Californians take a shine to solar power

July 2, 2017 by Jocelyne Zablit
Nearly 4.9 million homes in California are now powered by the sun's rays

Jacquie Barnbrook had grown tired of the high electricity bills and her gas-guzzling luxury car when she finally decided to take the plunge last year.

The 52-year-old Los Angeles resident joined an ever-growing number of Californians who are switching to for their energy needs in a bid to not only save money but to also do their part for the environment in a state setting the pace for the rest of the country in that sector.

"At this time of year, my power and water bills usually were around $400 a month," Barnbrook said. "Right now, it's $150 a month."

As for her vehicle, Barnbrook said she ditched it in favor of a hybrid one that she now plugs in and charges at her house.

"I was previously spending $80 dollars on gas every three or four days and now I haven't put gas in my new car since the beginning of March," she noted. "That's four months ago!"

Nearly 4.9 million homes are powered by solar energy in California—the nation's green trailblazer and the most populous state—and that number is expected to continue to grow, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a non-profit trade association.

Even President Donald Trump, an avowed sceptic on climate change, is considering putting on the wall he plans to build on the Mexican border.

Snake oil

Although solar installations have slowed this year due, in part, to a record number of people rushing to sign up in 2016 for fear of losing a tax incentive, the market is expected to continue to grow, especially in places like California which has a plethora of sunny days, experts say.

Driving this expansion is the plummeting cost of solar panels—which were traditionally limited to relatively affluent homeowners—and improving technology on batteries to store energy, they add.

"Right now, we're in throes of rapid change in the solar industry," said Rajit Gadh, director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center. "As people process all the information out there and report their success stories and it starts to become mainstream ... the momentum will grow."

He said apart from cost, another reason average consumers have gingerly adopted solar power in recent years was the dizzying number of regulatory hoops they had to go through to get approval from utility companies and a lot of complicated information to process.

Moreover, as demand for the product has surged in the last decade, so have the number of companies—both serious and shady—jostling for a piece of the pie.

"Solar power is confusing and for a long time it really didn't make a lot of economic sense," said Ryan Willemsen, CEO and founder of the San Diego-based start-up Solar to the People.

"In California, solar is really getting a reputation because of some of the unscrupulous folks involved who are pushing solar super hard," he added. "In San Diego alone, for example, there are over 200 solar operations."

Ara Petrosyan, CEO and founder of LA Solar Group, a consulting firm, said he believes that once the dust settles and shady companies inevitably go out of business, consumers will be able to make more informed and affordable choices and the sector will take off like "a rocket ship."

"In five years, so many rules and regulations have been added that you have to be a really good expert to stay in the business," he said.

He added that a clear sign of where the industry is going is the number of installations—which cost between $15,000 and $20,000 for an average size house—his company is handling.

"When we started in 2012, we did about 10 installations a month," Petrosyan said. "Today, we do about 120 a month ... and it will definitely keep increasing."

Such projections are good news for a state that has mandated that 50 percent of its electricity come from , including solar, by 2030.

Solar power is also growing fast in other states, including New York, which look to California as an example.

"The overall industry trend is that the cost of solar panels and other components is going down," said Willemsen.

"And more and more standard folks are hearing it's a good idea and once one person in the neighborhood goes solar, more and more follow."

Explore further: Project Sunroof's red dots display neighborhood view on solar installations

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Eikka
2.2 / 5 (13) Jul 02, 2017
It's still snakeoil:

The power grid is dimensioned assuming that users have somewhat different use patterns, which end up balancing each other, resulting in a smoother load. On the other hand, solar energy producers can overload the grid given their simultaneous production for a given region, but do not bear the economic consequences of such overload.


Read more at: https://phys.org/...html#jCp

Solar PV exists on subsidies and forced net-metering, without which they can't operate, yet the users don't bear the costs which are paid by other tax-payers and rate-payers. As the number of solar users increases, the system starts to break down because the state can no longer afford the subsidies and the utilities don't want to give solar users any more free electricity back for solar power they can't take in because the grid is creaking at the seams.

It's simply unsustainable.
Eikka
2.1 / 5 (11) Jul 02, 2017
Nearly 4.9 million homes are powered by solar energy in California


Probably none of these homes are truly powered by solar energy, as they depend on the in-out exchange of net metering to operate.

It means the homes push out power onto the grid at noon, and get free electricity back at night. That electricity does not come from solar power becuse the sun does not shine at night, and it does not come from batteries because nobody - especially the solar users - are not willing to buy them, so the whole thing is essentially a well-dressed scam as it is sold to the public - to the benefit of the industry that sells the solar systems.

