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The profitable nature of solar power in Spain has given rise to strange installation locations, such as this plant which towers over a cemetary.  (Source: AP)
Spain has found a controversial way to boost solar adoption

When it comes to solar power, the real dilemmas are efficiency and cost.  On the one hand, efficiency has steadily improved over the last couple decades to the point where it’s approaching the utility prices of other power generation methods.  Exotic technologies promise even greater gains.  However, the price of solar-generated power still remains at least five times as expensive as coal-power, the chief source of power in the U.S. (compared to the leading candidate, nuclear, which is approximately 1.5 to 2 times as expensive).

While solar adoption from a cost standpoint is unattractive, there's much debate over whether commercial adoption is needed to spur further research to propel solar into the realm of cost competitiveness.  While many nations like the U.S. and China have modestly taken this position, adopting solar at a moderate rate, one nation has fallen head over heels for solar -- Spain.

Spain is allowing solar and wind power plants to charge as much as 10 times the rates of coal power plants, making it possible for solar power installations to earn utilities big money.  On average, recent rate increases have raised solar charges to over 7 times the rates of coal or natural gas rates.   The costs are added onto consumers' power bills.

The results are mixed; while Spanish power bills are at record highs, the number of deployments is soaring.  Spain has 14 GW of solar power, or the equivalent capacity of nine average nuclear reactors, under construction -- the most of any nation.  Florida’s FPL Group Inc. and French Electricite de France SA are among the many jumping to build in Spain.

Gabriel Calzada, an economist and professor at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, states, "Who wouldn’t want to enter a business that’s paid many times more than the market rate, and where the customer is guaranteed for life?"

By 2009, 42 percent of Spaniards energy bills -- approximately 95 euros ($127) on average -- will be provided by alternative energy.  Spanish law requires power distributors to buy all clean energy produced in the first 25 years of the plants' lives.  The government also recently raised the rate of Spain believes this sacrifice will pay off as fossil fuel resources become depleted and emissions standards tighten.

Karsten von Blumenthal, an industrial analyst at Hamburg-based SES Research GmbH states, "The guarantee is more attractive than what other countries offer.  Actually the U.S. has better space for solar, in the deserts of California and Nevada."

The U.S. meanwhile is also advancing thanks in part to President Obama's solar initiatives passed earlier this year as part of the federal stimulus legislation.  Over 6 GW of capacity is planned for the U.S.

Fred Morse, an official at the Washington- based Solar Energy Industries Association trade group and author of the first report to the White House on solar power (1969), says that the U.S. needs to adopt more incentives if it hopes to catch Spain.  He states, "The incentives, if implemented promptly and effectively, should greatly facilitate the financing of these plants."

One promising benefit of the Spanish solar boom is that it is increasing the number of plants utilizing new, potentially more efficient technologies like solar thermal or sterling engines.  Spain is limiting the number of photovoltaic plants (solar panel-based designs), but is giving out unlimited licenses for solar thermal and other alternative plants.



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Charging more for Solar
By PlasmaBomb on 5/13/2009 8:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
Say goodbye to cheap electricity in the future.

You know the solar electric companies will never voluntarily bring their prices down...




RE: Charging more for Solar
By Ordr on 5/13/2009 8:22:15 AM , Rating: 2
You are aware that it is the Spanish government who is in control of this pricing scheme, right?


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Radnor on 5/13/2009 8:34:18 AM , Rating: 1
and he also forget the bowlfish effect of producing in borders.

Less money will go out the system, more will be taxed. You need to tax it so you can subsidize it. With money flowing fast, in different directions, i guess the consumer will pay a bit more, but we have that bowlfish effect.

Yes, i live in Spain. GO GO ZP !!


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Keeir on 5/13/2009 5:38:23 PM , Rating: 3
This may be a translation problem... but I think someone sold you a line

Spain has traditionally produced 95%+ of its own power. Displacing Spain based traditional production methods with alternative methods will not generate any significant new revenue streams for Spain. Unless you are proposing that people will spend more on Spanish Power and thus consume less of foriegn goods? But in that situation, maybe exports will fall as foriegn sources have less to spend on Spanish goods.

Your post sounds like generating electricity from the motion of wheels and then using that power to drive the wheels...

People's economic well-being is raised by increasing productivity and efficieny. IE, providing the same services/goods for less. Increasing cost is not a situation that will ever improve people's economic well-being no matter how much you tinker with it.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By derwin on 5/13/2009 9:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless you are proposing that people will spend more on Spanish Power and thus consume less of foriegn goods


I know you are proposing he is thinking this, but even that feels a little absurd. This is horrible economics, and makes no sense as decreased imports in spain will spread over such a large realm as to have absolutely no affect on spanish exports.

However, you are right - he certainly got sold a line.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By paydirt on 5/18/2009 11:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Spanish law requires power distributors to buy all clean energy produced in the first 25 years of the plants' lives."

Because of the government mandated increase in cost of power, this amounts to a REGRESSIVE TAX ON THE POOR. The poor pay a much higher percentage of their income on utilities such as power, and when you increase the cost of power for everyone, then the majority of the burden is on the poor.

If "Cap And Trade" were implemented in the U.S., it would be the same situation.

... There is potential in Spain that if they build too much solar power, that the overcapacity would drive down the costs, but the government controls the price, so... I think once the poor figure out that this is a tax on them, it may cause the government to lower the controlled price.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Samus on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Charging more for Solar
By Quijonsith on 5/13/2009 8:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe not, but once adoption is high enough I'd hope the government would repeal the allowance of charging up to 10x coal based power and bring prices back down. I don't know if that would happen, but this is supposed to be to get the technology adopted faster.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 8:45:13 AM , Rating: 2
And in the meantime people chose between keeping the lights on or being able to eat. Great idea.

Don't know about you, but if my power bill went from $100 to $700, I'd have to live in the dark, take cold showers, lick my dishes clean, and wash my clothes in the rain.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Radnor on 5/13/2009 9:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
1 - It will be subsidized.
2 - Read my Post.
3 - Cold Showers ? We still use gas for most of it.
4 - I pay about 30€ a month on electrical. Most people i know pay about that (30€-40€).

I honestly don't know were the article went for the high number on monthly power costs. Only if it includes industrial areas, witch seems kind silly.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 10:14:26 AM , Rating: 4
1) Where does it say there that customer's bills will be subsidized? I'm sure the power company will get subsidies for building plants. But they're still going to charge 7x the normal cost for power.

2) Which?

3) I was relating this to if the same thing was done in the US. We largely do not have gas for heating and cooking (although I wish we did).

