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(TreeHugger)   In the USA, there are now more workers in solar power than coal miners   (treehugger.com) divider line 304
    More: Spiffy, USA, solar energy, workers  
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3678 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Apr 2013 at 11:11 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-23 11:32:11 PM  

incrdbil: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Do they even mine anymore? I thought they just blew the tops of off mountains are ruined entire forest ecosystems and rural communities?

Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it.  And yes, conventional mining still occurs.


fark you it isn't.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/11/inez-coal-slurry-spill-to_n _7 57900.html
 
2013-04-23 11:33:27 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.

Your meaningless comparison is meaningless.
 
2013-04-23 11:35:04 PM  

cman: A good sign, indeed.

Alas we still dont have more working in the nuclear power field.

The potential we have for that power is immense. It is a shame that people see science differently depending upon political affiliation.


Nuclear really isn't an issue like it was before.  The problem now is economic.  The upfront capital cost is so immense, and there is considered so much risk that no one will build them.  Solar is exceedingly scalable, so it can be deployed in little pieces that don't take much capital.
 
2013-04-23 11:35:45 PM  
That should say "isn't really a political issue like it used to be..."
 
2013-04-23 11:35:57 PM  
I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

/ My last two jobs have highlighted the typical tradeoff: Company you care about and 60-70 hour weeks vs. company you don't care about and job you can't stand but ~45 hour weeks
// Thinking long and hard about my career...
 
2013-04-23 11:36:05 PM  
i.thestar.com
 
2013-04-23 11:36:38 PM  

Rambino: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

And then compare how much a cat poops to how far you can ride a unicorn fart.


I was told there would be no math.
 
2013-04-23 11:37:45 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png
 
2013-04-23 11:38:10 PM  

studs up: I was believing the math until this from tfa:

 solar workers outnumber actors in California

bull-farking-shiat
bullshiat


"Solar energy worker" is what the grow ops and retailers put on their federal return.
 
2013-04-23 11:38:18 PM  
This is bad news...for District 12.

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-04-23 11:38:57 PM  

king_nacho: 12349876: DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners.

No, it will just be more natural gas.  That's what's hurting coal right now.  Nothing else.  Just natural gas.  As long as that's cheaper to get out of the ground that's what they'll be doing instead of coal.

this. Coal needs more innovation in extraction, get the price on extraction back down and then we'll have something.


Well, that and the whole pollution thing.

"Clean coal" = Unicorn farts
 
2013-04-23 11:39:13 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com

Good! Now, who wants to be the next wonder boy?
 
2013-04-23 11:40:42 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

/ My last two jobs have highlighted the typical tradeoff: Company you care about and 60-70 hour weeks vs. company you don't care about and job you can't stand but ~45 hour weeks
// Thinking long and hard about my career...


We'd have full frickin' employment if the U.S. actually enforced the 40 hour work week. I hope at least you're getting paid by the hour, and not the slavery that salaried can become.
 
2013-04-23 11:42:41 PM  
Needs to be more sun and wind power and the grid needs to be realigned to distribute it. But natural gas is probably the fastest substitute for coal, and it is found with oil.
 
2013-04-23 11:43:04 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: I hope at least you're getting paid by the hour, and not the slavery that salaried can become.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ha ha ha......

/ Current job is the ~45 hour a week one that I kind of hate....
 
2013-04-23 11:43:35 PM  
Hmm, I should have put, "The cure to wind turbine health alarmists" before that image.  My bad.
 
2013-04-23 11:43:38 PM  

js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png


Allow me to highlight one key difference between solar energy and oil/gas/coal/nuclear:

When we stop tending to the mines/pipes/boilers/CTs, what happens?  The energy stops flowing, and the lights go out.

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.
 
2013-04-23 11:45:10 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ha ha ha......


Figured. My heart goes out to you.
 
2013-04-23 11:46:09 PM  

alaric3: PS. Coal got its energy from the sun.

God.

ftfy
 
2013-04-23 11:46:41 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....


I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".
 
2013-04-23 11:46:59 PM  

king_nacho: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

the Coal people can post these same stats and use it to talk about how more efficient coal is.


It's also a really poor comparison, an entire industry vs. a single step in the process. Add in the mining equipment manufacturers, transporters, power plant workers, and lobbyists then you've got a much bigger workforce.
 
2013-04-23 11:48:16 PM  

GilRuiz1: [i.thestar.com image 615x409]


Difficulty: thread is about solar power.

0/10
 
2013-04-23 11:49:03 PM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


Those pies aren't the same size.  It's impossible to compare state-to-state with the information given.
 
2013-04-23 11:49:14 PM  
I work in the pv industry. People would be surprised that most of the hippies have been replaced with business-minded people. Don't feel bad for the hippies though. Many of them made good money selling their businesses.
 
2013-04-23 11:50:25 PM  
The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.
 
2013-04-23 11:51:06 PM  

Farty McPooPants: Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.

Those pies aren't the same size.  It's impossible to compare state-to-state with the information given.


