coal vs wind

Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: cokehead On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:38 pm

Berlin wrote:jpete, we shouldn't be putting subsidies behind ANYTHING. everyone with their own allotment of 50K worth of solar panels? that would be great... until the first good spring hailstorm hit, or during extended and heavy/regular snowfall like we see in buffalo. Right now these renewables can't even get close to competing on a level playing field, and, until they can, we don't need to be wasting america's wealth treading water; we have the capability for some of the cheapest electricity in the world, we need to use it to grow our economy and our competitive edge in the world. We cannot afford to *censored* our resource advantages away on subsidizing via taxpayers or ratepayers uncompetitive and wasteful "green" energy sources.


Right on brother.

I have a little experience on my boat with a solar panel and my friend had a small wind mill. The solar panel (10 amps at 13+- volts max output) would be charging 3 deep cycle lead acid batteries during the week while I worked. If I added another solar panel, had I had the room, I would need some electronic device to monitor the batteries so they wouldn't get cooked. If I went off on a three day weekend on the boat the batteries would get low unless I started the diesel and topped them up for a half hour or so and that was being careful with the juice. I like piece and quite so I really don't like doing that. My friends wind mill worked better but in the summer sometimes you can have several days without wind. Same result. I've come to the conclusion that unless you are going to dramatically reduce power consumption the systems that are required are just too expensive to be practical. I consider them (solar panels and wind mills) to be specialty items with limited practical applications.
cokehead
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:15 pm

jpete wrote:OK. You guys are right. It's completely impossible to find a better alternative to fossil fuels.


I don't think it's impossible jpete, matter of fact I think it's inevitable. My issue is government interference with the market, these subsidies IMO do not help and are in fact a hindrance. If you're going to level the playing field by subsidizing, mandating or penalizing one product of the other you destroy the incentive to make them affordable.
Richard S.
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:44 pm

jpete, it's not completely impossible, far from it in fact. Right now, the alternative technologies to fossil fuels can't compete with fossil fuels and that's why the market insists upon using coal and gas to produce power. If new technologies are invented or discovered that allow us to use something other than fossil fuels in an economical fashion, they will out-compete gas and coal for generation. The problem is, propping up inefficient, overpriced, and poor performing technology to make it artificially compete with fuels like coal really does alternative energy a disservice. The sooner people stop wasting time with failures and start looking for something that has the promise to compete economically with other energy sources, the sooner we will make the next great energy breakthrough. subsidizing technological failure gets us nowhere.
Berlin
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:58 am

Richard S. wrote:
jpete wrote:OK. You guys are right. It's completely impossible to find a better alternative to fossil fuels.


I don't think it's impossible jpete, matter of fact I think it's inevitable. My issue is government interference with the market, these subsidies IMO do not help and are in fact a hindrance. If you're going to level the playing field by subsidizing, mandating or penalizing one product of the other you destroy the incentive to make them affordable.


But that's MY point. Every form of power we have now is subsidized already. The reason solar and wind aren't competitive is they don't get equal incentives.

I know what your charts say, but I always have to wonder who prepared the charts. What information was included/excluded.

Just from a cost estimating basis, I don't see how coal is cheaper than wind or solar. You've got the added costs of buying fuel and disposing waste. Then you have all the material handling, pollution regulations, etc, etc.

None of that exists in wind and sun.
jpete
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: jpete On: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:01 am

Berlin wrote:jpete, it's not completely impossible, far from it in fact. Right now, the alternative technologies to fossil fuels can't compete with fossil fuels and that's why the market insists upon using coal and gas to produce power. If new technologies are invented or discovered that allow us to use something other than fossil fuels in an economical fashion, they will out-compete gas and coal for generation. The problem is, propping up inefficient, overpriced, and poor performing technology to make it artificially compete with fuels like coal really does alternative energy a disservice. The sooner people stop wasting time with failures and start looking for something that has the promise to compete economically with other energy sources, the sooner we will make the next great energy breakthrough. subsidizing technological failure gets us nowhere.


If there are people living totally off grid using these technologies today, and we know there are, then how do you figure they are "poor performing"?

Did you watch the videos I posted? How are these examples of "failures"?
jpete
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:56 am

jpete wrote:
But that's MY point. Every form of power we have now is subsidized already. The reason solar and wind aren't competitive is they don't get equal incentives.


It's not equal, it's much more. You're not even going to find people in the solar and wind industry making your argument. If it were suggested we drop all subsidies across the board they are the ones that will suffer and suffer considerably.

