thelerner

Saving the World & Solar Energy

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Luckily they have several hundred coal fired power stations with which to charge them.

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Luckily they have several hundred coal fired power stations with which to charge them.

Yes, that's the sad side of this.  But China is making billions of dollars investments in wind and solar power.  They are way ahead of the USA with this.

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Yes, that's the sad side of this.  But China is making billions of dollars investments in wind and solar power.  They are way ahead of the USA with this.

 

Big, expensive, mistake with poor use of scarce resources. Nuclear and gas are far more effective options. Individual purchase of solar cells/wind power for those who can utilise them is fine. No subsidy for those purchases.

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Big, expensive, mistake with poor use of scarce resources. Nuclear and gas are far more effective options. Individual purchase of solar cells/wind power for those who can utilise them is fine. No subsidy for those purchases.

 

Nuclear? Fukushima is a disaster and will be for decades. 

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Nuclear? Fukushima is a disaster and will be for decades. 

 

Or longer. However, it remains as the cleanest, most consistently reliable form of power to date. Germany went back to the only real alternative-coal. In the UK we are trying to broker a deal to get China/France to build nuclear power plants as we are looking increasingly vulnerable to outages because we have not updated our coal fired plant.

 

So called 'green alternatives' are not feasible. We are simply filling investors/land owners pockets with tax payer money to fund a the kind of intermittent power supply that will always require back up, short term gas plants by the thousand. These short term plants are highly inefficient and have a very limited lifespan compared with long term power plants. The grid system is currently unsuitable for carrying such varying, spasmodic loads and would require an enormous upgrade which no one is prepared to fund, or tolerate.

 

Despite the ideology behind wind and solar being a good one, it is totally impractical and uneconomical except when used in areas where no advanced power generation is either feasible, or technologically possible.

 

Again, this comes down to the best way to allocate resources and that is the free market. It is the free market which has the best chance of finding safe alternative power and not governments trying to pick winners.

 

I probably like the idea of nuclear power even less than you do. I've been mildly irradiated once in my lifetime and have seen how state owned nuclear facilities merrily pollute the environment whilst claiming everything is under careful scrutiny. However, if we wish to move from dirty coal and expensive oil/gas that is the only option. Whilst renewables can make a small contribution, it will be at a very high cost and likely to produce more pollution in the long run due to the nature of the back up generation required.

 

As yet we haven't solved anything, but a free market with enforced private ownership of land/sea/air would produce a proper cost for the use of fossil fuels by pushing the cost onto polluters. As costs rise it will bring greater opportunity for inventors to create things we cannot even conceive of. What steam and the diesel did were done by privateers and not state decree. That's how we will move forward.

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Big, expensive, mistake with poor use of scarce resources. Nuclear and gas are far more effective options. Individual purchase of solar cells/wind power for those who can utilise them is fine. No subsidy for those purchases.

But they are saving nuclear for their bombs and they have very little gas.  They are trying to become independent.

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The Most Important Thing, and It’s Almost a Secret OCT. 1, 2015  by Nicholas Kristof

 

We journalists are a bit like vultures, feasting on war, scandal and disaster. Turn on the news, and you see Syrian refugees, Volkswagen corruption, dysfunctional government.

 

Yet that reflects a selection bias in how we report the news: We cover planes that crash, not planes that take off. Indeed, maybe the most important thing happening in the world today is something that we almost never cover: a stunning decline in poverty, illiteracy and disease.

 

Huh? You’re wondering what I’ve been smoking! Everybody knows about the spread of war, the rise of AIDS and other diseases, the hopeless intractability of poverty.

 

One survey found that two-thirds of Americans believed that the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has almost doubled over the last 20 years. Another 29 percent believed that the proportion had remained roughly the same.


That’s 95 percent of Americans — who are utterly wrong. In fact, the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty hasn’t doubled or remained the same. It has fallen by more than half, from 35 percent in 1993 to 14 percent in 2011 (the most recent year for which figures are available from the World Bank).

