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Study: Solar power is cheaper than nuclear

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posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by gagol
I am just glad to see that solar panels are becoming kinda cost-effective in a state that have not much sun as other states, without using concentrators. It's clear that we cannot rely solely on one source of energy, diversity rules.


yes, i think diversity (and flexibility) is key!

i live in New Mexico - it is rare that the sun doesn't break through the scant cloud cover on a daily basis, throughout all four seasons.

in fact, there is a local joke about there only being two seasons here, spring and summer, and spring lasts about a week.

in some parts of the state, the wind is almost constant. there is a little town called Vaughan that is south of Albuquerque and i've been through there more times than i could count. it is ALWAYS windy there - it sits on a hill in a huge plain of nothing but grasslands full of Pronghorn. the sun and the wind could provide much energy for many people if something were developed in that area, imo.

on the way from my town down to El Paso, there is a drop from the mountains down into the ancient shallow sea bed where El Paso is located. coming right off the Gap, as the pass down out of the higher elevation is called, there is a huge wind farm to the east of the highway but i still have no idea who it services, even though a friend of mine worked there quite some time ago. it's been there for a long time, 10 years i'd say for sure.

so i'm planning on installing a wind turbine and solar panels here at my house, as soon as i figure out what i need and what best fits that need. i think it will be an immediately noticeable improvement in many ways and it will make me feel more confident about things in general.

the power company has to buy back anything that i generate but don't use. i don't know if anyone was aware of that, but it is indeed a fact.

also, did you all know that the white house is solar powered? at least in part - evidently they don't produce all that much power but still...check out this short article about it.




posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 11:07 PM
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Just like many threads here and people you meet have to be stupid to believe that there is an alternative to what we are doing as a country right now.
So we eliminate oil….. no tires, no computers, no energy, no plastic, etc…
Now the “stupid” say why not solar or wind, cry , cry , cry….. well, because that means we all still have to have resources dug out of the ground and manufactured. There is NO plant that can be run by solar because it sucks!! And say we made all homes into solar the resources would make oil look like a great idea!
We get oil from deep underground so we never see what the earth does to get the job done. Imagine the enormous factories and “stuff” it would take to do what oil does!?
Nuclear is a great choice but you tree huggers have no spine to do what’s needed.
Sorry, the truth hurts.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by Steve8511
Just like many threads here and people you meet have to be stupid to believe that there is an alternative to what we are doing as a country right now.


If everybody would have been thinking like you, humanity would have never gone through a stone age. Imagination is key to evolution.



So we eliminate oil….. no tires, no computers, no energy, no plastic, etc…


Tires are made from rubber, grow in trees.
Computers rely on silicon, mines from earth.
Biodegradable plastic can be made from cellulose, grow in trees.
Energy, oil has no monopole here, plenty of alternative, starting with nuclear.



Now the “stupid” say why not solar or wind, cry , cry , cry….. well, because that means we all still have to have resources dug out of the ground and manufactured. There is NO plant that can be run by solar because it sucks!! And say we made all homes into solar the resources would make oil look like a great idea!


You lack of sensible arguments leaves me silent.



We get oil from deep underground so we never see what the earth does to get the job done. Imagine the enormous factories and “stuff” it would take to do what oil does!?
Nuclear is a great choice but you tree huggers have no spine to do what’s needed.
Sorry, the truth hurts.


You are talking about abiotic oil thoery, if it were true, why would we need to drill baby drill new wells to keep up, if the wells replenishes?

Oh yeah, calling other people stupid does not make you more intelligent, please respect the other members and get your facts strait.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by gagol


The Holy Grail of the solar industry — reaching grid parity — may no longer be a distant dream. Solar may have already reached that point, at least when compared to nuclear power, according to a new study by two researchers at Duke University.

It’s no secret that the cost of producing photovoltaic cells (PV) has been dropping for years. A PV system today costs just 50 percent of what it did in 1998. Breakthroughs in technology and manufacturing combined with an increase in demand and production have caused the price of solar power to decline steadily. At the same time, estimated costs for building new nuclear power plants have ballooned.

