Forum Thread

Solar power vs. utilities

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 1 - 15 of 48 1 2 3 4 Next
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/power-play-utilities-want-solar-users-pay-2D11887782?ocid=msnhp&pos=1

    Interesting story about Solar Energy and how the utility companies want to reduce credits for surplus energy generated.

    Thoughts, opinions ?
  • Independent
    Plymouth, WI
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    The power companies have stopped solar since Regan was President, this doesn't surprise me. I guess we will see President Obama's true clean energy side, depending what happens here.
  • Independent
    Plymouth, WI
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    President Obama said he would double our car mileage when running for his second term, I haven't heard another word of this since, is this the true picture of President Obama, all talk and no cleaner air and water? Sure hope not, but when oil runs America, I bet we don't hear another word about better mileage. When our president continues to mention solar and wind together, this too is a sign that the president isn't really for solar taking over our electric grid. Why? Solar and wind are 2 complete opposites. How? Solar is not a mechanical device that breaks down like wind, solar lays on your roof for thirty years with only a thirty percent lose of efficiency, wind will cost you thousands to maintain over thirty years. Solar works every day the sun rises, wind does not. No comparison what so ever, yet still I hear both mentioned in the same sentence, very stupid for sure, or smart, depending on who you work for, the system or the people.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I think it is/was only a marketing ploy by the utilities to placate the regulators. Utilities have no desire or incentives to pay their customers to produce energy for them! Just the opposite, in reality.

    Certainly there are some co-oops and municipal utility's that are truly not for profit but let's face it the typical utility is only interested in high salerys and bennies for the upper management and big profits for the investors at the expense of the consumer.

    Unless government forces them to do it there is absolutely no incentive for them.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    unitedmajority Wrote: President Obama said he would double our car mileage when running for his second term, I haven't heard another word of this since, is this the true picture of President Obama, all talk and no cleaner air and water? Sure hope not, but when oil runs America, I bet we don't hear another word about better mileage. When our president continues to mention solar and wind together, this too is a sign that the president isn't really for solar taking over our electric grid. Why? Solar and wind are 2 complete opposites. How? Solar is not a mechanical device that breaks down like wind, solar lays on your roof for thirty years with only a thirty percent lose of efficiency, wind will cost you thousands to maintain over thirty years. Solar works every day the sun rises, wind does not. No comparison what so ever, yet still I hear both mentioned in the same sentence, very stupid for sure, or smart, depending on who you work for, the system or the people.
    Actually the doubling of car mileage is an achievable goal that was agreed to by the automobile manufacturers back in 2012. Here's a CBS article that explains it:

    CBS, August 28, 2012: New fuel standards aim to double gas mileage

    "Although automakers initially resisted the move to boost gas mileage, large automakers including Chrysler, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) expressed support for the fuel standards after Obama first proposed them in July 2011.

    "The gas mileage requirements will be phased in gradually and get tougher starting in 2017. They build on a 2009 deal between the Obama administration and automakers that committed cars and trucks to average 35.5 mpg by model year 2016."

    Of course there are some review points:

    "The requirements, which can be imposed without congressional approval, will be reviewed in 2018 and could be reduced if the technology isn't available to meet the standards."

    Meeting this requirement certainly relies heavily on the manufacture of hybrids and all electric vehicles. I note that more and more businesses and some motels and hotels are catering to high energy efficient cars by privileged parking and electric charging stations.

    See EV Solutions: Electrifying Your Business

    Employers are providing "electric fuel stations" to their employees as a perk, and as this catches on in a big way, it will popularize not only hybrids but also all electric vehicles. Most households have two cars, and one of those cars is only used to drive to and from work or a trip to the grocery store...the ideal situation for electric vehicles. People like to brag that they only used maybe a gallon or so of gas in the past month.

    With the extra attention being given to Climate Change, minds and habits can change...or in the words of psychologist, George Lakoff, it requires changing the brain.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Getting back to the subject of the thread, utilities not wanting to give money back to their customers who give them excess power:

    This is a growing trend, I read about it a couple of months ago. A couple of states, Georgia and Arizona maybe, were leading the way.

    "Utilities are monopolies" is very true and they are in business to make money. Monopolies are used to getting what they want and what they want more than anything is MONEY. Customers who generate more power than they use is becoming a threat to their bottom line and make no mistake, this is ALL about their bottom line.

    pgr is right about the incentive. There is MONEY then there is everything else. Which one wins every time?
  • Democrat
    Missouri
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        

    The Midwest utility, KCP&L (Kansas City Power & Light) has just announced building/financing two more wind-generating electricity farms. One will be in Kansas and the other one in Missouri. This part of country has typically good wind experiences to take advantage of in putting more electricity on the grid. This generators are huge, bigger than a city bus and some are suspended on towers 400 feet high. Their wind collecting blades are 100 feet or more in length. Some of the wind farms I visited are huge numbering hundreds of towers mounting electric generators turning by the wind it collects.