4) And how would you be affected if your power bill went from $30 (lira?) to $210?

And if power costs for industry goes up, those industries either raise their costs, cut their employees, or move. It doesn't bode well for their customers or the local population in any way.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By bobsmith1492 on 5/13/2009 11:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
Yes we largely have gas for heating - natural gas for heat, gas hot-water heaters, gas driers... I'm in Michigan, though, but that arrangement is very common here.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Spuke on 5/13/2009 1:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
Natural gas heating is relatively inexpensive but propane heat is retarded expensive. Imagine paying the same price per gallon for gas as you would for propane. Yes I'm on propane and quite frankly with the amount of money I've spent on it I could've converted my HVAC to all electric. Electricity is expensive in CA but nowhere near propane costs. I laugh at $200 electric bills in the summer now (which is still expensive).


RE: Charging more for Solar
By LoweredExpectations on 5/13/2009 10:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
4) And how would you be affected if your power bill went from $30 ( lira ?) to $210?


The guy has said he lives in Spain. How can one be even minimally aware of what goes on in the world and not realize that Spain, a founding member state of the European Union, uses the euro; and that before the euro, Spain's currency was the peseta. Does anyone really not know that the € symbol stands for the euro?!

This is the kind of thing one constantly runs into whenever foreign countries are discussed by Americans. It reminds me of those annual surveys of the average American's knowledge of world geography which consistently show that a majority of the American people can't find England on a map or know what the capital of France is.

We've got armies fighting in two countries, and nobody in this democracy even knows where they are!


RE: Charging more for Solar
By CityZen on 5/14/2009 5:04:59 AM , Rating: 1
+ 1

That was perfect, couldn't have been said better


RE: Charging more for Solar
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/14/2009 9:15:53 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
We've got armies fighting in two countries, and nobody in this democracy even knows where they are!

That is a gross overstatement.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By the3monkies on 5/14/2009 10:00:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is a gross overstatement.


Not in my experience. Other than maybe Canada or Mexico, a vast majority of Americans haven't the slightest idea where these countries are, what currencies they use or what languages they speak. I would bet my life that at least 3/4's of the US population could not find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map.

I lived many years in Asia and whenever back in the States, I had to continually set people straight about what country is where. You would not believe how many people have asked me what language the Koreans speak or what country Osaka is in, etc., etc., etc..


RE: Charging more for Solar
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/15/2009 10:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
Your personal experience is irrelevant. He said that " nobody in this democracy knows where they are". That statement is a textbook example of overstatement, and quite frankly, it's just at stupid as the mistake he was criticising.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By heffeque on 5/15/2009 10:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
Taking that sentence literally is really unintelligent (to put it in a way that doesn't offend you).


RE: Charging more for Solar
By modus2 on 5/14/2009 10:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
I certainly agree that € should be recognizable enough as euro, however if one is to point out the flaws of others knowledge then one might want to check his own facts. Spain joined EU on 1 January 1986, just under 30 years after the founding of EU. On the other hand Spain was a founding member of the euro-project.


By LoweredExpectations on 5/14/2009 11:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
Mea culpa. A little thought should have been sufficient to realize that Spain under the Nazi-sympathizing, odd-man-out Franco would never have been welcomed by the others to join in the early stages of European integration. Franco died in 1975 and Spain applied for membership in 1977.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Keeir on 5/14/2009 11:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
Mate, instead of shooting your mouth off

Check out the symbol for Lira

£

Now Euro



Now I would agree that one should realize that the Euro has replaced some (but apparently not all) the currencies of countries part of the European Union (only 16/27 member states are part of the Monetary Union) and should look up spanish currency with a quick search.

However, given that the state of the "European Union" is very confusing and changing landscape (Apparently there are 7 different classifications of EU membership and apparently 4 in regards to the use of the Euro)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Euro_accession.s...

And the clear similarities between the symbols in English for Lira and Euro with the odd placement of the Euro symbol (In American English) of the original poster. The guess of Lira is actually pretty good! Its not like he guess pounds, or kronar (Still used in Denmark which could switch the Euro or could not and used in Norway which can't switch to use the Euro. Not that the Danish and Norway Kronar are the same, just spelled the same in English)


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Keeir on 5/14/2009 11:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
£


Hahah, the system changed it for me

A lira typically has double lines running though the L and looks very similar to Euro Symbol

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

One more try

"£"

For the record, it looked fine in the preview pane


RE: Charging more for Solar
By LoweredExpectations on 5/14/09, Rating: 0
RE: Charging more for Solar
By nixoofta on 5/15/2009 5:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
I've got pesetas out the wazoo on RE4. Are you sayin' they're worthless now!?

:P


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Calin on 5/14/2009 3:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
14 GW of installed solar power is about 100 GWh of electricity a day (7 hours a day at top power), or some 36 TWh a year.
As for Spain, production of electricity in 2003 was 231 TWh (based on a DoE 2005 estimate). The solar power produced would replace about 15% of the production - so the electricity price would about double, not increase 7-fold


RE: Charging more for Solar
By ice456789 on 5/13/2009 9:42:03 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Maybe not, but once adoption is high enough I'd hope the government would repeal the allowance of charging up to 10x coal based power and bring prices back down.
In a perfect world, you're right. But in this world, no government will deprive itself of a large source of revenue unless forced to by the populace. Vague promises of 'reducing the fees back to normal once the technology is adopted' will never be followed through. It reminds me of a situation near my house. 30 years ago they built a highway, and they acquired funding by promising a toll system. The toll system would have to be voted in by the people so in order to get passed, they promised the tolls would be removed and the highway would be free once the highway was paid for. Now, 30 years later, the highway has paid for itself many times over, and the tolls have just instituted yet another rate hike. The excuse? The highway is not 'done yet' (but the only work that is going on is adding electronic tolls). A small portion of the tolls goes to maintenance and expansion of the highway, but the vast majority goes to the government to spend how they wish. It will be the same with this solar energy rate hike. 10 years from now it may change if the Spanish people realize that they are paying a lot more than their European neighbors for the same product.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By 440sixpack on 5/13/2009 5:50:41 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm, that sounds like the Mass. Turnpike to me... :-)


RE: Charging more for Solar
By lco45 on 5/14/2009 1:49:39 AM , Rating: 2
Or the Harbour Bridge here in Sydney.
$4 at peak times! Thieves!
Luke


RE: Charging more for Solar
By MrFord on 5/14/2009 11:27:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or the Harbour Bridge here in Sydney. $4 at peak times! Thieves!