I know what your charts say, but I always have to wonder who prepared the charts. What information was included/excluded.


It's from the EIA, they are the CBO of energy policy and information.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/about/mission_overview.cfm

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA is the Nation's premier source of energy information and, by law, its data, analyses, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the U.S. Government.


I'm not naive, no one is completely unbiased but you're not going to find better data.
Richard S.
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: wsherrick On: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:07 am

If somebody wants to have their own windmill or solar panels that's fine. In the Nevada Desert solar panels on a micro scale might work if you don't want to have a deep freezer, central air conditioning, or many of the other countless appliances and thingamajigs that use power these days. I have always had the idea of buying a property with a nice stream on it and building a dam to make electricity for myself. These things are possible on a small scale. But on a macro scale they don't work and no amount of artificial stimulus can make them work.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:09 am

jpete wrote:If there are people living totally off grid using these technologies today, and we know there are, then how do you figure they are "poor performing"?



Go back to the post where I referenced a quote a forum member received. Half the bill for installation is subsidized. On top of that the "Green credit" which is paid by consumers using conventional power could make it profitable if the estimates by the solar company are correct, the bottom line is the homeowner installing the solar panels isn't the one paying for it. I've thought about for this house, why the hell not if not paying for it? The only thing stopping me is I'm guessing it's not suitable for this location, the sun barely makes it up over the tops of the trees on the mountain behind my house in the winter.
Richard S.
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:41 pm

The smaller panels make excellent serving trays and you could use them to patch holes in your roof if they weren't so fragile. Big hail kills them. So about a "Use for Old Solar Panels forum" and search for creative ideas. I've even tried tying them to batteries to make electricity but that idea didn't work too well.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: Berlin On: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:16 pm

Ok, so here's some concrete numbers:

a new nebraska coal plant: $.038/KWH

two new missouri plants and one in southern illinois 4.9 cents



capital costs to fuel/maintenance costs (similar for all new plants in and around missouri)

new illinois plant @4.9 cents/KWH, the fuel emissions control and maintenance costs to capital costs are 2.5 to 1



older midwestern/missouri coal plants 2-3.5 cents/KWH (capital costs are mostly paid and less costly emission control, only thing you're paying for is fuel and maintenance).

a wind farm in northern missouri: 5.5 cents/KWH (supply from the windfarm fluctuates heavily and even with subsidies for the builders and operators the wholesale cost is more than coal-fired power. With this wind farm the operators are still losing money - the contracts they signed at 5.5 cents/KWH even with their subsidies on the construction and operation side were not enough, the amount of power generation projected and modeled was greater than what they are actually obtaining - this is a story played out across the country with windfarms in the midwestm, in PA, and even upstate NY not producing what was projected over the last few years.

In summary, with heavy taxpayer subsidies at the construction and operation side wind power is not only not competative (5.5cents vs. less than 5 cents for even the most modern, pollution control choked coal power plants) but even with higher rates for a land-based high wind windfarm, the rate of 5.5 cents is not enough for the operators and investors to make money. At their current price contracts, they are losing a lot of money. Why are utilities buying this more expensive wind power? often due to ratepayer subsidies (through gov't mandated renewable power percentages); you not only pay for expensive renewable energy through your taxes, but also hidden in your electric rates.

Sierra club forcing taxpayers and ratepayers to pay for wind energy:
http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/mar/2 ... wer_plant/

This page will give you an idea why I pay almost 15 cents/KWH while my relatives in Missouri pay 7 cents or less per KWH, pay special attention to the strong-arming NY did to xcel energy. (NY state strong-arming of AES has recently caused my cousin to lose his job at AES westover as well): http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?ti ... k_and_coal
Berlin
 
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: samhill On: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:01 am

I saw a report last night where all of our spent nuclear fuel rods are still stored just like the ones in Japan. This despite the fact that us tax payers have spent & continue to spend billions on Yucca Mountain but there is not one rod there & the Gov. isn`t saying what is.
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Re: coal vs wind

PostBy: CoalUserWannabe On: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:41 pm

Want Heat in the winter ? Use Pennsylvania Anthracite.
Want nice breeze in the summer ? use some electrical fans in the house powered by your wind-powered generators.
As for me when wanting to have fun, a beer in the hand and my girlfriend on my lap is priceless.
Almost as priceless as reading Richard S on political issues.

But do I know ? having few beers only makes me lose focus of anything else, but makes my girlfriend look so much more prettier
CoalUserWannabe
 
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