This About That: Hmmm... Back when I worked for a giant electric utility, the complaint was that peak power was the most expensive power for the utility to produce, mainly because the so-called "peaker" plants, such as gas turbine plants, are more expensive to operate than the "base load" plants such as hydro and nuclear. Having to buy power from neighboring utilities to meet peak demand is even worse. Part of the impetus behind "smart meters" and remote control schemes is to reduce mid-summer peak demand. Now you say the utilities maintain that reducing mid-day demand with solar will "destroy" the business? Something isn't right, here. Now, going off the grid completely, that would cost them Rogers from Duke is quoted as saying. That sort of thing might eventually fulfill the prediction and cost quite a few jobs, but will anyone besides the electric utility industry shed any tears for the demise of the electric utility industry?
mr_a: Not an expert, but I would bet the economics of this have changed over the last few years. Natural gas has gotten much cheaper with respect to coal and nuclear.
NFA: mr_a: Not an expert, but I would bet the economics of this have changed over the last few years. Natural gas has gotten much cheaper with respect to coal and nuclear.No, his argument is valid. If you also consider that most utilities offer cash incentives to purchase energy efficient products like high SEER heatpumps, etc. that behavior strongly supports his statement. They are doing everything they can to reduce grid loading so they DON'T have to upgrade with new coal fired backup plants or add reactors. NOT building those backup plants or adding reactors, etc. saves them huge amounts of money.It's the oil/coal industries which fear they will soon have millions of competitors putting power onto the grid. There is a growing anti-solar lobby which is well funded by big oil. Every time someone puts solar panels on a roof, that's less money in the pockets of the oil/coal industry and they don't like competitors. They don't mind alcohol production because it's a zero sum gain, the alcohol production consumes as much oil energy as it produces in alcohol energy. All the profit benefit goes to the big agro companies.
simplicimus: Since wind and solar introduce random amounts of power into the grid -it's not always sunny or windy, that creates a headache for utilities trying to balance their load.
lelio: For a typical house with a typical family does the roof alone provide enough surface area to provide all the power?I have no idea if 10kW is enough for 4 people or if it takes a football field of arrays to get that.
BarkingUnicorn: Rates have to go up as customer base shrinks. I'd hate to get the last electric bill.
nocturnal001: Yes, this makes zero sense. I work in the software side of the business and can confiim this. Peak is very expensive as it's costly to spin up the secondary generation devices.Also, a powerplant (or any factory) has a maximum level of output. Using any amount up to that level costs about the same, you only pay the marginal cost of the extra fuel. Going 10% above that output means you have to build a whole new power plant, which is super expensive.If 10% of people added solar panels the electric utilities would love that IMO. People also forget that electric cars are slowly becoming widespread, and they amount to having an entire new type of large appliance in your house (like if suddenly everybody went from drying clothes outside to having a dryer).
Hollie Maea: namatad:/hmmmmmmmm why arent we investing in fission again?? disposal?? LOLMostly because capital expenses are so high. People always gripe about how solar "can't compete without subsidies". That is far more true about nuclear.
Petey4335: What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.
namatad: Petey4335: What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.Toss in the massive changes and improvements in tech ... solid state switches and what not ...It would be interesting to see a time-lapsed video of the changing power system over the last 100 years. Both the interconnection and capacity./geeks
Petey4335: namatad: Petey4335: What I'm trying to say is the chance of another 2003 NE blackout is at least less because utilities are doing a somewhat better job at mapping their controls, load and overcurrent issues.Toss in the massive changes and improvements in tech ... solid state switches and what not ...It would be interesting to see a time-lapsed video of the changing power system over the last 100 years. Both the interconnection and capacity./geeksIt would be interesting to see, but the data is most likely lost. Getting decent info from a 'simple' system like a hospital, which has been added to, upgraded, and as has unreliable as built drawings is bad enough.We had a very large stadium in the past half decade, which i will not name, that has about 20 or so subs. Nearing the end of the project, for space issues, a few of the main swbds where hacked to pieces and the loads where moved to other services. I remember the equipment manufacturer spent a week directing where the new cbs and rating plug changes were supposed to go. I am real glad we didn't have to arc flash label the project. The as builts are probably way off, and we would have to site visit and redo the onelines. I hear it is up to code and the lights havn't nuisance tripped... but that is between the owner and AHJ now.
BumpInTheNight: Incoming post from that smug guy complete with pictures of his solar powered house incoming in 3...2...1...
wingnut396: I've recently had a 10KW system installed.Have you done your part?
foo monkey: How do you supplement your home power with solar? Say I mount some panels on my roof. Then what? How do I connect my stuff to that power source?
Pincy: wingnut396: I've recently had a 10KW system installed.Have you done your part?I tried. Last year I contacted a company that was offering a deal on solar panel installations. I scheduled an appointment to have them come out and take a look. They called me a few days before the appointment and said they looked at my house on google street view and determined that we weren't a candidate for solar panels. I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion. We only have one tree on the side of the house that casts a shadow on the far edge of the roof and that could be pruned. Otherwise, the roof is unobstructed. Oh well, I tried.
Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Wind is really taking off in some places, I think that's the bigger competitor for traditional providers. Iowa and South Dakota already get 25% of their total electricity from wind.Link
dchurch0: but the hail in the spring would destroy anything I install
Hollie Maea: dchurch0: but the hail in the spring would destroy anything I installNo it won't. It might ruin your house, it will definitely ruin your car, but it won't ruin your solar panels.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI6K3xlgYoYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qrXhI6TQHQ
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