Lol. Come to New York. 8$ for George Washington Bridge, 10$ (soon 11$) for the Verrazano.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Bateluer on 5/13/2009 9:37:46 AM , Rating: 2
I couldn't handle a 7x increase in my electric bill. In the summer, that'd place it around 800 to 900 dollars every month. This is insane, I feel sorry for the people in Spain that are subjected to this.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By oab on 5/13/2009 9:52:31 AM , Rating: 4
42% of the average Spanish electrical bill that is made up of solar is 95 Euro. It is the solar part that has the 7x market price attached to it, the coal, gas, nuclear power is still sold at market price, so the bill is not just 7x higher.

Your bill on average is about $121, So, 42% of 121 * 7 = $355 + 70 = $425.

HOWEVER

Utility companies in their bill often charge separately for power used (mine is $40) plus "transmission fees" which are fixed (mine is again about $40), so the total bill is $80, but only half of that is power used, the rest is a fixed cost that even if I use no power, I get billed $40.

Meaning, if your bill is anything like mine...

121-40 = 81 * .42 = 34 * 7 = 238 + 81 * .58 = $285 for electricity only, plus transmission fee of $40 = $325.12

Make no misunderstanding, it is still fantastically expensive, however it is just over a third of what you expected it to cost.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Keeir on 5/13/2009 3:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Although I agree changing the whole sale price of a section of the power won't lead to a 1:1 ramp of the price to the consumer, I think your overlooking a few things

#1. "Transmission" costs are likely to increase as a greater percentage of power sources are not controllable in thier variability. One of the best advantages of both Nuclear and Coal as power sources is the low risk assosiated with counting on a plant to produce X power at Y time. Spain may be able to maintain lower "transmission" costs by borrowing stability from France/Italy/etc... but in the long term, I expect thier "transmission" part of the electric bill will also increase due to higher solar usage.

#2. Raising electric prices by 2.5x (your number) will lead to price increases of well... pretty much everything. In the end, Spain residents will likely pay the industrial/commerical sections an additional dollar in higher prices for each dollar thier personal electrical bill raises. (In the US, industry/commerical power usage is slightly larger than residental, and any good company passes 100% additional costs onto consumers often with a 10% upcharge for higher profit margin on the additional marginal costs)

If such as system (7x price and ~40% usage) was used in the United States, where the average household uses around 11,400 kWh of electricity per year, this would result in an additional 3-4+ thosand a year out of people's pockets to pay for...


RE: Charging more for Solar
By foolsgambit11 on 5/13/2009 4:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
Right, except that 42% of the power will be alternative energy by the end of the year. A significant portion of that 42% is wind power. Another post in this article mentioned that the wind is much more prevalent than solar in Spain.

Of course, this policy will most likely tilt the balance more toward solar, but at the moment, the part of the bill charged at the 7x rate is pretty small.

Wikipedia (yeah, I know, but I'm not going to put the effort in to double-check these numbers) says targeted installed solar capacity in Spain by 2010 is about 3GW, and that current installed wind capacity is 16GW. Of course, each tech has varying real output compared to nominal capacity, &c. But for a simplistic evaluation, we can guess that about 6% of total electricity is from solar.

So with your numbers, 81 * .06 = 5 * 7 = 35 + (81 * .94) = 111 + 40 = 151. In other words, instead of the power bill being some 600% higher, it's only about 25% higher.

That's still too much for FITCamaro and others like him, I know. But we are talking about an order of magnitude difference in the increase, so it's significant to note that fact, in case it matters to some here. (As if there were any people at DT on the fence on the issue... or any issue....)


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Keeir on 5/13/2009 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Although the article does not directly provide information on the rates of Wind Power

quote:
Spain is allowing solar and wind power plants to charge as much as 10 times the rates of coal power plants, making it possible for solar power installations to earn utilities big money.


Apparently both Solar and Wind can charge as much as 10 times the rate of coal.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By foolsgambit11 on 5/13/2009 5:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. I missed that. Must. Work. On. Reading.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By heffeque on 5/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Charging more for Solar
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 10:47:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that damn polluting steam that nuclear power plants generate.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Whedonic on 5/13/2009 12:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
WARNING - SARCASM DETECTED
;)


RE: Charging more for Solar
By clovell on 5/13/2009 2:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
I hear that some people will actually pay money to walk into a room full of the stuff and "relax". Can you imagine?


RE: Charging more for Solar
By Bateluer on 5/13/2009 2:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. ;)


RE: Charging more for Solar
By heffeque on 5/13/2009 7:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
For your information, lots of the uranium is obtained from undeveloped countries. Also the residual material is radioactive. I'm guessing you already knew that but prefer to think that burring it is a solution that can be carried away for centuries.


RE: Charging more for Solar
By lco45 on 5/14/2009 2:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear is good, consistent energy, and most of the uranium is mined in Canada and Australia.
You can fit a lifetime of pollutants in a swimming pool.
The steam stacks are pure water from boilers.

Coal is much lower tech (obviously), and there's heaps of coal so it's cheap, but it is very dirty, and polluting. You sure don't want to live downwind of a coal station.
Plus hundreds (thousands?) of people a year are crushed to death or suffocated while digging the stuff up.

Luke


RE: Charging more for Solar
By heffeque on 5/15/2009 11:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
"You can fit a lifetime of pollutants in a swimming pool."
Are you serious? Or are you just being sarcastic?


RE: Charging more for Solar
By knutjb on 5/14/2009 12:42:41 AM , Rating: 1
Can't wait for the carbon cap to skyrocket coal/gas power and have the greenies tie up every "green" project in court as they are starting to do to save some creature no one has heard of, making power even more expensive and limited. Yep Obama and the greenies are looking out for me! Utopia here we come!...? Well, ok, they just want what's left in my wallet.

It's all about power...


RE: Charging more for Solar
By lco45 on 5/14/2009 3:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but you can buy your own cells, so if they get too expensive they'll start losing customers.

Mind you, it's way cheaper to just change your usage model, ie. insulate your house, use more efficient appliances, tv, lights etc.

Luke


Today
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 8:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
Europe is just filled with all kinds of retards.

Idiot #1:"Hey I've got a great idea."
Idiot #2: "What?"
Idiot #1: "Let's push solar by making consumers pay 7x as much!"
Idiot #2: "Brilliant!"
Other guy: "Why not just use nuclear which is also clean, 7x cheaper?, and doesn't use massive amounts of land in our beautiful countryside?"
Idiot #1&2: "Shut up."




