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Thread: Solar Power rip-off

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    Solar Power rip-off

    Well, that is what some reporters in the LA Times seem to think about the big solar power projects currently being built or planned in the Southwest deserts. In a long article published in the business section of my newspaper yesterday, written by Evan Halper, Ralph Vartabedian and Julie Cart of the Times, titled " Solar power initiative generates cash frenzy". In a nutshell, the article claims that the big money types have moved into the solar power industry, using taxpayer funds to build and guarantee their projects at little risk to them and once these projects are completed will be charging California utility ratepayers between 20% and 50% more for their electricity - while they all retire with bags of money padding their mattresses like Scrooge McDuck or Daddy Warbucks. I don't know how much of this article is true, or if they are just stirring the pot for generate ratings (well articles about the presidential election is pretty much a waste of good newsprint in CA), but it makes for another good conspiracy theory story - if you like that sort of thing.

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    Ghost Rider Allen_okc's Avatar
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    well Richard, here in Oklahoma you can switch to wind generated electricity, but it comes with a higher price per month - which i dont understand that the wind the drives these wind mills is a free source, not to mention that the tax payers money is used and not to mention the government funding to set these machines up and the low maintenance for years to come - then why oh why should we have to pay more for the electricity it produces???

    its just corporate BS if you ask me - i know they can argue, Well the cost of building and installing the wind mill farms - i just wonder what the price of electricity will be when they are paid for???

    i think the answer is to convert our homes to be more self sufficient with our own wind and solar electric generating supply...

    just my two cents...
    The Greatest thing about a EV, is the Song of the Terrain...

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    Moderator ZoomSmith's Avatar
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    I'm offended by the comparison of Scrooge McDuck and Daddy Warbucks to energy company executives.

    McDuck and Warbucks may be rich and crotchety, but at least they have morals.

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    Member Red's Avatar
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    Power generation should be in the hands of the individuals that use it. Solar prices have been dropping and look to continue to drop. Wind generation can be built at home easily by any handy person with the tools and the will to do so. Buying into alternative energy from corporations just encourages them to build more.

    Jeremy Rifken, who has spent a large part of his career advising heads of European states, has recently published a book: The Empathic Civilization, and speaks of the future of power generation produced by neighborhoods, not corporations. He claims that the city of Rome already has a post-carbon plan in place, and corporations don't have a large participation in it.

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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    One thing that solar does do, is produce large amounts of electricity at the wrong time of day (peak demand is at about 6 pm). While this shouldn't affect demand, it does because people think "well I have solar panels, so I don't feel bad about my new air conditioner" and proceed to switch it on at 5 pm.

    So the grid needs to be built to a high standard which is only ever realised for 4 days of the year. Solar didn't cause this, stupid people caused it because they didn't change their consumption behaviour. Solar does cause grid fluctuations, and they do need to build to protect it from damage (at cost), but it shouldn't cost that much.

    Grid level storage is good for cost effective load levelling, but household storage is best - cause you can do what you like when you like

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    I kind of doubt that maintenance on wind turbines is all that low, especially compared to solar. Every time I've driven through West Texas over the last couple years I've seen a few of them not spinning. And conditions out there are at once both conducive to wind power generation and abusive to the equipment.

    Here, as in Oklahoma, consumers have the option of going with "100% renewable" power which does cost more. We're not forced to incur any increased costs for the windmills, at least not that I can see in my bill.

    If I were to install my own generation capability, though, I agree that I would want the ability to be self-sufficient, 24/7, under most conditions (really, almost all; I'd have a non-grid-tied backup fossil-fuel generator as well). And I'd install enough capacity (solar and batteries) to run my 4 or 5 tons of A/C whenever I wanted . I wonder about the Rome model mentioned above though: how would a transition from a few, large, electromechanical generating stations to many, small, pure-electronic ones, affect the grid, not only from an availability standpoint, but from a frequency-regulation and harmonics standpoint as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonescg View Post
    One thing that solar does do, is produce large amounts of electricity at the wrong time of day (peak demand is at about 6 pm). While this shouldn't affect demand, it does because people think "well I have solar panels, so I don't feel bad about my new air conditioner" and proceed to switch it on at 5 pm.
    I know every region is different but during the day industrial usage is usually higher which is why areas with time-of-use metering generally (always?) offer lower rates at night.

    I've been learning about some household-scale storage developments, such as freezing ice at night (for A/C purposes during the day) or heating large masses of material at night for heating purposes. These techniques can be used to balance the grid as well during times of excess power. My standard reply when people complain about renewable subsidies is to point out that fossil fuel subsidies are a lot higher and that we should end *all* subsidies and impose a carbon tax to recognize costs that are already being incurred. Then let the cards fall where they may...

  9. #8
    Old EV Racer EVcycle's Avatar
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    Poo Poo on them, just build your own.

    Makes for riding an EV even cheaper....

    Last edited by EVcycle; 30 September 2012 at 1140.
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  10. #9
    Old EV Racer EVcycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    I've been learning about some household-scale storage developments, such as freezing ice at night (for A/C purposes during the day) or heating large masses of material at night for heating purposes.
    We use those systems here in the "not so green" south in some of our public schools. At our house we use the attic heat in the winter to help
    lessen the burden on the heating system. All the power it takes is a 20$ box fan (it is an isolated system from the attic air).

    Plus LED lamps everywhere.
    EV Ed
    Never let being a responsible adult get in the way of passion and curiosity.
    Motenergy.com
    Ev album 2456, 2458, 2457, 2681, 3456, 3630

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