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Solar power isn't feasible (according to some)

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#1 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:57 PM

The biggest problem is the high cost of huge panels, and need of technology to efficiently store incident solar energy for future use. Once these problems are sorted, it might almost prove to be a never ending source of energy.

http://i.imgur.com/RKUWJ.jpg

#2 cjw518

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:08 PM

So true, and so unfortunate. Rest assured, once the powers that be find a way to make boatloads of money solar power will suddenly become feasible again! :)

#3 eds

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:23 AM

Attached File  arguments-against-cartoon.jpg   43.72K   21 downloads

#4 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:14 PM

NIMBY is an issue.

#5 artistry

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:13 PM

I agree with cjw, once the equation has been solved, as to how to rake in the money, the golden sheen of solar energy will once again glow. It should not take that long to revive solar.

#6 SpiroFlo

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 08:57 AM

Are you sure about that? The solar industry already crashed in the 70s (when the subsidies dropped).

#7 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:14 AM

It's sarcastic, ironic humor against big gas/oil and coal.

#8 eds

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:34 AM

How Economy faces new threats

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#9 SpiroFlo

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:20 PM

View PostShortpoet-GTD, on 15 December 2011 - 11:14 AM, said:

It's sarcastic, ironic humor against big gas/oil and coal.

You know who invented sarcasm? I did.

(I was just responding to artistry's comments. Don't you know by now there's little humor for green issues?)

#10 JBMedia

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:37 PM

It's true and understandable. My problem with it is if they just did it already and switched to solar energy, they would be saving so much more money later on. It's just like an investment, only this one is healthier in a long-term situation, like a 401k plan, in both saving the earth and making more money. It's just not looked at from that point of view yet.

#11 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:41 PM

View PostSpiroFlo, on 15 December 2011 - 12:20 PM, said:

You know who invented sarcasm? I did.

(I was just responding to artistry's comments. Don't you know by now there's little humor for green issues?)
Yeah, but I keep trying.
Like they say, *^&% em' if they can't take a joke. :laugh:

#12 eds

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 05:23 PM

The worlds simplest solar cooker

#13 E3 wise

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:09 PM

Folks there are some simple answers to bringing alternative energy to the mass market. Let me begin with cost, in the last two years the cost of solar has dropped by over 55% due to China flooding the market, the jury is still out on the quality, because let’s face it Chinese drywall, baby formula, and so on but anyway here goes.  American, Japanese, and German producers are following their cost cutting lead.

  Now here is how it works.
#1. Federal and State Incentives- Currently all solar, wind, geothermal, hydrogen and bio-fuels qualify for 30% incentive from the Federal Government.
  Likewise 41 states currently offer 15- 20 % Incentives for these same alt energy instillations.  Thus bringing the cost of the average 20 kW system down from 22,000 to 11,000 still a lot but cutting the cost in half.

    Next many utilities are also offering rebates and incentives.  For all you doubters out there remember this.  Utilities are in the business of selling electrons as cheaply as possible.  If they can buy them from you at 8 cents a kilowatt hour and sell them to your neighbor for 12-15 cents a kilowatt hour they make lots of money.  Factor in the additional cost benefits of not having to build new power plants, purchasing land, doing multi- million dollar environmental studies or lastly buying fuel and you quickly see why utilities are jumping on the Alt energy band wagon.

#2-  Reverse metering - current federal law says that utilities  must  buy your excess power from you, meaning that until 2060, the year Congress put as the cut off point for this law, you produce the electrons, they have to buy it – reverse metering  provides an added way to pay for your system.  See in the old days we said you paid off the system by the savings on your electric bill, but this was still too expensive for most people and companies because it took 12- 15 years to pay off a system.   Cut the cost in half and be able to generate income and the payoff gets much quicker.

#3 Feed in tariffs – European energy producers have been doing it since 2008- but here in the United States they have not caught on big yet, but her is how it works.  If you produce energy and sell it to the grid you get an additional amount as a bonus and the utility does also in the form of selling energy from alternative sources.  Many utilities already offer customers the ability to buy energy from alternative sources at a slightly higher rate.
The payoff is that customers know they are getting their energy without smog, acid rain, and greenhouse gases and utilities make more money for Alt Energy.

