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22 Gigawatts: Germany Sets Solar World Record  
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12562 posts, RR: 25
Posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2848 times:

http://www.treehugger.com/energy-pol...alf-germany-was-powered-solar.html

Clearly the site is pro-solar, but that's not a bad thing.

The key statement is:

Quote:

Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50% of the nation's midday electricity needs.

How did they do it?

Quote:

Germany instituted a feed-in-tariff (FIT) system—which requires utilities to buy solar power from producers, large and small, at a fixed rate—that has fueled the nation's solar boom. Basically, anyone can buy solar panels, set them up, plug them into the grid, and get paid for it.

Now, FITs do make electricity more expensive, since the cost of subsidizing that higher fixed rate is absorbed by all electricity consumers. But Germany doesn't really mind. And why not? Simple: its citizenry has agreed that producing more non-nuclear clean power is worth shelling out a few extra bucks for each month. Gasp.

Add me to the list that would pay a bit more to turn off fossil fuel plants and go solar.

The article claims the US could get there too, if they directed subsidies that the fossil fuel industry gets:



That's mostly a political argument, but the fact of the matter is that Germany and China are going nuts on solar while the US is sitting on its hands.


Inspiration, move me brightly!
51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2816 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
That's mostly a political argument, but the fact of the matter is that Germany and China are going nuts on solar while the US is sitting on its hands.

That is mostly because the political structure of the USA has those with the most profits/money being best able to control the agenda in Washington. It's about "good business" or at least good current business with little view to the future (because that doesn't benefit those "now" businesses). And the American public has been convinced that this is best.

The truth is the government should always be planning for the future but that is not how people and businesses act and do things. It just is the way it is (I want it all, and I want it now).

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
Add me to the list that would pay a bit more to turn off fossil fuel plants and go solar.

You might want to modify your "fossil fuel" comment as not much energy is generated with oil (only about 1%) and the USA has large reserves of natural gas. The majority of electricity is from coal, nuclear, hydro, and natural gas and more and more of America's energy is beginning to move towards nat gas which is something we do have a lot of and it is relatively clean.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12562 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2809 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 1):
You might want to modify your "fossil fuel" comment

?

Quote:

Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel

Quoting tugger (Reply 1):
It's about "good business" or at least good current business with little view to the future (because that doesn't benefit those "now" businesses).

Agree 100%.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
?

Quote:

Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

I gotcha, don't know what I was thinking, wasn't including coal in there for some reason. Nat gas is, to me at least, a perfectly acceptable generation source as it is relatively clean and the USA has a good supply of it. The two biggest factors for the move to NG is the low cost (currently), ease of conversion, and regulations (which I am fine with) that make "clean gas" the best and cheapest operating option .

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2800 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
Germany [is] going nuts on solar

*ahem*

I'm truly sorry to say that the current government has ended that trend. I presume that we're still ahead of many other nations, but the investments into the future of our energy supply have been reduced by the CDU/CSU & FDP coalition government... whose energy policy is nothing short of chaotic.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29799 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2761 times:

Still short of the 1.21 jigawatts needed to go back in time

I find the pacific northwest graphic hilarious. Bonneville Power is now offering to pay wind farms not to produce power so they can keep water flows up in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

I will try and find the article later but it does have a very surplus government cheese feel about it



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinemt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6593 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2744 times:
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Quoting L-188 (Reply 5):
Bonneville Power is now offering to pay wind farms not to produce power so they can keep water flows up in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

No, BPA is telling wind farms not to produce and EAT the cost.They are not paying anyone

"During times of high hydropower generation, lower electric demand, and high wind generation, BPA‟s Environmental Redispatch and Negative Pricing Policies (“Redispatch Protocol”) allows wind generation contracts to be curtailed by BPA without any compensation to wind project owners."

http://www.awea.org/newsroom/pressre...mments-on-Complaint-Re-BPA-ROD.pdf



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2726 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
How did they do it?

Quote:

Germany instituted a feed-in-tariff (FIT) system—which requires utilities to buy solar power from producers, large and small, at a fixed rate—that has fueled the nation's solar boom.

That fixed rate was recently lowered (because panels are cheaper and more efficient now). Amortization periods are somewhere between 15-25 years.

This is more something you do out of conviction, not to make money.

