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Good News on Solar - Page 22

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Posted by SJC on December 27, 2005, 4:43 pm

  Here in S Cal, the rates have gone from about 8 cents to 14 cents in
less than 5 years. Enron and other gas companies convinced the state
legistature to deregulate electric power generation.
  The law required the regulated utilities to sell off their natural gas
production assets to, you guessed it, the natural gas companies. The nation
has heard about Enron and others "gaming" the system and making a bundle
in 2001, until they got caught.
  Part of that law, signed in 1995 and enacted in 2000, was to have Green
Power compete in a deregulated market. Unfortunately, not much capital
was available for Green Power generation creation and it mostly amounted
to Green Power brokers selling what ever contract power they could get
from wind and hydro, at a premium.
  The deregulation had the opposite effect that it was suppose to have.
The utility companies and other investors stopped building power plants in
an uncertain economic environment that was vertically integrated by
the natural gas companies. How could they compete with the people
that they were buying the fuel from? So fewer plants were built from
1995-2000, not because of environmental regulations, but from economic
uncertainty. Business likes stability and assured returns on their investments
and degregulation added risk and uncertainty. So much for the market system
working wonderfully in all cases.

Posted by Larry Dighera on December 27, 2005, 5:10 pm

More information here:

Posted by Dan Bloomquist on December 23, 2005, 4:24 pm

Johnny wrote:

He wasn't talking about, 'combustion/uranium power generation'.

So, what is your point?

Best, Dan.

"We need an energy policy that encourages consumption"
George W. Bush.

"Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a
sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy."
Vice President Dick Cheney

Posted by meow2222 on December 20, 2005, 4:03 am
 Rhongh Dhongh wrote:

I suggest this is precisely the kind of woolly thinking that is holding
solar technology back today. Its only when folk get a more grown up
view on things (ie able to take more factors into account)  that solar
will shed its popular image of being technology for fools. There are
cases today where solar PV makes sense, and many more cases where solar
thermal makes good sense. The failure to adopt these solutions more is
the direct result of the widespread belief that anything solar can not
be taken seriously. We here might not see it that way, but 99% of the
population does, rightly or wrongly.

When it comes to missing the forest for the trees, that is what the
viewpoint proposed does imho. The whole usefulness of solar pv energy
lies not in mass deployment today, but rather in ongoing R&D until
something more widely applicable is developed. To fund that we have
sales of solar technology today for the minority apps where it does
make sense.

Solar pv is not a technology fit for widespread deployment today. All
the dreaming in the world wont change that. If we all went solar pv
today, the national cost would be heavy. It has to be paid for somehow:
public and private purse strings would be much affected. Education
funding would drop, police funding would fall, welfare would be cut,
many R&D budgets would evaporate, safety initiatives would cease,
medical services would see significant cuts, in short some people would
die, the rest of us would live poorer, and importantly, the R&D cuts
would greatly slow the speed at which we could solve our energy
problems, thus making our energy problems _worse_.

R&D is the most useful thing about solar pv. It is only once solar PV
has reached practical cost levels that widespread implementation will
occur. Until then, widespread implementation is an unlikely dream.

We already have that incentive. If anyone manages to develop any cost
effective solar electric technology, the amount of money waiting for
them is gargantuan. Bill Gates move over. The mythical story of
companies converging on an inventor's door for license rights almost
never happens in real life, but in this case it would.

The higher the cost of oil, the higher the cost of producing alt energy
products, and the less non-essentials people can afford, so its not
quite as simple as is often portrayed.

Do you really believe that stopping dead the Middle East's large and
only income would promote stability?

what happens then when a country invests vast amounts of money into
something that will never pay back?

will be thereby caused.


Posted by websurf1 on December 22, 2005, 9:01 pm
meow2222@care2.com wrote:

It was only about 5 years ago that I saw a wonderful thing in the
stores:  A flat screen TV about 42 inches diagonal.  I was so
impressed, but that was at a price of $2,000!!!!
The prices are now down to a couple thousand, and dropping as we all

There are "early adopters" of technology, those who acquire it first
while it is still cool.  Unfortunately, energy efficiency or
self-reliance hasn't developed the panache (?) that has followed such
phenomenons (??)  as video-taking cell phones. People still analyze the
payback under current conditions.

The back-order period for PV panels has increased to about 6 or 7
months in my area.   Partly because they are being bought elsewhere
(Germany?).  Partly because, now that energy prices and interest are at
least temporarily high, folks are paying attention. (Sure do wish I'd
been able to get a set of PV on the roof before the price escalated.)

The biggest problem I see is continued government support for cheap oil
and coal, which artificialyl makes it difficult for other things like
solar to compete.

He'd better help with the energy.  His computer empire runs on

I don't think so.  It's complex and way OT, but those guys are into a
way of thinking waaaaaayyyy beyond just oil.

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