The result of these trends: “In the past year, the lines have crossed in North Carolina,” say study authors John Blackburn and Sam Cunningham. “Electricity from new solar installations is now cheaper than electricity from proposed new nuclear plants.”


Source : theenergycollective.com...

Is building nuclear facilities that cannot be dismantled for thousands of years really worth it? The market will probably answer the question.


nuclear is great for baseload power, solar and wind are not...simple. Also why do you care if they can't be dismantled for thousands of years? safety in the industry is top notch compared to say...the oil industry. All spent fuel is contained, all facilities safe-guarded. The industry means work for a great number of people, and in the future when facilities need to be decommissioned it also means work. The benefit to the economy is great over the life of one facility.....
you environmentalists are brain washed, you see the words solar, or wind and green and that's all you see....



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by porky1981
 


Please read my reply at the end of page 1.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by gagol


Tires are made from rubber, grow in trees.


Tires have not been made from tree rubber since WW2.

en.wikipedia.org...

There are not enough rubber trees in the world to supply 1/10 of the rubber needed for tires and tree rubber is inferior to Synthetic rubber in tires.
Most tree rubber is used for medical uses.

The chemicals used in Synthetic rubber come from oil.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 12:37 AM
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Originally posted by ANNED

Originally posted by gagol


Tires are made from rubber, grow in trees.


Tires have not been made from tree rubber since WW2.

en.wikipedia.org...


If you cared to read your own source, you'd find that

In 2005, close to 21 million tons of rubber were produced of which around 58% was synthetic.


... so fully 42% was still harvested from trees. You just don't seem to master the skill of the internet post.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 03:27 AM
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I work in power generation and the problem with solar panels (until recently) is that more energy is (was) used to manufacture a panel than it would ever produce.

e.g. We need to burn 1.2Kg of coal to save 1Kg.

A decent chunk of that energy is in the aluminium frame the P.V. cells are mounted on. Aluminium is extraced from bauxite by electrolysis which is reqires a huge amount of power (electricity). This is why Al is more expensive than Iron despite being more abundant on the Earth's crust.

Also, while it's true that solar panels only produce during daylight hours, this energy can be stored. For example, where I live, during times of low demand, water is pumped from Wivenhoe over Somerset Dam and then re-generated via turbines during peak times. This is because coal fired stations run much more efficiently at constant load and do not respond to changing load conditions well. I'll be the first to say that this is not a great way to generate power but solar is not as limited as some may think.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 04:38 AM
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I know all about solar power.

The sun gives all of us energy.

The sun is really really great.

-Sol



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


Nuclear has a degree of load following ability. The new French EPR reactor is designed to vary electrical output at a rate of 5% per minute between 60% and 100% reactor power (80 megawatt per minute). Of course, the economics of Nuclear are best when the reactor runs at full power constantly because the reactors are relatively expensive to build, but the fuel is so damn cheap, i.e. the operating expense won't change whether the reactor is at 100% power or 50% power, but the revenue stream will, furthermore Nuclear is generally the cheapest electric power on the grid so everything else is cut out before Nuclear. You can view Nuclear load-following in France, here. At 06:30, August 1st, (minimum demand) the French grid had 0Mw of Oil (0%), 0Mw of Coal (0%), 698Mw of Gas (2%), 38820Mw of Nuclear (94%), 415Mw of wind (1%), 107Mw of Hydro (0%), 1449Mw of other (3%). They were exporting 8459Mw of their electricity. At 22:45, August 1st (maximum demand) the French grid had 0Mw of oil (0%), 0Mw of Coal (0%), 43358Mw of Nuclear (81%), 291Mw of wind (1%), 7371Mw of Hydro (14%), 1503Mw of other (3%) and exported 7389Mw (The entire country of Australia uses about 25000Mw). Most of the load following is done by Hydro, and Nuclear. Anyway, during this time France was averaging 1000 tons of CO2 per hour, or 20 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour. Meanwhile, Denmark leader in installed wind capacity per capita, averages 650 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour with electricity that is significantly more expensive than France. Remember that it's not only about global warming either, it's also about lowering acid rain, particulates, the environment, health, and the external costs detailed in the ExternE project.

