Is The Party Over?

HorseflyHorsefly Registered Users Posts: 251 ✭✭✭
The US International Trade Commission just voted in favor (4-0) of a petition by Suniva and SolarWorld, finding that solar cells “are being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat of serious injury, to the domestic industry.”  The commission has to recommend a remedy, and then send it forward to the Trump administration for final decision. Sounds as though it is likely - if the administration pushes forward - tariffs will begin on imported solar modules, especially from China. The prices of panels will then certainly go up, and we may be in a trade war as a result.

I don't think I am being political, but it seems clear that the Trump administration is much more interested in coal and the like than solar, and is also more forcefully approaching trade remedies where there seems to be a lack of fairness to the U.S.

Hopefully this link isn't behind a pay-wall:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/22/solar-industry-roiled-by-trade-ruling-that-some-fear-could-lead-to-tariffs/?utm_term=.b46a78cd2c03

Off-grid cabin: 6 x Canadian Solar CSK-280M PV panels, Schneider XW-MPPT60-150 Charge Controller, Schneider CSW4024 Inverter/Charger, Schneider SCP, 4 x Vmax XTR12-155 12V, 155AH batteries in a 2x2 24V 310AH bank.
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Comments

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    Coal is not near the power that oil and gas is. He tapped the 2016 CEO of Mobil-Exxon to be Sec of State: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_Tillerson 
    Mr Tillerson has also served as President of the Boy Scouts of America and that says a lot to some of us.

    I have no idea how Trump feels about solar energy. The industry is not profitable enough to be a political power and that could help form his perspective.

    My suspicion is that Trump wants American manufacturing back on it's feet. We have been making missiles and debt for quite a while. In order to get our manufacturing on somewhat more equal footing, many industries will realize significant adjustments. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    My understanding, FWIW- getting a ruling like this is like getting a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, not a problem. The question is "are imports causing harm to a US producer?" The answer has to be yes. Absent the competition, would the producer make more money? In the short term, obviously.

    The real questions are; will a competitive domestic industry emerge behind the tarrif wall, will the retaliatory actions by the foreign supplier be worth it, and most importantly, how many votes will this buy me?
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    Horsefly said:
     tariffs will begin on imported solar modules, especially from China.

    We have some very stiff tariffs in place for a while!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/business/energy-environment/-us-imposes-steep-tariffs-on-chinese-solar-panels.html?mcubz=1
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 845 ✭✭✭✭
    I tend to trust the economists, who mostly say that free trade is a net benefit to the country.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Economics is not really science... And even economics professors do not follow their own recommendations when managing their own assets.

    So much of this depends on world events, politicians, and human behaviour--That economic predictions are worse than weather forecasting.

    There is too much chaos in the world to make vast/accurate long term predictions (chaos not being a bad thing... You buying peas instead of carrots because peas are cheaper or you just like peas better--I prefer that than a 5 year carrot plan implemented by a government economist).

    Much better than a corrupted marketplace run by our "betters".

    Are we at a low price point for solar panels in the US? Probably. Will they go up because of tariffs? Depends who can offer the biggest "bribes" to the right person/people.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Economics is really science, but with measurement issues that severely limit predictive value. An economy really represents the flow of vast amounts of information, of which current tools allow only a tiny sample with large but undefinable biases.

    A somewhat scary part of this view is that the ability to capture and interpret this information is growing exponentially. The thing is , economics profs who won't eat there own cooking aren't people getting and using the info, it's the Googles and Amazons of the world who are.

    I'm violently allergic to peas, and the price related information content of my veggie choices is obviously influenced by this. The Googs et al are getting eerily close to being able to take these sorts of factors into account in modelling purchase behaviors, and related pricing, marketing, etc.

    The 5 year carrot plan may not come from a government economist :#
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • DanS26DanS26 Solar Expert Posts: 218 ✭✭
    China will sell their panels to the rest of the world at a price to meet their needs.

    The US will build gas power plants at a rate to meet our needs.

    The market will adjust and life will go on.
    18.2kW Kyocera panels; 2 Fronius 7.5kW inverters; Nyle hot water; Steffes ETS; Great Lakes RO; Generac 10kW w/ATS, TED System monitoring with PVOutput.org
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    We may actually be past the cheap point on panels, with a serious draught in availability right now. I've been hard pressed finding any below @60 cents a watt, when you could be some new quality panels for <40 a year ago...