RE: Today
By flyboy84 on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Today
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 8:58:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yet we're talking about Spain. Not France. I'm well aware of France's nuclear usage.

The comment was more because of both this article and the UK one.


RE: Today
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Today
By Bateluer on 5/13/2009 9:36:05 AM , Rating: 4
Just replace the word 'idiot' with bureaucrat and it instantly becomes very accurate.


RE: Today
By oab on 5/13/2009 9:42:04 AM , Rating: 4
The UK is in the European Union and have been since 1973.

The UK does not use the Euro as its currency, as it has a bit of aloofness regarding the EU, though they are part of the European Parliament, and voting is going on for that right now.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/europe/2009/el...

http://europa.eu/abc/european_countries/eu_members...


RE: Today
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Today
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 5/13/2009 2:55:58 PM , Rating: 3
Well, to back you up for once, since the UK does not have judicial review of legislation (the House of Lords is the highest legislative body AND the highest judicial body) they practically are not in the EU since they have a problem with EU mandated legistalive requirements that can't be overruled by the House of Lords, and House of Lords legislation and decisions that can be overruled by the EU judiciary. Very sticky.


RE: Today
By aegisofrime on 5/13/2009 10:01:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
France is leading the world with some of the most advanced nuclear power designs (along with France).
?


RE: Today
By knutjb on 5/14/2009 12:53:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's why so many people died last summer from the heat. There wasn't enough water to run the plants and they didn't have much in the way of alternatives. All steam plants require large amounts of water regardless of the heat source. Over here our overload is usually supplemented with gas turbines to soften the peaks. I will give France a lot of credit with their nuke program, they have a standardized plant so they share parts lowering the building and operational costs.


RE: Today
By on 5/13/2009 10:07:01 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
And Europe's standard of living is setting a model for the rest of the world (if you don't believe me spend a few months in Sweden or France).


France's perpetually high unemployment rate undermines that statement. It wasn't that long ago they had unrest and riots that were fueled by lack of hope to find gainful employment.


RE: Today
By TETRONG on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Today
By B3an on 5/13/2009 10:39:19 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly what i as thinking. This person really is an idiot.


RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/13/2009 10:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
UK isn't in the EU? Now that's new! Hahaha!


RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/13/2009 10:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
The rest was good though, I just was surprised by the fact that people actually thought that the UK wasn't in the EU :-P No harm intended :-P


RE: Today
By inperfectdarkness on 5/13/2009 10:15:01 AM , Rating: 3
i'd say the better solution would be to stipulate additional charges that the coal companies have to pay. the costs would be passed on to the consumers.

solar, wind, nuclear, etc. would be exempt from these fees; prompting a push to new energy sources to improve profit margins.


RE: Today
By invidious on 5/13/2009 10:15:18 AM , Rating: 2
A sub-blog within the comments of a blog? My mind is exploding with this overload of soft journalism.

He isn't talking about the EU, he said Europe. And while he implied they are all idiots it is clear that he meant the idiots in goverment. So essentially he is bashing Socialism, and more power to him. This article is a clear example of goverment gone wrong.

PS: Only a fool would judge all Americans based on a blog response comment that he probably took 10 seconds to write.


RE: Today
By swhibble on 5/13/2009 11:28:07 AM , Rating: 4
"The UK isn't even in the EU"

I just have to ask, where the FUCK did you get that information from?

The UK has been in the EU since it was FORMED. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EU#Member_states

I really don't know what the fuck you're going on about when you say that the UK has nothing to do with Europe. The UK was one of the countries that SHAPED what Europe is today. While yes we didn't adopt the Euro, and we don't always see eye-to-eye with the EU government, we ARE a major part of the EU.
If you want to make the argument that the UK has a different culture to the rest of Europe, then I'll be happy to debate it with you, though I'm pretty sure every country in the EU has a different culture so I'm not quite sure what your point is... But at least try and get your facts straight before you open your mouth. You're a journalist for fucksake.

"Try not to give Americans a bad name by blindly insulting millions of people, due to your own prejudices and arrogance."

I think you should take your own advice.


RE: Today
By Murloc on 5/13/2009 12:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
the UK has a slighty different vision than central europe, it's more toward the US.


RE: Today
By lco45 on 5/14/2009 2:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
[silence .. crickets .. muffled coughing]


RE: Today
By clovell on 5/13/2009 2:15:21 PM , Rating: 3
Points to consider, Jason, but there's no way you can spin raising utility costs 7-fold in a worldwide recession as anything but idiotic.


RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/13/2009 10:27:28 AM , Rating: 1
Paying 40 euros a month here (4 people living at home). That doesn't seem like it will keep me from eating morcilla with red wine =D
It's a small price to pay for clean energy so as to have a cleaner environment.

Almost 45% of the electricity produced in 2008 was clean energy, and Spain actually exports energy to France because even though Spain is spending on clean energy (and closing down nuclear power plants), it's still cheaper than France's nuclear energy.
Interesting enough, Spain barely has solar power energy, the biggest source of clean energy in Spain is actually wind power.


RE: Today
By Keeir on 5/13/2009 3:43:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Almost 45% of the electricity produced in 2008 was clean energy, and Spain actually exports energy to France because even though Spain is spending on clean energy (and closing down nuclear power plants), it's still cheaper than France's nuclear energy.


Strange

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.htm

In 2008, according to a bias source, France is the largest -exporter- of Electrical Energy

Looking at

http://www.iaea.org/inisnkm/nkm/aws/eedrb/data/ES-...

and

http://www.iaea.org/inisnkm/nkm/aws/eedrb/data/ES-...

Spain has traditionally been a Importer of Electricity (overall)

France
http://www.iaea.org/inisnkm/nkm/aws/eedrb/data/FR-...

and

http://www.iaea.org/inisnkm/nkm/aws/eedrb/data/FR-...

Seems to be traditionally a large exportor of electricity.

Furtermore

http://www.rte-france.com/espace_clients/an/client...

Suggests that overall, France exports more than 5TWh to Spain.


RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/13/2009 7:39:21 PM , Rating: 1
In 2008 Spain exported 11.221 GWh witch is quite an accomplishment taking into consideration that in 2008 three nuclear power plants where closed down.

Average monthly prices (€/Mwh)
January 2009: Spain 51,13; France 63,45
February 2009: Spain 41,67; France 49,51

This is from 2007: http://www.pvresources.com/en/top50pv.php
Take into consideration that Spain is only just a bit bigger than California.

It seems that clean energy in Spain is cheaper than France's nuclear energy. Maybe the reason is that with nuclear energy you have to spend a huge amount of money on dealing properly with the nuclear waste.


