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Alternative energy is entering the 21st century not with a whimper, but with a great big bang. Even without an international climate agreement market forces are making themselves heard worldwide as the early rumblings of a paradigm shift is breaking through the inertia of the past.

Grist

In 2012, wind power began the fastest growing segment of new electricity generation in the U.S., providing 42 percent of new generation capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association

Wind power is becoming so cheap and so commonplace that it appears poised to help blow up the country’s nuclear power sector, according to a recent Bloomberg article:

.    $25 billion was spent on wind energy in the U.S. in 2012.

.    The $25 billion outlay increased nationwide wind generating
capacity by 13,124 megawatts – up 28 percent from 2011.

.    That spending spree was fueled in large part by a mad scramble to qualify for federal tax credits that were set to expire at the end of last year (but were ultimately renewed by Congress).

.    Wind-generated electricity met about 3.4 percent of of American demand in 2012, a figure that’s expected to reach 4.2 percent next year.

.    $120 billion spent on wind turbines since 2003 has increased wind power supplies 1,000 percent and created as much new electricity generation as could be provided by 14 new nuclear power plants.

Obviously great news, but new research is indicating that perhaps there are limitations to the capacity of wind power

Treehugger

[...]results of the new study titled, "Are global wind power resource estimates overstated?" suggest that there are other limitations to wind power production, such as the interactions between wind farms themselves.

    "People have often thought there’s no upper bound for wind power - that it’s one of the most scalable power sources." - Harvard applied physicist David Keith

Wind turbines create their own "wind shadow" of slower air behind them, due to the drag from the blades of the turbine. When placing multiple turbines in a large installation, these wind shadows are taken into account, and each turbine is spaced far enough apart to minimize the effects on other nearby turbines.

But it's not just the turbines themselves that create areas of slower wind. Once wind farms get large enough, they also act to create wind shadows of their own, affecting local and regional wind patterns.

So wind power will be an important part of the mix but it's looking increasing like the major heavy lifting of our future energy needs will be carried by the Solar Power Revolution

Think Progress/Climate.

Grid parity has been reached in India and Italy, with more countries coming in 2014.

Here in America, solar power installations boomed over the course of 2011 and 2012, even as the price of solar power systems continued to plunge. To a large extent, the American solar boom has been driven by third party leasing agreements — which are heavily involved in rooftop installation.

Meanwhile, on the international scene, the cost of manufacturing solar panels in China is expected to drop to an all-new low of 42 cents per watt in 2015, and power generated from solar is predicted to undercut that produced by both coal and most forms of natural gas within a decade.

                                     George Harrison: The Beatles:

                                               Here comes the Sun,
                                               here somes the sun
                                               and I say...
                                               it's alright

.

Originally posted to Climate Hawks on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (243+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, KingGeorgetheTurd, Words In Action, James Wells, Lawdog, Mentatmark, elwior, boatsie, ranger995, DWG, Kay Observer2, onionjim, rigcath, AaronInSanDiego, One Pissed Off Liberal, Johnny the Conqueroo, this is only a test, Turbonerd, political mutt, science nerd, ferg, GAS, Aquarius40, Gowrie Gal, SCFrog, JanetT in MD, hubcap, oortdust, MartyM, Mr Robert, jfromga, RMForbes, litho, FindingMyVoice, Sandino, DerAmi, davehouck, where4art, nother lurker, jimstaro, HeyMikey, Egalitare, SingerInTheChoir, Polly Syllabic, Brown Thrasher, jediwashuu, jrooth, Kimbeaux, willyr, Joieau, S F Hippie, kevinpdx, cotterperson, golem, Eddie L, yet another liberal, oldpotsmuggler, Troubadour, ColoTim, MrJayTee, cordgrass, Fabienne, No one gets out alive, GeorgeXVIII, Ashaman, poopdogcomedy, Radiowalla, hungeski, princesspat, FutureNow, nanoboy, bfitzinAR, David54, jan4insight, marleycat, northsylvania, BRog, Paul Ferguson, America Jones, ExStr8, Jim R, cybersaur, belinda ridgewood, Snuffleupagus, Loudoun County Dem, Box of Rain, maggiejean, dotsright, Witgren, brentbent, Capt Crunch, glitterscale, wader, Anima, AoT, BeerNotWar, TheDuckManCometh, pat bunny, TomFromNJ, elziax, Pluto, cwsmoke, Mary Mike, defluxion10, antimony, wilderness voice, stagemom, stevej, alicia, nomandates, deepeco, Simplify, profundo, KayCeSF, Grandma Susie, Canis Aureus, Texknight, Karl Rover, artisan, Rizzo, DeminNewJ, Danno11, citisven, Gary Norton, tacet, WheninRome, linkage, RiveroftheWest, JekyllnHyde, Assaf, Trendar, JamieG from Md, KenBee, Buckeye54, enhydra lutris, tofumagoo, rovertheoctopus, PeterHug, VTCC73, countwebb, kirbybruno, enemy of the people, Tinfoil Hat, Burned, zmom, DRo, hotdamn, squarewheel, Bryce in Seattle, Loonesta, OldSoldier99, Minnesota Deb, California06, Sailorben, hlsmlane, Alumbrados, Jim P, bluedust, MichaelPH, offgrid, corvo, Steven D, Nica24, dRefractor, LamontCranston, GDbot, HoundDog, stevenwag, FarWestGirl, Hirodog, bill warnick, Ginny in CO, Chaddiwicker, nailbender, Quilldriver, IreGyre, Celtic Merlin, blackjackal, Shockwave, jm214, pickandshovel, nzanne, DontTaseMeBro, mookins, Wreck Smurfy, PrometheusUnbound, anodnhajo, petulans, Rosaura, 207wickedgood, MuskokaGord, jamess, mythatsme, LSmith, JesseCW, grollen, eyesoars, Miss Jones, JayDean, ichibon, eeff, buckstop, ruscle, hooktool, BusyinCA, SolarMom, jorogo, Larsstephens, fumie, MRA NY, filby, freshwater dan, RJP9999, radical simplicity, myboo, StrayCat, begone, Nebraskablue, sea note, Meteor Blades, freesia, Kdoug, ladywithafan, John Crapper, fisheye, nirbama, mrsgoo, Just Bob, caul, fixxit, AllisonInSeattle, jdld, splashy, julesrules39, Dbug, NoMoreLies, Sembtex, Arlys, kurt, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, YellerDog, filkertom, Lujane

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:40:36 AM PDT

  •  Yes. I have read that high concentrations of (67+ / 0-)

    turbines can themselves influence wind patterns and climate...

    Speaks to the notion that there will only so much we can do with technology. Part of the equation, a large part, will have to include serious reduction in consumption. Less meat, and smaller, more sustainable housing, along with smaller, fewer cars and trucks, more mass transportation and bikes.

    One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Some pragmatists are exceptions.

    by Words In Action on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:49:49 AM PDT

  •  Where great things start: No new dirty power (18+ / 0-)

    The approach of grid parity suggests that dirty new sources will drop sharply off as parity arrives in each country.  The aging out of old power sources (approx 2% per year) and replacement with renewables will do some of the needed heavy lifting.

    It's not just relative cost, but also time to the first kWh.  Where Wind and solar can deliver power same year as work is initiated, for other types of sources it can be many years.

  •  Although no single power source (17+ / 0-)

    will ever meet the demands of 100% of this nation's power grid. The 20% goal for wind and solar is not a far stretch to hope for.

    I think it's important to always look at the entire power grid in terms like this, because no one source is ever going to be the whole solution. Or at least we shouldn't want to. Like France's 75% Nuclear grid to me is insane.

    Now when I think about 10 years from now with electric cars being more commonplace, wouldn't it be wonderful to know that your car is moving down the road from wind and solar energy. That makes me smile just thinking about it.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:52:53 AM PDT

    •  makes me smile to think we could use wind power (9+ / 0-)

      to travel from place to place with little wing propellers on our backs and 'roller blades' on our feet with no need to carry stuff around only the clothes on our back

    •  No single source, no... (16+ / 0-)

      ...but we have to aim for 100% green. I'll settle for twenty percent in the next few years, but or goal has to be complete replacement within a human lifetime.

      Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

      by Freelance Escapologist on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well that would be a long term goal. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Freelance Escapologist

        Although I am not current on this, I do recall a few experts discussing the logistical realities of our power grid(from both sides of the spectrum). The debate was more about if 20% was obtainable in the near future. No one, not even the most staunch pushers of the green argument, ever even mentioned 100%.  

        GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

        by KingGeorgetheTurd on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:16:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A friend of mine who left the California PUC (4+ / 0-)

        as a Commissioner in 2012 said that California's 30% green requirement by 2020 was not achievable without approving projects that would significantly increase electricity costs. High power costs hurt low and middle income families the most and are a factor in determining where to build manufacturing capacity.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:35:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so what's your alternative? (5+ / 0-)

          If we decide not to build green energy capacity because it'll raise prices in the short term, then we're never going to build it at all.  Your argument is a recipe for BAU forever.

          •  Visceral - it is a difficult public policy delema (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roger Fox, FG, nzanne

            California is going ahead with its plan and has decided to accept the negative economic consequences that high energy costs produce. California has done this before with strict air and water environmental standards that drove nearly all the heavy manufacturing out of the state. We now have much cleaner air and water, but at the cost of our unionized manufacturing workers and their good paying jobs. My only point is that there are costs and benefits to all of these energy decisions.

            I am a huge fan of solar and alternatives. I was a seed investor in Sun Power (largest US based solar provider) in 1988 and have been active as an adviser and investor for many alternative energy and energy storage startups for 25 years.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:23:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  CA didn't drive anyone anywhere (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nebraskablue
              California has done this before with strict air and water environmental standards that drove nearly all the heavy manufacturing out of the state.
              It was executives who couldn't bear to make one penny less in profit who decided to leave town rather than be held to a higher standard.
              We now have much cleaner air and water, but at the cost of our unionized manufacturing workers and their good paying jobs.
              Maybe building lots of solar panels, wind turbines, smart grid, high-speed rail, PWA-type construction projects, etc. would put all those highly-skilled unionized manufacturing workers back to work?  Economic activity feeds on itself; sitting quietly and waiting for the money to come because ... why would it come?

              It's long past time to stop letting the market push us around, then pull that "look what you made me do!" crap, playing the victim of big bad gubmint.  The laws of economics are not physical absolutes.  The race to the bottom - lower pay, lower taxes, lower standards, etc. - doesn't do anyone any good (except billionaire owners).

