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Large scale solar moving forward

By johnboy - 6 December 2011 77

Simon Corbell is celebrating getting the nod from the Legislative Assembly to ramp up solar power generation in Canberra.

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, has today welcomed in-principal support from the ACT Legislative Assembly, for legislation which will allow large-scale solar facilities to be rolled out across the ACT.

“The Government’s legislation proposes to allow large-scale solar facilities to access the feed-in tariff, which is an Australian first, that will encourage more companies to consider the ACT as a base for their renewable energy installations,” Mr Corbell said.

“The ACT Labor Government is working hard to make Canberra Australia’s solar capital and this legislation is the next step to ensure that this becomes a reality.”

The new solar energy auction bill will support the development of up to 210 MW of large-scale renewable energy generation. The first release of 40 MW capacity will reduce emissions by around 850,000 tonnes over its 20 year life.

Mr Corbell said that this legislation, if passed later this week, could see at least two major commercial solar facilities constructed in the ACT which would be capable of powering approximately 7000 homes.

“These potential solar facilities could provide as much as 14% of the minimum electricity demand of the ACT which would assist in reducing carbon emissions and take the ACT closer to carbon neutrality by 2060.”

The large-scale auction process will require companies to provide a detailed proposal to the ACT Government on how they propose to provide large amounts of renewable energy to the community at the lowest cost to Canberrans.

UPDATE: In reply the Liberals’ Zed Seselja is not impressed:

“As we have come to expect from ACT Labor, this large-scale solar scheme is an expensive way to achieve nothing at all,” Mr Seselja said today.

“ACT Labor hasn’t explained the cost of this latest scheme, and all we have to work with is the government’s stated estimate of $225 per household per year for its small, medium and large scale solar feed-in tariff. Based on previous form from ACT Labor this estimate could blow out.

“How can the Assembly agree to a 210mW scheme which hasn’t been costed, and would be run by a government which so appallingly managed the 30mW scheme?

“Under this previous scheme, the allocated funding was used so quickly that it was retrospectively cut in the dead of night, the effects of which are still being felt across the solar industry.

“Under this proposed scheme, interstate businesses will be able to set up large-scale solar farms in New South Wales and hundreds of kilometres away from Canberra and receive the ACT funding. This scheme, together with the 40 per cent target will create the absurd situation where Canberrans will fund renewable energy generation in New South Wales and in doing so, enable New South Wales to emit more.

Further Update: Simon Corbell is punching on:

The Canberra Liberals have highlighted their hypocrisy on renewable energy policy and have been caught out in their opposition to Labor’s large scale generation proposal today, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell said.

Mr Corbell said it has been revealed, the Canberra Liberals proposed the development of a solar power station as the “cornerstone” of their 2008 election Climate Change policy.

In a policy document dated 10 October 2008, just days before the 2008 Election, Zed Seselja committed the Liberal Party to:

” The immediate commencement of a project to develop of (sic) Solar Power Plant at the heart of a Renewable Energy Park.” (p.1, Cleaning up our ACT – Leadership on Climate Change policy document)

Mr Seselja now says that the Canberra Liberals will not support Large Scale Solar legislation because:

“… this large scale solar scheme is an expensive way to achieve nothing at all…” (Media Release ‘Latest Solar Scheme an expensive way to do nothing’6 December 2011)

What’s Your opinion?


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Large scale solar moving forward
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fgzk 10:39 am 14 Dec 11

OYM has also addressed the argument of base load generation. He suggested gas. If we are so concerned about Australias future power needs, why then are we selling our gas reserves to the world. Why are the profits going to the same countries that want to sell nuclear power to us?

Anyone catch the old four corners report on coal on the weekend. It could have been made 6 months ago. We are expected to sell our future energy then buy back dodgy technology to replace it. The great energy rip off goes on.

HenryBG 10:02 am 14 Dec 11

Bramina said :

Also nuclear waste disposal in the US (particularly at Yucca) is an excellent example of how not to regular nuclear power – by completely tying it up in red tape.

LoL!

Yes, it was so much better without all that pesky regulation, when companies were allowed to simply dump 44-gallon drums full of nuclear waste into the ocean and hope it disappeared.