RE: Today
By Keeir on 5/14/2009 11:18:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In 2008 Spain exported 11.221 GWh witch is quite an accomplishment taking into consideration that in 2008 three nuclear power plants where closed down.


Although I do not know, nor could find a source for your number of 11.221 GWh, keep in mind this number is very very small. Traditionally speaking, Spain imports 5000 GWh a year in balance. 11.221 GWh translates into around 1.3 MW (24 hours a day and 356 days a year) or roughly what 2 2.5MW wind towers would produce.

quote:
Average monthly prices (€/Mwh)


So are these Wholesale? Consumer? Average the Distrub. Companies needs to be paid? Given the unit, I am going to go with Wholesale prices. In comparison I offer you
http://www.bloomberg.com/energy/
Wholesale prices for Electricity in the United States
Palo Verde is a transition point dominated by the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, its price per MWh is 34,34 Euros.

In reality, if those are Wholesale prices, the do not reflect the cost of Spanish "Clean" power. According to this article, which unfortunately since I do not speak Spanish I must run with... Spanish power distributors MUST by law purchase all "green" power produced by Spanish power companies which is priced at less than 10 x the rate for coal. Coal is in the United States typically produced and sold for a rate around 30,00 Euros per MWh. In Spain, it probably a bit higher, but even so, Only green power priced at more than 300,00 Euros per MWh will make its way to the Wholesale market in Spain. Spainish Wholesale prices will be governed by the cost to produce the other mixture of powers, IE Coal (since as you point out Nuclear Plants are shutting down).

quote:
It seems that clean energy in Spain is cheaper than France's nuclear energy. Maybe the reason is that with nuclear energy you have to spend a huge amount of money on dealing properly with the nuclear waste.


Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong. Speaking in terms of -COST- to produce power, since prices can reflect many situations especially in semi-socialist societys such as Spain and France, Nuclear power cost estimates run 0,02 Euros per kWh to 0,08 Euros per kWh depending on the Study. Wind and Solar are 0,07 to 0,35 Euros per kWh depending on the Study and Location. (Wind can be very cheap, but there is usually a limit on the amount that can be installed in the best wind locations. This varies by country). At its very very very best, Wind power can be produced at the same rate as some of the worst Nuclear Power. Given that Wind Power has high variability, in the long run its costs to transmit and use are unarguably higher than Nuclear.


RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/15/2009 11:08:43 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure how Spain producing cheaper energy with more clean energy and less nuclear energy than France fits with your statement.


RE: Today
By heffeque on 5/15/2009 11:11:44 AM , Rating: 2
Forgot to put the link: http://www.ree.es/sala_prensa/web/notas_detalle.as... It's in Spanish, sorry :-\


RE: Today
By Keeir on 5/15/2009 12:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not sure how Spain producing cheaper energy with more clean energy and less nuclear energy than France fits with your statement.


But you have done absolutely nothing to show that Spain IS producing "clean" (IE Wind + Solar) power cheaper than France's Nuclear Power.

In fact, the very article we are dicussing says that instead of "Cheaper" its in fact 7x as expensive and allowed by law to be 10x!

You paying 40 Euros means nothing. I pay less than 10 Euros a month for electricity. Its the -rate- thats important. And even further than the rate, its the rate when the subsidies are taken in... In the US, even -coal- power is subsidized to the tune of 0,01 Euro cents per kWh. Wind and Solar have traditionally been subsidized at more like 0,20 Euro cents per kWh.

Yeah, I am thinking of going to Spain and putting up a wind tower. I get 25 years of customers at 10x the wholesale rate! Do that for any particular industry and watch to go bananas.


No choice equals tyranny
By Steve73 on 5/13/2009 9:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to live in a nation that does not cherish freedom, Spain should probably head the list.




RE: No choice equals tyranny
By lco45 on 5/14/2009 2:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
Could you possibly post a photo of yourself? Just curious.
Cheers,
Luke


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By tamaron on 5/14/2009 6:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
Why are you saying that? I am spanish and I found this VERY irreverent. Ok man you are a real hero!


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By Steve73 on 5/14/2009 9:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you’re Spanish and you fine my comments VERY irreverent. What a Shock. Let me enlighten you then. Not sure if you have ever taken a government class but theirs this thing called the political spectrum. Most spectrums go from left to right with Communist on the left side and Fascist on the right (very simplified explanation and incorrect), however, I’m not referring to this political spectrum. The spectrum that I use was employed by the founding fathers of the U.S. They believed that the political spectrum started with no government, which they refer to as Anarchy, and at the opposite end you have total government control or Tyranny. So when I use the word Tyranny that’s what I’m talking about. When a government takes your freedom away because it thinks it knows best, that is Tyranny. You may disagree with this and I’m fine with that but don’t dismiss a comment that you don’t comprehend. Thanks.


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By tamaron on 5/15/2009 3:35:28 AM , Rating: 1
And you savior of the masses are american or what? You must know my country better than I, thank you leader...

I always take respect to other people's nation, somthing you don't.

I understand that you say that my country and we the citizens don't appreciate the freedom... Who are you to say that bullshit? Are you living here? do you know any spaniard? are you aware of our recent history and our circumstances?
I understand you, better than you.

Most of my family died in our civil war fighting for our freedom, and I found VERY irreverent (again) that a person who knows NOTHING about us come and say LIES.

Perhaps you have studied more than I, but I am more educated man. I respect your citizens, wherever they are.

And please let the sarcasm... you are so... brilliant...


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By heffeque on 5/15/2009 10:46:15 AM , Rating: 2
As half American half Spanish... I do prefer Spain as a country to live in.
Sure there are more luxuries in the US, but as for freedom and quality of life, Spain is actually quite ahead right now.
I prefer a good life with less money and less luxuries than a life where atheists are considered anti-American (interesting taking into consideration that some of the most important figures that molded the US and it's constitution where non-believers), criticizing your own country equals being unpatriotic, gay people are considered as mentally sick and violence is socially more acceptable than nudism.


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By Steve73 on 5/15/2009 8:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
There were people who enjoyed living under Hitler, Stalin and Francisco Franco.

Atheist have as many rights as the next guy in America.

Your statement about the most important fathers being atheist is incorrect. Some of the important founding fathers were deist. Deists believe in a supreme being (a creator). All of the founding fathers believed in a higher being. Are unalienable rights that Thomas Jefferson talks about are based on the ideal of a higher being. In other words are rights don't come from the government they come from a higher being.

Sometimes free speech hurts because it includes the good with the bad. People have there opinions, sometimes their opinions are hurtful and other times they can be pleasing.