#4. Storage, - for when the suns not shining and the wind is not blowing.  First there are batteries of course which are now able to store on the Mega Watt scale and the technology is improving every day.  Still batteries have issues- size, weight, cost and the fact that they need rare earth metals 90% + are only found in China, thus making China the Saudi Arabia of materials needed for batteries and thus transferring our dependency to them.  But wait there is another storage solution also- Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.
   Simply you take high school chemistry and electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen, both are pure, so you store both as a gas- the O2 is sold to the medical, manufacturing, and chemical industries, all of which now purchase O2 at a higher cost because of the energy needed to make it.  The hydrogen has the electrons or energy, then when need the energy you run it through a fuel cell the reverse of an electrolyze and the only bi-product is the returned 96% water you used to make the H2 and O2 in the first place. - Simple storage using existing technology thus changing alternative energy from an intermittent energy source to permanent solution.
  Thus providing Economic Environmental Energy Wisely = E3 Wise
   Lois Moore – President
    Environmental Power & Water Generation
    We are E3 Wise

#14 eds

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:00 AM

Attached File  solon-stupid.jpg   22.78K   15 downloads

#15 joeldgreat

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:02 PM

Whether we like it or not we are still in the control of oil producing countries. No matter how we push renewable energy as a replacement to fossil fuel, oil producing countries will spent more in stopping it. They would bring anything just to stop reverting our mind set to alternative energy. And sometimes people in the government that makes the laws are still being corrupted by these producers.

#16 SpiroFlo

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:14 AM

View PostShortpoet-GTD, on 15 December 2011 - 04:41 PM, said:

Yeah, but I keep trying.
Like they say, *^&% em' if they can't take a joke. :laugh:

So... even after pointing out that this thread is supposed to be a joke we're still stuck as a thread about the feasibility of solar power? What happens with the AES crowd can't take a joke?

#17 Shortpoet-GTD

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 04:04 AM

It was posted as a joke, but really, it's not a joke.
As long as big oil/coal continue their choke hold on world wide energy-it makes it difficult for renewable
energy companies to move forward.
But,
the consensus is growing towards renewables, for many of us; for health reasons alone.
We know it's cleaner.
All governments can and will play a huge role in this by eliminating coal and oil subsides, and instead, switch
those dollars to solar and wind.
Granted, it's a heavy lift-but we can do it together.

#18 Phil

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:20 AM

Sorry guys but the paranoia is getting a little thick here.  Oil companies are doing nothing to block alternatives.  You get a 30% tax credit for solar, you get $7,500 back for an electric car, if big oil were really in control would they allow that?  BP sells solar panels, Exxon is investing heavily in algea oil, they aren't blocking alternatives, they want to own them!!! :biggrin:

In the end it is economics that wins out so as oil becomes harder to produce and solar becomes even more a commodity, the transition will occur naturally.  Of course that depends on BEV's becoming viable which I estimate will take 5-10 years.

The jpg posted by shortpoet is not accurate, if solar is only allowed at the utility level they can control that too!  Only rooftop solar sets you free.

The post by EDS is accurate, that's why the solution to alternative energy is NOT to kill oil.  Alternatives need to stand on their own, the magic number for solar has always been $1/watt, we've now reached that.

The post by JBMedia is why I installed solar on my roof.  Since I plan on being in this house for over two decades and my payback is less than eight years, (perhaps less than 7), I'll be getting the bulk of my energy for free.

Since I installed solar last year I can give a real world example.  As of Oct, last year here is my system specs.

Electric rate: 6.5 cents/KWH
9.66KW Canadian solar panels, 42- CSP230-P
8KW Sunny Boy SB8000-US inverter
Total cost: $22,600 or about $2.34/W, $1.64 after 30% tax credit
State solar incentive - 15 cents/KWH through 2020.  This should return about $1500/yr.
Payback less than eight years, less than seven if current production continues to outperform estimates.

Panels have since dropped 40 cents/W so current cost would be $1.33/W after tax credit.  That would put payback in the five year range.

Thanks to China, solar IS affordable now. The only issue is up front costs.

P.S.  It is power utilities and suppliers that are trying to kill alternatives, not big oil.  Our power supplier, Bonneville, is paying windmills NOT to produce power at some times during the year because during the spring and fall we have too much hyrdo, (spring runoff, fall rains).  That will cost us rate payers millions.  Our utility is trying to get hydro reclassified as green to avoid solar and wind purchases, nice for lower rates, not so nice for furthering real green technologies.

#19 irenen1

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:24 AM

Even with the rebates and incentives, the payback is not going to happen. The figures being fed to consumers are ideals. It doesn't shine 365 days a year. The average person is not going to climb his roof to dust panels. Weather has a major effect on equipment. If a homeowner could actually make a stride forward, there will be a tax or charge to take it away.

The day a piece of panel lands in a neighbor's yard, kiss your investment goodbye.

#20 Phil

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:03 PM

Did you take the time to read my post?  Payback is now down to 7.5 years.  This is not some "figures being fed to consumers" it's my house and I have kept track of everything right down to the last mounting bolt.

The sun doesn't have to shine 365 days/year, all regions have average solar insolation values which is the avearge daily amount of sun you get per day.  That takes into account average cloud cover, etc.  You base your output on that.

You don't need to climb onto your roof to dust slolar panels, I quick rinse with a hose does the trick.

I am making progress every month, my bills have dropped drastically.  Last Aprils bill was $96, this years was $10.

My mounts are rated for 100 mph winds.  If it gets above that, flying solar panels are the least of your problems.

If you don't want to do it, don't do it.  But none of your excuses ring true in the least.

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