HenryBG 10:00 am 14 Dec 11

Stevian said :

Diggety said :

HenryBG said :

Proponents of nuclear power are all either self-interested or deluded. It is a completely senseless waste of money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor

Have a read of this first. Let me know if you want more details on it or solar, wind or geothermal for a comparison.

Is the IFR the cheapest nuclear option? If it isn’t it certainly won’t be the option chosen. I know that much about our decision makers, it nothing else

Tha Japanese tried to build one of these in 1986.
Surprise, surprise, the liquid sodium coolant in this “perfectly safe” technology caught fire and it took them 14 years to get it working again.
The Japanese are considering scrapping it as a total failure, and nobody else has any of this shit working anywhere else, either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monju_Nuclear_Power_Plant

“As of June 2011, the reactor has only generated electricity for one hour since its first testing two decades prior.”

And who has paid for two decades of this total failure? The taxpayer.

Let me know if you need any other details about any other of your nuclear pipe-dreams.

Stevian 11:21 pm 13 Dec 11

Bramina said :

[
Well it can be renewed over and over, a hundred times or so. It lasts for thousands of years, it is effectively renewable. Put it this way,

To be honest, I don’t believe you. Give me a reference to a peer reviewed paper that supports that as technological feasible, if it is possible at all. Otherwise it’s in he same basket as perpetual motion and cold fusion

OpenYourMind 9:12 pm 13 Dec 11

Alrighty, I said I’d stop, but I’ll make one more public comment then

instead of cafe talk, Diggety, I’d be happy to have a chat over a beer.

I’ll give JohnBoy my email address.

Firstly to suggest my comments are fantasy and then keep on banging on

about IFR’s takes fantasy to a new level. Even those links you sent aren’t

talking about anything actual. The ‘bravenewclimate’ site even bandies a

1990 video about IFRs as if it’s the new, new thing. Please talk about actual technologies, not research (peer reviewed or otherwise) and research reactors. Here’s the current state of play with breeder reactors of all types: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor

Surely you understand that even current generation reactors are an incredibly expensive proposition – newer technologies that aren’t in the commercial space are going to carry more project risk and involve greater expense. Perhaps you need to move out of the scientific thinkspace and take a look at real world projects – particularly in the Western World.

I challenge you to actually refute a single statement I’ve made. My

estimates of costs are based on real world figures easily verified by multiple sources eg. The Finnish plant example doesn’t take a lot of googling,

and there’s plenty on various decommissioning activities. The cost of Fukushima is widely estimated at $1trillion and that’s not taking into account the incredible human personal trauma this event has caused.

Point 1: Which statement do you need me to back up? I’m happy to do so. Some of my statements are based on real reports and not scientific papers, but I’m ok with that.
Point 2: I have read your referenced papers.
Point 3: IFRs again. Real world technologies only please
Point 4: My calculations for a domestic solar system are quite accurate and work off 4.1kW per day for each installed kW in Canberra. The only assumption I’ve made is no repairs are required over 20years (probably optimistic) and I didn’t factor in the approximate 1% efficiency loss panels have each year. That said, Solar prices are reducing in a radical way. I’m not sure about your statement of PV grade silicon shortage – there was certainly a talk of shortage of silicon of this grade back in 2006/2007, but recently the spot price for PV Grade Silicon has been falling month on month. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but every year panels are getting markedly cheaper. There’s also all sorts of other solutions including thin film etc. I’d expect a phD in Solar science to be aware of this.
Point 5: The Scots were probably a little ambitious. A full scale renewable program will take some time – not IFR timelines, but certainly some time and cost. Your unanswered question about what to back renewables up with – my answer would be some gas powered plants for times when the grid is under extreme load or all renewables are at a slump.
Point 6: I don’t even think my statements about solar are ‘claims’. They are facts. I find it alarming that one of the papers you referenced talks about cost of solar at something like 45p per kWh or 75c/kWh. No wonder a paper like that would find solar uncompetitive. My argument would be that if a current domestic solution can produce solar at 9c/kWh, then surely a well designed commercial scale system should do better.

Your question about do I prefer renewables and fossil or renewables and nuclear is a non question because nuclear is simply a non starter for all the myriad of reasons I have previously outlined.

Anyway, let me know when you’d like that beer!

Bramina 11:59 pm 12 Dec 11

Stevian said :

You might want to invest in a dictionary and check out the difference between renewable and plentiful.