NJ  is third or fourth in overall installed solar capacity.  The driver is state and local incentives, not sun.  Until fairly recently, NJ had a pretty kickass incentive.
 
2013-04-23 11:52:05 PM  

js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png


Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp
 
2013-04-23 11:52:50 PM  
I think we all know who to thank for having the political will, aptitude and foresight required to accomplish this feat.  Also something something Solyndra.

Actually, I don't want to be that guy in the thread, I just wanted an excuse to post this.
www.charlock.org
 
2013-04-23 11:53:00 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.


Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels.  Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.
 
2013-04-23 11:54:18 PM  
So are we running out of colonists for constructing more? Also we have to build enough Flux Pods in case of a Solar Eclipse!

/I <3 me some Utopia
//Can't wait till Tech Level 7 for Solar Generators
///I need moar colonists
 
2013-04-23 11:54:33 PM  

catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.


I like this game....

I wonder what the amount of government subsidies for each industry is...

Or how much toxic waste per KWh...

Or how long each method can be maintained...

Or...
 
2013-04-23 11:56:24 PM  
Most coal mining is done by machines now. It would take a whole lot of people to rip the top off a mountain and dump it in a stream.
 
2013-04-23 11:56:54 PM  
Cataholic:
Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp


The factory I work in produces 6000 solar panels every day. They all get installed somewhere. And we don't have anywhere near a corner on the market.  There are a shiat ton of installers out there.
 
2013-04-23 11:58:41 PM  
ftv-video.stbm.it

Sole panahs are great!
 
2013-04-24 12:00:29 AM  
Are there any appreciable downsides to solar panel systems aside from  'lol night time' comments?

I've heard that the waste products from panel creation are not insignificant.  Confirm/Deny?
 
2013-04-24 12:00:43 AM  
Rambino:

Allow me to highlight one key difference between solar energy and oil/gas/coal/nuclear:

When we stop tending to the mines/pipes/boilers/CTs, what happens?  The energy stops flowing, and the lights go out.

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.


If solar is a "semi-permanent infrastructure", the average nuclear plant is the most permanent damn infrastructure in existence. There's no way in hell solar infrastructure will last 30-ish years, the average age of current nuclear power plants. Existing solar doesn't last that long. Solar inverters, like all electronics and power electronics in particular, are constantly being fatigued, by light/dark cycles (1/day) and power switching cycles (thousands/second). Panels are losing a percent or two a year (the magic of compounding rates...). Coverglass is being covered in dirt and bird shiat. Hail and wind storms are taking out panels. All of these require maintenance, labor and expense.

The idea that solar infrastructure is permanent is a complete falsehood.
 
2013-04-24 12:02:40 AM  
Mountain top removal is not the 'strip mining' of old. Forests are not devasttaed, and rural communities benefit, do not suffer from it. And yes, conventional mining still occurs.

fark you it isn't.

Fark you indeed. Come and visit a mountaintop removal site w/ me sometime and see if you can still deny the "devastation". You obviously do not know anything about the process or the everlasting detrimental effects.
 
2013-04-24 12:02:42 AM  

Rambino: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of.  That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return.  With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels.  Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.


Very true, although I haven't rad anything about the waste from Solar power. IE: discarded panels, manufacturing waste, etc. Granted Nuclear has hot fuel rods that stay hot for a very long time.( That's just my limited knowledge)

That said I do believe the best power wont be one power source but everyone generating there own only Solar and Wind does that.Although that doesn't give utility companies a steady paycheck.
 
2013-04-24 12:03:20 AM  

Cataholic: js530: catpuncher: Now compare the amount of energy the two produce.

119,000 solar "jobs" according to the article produce .11 quads. Natural gas and coal combined (excluding petroleum) account for 43.1 quad. Or about 43 million solar "jobs" worth. But accounting for natural gas/coal rejected heat, that's only about 20 million jobs.

So if you force every American working in mining, construction, manufacturing, utitilities, and the entire federal government to work in solar, you can still look forward to importing nearly half of your energy in the form of oil.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xiG-xPLoLuw/TaHszly8nAI/AAAAAAAABwM/CLEDlE 9t T8k/s1600/LLNL_US_Energy_Flow_2009.png

Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp


TFA, on the other hand, cites its source as the BLS.  And the BLS says there were 87k coal miners or so in 2012.  http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm#00-0000">http://www. bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_212100.htm#00-0000

Actually fewer than that, since even that number includes thousands of admin and management jobs.

So TFA was exactly correct.
 
2013-04-24 12:04:14 AM  

Sergeant Grumbles: DrPainMD: As soon as the solar power oil subsidies expire, it will go back to being more coal miners horse and buggies.


Oil companies are net revenue generators for the government, and by a huge margin. Subsidies don't even remotely begin to cover the taxes that the government collects from oil companies.
 
2013-04-24 12:05:14 AM  
www.brennancenter.orgs1.ibtimes.com
 
2013-04-24 12:06:14 AM  

Hollie Maea: Martian_Astronomer: I used to work in solar R&D, so I'm getting a kick....

