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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Coal is dead, long live Coal.

   
Author Topic: Coal is dead, long live Coal.
Elison R. Salazar
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In before Ron tries to argue that coal is actually good for your health.

link

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Samprimary
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solar energy is already cheaper than coal when you remove subsidies apparently
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
solar energy is already cheaper than coal when you remove subsidies apparently

Well solar has subsidies too, but if costs continue to drop (and they should) we may yet see that day soon.
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Geraine
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I'm fine with any alternative energy, as long as it is cost effective.

Once they can make cars that run off of solar energy that can let me drive at night and get me from point A to point B without any loss in speed or safety while still being affordable, I'll buy one.

Likewise, once we can power entire homes with solar energy without covering half of the Mojave desert with solar panels, I'll sign up. Right now my only option here in Las Vegas is to pay over $20,000 for unsightly solar panels to be placed on my roof that would only reduce my power bill by half.

Then again the monopoly that Nevada Energy has here in Las Vegas is ridiculous, but as long as they keep paying the right people, that won't change.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I'm fine with any alternative energy, as long as it is cost effective.

Once they can make cars that run off of solar energy that can let me drive at night and get me from point A to point B without any loss in speed or safety while still being affordable, I'll buy one.

Likewise, once we can power entire homes with solar energy without covering half of the Mojave desert with solar panels, I'll sign up. Right now my only option here in Las Vegas is to pay over $20,000 for unsightly solar panels to be placed on my roof that would only reduce my power bill by half.

Then again the monopoly that Nevada Energy has here in Las Vegas is ridiculous, but as long as they keep paying the right people, that won't change.

That sort of thing very much depends on where you live. There are many places, like California, where you don't have to put any money down at all and your power bill decreases, but instead of paying the power company you pay the solar panel company or state subsidy agency.

Rooftop panels are still on the rise. They make sense in some places and not in others, but as materials and installation costs continue to fall, they'll make more sense in more places. The biggest obstacle is upfront costs, but installation companies and state governments are stepping in to mitigate or eliminate that problem. Power companies like it because in other parts of the country they have to lease roof top space, but this way they get a steady income stream, which makes it easier to get investment dollars from Wall Street, where they can sell themselves as a regular power company just with distributed sources of power generation.

The entire industry is being upended, and Coal isn't even the biggest part of it. As more and more people go off the grid, the costs to keep the system going will be visited on a smaller and smaller population. When their costs rise, they too will ditch the grid, and the thing will spiral until everyone is off the grid. Unless the power companies can convince Congress to start taxing everyone.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
$20,000 for unsightly solar panels to be placed on my roof that would only reduce my power bill by half.
How much is your power bill per month?

If it's a $100/month it will take 33 years for the $20,000 savings to pay for itself.

Back in middle school, I remember a teacher once complained that our school refused to install double pane windows 20 years ago because it would take 10 years for them to pay for themselves.

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Heisenberg
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Phoenix is one place where rooftop panels work just fine; in fact, there are quite a few homes there that actually sell electricity to the power company.
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BlackBlade
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Yeah, having been in Phoenix for 6 months now, I'm positive it's an ideal place to phase in solar power.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Heisenberg:
Phoenix is one place where rooftop panels work just fine; in fact, there are quite a few homes there that actually sell electricity to the power company.

That may change soon. Some power companies are beginning to turn the other way on having distributed houses sell power back to them. Because of how rates work and the law forcing them to in many states, they're starting to lose money here and there.

There will be a major push soon from power companies for reform. I'm not sure yet what it'll look like, but my guess is that we're headed for a national power grid tax and subsidies to power companies that maintain the grid.

It's going to sound like a giveaway to big business...but...I actually think that's the direction we should be headed in.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Yeah, having been in Phoenix for 6 months now, I'm positive it's an ideal place to phase in solar power.

http://i.imgur.com/EnrWs9g.png
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Yeah, having been in Phoenix for 6 months now, I'm positive it's an ideal place to phase in solar power.

http://i.imgur.com/EnrWs9g.png
I remember laughing my head off when I watched that. Then I moved to Phoenix and now I just nod my head in grim agreement.
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Darth_Mauve
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quote:
Once they can make cars that run off of solar energy that can let me drive at night and get me from point A to point B without any loss in speed or safety while still being affordable, I'll buy one.