    One of the jobs I had in the office was analyzing the locations for wind farms, which I studied to insure that they would not impact aircraft operations. The engineers and their companies that were designing placement of these wind farms didn't perform good engineering to refrain from impacting aviation. They would only pick locations that wind statistics showed an area ripe for placing a wind farm. The FAA would often inform these companies that they would not be authorized to build in specific locations. One example, a wind farm had several towers planned on an approach into an airport. When you determine the glide slope (typically 3 degrees) on an approach and the location of the tower plus the radius of the rotating blade, it clearly had an intrusion into the approaching aircraft. Airport approaches and severe impacts to navigational aids in certain areas were the reason we would study planned development of wind farms. These companies want to put them everywhere possible.

    I had a discussion with farmers that allowed leases on their property for these wind farms. They were happy. One farmer had over a 500 on a large ground he farmed. This lease still allowed him to farm and graze his cattle. The Energy company paid him $3000.00 per year on each tower. No wonder this farmer was happy. I asked him if the energy company gave him free electricity. He responded that was issue that wasn't a negotiated deal.

    These wind farms, I believe, put more into the power grid than solar farms. Could more hydroelectric plants be built? I am a supporter of Nuclear Power Plants. You get more "BANG" for your buck and managed properly are safe enough for a nearby childcare facility. I understand that Black & Veatch, which in Kansas City are gearing up for more building of Nuclear Power plants in America. They are currently hiring additional engineers for the demand for employees supporting the new plant building. If you think America has had enough of Nuclear waste, I agree. However, there is a method that is being used to deplete much of the radiation remaining in material. I just know how expensive it is, but I do know that the Military uses depleted uranium bullets and recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bullets are made from reactor material no longer able to use in generating power. These bullets were the reason why some GI's reported health issues, rashes and other, during Iraq and Afghanistan missions.

    I still have a concern for batteries in vehicles and toxic material. Hydrogen if you look at the periodic table is extremely light in its molecular form, so this makes it difficult to contain. Hydrogen can leak from the smallest of holes in containers and it's highly flammable. K....Boom. Makes you think differently having hydrogen in the car your driving. Natural gas is much easier to contain, but can contribute to a large explosion also. k....boom (smaller case)

  • Other Party
    Nebraska
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Regular cars of today with regular gas tanks sometime go K....Boom, too. There's no such thing as a present day or near future car that does not have a hazardous fuel.

    As long as there have been cars and trucks there have been K....Boom's and k....boom's and that does not figure to change anytime soon.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    jamesn Wrote: Regular cars of today with regular gas tanks sometime go K....Boom, too. There's no such thing as a present day or near future car that does not have a hazardous fuel.

    As long as there have been cars and trucks there have been K....Boom's and k....boom's and that does not figure to change anytime soon.
    Why the k........Boom? Because here people get drivers licences in the corn flake box ; In Europe you have to have extensive lessons and a very difficult examination and drivers test, which cost is not cheap. Sorry to say most Americans can't drive!!!
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Man is that the truth! I grew up in MA, well known for the "worst drivers" in the country. You know what state has the lowest accident death rate? Massachusetts!

    i live in NH now (the only good thing about this state is it's the least religious in the USA) and I can tell you I have never encountered so many people who have no idea what traffic lights mean, road signs indicate or where they are going! I scream at NH drivers as much as I do to Faux NotNews, much to my wife's dismay ;)
  • Independent
    Plymouth, WI
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Schmidt,
    Thanks for the education on Obama and our mileage. I guess it is worse than I realized, especially the part if the "technology is there." It is there now and was for decades now, it is like solar technology in America, "repressed in the name of oil money."\

    As for these wind farms, you don't hear the power companies complaining about them. Why? Because they are the ones generating the power, no problem, but when it comes to solar on your roof top, that is a problem for power companies, because now the majority has the power the system has, something the system has worked hard to prevent.