    I do think somewhat pure economics work, and I do think economies including and perhaps particularly ours are manipulated for financial gain...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    You think?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Krugman

    Paul Robin Krugman ( /ˈkrʊɡmən/ (About this sound listen) KRUUG-mən;[1][2] born February 28, 1953)[3] is an American economist who is currently Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and a columnist for The New York Times.[4] In 2008, Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography.[5] The Prize Committee cited Krugman's work explaining the patterns of international trade and the geographic distribution of economic activity, by examining the effects of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services.[6]

    Krugman was previously a professor of economics at MIT, and later at Princeton University. He retired from Princeton in June 2015, and holds the title of professor emeritus there. He also holds the title of Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics.[7] Krugman was President of the Eastern Economic Association in 2010, and is among the most influential economists in the world.[8] Krugman is known in academia for his work on international economics (including trade theory, economic geography, and international finance),[9][10] liquidity traps, and currency crisis.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/225981
    In 1999 Paul Krugman was paid $50,000 by Enron as a consultant on its “advisory board,” and that same year he wrote a glowing article about Enron for Fortune magazine. But he would change his tune. After Enron collapsed in 2001, Krugman wrote several columns excoriating the company. (One featured what may be the most absurd howler in the history of op-ed journalism: “I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.”) In most of these columns Krugman worked hard to link Enron to the Bush administration, and in one he actually blamed Enron’s consultants for the company’s collapse — while neglecting to mention that he, too, had been an Enron consultant.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/225981
    Anything for a buck (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Economics used to be called "political economy", and some economists clearly think it still should be. Krugman is obviously one of them, as almost every mainstream writing of his comes first from a dogmatic political perspective which he goes on to justify with econo-jargon. I tend to ignore such writing, regardless of which political perpective it's written from.

    It's been a while since I've read his non-mainstream papers on trade theory etc., but as I recall they were much more interesting than the populist drivel.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    Economics is really science, but with measurement issues that severely limit predictive value. An economy really represents the flow of vast amounts of information, of which current tools allow only a tiny sample with large but undefinable biases.

    A somewhat scary part of this view is that the ability to capture and interpret this information is growing exponentially. The thing is , economics profs who won't eat there own cooking aren't people getting and using the info, it's the Googles and Amazons of the world who are.

    I'm violently allergic to peas, and the price related information content of my veggie choices is obviously influenced by this. The Googs et al are getting eerily close to being able to take these sorts of factors into account in modelling purchase behaviors, and related pricing, marketing, etc.

    The 5 year carrot plan may not come from a government economist :#
    Sans the foreign language requirement, I have a degree in economics. It is an art, not a science. At least that is what my tenured, textbook publishing, economics professors believed.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not a tenured, textbook publishing, economics prof. I'm just some guy who sees economics as an information processing system.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    I'm not a tenured, textbook publishing, economics prof. I'm just some guy who sees economics as an information processing system.
    From:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jared-bernstein/is-economics-a-science_b_3816471.html

     "you’d probably be hard pressed to find even many economists willing to defend our discipline as a science, or at least anything resembling a hard science. As the Times piece points out, “The trouble with economics is that it lacks the most important of science’s characteristics — a record of improvement in predictive range and accuracy.”"
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    It seems to me the basic tenet of a science is the ability to form falsifiable theories. This can be a problem even for hard sciences at times. For example, there were a ton of advances in physics early in the 20th century, but few practical experiments available to falsify theories. Without the tech needed to falsify, the incorrect theories live on.

    Astronomy is accepted now as a science, but for centuries is was mostly bunkum mixed in with a little bit of reality. With the right tools, the bunkum got falsified, and the "predictive range and accuracy" started improving.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • TumiTumi Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Suniva  is insolvent and foreign anyway.  SolarWorld is bankrupt and foreign too. 
    The only possible winner is Panasonic and Tesla which has a huge order in on Panasonic modules.  
    Silfab might make out on this a little but the entire industry will be down
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Governments are going to run out of other peoples monies (some already have such as Spain) and there will be a collapse in much of the green energy market:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/23/germany-probably-wont-meet-its-global-warming-goal-despite-shelling-out-800-billion-for-green-energy/

    Germany has spent $780 billion in recent decades, Bloomberg reported, and it’s not enough to get them toward their national goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent by 2020.