[edit on 2/8/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by gagol
 


Wind does not supply electricity on demand, rather is supplies electricity when the wind blows. When there is a significant amount of wind energy on the grid, there will sometimes be times when the wind is creating too much energy, and there will also be times where wind will be creating not enough energy. That means wind energy will be wasted at times, which lowers the economics of wind significantly. It also means a significant amount of backup is required for when the wind does not blow. This can be done in a couple of main ways - Hydro and Gas. We don't have a massive amount of hydroelectricity, and it's pretty much maxed out in most countries in the moment. That means a large amount of natural gas will be required to balance out a system with a significant amount of wind in it. It, however, can be partially mitigated in a couple of ways:

A. Scattering wind turbines over a large geological area in the hope that the wind will be blowing somewhere. This, however often needs a significant amount of new transmission infrastructure to be built.
B. Smart grid. Demand is matched to supply instead of the other way around. Meaning when the wind doesn't blow non-critical electrical consumers will be shut off. In essence, whomever is controlling this gets to tell how you how and when you can use electricity.
C. Energy storage.

None of these have been demonstrated in any large scale at all, and even so it would still require natural gas to balance it out while probably being significantly more expensive than an all Nuclear route. Personally I don't have a problem with some gas being used, because natural gas is relatively benign compared to other fossil fuels, and the newer plants are very efficient. That being said you can reach a near 100% reduction in fossil fuel use for electricity generation in many situations using Nuclear and Hydro, as done in France for the past few decades. Furthermore natural gas seems like a good alternative to oil in many uses such as transportation To me, that is the most desirable outcome. I don't really care about people bashing natural gas, it's required for wind turbines anyway.

Energy efficiency has its place however remember that electrical dependence is rising faster than any other energy types. There's also things like Jevons paradox, which is where as efficiency goes up, total use will also go up because it's more accessible. Even if you halved electricity consumption per person in the United States, then brought the rest of the world to that level per person, total electrical energy use would go from 15.4e15 watt hours per year, to 37.7e15 watt hours per year. I wouldn't say that's because the US is so inefficient, it's because the rest of the world is living in relative poverty - not using a dryer and power-tools is not going to lower consumption much either - it's not going to stop where the majority of electricity goes - business, and industry. Also, I am unsure why you would want to use the most expensive form of electricity for 3 months of the year during peak periods only.

You can read more at:
Bravenewclimate.com
oz-energy-analysis.org

[edit on 2/8/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by ANNED
 



Solar power is ONLY peaking power it only works when the sun is shining.
its only good during the peak power use hours in the daytime.


You forget, that Peak power DEMAND is during the Day Also... it's called HVAC.



We are also forgetting about Fuel Costs, Maintenance and disposal of Radioactive wastes, safety, inspections, regulations, etc, etc, etc...

Not to mention the fact that almost *ALL* of the Uranium Oxide mines in the world are owned by TPTB...

Whereas Silicon is QUITE plentiful.

en.wikipedia.org...



silica: SiO2
continental composition 60.2%
oceanic plate composition 48.6%


And you don't Need to purchase battery backups to install a solar power system.

All you need is the Panels, an Isolation circuit, and an inverter.

The best setup is just a Grid supplementation system... if you produce more power than you are using, the power company buys it from you....

When you Consume more power than you produce, the power company sells the power back to you.

The GRID turns into your battery backup system.

It's a wonderful approach.

-Edrick

[edit on 2-8-2010 by Edrick]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 08:44 AM
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For this discussion I will assume that the average retail price of electricity is 15 cents per kilowatt hour (in reality the average is 11.5 cents per kilowatt hour), and I will also be assuming that solar photovoltaic costs $5 per watt, and operates at a 20% capacity factor. Using these assumptions it will take 19 years for a solar panel to pay for itself in energy savings. If we assume that electricity is sold back to the grid at average wholesale price (the grid costs money to maintain) it would take over 4 decades. Anyway, solar panels don't last much longer than 20 years thus they will barely break-even in terms of cost, if they ever do. That of course, assumes that the utilities would buy back the power at all - the grid isn't designed for it.