5-15 years on it will be a rude awakening to the people who bought into it today, because the subsidies will be pulled and the regulators remove the compulsory net-metering, and the selling price of PV power will drop to zero due to oversupply, making it impossible to recoup the investment.
betterexists
3 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2017
CA has lot of Sun. There are so many countries with lot of Sun too; U.S instead of Selling Arms should let those nations have plentiful Solar Energy...It should work with China to provide Cheap Solar Panels wherever they are needed. 3 Nations will benefit at once each time! As a result, Those nations can have more business with U.S later on. We hear of too many sanctions all around. That is detrimental to Human Development and Global progress ! U.S should have done it 1 or 2 Decades Ago ! Solar Panels from U.S Will be Too expensive for those underdeveloped nations.
omegatalon
not rated yet Jul 02, 2017
The only problem with investing in home solar arrays is cost as they're expensive which means 20-30 years before a home owner breaks even, this is similar to the situation between buying a gas powered car and a hybrid as the hybrid is so much more expensive that the break-even point is usually over 10 years and even more if gas prices remain cheap.

There's debate whether new vertical wind mills might be a better choice as they're less expensive and offer similar performance.
arcmetal
5 / 5 (6) Jul 02, 2017
Its too late to stop this now. Unless the power companies can blot out the sun, they are doomed to oblivion. Good riddance.
PTTG
5 / 5 (4) Jul 02, 2017
Omegatalon, it's less than five years now. Sometimes three years, depending on sun-hours.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2017
Its too late to stop this now. Unless the power companies can blot out the sun, they are doomed to oblivion. Good riddance.

Isn't that what the oil companies were trying to do...? :-)
arcmetal
5 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2017
Its too late to stop this now. Unless the power companies can blot out the sun, they are doomed to oblivion. Good riddance.

Isn't that what the oil companies were trying to do...? :-)

Yes, well, at least they haven't completely succeeded. :)
rrrander
1 / 5 (4) Jul 02, 2017
some rich b gets subsidies, paid for mostly by middle-class taxpayers to convert to solar. What a pathetic place Communistfornia is.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
Its too late to stop this now. Unless the power companies can blot out the sun, they are doomed to oblivion. Good riddance.

Isn't that what the oil companies were trying to do...? :-)

Yes, well, at least they haven't completely succeeded. :)

Not for lack of trying....
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Jul 03, 2017
some rich b gets subsidies

You didn't read the article. The stuff is so cheap that anyone can afford it. If you own your own house then investing 15-20k -which will pay for itself in a couple of years- is not just 'for the rich'.

The only problem with investing in home solar arrays is cost as they're expensive which means 20-30 years before a home owner breaks even

That's complete BS. Even with the super-expensive solar cells of 15 years ago (which we slapped on my dad's roof. In germany. Not the sunniest place in the world) the break-even point was 12 years. It was never 20 (let alone 30) years - even at the very beginning.

There's debate whether new vertical wind mills might be a better choice

They don't go as high (higher means more average windspeed) and they currently also suffer from the uneven load (high maintenance). There's still a bit of resaerch that needs to go into those.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
The stuff is so cheap that anyone can afford it


75-95% of the cost of a solar installation can be written off through tax-subsidies in California, depending on which subsidy programs are locally available, which is why it is "cheap". Federal tax subsidies also extend on supporting structures, so you can basically build a house underneath your solar panels and get tax deductions on some of the price.

Trick is, the tax subsidies are only useful if you're making enough money a year to have taxes to write off to the amount. That's why you don't see poor people installing solar panels.

That's complete BS. Even with the super-expensive solar cells of 15 years ago (which we slapped on my dad's roof. In germany. Not the sunniest place in the world) the break-even point was 12 years.


Yeah, with 50 cents a kWh feed-in subsidy. You always forget to mention that.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
See:

https://www.green...-credits
Most people who look into going solar know about the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit. But many don't know that there are more than 100 different solar tax credits, rebates and incentives in the state of California.


San Francisco – Solar Energy Incentive Program: The city of San Francisco has some of the most aggressive solar incentives in the U.S. Depending on the size of the system you choose, you are eligible for $500 to $2,800 in incentives, plus $250 to $700 if you use a city installer, plus $2,000 to $7,000 if you can qualify for the "low income" designation. Incentives of up to $10,500 can make solar pretty cheap.