I still do, so so am I.  Man, conservatives sure do hate solar. The mouth breathers on the local paper forums would love nothing more than to have me living under a bridge just so they could revel in how horrible solar is.

Which is kind of strange, since solar represents one of the easiest ways for one to give "the man" the finger and still be able to have nice things.  You would think that conservatives would be all over that.  But they are so terrified that the granola eaters would say "I told you so".


Heh, yeah. Full disclosure, though, my work was on the W/kg side, not the the $/W regime inhabited by terrestrial solar.  (IIRC, you work in one of the many, many, Si niches out there.) We had a technology that (still could, I believe,) deliver competitive multi-junction cells for a much lower cost than some of the state-of-the-art stacks out there, but, well, we were a small startup, and hit a few bumps...

(For the purposes of this discussion, we always talked about helping drive down the cost of concentrator systems, but we weren't really at the point of developing 500x AM1.5G cells that that would involve, so that was still at the "pipe dream" stage.)

Still, living in Boston, it worked much better to be able to tell girls that I worked on "solar cells" than what I do now. Deciding how much detail to go into by asking "do you know what the Schrodinger Equation is?" as an opening question generally ends badly...
 
2013-04-24 12:07:19 AM  

Hollie Maea: Cataholic:
Seeing as how there were 137,112 coal miners in the US in 2012, I'm going to go ahead and doubt everything else the "Solar Foundation" has to say in their press release.

http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp

The factory I work in produces 6000 solar panels every day. They all get installed somewhere. And we don't have anywhere near a corner on the market.  There are a shiat ton of installers out there.


To put some more concrete numbers on it, last year the US installed 3.3 Gigawatts of solar.  In 2012 the standard solar panel was 250 Watts, so that's 13.2 million solar panels that needed to be installed.  Considering the design work that goes into installing solar panels, 137,000 workers doesn't sound like too many.
http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-industry-data

To look at it another way, the labor component of solar installation in 2012 was about 3 dollars per watt.  With 3.3 billion watts installed, if "only" your 137,112 workers were installing, that would mean that each of them made $72K.  They almost certainly made a bit less than that, so the numbers do sound right.
 
2013-04-24 12:07:31 AM  
WELL I BEEN WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
GOIN' DOWN DOWN
WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
WHEW ABOUT TO SLIP DOWN

"WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
GOIN' DOWN DOWN
WORKIN' IN A SOLAR FARM
WHEW ABOUT TO SLIP DOWN

FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNIN'
I'M UP BEFORE THE SUN
WHEN MY WORK DAY IS OVER
I'M TOO TIRED FOR HAVIN' FUN"

It just doesn't have the same ring as the original.

/Shouldn't be obscure
 
2013-04-24 12:07:46 AM  
Rambino:

When we stop tending to the now-installed solar panels, what happens?  The energy keeps flowing, and the lights stay on.

Every solar panel installed is semi-permanent infrastructure that we get to enjoy for decades at no additional cost or effort.  That other stuff, not so much.



LOFL, delusional much?
 
2013-04-24 12:08:16 AM  
i.thestar.com
Can you spot the black guy?
 
2013-04-24 12:08:17 AM  
Rambino:

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing about nuclear vs solar is that nuclear takes 8 years to build, even after you get all the permitting taken care of. That's a huge investment of capital for a damn long time before you see a return. With solar, once the permits are in place you're generating electricity within 3 months, very little time to tie up dead money before some cash starts coming back in.

Also, you don't need a billion dollars to throw up some solar panels. Downward scalability is a pretty big deal.


That's why utilities love grid-tie systems. If enough people install them, they can avoid the stranded costs of having to build a half-billion dollar gas plant that only gets spun up during business and air-conditioning hours.

Every time I fly I look down and see huge warehouses and big-box stores and the sort of buildings with literal acres of flat roofs, the sort of things that cluster around airports, and I think of how many of them could be net producers of power to the point where they pay the investment off in 5 years or so and anything after that is pure profit. It's kinda a shame that this isn't being taken advantage of.
 
2013-04-24 12:08:30 AM  

DrPainMD: Oil companies are net revenue generators for the government, and by a huge margin. Subsidies don't even remotely begin to cover the taxes that the government collects from oil companies.


Did the point make a sound as it sailed over your head?
 
2013-04-24 12:09:41 AM  

alaric3: b2theory: While I am more of a nuclear guy, this is cool.

The sun is a bit  nuclear .


It goes nuclear every Sunday, which is why we call that day 'Sun-day'.
 
2013-04-24 12:10:05 AM  

Lsherm: [img844.imageshack.us image 492x369]

Two things I don't understand about this:  Why is New Jersey installing more solar panels than anyone else, and what is getting Pennsylvania ahead in manufacturing?

I realize these are state-by-state numbers, so we aren't dealing with a big picture.


Pennsylvania has a lot of existing industrial infrastructure and talent that is readily adaptable. A good thing too, since they are evidently losing a lot of coal jobs
 
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