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(Earth Techling)   In case you didn't notice, the Department of Energy announced that the cost of power from solar panels is now cheaper than grid electricity   (earthtechling.com) divider line 260
    More: Cool, Energy Department, SunShot, Department of Transportation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, electrical grid, solar panels, solar pv, electricity  
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9933 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Feb 2014 at 3:48 PM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-13 02:23:52 PM
In before the big oil shills.
 
2014-02-13 03:19:20 PM

vudukungfu: In before the big oil shills.


Not a shill, but worked in the electricity generation business. Solar energy is great, but it adds an unpredictable source of power to the grid, which causes energy supply to the grid to fluctuate. It's a nice start, but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.
 
2014-02-13 03:30:55 PM

simplicimus: but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.


well, get on that, then.
 
2014-02-13 03:38:00 PM
fta The Obama administration says that SunShot, the R&D program to bring down the cost of solar-generated electricity to where it's competitive with conventionally sourced electricity, is 60 percent of the way toward its goal, at least when it comes to big solar.

That's pretty impressive when you consider the age and political might of the established utility companies
 
2014-02-13 03:39:13 PM

vudukungfu: simplicimus: but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.

well, get on that, then.


I wish the industry would, but it's filled with people who are used to the old ways. Coal and Nuclear for baseload, gas and oil for peaks. Storage? Best they have so far is using power to store pressurized water during excess production. Not very efficient. Batteries are even worse.
 
2014-02-13 03:41:30 PM

Notabunny: fta The Obama administration says that SunShot, the R&D program to bring down the cost of solar-generated electricity to where it's competitive with conventionally sourced electricity, is 60 percent of the way toward its goal, at least when it comes to big solar.

That's pretty impressive when you consider the age and political might of the established utility companies


I think it's more the headaches that variable power supply causes the utilities in balancing the grid.
 
2014-02-13 03:49:30 PM
Tell Hawaii's grid owners that...
 
2014-02-13 03:50:40 PM
Not when I looked a few months ago. Not even close, unless you presume your equipment will keep working indefinitely after your 15-20 year investment payback.
 
2014-02-13 03:51:36 PM

simplicimus: vudukungfu: simplicimus: but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.

well, get on that, then.

I wish the industry would, but it's filled with people who are used to the old ways. Coal and Nuclear for baseload, gas and oil for peaks. Storage? Best they have so far is using power to store pressurized water during excess production. Not very efficient. Batteries are even worse.


God I hope we get room-temp superconductors soon. That wold be a FANTASTIC storage medium, I would think. Just run it in a loop!
 
2014-02-13 03:52:26 PM
I've invented a sustainable energy source that would revolutionize civilization as we know it, but I'm not sharing it with you primates out of spite.
 
2014-02-13 03:54:37 PM
The Department of Energy is wrong.  There's a guy in the other thread who like prices it out every year, and he found that it's a bad deal.
 
2014-02-13 03:54:51 PM
So what if we made a wind turbine out of solar panels?
 
2014-02-13 03:55:39 PM
With much coming from hydro, we have some of the cheapest grid power in the nation. This is great news though, especially in hotter sunnier regions where increased air conditioning demands coincidentally tend to occur during times that a lot of solar power is available. Solar installations could prevent brownouts and rolling blackouts.
 
2014-02-13 03:55:47 PM
Hahaha, here's my energy plan, suckers!

img.fark.net
 
2014-02-13 03:55:53 PM
OK, that's cute and all, but solar power fails in the square footage per MW metric.  If you had a nuclear power plant on your roof it would take up much less space for the same amount of energy.  That's why solar power is gay.
 
2014-02-13 03:57:03 PM

simplicimus: Best they have so far is using power to store pressurized water during excess production. Not very efficient.


Our utility has a reservoir hydro plant- they pump water to the top in times of excess production and flow it down through turbines during peak load periods. I don't know what the efficiency is, but it's clean energy (well, when the equipment doesn't fail leading to a reservoir breach that trashes the general area).

As for TFA, fantastic. While I'd not think solar would be great for base load, it would generally work fine for summer peak loads- if you're going through a heat wave then chances are you are getting plenty of sunshine... great for solar energy production. I doubt we'll ever see the clean renewables take over completely for our energy needs, but when they reach cost parity it can only help.
 