These subsidies and rebates are basically policies designed to shovel money into solar PV companies, who give kickbacks to the politicians who installed them. Without them, barely anyone would buy solar.
Eikka
not rated yet Jul 03, 2017
Susanville – Lassen Municipal Utility District's PV Rebate Program: If you live anywhere within Lassen MUD territory, solar is pretty much almost free. At a rebate of $2.80 per watt, if you live within the district but don't have solar on your rooftop yet, you're pretty much nuts.


Indeed.

Many of the utilities in California are publicly owned - ie. controlled by the city/county. Another reason to set up these crazy rebates despite the problems is that it is supposed to create jobs - the same rationale as to why the federal government keeps pumping money into the military-industrial complex.

A question is, would the price of solar power actually drop if the rebates and subsidies were dropped - because it's obvious the companies are deliberately holding the prices up as long as the governments are willing to pay - or whether the whole PV market would die instantly.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
More crazy subsidies:

Statewide solar incentives for California

California Energy Commission – New Solar Homes: If you're building a new home in California, take advantage of this. Incentives are up to 50 percent, and up to 75 percent for affordable housing tracts.


Assume you apply for the 50% credit and add the 30% ITC on the remaining price, and 2/3 of the cost of a solar installation just vanishes into thin air.What a time to be a rich homeowner in California.

Of course the cost doesn't really vanish, because someone in New York will be paying taxes to offset the ITC for a solar home in California. Fair deal?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jul 03, 2017
That's why you don't see poor people installing solar panels.

Poor people seldom own homes.

Yeah, with 50 cents a kWh feed-in subsidy. You always forget to mention that.

I forget to mention it because it's BS.

The EEG gives 13ct/kWh. (For comparison: When nuclear started up it got 72ct per kWh). And it's going to be reduced to nothing in the next years. Even then solar is still a bargain when you consider all the savings in electricity and hot water.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
Eikka
Of course the cost doesn't really vanish, because someone in New York will be paying taxes to offset the ITC for a solar home in California. Fair deal?
Just as that tax payer will be paying taxes to cover this - https://www.desmo...ing-vote
and this - http://www.theene...ar-plant

It is so interesting how the conservatives hate government supports - until they don't. Gvt supports for wind and solar have enabled this to evolve - https://www.green...he-World
Now the U.S. federal credits are being phased out - but your nukes are going to continue demanding that the beast be fed. Fair deal??? Double standards from the conservatives.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
I forget to mention it because it's BS.

The EEG gives 13ct/kWh


Lies. That's what it gives now. Exactly 15 years ago the tariff was 45.7 c/kWh and at the peak year 2004 it was 57.4 c/kWh. From there it went steadily down to 39.14 cents at 2010 and only after that dropped gradually to the current 12.31 c/kWh
(For comparison: When nuclear started up it got 72ct per kWh)


Special pleading. If you believe that was bad subsidies, why do you argue this time it's good subsidies? Also, renewabe energy has been "starting up" for 25 years and more now. Germany has had the good sense to start slashing subsidies - California hasn't yet.

Greenonions:
Just as that tax payer will be paying taxes to cover this


Tu-quoque fallacy: appealing to other problems doesn't make this one go away.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
Now the U.S. federal credits are being phased out


Are they? They have been "phased out" about 4-5 times already, but whenever the PTC/ITC is about to expire, they extend it.

And you're ignoring the Californian local subsidies, which are the other half of the story of what keeps artifically propping up over-expensive solar PV.

but your nukes are going to continue demanding that the beast be fed. Fair deal??? Double standards from the conservatives.


The subsidies, which consist mostly of loan guarantees, to nuclear power amount to approximately $2 per MWh or 0.2 c/kWh. Completely neglible.

Meanwhile, nuclear power producers are/were taxed on the sold power to collect funds for nuclear waste disposal - many billions of dollars which is being squandered by the federal government by refusing to spend it on nuclear waste disposal to the point that the courts had to order them to stop collecting the tax.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
Even then solar is still a bargain when you consider all the savings in electricity and hot water.


There we don't disagree. At -today's- best prices in Germany, it's cheaper than buying electricity from the grid if you have some direct use for it.

However, that's in part due to Germany having incredibly high electricity prices (between 2-3x the US average) in the first place thanks to the EEG surcharges, so the comparison isn't really an honest one.

