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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined (Read 626 times)
billy.pilgrim
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #20 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:30am
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forgotten centrist wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 10:01am:
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.


Or the cost to taxpayers for safe guarding private industry's nuclear wastes for 50,000 years
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #21 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 12:05pm
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forgotten centrist wrote on Jun 12th, 2018 at 11:58pm:
Despite tariffs that President Trump imposed on imported panels, the U.S. installed more solar energy than any other source of electricity in the first quarter.


One of the most irritating things about reporting on electricity is that few reporters seem to care about the difference between generation capacity and actual electricity generated.  Unfortunately, this article doesn't make the distinction, either.  It's absolutely a good thing that we're adding solar panels, but the real question is how much additional electricity these panels are actually generating.
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #22 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 12:50pm
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A couple of things to point out here:

1) These stats are on NEW power installations, not existing ones.

2) New power installations are necessarily labor intensive. It's like new construction.

3) Once built, a new solar power facility will have minimal labor costs, mostly for nominal maintenance (cleaning panels, monitoring output, etc).

4) While solar represents a small fraction of existing American power production, it represents a majority of NEW power plants. That stands to reason: sunlight is basically free and non-polluting; government tax breaks make it even more attractive.

5) The expected expansion of new solar power plant construction has slowed as a result of Trump's tariffs. This slowdown means a loss of jobs that is not fully replaced by bringing American solar panel factories on line.
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #23 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 1:25pm
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forgotten centrist wrote on Jun 12th, 2018 at 11:58pm:
Despite tariffs that President Trump imposed on imported panels, the U.S. installed more solar energy than any other source of electricity in the first quarter.

Developers installed 2.5 gigawatts of solar in the first quarter, up 13 percent from a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. That accounted for 55 percent of all new generation, with solar panels beating new wind and natural gas turbines for a second straight quarter.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-12/solar-surpasses-gas-and-wind-...

* * *

So even WITH the Trump tariffs on chinese panels, solar is the biggest slice of all new power installations.  I wonder what Trump is going to do next to protect King Coal from this onslaught.

"But solar can't power the US!  What about at night?  Or on cloudy days?"  Teams are working on that, too:

* * *

The world needs radical new energy technologies to fight climate change. In 2016, Quartz reported that a group of billionaires—including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Mukesh Ambani, and Richard Branson—launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) to invest at least $1 billion in creating those technologies.

Now, 18 months later, Quartz can reveal the first two startups that BEV will be investing in: Form Energy and Quidnet Energy. Both companies are developing new technologies to store energy, but taking completely different approaches to achieve that goal.

https://qz.com/1302711/to-hit-climate-goals-bill-gates-and-his-billionaire-frien...



Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined

Yes you are right. AndI have seen some of them. They are a big waste of land, and very ugly. And still can not compete with old fashioned energy.


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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #24 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 1:48pm
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Archie wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 1:25pm:
Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined

Yes you are right. AndI have seen some of them. They are a big waste of land, and very ugly. And still can not compete with old fashioned energy.


They're competing right now.  That's why Trump is scrambling to protect coal -- it's losing marketshare because it's not competitive.

As for land use -- coal involves land-use too.  Strip mines are ugly.  Mountaintop removal kills the land AND the water systems for miles around.  Acid rain kills forests, which ain't pretty.

Meanwhile, solar can be put up on rooftops and parking garages.  It can go up on marginal land that isn't good for much else.  And it keeps producing energy, while strip mines are just permanently dead land once the coal is removed.

Fossil pollution wastes a lot of land, too.  Just ask China, which has discovered heavy metal contamination in all it's arable land -- from coal pollution.
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #25 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:10pm
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Bring it on!

If it pollutes less, employs more and is competitive, it's a done deal without state intervention. I love my fellow West Virginians and want to see my state succeed but we can't do it doubling down on a dying industry. We should have all the south facing hills lined with solar panels and pot plants. Employment up, opiate abuse down and budget balanced. Bring it on.  Cool
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #26 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:13pm
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Mojo-Jojo wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:10pm:
Bring it on!

If it pollutes less, employs more and is competitive, it's a done deal without state intervention. I love my fellow West Virginians and want to see my state succeed but we can't do it doubling down on a dying industry. We should have all the south facing hills lined with solar panels and pot plants. Employment up, opiate abuse down and budget balanced. Bring it on.  Cool


That where we were headed until ronnie
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #27 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:22pm
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billy.pilgrim wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:13pm:
That where we were headed until ronnie


I remember one of the first things Reagan did was to yank the environmentally conscious solar panels from the roof of the White House, that Jimmy Carter had installed.

Given the era, they were probably for water heating, not electricity. But, still. It was a senseless gesture to remove them.
  

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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #28 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:27pm
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Running Deer wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 12:05pm:
One of the most irritating things about reporting on electricity is that few reporters seem to care about the difference between generation capacity and actual electricity generated.  Unfortunately, this article doesn't make the distinction, either.  It's absolutely a good thing that we're adding solar panels, but the real question is how much additional electricity these panels are actually generating.


In terms of US consumption, just about nothing.  This sun-worshipping cult is distracting the US from real solutions.
  
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Re: Solar installations in US now bigger than all other types combined
Reply #29 - Jun 13th, 2018 at 6:55pm
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patrick2 wrote on Jun 13th, 2018 at 5:27pm:
In terms of US consumption, just about nothing.  This sun-worshipping cult is distracting the US from


real solutions.



Coal?.. IOW 19th century tech.. 

Aren't you the nitwit that pisses and moans about high speed trains..?

  
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