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
But Germany doesn't really mind

The German industries would disagree. Nuclear FTW France has 40% lower energy costs than Germany. Try to explain to customers on the other end of the world, why made in Germany costs more than made in France. They'll tell you they don't care and buy French.

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
Add me to the list that would pay a bit more to turn off fossil fuel plants and go solar.

Because you're smart. You understand that fossil fuels seem cheap at first sight, but if you factor in the costs they entail - anything from cleaning up the environment, anti global warming measures to the wars fought over oil - they suddenly become unaffordable. Same goes for nuclear power with the caveat that they have the potential to kill millions of people at an instant and render vast areas uninhabitable for thousands of years.

The average human mind doesn't seem to grasp that and the economy's ''invisible hand'' doesn't account for it. A picture book example of where state intervention is needed.

Quoting tugger (Reply 1):
The majority of electricity is from coal, nuclear, hydro, and natural gas and more and more of America's energy is beginning to move towards nat gas which is something we do have a lot of and it is relatively clean.

Biofuels from corn drive food prices up. Flatulance, is a natural gas as well. Not sure I'd want to call that clean. Not sure the people losing their land to the rising sea levels would either.

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
The two biggest factors for the move to NG is the low cost (currently), ease of conversion, and regulations (which I am fine with) that make "clean gas" the best and cheapest operating option .

So what about the chemicals used for fracking? What about exploding houses and burning showers, that you hear of all the time?

Natural gas can serve as an interrim solution, but why spend money on something of such fugacity? Every dollar spent on natural gas, is a dollar lost on solar and wind. Both of which are virtually free of side effects and here to stay.

Quoting aloges (Reply 4):
I'm truly sorry to say that the current government has ended that trend. I presume that we're still ahead of many other nations, but the investments into the future of our energy supply have been reduced by the CDU/CSU & FDP coalition government... whose energy policy is nothing short of chaotic.

It's chaotic because they are going a middle way. Trying to manage the 'Energiewende', while protecting the valid interests of German businesses.

This is not the CDU or FDP's fault, this is the fault of every single customer out there in the world who doesn't want to honor Germany's efforts in trying to get things right. If you go for cheap over sustainable, then that is what you get. The market only supplies what the consumer demands.

You pay about €0.24 per kW/hr. in Germany. It's about €0.08 in Texas. Sweating, or a/c-cooling is difference instantaneously noticeable. New York under water is a scenario many decades away.
Things that don't affect you directly don't matter to you, that's the human condition. As long as we as a people don't emancipate ourselves from this primitive Neanderthalesque way of thinking, nothing is going to change. I would argue the majority of mankind is not even psychlogically (and intellectually) capable of processing such a paradigm shift.

If you want to make a significant impact on the future of the earth, find ways to deal with global warming. Not to stop it. That ship is sailed. Which is bad, because we might need to live on it in the future..

[Edited 2012-06-13 12:08:14]


..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2714 times:

So while we're on the subject, what's the solution to overcome solar power's biggest downside: night time?

Increasing our reliance on Solar will also increase our reliance on some other energy sources which will need to take over during those long winter night or rainy days...
It needs to have a highly flexible power output and be able to, on its own, cover for the entire solar output, on short notice.

Only hydro and gas/petrol/coal power can do that.
So for for every watt of solar power installed, you would need almost a watt or something else to cover for it when the sun's not playing game. And the more solar you install, the bigger that problem becomes.

Call me a spoiled, first world, whining capitalist pig, but good TV shows only air at night...
  



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but Germany produced 621,000 GW/hours in 2010, or about 1700GWh per day (on average, weekdays will be generally much higher than weekends).

The article mentioned 22GW. That is an instantaneous measurement. How long was that sustained? Let's assume that they can sustain it for 8 hours a day (grossly optimistic, but anyway...), that's 22x8 = 176 GWh.

That's just above 10% of Germany's needs, not 50%. And more likely it did not sustain it for 8 hours, so we are back under 10%.

I noticed another bit of language in the article. "the nation's midday electricity needs." The implication is that 'mid-day' means peak usage. Germany's power needs are nothing like the US. Most homes are not air-conditioned like they are here. Peak power utilization comes from 2 things - industrial machinery and cooking (You would add heating in the winter but we are in June). If you took the measurement at 1 PM in the afternoon, most industrial machinery might be shut down for lunch (Remember this is Germany), and at 1 PM the cooking is already done and people are downing a beer before heading back to work.

