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  #1381  
Old 04.04.2013, 14:20
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Or bottle the farts for biogas.
If YOU fart, is it mustard gas?

Tom
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  #1382  
Old 04.04.2013, 14:59
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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When I said "Charging overnight would use the national grid...", I meant charging an electric car overnight would use the grid, not charging some giant battery in the grid.

I was thinking in terms of reducing the overall costs of generating grid electricity if enough solar power is fed back into the grid.
But Solar power costs a lot more to make than conventionally generated electricity, look here or look at the picture below?

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  #1383  
Old 04.04.2013, 15:25
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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But Solar power costs a lot more to make than conventionally generated electricity, look here or look at the picture below?
Expensive initially to install but cheaper and much cleaner in the long run. No mining or transport needed like with fossil fuels.

And solar technology is getting cheaper thanks to innovation and the Chinese producers.

But of course, the return on investment is better in hot countries.
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  #1384  
Old 04.04.2013, 15:37
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I was thinking in terms of reducing the overall costs of generating grid electricity if enough solar power is fed back into the grid.
I was referring to this part of your post: "unused solar power generated during the day is sent to the grid."

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Expensive initially to install but cheaper and much cleaner in the long run. No mining or transport needed like with fossil fuels
no, it is more expensive to install and more expensive to run. you can look at full costs over the lifetime of the installation.

not to mention when you talk of replacing one thing with the other, you are then looking at the marginal cost of the electricity generation you could end up replacing marginal coal generation with solar at 5 times the cost.
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  #1385  
Old 04.04.2013, 15:39
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Sure, any new technology is expensive to produce initially...just as the first computers required warehouses to store them, cost millions of dollars to produce, and only had a limited range of functions, but we can now go to any electronics store and for a very small amount of $ purchase a much more advanced computer that fits in our pockets. Mass production, technological innovations, and improvements in production methods all bring down the expenses over time.
The above graph also fails to take into account the true costs of using the various technologies, such as environmental costs, public health costs, social costs, etc.
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  #1386  
Old 04.04.2013, 15:40
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Expensive initially to install but cheaper and much cleaner in the long run. No mining or transport needed like with fossil fuels.

And solar technology is getting cheaper thanks to innovation and the Chinese producers.

But of course, the return on investment is better in hot countries.

One of the obstacles I still see with solar technology (and wind power) is that it is extremely dependent upon climate and weather, so you'll always have a need for some other form of power to compensate for this drawback, so the best you'll ever see is a reduction in Fossil Fuel usage, and to varying degrees, again based on weather and climate. As we know that weather is not entirely predictable, this implies you either have to be able to buy some other form of energy on the spot market, or sink a lot of money into building up a significant reserve, which you then have to replace on the spot market, so it is an imperfect solution, at best. This isn't to say we shouldn't take advantage of it where possible, and where I see solar power being most beneficial is with private homes, to reduce dependence on external power sources, as the cost to the homeowner is in the installation and some presumably minor maintenance.
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  #1387  
Old 04.04.2013, 15:41
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The above graph also fails to take into account the true costs of using the various technologies, such as environmental costs, public health costs, social costs, etc.
Ok... how do you quantify those costs?
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  #1388  
Old 04.04.2013, 15:58
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I was referring to this part of your post: "unused solar power generated during the day is sent to the grid."
Yes, electricity generated by the solar panel that isn't used by the owner will go into the grid for someone else to use.
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  #1389  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:01
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

I've looked into green power alternatives for my home, and found that the initial cost may take quite a long time to recoup to get the benefits. I could not rationalize it. The only motive would be some altrusitic perversion, or some fear that I will burned to a cinge if I did not install it.

So I decided to wait for the technology to get better, or make actual economical sense to do it. If the economic benefits are there, I would do it. At the moment, it is looking like a fool's game.
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  #1390  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:03
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I've looked into green power alternatives for my home, and found that the initial cost may take quite a long time to recoup to get the benefits. I could not rationalize it. The only motive would be some altrusitic perversion, or some fear that I will burned to a cinge if I did not install it.