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By heffeque on 5/17/2009 12:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
There were people who enjoyed living under Bush too.

Atheists don't have it easy in the States. In theory they have the same rights, in practice... not so true.

"In other words are rights don't come from the government they come from a higher being."

Are you serious? I hope that that was sarcasm at it's best or something.

Also... are rights -> our rights.


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By Steve73 on 5/17/2009 7:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
How do atheist not have it easy in the states?

Are you serious? I hope that that was sarcasm at it's best or something.

Yes. What do you think natural rights are.

1776 United States Declaration of Independence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." Thomas Jefferson


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By heffeque on 5/18/2009 11:11:56 AM , Rating: 2
My creator is the union of my mother and father in bed, or maybe in another place, but still... most people are created by their parents having sex. What about you? Did Jesus Christ create you? LOL!

Yeah, atheists don't have it easy in the States. Just search around. Don't search in Fox news though, it's highly unlikely that you'll find any of that there.

And no, natural rights aren't "a higher being", they are the produce of a healthy intelligent social standard that has been evolving for centuries and these are the ones that we have now. Although now that I think of it, today's aren't so healthy or intelligent, but anyway...

I hope that next thing I'll read from you is a "gravity is just a theory and it's wrong, it's actually Jesus Christ pulling us down to this flat Earth we live in". Then I'll know that you were joking all along.


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By Steve73 on 5/15/2009 7:36:44 PM , Rating: 1
"And you savior of the masses are american or what? You must know my country better than I, thank you leader..."

Never stated we were your saviors did I.
I have taken several classes that have covered your history from your colonization of the Americas, to present with the election of your current communist President Zapatero.
Am I a expert on your country? NO, never claim to be one either.

"I always take respect to other people's nation, somthing you don't."

Criticizing a country does not mean you don't have respect for a country.

"I understand that you say that my country and we the citizens don't appreciate the freedom... Who are you to say that bullshit? Are you living here? do you know any spaniard? are you aware of our recent history and our circumstances?
I understand you, better than you."

Yes I know several Spaniards and I do know something about your country. And no, you don't understand me otherwise you would have picked up on my sarcasm.

"Most of my family died in our civil war fighting for our freedom, and I found VERY irreverent (again) that a person who knows NOTHING about us come and say LIES."

Great. My family died too fighting for freedom.
I'm getting tired of telling that I do know something about your country.

"Perhaps you have studied more than I, but I am more educated man. I respect your citizens, wherever they are."

You must be naturally smart and I respect other people as well. I just have a difference of an opinion.

"Thank you, Thank you very much":)


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By NoAcceptablePassword on 5/15/2009 1:35:44 AM , Rating: 1
I've got to agree with the world-traveler, linguist and historian Steve73: Spain is a nation of slaves. And even if Stevie doesn't know shit about Spain, as any red-blooded, God-fearing American will tell ya, ignorance does not disqualify anyone from holding very strong opinions. Ya fill your head full of useless facts and it pollutes the purity of your opinions, things get all fuzzy and the next thing ya know, ya find yourself stopping to think before you open your mouth and people think your gay.


RE: No choice equals tyranny
By tamaron on 5/15/2009 3:50:39 AM , Rating: 2
I am afraid, but are you going sarcastic right?


Cemetery
By AnnihilatorX on 5/13/2009 7:57:50 AM , Rating: 4
I have no disrespect for the deceased, but I personally think the idea of land burial with a tombstone is a waste of space and personally if I die I won't take that option.

Referring to the photo, installing solar panel over a cemetery may not be a bad idea afterall.




RE: Cemetery
By AntiM on 5/13/2009 8:20:31 AM , Rating: 2
Their dead bodies should also be used to make little green, square crackers.

But seriously, I agreee. Cemeteries full of metal caskets with dead bodies brimming with a cocktail of preservative chemicals and are a woeful waste of land. We should allow our bodies to decay and return to the earth like nature intended.
Back to the subject of solar panels, maybe instead of a grave marker, a person could have a solar panel. I would imagine the cost would be about the same, if not cheaper for a solar panel engraved with the person's name.


RE: Cemetery
By Keeir on 5/13/2009 2:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong Day

Tuesday is Solyent Green Day


RE: Cemetery
By TSS on 5/13/2009 9:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
i find that picture funny.

why? because there's solar panels over a cemetery. but if you look at the 3 massive blocks of apartments in the distance behind it, there's not a single panel to be found.

you'd think that's where they'd put up the first panels. feed that electricity right back into the building to supplement farms like the one in the picture. you'd have solar power AND cheap(er) electricity.


RE: Cemetery
By elessar1 on 5/13/2009 9:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
Those
quote:
3 massive blocks of apartments in the distance behind it
are no apartments... are "nichos", or "niche" in english... this are like cabinets for caskets... think of it as a apartments for dead people...

cheers...


RE: Cemetery
By Starcub on 5/13/2009 1:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
think of it as a apartments for dead people...

So they pay 7x to provide electricity to dead people?

Silly Spaniards.


RE: Cemetery
By inperfectdarkness on 5/13/2009 10:06:09 AM , Rating: 2
i agree.

i can think of many, many places solar could be put into effect. think of all the parking lots in the world; rooftops of every big-box retailer; gas-stations; etc, etc, etc,. cemetaries is an awesome way to recoup the land being used.

perhaps in the future there might even be ways to transform our roadways themselves into solar generators....

nah. i'm dreaming again.


RE: Cemetery
By oTAL on 5/13/2009 1:00:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
personally if I die I won't take that option


Feeling optimist?


RE: Cemetery
By lco45 on 5/14/2009 2:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
First actual "laugh out loud". Thank you.

Luke


Smart but not so...
By greylica on 5/13/2009 8:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
The economical balance between consumers and the government (course their margin over power bill is what make them extort their consumers ) will force people to switch to buy themselves their own electric solar panel if they are smart enough. But sometimes, even the rooftop of your house isn´t enough to power all of your home. The best way is to have their own rooftop solar panel, and buy only the energy they really need.
I am having the same problem in Brazil. The electricity here is getting so expensive, that forced me to look at another way to diminish the impact of what Aneel did to us (20,19% higher prices last month, without proper explanation).
The energy get´s so expensive, that installing solar panel in all of my apartment windows, will turn back the money invested in only 4 years.
If spanish people are smart enough, they will start to buy their own solar panels...
Better than be extorted...




