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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined (Read 392 times)
billy.pilgrim
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #10 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 8:50am
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Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 7:49am:
Yikes. Doesn't that seem inefficient?

If solar is producing far fewer gigawatts than other forms of energy, why does it take so many more jobs to get that done?

I'm not asking to be combative or antagonistic, just looking at it from a 40,000 foot view.


For the record, I hope solar becomes more available and more efficient. I don't care about that.


You should have backed up a lot further.

Why is it inefficient to have labor represent a larger portion of the cost of energy?

With oil (and somewhat differently, nuclear) and coal you have mostly huge corporations using up natural resources and extracting huge profits while putting little back into the economy and often leaving a mess for taxpayers to clean up (for tens of thousands of years with nuclear).

Almost seems like it could be a card from the  recipe book on how to destroy the middle class while building an aristocracy.
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #11 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 9:22am
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Jiminy Cricket wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 7:35am:
I think it should be mentioned that there are environmental issues associated with solar power...such as that the panels don't last forever and some (maybe all) contain heavy metals that are toxic. 


The panels don't last forever but they do have a 20-30 year life where they produce at least 80% of their rated power.  And as other semiconductors, they do contain heavy metals but unlike coal, that releases lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic, as well as radioactive isotopes into the environment (there's no such thing as "clean coal"), the toxins in the production of photovoltaics and in the semiconductors themselves are contained.

Another consideration is that the materials for solar cells are mined once where as coal is continuously mined. 
   
Studies from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology support this..


But over time, the environmental impact of extracting those raw materials declines, pollution decreases and the total quantity of those materials likely needed for renewables is a fraction of the volume of those materials being mined today, the study says.
...
“I was surprised that all the pollution went down for renewables,” the study’s lead author, Edgar Hertwich, an energy and process engineering professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told Climate Central. “I expected some of the toxics might be rising because of the materials used. Metal ores contain a lot of heavy metals. I expected that to be significant. I was really surprised it didn’t show up.”




Jiminy Cricket wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 7:35am:
They will need to go to land fills to be buried.


Again, the toxins you're concerned with are contained.. bound within the semiconductors.  Coal releases it's byproducts into the environment.



Jiminy Cricket wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 7:35am:
Solar panels can be anchored to roofs that may be damaged during wind storms, or they take up large areas of land to generate sufficient energy.


When compared with the land impacted by the mining of coal, alternate energies are orders of magnitude less..
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #12 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 9:32am
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billy.pilgrim wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 8:50am:
You should have backed up a lot further.

Why is it inefficient to have labor represent a larger portion of the cost of energy?

Because that's generally true, unless it can be explained otherwise.

200 years ago, around 80-90% of people worked in an industry related to agriculture and food production, distribution, etc.

Now that's more around 2-3%.

That's how things go when things become more efficient.

It rarely works backwards. I need an explanation on why this would be a good thing.

billy.pilgrim wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 8:50am:
With oil (and somewhat differently, nuclear) and coal you have mostly huge corporations using up natural resources and extracting huge profits while putting little back into the economy and often leaving a mess for taxpayers to clean up (for tens of thousands of years with nuclear).

Oil companies are back in the black now, but have many cycles where they go deep into the red. 2015 wasn't profitable for any of them.

As for "putting little back into the economy", I think you're just 100% wrong on this. The oil companies are, primarily, publicly owned and pay pretty strong dividends when times are good. What is it you think they're doing with these "huge profits" compared to other companies?

billy.pilgrim wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 8:50am:
Almost seems like it could be a card from the  recipe book on how to destroy the middle class while building an aristocracy.

Hydrocarbons are one of the fundamental reasons we live as we do today instead of how they lived from 200,000 years ago up until the 1700s.
  

Wadsworth wrote on Jun 11th, 2018 at 3:40pm:
You are awfully concerned about who gets to live.  Why is it so important to you?
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #13 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 9:42am
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Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 9:32am:
Because that's generally true, unless it can be explained otherwise.

200 years ago, around 80-90% of people worked in an industry related to agriculture and food production, distribution, etc.

Now that's more around 2-3%.

That's how things go when things become more efficient.

It rarely works backwards. I need an explanation on why this would be a good thing.


Could one make the argument we're replacing the consumption of finite resources with the consumption of sweat labor?  A new dynamic that perhaps works out well for our burgeoning world population?  (I have no crappity smacking idea what I'm talking about here.)