This would make sense, because if 22GW was 50% of the load, that would imply 44GW is the peak, and let's say that Germany averages 18 hours at peak usage per day (I'm being generous). That would five us 792 GWh per day.

Given that the yearly average is 1700 GWh per day (more likely something like 2100 on weekdays, a third of that on weekends when the factories and offices are closed), ovbiously that 50% number was taken at a very deep trough in the daily usage curve - i.e. lunch hour.

All in all, it's great that Germany is producing so many GW of solar power. But the implication of the article that it represents 50% of their needs is a whole lot of smoke being blown up your ass. It's more like somewhere between 5 and 10%. Which is great - but I hate to be taken for an idiot.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinemt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6593 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2694 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):
But the implication of the article that it represents 50% of their needs is a whole lot of smoke being blown up your ass.

Wind in Texas represents close to 20% on windy days..

March 8, 2012, AUSTIN – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market, hit a new wind record Wednesday, exceeding the previous record by almost 200 megawatts (MW).

Wind output reached 7,599 MW at 8:41 p.m., Wednesday, March 7, exceeding the 7,403 MW record from the previous day, March 6, by 196 MW. Prior to March 6, the record for wind output in ERCOT was 7,400 MW, recorded on Oct. 7, 2011.

At the time of Wednesday’s record, wind was supplying 22 percent of the total system load, 34,318 MW.

http://www.ercot.com/news/press_releases/show/495

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):

The article mentioned 22GW. That is an instantaneous measurement. How long was that sustained?
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):
But the implication of the article that it represents 50% of their needs is a whole lot of smoke being blown up your ass. It's more like somewhere between 5 and 10%. Which is great - but I hate to be taken for an idiot.

You have stumbled on two things:

1- The difference between "Energy" and "Power"- You get browny points for that

2- Germany (We) still a LOT of energy that can be supplied by nonrenewable energy!. You get browny point for supporting clean energy as well

Well Done!



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

Quoting something (Reply 7):
It's chaotic because they are going a middle way. Trying to manage the 'Energiewende', while protecting the valid interests of German businesses.

This is not the CDU or FDP's fault

It is every bit the fault of the CDU/CSU and FDP. There was an agreed and binding roadmap to nuclear-free power generation in place when they formed the government. They ripped it to shreds as ordered by their lobbyist supporters - as in Rösler's infamous line: "Starting today, we'll deliver!"

Later, after the Fukushima disaster had made that move incompatible with the opinions of too many of their voters, they came up with their own version of an end to nuclear power. The problems are that they made a complete hash of it (immediate shutdowns of various NPPs etc.) and that they had previously made their pro-nuclear policy almost irrevocable. That is now going to cost me and every other German taxpayer shedloads of money because the energy oligopoly has legal rights to sue the government for damages after their U-turn - which they are using:

Quote:
E.ON will rund acht Milliarden Schadenersatz für Atom-Aus

Düsseldorf (Reuters) - Der Energieriese E.ON will nach der Energiewende und den damit verbundenen Beschlüssen zum Atomausstieg von der schwarz-gelben Bundesregierung rund acht Milliarden Euro Schadenersatz.

Translation: After the change in policy, E.on wants € 8,000,000,000 in damages from the government.

On top of that, there was the naughty little affair of Baden-Württemberg's former prime minister (CDU) pushing through an illegal purchase of EnBW shares... but that's for another thread.

Quoting something (Reply 7):
You pay about €0.24 per kW/hr. in Germany. It's about €0.08 in Texas.

sources and details, please

[Edited 2012-06-13 13:07:09]


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 8):
So while we're on the subject, what's the solution to overcome solar power's biggest downside: night time?

You have stumbled upon one BIG reason why conventional power providers are fighting solar every inch of the way. Solar panels do of course tend to produce most electricity during the midday hours. But those hours are also the ones with the highest demand for power: air conditioners work the hardest during these hottest hours, millions of people use electric appliances such as cookers and microwaves while their computers and machines remain running and almost everyone is actually awake - even serious nighthawks.

The high demand caused by this used to drive up the hourly prices at the mercantile exchanges - every day, as reliably as clockwork. Pump storage facilities released their stocks of water to cope with the demand and this came at a profitable premium. Enter solar panels and the demand spike is suddenly met by a supply spike - and prices drop. That's not what you want...