    “We expect Energiewende cost to fall starting from early 2020 – renewable power from newly build wind and solar is now the most cheapest power in Germany,” Christoph Podewils, Agora’s communications director, told TheDCNF.

    “Of course we have lot of challenges – market design, regulation, grid expansion and enhancements, acceptance, de-carbonising of heating and transport – but cost is no issue anymore,” Christoph said.

    However, average Germans are feeling the pain. Electricity costs are about three times higher than in the U.S., driven mostly by increases in energy taxes to pay for green energy. Heat is so expensive it’s called “the second rent.”

    German industry, on the other hand, is exempt from green energy laws out of fear they would no longer be competitive. That’s shifted more of the cost onto residents and smaller businesses.

    German emissions are down 27 percent from 1990 levels, which is ahead of other European countries, but still behind what they need to meet their goal.

    Emissions have come down all while coal plants have thrive. Coal, especially lignite, is a cheap source of fuel in Germany that’s competitively subsidized green energy sources. Coal is also a more reliable energy source since it doesn’t rely on the sun and wind.

    “Germany’s CO2 emissions in the electricity sector haven’t decreased since 1995,” Peiser said. “The country is almost certain to fail its climate targets by 2020 by a wide margin.”

    “All that renewables have achieved is to replace zero-carbon nuclear and low-carbon gas power generation while coal power generation is increasingly competitive and thriving,” he said.

    There is something in the above for economists to study... Cheapest source of power is wind? The little guy is paying 3x more for power to subsidize "something". The end game, reduction in CO2 is not happening? The cost/benefit ratio seems to be a bit skewed here. (note: 1990 was chosen as the base point for CO2 because, this was when Germany was reunited. The East German economy was based on heavy industry and was heavily dependent on coal (brown Lignite--a very dirty type of coal). The first five years of CO2 reduction was based on closing down/modernizing East German industries. Also, Germany is shutting down its CO2 "free" nuclear plants--A major source of cheap/reliable power for the grid).

    Any academic/engineering endeavor that is bent towards a political goal via government subsidizes will, more than likely, eventually fail. Especially in the face of a, relatively, free market.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,258 ✭✭✭✭
    How about Greece, my favorite over the centuries >:)

    They working hard down in the valley Bill on "our" bullet train....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Yeah! 19th century technology for the 21st century. All funded with free government money.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TumiTumi Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    So Suniva has been bought out by an overseas company and now wants to increase the tariffs on the overseas competitors while they take over the US market and raise prices through the roof for consumers(no pun intended)? Sounds beneficial for us.  Just what the US needs, big trouble with one of the few good things its got going..... its crazy they cant just adapt to solar and embrace it.  It makes me sad to know people will actually prevent you from doing things that are good for you if it costs them money. 
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    I never quite understood the German push for solar, with 6 months of pretty dreary cool weather a year.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • TumiTumi Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    "Remedy" hearing is October 3. 

    Yet another valley on the solarcoaster. 

    How two poorly run companies can ruin an industry is beyond me.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,498 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27 #23
    BB. said:
    Governments are going to run out of other peoples monies (some already have such as Spain) and there will be a collapse in much of the green energy market:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/23/germany-probably-wont-meet-its-global-warming-goal-despite-shelling-out-800-billion-for-green-energy/

    Germany has spent $780 billion in recent decades, Bloomberg reported, and it’s not enough to get them toward their national goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent by 2020.

    “We expect Energiewende cost to fall starting from early 2020 – renewable power from newly build wind and solar is now the most cheapest power in Germany,” Christoph Podewils, Agora’s communications director, told TheDCNF.

    “Of course we have lot of challenges – market design, regulation, grid expansion and enhancements, acceptance, de-carbonising of heating and transport – but cost is no issue anymore,” Christoph said.

    However, average Germans are feeling the pain. Electricity costs are about three times higher than in the U.S., driven mostly by increases in energy taxes to pay for green energy. Heat is so expensive it’s called “the second rent.”

    German industry, on the other hand, is exempt from green energy laws out of fear they would no longer be competitive. That’s shifted more of the cost onto residents and smaller businesses.

    German emissions are down 27 percent from 1990 levels, which is ahead of other European countries, but still behind what they need to meet their goal.

    Emissions have come down all while coal plants have thrive. Coal, especially lignite, is a cheap source of fuel in Germany that’s competitively subsidized green energy sources. Coal is also a more reliable energy source since it doesn’t rely on the sun and wind.