              •  Visceral - "one penny less in profit" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nzanne

                Eventually every physical manufacturing facility wears out and must be refurbished or replaced. As the cost of doing business in California increased and the requirements for meeting the new regulations exceeded the cost of new, state of the art facilities in neighboring states, the decisions were very easy. Add to that the growing perception in the business community that California had become hostile to business generally, and manufacturing specifically, made the future look more problematic. Public company officers and directors have a fiduciary duty to maximize long term shareholder value. For many of them the economics of leaving California were compelling, which had a profound influence on their decisions.

                This was not about pennies.  

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:06:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  so we're doomed (0+ / 0-)

                  The jobs will go to wherever labor is cheapest, taxes are lowest; health, safety, and environmental regulations are weakest; and the government is the most generous with the country's wealth and most eager to repress its own people ... so the only way that California can attract manufacturing jobs is by trying to undersell China.  That'll make people want to live and work here.

                  Makes you wonder how German and Japanese manufacturing stays in business with the crushing burdens of higher taxes, stricter regulation, strong unions, high standards of living, and so on.

                  That still doesn't address the issue of why let Mammon decide what we can and cannot do.  People want things, so let's do them.  To hell with what the market wants.

                  •  Visceral - I didn't say any of those things (0+ / 0-)

                    What I wrote was that public companies have fiduciary duties and have to evaluate their costs. California made the decisions easy for companies with heavy manufacturing to move out of state. However, we have much cleaner air and water which is a real benefit for those of us who live in California. We attract professional service, light manufacturing and high tech knowledge businesses that have a lighter environmental footprint and where power costs are a smaller part of total costs. My only point is that all of these decisions have costs and benefits and we should be aware of all of them as we advocate public policy.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:25:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Executives are responsible to shareholders. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                If they don't make every reasonable effort to save the company money, they are not doing their job. And if it means simply moving to another state they are not sacrificing much.

            •  So, poorer folk are hurt by higher energy prices. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, Calamity Jean, Sandino

              Unlike, say, living downwind from coal plants, which doesn't affect their health or pocketbooks at all??

              VCLib - I'm not picking on you, just on the knee jerk response of the big utilities (which I've been listening to all week here in CA).

              "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

              by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:48:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The industry needs to be subsidized (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, Calamity Jean

          to keep the prices down. We need to protect lower income folk, but we're down to the wire here -- we HAVE to make these changes in a hurry! We have already banked a climate disaster. Its going to happen, whatever we do. But we need to do all we can to minimize it, and we need to do it as fast as physically possible.

        •  30% renewables? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nzanne, KingGeorgetheTurd

          by 2020?

          Thats harsh.

          Ca has 5% from geothermal, guessing proly another 5-8% (max) from wind and solar.

          20% in 20 years, sure.

          I'd put my money in HVDC, ABB and Seimens doing work in Ca.

          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:29:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They can do it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

            by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:48:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We're uniquely situated to use solar. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob

            Our peak power use is almost always on really, really sunny days.

            We get serious about getting solar panels on top of movie theaters and malls and roofing parking lots, we can produce electricity where and when it's needed.

            No transmission losses.  No need to massively upgrade grids.  Panels and transformers - done.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:33:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jesse - the challenge is storage (0+ / 0-)

              The sun starts to set, and solar systems start losing power generation capability, while it's still really hot. There is about a two hour period in the early evening when there is no solar power and the temperatures are still very high. The idea that solar and high temps are a great match is only partially true. That is why all utility scale solar facilities in California have a sister natural gas plant to backup the solar to provide load balancing and reliable 24/7/365 power. The key is inexpensive power storage and we are still five to ten years away from solving that problem.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:05:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's no real storage challenge. If you've (0+ / 0-)

                got plenty of excess capacity on the rooftop, set your timed thermostat to "ice box" the building late in the day, dropping to 64 or 65.  If you've got any insulation at all, you'll be fine until it cools off.

                We can do what many utilities here have already done, if people don't comply - give the local power company a remote AC shut off to prevent brown-outs.

                income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                by JesseCW on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:04:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  There are problems no matter what we do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          or even if we do nothing.

          One problem with distributed solar is that the utilities know what the installed capacity is at the various locations but they don't know how much power is being delivered at a given moment at each site. That will take a smarter grid and that will require investment.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:31:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  20% from wind in 20 years (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Is very likely, solar is right behind wind.

        Throw in some new pumped hydro
        (we have about 20 gigs built decades ago) And we can go to 20% renewables without grid work, then to go past 20% we need to do grid work. To reach 50% and more we need to have significant storage capacity.

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:58:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget - we've already got 20% hydro (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingGeorgetheTurd, Roger Fox

          nationally.

          Eventually, it would be lovely to set the rivers (relatively) free, but we do already have 20% of our baseline met by a very low carbon source.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:35:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hydro Association says they can add 30% (0+ / 0-)

            SO that 20% nationally is about 100 gigs, they say they can add another 30 gigs, lots of it pumped storage.

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:26:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sooner than that, or most of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW
        ... goal has to be complete replacement within a human lifetime.
        today's toddlers won't live to reach old age.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:24:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Germany hit 20% in less than a decade (14+ / 0-)

      Link

      And our renewable resources are proportionally much greater than theirs: we have the southwest with amazing solar power potential. Our challenge is transmission.

      We can do this. We need to do this.

      There is a difference between a responsible gun owner, and one that's gotten lucky...so far.

      by BeerNotWar on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:43:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Offshore wind farms on the continental shelf (19+ / 0-)

    I think they're scenic (far from unsightly).  Fishermen love them.  Divers too -- create habitat.  Why not more of this?

  •  Meanwhile here in New Jersey (10+ / 0-)

    Governor Christie is stonewalling on clean energy.

  •  Keith's study contradicted by real world data (36+ / 0-)

    Keith's study errs in its assessment of potential wind energy resources by ignoring real-world data and experience and instead relying on crude theoretical modeling techniques. In reality, wind project developers and investors work closely with atmospheric scientists and other experts to make sure that their projects will produce as much as expected, and real-world data from large-scale wind installations in the US and Europe confirms that they do. Regardless of who is correct, the inescapable fact is that America’s developable wind energy resources are many times greater than our country’s energy needs.

    For more, see:
    http://www.awea.org/...

    Michael Goggin,
    American Wind Energy Association

    •  Thanks for link from AWEA Michael, many (13+ / 0-)

      thanks for your work.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:08:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now why is it... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, Roadbed Guy, FG

        ...that when someone from an association one segment of the energy industry says that critics are wrong, people nod their heads gravely and agree, but if someone did the same for, say, nuclear, there'd be screaming about biased interests and untrustworthiness?

        I saw the same scene play out two years ago at a conference when reps from one industry spent a great deal of time going on about how nuclear was dangerous, couldn't be relied and and was DOOOOMED! so anyone who looked at it was clearly foolish instead of looking at the alternative that they represented, which was reliable and not subject to the same sorts of opposition.

        They were, of course, representatives of the coal industry.

        •  Um... because (20+ / 0-)

          the nuclear industry has proven itself over decades to be biased and completely untrustworthy. Not to mention that any technology which produces waste products deadly for a million years can never be considered 'green'. Outrageously expensive, absurdly slow to come on line, always dangerous, a proliferation risk, and that very, very nasty waste - to the tune of 700 tons per year per power plant, and still no place to put it after half a century.

          No, thanks.

          •  Some perspective is needed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SpeedyGonzales

            Wind power is big business and has proven itself to be biased and untrustworthy as to exaggerated claims that have led people to invest in expensive wind projects that result in expensive electricity.  Renewables have meant good news for big business, plus good news for wind entrepreneurs raking in huge subsidies.  The Obama administration has been extremely generous.

            GE and other major corporations have benefited greatly from the boom in wind farms.

            In the US, spent nuclear fuel is being safely stored.  If only coal fly ash, with its concentration of toxic heavy metals, were immobilized and isolated the way spent nuclear fuel is.

            By volume, all the spent fuel generated in one year worldwide could fit into a single 7-11.

            The entire US inventory of spent commercial fuel comes to 70,000 tons.  That represents trillions of kilowatt hours of electricity that have been made with very little emissions of any kind, including CO2.  Of that inventory, only 1% is long-lived.  The radioactivity will eventually decay.

            The toxic heavy metals from coal fly ash will NEVER decay.

            Fracking of course brings up radioactive material.

            Americans discard 179,000 tons of batteries, mostly in landfills, every year.  These contain toxic heavy metals that will NEVER decay and that will be poisoning the air, soil, and water for millions of years.

            Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

            by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:46:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, for Pete's sake. (10+ / 0-)

              You're not going to get far around here complaining about the "huge subsidies" for renewables as a reason for more nukes.

            •  In a group diary, See a guest in someones house (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              rule by Kos.

              ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:38:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Cookies (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nzanne, 207wickedgood, Sandino

              "Troll House Cookies"

               Directions
              PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

              COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

              BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

              PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

              SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION:
              PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

              * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

              FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

              ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:39:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for keeping calm (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              in the face of all this nonsense.
              I'm continually amazed by the hatred of facts by some commenters here.

        •  Enviro groups get fossil fuel funding (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rob in CT, Roadbed Guy

          A few years ago the Sierra Club, which opposes nuclear power, happily took $25 million from one of the natural gas corporations.  Other anti-nuclear environmental groups also are given money via fossil-fuel sponsored think tanks, etc.

          It continually amazes me that we environmentalists believe James Hansen, Jeffrey Sachs, and dozens of other experts on the climate but we reject one of the most important ways of curbing global warming that these experts consider a necessity in reducing CO2 emissions:  nuclear power.

          Without it, the rise in temperature would be happening a lot more rapidly.

          At present nuclear power is the only large-scale, base-load energy provider with an extremely low carbon footprint.

          We need every clean-energy resource to deal with AGW.

          I invite those who prefer wind power over all other energy sources to learn about base-load, and why it will take at least another decade for anything resembling base-load power to be produced by renewables on a significant scale.

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/...

          Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

          by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:02:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why is it people just don't trust the Institute (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Calamity Jean

          For Tobacco Science?

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:38:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, there are snippet out there from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, TheDuckManCometh

      the "real world" that make one feel just a bit gloomier, for example this:

      Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn are reaping the benefits of surging demand for railroad tank cars to haul shale oil from beyond the reach of existing pipelines.