As quoted in the original post of this thread:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
the 22 gigawatts of solar power fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50% of the nation's midday electricity needs.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2674 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):

Add me to the list that would pay a bit more to turn off fossil fuel plants and go solar.

The article claims the US could get there too, if they directed subsidies that the fossil fuel industry gets:

It's a little more complicated in the US. Solar in the US means putting up large solar farms in the SW. Although I typically work with wind farms, the Endangered Species Act ramifications are the same. I seem to remember some solar farm in AZ or NM being held up because of some turtle in the desert.

Quoting aloges (Reply 4):
I'm truly sorry to say that the current government has ended that trend. I presume that we're still ahead of many other nations, but the investments into the future of our energy supply have been reduced by the CDU/CSU & FDP coalition government... whose energy policy is nothing short of chaotic.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Germany say they were going to shut down ever nuclear plant they had after Fukushima? Meaning they have to rely on coal, NG and renewables?

Quoting mt99 (Reply 6):
No, BPA is telling wind farms not to produce and EAT the cost.They are not paying anyone

Energy costs have gone up here in Washington state since I-937 passed requiring that 15% of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. I haven't heard anything recently about what you mention, but BPA historically has a lot of political power here in the state.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 9):
I noticed another bit of language in the article. "the nation's midday electricity needs." The implication is that 'mid-day' means peak usage.

Isn't that the problem with wind/solar? there's not an efficient way to store the power for times of peak demand. With nuclear or coal it's there. But, the wind and sun only happen when nature wants them to. Hence, why I've always been a fan of nuclear power as a way to reduce carbon emissions.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 10):
March 8, 2012, AUSTIN – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market, hit a new wind record Wednesday, exceeding the previous record by almost 200 megawatts (MW).

As I say above, you can have the highest wind energy producing day in history, but if it happens in TX during March or April when no one is running their air conditioners and demand is 50% of peak, where does that power go? You really can't store it anywhere right now. I'm not saying that the technology isn't good, just that it has some kinks to work out.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2665 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 13):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Germany say they were going to shut down ever nuclear plant they had after Fukushima? Meaning they have to rely on coal, NG and renewables?

Yes. That knee-jerk reaction came after the very same government had signed a deal with the "Big Four" energy providers in Germany (RWE, E.ON, EnBW and Vattenfall) which had significantly extended the permissible lifetimes of the German NPPs. At the time, that deal was often criticized as "written almost entirely by the NP lobby", which is now ringing true as I mentioned in reply no. 11:

Quoting aloges (Reply 11):
Translation: After the change in policy, E.ON wants € 8,000,000,000 in damages from the government.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7909 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2646 times:

I'm all for solar, wind, and hydro... but as long as you don't put your plant near earthquake and tsunami zones, go nuclear. We've come a long way since Chernobyl and Three Mile Island... ask France how their nuclear power is going!


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 15):
ask France how their nuclear power is going!

Well, if you enjoy a nationwide monopoly... and for all intents and purposes, EdF still does.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19712 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 1):
You might want to modify your "fossil fuel" comment as not much energy is generated with oil (only about 1%) and the USA has large reserves of natural gas. The majority of electricity is from coal, nuclear, hydro, and natural gas and more and more of America's energy is beginning to move towards nat gas which is something we do have a lot of and it is relatively clean.

Natural gas and coal are both fossil fuels and emit a lot of CO2. I know that talking about CO2 and global warming in the U.S. is akin to talking about evolution and events occurring over 6,000 years ago, but that's for another thread. CO2 emissions need to be decreased and if we could generate our electricity without needing to dump CO2, that would be a good thing.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 5):
Still short of the 1.21 jigawatts needed to go back in time

Well, you beat me to it.  
Quoting something (Reply 7):
Biofuels from corn drive food prices up.

I start to get violent thoughts when someone mentions biofuels and then someone brings up corn. Corn is not a real biofuel; it is a political trick. More CO2 is released making corn ethanol than drilling and burning oil. A real biofuel is grown on land that is not suitable for food production, uses minimal water, and fixes more CO2 than it produces. Jatropha and vertical photobioreactor-grown algae are both examples.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21634 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2611 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 13):
Solar in the US means putting up large solar farms in the SW.