And you still can't actually power a home with solar because of the supply-demand mismatch - as the other article points out. In the Belgian case, which is similiar to Germany, a household can only directly cover 40% of its own use with solar no matter how much they have, and the rest comes from exchange via the grid. The use of batteries to increase that fraction is still completely uneconomical.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
Meanwhile in California, solar power - if you use it for water/space heating - competes with natural gas which retails at around 5-6 cents per kWh delivered. 1-2 cents at the pipeline, so there's quite a margin for the gas utilities.

Solar PV costs about $4 per Watt installed last I checked, labor and everything, and a Watt of PV in California makes about 1.2 kWh per year, which makes the real cost of solar power about $3.33 per kWh-year which means 33 c/kWh over 10 years and 16 c/kWh over 20 years.

Competing with 6 c/kWh gas, the payback period is something like 50 years. In order to compete with natural gas for heating, solar PV would have to cost about $1.50 per Watt installed and maintained, to have a payback after 20 years.

Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
Actually it's worse than that:

https://www.calif...em_size/
Cost by System Size

This figure shows the average cost of completed systems in the CSI Program in relationship to their size. Gray dots indicate individual systems. Brown triangles indicate the average for a given system size range. Select the Table view below to display and download the average cost data represented by the brown triangles.

This report is current as of June 30, 2017.


For residential systems 1 - 10 kW in size, the average full cost between 2015 - 2017 hovers just around $5/W

This is why the subsidies are absolutely necessary. Slash 75% off the price by subsidy, and it starts to look attractive. Remove the subsidy, and buying solar makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
Eikka
Are they?
Yes they are. Residential solar tax credit will step down, and totally expire in 2022. I don't hear you calling for the removal of subsidies for nukes - and you assessment of "completely negligible" belies your ignorance of what is happening in the U.S. - as nukes are becoming financially not viable - http://www.washin...ust-end/
Tu-quoque fallacy: appealing to other problems doesn't make this one go away.
No - but it points to your hypocrisy. Scream and wail about supports to renewables - while crickets chirping regarding your favored industries. The hypocrisy of the conservatives.

Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
Yes they are.


We will see in 2021 what happens.

I don't hear you calling for the removal of subsidies for nukes


No need to remove what isn't there. The subsidies you're pointing to are states and cities trying to prop up old aging reactors with skyrocketing maintenance costs because they aren't allowed to build new ones and can't easily replace them.

No - but it points to your hypocrisy


There is no hypocrisy except the one that you project on me.

while crickets chirping regarding your favored industries


No need to complain when there's nothing to complain about. Nuclear works, except where it is made not to work through politics.

Renewables don't, and the subsidies for them are different: they're rate-subsidies where the government is essentialy buying the power instead of simply handing out a loan or making an investment. The comparison you're making is dishonest.

The hypocrisy of the conservatives

Not a conservative
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
Besides, the nuclear-vs-renewables subsidies is an apples-to-oranges comparison anyhow as the early years of nuclear power was all about building the atomic bomb, and do it in a hurry. The government poured money into it to get a weapon, and counting that money as part of nuclear power subsidies is again completely dishonest.

It would be like counting the development effort on the B-52 bomber as subsidy to wind power - since both use wings.

Fortunately the debate has at least evolved from the point of comparing aggregate "subsidies" between the different technologies, where the renewables advocates count all money paid to fossil fuels in the last 200 years to all the money paid to renewables in the last 20 years, as if spending so much resources is justified here because it has been done elsewhere.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2017
Gvt supports for wind and solar have enabled this to evolve


Unlikely. Feed-in subsidies are fundamentally fixing the selling price of electricity from wind/solar to a guaranteed level, and so maintaining high subsidies simply maintains high prices. It's rather the threat of removal of the subsidies that has spurred actual competition and made the prices go down.

Also, from the very same aricle you posted:

The report finds that India has utility PV system pricing of 65 cents per watt.

The secret to these low prices? It turns out that a great way to reduce your soft costs is to pay your labor force and engineers next to nothing.


Great argument there, pal! Solar power is cheap if you do it on slave labor.

Also, domestic solar producers in India etc. are bidding low to drive foreign companies out of the market - they get their money back through other contracts with the government, or by simply going "oops, I ran over budget".
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
It would be like counting the development effort on the B-52 bomber as subsidy to wind power - since both use wings.
Over and over Eikka - you demonstrate your ignorance of the issues. Governments around the world pour billions into energy. I support that - as long as it is done in transparent and rational way. Look at ITER - http://www.scienc...-project $12 billion and counting - and we don't know if it will produce cheap energy. I support the effort to find out. You clearly don't understand the economics of nukes. Macron - then secretary of industry in France - acknowledged that we don't know how much nukes cost - because the economics are so vast and complex. Nukes in the U.S. are becoming less and less viable - against the falling cost of renewables - and also cheap natural gas. https://www.nytim...iba.html cont.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
Governments around the world pour billions into energy. I support that - as long as it is done in transparent and rational way.