 

When 95 percent of Americans are completely unaware of a transformation of this magnitude, that reflects a flaw in how we journalists cover the world — and I count myself among the guilty. Consider:

• The number of extremely poor people (defined as those earning less than $1 or $1.25 a day, depending on who’s counting) rose inexorably until the middle of the 20th century, then roughly stabilized for a few decades. Since the 1990s, the number of poor has plummeted.

 

• In 1990, more than 12 million children died before the age of 5; this toll has since dropped by more than half.

• More kids than ever are becoming educated, especially girls. In the 1980s, only half of girls in developing countries completed elementary school; now, 80 percent do.

 

Granted, some 16,000 children still die unnecessarily each day. It’s maddening in my travels to watch children dying simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

But one reason for our current complacency is a feeling that poverty is inevitable — and that’s unwarranted.

 

The world’s best-kept secret is that we live at a historic inflection point when extreme poverty is retreating. United Nations members have just adopted 17 new Global Goals, of which the centerpiece is the elimination of extreme poverty by 2030. Their goals are historic. There will still be poor people, of course, but very few who are too poor to eat or to send children to school. Young journalists or aid workers starting out today will in their careers see very little of the leprosy, illiteracy, elephantiasis and river blindness that I have seen routinely.

 

“We live at a time of the greatest development progress among the global poor in the history of the world,” notes Steven Radelet, a development economist and Georgetown University professor, in a terrific book coming in November, “The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World.”

 

“The next two decades can be even better and can become the greatest era of progress for the world’s poor in human history,” Radelet writes.  I write often about inequality, a huge challenge in the U.S. But globally, inequality is diminishing, because of the rise of poor countries.

 

What does all this mean in human terms? I was thinking of that last week while interviewing Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Nobel Peace Prize winner. Malala’s mother grew up illiterate, like the women before her, and was raised to be invisible to outsiders. Malala is a complete contrast: educated, saucy, outspoken and perhaps the most visible teenage girl in the world.

Even in countries like Pakistan, the epoch of illiterate and invisible women like Malala’s mother is fading; the epoch of Malala is dawning. The challenge now is to ensure that rich donor nations are generous in supporting the Global Goals — but also that developing countries do their part, rather than succumbing to corruption and inefficiency. (I’m talking to you, Angola!)

 

There’s one last false argument to puncture. Cynics argue that saving lives is pointless, because the result is overpopulation that leads more to starve. Not true. Part of this wave of progress is a stunning drop in birthrates.   Haitian women now average 3.1 children; in 1985, they had six. In Bangladesh, women now average 2.2 children. Indonesians, 2.3. When the poor know that their children will survive, when they educate their daughters, when they access family planning, they have fewer children.

So let’s get down to work and, on our watch, defeat extreme poverty worldwide. We know that the challenges are surmountable — because we’ve already turned the tide of history.

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This is has some 'optimistic' cutting edge on Solar Energy news.  Good chance to help the world.

Being a few months old, some of the tech speculated on, like Elon Musk's low cost solar tile roofing is here, though not widely available yet. 

 

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Despite the ideology behind wind and solar being a good one, it is totally impractical and uneconomical except when used in areas where no advanced power generation is either feasible, or technologically possible. Again, this comes down to the best way to allocate resources and that is the free market.

I think you have to consider that things change, technologies improve.  Great technological advances will cost research money, and have a fair share of abortions but should still be pursued and watched over for scams.   In our life we may be seeing solar go from $70+ to near or under coal prices (Module Cost a Watt), (36 cents? that does seem low) there is a graph showing a nice steady line of lower cost at 4:26 aka Swanson's Law.

 

No free lunches, but we don't have to eat poison either.

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http://www.sciencealert.com/solar-power-is-now-the-cheapest-energy-in-the-world

 

It's official: solar became the cheapest source of new energy in lower-income countries this year, giving both companies and governments alike another reason to ditch coal and gas for renewables.