      Buffett’s Union Tank Car Co. is working at full capacity and Icahn’s American Railcar Industries Inc. (ARII) has a backlog through 2014. Trinity Industries Inc. (TRN), the biggest railcar producer, began converting wind-tower factories last year to help meet demand for train cars that can transport the petroleum product.

      how crazy is that?

      •  Without nuclear plants (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, Rob in CT, mojo workin

        Fossil fuel emissions in the US and in fact worldwide would go up by 20%.

        Because of my concern about catastrophic global warming I believe that every low-carbon source should be employed.  But as long as wind farms are set up to require a huge increase in fossil fuel combustion it's difficult to call them low-carbon.

        T Boone Pickens has wanted wind farms so that he could sell more of his natgas.

        Germany is now a smoggy country with the most polluted air in W. Europe thanks to the huge increase in coal-fired plants to replace nuclear power. And the govt. understands that those coal plants have to keep the grid going when the wind does not blow.

        Wind farms have been a great boon to the fossil fuel corporations.

        And,  incidentally, per trillion kilo-Watt-hours generated, both wind and rooftop solar are responsible for more deaths to the public than nuclear power is, worldwide.

        Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

        by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:38:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Westinghouse Speaks (9+ / 0-)

          Back in October 2007 on CSPAN, I saw Edward Cummings, VP of Westinghouse Nuclear, say that nuclear power would not contribute greatly to reducing greenhouse gases in the near-term future. That's the business view and, so far, it's held true.  I suspect it will continue to be the realistic projection for the next decade, for good or ill.

          Another interesting reality I was reminded of recently is that a nuclear power plant, like all centralized power plants, delivers about a third of the energy it produces due to losses all throughout the transmission and distribution process.  A solar panel on the roof delivers the vast majority of the energy it produces to the household it serves because the transmission and distribution losses are very, very low.

          On the other hand, virtually no one counts the light through a south-facing window which heats and daylights a home, office, or factory in economic terms.  Nor do we count the sunlight that powers photosynthesis and produces the food we eat.  Fact is, the planet is solar-powered and we are solar-powered.  Always has been, always will be.  We can build nukes till doomsday and the amount of energy we get and use from sunlight will dwarf that produced by nuclear power.  We just don't count the solar income because it's generally free.

          Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

          by gmoke on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:48:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9

            "Another interesting reality I was reminded of recently is that a nuclear power plant, like all centralized power plants, delivers about a third of the energy it produces due to losses all throughout the transmission and distribution process."

            This is not a correct statement, analysis and/or characterization.   Transmission and distribution losses, which depend on the distance from the load to the generation source....are frequently nominally indicated in the 10% range for common situations.   The 1/3rd factor you are referring to addresses the magnitude of electricity generation as 'megawatts-electrical' compared to the heat input necessary to achieve that electrical generation as 'megawatts - heat input.'   In a coal or nuclear steam electric power plant, the rate of electrical energy generation will typically be on the order of about 35% of the heat input rate necessary to generate a given level of electrical energy generation.

            Finally, solar panels (and wind turbines) are not thermodynamic heat engines, so having a discussion of energy transfer without making the distinction between devices which are and are not heat engines is not very illuminating.

            •  Awesome! (0+ / 0-)

              Thank you, LS. From what I've read, you are making a truly substantial addition to the conversation. Not sure how I've missed your contributions over the past eight years we've been at dKos together, but glad I've found you.

              Thirteen men can't tell The People what is Constitutional and what isn't

              Conservative "constitutional scholar" referring to SCOTUS

              by jam on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:33:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  you're beating a dead horse (11+ / 0-)

          Nukes died forty years ago because instead of being "too cheap to meter" like we were told, they are horribly expensive and electric companies didn't want them.

          And that's still true today.

          Game over.  (shrug)

    •  Energy Needs. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radical simplicity

      US energy needs are to quickly shut down half the coal plants in the country. So building up wind in advance of that is good planning. It's not in excess of our needs at all.

    •  And the technology is improving fast (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      costs down, installation costs, cost per watt, new materials, some breakthroughs even in lighter stronger blades that may be able to use a plasma producing leading edge to both change lift and even take the place of feathering mechanisms. (this tech is being explored for aircraft too)... so simpler, cheaper more efficient designs are being introduced with more to come. Many negative studies use as a baseline earlier low production rate, expensive and inefficient turbines to show that it is not a viable technology for the future.

      there is also some new research into using vertical turbines not all that high above ground level that simply use the updraft that all land surfaces have simply from solar heating of the ground... large slow turbines that tap into this pervasive air motion... this appears to be a potentially enormous source of wind energy... not as obvious but the inherent energy to be tapped is possibly much greater and even more readily accessible everywhere... and no expensive towers needed...

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:57:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Saw an interesting article in (7+ / 0-)

    Sierra Club's magazine:

    http://www.sierraclub.org/...

    I think this addresses some of the "wind shadow" issues.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:14:18 AM PDT

  •  If it keeps coming down (6+ / 0-)

    maybe I'll be able to afford putting solar on my roof...

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:18:22 AM PDT

    •  I'm really tempted to pull the trigger (15+ / 0-)

      on this. I got estimates 3 or 4 years ago for a 5kW system that ran close to $40k. I just had another estimate done last week for a similar system, and the price is down to less than half that. With federal and state tax credits, SRECs, and the reduction to our electricity bills, the system ends up paying for itself in less than 3 years. It is amazing how quickly prices are dropping.

      •  I've talked to several different companies (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dmd76, Roadbed Guy, Beetwasher

        looking both at PPAs and purchase, and none of them want to do it.  They say I've got too much shade for it to make sense, and even taking down trees won't help.

        If the per watt cost keeps coming down, though, it might finally make financial sense to do it.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:08:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I found a 5kW plug-and-play (13+ / 0-)

        kit just last week on page 1 of a search that costs all of $15K delivered. The installation hardware costs another thou. Manage usage properly - which I can do because I work at home and can do energy consuming things when the sun shines - and our expensive (nuclear) electric bill can be zeroed out entirely.

        There's a 10-year warranty on parts, cells, panels and housings at greater-than 90% efficiency, 20 year guarantee for at least 80%. $16K is less than a low-end new car. I figure since the homestead will be paid for in full next year, we should be able to get that much of a 5-year loan. Though it may be even cheaper by then. And not having to pay a $250/month electric bill (averaged, it's often higher), it'll pay for itself in 10 years or less.

        Pretty soon regular people are going to figure all this out, start installing their own even without subsidies and tax credits.

        •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher, Joieau, Kay Observer2, JesseCW

          Thanks for posting this info. The quote I got was a couple thousand more than the price you give installed, and the company manages all of the paperwork (interconnection application, documentation for taxes, etc.) At least here in Delaware, the SRECs almost double the amount of one gets back from the system ($130 in electricity and $100 in SRECs per month), and they'll be paid until 2028. I've heard there are also low interest, federal loans available for financing solar installations.

          •  You guys are saying two different things. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            Please note, Joieau says "delivered" and "plug and play". You say "installed."

            There is a difference. I'm not saying don't install yourself, I'm saying that's part of the price difference you're seeing (I would guess).

            "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

            by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:54:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's it exactly. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              We live in a cabin on a mountain as far out in the boonies as it is allowed for humans to live. Here you do it yourself or it doesn't get done. So indeed the savings here are without installation. But the price either way is still a 'cheap' car.

              My dream-dream is to go off grid entirely, but for that there has to be some serious improvements in technology and price on the batteries. I suppose we could move some earth around and install a ram jet to pump from the creek to a reservoir closer to the ridge (swimmin' hole! Trout farm!) and use it to generate at night and on cloudy days, but that's expensive too.

              It'll have to wait until I win the lottery I don't play...

        •  that's about what we want (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, Kay Observer2, JesseCW

          We just got quoted around $20K -- we're going to try very hard to get it up this summer, since they keep saying there will be no more SRECs in our area by next summer.  But we have to replace the roof it's going to go on top of, first, and we'll see how much that costs.

          •  Oh, $20K fully installed (6+ / 0-)

            seems about right. I'm hoping the price goes down further because we're looking next summer at the soonest (not this summer). With the feed-in reducing the bill from $250 to $100 or less it's still very much worth the investment. More and more people are going to figure it out and society's need for centralized generation (big coal, gas and nuclear) will keep diminishing.

            There's a lot of big, sunny roofs out there that could be covered with solar panels. Barns, factories, megachurches, strip malls... saw an article yesterday about a project in India putting solar panels over water canals used for irrigation. Generates electricity from miles and miles of land nobody's using for anything but water transport, shades the water to diminish evaporation loss. Win-win!

        •  You throw in the tax credits, that's damned near (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, Joieau

          free.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:42:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We did (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, Joieau
          installing their own even without subsidies and tax credits
          Worth every penny, and the power never goes out.
      •  I'd be doing this now if (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kay Observer2, Hirodog

        if that jerk Christie hadn't murdered NJ's solar rebates.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:28:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Buy some Michigan made, union made Dow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Powerhouse solar shingles....made by USW International Union member at Dow Chemical in Midland, MI

        http://www.dowpowerhouse.com

      •  Where else can you get a 33% ROI per year? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        It's almost nonsensical NOT to get a system.

  •  If we are even close to grid parity (16+ / 0-)

    then there is no reason to build any more coal or nuclear plants. A solar or wind plant will never melt down and contaminate hundreds of square miles of former farm ground essentially forever. Nor will they leave behind tons of radioactive wastes for following generations to deal with.

    Even if sustainable energy cost 30% more there is no comparison in cost/benefit.

  •  But the plutonium cartel is screaming (14+ / 0-)

    for even larger subsidies, or gouging ratepayers for shoddy work and capture of regulators.

    In Chicago:
    Long-suffering CEO of Excelon may be ready to kiss off his eternal subsidies and dump the cost of his plutonium pits on the public.

    Exelon chief: Wind-power subsidies could threaten nuclear plants

    "What worries me is if we continue to build an excessive amount of wind and subsidize wind, the unintended consequence could be that it leads to shutting down plants," Crane said in an interview.
    In wind-rich areas like Illinois, that means there are instances when Exelon pays customers to take their power rather than the other way around. The phenomenon is referred to as negative electricity pricing. For instance, the company's Byron nuclear plant in Illinois, Crane said, is in a negative pricing scenario 16 percent of the time.

    Wind advocates contend Exelon's arguments are hypocritical, adding that for years the company has touted its impact in lowering electricity rates to communities served by its power plants.