When we first started using fossil fuels it’s proponents claimed we would have enough to supply our needs indefinitely. What happened? The population grew, our energy “needs” increased (or at least our greed and laziness took hold). Oil, coal, gas, became harder to find, more costly to extract and process, we’ve had energy crises, wars for oil. There is no reason to believe that the same problems wont recur in relation to nuclear power or any other form that is not truly renewable.

re•new•a•ble /ri?n(y)o?o?b?l/
Adjective: Capable of being renewed.
Noun: A source of energy that is not depleted by use, such as water, wind, or solar power.

Well it can be renewed over and over, a hundred times or so. It lasts for thousands of years, it is effectively renewable. Put it this way,

OpenYourMind said :

Bramina, once again, continually making the statement that Nuclear Power is cheap doesn’t make it a fact.

Let’s look at some of the costs in more detail:

A modern reactor built in the Western World on a greenfields site is going to cost an absolute minimum of $5billion. That’s assuming there’s no delays from those pesky protesters – every delay will cost a small fortune in interest on half built infrastructure…

Now contrast that with solar. Solar’s price reduction is still following a fairly linear path. Let’s look at a domestic solar PV system. Without any rebates, ACTEWAGL currently sells a 3kW system for about $8k. Let’s optimistically assume it last 20years, then that’s around 9c a kWh produced by a small site install with no economies of scale.

A distributed grid of renewable energy (solar, wind, wave etc.) will cover a fair chunk of your baseload capacity, in fact solar will eventually be cheap enough that we can afford to overproduce…

Basically, what you are assuming the worst case scenario for nuclear. Then you assume a simplistic and as you said optimistic scenario for solar. That’s not a fair comparison.

The graph from Wikipedia I discussed before, compared seven impartial reports which all found nuclear was only slightly more expensive than fossil fuels. Here is that link again:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nuke,_coal,_gas_generating_costs.png

Also nuclear waste disposal in the US (particularly at Yucca) is an excellent example of how not to regular nuclear power – by completely tying it up in red tape.

As for solar, you can’t just assume the cost of solar spreads evenly over those 20 years, you need to reduce the value of electricity in future years at an interest rate of about 5-6% per year. That dollar of electricity produced in 20 years time is only worth about 35c today. You loose 40% of the solar panel’s value right there.

Also, overproduction causes big problems economically. Firstly, to overproduce electricity you need to build much more capacity than you need. The cost of solar per kilowatt hour doesn’t just need to be equivalent in cost to fossil fuels, it needs to be far cheaper. It is incredibly optimistic to assume that solar (or any other renewable power) will be far cheaper than fossil fuels. I am unaware of any real evidence that this could happen.

Diggety 11:30 pm 12 Dec 11

OpenYourMind said :

Bramina, once again, continually making the statement that Nuclear Power is cheap doesn’t make it a fact.

Let’s look at some of the costs in more detail:

A modern reactor built in the Western World on a greenfields site is going to cost an absolute minimum of $5billion. That’s assuming there’s no delays from those pesky protesters – every delay will cost a small fortune in interest on half built infrastructure.

Allow a minimum decommission cost of $.5billion

Allow for decent guarding of the facility 24/7 until decommissioning.

Allow for a team of well qualified nuclear physicists 24/7 until decommissioning

Factor in the cost of mining and safe transport of nuclear fuel.

Allow for storing waste on site – setting up a nuclear waste site is possible, but given USA’s Yucca storage facility fiasco, it’s probably better to just sneak the waste away somewhere on site.

Now here are the biggies, try underwriting this project and its associated risk during the construction phase. It gets worse, you also need some public liability insurance – US nukes carry a small and inadequate amount of insurance, this has proven to be insufficient as the Fukushima event is estimated as likely to cost up to $1trillion. Fukushima wasn’t even a bad nuclear accident – imagine a full scale terrorist attack on a nuclear facility.

Your next challenge is to name a site for your nuclear facility. It probably will need to be near water, near people and near infrastructure. Keep in mind that people are protesting about a water pipe from one dam to another in Canberra, so choose your site VERY carefully. Australians also tend to be a little sensitive about our rivers and coastline.

Now contrast that with solar. Solar’s price reduction is still following a fairly linear path. Let’s look at a domestic solar PV system. Without any rebates, ACTEWAGL currently sells a 3kW system for about $8k. Let’s optimistically assume it last 20years, then that’s around 9c a kWh produced by a small site install with no economies of scale.

