Solar does not pay.....yet

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Tom,

Recently, you mentioned how solar was working in other parts of the world in response to a caller's comment about nuclear. Solar does not work without subsidies. It is a simple equation when looking at energy sources. What does it cost to produce a 1 Btu. Fossil fuels are the most efficient although not "clean". Germany leads the way in solar but at a subsidy. Those subsidies are getting cut back and therefore causing over supply at some manufacturers in China. I'm not an advocate for nuclear per se but until we have a market driven approach to energy then we are creating a false sense of security with our policies.

bkhill's picture
bkhill
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Jun. 5, 2011 4:45 am

Comments

I think that there is a problem with your methodology. All energy production is subsidized, directly or indirectly. The obvious examples are solar, which is directly subsidized, and nuclear, which is subsidized by the government paying for waste removal and assuming insurance costs. Also, coal is "subsidized" by the government not accounting the costs of acid rain, and oil is subsidized by tax policy. (and the defence budget) Even hydroelectric has unacknowledged costs. I know of no one who has done a comprehensive accounting.

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doh1304
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Dec. 6, 2010 9:49 am
Quote bkhill:

Tom,

Recently, you mentioned how solar was working in other parts of the world in response to a caller's comment about nuclear. Solar does not work without subsidies. It is a simple equation when looking at energy sources. What does it cost to produce a 1 Btu. Fossil fuels are the most efficient although not "clean". Germany leads the way in solar but at a subsidy. Those subsidies are getting cut back and therefore causing over supply at some manufacturers in China. I'm not an advocate for nuclear per se but until we have a market driven approach to energy then we are creating a false sense of security with our policies.

It would require subsidies to move to nuclear too and we would ALWAYS be subsidizing the risk insurance for a nuclear industry. By your rationale we shouldn't use nuclear either. The simple fact of the matter is that ANY change in energy source is going to require INVESTMENT upfront (IE subsidies) in order to make the transition. It is all about making a smart and sustainable choice and subsidizing that.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Would it be helpful if solar energy became popular enough to cause the solar energy industry to expand and become competitive enough for the prices to drop? Would that help cut costs? (I am still learning here.. lol)

Home solar panels could become wildly popular with the right marketing ... once saw a whole neighborhood in Wisconsin where most of the houses had solar panels on the roofs. Imagine.. no super-high electric bills anymore, ever!

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Keeku
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Currently China and India lead’s the world in green energy research. It assures America that when the Middle East runs out of oil it will still be dependent on other nations for its energy needs. It is imperative that America starts its our own green energy research on the scale of the Manhattan Project.

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Dano45
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

All energy in the US is subsidized. Take away all subsidies and solar is competitive now. We now have a false security thinking that coal, nukes and fossil fuels are necessary choices. Add in the health, environmental and political costs and solar wins hands down. Return on investment is also better for solar than other energies. SOLAR does pay NOW

earthangel52
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Jun. 17, 2011 10:51 am

Wind, [as mentioned on the Water rules thread] is equivalent to .76 cents a gal. Sounds competitive to me.

One congressman [TX I think] claimed wind power would effect the amount of natural breezes, so wind power would create warming. Then of course if the wind generators stored a lot of electricity and suddenly went on their own power in reverse, the earth would spin the other direction and time would reverse, too. Superman did that.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Once again it's all about the money and not about what is best for the earth or it's people.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am

That is true Bush_Wacker. Solar has gotten cheaper, better, and easier to deploy. The technology has come a long ways since its infancy. When you have such a strong group of lobbyists like those for oil & coal around it becomes artificially tough to deploy solar. The Oil, Coal ,and Gas industries have no interest in seeing anything take a chunk out of their bread & butter, even if it is the moral thing to do.

brett.iso's picture
brett.iso
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Jun. 27, 2011 11:08 am

Don't overlook passive solar design. To say nothing of simply living simply. If people wait for the government to act responsibly, we're doomed.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am

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