    "Exelon made a bet on the electricity spot market just like California did 10 years ago. When prices went down, they lost their bet and they're looking for a scapegoat," said Rob Gramlich, the wind energy group's interim chief executive. "The good news is the same low prices that hurt Exelon benefit homes and businesses. Negative prices are a red herring. Exelon does not want low prices or any resources like wind that bring prices down."

    People should remember that 'civilian' nuclear power began as and remains a cloak for production of Nuclear weapons. Most existing plants are dangerous rust buckets with known flaws that have been ignored because bad publicity and cuts to operator profits are avoided at the cost of public safety time and time again.
  •  What is status of Obama support for new nuclear? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher, Joieau, JesseCW

    building a plant that MUST have government support because it is not a viable economic system all on its own?

    increased rates to customers to pay for it

    doubling down on a failed technology?

    when alternatives make it a worse and worse investment

    not up to date on latest plans for the new nuclear plant

    •  Obama calls for small modular reactors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mojo workin

      http://www.usatoday.com/...

      These can be sited in underground bunkers, are seismically safe and have an inherently safe system of cooling the core thanks to convection.  A power plant can gradually add new modules as needed.

      Nuclear plants receive lower subsidies than renewables at this point.

      Wind and solar need a lot of support from the govt. because they can't pay their way.

      The biggest subsidies continue to go to the fossil fuel industry.

      Nuclear power is cheaper per kWh than renewables and than fossil fuels.

      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

      by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:44:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Guarantee "seismically safe," eh? (4+ / 0-)

        The Fukushima, Indian Ocean, and Chilean quakes of magnitude 9 were in areas where the then-current beliefs about earthquake generation said 9s were impossible has forced a rethink of how you get such large quakes.

        http://www.livescience.com/...

        The problem was researchers failed to recognize that faults can store energy like a battery, Goldfinger said. And just like batteries, they can discharge energy in small amounts, or all at once, he explained.

        Goldfinger and other researchers now think if a "small" quake hits, it may not release all of the accumulated energy in a fault. (On a subduction zone, a small quake can still register in the magnitude-8.0 range, which is devastating to nearby cities.)

        Thus, a fault can "borrow" stored energy from previous strain-building cycles, generating larger earthquakes than expected, such as those that hit Sumatra and Tohoku,

        In other words, the pretense that we understand geologic processes is, once again, being shattered. There's more of Magical Thinking than Science when you hear things like "seismically safe." Or, if not Magical Thinking, then just outright bullshit because there's money to be made.


        If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:44:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quakes not a problem for nuc plants (0+ / 0-)

          in Fukushima, Virginia.  The plants automatically shut down as soon as the sensors reported a jolt.  The plants are programmed to do this.

          The NuScale design places the reactor in a pool.  If there is a tremor or a big quake, the reactor just bobs in the water.

          The problem Fukushima had was a tsunami 45 feet high that swept over the sea wall and ruined the backup diesel power equipment, which was parked next to the sea wall instead of up in back of the reactor building as is the case in CA.

          I wonder how seismically stable a wind farm would be . . . .

          Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

          by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:37:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But again, what about when they melt down? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Or are decommissioned?

        Here in CA, I am paying a monthly decommissioning fee for Diablo EVERY MONTH on my PGE bills.

        "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

        by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:57:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The "limits of wind potential" arguments... (6+ / 0-)

    ..."conveniently" omit Airborne Wind.

    Yes, I know that there are still a few technological hurdles to overcome in that sector, but those hurdles are pretty well defined, don't require any "groundbreaking discoveries" and only lack another 6-10 years of focused R&D to negotiate.

    And we haven't really jumped in with both feet on Offshore Wind. There's plenty of upside on wind in all of its iterations.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:38:42 AM PDT

  •  Raggedy Andy (19+ / 0-)

    has installed both wind and solar to power our home.  We are 90% off the grid and will soon be 100%.  It's worth it!

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:43:28 AM PDT

  •  Need help with this calculation (0+ / 0-)

    If each month I use 1 kWh then I need to buy a solar panel that will cost me ?

    •  If you do net metering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Then when the sun shines, the power becomes available on the grid and your output meter reduces your bill.  If you install more panels, your output meter will rack up more reduction of your bill.

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:57:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Has more to do with what you use a any moment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radical simplicity

      You have to be able to support all the electrical devices you have turned on at once.   Add up the wattage and that would give you a ruff idea.

      The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

      by Do Something on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:59:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To add up the wattage there's a great (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nzanne, Joieau

        relatively cheap item called the "Kill A Watt" meter." Just put it in the outlet, and plug an power-user into it and watch what it takes.

        It's how I learned three electric fans took half the energy of my air conditioner, and made for a nicer environment as well.


        If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:48:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's also sites online (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, Joieau, AllisonInSeattle

          where you can go mentally through your house and add up all the appliances, light bulbs, etc.

          That's how we did it when we first went off grid. And yes, we went off grid - complete with offices, wood-working labs, and a 560' deep well - for 2.5 kw.

          "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

          by nzanne on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:59:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Peak use (0+ / 0-)

          You have to worry about what the peak use is as well.  A lot of devices draw more power as they start up than they do once they are running.  For example the blower on your furnace as it spins up.  Same with compressors on air-conditioners and refrigerators.

          The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

          by Do Something on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:32:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That seems pretty low (5+ / 0-)

      My system is a 3 kW system. Even on the worst winter day I generate over 2 kWh. My peak (so far...just two months of data) is about 11 kWh. My system cost 14k before the federal tax credit, which is %30.

      There is a difference between a responsible gun owner, and one that's gotten lucky...so far.

      by BeerNotWar on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:53:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  google says... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego, JesseCW

      I had no idea, but your question made me wonder.  A quick search turned up these (don't quote me!) results:

      Wholesale solar panels now cost about $1 per peak watt, retail about $2, fully installed about $4.  (Dropping 20% per year?)

      So say $4 per peak watt.

      Typical efficiency (sun doesn't always shine, there are clouds, etc.) seems to be about 1/8, so the effective cost is about $32 per actual watt.

      There are 720 hours in a month, so 1 kWh per month would be 1000 watt-hours per month, or 1.4 watts.

      $32 per watt * 1.4 watts = $45

      That's a VERY rough guess that would vary with many idiosyncratic factors for your particular site.

      Another way to look at it is that the average house in the U.S. uses about 960 kWh per month, or 960/720 = 1.33 kW (assuming even, continuous use 24/7).

      So if storage wasn't an issue that would be about $45K to install enough solar to provide a typical house with all of its electricity.  

      Storage seems to cost about $400 / kWh, so if you want to be able to store a full day's worth of electricity, that is
      $400/kWh * 1.33 kW  * 24 hrs = $13K

      So including storage costs, we seem to be in the vicinity of $60K for a typical house to go pretty much entirely off-grid.

      Your mileage of course, could vary.  And again, don't quote me -- this was all back-of-the-envelope.

      •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

        thank you for that. now my observation is $45k is not affordable by the average homeowner. what about tax credits, etc, do they help?

        •  Just to jump in - I believe the current Fed credit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          whenwego

          is 30% of cost up to 15k, and you can spread it out over several years so that you can get full advantage even if you don't make a lot.

          Of course, people don't need to "go off the grid" for solar to have a huge impact.  

          A lot of companies will do "room to grow" installations, too.  They'll install the transformers and control panels to let you go up to, say, 7kWh even though you only can afford to install 3 kWh right now.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:51:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  a partial solution could be more cost-effective (0+ / 0-)

          Especially with the advent of smart-meters, if you can use solar panels to get a few hundred watts during peak hot hours when you're running an air conditioner, that could give you a much greater rate of return on investment (and not break the bank to set up).

          So maybe a $10K system that covers your peak loads would make sense for you.

          Also, installing yourself (if possible) might cut the price a lot.

          But again, don't quote me -- I just know what I searched for the other day.

      •  Sweet Jeebus. I rarely use more than (0+ / 0-)

        250kWh, and I'm home a lot.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:48:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  air conditioning? (0+ / 0-)

          Without even looking, I'm guessing that tops the list for a lot of houses.

          Then refrigeration, ranges, dryers.

          If you don't have A/C, rarely cook at home and take your clothes to a laundromat, your at-home usage would be rather low.

          I have no idea if that's the case for you -- just pointing out that usage can vary wildly based on how people use their house.

    •  It depends on where you live, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      which way your roof is oriented, and what the slant is on the roof.  Also on whether there's any shade on your roof.  If you live in the South or Southwest, you'll need fewer panels, and if your roof faces south you'll need fewer panels.  I suggest you contact more than one solar installer in your area, and get estimates.

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:47:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Solar is the future of everything. (10+ / 0-)

    The human species as a collective technological organism will start to move along lines that resemble plant evolution over many centuries.  Everything else is either terminally scarce, difficult, or just a less-sustainable downstream byproduct of solar energy, and ultimately loses market share to direct tapping and storage of sunlight.

    Without a strong safety net and living wage, all labor is forced labor.

    by Troubadour on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:01:07 AM PDT

  •  Kicking butt in growth... still only 3.4% of total (6+ / 0-)

    U.S. generating capacity. We still have many challenges to meet with base load and transmission, but the trends are very encouraging.

    We must fix the insane one and two-year extensions of the Production Tax Credit. It was renewed again (for a year) on January 1, but the "fiscal cliff" drama badly undermined the wind industry.

    13,000 MW of capacity was completed in 2012, but only 47 MW of wind power was under construction at the end of the year. (Wikipedia)

    What's doing more to prevent enactment of a long-term PTC? The Senate filibuster, or the idiot majority in the House?

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:31:54 AM PDT

    •  Does the enviro movement need to focus? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM

      I've been frustrated to see this get little attention from the environmental movement. When Obama spoke about the production tax credit, enviro blogs complained about his "climate silence" because he was making an appeal to Republican Congressmen from wind states based on job growth. Talking about climate change wasn't going to get the Republican House to take action.
      Now everyone is talking about a carbon tax, which is a pipe dream for at least the next two years while Republicans control the House. The PTC and aggressive EPA enforcment of coal regulation seem like the next most important achievable priorities but both are overlooked.

    •  Well, this statistic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM
      13,000 MW of capacity was completed in 2012, but only 47 MW of wind power was under construction at the end of the year.
      clearly explains why the factories once used to build the wind turbines are now cranking out tanker cars to transport Bakken crude oil by rail!
    •  Renewables don't power much today, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      how much did coal power the world in 1710-1720? (Hint: Newcomen's first steam engine was built in 1712.)