A distributed grid of renewable energy (solar, wind, wave etc.) will cover a fair chunk of your baseload capacity, in fact solar will eventually be cheap enough that we can afford to overproduce. The thing is that you don’t have to consume as soon as you produce – we don’t do that with coal plants running at 100% at 3am, instead we use pumped storage (Tumut #3) and offer cheaper off peak power. A bit more investment (not nuclear $$$, but some cost) could see all sorts of other energy storage options including deep underground compressed air, electrolysis coupled with hydrogen storage, use of electric car batteries as a giant distributed grid (this has been done on an island in Denmark). The thing is that solar energy will be so cheap that the biggest cost will be storage, not production.

Ok, probably a bit over the top for an ACT News Blog so I promise not to say any more on this topic!

I wish you were right, OpenYourMind. But all research (done by expert and independently validated) say otherwise.

1. New rule: any claim you make, must be backed up by evidence.

Out of all the comments I read on the internet, I have never seen one so full of errors and misrepresentations as yours above.

2. You didn’t bother to read the Energy paper I referenced to you as evidence for economic feasibility of nuclear power in Australia, did you? It clearly shows nuclear is economically feasible, more so than other forms of power generation with carbon pricing.
Here it is again with a direct link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036054421000602X

If you have a problem with the peer-reviewed article, you may contact the journal directly.

Further, most of the direct capital expenditure needed for IFR’s are reduced for the following reasons:
– Ability to retrofit to existing infrastructure
– Less land required
– Less direct resource required
– Less embodied energy required
– Less safety risk, resulting in less insurance needed
– Less fuel required
You can check these points on this discussion (written by experts) here: http://bravenewclimate.com/category/ifr-fad/

3. Again, you didn’t bother to read the information on IFR’s, did you? IFR’s don’t need direct water resources like previous technology.

4. Your suggestion that conventional solar (Si-PV) needs evidence. There isn’t even enough PV grade silicon to provide for the world, unless you’re willing to use more energy in manufacture than the panel will put out.

5. Scottish ministers recently announced a commitment to generate their energy from 100% renewables, until they found out it was indeed impossible. I admire their enthusiasm, but like you, they didn’t check with reality.

The Scientific Alliance and The Adam Smith Institute studied to feasibility and found it impossible without something like nuclear power as a back up, they also found it too expensive.
http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/research/files/renewableenergy2011.pdf

Now let’s look at Australia (and indeed the other European examples):
– Even relatively small renewable energy components are backed up by nuclear, gas or coal.
– They are on a shared grid, meaning a country can claim renewable percentage generated but it’s backed up by nuclear.
– Even Germany (recently committed to phasing out nuclear) are needing to import gas from Russia, there emissions are going to rise by 2020 by 300million tons.
– Australia is an island. We don’t have baseload renewable resources capable of generating our energy needs, and we aren’t connected to another grid where baseload is generated.

6. You’re claims on the economics and capabilities of solar & wind are extraordinary. They fly in the face of experts in the field, including published research. This is what I’d like you to do:
– Come to the next renewable energy conference and make these claims. Everyone will be very impressed…. No doubt they will be very interested in the evidence you provide.
– Stop trashing the renewable energy name. The claims you make, especially in the misleading/incorrect way you make them will only damage the reputation of renewable energy.
– Answer my question that I put to you earlier: “do you prefer a combination of renewable energy & fossil-fuels, OR renewable energy and nuclear?”.
– Read up more on this subject before making such claims, derived and presented in a scientific manner, rather than cafe talk.

FFS, OpenYourMind. Open your mind to science, not fantasy.

fgzk 5:21 pm 12 Dec 11

Nah…everyone loves a good nuclear debate.

OpenYourMind 5:03 pm 12 Dec 11

Bramina, once again, continually making the statement that Nuclear Power is cheap doesn’t make it a fact.

Let’s look at some of the costs in more detail:

A modern reactor built in the Western World on a greenfields site is going to cost an absolute minimum of $5billion. That’s assuming there’s no delays from those pesky protesters – every delay will cost a small fortune in interest on half built infrastructure.

Allow a minimum decommission cost of $.5billion

Allow for decent guarding of the facility 24/7 until decommissioning.

