Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's be Friends

Fossil energy and renewables should not be played as cards against each other. It's time to move beyond making enemies of the two.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Clean Coal vs. Lean Coal

Future of fossil fuels: Back-up for renewables

"And not only do Germany’s two biggest utilities dismiss the need for additional coal or gas capacity, they say that the current fossil fuel generation will ultimately be relegated to a role of back-up generation for renewables, rather than being called upon to supply “baseload” power. In some cases it is already happening. Indeed, a 2,200MW lignite-fuelled power station opened by RWE this month is designed to act as a sort of peaking plant, with the ability to ramp up (and down) 500MW of capacity within 15 to 30 minutes."


Gotta Love the Classics

Leave Toys Here, or else...
Assailant suffers injuries from fall

Orville Smith, a store manager for Best Buy in Augusta, Georgia, told police he observed a male customer, later identified as Tyrone Jackson of Augusta, on surveillance cameras putting a laptop computer under his jacket... When confronted the man became irate, knocked down an employee, drew a knife and ran for the door.

Outside on the sidewalk were four Marines collecting toys for the "Toys for Tots" program. Smith said the Marines stopped the man, but he stabbed one of the Marines, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, in the back; the injury did not appear to be severe.

After Police and an ambulance arrived at the scene Cpl. Duggan was transported for treatment.

According to the police report, the subject was also transported to the local hospital with two broken arms, a broken ankle, a broken leg, several missing teath, possible broken ribs, multiple contusions, assorted lacerations, a broken nose and a broken jaw... injuries he sustained when he slipped and fell off of the curb after stabbing the Marine.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pigs go to Slaughter

A printing press in Mina-Al-Ahmadi, Kuwait
The Usual Suspects are attacking wind subsidies. Solar is getting caught in the cross-fire somewhat but most of the attention is specifically on wind subsidies and the PTC in particular.

Heritage Foundation: Morning Bell: Wind Energy Subsidies Are As Useful As VHS Tape Subsidies
WSJ: The Energy Subsidy Tally DEAR BIG WIND: IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME

Green rags have responded with reflexive articles about how coal and oil interests are behind the propaganda. The articles talk about how fossil fuels are dirty and how fossil interests also receives billions in subsidies. After you've read this sort of dog chasing his tail Yen and Yang crock enough times it's exceedingly boring.

Here's a surprisingly balanced take on the matter from WAPO: Wind Power

I prefer to look at these articles for what they are at their core... A sign of fear. Fear for lost profits. Fear of losing control. Fear of the graphic future.

*German data comes from BSW. US data comes from GTM & SEIA. Australian data comes from IEA & Solar Choice info. Italian data comes from IEA and personal research. I've thrown in some guesstimates here and there to smooth out spaces with sparse data. Data with sources can be found in the Economics of Photoelectricity spreadsheet.

**It appears my Australian data will need to be adjusted up to account for an STC subsidy that needs to be teased out of the data. The tease procedure may/should result an upward shift of the Australian graph by something like 500 to 1000 $/kWp. I'm working on it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jesus Christ Super Marred & The Mass Stupor of Christ


Recommended Reading

Who's Afraid of Solar PV?

Solar installation costs continue to fall in Germany

Prices appear to be headed lower still. Here's an amazingly low 1469 Euro/kW price quote for an 11.03 kW system. With the exchange rate running at 1.25 USD/Euro that works out to 1840 USD/kW. One other interesting tidbit about this system is that is has a LCOE of under .10 Euro/kWh.

A small part of me thinks these prices are too good to be true. Hopefully a healthy market is driving these low prices rather than desperation selling.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Six Factor Formula

Large Fat People Lick Their Furry Nads Excessively

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What'chu talkin' about France?

"France, for instance, which has a strong commitment to nuclear, has banned fracking in shale gas exploration because of concerns over the environmental impact."

Translation: France doesn't give a long piss about the environment. France banned fracking because EDF and Areva don't want the competition from Siemens.

More Counterintuitivity

Mama mia... That's a lotta hatsa!
Liberal Forces Oppose Solar Development

"A report submitted to the board also on Tuesday shows that at least eight approved solar projects are involved in lawsuits while one recommended for approval by the Planning Commission has been appealed.