So I decided to wait for the technology to get better, or make actual economical sense to do it. If the economic benefits are there, I would do it. At the moment, it is looking like a fool's game.
Aww, c'mon... Don't you know? The costs are offset by foolish early-adopters that buy at the high price, so that later mainstream users can acquire the technology... Somebody's gotta be the sucker...
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  #1391  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:03
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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But Solar power costs a lot more to make than conventionally generated electricity
Please, let's not complicate the issue with facts!

Tom
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  #1392  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:18
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Yes, electricity generated by the solar panel that isn't used by the owner will go into the grid for someone else to use.
Only if the people who use the grid (like you & me) are happy for the utility to subsidise the home owners with our money by paying the homeowner much more per Kwh than the utility pays to generate themselves.
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  #1393  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:23
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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One of the obstacles I still see with solar technology (and wind power) is that it is extremely dependent upon climate and weather, so you'll always have a need for some other form of power to compensate for this drawback, so the best you'll ever see is a reduction in Fossil Fuel usage, and to varying degrees, again based on weather and climate. As we know that weather is not entirely predictable, this implies you either have to be able to buy some other form of energy on the spot market, or sink a lot of money into building up a significant reserve, which you then have to replace on the spot market, so it is an imperfect solution, at best. This isn't to say we shouldn't take advantage of it where possible, and where I see solar power being most beneficial is with private homes, to reduce dependence on external power sources, as the cost to the homeowner is in the installation and some presumably minor maintenance.
There is no way to efficiently store large amounts of electricity.

So the electricity generators have to keep all their generating stations open & in working order for those sunless & windless days when they have a high demand to meet.

Solar power & wind power will not enable us to close even one generating station; unless we are prepared to live with regular power cuts.
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  #1394  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:26
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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There is no way to efficiently store large amounts of electricity.

So the electricity generators have to keep all their generating stations open & in working order for those sunless & windless days when they have a high demand to meet.

Solar power & wind power will not enable us to close even one generating station; unless we are prepared to live with regular power cuts.
Right. I see technologies like Solar and Wind as being able to augment "traditional" power infrastructures, and to reduce demand for and usage of the traditional source, when it is more economical to use these sources.
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  #1395  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:28
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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There is no way to efficiently store large amounts of electricity.
Actually, there is, and it's commonly used in CH: dams.

Tom
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  #1396  
Old 04.04.2013, 16:30
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Actually, there is, and it's commonly used in CH: dams.

Tom
That's potential energy. Electricity is a flavor of its other half, Kinetic Energy...
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Old 04.04.2013, 16:39
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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That's potential energy. Electricity is a flavor of its other half, Kinetic Energy...
You use the excess electricity to back-pump from a lower lake to a higher lake, they do it here all the time.

Tom
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Old 04.04.2013, 16:41
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Aww, c'mon... Don't you know? The costs are offset by foolish early-adopters that buy at the high price, so that later mainstream users can acquire the technology... Somebody's gotta be the sucker...
Actually, it is more about milking it for as much as possible, with an obsolences plan to get people to reinstall a different one in the future. There is an industry behind this scam, from manufacturers to installers, waiting for the next guilt inflicted victim to pickup that phone and call them.
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Old 04.04.2013, 16:41
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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You use the excess electricity to back-pump from a lower lake to a higher lake, they do it here all the time.

Tom
I see... Clever.
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Old 04.04.2013, 16:42
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Only if the people who use the grid (like you & me) are happy for the utility to subsidise the home owners with our money by paying the homeowner much more per Kwh than the utility pays to generate themselves.
I guess you're talking about the UK Government's screw up on solar panel subsidies?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9163...rt-battle.html

That's bad politics and doesn't change the fact that excess solar power can be used by others on the grid.
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