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(Guardian)   Solar power is the fastest growing energy sector. It's almost like the sun is beaming down on all of us about 50% of the time we're on this earth resulting in life as we know it. How could that be better than old fossil deposits?   ( theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Cool, renewable energy, renewable energy capacity, Photovoltaics, IEA, New solar capacity, Fossil fuel, energy capacity forecast, solar PV capacity  
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699 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Oct 2017 at 8:50 AM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2017-10-04 09:16:29 AM  
16 votes:

asciibaron: have you been to a wind farm? serious question. i have and i will tell you, they are a terrible blight on the landscape.

Mountaintop removal and fracking aren't exactly a chocolate fondue party with bikini supermodels either.
2017-10-04 09:10:02 AM  
7 votes:
the planet will be fine.  the planet will not be fine for US.  we are a selfish lot.
2017-10-04 10:19:31 AM  
5 votes:

asciibaron: dragonchild: asciibaron: have you been to a wind farm? serious question. i have and i will tell you, they are a terrible blight on the landscape.
Mountaintop removal and fracking aren't exactly a chocolate fondue party with bikini supermodels either.

i never said other methods of extracting energy were better.  i pointed out that wind farms are terrible.  the real issue is the modern world's hunger for energy.  if you don't work where you live, you are selfishly consuming energy resources.  all those electronic gadgets are wasting energy.

we need to reduce our baseline per person energy use.  my electric bill is stupid small, i pay more to be a customer than i do for commodity and delivery.  turn your lights off, kill the vampire gadgets. 

the first step is reducing YOUR requirements for energy.


Actually, my gadgets have helped my power use over the last few decades. Instead of a desktop computer with a 300W power supply and a big 21" CRT monitor suck down the mains power, I have a laptop that sips energy in comparison. Plus I use my phone for the internet much more often than my laptop and it requires even les power to run, as a single overnight charge will keep it going all day long. My 65" 4K television barely consumes more power than my 32" Sony Wega tube television despite being much larger, and my smart LED light bulbs consume a fraction of what my incandescent bulbs do. Overall, technology has trended to being a lot more power efficient in the last decade or so.
2017-10-04 09:09:00 AM  
5 votes:

This text is now purple: [img.fark.net image 461x295]
It's easy to have fast growth rates when coming from a small number.


Huh?
Coal jobs have been in decline for decades.  We now have less than 1/20th of the blue collar workers, producing twice the coal at employment peak around 1912.  Coal is no longer profitable (natural gas is cheaper).  Solar and wind jobs are growing, profitable, and better for the local and global environment.  Supporters of coal like the GOP want strong, big subsidies for coal, why?  There are no more jobs in coal even if we artificially increase demand.  In fact, thousands of jobs could be lost in renewables if we dump $50-100 billion to shore up coal profits.  It's insanity.
2017-10-04 09:00:13 AM  
5 votes:
img.fark.net
It's easy to have fast growth rates when coming from a small number.
2017-10-04 08:22:23 AM  
5 votes:
All I can hear is people saying the sun is not a renewable source of energy because it will eventually consume the planet, ignoring the fact that if we do not embrace solar energy, we will probably doom everyone long before the sun consumes the planet.
2017-10-04 10:19:28 AM  
4 votes:

asciibaron: dragonchild: asciibaron: have you been to a wind farm? serious question. i have and i will tell you, they are a terrible blight on the landscape.
Mountaintop removal and fracking aren't exactly a chocolate fondue party with bikini supermodels either.

i never said other methods of extracting energy were better.  i pointed out that wind farms are terrible.  the real issue is the modern world's hunger for energy.  if you don't work where you live, you are selfishly consuming energy resources.  all those electronic gadgets are wasting energy.


Wind farms are beautiful, and compliment solar very well.

Solar produces half as much energy in the winter as in the summer.  Fortunately, wind produces more in the winter due to the denser air.  You can eliminate a lot of the seasonality with a hybrid of the two.

Solar also requires a lot of horizontal space, while wind requires a lot of vertical space.  Hybrid facilities better utilize available space.

Add in some batteries and you can do a pretty good job matching production with demand.  Hybrids help there too as you get some wind at night, and some sun on calm days, reducing wear on the batteries.

Wind + solar is the way to go.
2017-10-04 09:45:37 AM  
4 votes:
Fossil deposits are really just a super inefficient solar energy storage system.