    “Germany’s CO2 emissions in the electricity sector haven’t decreased since 1995,” Peiser said. “The country is almost certain to fail its climate targets by 2020 by a wide margin.”

    “All that renewables have achieved is to replace zero-carbon nuclear and low-carbon gas power generation while coal power generation is increasingly competitive and thriving,” he said.

    There is something in the above for economists to study... Cheapest source of power is wind? The little guy is paying 3x more for power to subsidize "something". The end game, reduction in CO2 is not happening? The cost/benefit ratio seems to be a bit skewed here. (note: 1990 was chosen as the base point for CO2 because, this was when Germany was reunited. The East German economy was based on heavy industry and was heavily dependent on coal (brown Lignite--a very dirty type of coal). The first five years of CO2 reduction was based on closing down/modernizing East German industries. Also, Germany is shutting down its CO2 "free" nuclear plants--A major source of cheap/reliable power for the grid).

    Any academic/engineering endeavor that is bent towards a political goal via government subsidizes will, more than likely, eventually fail. Especially in the face of a, relatively, free market.

    -Bill
    You sound like an economist, something that I rarely do. Perhaps because I don't rigidly adhere to hardly any established economic schools of thought.

    I think we need to figure out how to burn coal without much of the current negative impacts. Sure we have come a long way but not far enough in my opinion. How many people want to commit their lives to removing pollutants from burning coal? That doesn't sound sexy at all.

    Rambling here....but it seems like most internet sleuths fall into one of two camps:
    1) Scorched earth burn it all, pollution isn't harmful school of thought.
    2) People should live like cavemen except for me....DiCaprio, Gore, and Cameron etc.  Oh yea...cavemen without that fire thingie. Because climate change.

    Nuclear energy was the answer for awhile. Looks good on paper until Murphy shows up. 

    We could very easily make homes that use a lot less energy. I spend ~$100/year heating a home in one of the coldest regions in the continental US:
    1) Wear ~ten pounds of clothing....joking a bit here. 
    2) Sunrooms can generate a lot of heat.
    3) Fans can do at least 1/2 of what air conditioning is used for.

    I still yearn for better battery technology. Seems that is always "ten years off".
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • TumiTumi Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    softdown said:
    BB. said:
    Governments are going to run out of other peoples monies (some already have such as Spain) and there will be a collapse in much of the green energy market:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/23/germany-probably-wont-meet-its-global-warming-goal-despite-shelling-out-800-billion-for-green-energy/

    Germany has spent $780 billion in recent decades, Bloomberg reported, and it’s not enough to get them toward their national goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent by 2020.

    “We expect Energiewende cost to fall starting from early 2020 – renewable power from newly build wind and solar is now the most cheapest power in Germany,” Christoph Podewils, Agora’s communications director, told TheDCNF.

    “Of course we have lot of challenges – market design, regulation, grid expansion and enhancements, acceptance, de-carbonising of heating and transport – but cost is no issue anymore,” Christoph said.

    However, average Germans are feeling the pain. Electricity costs are about three times higher than in the U.S., driven mostly by increases in energy taxes to pay for green energy. Heat is so expensive it’s called “the second rent.”

    German industry, on the other hand, is exempt from green energy laws out of fear they would no longer be competitive. That’s shifted more of the cost onto residents and smaller businesses.

    German emissions are down 27 percent from 1990 levels, which is ahead of other European countries, but still behind what they need to meet their goal.

    Emissions have come down all while coal plants have thrive. Coal, especially lignite, is a cheap source of fuel in Germany that’s competitively subsidized green energy sources. Coal is also a more reliable energy source since it doesn’t rely on the sun and wind.

    “Germany’s CO2 emissions in the electricity sector haven’t decreased since 1995,” Peiser said. “The country is almost certain to fail its climate targets by 2020 by a wide margin.”

    “All that renewables have achieved is to replace zero-carbon nuclear and low-carbon gas power generation while coal power generation is increasingly competitive and thriving,” he said.

    There is something in the above for economists to study... Cheapest source of power is wind? The little guy is paying 3x more for power to subsidize "something". The end game, reduction in CO2 is not happening? The cost/benefit ratio seems to be a bit skewed here. (note: 1990 was chosen as the base point for CO2 because, this was when Germany was reunited. The East German economy was based on heavy industry and was heavily dependent on coal (brown Lignite--a very dirty type of coal). The first five years of CO2 reduction was based on closing down/modernizing East German industries. Also, Germany is shutting down its CO2 "free" nuclear plants--A major source of cheap/reliable power for the grid).