2014-02-13 03:57:06 PM

LessO2: Hahaha, here's my energy plan, suckers!

[img.fark.net image 310x196]


You fool!   Now they have your address and phone number!  I'm off the Radioshack grid.
 
2014-02-13 03:57:12 PM

Agent Smiths Laugh: I've invented a sustainable energy source that would revolutionize civilization as we know it, but I'm not sharing it with you primates out of spite.


You're supposed to claim you were paid off by the oil industry or something to keep it under wraps.
 
2014-02-13 03:58:00 PM

Felgraf: God I hope we get room-temp superconductors soon. That wold be a FANTASTIC storage medium, I would think. Just run it in a loop!


You're joking, but that actually works.
 
2014-02-13 03:58:26 PM
Site appears Farked.
 
2014-02-13 03:59:27 PM
"levelized" cost of energy. Is that the new euphemism for subsidies?

If these boondoggles were really so brilliant, they wouldn't need billions in taxpayer cash before going out of business.
 
2014-02-13 03:59:33 PM

James10952001: With much coming from hydro, we have some of the cheapest grid power in the nation. This is great news though, especially in hotter sunnier regions where increased air conditioning demands coincidentally tend to occur during times that a lot of solar power is available. Solar installations could prevent brownouts and rolling blackouts.


Exactly, and I think people who harp too much on the "solar is lousy base load" bandwagon miss this point. Sure, they're not wrong- it isn't reliable enough to be a base load power production format. But it makes for a great peak load source of energy, and since peak loads tend to hit at the same times solar would produce well, it all works out. On top of that solar doesn't add any more emissions at a time when air quality tends to be worse anyway (in the summer). So if the cost drops to where it is feasible then its a great way to add some MW when you need them.
 
2014-02-13 04:00:36 PM

Taxcheat: If these boondoggles were really so brilliant, they wouldn't need billions in taxpayer cash


But enough about oil companies.
 
2014-02-13 04:00:53 PM
MY LEGACY!t.fod4.com
 
2014-02-13 04:01:33 PM
Mr. Fusion is just around the corner.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/science/giant-laser-complex-makes-f u sion-advance.html?_r=1
 
2014-02-13 04:01:41 PM

LessO2: Hahaha, here's my energy plan, suckers!


Holy crap, I remember those cards. I always used to go there when I was a kid to get my free battery.
 
2014-02-13 04:01:49 PM
People are going to drive by your house and see your solar panels and know that you voted for Al Gore.  When the UN shock troops come, they'll know that you don't have guns and that you are easy pickings for their re-education camps.
 
2014-02-13 04:01:50 PM
Because subsidies and cheap chinese poisonous panels.
 
2014-02-13 04:01:56 PM
Anyone here know what parts of the spectrum solar cells collect?
 
2014-02-13 04:02:03 PM
the cost of power from solar panels

How about the cost of the panels themselves?

In present $, please, not in future savings.
 
2014-02-13 04:02:27 PM
We should be putting solar panels on top of every significant structure in the country, wind farms where it makes sense, hydro where it can be expanded, etc'

But renewables are not enough. As mentioned upthread, renewables can't reliably cover our baseline needs. We can't keep burning fossil fuels (at least at any significant rate) and improvements in efficiency and reductions in use can only do so much.

We need a lot more nuclear and we need it about 40 years ago.
 
2014-02-13 04:02:47 PM
At what cost Subby?
How many sun rays did Obama kill for this?
 
2014-02-13 04:03:45 PM

James10952001: Agent Smiths Laugh: I've invented a sustainable energy source that would revolutionize civilization as we know it, but I'm not sharing it with you primates out of spite.

You're supposed to claim you were paid off by the oil industry or something to keep it under wraps.


I considered it, but opted for honesty.

/choke on the vapors you disgusting simians
 
2014-02-13 04:04:03 PM
What the article actually said:

"the R&D program to bring down the cost of solar-generated electricity to where it's competitive with conventionally sourced electricity, is 60 percent of the way toward its goal"

1. It doesn't say anything about being cheaper than grid energy, it's being "competitive".
2. It's not 60% of the cost of grid energy, it's 60% of the way to a comparable price.

