Dissruptive Challenge

24

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    There's no such thing. Since the ones who regulate do not have a knowlegde of the subject, nor any vested interest in the outcome, right regulation may come up only by coincidence and for a short period of time.

    Hence my comment about it getting difficult. You are entirely correct about the people making the rules not understanding anything about what they regulate. This is not limited to any one industry either.
    In contrast, free market regulation is done by lots of people persuing their own interests. It is far from perfect, but in the end it usually leads to better results.

    The problem with free market and utility is that there's no alternative: if I don't like BC Hydro's bill today I can't switch to another power company tomorrow: there simply isn't one. Not like going to a different store or buying another brand of gasoline (which curiously all seem to sell for the same price here).

    There were three different power companies where I used to live in NY, each having their own areas of service and no cross-over. Two of them were well-run. The third was a greedy, incompetent bunch of fools. They put more effort into making excuses for bad service than they did into providing service. All three subject to and meeting the same state regulations, but one of them was all about profit.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    Curiously enough, electrical power systems began as small, regional generation.

    Oh yes! I grew up with that system. We had two hydro plants here for many years when I was a kid. When I came back home to this area I was really disappointed to find out they had been abandoned. Those hydro plants provided all the power for the whole town in the 1960's. They just pulled the old turbines and generators out last year and tore down the old powerhouses. I got photos of it. It was a terrible thing and if it was up to me those hydro plants would be running today. Both the upper and lower pool generators were 1.2 Mw apiece with 2,000 shaft horsepower turbines. And they would still power the small town today with no problem. The water still flows on the river and has never stopped. But somebody convinced everybody that buying power from Dairyland Power from coal fired plants was a better option.

    There were many Jacobs turbines in these parts on farms - the Jacobs factory was right in Minneapolis. Today there's still a few of them running, but there's a lot of them standing around the countryside that aren't turning anymore - and most of them still serviceable. But when the power lines came in they were abandoned.

    Every farmstead has either a working Aermotor water pumper around here, or the remnants of what used to be. We got one - a 8 footer - that still pumps water for our cattle tank today. It has never failed. But most of them were abandoned after the powerlines came in and deep well submersible pumps became the thing to have.

    Today, virtually everything depends on that grid that brings power in from southern Minnesota and Wisconsin from big coal fired plants on the Mississippi. But it doesn't have to be that way. I grew up with a system that worked fine long before the grid was put in, and I'm only in my 50's. So it wasn't long ago.

    The advent of affordable solar power changes EVERYTHING. Most homes and businesses have enough rooftop area to easily install the required capacity to run the whole place. The solar didn't exist back then, but it makes it easier to go back to the way it was. And many people are doing just that. And that's what's getting the utilities' panties in a wad.
    --
    Chris
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    The problem with free market and utility is that there's no alternative: if I don't like BC Hydro's bill today I can't switch to another power company tomorrow: there simply isn't one.

    That's because prices are low. That's a crown corporation, which dumps electricity prices. As a result, it's impossible to compete with them, not with micro-grids, not with solar generation. If prices were 20x times what they're now, it would suddenly be plenty of alternatives.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    solarix wrote: »
    My thinking is that the bottom line isn't money. Its Control.
    They are one and the same.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    That's because prices are low. That's a crown corporation, which dumps electricity prices. As a result, it's impossible to compete with them, not with micro-grids, not with solar generation. If prices were 20x times what they're now, it would suddenly be plenty of alternatives.

    The whole thing is artificially cheap, though. It's been built with government subsidies, which means that we've all payed for it with taxes. If the electric business was deregulated and let competition set the price, then it would be truly cheap. But that's not the way it was done.
    --
    Chris
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    In contrast, free market regulation is done by lots of people pursuing their own interests. It is far from perfect, but in the end it usually leads to better results.
    There's no such thing as a free market. Monied interests get their way regardless.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    It took me a bit to find this because I couldn't remember the name of it. But here is the largest community in the US that is off-grid - 600 homes in the community. Mostly recreational homes but there's about 160 year 'round residents there:

    [video=youtube_share;pQI6YOaW_OA]

    Many people who have never seen something like this consider it "fringe". But it is proof that very large groups of people can live in an area quite comfortably with no need for utilities at all.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    That's because prices are low. That's a crown corporation, which dumps electricity prices. As a result, it's impossible to compete with them, not with micro-grids, not with solar generation. If prices were 20x times what they're now, it would suddenly be plenty of alternatives.