Allow for a team of well qualified nuclear physicists 24/7 until decommissioning

Factor in the cost of mining and safe transport of nuclear fuel.

Allow for storing waste on site – setting up a nuclear waste site is possible, but given USA’s Yucca storage facility fiasco, it’s probably better to just sneak the waste away somewhere on site.

Now here are the biggies, try underwriting this project and its associated risk during the construction phase. It gets worse, you also need some public liability insurance – US nukes carry a small and inadequate amount of insurance, this has proven to be insufficient as the Fukushima event is estimated as likely to cost up to $1trillion. Fukushima wasn’t even a bad nuclear accident – imagine a full scale terrorist attack on a nuclear facility.

Your next challenge is to name a site for your nuclear facility. It probably will need to be near water, near people and near infrastructure. Keep in mind that people are protesting about a water pipe from one dam to another in Canberra, so choose your site VERY carefully. Australians also tend to be a little sensitive about our rivers and coastline.

Now contrast that with solar. Solar’s price reduction is still following a fairly linear path. Let’s look at a domestic solar PV system. Without any rebates, ACTEWAGL currently sells a 3kW system for about $8k. Let’s optimistically assume it last 20years, then that’s around 9c a kWh produced by a small site install with no economies of scale.

A distributed grid of renewable energy (solar, wind, wave etc.) will cover a fair chunk of your baseload capacity, in fact solar will eventually be cheap enough that we can afford to overproduce. The thing is that you don’t have to consume as soon as you produce – we don’t do that with coal plants running at 100% at 3am, instead we use pumped storage (Tumut #3) and offer cheaper off peak power. A bit more investment (not nuclear $$$, but some cost) could see all sorts of other energy storage options including deep underground compressed air, electrolysis coupled with hydrogen storage, use of electric car batteries as a giant distributed grid (this has been done on an island in Denmark). The thing is that solar energy will be so cheap that the biggest cost will be storage, not production.

Ok, probably a bit over the top for an ACT News Blog so I promise not to say any more on this topic!

Stevian 1:52 am 12 Dec 11

Bramina said :

[
Nuclear is renewable because it breeds fuel from non fuel isotopes like Uranium 238 and Thorium 232.

At present we have enough uranium reserves for perhaps 100 years of the globe’s energy needs if we do not breed fuel. If we were to breed fuel, nuclear would provide our energy needs for tens of thousands of years.

You might want to invest in a dictionary and check out the difference between renewable and plentiful.

When we first started using fossil fuels it’s proponents claimed we would have enough to supply our needs indefinitely. What happened? The population grew, our energy “needs” increased (or at least our greed and laziness took hold). Oil, coal, gas, became harder to find, more costly to extract and process, we’ve had energy crises, wars for oil. There is no reason to believe that the same problems wont recur in relation to nuclear power or any other form that is not truly renewable.

Hanksinatra 11:03 pm 11 Dec 11

I’ve just had an original thought, as usual complicit with my normal anti-car theme. To concentrate on energy solutions is really the main game, but all of it comes to nothing if everyone on the planet has a car. Consider this. Australian cities are clogged with private car congestion, but China has a billion people with similar aspirations in a country of a similar size and it won’t be long before they can all afford one.

If they realise that ambition, would not their roads be hopelessly clogged at say 10% of that population realising car ownership to the level of Australia? Do you think that they might make it their religion?…well they could nearly clog every road in the world possibly if they had car ownership to the level of this counrty, someting we take for granted as some sort of rite. Indians love cars too.

No amount of energy solutions will avoid an end to human society unless we come to value the “car” by popular definition as a specialist vehicle possibly only for the very rich.

At least when the Chinese are more common on our roads before those very roads come to a complete stanstill, we won’t have to endure threads about “roundabout etiquette”, all of that might seem rather quaint to our children, no doubt to busy smsing to notice.

We have to give some thought to this whole car issue in Australia. I know noone wants to talk about it but it is so clear, the dream is over.

Bramina 10:13 pm 11 Dec 11

Stevian said :

Bramina said :

Stevian, you didn’t take me up on my offer to nominate one of the points to discuss in depth.

– renewable: nuclear waste can be recycled into fuel over and over. More fuel can be bred from U238 and Thorium.