Am I missing something or have I been had by Fark Headline HumorTM yet again?
 
2014-02-13 04:04:05 PM

simplicimus: vudukungfu: In before the big oil shills.

Not a shill, but worked in the electricity generation business. Solar energy is great, but it adds an unpredictable source of power to the grid, which causes energy supply to the grid to fluctuate. It's a nice start, but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.


I'm sure you will correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the demand higher in daylight hours anyway? I understand that the output of solar is variable *during the day*, but any extra energy provided by solar during peak hours is energy a fossil fuel power plant doesn't have to provide.

What's the problem?
 
2014-02-13 04:04:54 PM

Felgraf: simplicimus: vudukungfu: simplicimus: but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.

well, get on that, then.

I wish the industry would, but it's filled with people who are used to the old ways. Coal and Nuclear for baseload, gas and oil for peaks. Storage? Best they have so far is using power to store pressurized water during excess production. Not very efficient. Batteries are even worse.

God I hope we get room-temp superconductors soon. That wold be a FANTASTIC storage medium, I would think. Just run it in a loop!


Temperature is not the only hurdle. The critical current (current at which superconductivity breaks down, regardless of temperature) of known superconductors is lower than would be viable for commercial/citywide level storage.
 
2014-02-13 04:06:20 PM

akula: James10952001: With much coming from hydro, we have some of the cheapest grid power in the nation. This is great news though, especially in hotter sunnier regions where increased air conditioning demands coincidentally tend to occur during times that a lot of solar power is available. Solar installations could prevent brownouts and rolling blackouts.

Exactly, and I think people who harp too much on the "solar is lousy base load" bandwagon miss this point. Sure, they're not wrong- it isn't reliable enough to be a base load power production format. But it makes for a great peak load source of energy, and since peak loads tend to hit at the same times solar would produce well, it all works out. On top of that solar doesn't add any more emissions at a time when air quality tends to be worse anyway (in the summer). So if the cost drops to where it is feasible then its a great way to add some MW when you need them.


Home solar installations can already be quite effective. I have a friend in the UK where power works out to around 25c/kW-h, roughly 4x what I pay. He installed a 4kW grid tied solar system around a decade ago and it paid for itself some time ago. England is not the most sunny place in the world either. It's a nice supplement, and his system feeds back into the grid when it's generating more than the house is consuming.
 
2014-02-13 04:06:39 PM

simplicimus: I wish the industry would, but it's filled with people who are used to the old ways. Coal and Nuclear for baseload, gas and oil for peaks. Storage? Best they have so far is using power to store pressurized water during excess production. Not very efficient. Batteries are even worse.


Neighborhood fuel cells?  Electrolyze (err) water during production, run off cells for balance?
 
2014-02-13 04:07:25 PM

simplicimus: I wish the industry would, but it's filled with people who are used to the old ways. Coal and Nuclear for baseload, gas and oil for peaks. Storage? Best they have so far is using power to store pressurized water during excess production. Not very efficient. Batteries are even worse.


There's a few test sites w/ the DOE in the US and Germany using old salt and gypsum mines.  Same concept as hydro; compress air in the mines during low/cheap power productions at night and then bleed it off to run turbines during the day.

I understand they've also been experimenting w/ fly wheels.
 
2014-02-13 04:08:20 PM
Which is why Arizona public utilities and other utilities from around the country are trying to force Arizona ratepayers who produce electricity via solar to pay monthly fees to hook to the grid.

Only in Arizona.
 
2014-02-13 04:10:17 PM

Rapmaster2000: People are going to drive by your house and see your solar panels and know that you voted for Al Gore.  When the UN shock troops come, they'll know that you don't have guns and that you are easy pickings for their re-education camps.


Do not tie algore to this.  He's just a farking nutjob, and did more damage to the environmental movement than any other human ever.
 
2014-02-13 04:11:06 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Which is why Arizona public utilities and other utilities from around the country are trying to force Arizona ratepayers who produce electricity via solar to pay monthly fees to hook to the grid.