    Nope. No practical alternative infrastructure.
    They tried it with natural gas here: people got ripped off even worse because the "alternative" companies had to pay Fortis for use of the pipelines (as well as other fluctuations in purchase/operation). Cell phone companies all use the same towers: no real competition in that field either.

    BC Hydro's rates would have to go up 5X for GT to look attractive and 10X to make it financially reasonable to go off grid.

    I think the existing grid infrastructure management could and should be improved. But because so many people make so much money off it being one step away from sheer chaos that isn't going to happen. No one has ever done a real analysis of the grid to see where the weak spots really are or what improvements need to be made (I know this from someone who is #1 in grid management). They just keep piecing it back together every time there's a major failure and the public (incited by the media) screams about being without power for a few hours/days/weeks. Then it's right back to business as usual as soon as the lights come on again. I've said it before: the only incentive the power companies have to repair anything is that the money stops rolling in when the meters stop turning. Beyond that they simply do not care.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    BC Hydro's rates would have to go up 5X for GT to look attractive and 10X to make it financially reasonable to go off grid.

    It got to these levels in Alberta after 12 years of de-regulation. And the way it's going, solar will be quite viable within few years.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    What gets me is that say you wanted to string some overhead wires from one building to another on your property. Do you suppose you'd get away with something like this when the building inspector seen it?

    100_2922.JPG

    Of course not. You have to meet every line of Code there is, including type of insulation on the wire. That pole happens to be on the road and is the nearest part of the grid to our house, and is where they would tap the wires off if they ever ran them to our place. And no, it's not an optical illusion. The pole is bending and buckling from the wires pulling on it from the side. They just strapped some more guy wires to it and hope that as long as one of those 60 foot spruce trees don't tip over on it she'll hold.

    We have to meet code in our homes right down to the last green bonding screw. But it's perfectly OK to string uninsulated high voltage wires all over tarnation on wood poles within a few feet of trees and homes, and whatnot.

    Our place is a little dark at night but we do have a yard light that comes on automatically at sunset so I can see to shoot skunks that like to dig for grubs around the wood pile. But at least we don't have those blasted high voltage wires on wood poles with a transformer screwed to the side of it to spoil the view.

    100_2902.JPG

    But we do have them confounded wind turbines. And we enjoy our "disruptive technology" out here. Nothing like floating the bank all night on wind power and using all the power you want in the house :D

    [video=youtube_share;aCdIo2f4gB0]
    --
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    chris,
    first let me say i've enjoyed reading some of the things you write.

    i have to comment on the poles and how flimsy they often are. i swear that i have seen poles that are being held up by the wires themselves. i couldn't prove it, but one knows that if that is the case it is a problem soon to rear its ugly presence in a failure. often times accidents happen with cars and trucks hitting the poles too and once in awhile if they can get away with it the utility does nothing to reinforce or replace said poles that are obviously compromised.

    moving on you bring up good points about how utilities are given too much ground for their mistakes or poor planning. a good example might be the protections being forced into controllers because a utility line might fall on your pvs.:confused: (yea, right mr wiles) it seems to me that if the utility lines are so iffy to have a need to implement protections to pvs then what of the rest of our home or property as aluminum siding conducts quite well as does metal roofs and downspouts, not to mention people below? maybe their eminent domain extends too far to watch out for their shortcomings? if it's so dangerous then start implementing changes that they must adhere to for our protection.

