Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘solar’

Costs Of Solar Versus Costs Of Wars For Oil And Bank Bailouts

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 24, 2013

Putting it in perspective.

Click through to read. It’s well worth it.

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Lots Of Good News On The Solar Power Front

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27, 2013

Check out these links:

Microgrids in India

US Senators Re-Introduce MLP Act to Level Playing Field for Renewable Energy

Anonymous Donors Fund Solar Projects Across the U.S.

DOE Selects Four Pilot Projects for Military Drop-in Biofuels Development

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Attacking Penny-Ante Cleantech Waste While Ignoring Dirty Energy’s $10-Billion-Plus Gravy Train

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 14, 2013

This article bashes a battery company that got stimulus money:

A company that received $150 million in government stimulus funds to build a facility to manufacture battery cells for electric cars has yet to begin mass-market production and misused some of the funds in questionable labor costs, according to the Energy Department’s Inspector General.

In a report released Wednesday, the IG found that LG Chem Michigan Inc. (formerly Compact Power Inc.) had yet to produce a single battery cell and was likely to miss the grant’s May 2013 deadline for completion. What’s more, the project created fewer than half of the projected 440 new jobs anticipated by proponents.

Compare this to the subsidies and protections the dirty-energy companies get every year:

In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually, while even efforts to remove small portions of those subsidies have been defeated in Congress, as shown in the graphic below.

But when the dirty-energy crowd exerts such influence over our media and our political processes, it’s not surprising to see the obsession with motes in cleantech companies’ eyes while the I-beams sticking out of Big Oil’s and Big Coal’s and Big Gas’ eyes get ignored.

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Good News For The Planet: China Quadrupling Domestic Solar Installations

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 5, 2012

China’s largely doing this to absorb excess solar-panel production so global solar panel prices don’t keep dropping (they’re currently at 87 cents a watt, competitive with coal), but it’s still a good thing that the world’s biggest user of coal, the world’s dirtiest form of energy, is going to seriously ramp up its commitment to domestic solar usage:

China, the biggest supplier of solar power panels, quadrupled a domestic installation goal for sun- derived energy projects to 21 gigawatts by 2015 to help absorb excess supply of panels and support prices.

The target includes 1 gigawatt of solar-thermal power plants, Shi Lishan, deputy director of the administration’s renewable energy division, said by phone today. The plan will be issued “soon,” he said.

China had planned 5 gigawatts of capacity in the five years through 2015 and 20 gigawatts by 2020. The government has considered an increase since last year as solar panel makers led by Suntech Power Holdings Co. and Trina Solar Ltd. suffer from cuts in European subsidies and a global supply glut that drove prices lower.

“With a significant tumble in photovoltaic prices, the timetable for mass use is ahead of time,” said Lian Rui, a senior analyst for the research company Solarbuzz. “The new target is still very conservative; we expect the installation to surpass 30 gigawatts.”

Considering China’s energy consumption now stands at 389 gigawatts, getting domestic solar installs up to 21 gigawatts may not seem like much, but remember that a little over a decade ago China had no solar industry at all, much less any domestic solar installations. Combined with the growth of domestic wind power (which itself currently stands at 40 gigawatts and is planned to be at 100 gigawatts by 2015, 200 gigawatts by 2020, 400 GW by 2030, and 1,000 GW by 2050), China could soon lose its title of “world’s biggest coal user” to the US, from whom it only recently took that not-very-honorable status.

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Wind, Solar Were 68% Of New European Electricity Installs In 2011

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 22, 2012

That’s right: 68% of all newly-installed European electricity generation in 2011 was either wind or solar.

Sounds like the plan to get Europe off of coal and oil is proceeding quite nicely.

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Why Do Our Legi$lator$ Favor Dirty Energy? Ca$h. Lot$.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 11, 2011

Earlier this week, I briefly touched on how in hock our elected representatives are to Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Gas — a fact that is keeping America from fully implementing a clean-energy future.

Over at Renewable Energy World, Tor Valenza has some data on just how much dough the dirty-energy crowd tosses at politicians: “How can you tell? Easy. Go to www.dirtyenergymoney.com and find out how much $$$ your own representative or senators are $upported by oil and coal companies.”

To no one’s surprise, prominent Republicans like Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell turn out to have got a lot of money from the dirty-energy lobby, and are quite friendly to dirty energy as well as quite hostile to clean energy. But what is a pleasant surprise, is that Henry Waxman, a Democratic congressman from California, gets nearly as much as Boehner et al do, yet manages to be a very good friend to solar energy. As the late great Texas Democratic House Speaker Sam Rayburn once told a freshman congressman who wanted to be excused from vote because he wanted to please his biggest contributors: “Son, if you can’t take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and then vote against ’em, you don’t deserve to be here.”

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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China Rushing to Adopt Green Power, Manufacturing, and Living

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 8, 2011

If a non-trivial number of Capitol Hill legislators of both parties didn’t owe their jobs to Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Nuclear, China wouldn’t be trouncing the US in green growth:

China’s production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled on Monday at an industry conference in Amsterdam.

“The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively,” said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.

Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, or about euro6.5 billion ($9.4 billion), the report said.

The PRC is the largest cleantech producer in terms of money, with green technologies making up more than euro44 billion ($64 billion), or 1.4 percent of its annual gross domestic product. The US? We’re 17th.

It’s not just that the Chinese want a monopoly on worldwide cleantech, though that would be a nice side benefit for them. They want to flat-out survive. Human-caused global warming is a direct and growing threat to China, and the Chinese elites know it.

Seeing empty deserts where glaciers once stood not so long ago — glaciers that feed the great rivers of both China and India — was a real eye-opener for the Chinese central government. The worldwide economic downturn has been a blessing in disguise as not only has it slowed down the rate at which factories and power plants contribute to global climate change (thus buying the world an extra 18 months in which to get its act together), it allowed the central government to force the shutdown and retooling of older, polluting establishments so that they would run greener and cleaner upon reopening.

Of course, this also means that China is no longer as “business-friendly” as it once was, so various industries (such as HTI, or Hutchinson Technology) are looking towards Thailand, Indonesia and even India (Foxconn, which makes Apple’s iPads and iPods and iPhones, is going to India from China later this year) in a desperate bid to avoid having to honor environmental and labor regulations. But Thailand is an unstable mess and India and Indonesia are themselves cracking down on polluters and exploiters.

The free ride for the polluting and exploiting CEOs is over. Increasingly, they are being forced to choose between cleaning up their act or attempting to set up shop in places that are either politically unstable or have no infrastructure capable of supporting a multinational business.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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