As do I. The difference here is what we consider to be rational.

Over and over Eikka - you demonstrate your ignorance of the issues.


I find the same about you. We clearly don't agree about the facts, because I find you having none to offer.

You clearly don't understand the economics of nukes.


I simply disagree with your assesment of the situation. You tend to conflate all sorts of extraneous information with the matter, such as somehow pulling ITER into the discussion as another red herring.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
cont - I want to point out one quote from the article -
shows how daunting it can be for the private sector to build these plants, even with generous government subsidies like loan guarantees and tax credits
Bottom line - you don't know what you're talking about - but never miss an opportunity to scream about big evil gvt supports for renewables - while silence on the billions being poured into legacy industries. Yes hypocrisy much. You sure do act like a conservative.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
I find you having none to offer.
And I find that you not only have nothing to offer - but you never miss an opportunity to piss on positive progress. Wind and solar are the cheapest option in many parts of the world - and their costs continue to fall. Much of this is thanks to the supports given by governments around the world - who see the need to get off fossil fuels - and move on to a new energy system. Personally I am fine with nukes being part of that mix - but I am consistent in understanding that progress takes time - and it is a viable role for gvt to provide policy and supports for positive social advance. Energy is an incredibly complex issue - and the experts don't agree. What is clear to me is that a fossil free energy system is needed - and I think most experts would at least agree on that. Your hypocrisy is clear - whether you see it yourself or not.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
I want to point out one quote from the article -

You have very selective perception of what you read. The article after your quote:

Safety concerns change along the way, leading to new regulations, thousands of design alterations, delays and spiraling costs for every element.

In one case, even the dirt used to backfill excavated holes at the Westinghouse project in Georgia became a point of contention when it did not measure up to Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, leading to increased costs and a lawsuit.


When everyone's inventing new rules as they go along, and suing your ass left and right, and the red tape is enough to go around the world two times over, no wonder it costs billions to do anything. It's not exactly a level playing field.

while silence on the billions being poured into legacy industries. Yes hypocrisy much.


You're making up the hypocricy by ignoring the reasons why these "legacy industries" are being supported!
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
And I find that you not only have nothing to offer (...) Wind and solar are the cheapest option in many parts of the world


Stop lying. I did provide actual data about the cost of solar power in California, and explicitly showed you why it's not cost-competetive without the subsidies. I have provided ample evidence to the matter, and you keep insisting otherwise.

- but you never miss an opportunity to piss on positive progress.


Just get out. You call positive progress any hype and propaganda you run across without any criticism, and then attack the people who expose it as hype and propaganda, claiming theyre "conservatives"!
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
You're making up the hypocricy by ignoring the reasons why these "legacy industries" are being supported!
No I am not - I am simply asking for consistency. Legacy industries such ans nukes and ff have received massive levels of gvt supports in countries all over the world - for hundreds of years. Now it is clearly time to get beyond dirty, finite fuels. And you hypocrites are howling about supports to the newer industries. You are hypocrites.
Dingbone
Jul 03, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
RealityCheck
3 / 5 (4) Jul 03, 2017
@Dingbone.
They increase fossil fuel consumption http://data.world...M.FO.ZS. This is not what the positive progress means.
Bear in mind that we are in a transition phase, where economy of scale not yet fully kicked in. Once the transition reaches critical mass of renewables in both plants/infrastructure/usage and efficiency across many industries, the fossil/nuclear energy component currently necessarily input to development of the renewable processes/economies will decline precipitously, along with the pollution and costs which they entail. Anyway, that the final 'mix' will involve fossil fuel power only in niche ways rather than the ubiquitous ways it has been to date. The subsidies complaints are a furfy and hypocritical; because govt land/rail/road/tax/remediation/health/climate 'socialized costs' of fossil/nuclear were/are way more expensive than for renewables at same stage of development/implementation. Consider everything. :)
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jul 03, 2017
Susanville – Lassen Municipal Utility District's PV Rebate Program: If you live anywhere within Lassen MUD territory, solar is pretty much almost free. At a rebate of $2.80 per watt, if you live within the district but don't have solar on your rooftop yet, you're pretty much nuts.


Indeed.