    your mention of smaller hydro along rivers also was a thought i had as one need not do the dam thing to pull power from a river. one need not block it off either. paddle wheels do excellently and a few of these semi off to the side of a river so as to not block river traffic would do wonders for supplementation to power and it would spread out the generation points allowing less stress to the grid in the area of those smaller generators. of course the utilities won't have it as that would reinforce the argument for distributed generation from other renewable sources too.

    as to the grid itself, it does have its advantages and disadvantages by its very nature. the worst being it isn't as profitable to upgrade the grid infrastructure leading to failures in delivery. this means the money you paid to them for transmission goes into their pockets rather than reinvesting for infrastructure and proves this to be just another excuse to charge more to the customers.
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    Chris you anarchist you! :D :p

    This is what we're seeing from many electric companies it seems: they want the right to charge people for not using their power as well as for using it.

    Wish I could charge people for my not doing anything for them. Why, I'd only have to charge a penny each for all 7 billion .... :p

    The City of Ottawa after amalgamation of the neighbouring areas such as Kanata, West Carleton, Goulbourn Township and others, came up with a plan to charge rural areas not on "city" water and sewer for water and sewer. Fortunately this never happened because Ottawa could not get it through legally: however, what does happen is that the provincial environmental gurus will visit areas that are on waterways/lakes and dictate that all properties in a certain area that could impact on a waterway or lake area have to have central sewer and water (no more wells and septics). This happened to the City of Innisfil (Township of Innisfil when I lived there) just outside Barrie Ontario in the '80s.

    Having said this does it apply to electric consumption by the consumer, of course. Chris has mentioned that off grid housing is no longer permitted in his area. Ontario and many other provinces are going with the "smart meter" that can be reprogrammed as required to coincide with hydro usage without telling you, or if you are informed, most of us do not read the information brochures close enough to really hoist in the meaning/consequences, or it was on your utility bill that you only scan to get to what you owe. Peak times are always when the most electricity is used/required. Who's to say that "peak" times won't change from say 0600 to 1000 in the morning to 0200 to 0600 because residents have changed their usage patterns to do "work" when the rates are cheaper. The new Plug and Play appliances that are out on the market make it more convenient than ever to modify ones habits. Almost seems the province(s) and electric utilities are in cohorts with the appliance industry (anyone for a conspiracy theory). Try as one might, the long arms of industry will attempt to maintain the status quo.

    My Brother in northern Ontario, Kirkland Lake area, with the new smart meter installed is on the same page. His choice(s) for cheap power times are somewhat limited. He's not going to stay up, or replace appliances just to get a better rate.

    When we first returned to Victoria in '07, we found many changes, but then not as much as I expected. The province was into promoting energy efficiency by the consumer and smart meters were on its way. There was an article in the local rag that detailed how energy efficiency could hurt the residential consumer in that the rates charged for electricity were incremental in that the more you used, the cheaper it was; ergo, the less you used, the more expensive it was for you. I think this was also based on the cost to the residential consumer to achieve this reduction in electric usage.

    This is an interesting issue because cities and industry use electricity as well, get preferential rates, but you do not see a lot of information regarding the electric usage and at what cost. I will caveat this by saying that "we" want to have the city lit up so it's "safer" for us, and we can see where we are going at night, "we" want to see the BC legislature lit up at night because it is quite pretty, and it has always been done.

    I have been sitting here in the dark for over 1 1/2 hours, power is out, it is getting warm (no air circulation), development water is out, hope that the power comes on for refrigeration, but I still have 76% battery life left on the laptop. I think going solar even if the grid is available is going to be very nice and comfortable.

    Thought I'd add my $0.02 FWIW.

    Cheers to all.

    Ernest
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    My personal vision of how it should've been done is maybe something most won't agree with.

    But I envision utility companies that don't maintain and operate huge high voltage transmission lines and power plants. Instead use distributed generation. Most homeowners, for instance, can't install their own solar. But the utility company is the one that comes in and installs it. The utility owns the solar panels and the customer pays a monthly fee to have them. There is no cost for the power that comes from them because nobody has to mine or refine sunshine. It "just works".