And Horne, who points out that labor unions and environmental groups are many times behind the lawsuits, said he doesn’t expect this pattern to change."

Strange eh... You'd think the enviros would be all lovey dovey over these projects. But in a mixed up whacky tabacky way the opposition to these projects is just what the doctor ordered. California needs to seriously re-examine its solar strategy. In particular they need to look at the all-in-costs of building solar farms out in the Imperial Valley that require transmission upgrades to ship the electricity to population centers. If the all-in-costs of those remote farms are greater than the all-in-costs of local solar projects (rooftops, parking lots, brown fields) we should fight the former and focus on the latter.

P.S. I'm not a huge fan of seafood in general but I like a good cup of clam chowder and I absolutely love BBQ'd salmon.

Zen translation... Big ideas in big spaces are small. 

P.P.S. Tomorrow I'm going to have a hard time figuring out WTF I meant there. Gare-on-tee...

P.P.P.S. Captain's Log 10/3/2012 WTF? Who writes this stuff. I do amazing shit when I slurf. Thank god I don't write to my mom. Hmmm... I'm glad I don't speak zen when friends are over.

Quote of the Day

"“The over-dependence of the wind industry on economic incentives to grow and prosper is not a good thing, particularly in these times of a dysfunctional political leadership,” Duprey said on a second-quarter conference call last week."

I would say the same of the US solar industry. While nations like Germany, Australia, Italy, France and the U.K. have rolled back subsidies we've held ours stubbornly high. Investors claim you need steady subsidy policy to encourage growth - that's marketing BS. Holding subsidies static unnecessarily holds up prices and prevents competition from weeding the weak. The cows are going to come home after the election and things are going to get messy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gettin' Jiggy in India

1 Gigawatt solar plant in India to cost Rs 8,000 to 9,000 crore (1.45 to 1.63 USD/Watt).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Union, Justice and Confidence

Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime
In Lousiana they have an amazingly generous 50% tax credit for solar and wind installations. The credit caps out at $12,500. As an added bonus the credit is compatible with the 30% federal ITC such that a full 80% of a solar installation can be written off.

Jeff Shaw is the executive director of the Luisiana ASES chapter and the owner of a solar installation business in Baton Rouge. He claims the tax credits are a good deal for the state after you look at all the benefits. In the article mentioned above he's quoted as saying, "If the tax break is reduced, I think it would almost crush the industry."

You read that right folks. According to Jeff Shaw, reducing the states 50% tax credit would almost crush the solar industry in Lousiana. Get serious man. There are hand ups and then there are hand outs. And then there's Louisiana where Arm and a Leg outs are on the menu. Hell with the budgets. Screw the schools and hospitals - save the whales.

London Olympics Symbol Blows

Is it just me or is the purple guy on the left getting a BJ? Hey... if you can't own the podium you may as well bone it...

Could you be more self-serving Lyndon?

"Lyndon Rive, the head of SolarCity, said: “People don’t buy gas stations. People don’t buy utilities. Why are we having them buy solar equipment?""

Counterintuitivity Becoming the Norm

Here's another joker saying we could increase the amount of photoelectric systems installed by reducing the incentives. What a maroon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thanks Steve

Hilarious Digital Graffiti

Nobody said you couldn't yell SATIRE in a crowded theatre.

We're not gonna take it...

I've been thinking about the roadblocks various utilities are setting up to prevent people from installing photoelectric systems. Things like capping PE installs at 15% of peak load. Rather than fight the utility every step of the way on these issues what about going the nuclear route?
What if We the People declared independence and purchased our local distribution circuits. The utility would continue to make, ship and sell electricity but they wouldn't hold authority over local distribution. We'd write our own rules - a highly customizable Power Constitution. We'd pay into a public/private insurance pool to cover contingencies such as weather related powerline damage. Brokers would be used to ensure the customer pool (a community/city/region etc.) is protected from gauging by subcontractors (the utility and/or independents). Transaction costs would encourage conglomeration while local circumstance would encourage separation. Between the push and pull you'd find a competitive balance.

Thursday, August 2, 2012