Many of the utilities in California are publicly owned - ie. controlled by the city/county. Another reason to set up these crazy rebates despite the problems is that it is supposed to create jobs - the same rationale as to why the federal government keeps pumping money into the military-industrial complex.

...

Is there someway we, as citizens, could change that to just "industrial complex"?
Dingbone
Jul 03, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Dingbone
Jul 03, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jul 03, 2017
but you never miss an opportunity to piss on positive progress. Wind and solar are the cheapest option in many parts of the world - and their costs continue to fall
They increase fossil fuel consumption http://data.world...M.FO.ZS. This is not what the positive progress means.

Yeah, but....
I see that as only a temporary circumstance lasting until other renewable sources are ramped up...
Dingbone
Jul 03, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Porgie
1 / 5 (3) Jul 03, 2017
Californians take a shine to solar power -- they have never, ever, been known for their intelligence.
gkam
2 / 5 (4) Jul 03, 2017
The future starts here, and eventually gets to where you are.

My PV system and EV saved us $3000 last year, and will save more this year.

And if dingbone thinks "They increase fossil fuel consumption instead of decrease.", I want him to tell me how installing my PV system which unloads peak powerplants increases fossil fuel consumption.

Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2017
Best luck with it. The "getting cheap with scale" works only with non-material commodities, like the electronics or data. Renewables are raw sources hungry and raw sources are energy hungry - the more, they more they get exhausted.

I'm confused by your comment.
Light, hydrogen and wind are the "commodities" (unlimited, as far as we know) that non-material commodities are engineered to xploit.
Much like planes, trains or automobiles (non-material commodities) were originally designed to xploit a NON-renewable resource (oil).
(Although at the time of their invention(s), oil might have seemed like it was unlimited...)
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2017
dingbone
but once the portion of renewables on the total energy budged increases above 15 - 20%, their lack of backup and hidden cost of energy will manifest clearly.
Guess we should look no further than to countries that have already passed that 20% mark - to see if you know what you are talking about - maybe try Costa Rica, or Denmark, or Norway etc. etc. etc. You and Willie just keep howling at the tide - but it still keeps coming in....
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Jul 04, 2017
Californians take a shine to solar power -- they have never, ever, been known for their intelligence.

Weird how all the intelligent products in Silicon Valley (as well as quite a number of top universities) are located in California, ain't it?
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jul 04, 2017
The future starts here, and eventually gets to where you are.

My PV system and EV saved us $3000 last year, and will save more this year.

And if dingbone thinks "They increase fossil fuel consumption instead of decrease.", I want him to tell me how installing my PV system which unloads peak powerplants increases fossil fuel consumption.

He might have been referring to the actual construction process FF consumption...

gkam
2 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2017
Then he is still wrong. He has no idea of the energy required to refine the special steels and other components for a nuclear power plant.
greenonions1
not rated yet Jul 04, 2017
Then he is still wrong. He has no idea of the energy required to refine the special steels and other components for a nuclear power plant.
Right - and has anyone even done the complex analysis that would be required to truly compare say a wind turbine, to a coal plant. You have to build the coal plant; mine the coal; transport the coal to the plant (300 - 400 cars a day, each carrying 100 tons of coal) - https://atomicins...burner/; burn the coal; clean out the fly ash; knock down the plant at the end of it's life; remediate all the coal sites after you have closed the pits. Now compare all of that to building a wind farm, and then letting the wind blow.
PTTG
5 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2017
You know, the more I see, the more I realize anti-global-warming people actually just hate Californians in particular, and everything else just stems from that.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2017
Then he is still wrong. He has no idea of the energy required to refine the special steels and other components for a nuclear power plant.

I was thinking more in terms of coal fired plants...
gkam
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 04, 2017
The capital costs of a coal-fired powerplant versus a wind or solar facility?

I don't know without looking it up. But that question ignores the major costs of coal, and those are the fuel and waste costs to society, as well as the health costs.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2017
You know, the more I see, the more I realize anti-global-warming people actually just hate Californians in particular, and everything else just stems from that.

I would call it visceral envy...
solarmeloncom
not rated yet Jul 20, 2017
Boy CA is tough. Four hundred bucks for electric? That would pay for almost 4000 kilowatts in my area which is almost 4 times as much as I would use in August in Florida for a 2200 sq' foot house with well water. Then $80 on gas every 3-4 days? That would be about 37 gallons of gas for me and even at 10 miles to the gallon that would be 370 miles of driving. I knew CA was expensive but wow. Just another reason to switch to solar!
- Ron from solarmelon.com
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Jul 20, 2017
Does that stuff work?

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