    There are "blocks" that are interconnected by wires and each "block" has a standby generator that runs on fossil fuel (for now) to provide peak load power and backup for when the sun doesn't shine. Someday a new battery technology will come along that makes it feasible to store solar power for at night for the "blocks". This is, in fact, already being done in Alaska.

    I can envision a system where high voltage overhead lines are no longer needed. Big central powerplants are no longer needed. Most of the infrastructure is there today to make it work - just needs to be broken down into smaller parts, and the overhead infrastructure replaced with underground eventually.
    --
    Chris

    Chris - A new cottage industry so to speak.

    Car manufacturers understand the principal behind what you say. Cars have become a trow-away item in today's society. They are relatively cheap to make, but the real cost is in the ownership of that car. You must have regular oil changes for warranty coverage, everything is practically maintenance free; ergo - planned obsolescence so that you will have to buy new parts, and the maintenance packages that are available to the consumer to make upkeep of their vehicle so easy. The support structure for the auto industry is huge.

    Move this to the electric industry. Planned obsolescence in solar panels, no more 25 or so lifespans, inverters - throw away in 5 years, or have to upgrade because of technology redundancy (anyone still using word perfect?). Change in legislation or installation requirements - do an upgrade or expand the system, it now has to meet 2020 laws and regulations. Maintenance of the batteries for an off-grid house - not everyone wants to, has the time to, or the knowledge to do this to ensure battery longevity. Wait a minute, let the batteries bake, another $4K or so for industry every two years. But wait there's more (infomercial time), once you are off the grid, we won't let you back. It just gets better and better.

    Can the corporate giants not see the goose that could lay the golden egg?

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    .... Cars have become a trow-away item in today's society. They are relatively cheap to make, but the real cost is in the ownership of that car. You must have regular oil changes for warranty coverage, everything is practically maintenance free; ergo - planned obsolescence so that you will have to buy new parts, and the maintenance packages that are available to the consumer to make upkeep of their vehicle so easy....

    If they are "a throw-away item" It has become a very stable and long lasting "throw-away item". Having owned cares since the '70's I know I have always maintained my cars, my 1978 Honda civic blew up with about 150,000 miles on it, when I purchased a 1973 VW van with 70,000 miles on it I was told that was about the expected life of the pancake engine, (it made it to @140,000, but had serious problems when I sold it.) I was mostly a cyclist for the next 10-12 years owning a few beaters for times when I needed them, a late '70's Corolla and early '70 Camry(7/8th mustang) both were death projects returned to life with under 150,000 miles...

    ...recently I purchased a 1988 GMC S15 (Chevy S10) pickup with 90,000 miles in 1999 and drove it over 220K with only replacing the muffler and exhaust manifold (2X - 4 banger) and My current 2002 Toyota Echo Purchased in 2004, has over 220,000 miles and I've done nothing but change the oil, and last fall replaced 2 coils and the serpentine belt, that's with much of the 180,000 miles I've put on it on rough gravel roads, I'll purchase the 6th set of tires for it later this year. Yesterday I hauled a cutup telephone pole on my 5x8 trailer, maybe 700lbs, with this 1600lbs(?) vehicle with 220+K. Even driving rough roads the recommended oil change is down only every 7,000 miles use to be 2500 on my '70's vehicles.

    I think the materials engineering going into todays cars have made them very reliable. Really don't feel they are near the throw-away vehicle of the past.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • YehoshuaAgapaoYehoshuaAgapao Solar Expert Posts: 280 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    Car manufacturers understand the principal behind what you say. Cars have become a trow-away item in today's society. They are relatively cheap to make, but the real cost is in the ownership of that car. You must have regular oil changes for warranty coverage, everything is practically maintenance free; ergo - planned obsolescence so that you will have to buy new parts, and the maintenance packages that are available to the consumer to make upkeep of their vehicle so easy. The support structure for the auto industry is huge.