It doesn't have to be limited to the southwest. There are plenty of places in the country that get enough sun to have solar generating stations. In fact, I'd say that every single state in the continental US could support solar infrastructure easily.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2596 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 15):
ask France how their nuclear power is going!

Clean power, non speculative energy prices, energy independence... Pretty good until they started to subcontract to independent, uncontrolled private parties and politicians started to ride the Fukushima fear wave during the election campaign with a complete lack of actual objective debate.

But that's for another thread and I don't want to go to bed angry again.
  



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8543 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2590 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 13):
You really can't store it anywhere right now. I'm not saying that the technology isn't good, just that it has some kinks to work out.

Variable generation using natural gas. Arguably, a rapid start coal plant could also work. (if designed for that purpose?)

I am really optimistic about doubling efficiency of energy consumption, as well as cleaning up production. Cars are making huge progress. Plenty of new models are posting 30% gains in fuel mileage. That's just incredible.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2580 times:

Quoting mt99 (Reply 10):
2- Germany (We) still a LOT of energy that can be supplied by nonrenewable energy!. You get browny point for supporting clean energy as well

Here is another problem. The highest power usage in Germany will be in cold winter months, when on top of the normal industrial and cooking needs, you also have more need for lighting (shorter days), and you have a lot of homes which use electric space heaters (not so common for heating the whole house, but a single space heater for one room will pull 1500W or more. This is very different from the US where peak electrical usage is in summer, for air conditioning.

Coincidentally winter is the period when solar panels will work the least in Germany. If they can produce less than 10% of the need in late spring, I'd guess it would be less than 5% on a sunny winter day, and 0% if the weather is lousy.

So you still need just as many nukes, coal and gas etc etc generators.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2563 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 18):
It doesn't have to be limited to the southwest. There are plenty of places in the country that get enough sun to have solar generating stations. In fact, I'd say that every single state in the continental US could support solar infrastructure easily.

Last I heard the largest solar plant was in India, using over 5,000 acres of land producing 600 MW of energy. The entire state of Washington generates 2800 MW in wind energy and uses a huge expanse of land in E. Washington. Could every state support a solar or wind farm? Of course, but just 1 nuclear plant generates around 1,100 MW and doesn't require half a state.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2551 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
you have a lot of homes which use electric space heaters

I don't know about that... from personal experience, very very few people use those things to heat anything more than sheds or garages.

Anyway, fixed electric heating systems (storage heaters) will be phased out in Germany over the coming decades. In earlier decades, they were promoted because they use large amounts of electric energy to heat up overnight, which led to a better overall efficiency of base load power plants.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
Coincidentally winter is the period when solar panels will work the least in Germany.

Which is why there are big ideas on how to solve this problem, such as: http://www.desertec.org/

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
So you still need just as many nukes, coal and gas etc etc generators.

A) If you run a coal-fired plant for half the year, its emissions will be less than if you run it all year long. That's still an advantage.
B) Nobody is considering making Germany, or any other place, dependent on just one form of regenerative power. We're going for a mix of sources and decentralisation of generation.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2548 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 17):
Natural gas and coal are both fossil fuels and emit a lot of CO2. I know that talking about CO2 and global warming in the U.S. is akin to talking about evolution and events occurring over 6,000 years ago, but that's for another thread. CO2 emissions need to be decreased and if we could generate our electricity without needing to dump CO2, that would be a good thing.

You cannot fairly lump the environmental impact of natural gas and coal into the same sentence. The carbon intensity of burning natural gas is less than half of coal. When it comes to the particulates and volatile compounds that impact human health, natural gas is orders of magnitude cleaner than coal. That doesn't even consider the vastly cleaner production and transportation of natural gas versus coal.

Since 2009, the carbon intensity of the U.S. power grid has dropped 4% just from the substitution of natural gas in place of coal. That was achieved with no regulation and no subsidies, simply operators following good economic sense due to the low price of natural gas. And despite this clearly positive trend, Obama's EPA was trying to "crucify" shale gas producers on fictitious environmental claims until they were exposed.

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
The article claims the US could get there too, if they directed subsidies that the fossil fuel industry gets:

The phrase "direct subsidies" to the fossil fuel industry is a huge misnomer. The vast majority of "subsidies" for the fossil fuel industry are lumped into tax deductions for operation/capital expenses.

Ultimately, the fossil fuel industry subsidies the government, not the other way around. XOM alone paid $12 billion in U.S. taxes in 2011 while the Department of Energy budget is $24 billion.