RE: Smart but not so...
By Golgatha on 5/13/2009 9:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
Now if I could install enough solar on my roof and sell the excess capacity back to my power company at 7x their rate, you better believe I'd adopt solar power in a hurry.


RE: Smart but not so...
By Belard on 5/13/2009 9:34:46 AM , Rating: 1
Heres the thing...

1 - Solar Tech is improving very quickly. In another 3~5 years, it SHOULD be just as cheap as coal.

2 - If its cheap, unlike a power plant (coar / nuke) Anyone can buy it and install it on their roof or their yard. Remember on DT - they're's tech that'll allow your windows to be solar collectors.

3 - it creates NO (or little) pollution, other than manufactering the solar collectors.

4 - If many people buy their own, it reduces the drain on the electrical system

5 - if everyone has one, it can help re-charge their electric cars. Because AS OF NOW, eletric cars STILL require power from Coal / Nuke plants which generate pollution / waste.

6 - we WILL run out of coal or have to dig even deeper and we WILL run out of gas. The Sun and Win, those aren't going anywhere soon. And we need OIL for grease/lube for electric motors and airplanes / space craft engines.


RE: Smart but not so...
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 10:50:53 AM , Rating: 2
By the time we have to worry about running out of coal, we will almost certainly have perfected fusion.

And if you want to buy solar cells for personal use fine. But YOU pay for it. If I buy a home in an area where solar cells would be practical, I'd consider putting them up myself so I wouldn't have to pay a power bill and to add value to my home.


RE: Smart but not so...
By Keeir on 5/13/2009 3:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the Thing

quote:
1 - Solar Tech is improving very quickly. In another 3~5 years, it SHOULD be just as cheap as coal.


This has been said for more than 25 years. In reality, it appears that Solar is at least 5 times as expensive as coal. Which the US doesn't even really build all the often because its (coal) is considered more business expensive than natural gas. There is no rational, logical, or scientific reason to believe that Solar, a technology that has existed for well over 50 years will suddeny drop in price 50% a year for the next few years.

quote:
4 - If many people buy their own, it reduces the drain on the electrical system


Only when combined with an adquate electrical system. I see it quite differently. Increased home usage of Solar/Wind will lead to additional inconsistencies and uncertainities in the level of power required at any one particular hour. While not "overcomable", planning for Sun and Wind patterns will make grid control more expensive and result most likely in additional margin being built in the amount of power being generated... adding expense as wasted power goes up. Its not really a "slam dunk" in terms of lower the stress on the electrical system.


RE: Smart but not so...
By Solandri on 5/13/2009 4:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1 - Solar Tech is improving very quickly. In another 3~5 years, it SHOULD be just as cheap as coal.

Current mass-market solar panels are about 15%-20% efficient. Solar has been able to piggyback on the enormous advances in semiconductor manufacturing by the computer industry, so I doubt you'll see much reduction in their manufacturing costs due to high adoption of solar. So you're left with efficiency as the only means of improving price.

If solar currently costs about 5x as much as coal, then making it just as cheap as coal would require panels which are 75%-100% efficient. The chances of us reaching that point in 3-5 years is virtually nil. I'd reckon we're several billion times more likely to be hit by a planet-killing asteroid in the next 3-5 years than for solar to reach the cost of coal.

quote:
2 - If its cheap, unlike a power plant (coar / nuke) Anyone can buy it and install it on their roof or their yard. Remember on DT - they're's tech that'll allow your windows to be solar collectors.

Without ginormous batteries to store that solar energy during the day (when you're at work) so you can use it at night (when there's no sun), the house will still need to be hooked up to the grid and we will still need coal/nuke power plants.

And windows that are solar collectors mean no (or less) light gets into your house. Kinda pointless to turn your windows into solar collectors if it forces you to turn the lights on inside the house during the day.

quote:
5 - if everyone has one, it can help re-charge their electric cars. Because AS OF NOW, eletric cars STILL require power from Coal / Nuke plants which generate pollution / waste.

I dunno about you, but I drive my car to work during the day. Installing a solar powered car recharging system at home isn't going to do me any good because my car isn't there most of the time the sun is up.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for alternate energy. But a lot of the proponents of solar are advocating it simply for the sake of it being alternate energy. They're putting very little thought into how practical it is. Of the alternate energy technologies I've seen, I would rank them from most practical to least as: hydro, geothermal, biofuels (use plants as solar collectors!), maybe fusion, and way down the list wind, and dead last solar.


RE: Smart but not so...
By greylica on 5/13/2009 7:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
Some Facts:

A 65cm X 100cm solar panel will only generate (in very sunny days) 85W X 12V~14V in 5~6 hours a day.
We have to use static sealed batteries to store that energy.
In My Apartment, I have 6 windows available to install those solar panels.
Then I could have in a sunny day, (assuming 85W x 5 H X 6 Panels) 510W/H X 12V~14V.
This will give me 2550W X 12V~14V per day at maximum.

Cost to implement (here, but converted to U$):
4950 U$.

Then, what can I do with this little amount of energy ?
Using 12V Led Lamp, equivalent to a 100W incandescent lamp
will consume 6W per lamp directly in 12Volts. I use 8 here, and will assume 2 Hours for each.
Then 96 W (I will assume 100). Using an inverter, will lost between 15~20% of the energy,
2550w-100w (Lamps) = 2450w -20% (inverter)= 1960W available in 127Volts
PC + Monitor (idle) 120W
PC + Monitor (Gaming, or rendering 3D anims (My work)) 300W
6~7 hours a day work

Now, the worst part...

Assuming 0,45 cents per KW Here,using 2550W (brute energy)
as directly generate by the panels each day
Will give me 1,1475 U$ per day in full usage
(all lamps, my PC )

30 days = U$ 34,425 each month

4950 U$ to implement divided to 34,425=143 month

WOW - Error, it´s not 4 years, it´s 12 years !

OK, but they raise the cost of energy every 2 years...

Using the last downgrade in my pocket they
did here in Brazil (20,19 %) will cut the
time to recover the cost near 7~8 years.

Those panels last 20 years, the rest of recoverable costs
will be used to battery maintenance when needed.
(every 5 years)

This way, I will have at least 8 Years
to recover my pocket, using those
speculative calculations.

But the pleasure to not give the money
to them... doesn´t have a price...


RE: Smart but not so...
By Keeir on 5/14/2009 4:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Assuming 0,45 cents per KW Here,


Note, if thats 45 Euro Cents, thats pretty damn painful. I currently pay 7 Euro Cents per kWh. Since I doubt power production/distr. is really that much more costly where you are, remember that alot of that 0,45 cents will have to be recovered by the government/collecting agency in other ways.