Only in Arizona.


No, happens in Colorado too.

I'm sure the hundreds of other energy companies around try to do those kinds of things too.
 
2014-02-13 04:11:06 PM

simplicimus: vudukungfu: In before the big oil shills.

Not a shill, but worked in the electricity generation business. Solar energy is great, but it adds an unpredictable source of power to the grid, which causes energy supply to the grid to fluctuate. It's a nice start, but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.


I keep spare electricity in 5 gallon buckets in my garage. It's a little dangerous, but as long as you're careful and you keep the kids away from it, it works out pretty well.
 
2014-02-13 04:11:18 PM
Thanks, stimulus!
 
2014-02-13 04:11:31 PM
"New solar thermal and PV plants are eligible to receive a 30 percent investment tax credit on capital expenditures if placed in service before the end of 2016, and 10 percent thereafter."
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2013, December 2012, DOE/EIA-0383(2012)

Toss in equally lavish state subsidies and "renewable energy credits" and it adds up to $1 per kwh. Price out the real costs and power sources that stop working when its cloudy aren't competitive at all.
 
2014-02-13 04:12:35 PM

Rapmaster2000: OK, that's cute and all, but solar power fails in the square footage per MW metric.  If you had a nuclear power plant on your roof it would take up much less space for the same amount of energy.  That's why solar power is gay.


Checkmate, libtards.
 
2014-02-13 04:14:24 PM

CheapEngineer: simplicimus: vudukungfu: In before the big oil shills.

Not a shill, but worked in the electricity generation business. Solar energy is great, but it adds an unpredictable source of power to the grid, which causes energy supply to the grid to fluctuate. It's a nice start, but something more predictable for supply, such as tidal energy or geothermal, is better. And energy storage technology is, to say the least, very inadequate.

I'm sure you will correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the demand higher in daylight hours anyway? I understand that the output of solar is variable *during the day*, but any extra energy provided by solar during peak hours is energy a fossil fuel power plant doesn't have to provide.

What's the problem?


The problem, from the point of view of the grid control centers that balance supply to demand, is this:
There is a predictable demand 24 hours a day. This demand is supplied by baseload generation, mostly coal and nuclear. These units do not ramp up or down quickly, so they run at the same output all the time. Peak load (any load above baseload) is supplied by gas or oil units, which can ramp up and down fairly quickly. All this supply is predictable. Unpredictable supply requires faster response, and any supply above baseload or in excess of peak needs to be stored for later use.
 
2014-02-13 04:14:35 PM

Taxcheat: "New solar thermal and PV plants are eligible to receive a 30 percent investment tax credit on capital expenditures if placed in service before the end of 2016, and 10 percent thereafter."
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2013, December 2012, DOE/EIA-0383(2012)

Toss in equally lavish state subsidies and "renewable energy credits" and it adds up to $1 per kwh. Price out the real costs and power sources that stop working when its cloudy aren't competitive at all.


In theory the subsidies are supposed to be there to help the PV industry until their panels become economically viable.

upload.wikimedia.org
But you're still in for a wait.
 
2014-02-13 04:14:45 PM

Taxcheat: "New solar thermal and PV plants are eligible to receive a 30 percent investment tax credit on capital expenditures if placed in service before the end of 2016, and 10 percent thereafter."
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2013, December 2012, DOE/EIA-0383(2012)

Toss in equally lavish state subsidies and "renewable energy credits" and it adds up to $1 per kwh. Price out the real costs and power sources that stop working when its cloudy aren't competitive at all.


You can easily knock over 50% of the capital cost off the price, thank goodness we socialize risk and privatize reward.
 
2014-02-13 04:14:48 PM

Taxcheat: "New solar thermal and PV plants are eligible to receive a 30 percent investment tax credit on capital expenditures if placed in service before the end of 2016, and 10 percent thereafter."
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2013, December 2012, DOE/EIA-0383(2012)

Toss in equally lavish state subsidies and "renewable energy credits" and it adds up to $1 per kwh. Price out the real costs and power sources that stop working when its cloudy aren't competitive at all.


Plus there's no yummy coal slurry to put on my pancakes and you have all those mountains still around blocking the view.
 
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