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
That's mostly a political argument, but the fact of the matter is that Germany and China are going nuts on solar while the US is sitting on its hands.

As well we should. We have perhaps a century of cheaper natural gas, which is reasonably clean for everyone who isn't an environmental extremist. It is not carbon-free, but the balance between environment and economics is excellent. That is a rational approach to energy policy.

A figure that would complete the infograph propaganda is a comparison of retail electricity prices in different economies. Wouldn't you know, the U.S. has some of the cheapest electricity. That is a serious advantage for U.S. industries and should be championed by those who want to see job growth, higher standard of living, etc.



25 dfwrevolution : Nuclear and coal can be difficult to throttle due to the thermodynamic momentum of a 1+ GW cycle. Natural gas is much easier to throttle. Some natura
26 aloges : It's particularly appealing when you have the option of running it on biomass or biogas, but of course the sort of efficiency that you can get from t
27 Post contains links something : Absolutely right. I read the original article in the German paper it was published in and this was the peak production, so theoretically it lasted fo
28 Post contains images aloges : Hallelujah! The supposed liberalisation of the German energy market has been a resounding failure. But alas, the resulting regional monopolists have
29 Post contains images Revelation : See, it is you guys who are screwing up the whole world's economy! Yep, politicians paid by agri-business. Why is the DoE budget a suitable point of
30 dfwrevolution : If you are looking for sources of government spending in the energy sector, the Dept of Energy would be a good place to start. Even taking the infogr
31 Post contains links something : http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/pet_mo..._impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm And this is missing the point entirely of becoming independent of natural, a
32 dfwrevolution : Our reserves will outlast anyone who is alive today. It's a waste of time to solve problems that do not need solving today. We will stop using fossil
33 something : Where in the profit margins of those energy companies lies the budget to clean up the ecological mayhem their products leave behind? What fund do the
34 dfwrevolution : You could win a Tony with that performance. Reality is far less dramatic. Obviously false. Production of resources results in products that are more
35 Post contains links Longhornmaniac : I'm on the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor train. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK367T7h6ZY Cheers, Cameron
36 Mir : Even the staunchest advocate of solar energy wouldn't say it's a viable solution to generate 100% of our needed energy. I'd say that 10-20% would be
37 RussianJet : All sounds very convincing. I bet there's a catch somewhere though.
38 Longhornmaniac : The main drawback I've seen is the corrosiveness of the salts. Not to say that couldn't be worked around. Cheers, Cameron
39 something : The Maledives will have gone completely under water before 2100. There will be significant problems to feed the world's population by 2050. If you do
40 StarAC17 : Flatulance is not clean, one of the biggest drivers of putting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Cows produce a hell of a lot of methane and one of
41 dfwrevolution : Venice managed to adapt a few hundred years ago because that is what human beings do. We also have to come to grips that islands would be erode, seas
42 Longhornmaniac : Just as you accuse him of that, you're doing the exact same thing by understating the environmental damage being caused. Cheers, Cameron
43 Revelation : Why not the Department of Defense, the world's single largest consumer of liquid fuels? They're spending $16B a year on energy, and currently project
44 OzGlobal : Cost is not just about unit price. Americans consume several times more energy per consumer than their European counterparts. This costs more economi
45 Post contains images Dreadnought : Let's not exaggerate. Here are the annual energy consumption numbers. There are countries that consume more than the US per capita, and China will so
46 Aesma : Solar as in photo-voltaic, it's complicated. Pumping water up is one way, but not that practical. Batteries, maybe, when talking about home installat
47 OzGlobal : There can be a huge difference between consumer consumption per capita and consumer plus industry comsumption per capita on a national basis. It is n
48 Dreadnought : It should be total, industrial, residential, transportation etc. You said the US uses "several times more energy per consumer than their European cou
49 OzGlobal : OK. All of that is pretty fair. You are right. However, I lived in Washington D.C. (McLean, V.A. more precisely) as a kid and I can tell you we CONSU
50 Dreadnought : Fair enough. Americans do love big homes and big cars more than they should. BTW, you said you lived in DC. Did you know that DC was basically built
51 OzGlobal : Discovered that the first summer, when you felt you could 'peel' the air off you. A good business case for a summer retreat in the mountains somewher
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