      What's doing more to prevent enactment of a long-term PTC? The Senate filibuster, or the idiot majority in the House?
      Both, they alternate.  

      The PTC doesn't need to be particularly long-term.  Five years at the full rate, and another five dwindling down to zero would probably do it.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:46:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clean energy is a quadruple win-win (8+ / 0-)

    (1) It creates jobs and helps the U.S. economy; (2) it reduces pollution and global warming; (3) it lowers the demand for oil and gasoline; which (4) decreases our involvement with brutal dictators and costly wars in the Middle East.

  •  Don't forget tidal (8+ / 0-)

    tidal energy has tons of potential.  There's a huge amount of energy going by constantly, and places which have a bay with any kind of narrowed outlet are in a prime situation to take advantage.  

    It's really too bad that the US is just sitting back and letting Europe take the lead on this one.

  •  The insipid hatred of the world's largest, by far, (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    raoul78, Plan9, KenBee, NYFM, Bensdad
    Hidden by:
    indycam

    source of climate change gas free energy, based on totally idiotic statements like the title post, is precisely the reason that 2013 is on track to be the worst year ever observed for dangerous fossil fuel waste in the earth's atmosphere.

    I'm sorry to inform you of this, but there is not enough radioactive lanthanum ores on the entire planet to make wind energy a sustainable form of energy, and the huge sums of money thrown at it have been a spectacular failure and will remain so indefinitely.

    Nuclear energy produces about 30 exajoules of primary energy on this planet, making it much larger than wind (approximately one exajoule), solar (less than half an exajoules) and geothermal, despite 50 years of criticism from scientific illiterates of nuclear, and decades of insipid and delusional cheering for the latter three.

    This data can be easily learned by reference to the EIA website.

    Interestingly one of the headlines on the front page of the website today reflects the fact that the stupid decision to shut Japanese reactors has lead to a huge pulse of carbon dioxide from that country.

    Heckuva job anti-nukes.   Congratulations.   You must be very, very, very, very, very proud of the results of your fear and ignorance.

    Do let me know when someone finally dies from that Fukushima event you all prattle on about it, and I will remind you that air pollution kills 3.3 million people per year, 9000 per day, 370 per hour, 9 to 10 per minute, one every 6 or 7 seconds.

    That data is available to anyone who gives a shit as well on line:   World Health Organization:   Deaths from Air Pollution.

    Half of the deaths are in children under the age of 5.

    That's approximately 68,000 Sandy Hooks each year.

    Heckuva job anti-nukes.   You must be very, very, very, very, very proud.

    I note, with no small amount of disgust, that humanity uses 520 exajoules each year, the vast majority of which consists of dangerous fossil fuels.

    I also note that there are no delusional wishful thinkers in the anti-nuke anti-science set who have any fucking idea about how to phase out coal - which France did effectively in the 1980's - or oil and coal.   They don't give a rat's ass about these fuels, and the resultant air pollution that kills

    In its data sheets there is no confusion between instanteous peak power that is never realized, but in units of energy which is what matters.

    As it happens, the wind and solar industries are nothing more than fig leafs for the dangerous fossil fuel industry.   Without access to gas they would collapse in a New York second, but one would need to have a modicum of understanding of science books to grasp as much, and there's no chance of that here at Daily Kos, apparently.

    When I began writing science diaries here, I was laboring under the incorrect delusion that the left had no where near the hatred for science that the right had.

    I stand corrected.

    The planetary atmosphere is racing at an ever accelerating rate toward 400 ppm.    I would be unsurprised, given this kind of lazy assed thinking this late into the dire 21st century, that generalized famine and similar events will be striking within the next ten years.

    Humanity deserves what it going to get, because of fear and ignorance and wishful thinking both on the right and the left.

    Have a nice day.

    •  love it when people (15+ / 0-)

      put 'have a nice day' at the end of really offensive comments.

      As for the comment - do you really think that you have persuaded anyone over to your point of view?

      •  I dont think he's trying to anymore (6+ / 0-)

        though I do miss reading his diaries.

        The bottom line is, more or less, that we failed.

        Without someway to pull tons of carbon OUT of the atmosphere, let alone putting any more in, climate change has already happened.

        As he notes, despite all of the headline numbers showing how much wind and solar have grown this year or last year, the amount of carbon we're dumping is still growing.  Last year was a record.  This year probably will be also.    

        •  yep nnadir is correct on many points (5+ / 0-)

          but he'll never convince anybody due to his ascebic comments - so I'm not even sure why he posts anymore.

          The fact is that CO2 is doing so much damage at this point (never mind the pollution) that nuclear has become (at this point in time) a much, much better option.  Solar and wind cannot be brought on-line fast enough.

          I'm not sure about the lanthanum argument, but it stands to reason that building enough wind generators to power even a small fraction of the world's electricity is going to consume a huge amount of rare earths.  and they are particularly nasty to mine.  (note to nnadir, so is uranium, but that's always conveniently ignored).

          meanwhile, maybe nnadir could point us to a summary diary as to how nuclear wasted disposal works.

          he can even call me stupid and moronic as long as he wouldn't mind posting a link to a succint explanation as to why I shouldn't be worried about all that nuclear waste poisoning the world for the next 5 x the 1/2 life of your favorite radio-isotope years the next time we have an event that could never have happened.

          because I keep hearing about how nuclear accidents will never happen again right after the last nuclear accident.

          big badda boom : GRB 090423

          by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:00:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He once posted that Fukushima proves (7+ / 0-)

            nuclear power is safe. Seriously.

            The reality is nukes take a decade to come online, when they aren't delayed and they always are, and that we'd need to at least triple (realistically, probably ten-fold) what we have now to make a dent in carbon emissions.

            There's no way on Real Earth that the $10T to $50T investment is going to happen for nuclear. For a fraction of that, and in a fraction of the time, the world can go over to Kinetic Energies, and not give themselves generations of grief.

            What's lacking is the will.

            Current carbon emissions are greatly exacerbated by India and China's recent growth, and China at least (maybe India?) is just now coming to realize they have to do something to drastically clean up their users. Just meeting Western standards for scrubbing would make a huge difference.

            Nuclear is dead, though. Through and through.


            If Republicans said every 3rd person named "Smith" should hang, we'd bargain them to every 7th. Then we'll see apologia written praising this most pragmatic compromise. There's our losing formula.

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:58:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And all that nuke construction (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AllisonInSeattle, Calamity Jean

              Is a huge front-load of CO2 production that it would take years of production to wash out, if there weren't so many mining, transport storage and security costs from the entire fuels cycle to also try to counter. Anyone who thinks nukes are a solution for the climate crisis is deluded or lying.

            •  I'd ask you (0+ / 0-)

              why didn't it prove it?  

              How many people have died because of Fukushima? Yes, people have been displaced, there are areas of land that will probably be uninhabited for years to come.  But how many have died?

              We don't know (and never will) how many people will get cancer; I'd bet that number will be above 0.  People will also certainly be killed by the huge amount of oil and natural gas burned to replace the nuclear plants that went offline.

              As NNadir has pointed out before, nuclear doesn't have to be perfect to be better than everything else.  All forms of electricity generation have risks.  Some are immediate and obvious and large (Fukushima).  Some are small (someone falling off a roof installing solar panels) but happen regularly.  And some are hidden (coal).  

              •  50,000 to 100,000 added cancers (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jim P, squarewheel, raoul78

                in Japan alone. According to this study Health consequences resulting from Fukushima

                Expected incidence of cancer cases resulting from external exposure to radiation:
                37,899 – 82,606

                Expected incidence of cancer cases due to food intake:
                37,266

                Source: IPPNW 2013

                Since releases from Fukushima already far exceeded those Chernobyl, and only the most rabid radiation denialists will still try claim that there were no additional cancers due to Chenrobyl, we can safely assume an added number of cancers in the world as well.  And the catastrophe is ongoing, with 8-93 Billion bequerels DAILY of 137Cs alone flowing into the Paciifc. You knows there's some Strontium in there too.
                •  There are always conflicting reports (0+ / 0-)

                  The one you present is from IPPNW - Intl Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. They are also an anti-nuclear energy advocacy group.

                  The World Health Organization has a different opinion
                  WHO Sees Minimal Cancer Risks From Fukushima Accident.

                  The World Health Organization (WHO) today released a report saying that the Fukushima nuclear disaster will cause no observable increases in cancer rates among residents of other countries and a very minimal increased risk of cancer among residents in the vicinity of the power plant. Workers who battled problems at the plant do face higher risks of some cancers.
                  There are of course concerns about the WHO and its ties to the IAEA, but between the two links we have here, I'd argue that the WHO is the more unbiased of the two.  
                  •  The neglect external exposure (0+ / 0-)

                    initial releases, and ongoing releases, and still come up with a 7% bump in Leukemia, and similar increases in other cancers.

                    I guess that 7% is expendable when it comes to protecting the industry, as the the HWO's master IAEA is required to do.

            •  Both of them. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW
              Current carbon emissions are greatly exacerbated by India and China's recent growth, and China at least (maybe India?) is just now coming to realize they have to do something to drastically clean up their users.
              Citizens of both China and India have been protesting coal power plants because of the air pollution.  

              Renewable energy brings national global security.     

              by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:58:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  nukes can't be brought online fast enough (5+ / 0-)

            you mean, right? Ten years, minimum.

            Oh and externalized costs, too. NNadir can't deflect and insult fast enought, when the economics are brought up.

            The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

            by ozsea1 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:00:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  lanthanum / rare earth metals . (4+ / 0-)

            http://www.bloomberg.com/...

            Rare Earths Fall as Toyota Develops Alternatives: Commodities
            Rare-earth prices are set to extend their decline from records this year as buyers including Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and General Electric Co. (GE) scale back using the materials in their cars and windmills.

            Prices for cerium and lanthanum, the most abundant rare- earth elements, will drop by 50 percent in 12 months, Christopher Ecclestone, an analyst at Hallgarten & Co. in New York, has forecast. Neodymium and praseodymium, metals used in permanent rare-earth magnets, may fall as much as 15 percent, he said.

            Makers of electric cars, wind turbines and oil-refining catalysts have sought to reduce use of the metals after China, which supplies more than 90 percent of the market, said in July 2010 that it would cut exports and clamp down on the industry. That boosted prices, encouraging mining companies to develop new prospects and buyers to find alternatives.

            Some Toyota vehicles will be built with an induction motor, which doesn’t use rare-earth magnets, said John Hanson, a Toyota spokesman in Torrance, California.