Likewise, once we can power entire homes with solar energy without covering half of the Mojave desert with solar panels, I'll sign up. Right now my only option here in Las Vegas is to pay over $20,000 for unsightly solar panels to be placed on my roof that would only reduce my power bill by half.

Wow--you got a car that runs on coal? Cool. I've never seen one.

Imagine that, coal is just one part of our energy usage now, but we don't want to try anything solar unless it can replace everything else.

And you don't want solar panels filling up the beautiful deserts, because its much nicer to rip out the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

And heaven forbid we put something ugly like solar panels on roofs that cover up the nice, artistic tar and shingle already up there. I mean, how often do you look at a house, or a big box store, or an office building and say, "What a beautiful roof." I'm sure futuristic mirrored additions would just be too ugly.

(OK, I like the way they look.)

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Heisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Yeah, having been in Phoenix for 6 months now, I'm positive it's an ideal place to phase in solar power.

http://i.imgur.com/EnrWs9g.png
Cartoon has it wrong, front yards are covered in gravel, not grass.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
quote:
Once they can make cars that run off of solar energy that can let me drive at night and get me from point A to point B without any loss in speed or safety while still being affordable, I'll buy one.

Likewise, once we can power entire homes with solar energy without covering half of the Mojave desert with solar panels, I'll sign up. Right now my only option here in Las Vegas is to pay over $20,000 for unsightly solar panels to be placed on my roof that would only reduce my power bill by half.

Wow--you got a car that runs on coal? Cool. I've never seen one.

Imagine that, coal is just one part of our energy usage now, but we don't want to try anything solar unless it can replace everything else.

And you don't want solar panels filling up the beautiful deserts, because its much nicer to rip out the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

And heaven forbid we put something ugly like solar panels on roofs that cover up the nice, artistic tar and shingle already up there. I mean, how often do you look at a house, or a big box store, or an office building and say, "What a beautiful roof." I'm sure futuristic mirrored additions would just be too ugly.

(OK, I like the way they look.)

I'll just chalk this up to you being in a bad mood.

1) Samprimary and Blackblade had both mentioned solar energy in their posts, and I was continuing on that.

2) I never said that we shouldn't try solar or any other alternative energy, I just said they need to be more efficient and cost effective. I am completely ok with trying other energies. I live in a location which only gets rain a couple times a year. Right now the cost is not feasible for me. I don't have $20k or more laying around for solar power.

3) Guess what? There is plenty of wild life living in the Mojave desert as well as the Appalachians. Excuse me for not wanting to rip up the desert and the homes of millions of animals in the name of being environmentally friendly. It's counter productive. I live in a place where the discovery of a desert tortoise shuts down construction jobs for weeks because it is an endangered animal. (Yes, even solar projects!)

http://www.venturacountytrails.org/WP/2012/03/04/saving-desert-tortoises-is-a-costly-hurdle-for-solar-projects/

As for solar panels on roofs, they are unsightly. You have a different opinion and that is fine. Most HOA's here in Las Vegas don't even allow them. Though they are unsightly, would I still use them if they were cost efficient? Absolutely. Right now they aren't.

ETA: Nuclear would also be valuable. Store it at Yucca mountain. It was closed for political, not safety reasons after all. It would also bring some revenue back to Nevada. We only get back $.65 for every dollar we send to Washington, the second lowest in the nation.

[ January 14, 2014, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: Geraine ]

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Heisenberg
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They're perfectly cost efficient, just in the long run. It takes fifteen years to pay them off; they last at least twenty five.
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Dogbreath
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Depends where you live. Here in Hawaii, electricity costs are so outrageously expensive you can make back your investment in 5 or 6 years.
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