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View Diary: Green diary rescue: Will a clean energy standard be a good thing? (67 comments)

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  •  Currently, it's not 100% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Actually, it's extremely expensive to install solar...and, it's not yet 100% viable in all areas because of cloud cover.

    It's progressing...just not quite there yet.

    •  But, if we put in even a fraction of subsidies (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, jamess, Jim P

      for solar we've put into nuclear, we'd be much further along.

      Also, please remember the price you see in the market, and on the cute Exxon, cost comparisions for electrical generation usually contain a serious methodological flow.

      They represent the profitability or cost for a nuclear plant operator, to produce energy, not the true cost to society.

      The cost of manageing waste, the cost/risk of terrorism, of an accident, etc, are not adequately represented.

      The Price Anderson Act, has limited indusry liability in the case of an accident.  

      The 1997 Brookhaven National Labs, report for the NRC estimated the cost of a worst case accident at one of the 103 US nuclear plants, or, associated spent fuel cooling ponds which are not in the containment domes.

      I've heard three reputable US energy experts quote significantly different numbers for the financial cost of such an accident, but they range up to $700 billion dollars, in current dollars according to Arjin Mmakhijani, of the Institute for Energy and Evironmental Studies.  

      And could cause up to 10,000 excess deaths, and leave a significant area uninhabitable.  

      Robert Avarez says this report assert 200 square miles, which is consistent with the Chenonbyl accident, and Greghawk's excellent diary, which is up right now about the Hanford Washington waste (which is primarily due to weapons tech, I think.)

      Regardless of the numbers the cost to the society will be significantly larger than to the industry.

      So we need to take this into account when saying solar is not competitive.

      Solar's costs curves are coming down, and nuclear's are going up, but already heavily subsidized.

       

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:44:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction, my second paragraph should (0+ / 0-)

        say "methodological flaw."  

        Although, I like the idea of a "methodological flow."   Maybe I just invented something important here.  I better call my patent attorney right away.

        If I were Dean of a University, this is what I'd say, anytime I'd see the tenured faculty standing around talking, "Ok, folks, stop slacking off,  let's get these methodologies flowing!"  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:51:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hear that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog

        and I'm like most folks...LOVE to see solar..wind...bio all be viable, even if costs are a little high right now.  But, alas, they're not able to provide us with what we need currently.  It'll come, I'm convinced of it.  It's just a matter of time.  And....in the meantime, however long that is, we need oil and gas and coal and hydro.  Just a fact of life right now.

        I'm not giving up on the alternatives...probably sound like that, but not so.

        •  Check this out. :-) (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/...

          Also, Jamess had an encouraging diary on a new kind of solar plant last week, and Jerome Paris has published much encouraging work on the costs curves of emerging alternatives such as wind, coming down, as recently as a week to week and half ago.

          I may have misunderstood, but my impression is that the new solar energy plants that concentrate collected solar with mirrors onto a boiler, get so hot it continues to produce electricity at night.  But he sent me a comment suggesting I have some confusing about this. I have to go check.

          One additional interesting developed I beleive is also in this same diary by jamess is a description of the High Voltage Direct Current transmission lines which are apparenlty, up to six times more efficient than our existing electrical grid.

          This partially solves the problem of daily wind variation.  Because, if you can average wind collection over a much larger areas variation in local wind patterns cancels out.

          Last, night, we heard a new report on underwater tidal kits, which are approved for prototype development off the cost of England.  

           

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:32:14 PM PDT

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        •  It'll come faster if we get the government (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, Calamity Jean

          to subsidize it and keep the manufacturing here.

          We've got millions and millions and millions who need work. We've got all the basic elements of nature: wind, sun, water, earth. We've got a Federal Reserve printing out billions every month.

          Okay, this is America. We can't put these three things we have together to benefit not only the economy, but practically every aspect affecting the viability of living on earth, and just basic quality of life?

          No can do? We've got the short-sigthedness and corruption by the rich and powerful. Outside that, there's no reason we couldn't have a radically cheaper, and sane, energy situation in a few years than any of the killer-fuels can possibly provide.


          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:13:22 PM PDT

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        •  Quit bullshitting us (0+ / 0-)

          "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

          by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 09:03:12 PM PDT

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    •  Now, when people say "solar" it's often (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, Meteor Blades

      synonymous with the various renewable, great elements of nature, energies.

      You do wind here, geothermal there, solar, whatever... You bring down costs for all of them, create jobs in all of them...


      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:02:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hah! I live in a solar heated home in Pacific NW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, Meteor Blades

      famous for its cloud cover, and my solar wall has paid for itself several times over in the 17 years I've lived here.

      "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

      by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:59:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      Whether measured in cost per kilowatt hour or by carbon footprint, hydro, wind and nuclear are all clustered at the bottom, with solar just a little above them. Solar has been dropping rapidly, in both measurements, since new production methods use either less silicon or no silicon at all.

      As for cloud cover, we need a way to store electrical energy as it is being generated so we can then use it later, at night or rainy days, when the solar isn't generating.

      We call those storage things "batteries".

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