    Cars last a lot longer these days if maintained and not constantly brutally driven. Cars seem throw-away because that is how 2/3 of the people treat them - they have destructive driving habits, they barely even change the oil. They are easy to sucker over by repair shops when something does go wrong or if significant maintenance is needed. They expect to get rid of the car in 2-5 years sell it and buy a new one (reputable dealers will clean up after their negligence and destruction and then mark the price up even further). Much of the other 1/3 of the people maintain their cars moderately to well and drive more conservatively. These people expect cars to last a long time whether they buy it new or used.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    You guys should see the maintenance schedules on these Chevy Volts, the wife's just crossed 2 years, only work done, rotate the tires at 7500 miles increments, now due for its first oil change, computer still says 64% on oil life but 2 years is the recommendation. Pretty much a very low maintenance vehicle. Coolant systems 100K miles, transmission filter and oil change 100K miles, it will take 10 years for those to happen at least.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    Observations:

    On route 97 near Chasm there is a power pole held up by a pile of rocks around its base. No joke.

    Governments are basically greedy; all rules and regulations these days are designed to extract money from you. Any time they see someone "not participating" in their great income scheme they pass a law to change that. Right now the government here wants to take our community off well water so they can charge us all for a community water system. The initial cost outlay would buy five wells per property.

    My '98 Toyota 4Runner has 326,000+ miles (yes, it's a US import) on it. The other two before it were smashed. My '92 Ford E250 has 1.1 million kilometers on it. I don't consider anything that costs tens of thousands of dollars "throw away". People who do need a mindset change: that's half the problem with the world today; the "disposable" nature of the economy. The whole world would be better off if we didn't have this ridiculous attitude of always needing to buy stuff and toss it and then buy more stuff. Half the world's economy is based on creating garbage.

    Maybe that's why some of us look for the answers to make RE truly practical. It would be easier if we weren't up against the kind of people such as Chris started this thread about.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    Governments are basically greedy; all rules and regulations these days are designed to extract money from you. Any time they see someone "not participating" in their great income scheme that pass a law to change that. Right now the government here wants to take our community off well water so they can charge us all for a community water system. The initial cost outlay would buy five wells per property.
    Understand that the government is us. Greed is greed wherever you find it, and governmental policy is heavily influenced by lobbyists who on the surface of it have nothing to do with government. Corporations are people, remember? :^(
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    ggunn wrote: »
    Understand that the government is us. Greed is greed wherever you find it, and governmental policy is heavily influenced by lobbyists who on the surface of it have nothing to do with government. Corporations are people, remember? :^(

    People tend to act differently as individuals than they do in a collective. Somehow the attitude creeps in that they know better than anyone else and that they have every right to take money and do with it as they please. Like the electrical co-op Chris mentioned that is "non profit", except that the BoD makes good money off it. Who sets their salaries? Chances are very good it's them.

    If you think the government is us, try changing a law on your own some time. If it really were, I wouldn't be having half the problems I'm having now.

    Too often this government that is us forgets they are and views the money as theirs and us as the enemy. Given recent examples of government activity in the US I would not want to count myself as one of them. Neither should you.

    Or as a wise man once said: "The problem with majority rule is that the majority are often stupid."
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    People tend to act differently as individuals than they do in a collective. Somehow the attitude creeps in that they know better than anyone else and that they have every right to take money and do with it as they please. Like the electrical co-op Chris mentioned that is "non profit", except that the BoD makes good money off it. Who sets their salaries? Chances are very good it's them.

    If you think the government is us, try changing a law on your own some time. If it really were, I wouldn't be having half the problems I'm having now.

    Too often this government that is us forgets they are and views the money as theirs and us as the enemy. Given recent examples of government activity in the US I would not want to count myself as one of them. Neither should you.

    Or as a wise man once said: "The problem with majority rule is that the majority are often stupid."
    Without veering off too much into politics (trying not to, anyway), politicians appeal to the greedy side of individuals to get their votes, so the government really is us - the worst side of us. If you are poor, they tell you they will give you more money. If you are rich, they tell you they will cut your taxes so you can get richer faster. Never mind that the only way they can do both is to go deeper in debt which screws everybody in the long term.