/Works in solar industry.
2017-10-04 02:09:46 PM  
3 votes:

asciibaron: Northern: Solar and wind jobs are growing, profitable, and better for the local and global environment.
have you been to a wind farm?  serious question.  i have and i will tell you, they are a terrible blight on the landscape.  these are right next to a wilderness area.  you can hear them for miles.
[img.fark.net image 768x544]


I have been right underneath wind farms (I also like to take pictures of them) and I have barely heard anything. Kind of a "whoosh" noise. Kind of like the wind.
2017-10-04 10:41:36 AM  
3 votes:
Sometimes I kind of wish that solar advocates would push the "energy security" angle a little more. Which is more vulnerable to disruption: A large number of small generation and storage facilities that require periodic maintenance but no fuel, or a small number of large facilities that need to be constantly supplied by thousands of miles of railroads and pipelines?

Sure, maybe we're not willing to shoulder the expense of steering our grid towards renewables for environmental reasons, but what about doing it to "Keep Americans SafeTM?" I guarantee you it'll be better for national stability than some wall in the desert.
2017-10-04 09:18:25 AM  
3 votes:

Smackledorfer: Well, see the thing nobody realizes, the questions no one asks, about solar is it doesn't work at night and can't handle peaks and lows. Like why doesn't anyone ever bring that up or talk about it? And it's so obvious, it really is amazing that nobody in the energy business, or maybe Germany - who's solar is all wasted and hasn't replaced an ounce of fossil fuels I've been told, has considered this.

And so while I love renewables and the environment, we must reinvest in big coal to prevent grid disasters, like such as.

/Just getting it out of the way before a fiend of drew comes along.


But solar does work at night if you have a molten salt reactor....And it's freakin simple to do -- point a bunch of mirrors so the sunlight heats up a vat of salt, salt becomes molten and stays that way for a while, while salt it molten you pump in water which turns into steam and powers a turbine.  There ya go -- nighttime solar.
2017-10-04 12:26:22 PM  
2 votes:

andrewagill: The sun is mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.  Yo ho it's hot, the sun is not a place where we could live, but here on earth there'd be no life without the light it gives.


The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma.  If you really want to be accurate and you've watched the commentary on one of their DVDs.
2017-10-04 10:52:51 AM  
2 votes:

thornhill: Smackledorfer: Well, see the thing nobody realizes, the questions no one asks, about solar is it doesn't work at night and can't handle peaks and lows. Like why doesn't anyone ever bring that up or talk about it? And it's so obvious, it really is amazing that nobody in the energy business, or maybe Germany - who's solar is all wasted and hasn't replaced an ounce of fossil fuels I've been told, has considered this.

And so while I love renewables and the environment, we must reinvest in big coal to prevent grid disasters, like such as.

/Just getting it out of the way before a fiend of drew comes along.

Not sure if you're trolling, but I'll play along:

They're still in the early stages, but a number of companies are making "home batteries" that store the power the solar panels on your home generate during the day.

And in the coming years expect to see more smart appliances that regulate their power usage around peaks and lows (so for example, you load up your dishwasher before you go to work, and when solar energy production hits its peak in the middle of the day the dishwasher then turns on).


You should read entire posts before responding to them.
2017-10-04 10:22:09 AM  
2 votes:

Smackledorfer: Well, see the thing nobody realizes, the questions no one asks, about solar is it doesn't work at night and can't handle peaks and lows. Like why doesn't anyone ever bring that up or talk about it? And it's so obvious, it really is amazing that nobody in the energy business, or maybe Germany - who's solar is all wasted and hasn't replaced an ounce of fossil fuels I've been told, has considered this.

And so while I love renewables and the environment, we must reinvest in big coal to prevent grid disasters, like such as.

/Just getting it out of the way before a fiend of drew comes along.


Not sure if you're trolling, but I'll play along:

They're still in the early stages, but a number of companies are making "home batteries" that store the power the solar panels on your home generate during the day.

And in the coming years expect to see more smart appliances that regulate their power usage around peaks and lows (so for example, you load up your dishwasher before you go to work, and when solar energy production hits its peak in the middle of the day the dishwasher then turns on).
2017-10-04 09:34:38 AM  
2 votes:
All of our current forms of energy are solar, in a way.