Even assuming that huge replacement energy costs (I consider prices ranging upto 5x the US average to be very high indeed), you still have to have 8 straight years of very sunny days every single day. I also notice you don't factor in battery losses, nor the lost efficieny as time goes on, nor the oppurtunity cost/borrowing cost for the inital investment, nor any potential maintaince costs.

Even Solar Panel Companies show that for most locations, personal solar panel installations cost around 0.4 USdollars per kWh over 25/50 years with no opportunity cost nor maintaincence nor efficieny losses. (Note, this is not true everywhere. Some area of the US with High Sun, High Government Incentives, and High Electricity costs begin to have payback periods in the 15-20 year range)

quote:
But the pleasure to not give the money
to them... doesn´t have a price...


Your right, its a pleasure not to give them money. But it does have a price... a pretty steap one


RE: Smart but not so...
By highlandsun on 5/14/2009 12:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
You don't necessarily have to have batteries on-site, though that might make some other things easier. You can sell your excess electricity back to the utility companies during the day, and then buy it back at night. That's the ultimate in perfect investments - buy low, sell high - demand and prices are higher by day, lower by night...

By the way, thin film silicon solar panels are transparent. The notion that putting panels over all your windows is going to keep your house dark is pretty silly. In regions where there's a lot of sun exposure, where it's worthwhile to mount these panels, you're going to be doing yourself a favor because it will reduce the light from intense levels to moderate levels, and it will reduce heat buildup as well, thus lowering your cooling costs at the same time.

As for solar and recharging electric cars - I guess that's questionable. I think one of the ideal targets for solar installation is to cover over parking lots. That would help reduce the occurrence of urban heat islands as well. If your workplace is progressive, this may work out for you. And even if not, you still have the advantage of being able to sell any excess electricity back to the utility companies.

Maybe you think you've thought about this more than other people, but I don't think you've thought it through enough yet.


RE: Smart but not so...
By cornelius785 on 5/13/2009 11:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
1->sounds familiar as other have said

2-> you obviously don't know what goes into build a solar power generation system just for your house. since you can't make assumptions on future technology, you'll need a lot of panels ($$$), lots of batteries ($$$$), need to a large power controller to be able to: charge batteries and power the house from 3 sources ($$), and others. As far as cheap goes, I'd start at $5000 which rockets up to $20,000 fast. So unless rebates are involved or total system coast suddenly gets cheapers, most people will be detered by that price tag, plus you are now responsible for maintaining your electricity supply, for better or for worse.

3->you can't forget the impact of the rest of a solar/wind power generation systems, being: maintence (minor or non-existant for personal systems) and most importantly energy storage (batteries, flywheels, pumping water up high, super heated water/other hot substance, etc.). not all of these are that 'clean' over their life span.

4->in my opinion, it isn't safe to make assumption on personal power generations. it'll only complicated what the expected load is for residential power supply

5->what's wrong with nuclear? sure there is radioactive waste that can be disposed of properly or reused. nuclear plants offer the reliability and predictability + controllability (also power/land) of output power that fossil fuels have to offer with the low pollution of solar and wind. also, who says electric cars are the future? unless batteries improve drastically (power density and charge times), it won't work for many. it'll be hard to charge your car if you park on the street regularly, in parking garage (your landlord may not like the idea of installing lots of metered power outlets), and don't forget trips. in my opinion, gas refueling has set the bar to match of MANY stations and fast refueling (~4 minutes and your full, how long does it take to charge a battery? hours?)

6->i think importance of oil can be better summed as 'oil is too important to be just burned', not $/gallon but the usages of oil beside burning it.


Spain=California
By corduroygt on 5/13/2009 1:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
Similar double digit employment rate, similar ridiculous environmental regulations that costs taxpayers, same language.




RE: Spain=California
By FormerDemocrat on 5/13/2009 3:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
Spain = California, brilliant.

Economic suicide. Give these idiots a chance to go broke, and they'll take it. The only problem is, Obama and Democrats will LOVE this kind of thing, and force it on the rest of us.

Why don't people realize that the price of solar is falling, as it doubles in cost-efficiency about every 5 years. Starting at 7X the cost of coal, it will take about 15 years to become competitive.

Then, we'll somehow have to get the Sun to shine 24 hrs a day. And do away with those nasty cloudy days.


RE: Spain=California
By Spuke on 5/13/2009 5:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then, we'll somehow have to get the Sun to shine 24 hrs a day. And do away with those nasty cloudy days.
Not to mention higher latitudes will reduce the amount of light collected by the panels.


What?
By Raidin on 5/13/2009 11:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The government also recently raised the rate of Spain believes this sacrifice will pay off as fossil fuel resources become depleted and emissions standards tighten.


What's going on here? Did the second sentence interrupt the first sentence?




By Halla on 5/13/2009 1:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
Here on Long Island, New York Id say the average monthly electric bill is ~$300 (or ~220 EUROS)
I'll trade any time.




This information is innacurate
By inigoml on 5/14/2009 4:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
1- Spain does not have 14GW of solar power installed. It's true for wind energy, but not for solar.
https://demanda.ree.es/generacion_acumulada.html
https://demanda.ree.es/demanda.html
(solar is included in "resto reg especial", and "ciclo combinado" is natural gas)
If we had 14GW per year almost one third of our energy would come from solar power, and this is not true. But it's true that almost 20% comes from wind power.

2- Rates are not 10x. At this moment, for photovoltaic, it's about 0.33€ kw/h (more or less). Generation from pool is about 0.08€ kw/h. In fact prime has been lowered from 0.4X€ kw/h to 0.33€ kw/h. And now installation is limited (if you want sell it under special prime, of course), so only about 1GW/h can be installed (subsidized) per year.

3- All of this is for photovoltaic solar power. Thermal solar is not included and its subsidized with other rates. There is no limit for non photovoltaic installations.

4- Spain always has been a deficitary nation in energy terms. We have no oil, no gas and coal extraction is expensive and we usually import from others countries. So it's logic to promote renewable energies from an strategic point of view because we have no options. Only one could be nuclear power, but our uranium reserves are not very big.

5- I pay about 35€ per month for my electric bill. I live in a three room flat, and of course I've wash machine, plates wash machine, frigde, one computer working all day (fit-pc), two laptops, a 40" LCD, 7.1 surround, multimedia hard disk, a PS3, a 20" LCD and other, and Air Conditioner with hot pump. All my light is CLF or LED. Prior 2009, electric bill was bimensual, so this could be part of the "high electric bill" commented in this post.




"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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