 

Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that the average price of solar energy in almost 60 countries dropped to US$1.65 million per megawatt during 2016, just below wind at US$1.66 million per megawatt.  That's based on average prices across 58 emerging markets, including China, India, and Brazil, and it means renewable energy will be an increasingly attractive way to go for companies investing in new power plants in the future.

 

"Solar investment has gone from nothing ... five years ago to quite a lot," BNEF analyst Ethan Zindler told Tom Randall at Bloomberg. "A huge part of this story is China, which has been rapidly deploying solar."

solar-02-chart.jpgBloomberg

Last year, China invested $103 billion in solar projects, more than the US ($44.1 billion), the UK ($22.2 billion), and Japan ($36.2 billion) put together.

 

Prices have also been dropping at auctions, where private firms bid against each other for big electricity contracts.

In January, a new record was hit in India with a contract to supply solar power for $64 per megawatt-hour (MWh), and by August, that had dropped all the way to $29.10 per megawatt-hour.

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Nice article on not just breakthroughs in desalinization, but also what's possible in wise re-use of water.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/israel-proves-the-desalination-era-is-here/?wt.mc=SA_Twitter-Share

 

"..

The institute’s original mission was to improve life in Israel’s bone-dry Negev Desert, but the lessons look increasingly applicable to the entire Fertile Crescent. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.”

That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.

Bar-Zeev acknowledges that water will likely be a source of conflict in the Middle East in the future. “But I believe water can be a bridge, through joint ventures,” he says. “And one of those ventures is desalination.”

Driven to Desperation

In 2008, Israel teetered on the edge of catastrophe. A decade-long drought had scorched the Fertile Crescent, and Israel’s largest source of freshwater, the Sea of Galilee, had dropped to within inches of the “black line” at which irreversible salt infiltration would flood the lake and ruin it forever. Water restrictions were imposed, and many farmers lost a year’s crops.

Their counterparts in Syria fared much worse. As the drought intensified and the water table plunged, Syria’s farmers chased it, drilling wells 100, 200, then 500 meters (300, 700, then 1,600 feet) down in a literal race to the bottom. Eventually, the wells ran dry and Syria’s farmland collapsed in an epic dust storm. More than a million farmers joined massive shantytowns on the outskirts of Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other cities in a futile attempt to find work and purpose.

And that, according to the authors of “Climate Change in the Fertile Crescent and Implications of the Recent Syrian Drought,” a 2015 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was the tinder that burned Syria to the ground. “The rapidly growing urban peripheries of Syria,” they wrote, “marked by illegal settlements, overcrowding, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and crime, were neglected by the Assad government and became the heart of the developing unrest.”

Similar stories are playing out across the Middle East, where drought and agricultural collapse have produced a lost generation with no prospects and simmering resentments. Iran, Iraq and Jordan all face water catastrophes. Water is driving the entire region to desperate acts.

More Water Than Needs

Except Israel. Amazingly, Israel has more water than it needs. The turnaround started in 2007, when low-flow toilets and showerheads were installed nationwide and the national water authority built innovative water treatment systems that recapture 86 percent of the water that goes down the drain and use it for irrigation — vastly more than the second-most-efficient country in the world, Spain, which recycles 19 percent.

But even with those measures, Israel still needed about 1.9 billion cubic meters (2.5 billion cubic yards) of freshwater per year and was getting just 1.4 billion cubic meters (1.8 billion cubic yards) from natural sources. That 500-million-cubic-meter (650-million-cubic-yard) shortfall was why the Sea of Galilee was draining like an unplugged tub and why the country was about to lose its farms.

Enter desalination. The Ashkelon plant, in 2005, provided 127 million cubic meters (166 million cubic yards) of water. Hadera, in 2009, put out another 140 million cubic meters (183 million cubic yards). And now Sorek, 150 million cubic meters (196 million cubic yards). All told, desal plants can provide some 600 million cubic meters (785 million cubic yards) of water a year, and more are on the way.

The Sea of Galilee is fuller. Israel’s farms are thriving. And the country faces a previously unfathomable question: What to do with its extra water?

