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solar moving forward to challenge filthy fossil fuels

“ "But if you are talking the price per kilowatt, we will never see single-digits again, fossil fuels or in solar," ”

“ US producers of solar power will no longer need federal subsidies within eight years because by then solar power will cost less than electricity generated by conventional power plants, industry players said this week.

“The US government recently extended tax breaks for wind and solar producers for another eight years. They are set to expire in 2016.

“Solar power, which contributes less than 1 percent of US electricity generation, has been growing rapidly in the United States but remains reliant on state and federal subsidies to make it competitive versus power plants that run on coal or natural gas.

“ "We designed the eight-year tax credit extension very purposely," said Rhone Resch, president of Solar Energy Industries Association. "We believe that at the end of that time, solar will have achieved grid parity, which means simply that we will be the lowest-cost source of retail electricity in almost all 50 states." ” [Quoted from planetark.com]

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“The solar tax credits were originally enacted in the 2005 and have created unprecedented growth in the U.S. The amount of solar electric capacity installed in 2007 was double that installed in 2006.

“ “Over the last 2 years, these tax credits have turned the solar industry from a small, cottage industry into an economic engine for America. Electricians, plumbers, roofers and construction workers can now get back to work. These jobs are the backbone of the American economy and the solar industry is creating them at a time when they are needed the most,” said Resch.

“According to a new economic study by Navigant Consulting, Inc., the 8-year extension of the ITC will create 440,000 permanent jobs and unleash $325 billion in private investment in the solar industry. This study did not factor in elimination of $2,000 monetary cap on the residential credit, so the actual job creation and investment could be even greater.

“ “This is a big boost for the residential market in particular, allowing homeowners to contribute to our nation’s energy independence,” said Efird [Solar Energy Industries Association chairman and president of Suntech America]. “It also opens the floodgates for building large, utility-scale solar power projects that need longer timeframes to complete.”

“To date, there are 27 such utility-scale solar power projects totaling 5,400 megawatts of power in various stages of development; most were on hold due to uncertainty surrounding the expiring tax credits.” [Quoted from seia.org]

related material
photovoltaics (solar cells)
non-pv (photovoltaic) solar technology

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http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#us_solar_tax_credits_201008





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bush signs renewable energy bill and funds it out of lowered big oil subsidies
(also extends health care to mental problems)

  • “An 8-year extension of the residential and business ITC [Investment Tax Credits] for solar, small-wind and geothermal systems
  • An elimination of the US $2,000 cap on the residential ITC
  • Elimination of the prohibition on utilities from obtaining the ITC
  • Authorization of US $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities
  • A 1-year extension of the PTC [Production Tax Credits] for wind and geothermal facilities

    “The extensions would be at least partially paid for by a change in the tax code for the oil and gas industry.”

The energy package amounts to approximately $18 billion.

Note that this energy package , the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, was included in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424), just signed by George Bush to help sort the credit crunch in the United States.

health law changes
H.R. 1424 also extends health care to mental problems.

“Requires group health plans to apply the same beneficiary financial requirements to mental health or substance-related disorder benefits as they apply for medical and surgical benefits, including limits on deductibles, co-payments, and out-of-pocket expenses.”

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#renewable_energy_bill_041008

for moonbats and luddites who still believe in digging out ‘clean coal’

A bit of a rant, even if it does include facts.


6:45 minutes

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fossil fuel disasters

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#kennedy_coal_190908

rickety usa electric grid becoming a bottleneck to alternative power as alternative energy grows
[New York Times, so may require free registration]

“These barriers mean that electrical generation is growing four times faster than transmission, according to federal figures.”

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Distributed energy systems: conservation and micro-generation

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#us_wind_310808

yet another filthy fossil fuel industry disaster - 180 boats now jammed in mississippi

The major oil spill on the River Mississippi on July 3rd still has river shipping backing up, while drinking water inputs are shut down.

“The accident happened early Wednesday [03/07/2008] in New Orleans, near Mile 99, when the chemical tanker Tintomara split an American Commercial Lines barge in half, dumping 420,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil from the barge into the river.” [Quoted from planetark.com]

Nearly a month later, a large class action law suit is expected, and a hundred miles of major waterway are jammed by ships and boats. Eight hundred people have been diverted to clean up operations, while canons are being used to scare birds away.

