen with this technology.

      Rudy Giuliani is a small man in search of a balcony. -- Jimmy Breslin

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 05:09:05 PM PST

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      •  Solar is only one "Silver BB" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexDem, soros, AnnCetera, Game Theory

        It's not the be-all-end-all.

        But you hit on a great point with:

        a vast fleet of plug-in hybrids or electric cars to provide storage for solar

        "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

        by offgrid on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:23:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  unless of course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnCetera

        Replacing coal will require a steady supply of renewable energy.  Short of a vast fleet of plug-in hybrids or electric cars to provide storage for solar, that's not going to happen with this technology

        more people bike, walk, or take mass transit.  Like the rest of the world does.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:27:34 PM PST

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      •  storage is a non-issue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        astro

        until solar / renewable is supplying a significant percentage of power to the grid. We have a long way to go to get to that point.

        This is not to say it shouldn't be researched. But some interesting research is already going on, given that there are many places where better energy storage would be useful. Google on "CNT ultracap".

        The solution to the grid storage problem is very possibly the same solution for the problem of energy storage for electric cars, laptops, mobiles, and man-portable energy weapons.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:39:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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