            ‘Huge Savings’

            “Moving from a fixed-magnet motor to an induction motor is a huge savings with regard to rare-earth metals,” Hanson said by phone.

            Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

            by indycam on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 06:56:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Listen pal. Here's a recommend for your post... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, NYFM, Plan9, Bensdad

        ...because you're a winner.

        I have opened many of thousands of scientific papers on energy and the environment, and have written almost 400 diaries on this site describing the contents therein.

        I fought as hard and as long as it might have mattered to defend the world's largest source of climate change gas free energy from ignorance, fear and superstition.

        I lost, and the fearful, the ignorant and the superstitious have won.

        The first week of February 2013 was the worst February week ever recorded at Mauna Loa for accumulations of dangerous fossil fuels measured year to year.

        It is now far too late to do anything meaningful about climate change, and because I have spent many tens of thousands of hours studying the issues involved at a detail level, only to be met with demands that I kiss up to people who have no interest in doing such work, and merely chant 50 year old rhetoric, I'm left merely with bitterness over what could have been but is now impossible.

        Even if I were able to charm you into having an ounce of common sense, it would be useless.    We're done.   We're cooked.

        You're a winner.   I'm I loser.   Congratulations.

        Speaking of the fact that I'm I loser,  I thought of the many decades of similar remarks I heard while hovering in fear during Hurricane Sandy, and I feel no need to kiss your ass.  

        It's 2013, almost 60 years after the "solar will save us" rhetoric began.    Can you name one climate related tragedy this cheering prevented?

        It cannot be said that I'm engaged in schadenfreud beause I am one of the people - and my children are among those - who will suffer because a bunch of dunderheads hated nuclear energy.   I'm not laughing, but I'm also not willing to kiss your ass.

        All the cheering, all the hundreds of billions of dollars, euros and yen thrown at it to satisfy the bizarre wishful thinking of bourgeois brats while over 2 billion people on this planet have never seen or operated a flush toilet, did nothing meaningful to prevent climate change.

        By comparison nuclear energy prevented the dumping of 10s of billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide, with a trivial loss of life.

        Nuclear energy didn't save us - and didn't what it might have done to at least slow the disaster because of fear and ignorance but thanks for you level of concern about my approach to convincing you to do what a thousand rational arguments would have failed to do in any case.

        What annoys me about anti-nukes is that they pretend to have open minds, but at the end of the day, for all their self serving bullshit, they are just about as dogmatic as the new pope what's-his-name.

        How do I know?   Because the links I gave show that the 60 year history of nuclear energy has not been as catastrophic as the next five hours of dangerous fossil fuels, and still I'm hearing shit like this.

        Have a nice evening.

        •  Nuke industry has lied too often to be believed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, JesseCW, Sandino, Calamity Jean

          about anything.

          "All the wastes for a year from a nuclear power plant could be stored under a desk"-- Ronald Reagan

          "Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter... It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age."--Lewis Strauss Chairman US Atomic Energy Commission

          •  Oh geeze, not this again. (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            SpeedyGonzales
            Hidden by:
            indycam

            Maybe if you dumb fucks repeat the 1954 words of a dumb syndic Levi Straus talking about fusion energy one billion times more, the fucking 90 million odd people who died in the last 30 years from air pollution will come back to life.

            Or maybe not.

            Strauss, for the record, was a clerk, who among other things, earned the contempt of the scientific community for, among other things, the blacklisting of Robert Oppenheimer.

            The entire community of nuclear scientists, with the possible exception of the Strangelovian Edwin Teller, but including many important nuclear energy pioneers, the Nobel Laureates Wigner, Seaborg, and Bethe, all thought him to be a fucking moron, just like I think that the people who continually appeal to him are fucking morons.

            Over the years, while moral midgets have been chanting his stupid statements, we've had all kinds of statements, many tens of thousands of them, about how solar energy would be competitive with grid electricity.

            The shit for brains anti-nuke Amory Lovins - before he took a job "consulting" for Shell Oil, Conoco, and the Suncor tar sands people, among others, wrote in 1976 in a very stupid - is there any other kind - anti-nuke article the following:

            Recent research suggests that a largely or wholly solar economy can be constructed in the United States with straightforward soft technologies that are now demonstrated and now economic or nearly economic."
            Such a conceptual exercise does not require "exotic"  ethods
            such as sea-thermal, hot-dry-rock geothermal, cheap  perhaps organic) photovoltaic, or soIar-thcrmal electric systems. If developed, as some probably will be, these technologies could be convenient, but they are in no way essential for an industrial society operating solely on energy income.
            (Source -Amory Lovins, Foreign Affairs, Fall 1976, page 83)

            So where is this "wholly solar economy" that the dipshit promised us 40 years ago?   At 3.3 million per year, that's something like 130 million people dead from air pollution ago.

            How come you repeat the liar Lewis Strauss, but have not a fucking word to say about Lovins?

            Let me tell you, using his own fucking words who "solar genius" Amory Lovins now works for, nearly 40 years later.

            Famous Anti-nuke Amory Lovins describes his revenue sources:

            Mr. Lovins’s other clients have included Accenture, Allstate, AMD, Anglo American, Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, Baxter, Borg-Warner, BP, HP Bulmer, Carrier, Chevron, Ciba-Geigy, CLSA, ConocoPhillips, Corning, Dow, Equitable, GM, HP, Invensys, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi, Monsanto, Motorola, Norsk Hydro, Petrobras, Prudential, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch/Shell, Shearson Lehman Amex, STMicroelectronics, Sun Oil, Suncor, Texas Instruments, UBS, Unilever, Westinghouse, Xerox, major developers, and over 100 energy utilities. His public-sector clients have included the OECD, the UN, and RFF; the Australian, Canadian, Dutch, German, and Italian governments; 13 states; Congress, and the U.S. Energy and Defense Departments.

            Um...um...um...

            I very much doubt that the assholes in the anti-nuke industry -who are apparently (and quite openly) funded by the dangerous fossil fuel industry - have either the moral or intellectual capability of understanding that "Suncor" is not a solar company, but is in fact, the oil sands company all of our antinukes burn coal to run their computers to complain about, even as they work tirelessly to entrench the dangerous fossil fuel industry by expressing insipid contempt for the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free energy.

            This week an all time high for dangerous fossil fuel waste was set- the fucking waste that all the waste case anti-nukes couldn't fucking care less about, the waste that kills people, more than 30 million every fucking decade while the anti-nukes lay around on their lazy anti-intellectual asses chanting the words of a 1954 Republican syndic who, like them, knew no science whatsoever.

            Despite being a chanting dullard, I will confess that I have no doubt that you are aptly named.   Anti-nukes are indeed enemies of the people, not only the more than 120 million who died over the last four or five decades from their neglect and ignorance, but all those who will die because they couldn't fucking open a science book and understand how nuclear reactors work and continue to bet the planetary atmosphere on a bunch of highly toxic cadmium selenide coated glass, and neodymium laced whirlygigs.

            Since 2013 will surely be the worst year ever recorded for increases in climate change gases, I guess that the bet was a pretty fucking poor one for most of humanity, if not the anti-science anti-intellectual anti-nukes in the la-la land reality they inhabit.

            We're racing at an accelerating pace to 400 ppm.

            Heckuva job anti-nuke.   Congrats on getting what you fucking wanted.   You must be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very proud.

            Have a very pleasant weekend that wonderful oblivious state you live in.

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, bluedust, NYFM

      I saw one stat that said if all of humanity got to use 1/2 the electricity of the average American by 2050, global electricity production would have to TRIPLE.  I haven't independently verified that stat, but the simple truth is the world is going to demand a massive amount of MORE electricity.

      How can we enjoy our energy-rich lifestyle and insist others living now in poverty cannot ever hope of doing the same?  Ain't gonna happen without war.  There is no conserving our way out of this once China, India, etc. are factored into the equation.

      Nothing short of an emergency build-out of THOUSANDS of nuclear reactors around the world over the next few decades will have a chance in hell of slowing down the rate of growth of emission rates, yet alone REVERSE them to NEGATIVE rates of change.  We will need thousands of GW of reliable power if we are to deal with increasing demand while simultaneously shutting down coal-fired power around the world.  

      Factory mass produced, type-certified reactors (i.e. pre-approved regulatory systems based on a type approval, then mass produce like aircraft) is possibly the best way to produce that much capacity quickly and at low cost.  

      We also must deploy systems to fully recycle nuclear fuel to increase total energy output per kg of uranium by a factor of 100, and reduce waste output by the same.  Then we will have a global energy system that can meet all demand, and sustain it for thousands of years without emissions, and without long-lived transuranic waste.  

      The longer we dither, the more coal plants get built.  It is that simple folks.  Lets get on with it and stop pissing in the wind.

      The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

      by mojo workin on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 12:54:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Germany is the poster child . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpeedyGonzales, squarewheel, Bensdad

        of the huge expansion of fossil-fuel combustion is required  to back up its costly wind and solar and to provide baseload when nuclear power is abandoned.

        Germany is in a state of economic disaster and will soon be experiencing a health disaster in the form of an increase in lung and heart disease from the ratcheting up of fine particulates and other pollutants from the new and really dirty lignite plants and brown coal plants.

        Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

        by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:30:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  Still exactly zero deaths from radiation (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9
            •  that's a cheat of a comment (6+ / 0-)

              you know damn well that there's going to be an increase in cancer deaths in that area of Japan for years to come.

              so quit conflating immediate radiation poisoning and long term elevated radiation exposure.

              big badda boom : GRB 090423

              by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:13:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dont be so sure (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, SpeedyGonzales, squarewheel

                The radiation limit used to define the evac zone in Fukushima is less than natural background in many parts of the world, and these areas exhibit no anomalies in cancers.  

                The problem is caused by radiation standards that are based on the principle of as-low-as-reasonably-achievable (i.e. the lower the better, for **no scientifically valid reason**).  But, science says these levels are about 1000 times smaller than what will start causing real pathology, i.e. levels that are as high as reasonably safe.  

                The problem lies in fear-based / political standards from the cold war, rather than fact-based standards based on valid public health protection.  When one factors the implications of fear caused by extreme radiation standards, which encourage fossil-fuel use over nuclear, the irony becomes painful.

                Check Radiation and Reason, for a start.  

                The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

                by mojo workin on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:11:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Just like cigarettes killed 0 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AllisonInSeattle

              Your transparent lies discredit any other comments you might manage.