I did previously ask how a finite non-renewable resource can be considered renewable, your statement concerning U238 and Thorium. does not address the issue. It has to run out sometime. If you deny that, I’d love to see your blueprints for a perpetual motion machine

Nuclear is renewable because it breeds fuel from non fuel isotopes like Uranium 238 and Thorium 232.

At present we have enough uranium reserves for perhaps 100 years of the globe’s energy needs if we do not breed fuel. If we were to breed fuel, nuclear would provide our energy needs for tens of thousands of years.

fgzk said :

How does solar price compare to GEN1 nuclear power? Horses for courses. Renewable energy is still in the early days.

Nuclear power has always been fairly cheap. If anything costs have gone up over time as regulation has increased.

Solar on the other hand started of being very expensive and has become slightly cheaper as new technology has been developed. Now it may be 5-10 times more expensive than fossil fuel power (I only know of older studies that do not take newer technologies into account. But there is nothing to say that solar will ever become cheap. There may well be a limit to how cheap solar panels can be.

Even if you could make solar panels for free, electricity must be consumed as soon as it is produced. You would need some form of power generation capacity to take over from solar when it doesn’t work. This costs money.

And what would you use to generate this power? Dirty unsustainable fossil fuels?

Hanksinatra 7:45 pm 11 Dec 11

ex-victus has identified another undemocratic appliance, the outdoor heater banned in Europe and good riddance. a symbolic car…get used to it folks, the 50’s dream is over and white anglo people are not even the smartest anymore.

ex-vectis 4:41 pm 11 Dec 11

Diggety said :

In fact, anyone who claims they want action on climate change whilst adopting an anti-nuclear stance is delusional.

Sad to say, but yes I too think that is bang on nail. Our hunger for energy wont go away; that is probably the reality. Nuclear is as clean as you get (unless it goes wrong, obviously. And ignoring the waste that has to be looked after for 250,000 years – or until a Gen’X’ reactor can use it).

At the moment the returns from wind, solar, bio make it uneconomical (and with bio – growing stuff to burn – there is the ongoing debate about if there is enough water & land to grow energy AND food).

With lots of talk and no action – you only need to walk down a Civic street and see the outdoor heaters, banned in Europe, everywhere – nuclear certainly seems the only way at the moment and let our distant descendants sort out the waste problem. Failing that, do as Mr Abbott does and just deny there is any problem – who knows, maybe he is right and Global Warming is just a big wind-up….

ex-vectis 2:49 pm 11 Dec 11

Diggety said :

Was Zed meaning milliwatt (mW) or megawatt (MW)?

Hahah – I thought that too. All this talk for a 210mW scheme!!!

Hanksinatra 1:19 pm 11 Dec 11

Open your mind, as ever a thoughtful position. However wonderful solar may be and it is, there are 2 points to be made. 1 whilst it will cut down your electricity bill and lower carbon emissions on a local level there is some question concerning the amount of power and what sort of power (chinese coal burning generators in the main) is used to manufacture cells along with transport costs and other externals. There are claims that these extras add more carbon than solar cells save during their lifetime, true or not there is definately something in that.

2, solar is already a proven technology and that is why it has political support. There are plenty of boffins working on higher efficiencies just on that basis. And adding a 3rd though gratuitous point, electric cars whilst good, are not nearly as good as electric bikes in almost every way for an Australian future. Everyone in the world cannot own a car as someone once said any more than a villa on the beach, be it electric or not, as opposed to a toaster or a vacuum cleaner which is a far more democratic appliance. Cars on a social level are not as much fun as everyone thinks and the mass introduction of electric cars in Australia as is likely, will be an opportunity missed.

OpenYourMind 11:28 am 11 Dec 11

Hanksinatra, while I totally agree with your suggestion that more Government funded scientific research will benefit our country, I can’t agree with your statement about researching into more viable alternatives than solar. What could be more viable than solar? Solar is getting cheaper and more efficient every year. Research leads to better solar.
Even without subsidies, solar is presenting as a financially viable solution for home owners.
Going into the future, the one big challenge for solar will be storing the abundant energy produced so that it can be delivered 24/7. We already deal with a reverse situation with coal plants. Coal plants stay online 24/7, but demand ebbs and flows throughout the day. This is managed through off peak pricing, pumped water storage and other demand shaping methodologies. There’s no reason solar can’t be managed the same way – particularly as electric cars begin entering the mix.

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