Queshank
  

BowHunter wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 10:24am:
I am not aware of any article
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #14 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:01am
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Kudos to Jiminy Cricket for pointing out that we ought to assess the full impact of solar.  But then we have to assess the full impact of fossils, too.  As others have pointed out, there are many external costs of fossils:
- significant pollution
- acid rain, smog, and particulates
- mercury runoff
- ash containment
- strip-mining and mountaintop-removal mining
- water contamination from fracking
- fossil profits funding rogue states
- oil spills
- transportation risks
- dependence on transnational corporations
- vulnerability to commodity speculation bubbles

And this doesn't even mention global warming or the trillions we just dropped in Iraq to bolster global oil security.

As for the concern that solar is a high-labor energy sector, why is that a bad thing?  If the cost per-kilowatt is competitive, why is it bad that it relies on more labor?  Instead of paying for commodity speculation and capital-intensive costs (refineries, extraction, etc), we'd be paying labor-intensive costs.

I'd rather we have workers earning the money than commodity speculators.
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #15 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:06am
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patrick2 wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 2:05am:
Solar remains a very small piddling contributor to US energy:

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/images/charts/energy_consumption_by_source_l...

But it will grow
  

Jasmine wrote on May 6th, 2018 at 7:43pm:
Yes, I heard about this. Just goes to show McLame’s true loyalties. Hopefully, Trump won’t go to his funeral very, very soon.


TowardLiberty wrote on Mar 29th, 2018 at 8:34pm:
I'll try but it might be beyond my ability. Insulting is "like 90% of what I do here."
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #16 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:07am
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Luther wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 6:47am:
Did anyone notice renewable energy  isn't far from the coal numbers?

Coal is dying and renewable is growing
  

Jasmine wrote on May 6th, 2018 at 7:43pm:
Yes, I heard about this. Just goes to show McLame’s true loyalties. Hopefully, Trump won’t go to his funeral very, very soon.


TowardLiberty wrote on Mar 29th, 2018 at 8:34pm:
I'll try but it might be beyond my ability. Insulting is "like 90% of what I do here."
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #17 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:10am
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Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 7:49am:
Yikes. Doesn't that seem inefficient?

If solar is producing far fewer gigawatts than other forms of energy, why does it take so many more jobs to get that done?

I'm not asking to be combative or antagonistic, just looking at it from a 40,000 foot view.


For the record, I hope solar becomes more available and more efficient. I don't care about that.

More than likely it will become more available and more efficient.  Many in my neighborhood already had them installed.  They are very happy with the money they are saving.
  

Jasmine wrote on May 6th, 2018 at 7:43pm:
Yes, I heard about this. Just goes to show McLame’s true loyalties. Hopefully, Trump won’t go to his funeral very, very soon.


TowardLiberty wrote on Mar 29th, 2018 at 8:34pm:
I'll try but it might be beyond my ability. Insulting is "like 90% of what I do here."
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billy.pilgrim
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #18 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:26am
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Queshank wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 9:42am:
Could one make the argument we're replacing the consumption of finite resources with the consumption of sweat labor?  A new dynamic that perhaps works out well for our burgeoning world population?  (I have no crappity smacking idea what I'm talking about here.)

Queshank


Every now and then we agree
  

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billy.pilgrim
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #19 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:28am
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Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 9:32am:
Because that's generally true, unless it can be explained otherwise.

200 years ago, around 80-90% of people worked in an industry related to agriculture and food production, distribution, etc.

Now that's more around 2-3%.

That's how things go when things become more efficient.

It rarely works backwards. I need an explanation on why this would be a good thing.

Oil companies are back in the black now, but have many cycles where they go deep into the red. 2015 wasn't profitable for any of them.

As for "putting little back into the economy", I think you're just 100% wrong on this. The oil companies are, primarily, publicly owned and pay pretty strong dividends when times are good. What is it you think they're doing with these "huge profits" compared to other companies?

Hydrocarbons are one of the fundamental reasons we live as we do today instead of how they lived from 200,000 years ago up until the 1700s.


You're still at 40,000 ft. Drop back to 93,000,000 miles to see fundamental reason.
  

the wis-dum of acrhie
"I am sure Trump is like me."
"There is no capitalism under Obama’s rule. He is a fu8&^ communist."
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