    We get the leaders we deserve. Our collective greed is what keeps them in office.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    ggunn wrote: »
    Without veering off too much into politics (trying not to, anyway), politicians appeal to the greedy side of individuals to get their votes, so the government really is us - the worst side of us.

    As Michael Douglas said "greed is a good thing".

    I think that lately governments mostly use fear as their main tool. Unfortunately, it works too well ...

    I guess I veered off too much into politics :blush:
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    ggunn wrote: »
    We get the leaders we deserve. Our collective greed is what keeps them in office.

    Speak for yourself. ;)

    There is inherently a certain amount of philanthropy in a bunch of guys who sit around all day handing out thousands of dollars worth of engineering consultation for free. :D
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    Or as a wise man once said: "The problem with majority rule is that the majority are often stupid."
    Another:
    "Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time."
    --E. B. White, New Yorker, July 3, 1944
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    As Michael Douglas said "greed is a good thing".

    I think that lately governments mostly use fear as their main tool. Unfortunately, it works too well ...
    That, too. In addition to what I have already said, they get themselves (re)elected by taking us to war against anyone who looks at us sideways, and "miraculously" doing it without us having to pay for it. More debt. Again.

    And I strenuously disagree with Mr. Douglas.

    This is not politics I am talking about, at least not in the sense of favoring either the Democrats or the Republicans. There's really not that much difference between them. The situation in which we find ourselves is our own fault. We could change it if we really wanted to, but apparently (collectively) we don't want to.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    Politics explained in one sentence:

    "We don't want their friends benefiting from your tax dollars; we want our friends benefiting from your tax dollars."

    'Nuff said.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    Perhaps 'Coot is on to the collapse of the US government, as more people receive checks from the government, and can vote to continue to receive checks... 40+ percent of households in the US receive government assistance, recent articles state 49%. Since politicians are career oriented they strive to please a majority of their constituents...

    ...many argue we are or have past a tipping point.

    Any more and perhaps this will be too political...:D
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    I am surprised that government in the US has been pursuing alternative energy paths, perhaps they have some bright people telling them that $4 a gallon gas represents "cheap oil" and that we are running out...

    ...or perhaps they have found archives of Jimmy Carters administration!!! I wonder if "Jimmy" insisted on being called "James Earl" if they would have taken him more seriously. I wonder if we will have another president that will tell us the truth...not likely.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    in general i was disappointed that a few presidents thought renewable energy was a waste and carter was not wrong in his pursuit of it and other alternative energy sources, he just did poorly in other areas like foreign policy that caused his downfall. i often wondered what would've been had certain elements in big oil and big business had not directed our policies to the degree they did and would've allowed our pursuit and research much more consistently. water over the dam though so enough said.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge

    At times I think 'they' are just throwing us Peanuts,(sorry Jimmy) to throw us off track...
     
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  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Dissruptive Challenge
    People tend to act differently as individuals than they do in a collective. Somehow the attitude creeps in that they know better than anyone else and that they have every right to take money and do with it as they please. Like the electrical co-op Chris mentioned that is "non profit", except that the BoD makes good money off it. Who sets their salaries? Chances are very good it's them.

    If you think the government is us, try changing a law on your own some time. If it really were, I wouldn't be having half the problems I'm having now.

    Too often this government that is us forgets they are and views the money as theirs and us as the enemy. Given recent examples of government activity in the US I would not want to count myself as one of them. Neither should you.

    Or as a wise man once said: "The problem with majority rule is that the majority are often stupid."

    I was told by a Brit exchange officer that Canada is a democratic, socialist, dictatorship. Democratic because we are allowed to vote every four years or sooner and have the illusion that we are the government. Socialist because everyone wants to go to the trough and "we" are never at fault, and a dictatorship because once we have voted, the government does what it wants until the next election except when there are polls where 0.0001% of the population are poled and are accurate 99 times out of a hundred. From this some of our governments have set policy, or not did anything. Aren't democracies great.

    Cheers

    Ernest
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