          •  you mean the UN reports (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, SpeedyGonzales

            that have concluded that no one was killed or injured by radiation, nor will anyone likely be so affected in the future.  

            The amounts of exposure to the public has been so low as to pose no health risk.  

            You read that right, and I'm not making it up.  

            UNSCEAR and WHO committees published this just recently.

            If that is the one and only best "disaster" nuclear can manage with plants designed in the 60s being hit by a once-in-500 year natural disaster, the worst event  in a generation (since Chernobyl), but with ZERO health impacts, then that says more about how GOOD nuclear power is than how dangerous it is.  The number of people who have died as a direct consequence of fossil-fuel production and use over the past 25 years is staggering as Nnadir tirelessly points out; but, nuclear = ZERO.  

            References:

            http://www.bloomberg.com/...

            http://www.forbes.com/...

            http://www-pub.iaea.org/...

            http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/...

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

            The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

            by mojo workin on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:53:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  probably pumping radioactive cesium into the water (5+ / 0-)

            in tremendous quantities I'm sure.

            but somehow, nuclear opponents get to ignore that.

            I still haven't quite figured out the rules yet.

            rule 1 : ignore chernobyle because it shouldn't have happened
            rule 2 : ignore fukushima because it shouldn't have happened

            there's a bunch more rules.

            However there's no doubt that nnadir is right - another nuclear accident is, without a doubt, less of a threat to us than continued burning of coal.

            the math is quite clear on this point.

            big badda boom : GRB 090423

            by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:04:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And much more of a threat than wind, solar, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calamity Jean

              or geothermal.

              Which are cheaper, too.

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:58:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Annual deaths from coal pollution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              squarewheel

              . . . 3 million worldwide.

              In the US, around 20,000/year.

              Natural gas explosions kill people in the US every year, and yet everyone focuses on commercial nuclear plants.  No member of the public has died as the result of the operation of any commercial nuclear plant in the US.  And the plants have been operating for close to 60 years.

              A lot of the erroneous information in this thread can be traced back to superstitious assumptions about radiation exposure.  People are OK with radiation exposure from coal fly ash, which is far greater than you would get living next to a nuclear plant but still low-dose.  Household natural gas exposes people to 900 times more radiation than they would receive living at a nuclear plant.  But lots of people heat their homes with natgas and have stoves that use it.

              In developed countries about a third of the population will get cancer in the course of a lifetime.  This is true of countries without nuclear power and with nuclear power.  The National Cancer Institute surveyed a large number of counties with nuclear facilities and compared the cancer rates in those counties with the rates in counties without nuclear facilities.  Conclusion:  cancer rates were not higher because of nuclear facilities.

              Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

              by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:03:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  p.s. plan 9 is right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM, Plan9

            when a nuke goes off-line and has to be replaced by fossil fuels, pollution and CO2 will increase.

            it's something people should be thinking really, really hard about and instead they are reacting to fear and not being rational.

            germany might have some other risks to it's plants, but a tidal wave is not one of them.

            shutting down  working nukes in Germany because of what happened on the coast of Japan is not reasonable.

            big badda boom : GRB 090423

            by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:11:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  so Fukushima is just fine . . . ? /nt (3+ / 0-)
              •  no - but I'm very sympathetic to their point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9

                that NONE of the coal burning plants are "just fine" either.

                they're spewing particulates, mercury and a host of othe bad things every single day in ridiculous quantities.

                big badda boom : GRB 090423

                by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 03:20:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't see anyone here defending coal plants (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, Sandino, Calamity Jean

                  Can you point that part out to me, please?

                  •  sorry, you've lost me (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    marsanges, Plan9

                    I wasn't implying anyone is defending coal plants so I'm not sure why you say that.

                    what I am saying is that you can measure the impact of human health by nuclear plants and by coal plants.

                    I think there's an entirely valid argument to be made, at this point in time, that coal plants are more hazardous than nuclear to human health.

                    big badda boom : GRB 090423

                    by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:30:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  well so what? coal plants are more hazardous than (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JesseCW, Calamity Jean

                      wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal, too. (shrug)

                      And while the cost of nuclear keeps going up, the cost of renewables keeps going down.

                      •  no the point is that China just added (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9

                        hundreds of GIGAWATTS of coal over the past decade.  That's NEW coal.  

                        We have to REVERSE that and address future demand. \

                        The totality of the problem is THOUSANDS of GigaWatts of reliable power.

                        You CANNOT stop that with wind turbines.  It is just impossible.  That's the problem.  We in North America could trim our sails, conserve here, add a few percent of power with wind (with the addition of TENS OF THOUSANDS of wind turines), but we won't solve the carbon problem.  \

                        Check this animation which graphically illustrates the situation, but doesn't even address the problem of storage implied by the equivalency:

                        http://www.youtube.com/...

                        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

                        by mojo workin on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:27:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  China is also the largest producer of solar panels (4+ / 0-)

                          in the world.

                          PS--China produces about as much emission as the US does, but they do it with six times the population.

                          Which means the typical Chinese produces about one-sixth as much emission as the typical American does.

                          Which shows where the real problem lies---and it ain't China.

                          But the US will, in typical American fashion, do nothing, while blaming someone else.  (shrug)

                          •  You are kidding, right (0+ / 0-)

                            China built hundreds of GW of coal-fired plants in the past decade.  1GW requires about 2000 wind turbines (assuming 2MW units with 25% capacity factor) and STORAGE THAT DOESNT EXIST to function of a grid with any high degree of penetration.  So, you would need hundreds of thousands of wind turbines and storage that physically doesn't exist - and cannot exit - at that scale, just to undo what China just did since 2000 (give or take)!  With mean power density of 2W/sq. m, the required land area would be hundreds of thousands of square km of land area uniformly carpeted - about the size of Texas, plus some mythical storage to cover when the wind doesn't blow.  

                            I'm not stamping my feet.  It's call basic numbers.  

                            PLEASE: Work the math yourself and show me that it is possible to not only slow down the growth in coal demand from China, but reverse coal use, and do it with a possible combination of wind turbines and storage technology.  We can do whatever we want, and it will be swamped by what happens in the rest of the world.  Renewables just CANNOT do it at that scale.  And, that is not stomping my feet, it is called running the numbers.  The longer we persist in delusional thinking, the longer it will take to get to real solutions.

                            The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

                            by mojo workin on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:36:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Someone once said... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...I'm not pro-nuclear, I'm pro-arithmetic. I think that describes the sitiation pretty well.

                        •  Repeatedly stamping your feet and insisting that (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sandino, Calamity Jean, squarewheel

                          something is not possible does not make it so.

                          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:59:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  not feet stamping (0+ / 0-)

                            you can do the math quite easily

                            wind turbines offer a very low energy density relative to nuclear and fossile fuels.

                            that means you need LOTs of them.

                            that means you need LOTs of resources to build them.

                            it's not an academic question.

                            think about what will happen if everyone in the world needs 100kWhr worth of lithium batteries.

                            you think we have enough lithium for that ?

                            well we may literally not have enough rare-earths to make all the generators needed for turbines.

                            not saying that's the situation, but it's something that can and should be analyzed.  meanwhile as mojo points out China's cranking out the coal plants and we're topping 400ppm.

                            so wouldn't we be better off if those coal plants had been nuclear ?

                            maybe.

                            but maybe China would just f*ck-up the construction of them due to corruption or some other problem and we'll be looking at some major nuclear disasters in the next 50 years.

                            then the trade-off won't look so good.

                            and still nobody can simply answer the question as to where all that nuclear waste is going to go.

                            big badda boom : GRB 090423

                            by squarewheel on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:36:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Japan now imports fossil fuels (0+ / 0-)

                and for the last two years has sharply increased burning of fossil fuels.

                If there is a death toll due to Fukushima, it will be from the additional fossil fuel combustion as a result of all the nuclear plants being shut down.

                If the people who were evacuated from around Fukushima had been flown to Colorado, their exposure to radiation would have increased.  The releases were low-dose and even the most conservative radiation-protection experts say that it's highly unlikely that there will be more than a 0.001 increase in cancer incidence.

                What really happened in Japan that was terrible:  an earthquake and a tsunami that killed 16,000 or so.

                Even the plant workers at Fukushima are not expected to have any health problems related to exposures they received right in the plant.  The exposures were of brief duration and relatively low level.

                Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

                by Plan9 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:09:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Sure is a good thing we don't have to replace (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              nuclear power plants with fossil fuel plants, isn't it?

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:59:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Oh man, oh man. (5+ / 0-)

          what a load of bullshit, honestly. I am no fan of the German government but I actually am German and tend to know somewhat about the country.

          Germany is in a state of economic disaster
          thats why all the rest of the EU complains about being outcompeted by Germany, huh? LOL, Germany is the only country where joblessness fell all through the crisis.

          This commenter can only be betting on the alleged uninformedness of american readers. Not here, man :)

          huge expansion of fossil-fuel combustion
          Likewise, the opposite is true. The phased out nuke electricity supply was taken over by renewables ...THEY are the ones undergoing a huge expansion in my old home. In 2012, coal had a minor uptick (for a total emissions uptick of 1.2 % IIRC. Huge?) because it replaced GAS (and not renewables), merely because the market prices for the two fossils reversed. It was the first time in years that coal increased, and led to government measures to shorten the emissions permit supply . that underlies this price movement.

          In short the commenter either knows nothing at all about Germany and makes up shit on the fly, or he wilfully misrepresents for effect.

  •  Not a big surprise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59, Calamity Jean

    The investment costs of nuclear have priced them out.

  •  Here's something I came across the other day in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, Calamity Jean

    a issue of Newscientist but I really don't "get-it" on how it works even though it sounds simple but hey if it works great,instead of trying to explain it here's the link.http://www.newscientist.com/...

  •  Wind technology minus some of the side effects (0+ / 0-)

    Check this out:
    http://www.ted.com/...

  •  in SE PA, my electricity is 99% wind & 1% solar (4+ / 0-)

    PA deregulated electric power suppliers many years ago and one of the companies supplying electricity provides power generated 99% by wind (almost all of which is from wind farms located in PA) and 1% by solar.  I've been using that supplier, the Energy Cooperative Association of PA, based in Philadelphia, PA, for the last 2 years.