Water Diplomacy

Inside Sorek, 50,000 membranes enclosed in vertical white cylinders, each 4 feet high and 16 inches wide, are whirring like jet engines. The whole thing feels like a throbbing spaceship about to blast off. The cylinders contain sheets of plastic membranes wrapped around a central pipe, and the membranes are stippled with pores less than a hundredth the diameter of a human hair. Water shoots into the cylinders at a pressure of 70 atmospheres and is pushed through the membranes, while the remaining brine is returned to the sea.

 

Desalination used to be an expensive energy hog, but the kind of advanced technologies being employed at Sorek have been a game changer. Water produced by desalination costs just a third of what it did in the 1990s. Sorek can produce a thousand liters of drinking water for 58 cents. Israeli households pay about US$30 a month for their water — similar to households in most U.S. cities, and far less than Las Vegas (US$47) or Los Angeles (US$58).

 

The International Desalination Association claims that 300 million people get water from desalination, and that number is quickly rising. IDE, the Israeli company that built Ashkelon, Hadera and Sorek, recently finished the Carlsbad desalination plant in Southern California, a close cousin of its Israel plants, and it has many more in the works. Worldwide, the equivalent of six additional Sorek plants are coming online every year. The desalination era is here.

 

What excites Bar-Zeev the most is the opportunity for water diplomacy. Israel supplies the West Bank with water, as required by the 1995 Oslo II Accords, but the Palestinians still receive far less than they need. Water has been entangled with other negotiations in the ill-fated peace process, but now that more is at hand, many observers see the opportunity to depoliticize it. Bar-Zeev has ambitious plans for a Water Knows No Boundaries conference in 2018, which will bring together water scientists from Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza for a meeting of the minds.

 

Even more ambitious is the US$900 million Red Sea–Dead Sea Canal, a joint venture between Israel and Jordan to build a large desalination plant on the Red Sea, where they share a border, and divide the water among Israelis, Jordanians and the Palestinians. The brine discharge from the plant will be piped 100 miles north through Jordan to replenish the Dead Sea, which has been dropping a meter per year since the two countries began diverting the only river that feeds it in the 1960s. By 2020, these old foes will be drinking from the same tap.

 

On the far end of the Sorek plant, Bar-Zeev and I get to share a tap as well. Branching off from the main line where the Sorek water enters the Israeli grid is a simple spigot, a paper cup dispenser beside it. I open the tap and drink cup after cup of what was the Mediterranean Sea 40 minutes ago. It tastes cold, clear and miraculous.

 

The contrasts couldn’t be starker. A few miles from here, water disappeared and civilization crumbled. Here, a galvanized civilization created water from nothingness. As Bar-Zeev and I drink deep, and the climate sizzles, I wonder which of these stories will be the exception, and which the rule. View Ensia homepage"

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Back a few decades Florida's then Governor initiated a fund ($400,000,000.00 I seem to remember) to reward individuals and businesses with a substantial re-payment of costs of going solar. Up to $4,000.00 for a home an up to $15,000.00 for a business, again, if memory serves. Soon out of office though and replaced by a new Governor the program was gutted of funding and loaded with restrictions that discouraged participation. With all our days of bright, free sunlight we still depend mostly on petroleum products to produce energy as the expense of going solar discourages installation for so many.

Edited by kbe
Punctuation correction
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Yep.  I have a small solar system and I checked that out and it ended up being a scam for the solar industry.  $500 to get an initial inspection and then $300 annual renewal after that.

 

That whole thing was a big scam and give-away to special interests.

 

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Hey !

 

Some power stations in  UK  run on   ........ peat   !  ?   :o

 

WTF !  ?  

 

Image result for peat mines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for peat mines

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

Image result for crying bunny gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I personally have used off-grid solar & battery power for almost 20 years and it's great for my lifestyle.  Without it my life here in a semi-wilderness area would be much more difficult.  But I also think the global shift towards solar and wind power is misinformed and bound to fail. It's based on wishful thinking and is, in fact, counterproductive in that it misallocates resources that could best be used in other more effective ways to reduce global emissions. The above video explains why. 