    Any academic/engineering endeavor that is bent towards a political goal via government subsidizes will, more than likely, eventually fail. Especially in the face of a, relatively, free market.

    -Bill
    You sound like an economist, something that I rarely do. Perhaps because I don't rigidly adhere to hardly any established economic schools of thought.

    I think we need to figure out how to burn coal without much of the current negative impacts. Sure we have come a long way but not far enough in my opinion. How many people want to commit their lives to removing pollutants from burning coal? That doesn't sound sexy at all.

    Rambling here....but it seems like most internet sleuths fall into one of two camps:
    1) Scorched earth burn it all, pollution isn't harmful school of thought.
    2) People should live like cavemen except for me....DiCaprio, Gore, and Cameron etc.  Oh yea...cavemen without that fire thingie. Because climate change.

    Nuclear energy was the answer for awhile. Looks good on paper until Murphy shows up. 

    We could very easily make homes that use a lot less energy. I spend ~$100/year heating a home in one of the coldest regions in the continental US:
    1) Wear ~ten pounds of clothing....joking a bit here. 
    2) Sunrooms can generate a lot of heat.
    3) Fans can do at least 1/2 of what air conditioning is used for.

    I still yearn for better battery technology. Seems that is always "ten years off".
    Well there is a process through gasification that burns coal "cleaner" than traditional coal power plants. The US has at least a couple of these that are running at some capacity such as the Kemper County Power Plant. But they switched that to natural gas, The current fracking boom has made natural gas cheapest source of energy here. 

    Coal has not been able to keep up with the dropping cost of natural gas and other sources including renewables, it has just become uncompetitive in many regions. Lignite coal is your last resort low energy coal because you have mined most of not all the energy dense Anthracite coal. You need more lignite coal to match the energy of Anthracite coal.

    It's also note worthy to point out that Germany is going to miss it's 2020 emissions goal by roughly the same amount of its shuttered nuclear power. 

    But despite that their track record for reducing emissions looks impressive, they have an advanced industrial economy yet they reduced emissions buy 38% since 1990, the US has increased 4% in the other hand. Regardless they are on their way to meet its goal. 

    Germany increased reliance on lignite coal to compensate for its shuttered nuclear fleet. Unlike the US they do not frack. They do not have the benefit of cheap abundant natural gas. 

    They have democratically decide to pay that price; it's their choice.

    I wish them luck. Their investment will pay off in the future. 

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    Tumi said;
    I wish them luck. Their investment will pay off in the future. 
    I wish we were a more future oriented society. It's one of the reason's we need a government, is to look after our future and not allow current profit to rob us of the future ability to provide for our needs.

    I think the renewable tax credits have been one of the most useful things our government has done. Providing both a current boost and a future benefit. I understand that they have reached the end of their useful life, but the change has been remarkable in the acceptance and cost.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Germany's investment in the future gave them 3x higher electric rates (some of the German companies were moving to US to get cheaper energy), unstable wind power (they have to dump excess electricity in nearby countries and buy stable power from nuclear generating France). Are now tearing up the landscape for increased brown coal production to make up for closing nuclear power plants (because of Tsunami Flooding in Japan--Germany has no seaside nuclear plants). And they have not reduced their CO2 emissions (on average) since ~1995.

    The modernization they made was to bring East Germany out of its poor industrial infrastructure and manufacturing state from when they were part of the Eastern Block.

    Andy it only took $780,000,000 USD and 3x higher energy rates to get to this point.

    To make all of this "seem to work"--They have kept their industries by making their population pay the costs:

    However, average Germans are feeling the pain. Electricity costs are about three times higher than in the U.S., driven mostly by increases in energy taxes to pay for green energy. Heat is so expensive it’s called “the second rent.”

    German industry, on the other hand, is exempt from green energy laws out of fear they would no longer be competitive. That’s shifted more of the cost onto residents and smaller businesses.

    That is not sustainable.