Therefore, to make solar panels more attractive to consumers, the government has huge subsidies for solar panels, either by paying for a significant portion of the solar panel, or by allowing solar panel owners to sell electricity back to the grid, while forcing the utilities to pay enormous amounts of money for it. In the United Kingdom, it is an astounding 70 cents per kilowatt hour which lowers to payback period to four years. That means it's inflating the cost of electricity to people to people who cannot afford solar panels, just to help the rich can sell their electricity for 70 cents per kilowatt hour. That means you are being forced to pay a minority of users five times the average cost of electricity, to subsidize their solar panels! It's a scam, and a rip-off. Solar panels are a totally # investment unless you get the poor to pay for it, because that's exactly what's happening and it's not even a conspiracy.


A Great Green Rip-Off

On April 1st the government introduces its feed-in tariffs. These oblige electricity companies to pay people for the power they produce at home. The money will come from their customers, in the form of higher bills. It would make sense, if we didn’t know that the technologies the scheme will reward are comically inefficient.
It expects this scheme to save 7m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020(5). Assuming, generously, that the rate of installation keeps accelerating, this suggests a saving of around 20m tonnes of CO2 by 2030. The estimated price by then is £8.6bn(6). This means it’ll cost around £430 to save one tonne of carbon dioxide.


Last year the consultancy company McKinsey published a table of cost comparisons(7). It found that you could save a tonne of CO2 for £3 by investing in geothermal energy, or for £8 by building a nuclear power plant. Insulating commercial buildings costs nothing; in fact it saves £60 for every tonne of CO2 you reduce; replacing incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs saves £80 per tonne. The government predicts that the tradeable value of the carbon saved by its £8.6bn scheme will be £420m(8). That’s some return on investment.

www.monbiot.com...


It's not a 'wonderful approach', it's leaching of the worst kind.


We are also forgetting about Fuel Costs, Maintenance and disposal of Radioactive wastes, safety, inspections, regulations, etc, etc, etc...

Operating costs of Nuclear are lower than the most economical form of solar. The difference is the Nuclear plant needs an order of magnitude less land area, is on the order of 4 times more reliable, can produce energy on demand, and has capital costs that are less than one quarter of solar thermal.


Whereas Silicon is QUITE plentiful.

You might want to check the EROI of solar versus Nuclear. While you're at it you might want to check the concrete and steel inputs of Nuclear versus solar as well as the chemicals that are required to make either while taking into consideration the fossil grid required to back them up which you yourself seem to suggest. It's a logical fallacy, anyway. You can't claim that solar panels are better than the grid when you rely on the grid to back it up and pay for the solar panels in the first place. If you want to go off-grid then go off-grid, just don't expect me to pay a cent unless it's reasonably economic and reliable.

[edit on 2/8/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 



You can't claim that solar panels are better than the grid when you rely on the grid to back it up and pay for the solar panels in the first place.


Are you feeling ok?


Using grid tied solar panels would save energy when the sun is up...

And then use energy from the grid when the sun is down.

Looks like a 50% reduction in grid usage to me...

But you're right, lets use Bizzaro Logic on this one, I'm sure that the wall street derivatives gang will back you up anyways.


The difference is the Nuclear plant needs an order of magnitude less land area


Hey YOU! with the Solar Panels on your roof!

Take that Down THIS INSTANT... we need the space for Nuclear Power!

LOL!

-Edrick

[edit on 2-8-2010 by Edrick]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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You seem to have missed the point entirely. Besides, this thread is about economics and you're the one who tried to use economics against Nuclear.


Using grid tied solar panels would save energy when the sun is up...

The only way to get people to invest in such infrastructure is by one of two forms of support. Government Rebates (subsidies), or Feed-in tariffs. You mentioned selling electricity back to the grid, hence I am assuming that you are talking about feed-in tariffs which increase the cost of grid electricity for everyone that does not have a solar panel in order to help pay for your solar panels. Getting 50% of our energy from solar panels encouraged by the current rate of feed-in tariffs you mentioned would increase the price of grid electricity by a factor of three, approximately. Like I said, I don't want to pay a cent for something that costs around £430 to save one tonne of carbon dioxide. If you don't have this government mandated support then nobody would buy solar panels because they're so uneconomical. If you're not talking about feed-in tariffs then I apologize but it must be understood that without some form of support nobody would buy solar panels and I doubt the utility would even buy the power back.