Fossil fuels and biofuels burn plant matter that grew and thrived on sunlight.

Wind energy harnesses the convection currents within our atmosphere due to air heated by the sun.

Hydro power uses water that was evaporated by the sun, cooled into rain, and is flowing back to the sea.

Geothermal is from heat from gravitational contraction of Earth's mass, which the sun collected into orbit.

Tidal power is the movement of water due to the orbits of large masses collected together by the sun.

Nuclear utilizes uranium which was produced in stellar novas.

So it's all solar energy.  Some ways are just more direct than others.

// if we get fusion to work, that will our first non-solar energy alternative
2017-10-04 09:13:57 AM  
2 votes:

Northern: Solar and wind jobs are growing, profitable, and better for the local and global environment.


have you been to a wind farm?  serious question.  i have and i will tell you, they are a terrible blight on the landscape.  these are right next to a wilderness area.  you can hear them for miles.

img.fark.net
2017-10-04 08:52:18 AM  
2 votes:

harleyquinnical: All I can hear is people saying the sun is not a renewable source of energy because it will eventually consume the planet, ignoring the fact that if we do not embrace solar energy, we will probably doom everyone long before the sun consumes the planet.


There really is no renewable source of energy. Everything will eventually descend into entropy.
2017-10-04 04:49:10 PM  
1 vote:

andrewagill: The sun is mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.  Yo ho it's hot, the sun is not a place where we could live, but here on earth there'd be no life without the light it gives.


Now that's you've given me that earworm, I feel compelled to spread it:

They Might Be Giants - Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)
Youtube 3JdWlSF195Y

2017-10-04 02:08:07 PM  
1 vote:

dragonchild: SomeAmerican: Add in some batteries and you can do a pretty good job matching production with demand.
It doesn't need to be batteries; it just needs to be some form of energy storage.  You could heat a bunch of water or salt or power an endothermic process to make fuel for all I care.


The very simplest is to just preheat or precool your house while the sun is up, using it like a big ol' thermal battery.
2017-10-04 11:49:40 AM  
1 vote:

harleyquinnical: EvilEgg: harleyquinnical: All I can hear is people saying the sun is not a renewable source of energy because it will eventually consume the planet, ignoring the fact that if we do not embrace solar energy, we will probably doom everyone long before the sun consumes the planet.

There really is no renewable source of energy. Everything will eventually descend into entropy.

One does not merely descend into entropy.  Entropy is always happening.  The rate of entropy can accelerate or decelerate, but it is always happening.


...which explains the average Fark thread:  starting coherent and well ordered, then descending in a garbled, disorganized and meaningless mess of hot air.
2017-10-04 11:45:10 AM  
1 vote:
img.fark.net
Been playing too much Stellaris lately....
2017-10-04 10:28:08 AM  
1 vote:

SomeAmerican: Add in some batteries and you can do a pretty good job matching production with demand.

It doesn't need to be batteries; it just needs to be some form of energy storage.  You could heat a bunch of water or salt or power an endothermic process to make fuel for all I care.  Sure the efficiency will drop with the energy conversions but it's not like inefficiency was ever a consideration in fossil fuel consumption.  Just scale that shiat like we did with everything else and improve it from there.
2017-10-04 09:18:26 AM  
1 vote:

Catlenfell: But what happens when we drain the sun of all it's energy?

Well then it becomes a giant lump of coal, and at that point we'll need all the global warming we can create.  Ergo, solar energy is actually a good thing for the coal industry.
2017-10-04 09:10:44 AM  
1 vote:
Well, see the thing nobody realizes, the questions no one asks, about solar is it doesn't work at night and can't handle peaks and lows. Like why doesn't anyone ever bring that up or talk about it? And it's so obvious, it really is amazing that nobody in the energy business, or maybe Germany - who's solar is all wasted and hasn't replaced an ounce of fossil fuels I've been told, has considered this.

And so while I love renewables and the environment, we must reinvest in big coal to prevent grid disasters, like such as.

/Just getting it out of the way before a fiend of drew comes along.
vpb [TotalFark]
2017-10-04 06:27:30 AM  
1 vote:

andrewagill: The sun is mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.  Yo ho it's hot, the sun is not a place where we could live, but here on earth there'd be no life without the light it gives.


That's very profound.  Or something.
 
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