    As for these wind farms being better than solar, not even close to solar in every way. I am not sure what is providing more power to our grid in America, solar or wind, but I can tell you where Germany gets more of it's electric grid from, and it is not wind even in windy Germany, it is solar in cloudy Germany. Why? Because solar is something every house could have, wind is something most houses can not have. Yes wind is great for the power companies, but solar is the majority's energy source, now do you see why wind and solar are still mentioned in the same breath by our politicians?
  • Independent
    Plymouth, WI
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    pr Wrote: Man is that the truth! I grew up in MA, well known for the "worst drivers" in the country. You know what state has the lowest accident death rate? Massachusetts!

    i live in NH now (the only good thing about this state is it's the least religious in the USA) and I can tell you I have never encountered so many people who have no idea what traffic lights mean, road signs indicate or where they are going! I scream at NH drivers as much as I do to Faux NotNews, much to my wife's dismay ;)
    NH has the worse drivers and no God, figures, had they some God in their heart maybe they would be more considerate to others? I bet they have no problem burning hell's septic(oil) and have the least solar panels per house hold in America? For real, people only care about themselves obviously, when you see them driving big oil burners and putting solar down, "who cares about our children's future" is the clear message being sent by the system and the meme's they lead by their nose.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    unitedmajority Wrote:
    pr Wrote: Man is that the truth! I grew up in MA, well known for the "worst drivers" in the country. You know what state has the lowest accident death rate? Massachusetts!

    i live in NH now (the only good thing about this state is it's the least religious in the USA) and I can tell you I have never encountered so many people who have no idea what traffic lights mean, road signs indicate or where they are going! I scream at NH drivers as much as I do to Faux NotNews, much to my wife's dismay ;)
    NH has the worse drivers and no God, figures, had they some God in their heart maybe they would be more considerate to others? I bet they have no problem burning hell's septic(oil) and have the least solar panels per house hold in America? For real, people only care about themselves obviously, when you see them driving big oil burners and putting solar down, "who cares about our children's future" is the clear message being sent by the system and the meme's they lead by their nose.
    No, the "god" thing makes them even more corrupt; so PGR is lucky that they are just themselves and not a bunch of religeous hypocrites.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Tony:


    thanks for starting this topic .... the ideas shared by the rest of the folks on this thread really got the gears in my head turning, which could easily lead to a couple of thousand words ..

    however, in an attempt to be a lot more succinct, I'll try to add a few pithy comments:

    1) since Arizona gets more sun than any other state, there should be a lot more solar in the state .. as always, though, politics sometimes gets in the way .. in Arizona, the entity that governs utility rates is the Arizona Corporation Commission .. the commissioners that run it are elected .. as of last November , there are now more Republicans on the board than Democrats .. however, the fact that the surcharge by the utilities is only $5 per month for solar users instead of $50 means that progress is still possible

    http://www.azcc.gov/

    2) amc: every time that I've driven past Palm Springs, I've always been fascinated by the enormous wind farm just outside the city .. after I drove past it again last November, I did some research on the topic .. I learned that California is second in wind production in the country, just behind Texas (which has more windy politicians than Chicago) , and just ahead of Iowa .. California has 5 large wind farms, which produce 5% of the state's total electrical needs, enough to power 400,000 houses .. the farm outside Palm Springs has 3218 windmills .. I hadn't thought of Kansas and Missouri as locations for wind farms, but then I remembered Dorothy and her ruby slippers ..........

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_California3)

    3) Schmidt: Ford will be exhibiting its 2015 Ford F-150 at the North American Auto Show .. the new vehicle uses a LOT of aluminum, which will lead to a mileage rating of 30 miles per gallon, which is amazing for a full size pickup:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/set-detroit-debut-fords-aluminum-f-150-2D11812834

    a guy named Elon Musk is already an important figure in both solar and electric power .. in addition to running Tesla Automotive, he is also the chairman of the board of SolarCity, the largest provider of solar power systems in the United States .. using a network of electric charging stations, he plans to make a coast to coast drive in a Tesla S, proving that electric cars CAN be practical for long journeys

    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/09/10/elon-musk-to-drive-tesla-model-s-across-america-in-six-days/

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

    in his spare time, he is the chief executive officer of SpaceX, the chairman of the Musk Foundation, and the main proponent of Hyperloop .. to the likely chagrin of our Republican friends, he is an immigrant (born in South Africa, moved to Canada, and then to the United States) ..
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    that guy,
    Great post. Thank you. This leads me to an earlier thought. It's been strongly suggested that this site isn't for common topics. However, I think the diverse members, the life and world experience, are an asset that could help many if given the chance. Members have bought houses, cars, electronics, and have traveled, experienced life in other parts of the world, dealt with education, crime, and personal issues. Health issues, investments, Home improvements, and smart phones. This is a wealth of knowledge that could assist members. Even if it was only 5 - 10% of space taken. I think this site could expand in good ways. Those who don't agree or don't want to participate could treat it like a topic they're not interested in. Food for thought.
    Sorry for getting off topic but I hope others will keep an open mind that there's a lot of life experience here that could enhance the knowledge base of others.