  •  Fewer cats and dogs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jlukes, AllisonInSeattle, Arlys

    needs to be part of the picture.  The care of these animals produces a lot of fossil fuels.  If people would just own fewer of them it would make a big difference.  If people would keep their cats indoors it would more than offset the birds killed by wind turbines.  A lot of people get upset when this is suggested, but nobody said there wouldn't be sacrifices.  At the end of WWII you couldn't find a cat or dog in Holland or Poland because they had all been eaten.  This is no less serious and nobody is being asked to eat their pets.

    Also, population control.  Many of our schools still have abstinence only education.  We need comprehensive sex ed, easy access to birth control and abortion.  This is also good for the crime rate.

    Also, also, encourage people to live in densely populated urban areas rather than the suburbs.  People drive less when they live near everything.  I read that Manhattan is actually the greenest part of the country.

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:56:45 PM PDT

  •  buy your solar panels from US mfg companies n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arlys

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:43:28 PM PDT

  •  So pretty soon -- (0+ / 0-)

    we should see world leaders agreeing to shut down the oil wells and coal mines because fossil energy will no longer be needed?

    NB: the oil industry engages in this sort of "hit it out of the ballpark" rhetoric too.  "Enormous new oil reserves in (name your region)!"  they crow.  Problem is, of course, that the capitalist world system consumes 76 million bbls./day of crude oil, and so any "alternative energy" alternative that hopes to keep the capitalist world system intact will have to match that enormous (and growing) energy demand.

    'Course, if we had the courage to say "to hell with the capitalist world system," the problem would look a lot different.

    "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:51:33 PM PDT

    •  'Course, if we had the courage to say "to hell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      with the capitalist world system," the problem would look a lot different.'

      How?

      •  We wouldn't be compelled -- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges

        to provide analyses of "how we are going to satisfy energy demand" without burning fossil fuels that were obliged to satisfy the voracious energy demand of the current, capitalist, world-system.

        There simply isn't going to be a drastic reduction in energy usage unless production for a "global free market" is abandoned in favor of production for direct human need.

        "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

        by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:28:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it's unlikely. Even a dictatorship (0+ / 0-)

          has to keep people happy. And people want cheap electricity.

          •  Capitalist production isn't production for people. (0+ / 0-)

            Capitalist production is production for a "global free market."

            But I already explained this.

            "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

            by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:55:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's not my point. Every government, whether (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              capitalist or not, needs to keep people at least somewhat happy. You're assuming that people in power will be enlightened enough to pursue green energy projects even though it will make them less popular. Why?

          •  People also want clean air. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JeffW

            Both Chinese and Indians have protested planned coal-burning power plants because they don't want the pollution.  Wind and solar could satisfy both desires.  

            Renewable energy brings national global security.     

            by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:43:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Cassiodorus - even in the most poorest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Notreadytobenice

          countries with the smallest carbon footprints and most socialist countries where power is controlled by the government, the leadership is working hard to provide 24/7/365 electric power for all its citizens. Electric power is the key to a comfortable and productive life.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 06:11:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  actually thats wrong, Cassiodorus. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          I dont think anyone can accuse Germany of not being capitalist ... ?

          look at their energy plan ... (their slide 8)

          In fact, they plan to pull of their renewables miracle more by reducing demand than by increasing renewables output.

          From 14 PJ to 8 PJ ... isnt that a drastic reduction in your book?

          •  Whatev. (0+ / 0-)

            Governments can "plan" to pull unicorns out of their asses.  Whether it actually happens is irrelevant to you?

            "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

            by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:06:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  did you look (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino, Calamity Jean

              at the year scale? The demand decreases are a simple projection of the actually realized demand decreases since the early 2000s (and thats a trend that predates the crisis in case you want to refer to that - all the more the crisis was less severe in Germany than most everywhere else). See slide 5 of the same presentation for the actual achievements since before 2000.

              I don´t understand your reaction, Cassiodorus. Don´t you like it if there is somewhere actual serious demand reduction happening (and through efficiency gains and not pauperization)? Dont you salute it if a government somewhere actually tries? Would you only acknowledge such a thing if its happening in a noncapitalist country? (Provided there is any.)

              •  How do you know -- (0+ / 0-)

                that efficiency gains will really result in decreased demand, and not just increased energy use by those who benefit from the resultant cheaper energy?  Because the German government said so?

                "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

                by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:44:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No because it happens. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW, Sandino

                  Again, look at the statistics given.

                  I understand that you may mistrust "plans" (though every action goes through plans). So look at their actual output - the numbers I gave you just now. Demand has been sinking - it isnt just planned to - it is doing so. The plan takes it forward.

                  the nice thing about that is that that is happening while Germany remains, and actually entrenches itself increasingly, as the industrial powerhouse of Europe. That is not good in other respects (Europe´s balance goes missing and it risks being selfdefeating in the long run), but it puts the lie to the claims that only "growth" can keep people from poverty. You find that claim in many economic circles where they point to the correlation of CO2 emission and GDP ... in the past. Germany´s present shows that that relation CAN be broken, and NOT only through nukes, but using renewables, and under a capitalist overall system.

                  •  Europe is in a recession. (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you think that has anything to do with it?

                    "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

                    by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:32:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It hasnt. (0+ / 0-)

                      From your comment I understand that you didnt look at the link that I provided. Yes its a pdf, yes it may load slowly, and yes its not the smoothest english (german bureaucrats are notorious). But you have the emissions trend right there, from 1995 to 2010 (last numbers given. Yes the recession is visible in 2009, and no, it is small compared to the multiyear decrease trend.

                      reality comes first, Cassiodorus, I´d like humanity to get past capitalism too in one way or another, but by closing our eyes to the actual world we´ll never get there. Why do you do that?

                      •  The trend cited in the graph (0+ / 0-)

                        is not even close to anything that would mitigate global warming.  It's not me, in that regard, who's closing his eyes.

                        "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

                        by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:48:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yes, true. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Calamity Jean

                          Thats why I led in with the plan. Of yourse you can always say "I dont believe that they´ll be able to keep dropping from tomorrow on, even if they have done so for the last fifteen years". I can never disprove you on that, because it gets only "proven" in the realisation.

                          Yet, if I have gotten you to look at all at the doc, please take a real look at it. That isnt a propaganda doc, but the actual government action plan of that major incudtrialised country, down to specific regulatory measures, and specific investments (see their grid upgrade plan). I have gotten it from a conference where the german governmental presented it to japanese governmentals as semi-official advice to Japan. As such, backed up by the past and the present, it is completely credible. Whether it will be feasible remains to be seen.

                          Yet their serious, all out plan as a capitalist industrialized country is to go from 14 to 8 petajoules until 2050, And that IS a climate relevant dimension - at least if you transcribe it to the collective of industrialised countries. (12 to 4 PJ fossil contribution: a cut by 75%!)

                          They are giving (setting out to give) the demonstration that it is possible to reduce our climate destroying emissions on a relevant scale in a relevant timeframe without having to leave the capitalist system.

                          Thats what you said was an impossibility.

                          I would still agree that it is desirable to leave the capitalist system but that is a different discussion entirely.

                          ecological issue is one thing, intrahuman justice is another thing; solving one helps the other, but they are not dependent on each other. I think thats what you see differently.

                          •  They're the same issue. (0+ / 0-)
                            ecological issue is one thing, intrahuman justice is another thing
                            The only sense in which human social issues are "separate from" ecological issues is that sense in which capital "separates out" that portion of society and nature which it has not yet assimilated through capital accumulation.  I don't buy into the Cartesian assumption that people are in any way "separate from" nature.  Our species is not special in that way.

                            In this regard (please also see my repeated promotion of the essays of Jason W. Moore) continued operation of the capitalist system will continue to simplify the Earth's ecosystems.  The ultimate end of capitalism hasn't come just yet because techno-social transformations have been able to decrease the organic component of capital, thus allowing for the continued expansion of the capitalist system in a world which once had room for capitalism to expand.  

                            In this era, however, technosocial transformation has granted more profits to capital and made civilization more robust without making the capitalist system itself more robust.  Meanwhile, the physical space for capitalism's expansion has decreased dramatically.  So I don't think the pertinent question is one of "if capitalism exists today, what reason should we have to think that it won't be around tomorrow" -- rather, we should ask, "what force will save capitalism from the ecological doom it has itself produced?"  I don't think solar power is that force.

                            "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

                            by Cassiodorus on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:51:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  forgot to add (3+ / 0-)

                  one element of Germanys success in doing so is that it (the government) has ensured that energy prices are rising - not sinking - at lower demand. Energy prices in Germany are high, and will keep rising. That precludes "cheap energy profiteering" effects.

                  Yes, this did happen through planned governmental intervention, not by "free market forces". One has to appreciate that while Germany is capitalist, it isnt a free-market-radicalist state like the US. They (formerly we) know the necessity and use of government intervention; even the currently governing conservatives agree on that. The free market radicals garner some 2-4% of the vote in Germany.  (30% in the Netherlands, which is much more Americanized).

            •  CA has frozen our per capita energy use (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AllisonInSeattle

              for 40 years while most of the country has climbed 50% per capita.

              We really did it.  We didn't just plan it.  It required very few sacrifices.

              We can do a lot more, too.  We will.  We are.  

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:04:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  German energy policy in a single picture (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Notreadytobenice, Plan9

    http://www.rwe.com/...

    Brand spanking new lignite plats in the forground, some wind built on top of the spoil tip from the nearby open pit lignite mine in the background.

  •  New solar installation coming to So CA? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AllisonInSeattle

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/...

    In an effort to insulate a massive solar power project in Riverside County from extended environmental review, Gov. Jerry Brown announced today that he has certified the facility as a special "leadership project," the second such certification he has granted under a 2011 law.

    The designation is intended to expedite rulings on environmental litigation brought against McCoy Solar Project, fast-tracking any court challenges brought under the California Environmental Quality Act. The identification of such "leadership" projects is one of several ways in which Brown has sought since taking office to relax the use of CEQA on certain projects.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:58:39 PM PDT

  •  New offshore wind record (3+ / 0-)

    Over the last week the London Array off the English coast at the mouth of the Thames became the largest operational offshore wind farm. The turbines are being commissioned and the number in use will increase until next month when the commissioning team are due to hand over to the operational one.

    The previous record holder, Greater Gabbard, is also off the coast of SE England.

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:35:46 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary full of hope and joy! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Beats the hell out of the depressing info we are facing regarding our food and water safety/security.

    Any good news there?

  •  I cannot get overjoyed that China is..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arlys, Calamity Jean

    ...leapfrogging over us in the manufacture of solar panels. It's a cryin' shame is what it is..

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:31:14 AM PDT

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