If you mean in a decade when solar might be more viable, then maybe I would agree.



Hey YOU! with the Solar Panels on your roof!

Take that Down THIS INSTANT... we need the space for Nuclear Power!

I said, "the most economical form of solar", which is solar concentrating thermal. Reading is fundamental.




But you're right, lets use Bizzaro Logic on this one, I'm sure that the wall street derivatives gang will back you up anyways.

Ah yes. Anyone who does not believe in perhaps the most expensive way to get away from fossil fuels, which would not work, which would take money from people who can't pay for solar panels, so rich people can pay for theirs, has wall street to back them up. Seriously....

CO2 emissions are proportional to fossil fuel use... if you want a good list on what works and what doesn't then look at this:

1. Shift from Truck to Rail Cost: -$91.56 per ton. Incentivising a move to rail (or river) cargo movement rather than trucks also reduces smog and wear and tear on highways.

2. Vehicle Purchase Incentives Cost: -$66.37 per ton. Incentives like cash for clunkers for choosing fuel-efficient vehicles. Switching to pay-as-you-drive auto insurance, (which makes insurance more expensive for more miles driven).

3. Anti-Idling Technologies and Practices Cost: -$65.19 per ton. Setting limits on how long buses and trucks can idle, and investing in electrification of truck stops. Requiring automatic engine shut-down/start-up system controls.



4. Appliance Standards Cost: -$53.21 per ton. Setting higher appliance efficiency standards which make it cosdt effective for manufacturers to compete in efficiency, knowing there will be a market creating an economy of scale.

5. Energy Efficiency: Demand Side Management Cost: -$40.71 per ton. Rewarding energy reduction, such as decoupling utilities and offering incentives to reduce energy (by investing in efficient appliances or machinery).

6. High Performance Buildings Cost: -$24.99 per ton. Setting incentives and targets for building owners and developers to meet high-efficiency standards.

cleantechnica.com...

Most of them save money rather than cost money.

Feed-in tariffs are not mentioned.

[edit on 2/8/2010 by C0bzz]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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I was thinking about making a thread asking what are the sources of electricity used in other countries, because we get that information in the electricity bill every month.

The last bill had this data:


Natural gas            25.9%
Eolic                  22.0%
Hydroelectric          21.2%
Coal                   11.7%
Nuclear                5.2%
Co-generation and PRE  7.4%
Hydroelectric PRE      3.6%
Other                  1.7%
Oil                    1.3%


* Co-generation is the use of the heat from the thermal methods (gas, coal and oil) to produce. PRE is the Special Regime Production, an incentive for people to produce their own electricity and to sell the excess (or all) to the distributors.
We use electricity produced in nuclear reactors but it's all imported from Spain.

So I went to the site of the organisation that is controlling the PRE, and one of the graphs they have on their site is the price of the electricity for each method use to produce it.

This is the data from the last information they have about it, from June.

Average cost by technology (€/MWh)

Biogas                106.5
Biomass               106.6
Other Cogeneration    103.2
Cog. Renewable        91.2
Eolic                 97
Photovoltaic          326.7
Hydroelectric PRE     88.2
Solid Urban Residues  80.4


From another graph I can see that photovoltaic electricity was only 0.9% of the PRE produced in June, so I guess it still has a very limited application, like the solar power station we have in Amareleja.

Just to complete the information, here is the list of the several technologies used and the percentage of the PRE they represented during June.


Biogas                0.4%
Biomass               2.8%
Other Cogeneration    24.1%
Cog. Renewable        9.2%
Eolic                 52.4%
Photovoltaic          0.9%
Hydroelectric PRE     7.4%
Solid Urban Residues  2.8%


PRE production was more than 30% of the total production in December 2009, and is still rising.

I guess that those interested in these technologies and their practicability could use Portugal as an example, now that we have all this information.

Source



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 



You seem to have missed the point entirely. Besides, this thread is about economics and you're the one who tried to use economics against Nuclear.