    Governments are not our friends... Look at the national debt and unfunded liabilities at the city, state, and federal levels in the US:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/municipalities-declared-bankruptcy/ (as of 2014)

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2017/06/12/Could-Illinois-Be-First-State-Go-Bankrupt

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/04/puerto-rico-bankruptcy-debt/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion

    All of the above--Government promised and paid more (much in underfunded pension plans) than they could afford (and tax).

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41825072/ns/business-us_business/t/madoff-whole-government-ponzi-scheme/

    Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff said in a magazine interview published Sunday that new regulatory reform enacted after the recent national financial crisis is laughable and that the federal government is a Ponzi scheme.
    "The whole new regulatory reform is a joke," Madoff said during a telephone interview with New York magazine in which he discussed his disdain for the financial industry and for its regulators.
    The interview was published on the magazine's website Sunday night.
    Madoff did an earlier New York Times interview in which he accused banks and hedge funds of being "complicit" in his Ponzi scheme to fleece people out of billions of dollars. He said they failed to scrutinize the discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.
    He said in the New York magazine interview the Securities and Exchange Commission "looks terrible in this thing," and he said the "whole government is a Ponzi scheme."

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TumiTumi Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭
    BB. said:
    Germany's investment in the future gave them 3x higher electric rates (some of the German companies were moving to US to get cheaper energy), unstable wind power (they have to dump excess electricity in nearby countries and buy stable power from nuclear generating France). Are now tearing up the landscape for increased brown coal production to make up for closing nuclear power plants (because of Tsunami Flooding in Japan--Germany has no seaside nuclear plants). And they have not reduced their CO2 emissions (on average) since ~1995.

    The modernization they made was to bring East Germany out of its poor industrial infrastructure and manufacturing state from when they were part of the Eastern Block.

    Andy it only took $780,000,000 USD and 3x higher energy rates to get to this point.

    To make all of this "seem to work"--They have kept their industries by making their population pay the costs:

    However, average Germans are feeling the pain. Electricity costs are about three times higher than in the U.S., driven mostly by increases in energy taxes to pay for green energy. Heat is so expensive it’s called “the second rent.”

    German industry, on the other hand, is exempt from green energy laws out of fear they would no longer be competitive. That’s shifted more of the cost onto residents and smaller businesses.

    That is not sustainable.

    Governments are not our friends... Look at the national debt and unfunded liabilities at the city, state, and federal levels in the US:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/municipalities-declared-bankruptcy/ (as of 2014)

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2017/06/12/Could-Illinois-Be-First-State-Go-Bankrupt

    http://fortune.com/2017/05/04/puerto-rico-bankruptcy-debt/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion

    All of the above--Government promised and paid more (much in underfunded pension plans) than they could afford (and tax).

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41825072/ns/business-us_business/t/madoff-whole-government-ponzi-scheme/

    Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff said in a magazine interview published Sunday that new regulatory reform enacted after the recent national financial crisis is laughable and that the federal government is a Ponzi scheme.
    "The whole new regulatory reform is a joke," Madoff said during a telephone interview with New York magazine in which he discussed his disdain for the financial industry and for its regulators.
    The interview was published on the magazine's website Sunday night.
    Madoff did an earlier New York Times interview in which he accused banks and hedge funds of being "complicit" in his Ponzi scheme to fleece people out of billions of dollars. He said they failed to scrutinize the discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.
    He said in the New York magazine interview the Securities and Exchange Commission "looks terrible in this thing," and he said the "whole government is a Ponzi scheme."

    -Bill

    The increase cost of power in Germany is only temporary Bill, it is not permanent, It takes a lot of money to switch an entire nations way of energy production, it has to come from somewhere, In the mean time the cost of power will be slightly higher to financially support the their aggressive transition. Just like the American 30% solar tax credit, its only temporary, It is an investment, that will pay for itself many times over.

    "It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet."D. Elton Trueblood

    Even though they have had a few bumps on the road, and they are minor, these bumps havenot prevented Germany nor any either nation from scrapping its transition to renewable energy. Customers in Germany experience fewer minutes of power outage per year than those in the U.S., for example as measured by SAIDI

    https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Allgemeines/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2016/161020_SAIDI.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/data-show-that-germany-s-grid-is-one-of-the-world-s-most-reliable/

    https://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/is-the-u-s-investing-enough-in-electricity-grid-reliability/

    Why are the people focusing on Germany so much in this case?