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Good video.  Though its cooking the books a little, imo.  I'd welcome more investment into newer safer nuclear systems as an ingredient to the whole energy picture.  Nuclear is still costly from building to end of life and storage; very expensive and with quite a bit of baggage.  True there's been less investment the last 10 years, but go back 20, or 30 years and I bet you'd see for decades it got the bucks and renewables languished.  

 

The money spent on re-useables, has worked.   Those investments 8,9 10 years ago etc., laid the floor work for massive gains in price/power generation.  Modern set ups are producing at competitive prices  A catastrophe in solar and wind is negligible compared to worst case nuclear, imo. 

 

Conservation seems as key as production of energy these days.  I just reduced 450 watts of 'light' in my house to 51, plus the bulbs are supposedly good for 25,000 hours and produce little heat- thank you LED's.  A nice savings.  Each car we buy tends to have better and better mileage. 

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Yeah, solar and wind are slow coming to the USA because the payback to the investors isn't fast enough.  And then there are the frauds who grossly abuse what little effort there is.

 

I just got rid of my electric car.  It was time for much money and work and I couldn't justify it.  Exchanged it for another car - a standard internal combustion engine with fair gas mileage.

 

 

 

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where are you getting your facts and how could they be accurate.

slowly coming to the united states solar power..... you have got to be joking

almost 20 years ago I painted steel structures over parking lot spaces on several  naval bases in southern California-

these structures house solar panels. 1/2 years work on scissor lifts....

 

several other customers of mine used solar.

southern California in palm springs full of wind mills....

 

 

no I cannot agree with your facts.......

and it is not important that I discredit your ideas nor dig into documentation.

 

I just do not agree with that sentence mostly

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If anyone wants to save the world they will start being a vegan.

The meat and dairy industry have the biggest impacts

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10 hours ago, sagebrush said:

where are you getting your facts and how could they be accurate.

 

Well, government data indicates that sources of energy during 2016 are:

 

Wind = 5.6%

Solar = 0.9%

 

I call that slow considering how long solar power has been around.

 

Source:  https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

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19 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Well, government data indicates that sources of energy during 2016 are:

 

Wind = 5.6%

Solar = 0.9%

 

I call that slow considering how long solar power has been around.

 

Source:  https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

me too, but the trajectory is strong.  Everything starts as a seed (cept for things that don't)

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'The world's largest lithium-ion battery has officially launched on Friday in South Australia when Tesla's much-hyped installation was switched on.

 

The battery is capable of powering 30,000 homes, and its rapid deployment reflects the union of a blackout-prone state and a flashy entrepreneur, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, who pledged to complete its construction in 100 days or do it for free.'

 

http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/history-in-the-making-tesla-switches-on-worlds-largest-battery-in-sa-20171130-gzwhah.html

 

He got running one day early.

 

 

Image result for Lithium shares graph

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22 minutes ago, Nungali said:

'The world's largest lithium-ion battery has officially launched on Friday in South Australia when Tesla's much-hyped installation was switched on.

 

The battery is capable of powering 30,000 homes, and its rapid deployment reflects the union of a blackout-prone state and a flashy entrepreneur, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors, who pledged to complete its construction in 100 days or do it for free.'

 

http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/history-in-the-making-tesla-switches-on-worlds-largest-battery-in-sa-20171130-gzwhah.html

 

He got running one day early.

 

 

Image result for Lithium shares graph

 

"He got running one day early"

And had a sigh of relief that was heard worldwide!

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In the deluge its nice to keep aware of some good things- http://mentalfloss.com/article/519659/25-species-have-made-amazing-comebacks

 

quote- "Conservationists can’t afford to become complacent. When it comes to rescuing endangered species, progress is an ongoing effort. Still, we can take comfort in the knowledge that many life forms which were once on the brink of extinction or endangerment have made tremendous comebacks with our help. Just look at what happened to these 25 plants and animals."

 

As we see fearful trends happening we need to keep in mind that these things can reverse themselves. 

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