Did I use economics against Nuclear?


Where EXACTLY did I do that, prey-tell?


The only way to get people to invest in such infrastructure is by one of two forms of support. Government Rebates (subsidies), or Feed-in tariffs.


Because people do not buy things unless the government gives them a Check for doing so.


You mentioned selling electricity back to the grid, hence I am assuming that you are talking about feed-in tariffs which increase the cost of grid electricity for everyone that does not have a solar panel in order to help pay for your solar panels.


That assumption is incorrect.


Getting 50% of our energy from solar panels encouraged by the current rate of feed-in tariffs you mentioned would increase the price of grid electricity by a factor of three, approximately.


So this line is an irrelevant statement.


Like I said, I don't want to pay a cent for something that costs around £430 to save one tonne of carbon dioxide.


I'm not talking about saving carbon Dioxide, I am talking about increasing the use of the Largest, most abundant, and most widely available source of energy on the planet. (Well, not strictly speaking "On" the planet... LOL!)

So, your assumption makes your other statement irrelevant.


If you don't have this government mandated support then nobody would buy solar panels because they're so uneconomical.


You are assuming that the only reason that people purchase objects is for a cost bennifit analysis based upon profit loss scenarios.

I assure you, most people spend money on things for reasons other than that.

Take Advertising for example...

Please.


If you're not talking about feed-in tariffs then I apologize but it must be understood that without some form of support nobody would buy solar panels and I doubt the utility would even buy the power back.



I like the Idea of Installing Solar power generation systems in the empty land and open spaces around Government Facilities.


If you mean in a decade when solar might be more viable, then maybe I would agree.


Yeah, so lets not give the solar industry any funding at all, and let them stagnate in the far corner of "No Competition from the Sun Allowed"


I said, "the most economical form of solar", which is solar concentrating thermal. Reading is fundamental.


And that dismisses my point, how exactly?


Ah yes. Anyone who does not believe in perhaps the most expensive way to get away from fossil fuels, which would not work, which would take money from people who can't pay for solar panels, so rich people can pay for theirs, has wall street to back them up. Seriously....


Your sarcasm makes no sense.

And solar is not the most expensive form of energy.


IT is the only source of energy.




Nuclear?

Uranium comes from stars.


Fossil?

Yeah, food chain is based upon photosynthesis.


Wind?

Try the Sun for that one as well.


Water?


Yup... solar evaporation and jet stream powered conveyance of vaporized water to condense over tributaries.


It's ALL the SUN man.



You just don't want people making their own power, so you are offering a false choice between ONE monopolized energy product, and ANOTHER *EVEN MORE* monopolized energy product.


Feed-in tariffs are not mentioned.


Once again, you are assuming that you know what I am thinking, or am GOING to talk about.

This is Wrong.

Please stop doing this.

-Edrick



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 05:48 AM
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Then I presume you agree that feed-in tariffs are a scam. I agree that people should be able to sell electricity back to the grid provided that it doesn't make the grid massively more expensive for everyone else.

Very few people do buy solar panels without government subsidies unless they have a very specific situation that requires them.

Uhm, CO2 emissions are directly proportional to fossil fuel use as they are inextricably linked by a balanced chemical equation. If it costs a large amount of money to stop each tonne of carbon dioxide going into the air, then it's going to cost a large amount of money to stop each tonne of fuel being burned.

I am against the government paying for 70% of a solar panel, or feed-in tariffs that force other users to buy the solar generated electricity at 70 cents per kilowatt hour. We should be spending money to generate clean (or cleaner) electricity with the highest cost effectiveness, so we can make the most difference with the least amount of money, or a bigger difference for the same amount of money. We are not running a welfare program to keep the solar industry still in business. Perhaps it wouldn't collapse if we don't artificiality inflate it in the first place.



Right, because people have those on their roofs. I used that form of solar because I did not want to be portrayed as cherry picking Photovoltaic, which is the most expensive form of electricity.

Solar refers to direcly converting sunlight into electricity, or converting sunlight into heat, then into mechanical energy, then into electrical energy. COal might be considered stored solar energy, but the difference is clear.

[edit on 3/8/2010 by C0bzz]




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