    Denmark is (probably) the country with the most non-hydro-renewables.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Percentage_electricity_generation_in_Denmark_by_source.png

    They went from 28.1% renewables in 2007 to 57.4% in 2014.

    They doubled it within 7 years.

    Now comparing two regions, especially in two opposite ends of the world with completely different energy goals and resources, and saying well look at them! its not working they pay more. You cant really compare apples to apples, The Unites States does not have the same energy goal, or better yet its not as aggressive as Germany, If we had the same goal here, to transition to renewable sources such as Germany, It would make a more accurate comparison. The only comparison you can get from comparing the US to Germany is that it cost money to transition a Nation. 

    Our current energy prices our based off of an energy grid that has mostly been the same for 50 years, with cheap abundant Natural Gas from fracking operations.

    When you have large portions of the economy not paying their fair share of taxes, You will definitely end up with short coming down the road. 

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 845 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 29 #28
    Part of the problem is that the US doesn't typically charge for polluting the air and the other side effects of fossil fuel use (arguably $5T in war expenses related to oil, massive health care costs due to coal, etc).    Ie, similar to using a national park as a free landfill.    Imagine that fossil fuel prices went way up, but everyone got a tax rebate that on average, offset this increase.  People would get very good at conserving.  And very interested in solar  With no net change to the average pocketbook.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Actually, wind turbines are quite costly to build... In Germany, around $2.6-4,400,000 USD per 2MWatt turbine:

    http://www.windustry.org/how_much_do_wind_turbines_cost
    The costs for a utility scale wind turbine range from about $1.3 million to $2.2 million per MW of nameplate capacity installed. Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed.
    And given that a typical turbine has only about a 10-15% duty cycle:
    • $2M per MW / 0.15 duty cycle = $13.3MUSD per MW "useful"
    Vs for coal and natural gas plants:

    https://www.ifeu.de/energie/pdf/IFEU Arrhenius _2007_ Moorburg Alternatives Summary.pdf (November 2007 report)
    A popular method for answering the question, if an investment is advantageous, is the comparison of the average electricity production costs and gained revenues. One part of the electricity production costs is made up by the initial investment. Typically, specific investments for a hard coal-fired power plant have been between 1,000 and 1,200 € per kilowatt hour (€/kWh) so far. Only recently these figures rose by up to 40 per cent for new contracts according to accounts received – due to great demand and also due to steel prices rising sharply. A combined cycle gas turbine plant (CCGT) fuelled with natural gas has cost 500 to 600 €/kWh up to now. There, too, are reports on price increases of 25 per cent. These increases may well be temporary and as the Moorburg power plant is already contracted, the latest increases are of no relevance and will not be considered in the profitability assessment.
    Or, very roughly, 10x the cost for wind power and 1/3 to 1/4 the service life vs carbon fired power plants (capital costs) designed (and operating) for 30-40 year service life.

    http://www.ref.org.uk/attachments/article/280/ref.hughes.19.12.12.pdf
    For onshore turbines, an expected life of 10 years is consistent with re-powering decisions over the last decade, while an expected life of 15 years seems to be the maximum consistent with the age-performance profile. For offshore turbines, the analysis uses expected lives of 15 and 20 years.
    So--Now you are looking at ~30-40x the capital costs of wind power vs carbon based generation systems... And the carbon based system are "dispatchable" power (can be turned on/off/up/down based on customer power needs) vs wind power which is at the will of the weather (and not a lot of cost effective storage systems)...

    Let alone the issues of killing birds, Making it difficult to live within several miles down wind of turbines do to noise, large amount of land dedicated to wind farms, etc... Yes coal mines are not very pretty/environmentally friendly either...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 845 ✭✭✭✭
    I'd put much more trust in the recent analysis here - if you don't count the unreliability issue, wind is one of the lowest cost electricity producers.  Combined cycle natural gas is similar.  Coal and nuclear aren't looking so good (no surprise that we aren't seeing new plants in the US).

    https://www.lazard.com/media/438038/levelized-cost-of-energy-v100.pdf

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    So we're back to quiet, long lasting solar with an energy storage problem... Think we can change our behavior and energy profile to fit? A 'Solar Life style' per say, with energy used during the day and lower energy use during the night. Better insulated buildings and fridges. Berm and earth contact homes. Better and passive water heaters, located high in the room. Perhaps sleeping cubes with a bit more control and smaller footprint to heat and cool. Motion activated security lights instead of always on lights...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
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