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]
“The solar tax credits were originally enacted in the 2005 and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 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]
“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.”
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
“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]
“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.”
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:
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.
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.
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