“The Coast Guard has said the river will be closed for days and cleanup will take weeks. No new estimate was available Monday for when the cleanup would be complete and operations would return to normal.”

Only 11,000 of 420,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil have been cleared up so far. [Quoted from planetark.com]

But we’re going to open the river anyway. Reports of amount of oil spilled are now falling, while reports of amount cleared up is rising - to ‘about’ twenty percent.

“The Coast Guard will fully reopen the Mississippi River to ship traffic on Tuesday, but will impose a safety zone on a portion of the river where 400,000 gallons of oil spilled last week, the Times-Picayune newspaper reports.

“Capt. Lincoln Stroh, Coast Guard commander of the Port of New Orleans, says ships will have to be cleaned before heading north or south of the closed zone, and will have to travel slowly to avoid affecting the cleanup effort.” [Quoted from usatoday.com]

related material
fossil fuel disasters

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#mississippi_oil_spill_300708

pv market growth forecast - usa set to overtake germany

All looks a bit pessimistic to me.

“According to a solar overview from JP Morgan, the U.S. market will reach 1.6 gigawatts in 2011, compared with a market of 1.35 gigawatts in Germany in 2012. The research firm also expects Greece, South Korea and Italy to grow quickly.”

World solar energy comparison. Image: Solarbuzz, March 2007, Navigant, PV News, China REDP Report via JP Morgan

related material
photovoltaics (solar cells)

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#photovoltaics_market_210708

on the us energy problem - boone pickens

Recommended 4:50-minute video.

Boone Pickens has been a major driving force in modernising the oil corporations.

In this video, Pickens avocates using wind and natural gas to replace current vehicular fuels, at least during the transition period from fossil fuel to nuclear power.

Erecting a modern power-generating windmill. Image: PickensPlan.com
Erecting a modern power-generating windmill. Image: PickensPlan.com

Incidentally, six years ago, I put out data showing that massive nuclear construction was urgent. Now, six years later, come the complaints that nuclear cannot be built in time. With a lead time of about five years (not the nonsense times claimed by the watermelons), nuclear construction is simply continuing to become more urgent.

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I have read the first of Boone Pickens’ books [Boone], and it is excellent reading for business students. My impression is that the second book [The Luckiest Guy in the World] is an update of the first. The third book [The First Billion Is the Hardest] looks more wide-ranging and I may well buy it when it is available. I cannot imagine a book by Boone Pickens wasting my valuable time. I doubt he is capable of being boring.

Boone by Boone Pickens

Boone
by Boone Pickens

Houghton Mifflin, 1989 amazon.com
Hodder and Stoughton Ltd 1987 amazon.co.uk

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Boone Pickens: The Luckiest Guy in the World

Beard Books, 2001
ISBN-10: 1587980193
ISBN-13: 978-1587980190

£26.25 [amazon.co.uk] /
$31.46
[amazon.com]

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The First Billion Is the Hardest: Reflections on a Life of Comebacks and America's Energy Future
by Boone Pickens

Crown Business
2 September 2008
ISBN-10: 0307395774
ISBN-13: 978-0307395771

$17.79 [pre-order from amazon.com]

The luckiest guy in the world by Boone Pickens

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wind power

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#boone_pickens_100708

talk on biofuels and food

I think that Michael Pollan does not understand energy, and that he’s a lefty Luddite trying to sell a book.

However, the 21-minute talk is worth the time to listen. Among other things, it is a useful insight into the mind of the scientifically illiterate, but reasonably intelligent, adult.

“[...] That’s because we began making this huge investment in ethanol and subsidizing ethanol production. That led to a spike in corn prices because we were making corn-based ethanol. But when you have a spike in one grain’s prices, all the farmers rush to produce more of that grain. So you had wheat and soybean farmers getting into corn and out of soy and wheat, so that reduced the supply of wheat and soy and the prices there went crazy too. So that’s the big cause.”

[The talk is linked from the transcript page linked above.]

related material
biofuels
land conservation and food production

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/energy0807.php#biofuel_food_050708

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