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U S Falling Behind on Renewable Energy

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by muleferg, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Great article. We definitely need to catch up on the renewable energy side of things.

    From another perspective, the U.S. does have the company that currently makes EVs with the greatest range worldwide. Anyone guess which company that is? :biggrin:
     
  2. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    I'm unlikely to call "great" any article that says that we should have been doing high speed rail for the last 30 years.
    I think the 20:1 quoted ratio of solar in China vs. the USA is suspect. My sources show 18 GW in China to 12 GW in the USA.

    While I agree we need more renewables, I think we should be a bit more fair here. China's electricity consumption is growing at a crazy rate of nearly 10% year over year. They're getting some of that increased capacity from renewable, and indeed they did build out a few times as much renewable capacity as the USA did. However they're getting the vast majority of their increased capacity from coal rather than from renewables.
    The USA, on the other hand, has been growing electricity consumption at a rate of pretty much 0% year over year. We've traded coal plants for natural gas plants, and we have increased renewable energy.
    For new electricity generation that came on line in 2013, roughly half of the capacity was renewable: Half of power plant capacity additions in 2013 came from natural gas - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (note that the graph doesn't include distributed solar).
    Sure, that means half was NOT renewable, and a noticeable fraction was coal, so there's still work to be done. (also, I'm always wary of capacity numbers instead of production numbers; I just couldn't find production numbers for new generation).

    Anyway, you could look at it as China is building more wind and solar power capacity than the USA is on an absolute scale.
    or you could look at it as new power generation in the USA has a much higher percentage of wind and solar than in China.

    We should use more renewables, but I think the article is far from great.
    my $0.02.
     
  3. flankspeed8

    flankspeed8 Member

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    This is not a news article. It is an opinion piece. The distinction should be made.
     
  4. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    For me, it's simple. It's easier and much cheaper to frack and destroy our county right now than it is to explore alternatives-which makes no sense to me at all. Unfortunate but true and it kills me. The Saudi strategy of trying to collapse our fracking industry for their own gains through lower oil prices might just have worked, ignoring other market factors, asbutwe have seen them raise 30% in the last month or so. So they were wrong on that one

    And sorry to be a hawk, but I think we should let those countries exhaust their oil reserves as quickly as possible. Not only will it spur alternatives, it will take away all the leverage of the mean people over there that hate us, but depend COMPLETELY on our demand. We might actually begin to see some sort of lessening of all the death we see now. I would hope.

    Not that I have an opinion...
     
  5. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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  6. bluenation

    bluenation Member

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    1. renewables are growing, and will always be growing

    2. they'll just be growing really really slowly, as compared to our impatient expectations. unless you're germany. actually, even there....
     
  7. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Exhausting petroleum supply could take many many decades. New discoveries are being made all the time. The rapid advances in electric car/battery technologies will eclipse ICE vehicles based on efficiencies long before that.
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Simplifying and adjusting...
    Research is more expensive until discoveries are made and methodologies refined.

    The way you "counter" that is a large topic, especially when public funding is part of the discussion.
     
  9. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I read somewhere that in the USA a solar panel system is installed each 4 minutes. Solar panels are also installed on the White House which is important to give good example to people. So I don't think that the situation is so bad for renewables in the USA.
     
  10. muleferg

    muleferg Member

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    Trying to Help.

    IMG_2555.JPG IMG_0632.JPG
     
  11. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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  12. SolarRyan

    SolarRyan New Member

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    The great news for the USA is that we have turned the tide already. It is just that we are so far behind in the renewable energy aspect it will take some time for it to be recognized. From 2013-2014, the new electricity generation came from a majority of wind and solar power!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    That is awesome!:biggrin:
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Progress is uneven, at best. Here's a map of states by renewable energy portfolio standard:
    RPSMap.png
    Clearly the southeast (with the exception of North Carolina) has no state policy regarding renewable energy.

    Not only did more than half the 2014 generation additions come from solar and wind (on a MW basis), there's even better news for 2015: looking at expected on-line dates for plant under construction, wind, solar, and other renewables are expected to account for 12 GW of 20 GW of additions. More importantly, of the 16 GW expected to retire in 2015, 13 GW is coal. This huge figure is a direct result of EPA regulations on air emissions of toxics (mercury, etc.), not CO2.
    EIA-4.png
     
  14. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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  15. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    Robert, any idea on how new renewable plants compare to new fossil fuel plants on a likely-energy-produced basis, rather than on a possible-power basis? I would think that wind and solar has a lower GWh/yr : MW ratio than fossil fuels, which are probably lower than nuclear?
     
  16. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    Pennsylvania's pent up demand is about to start flowing and it'll be the domestic solar story of the next few years IMO. We are miles behind everyone else, but now have a fully on board governor who is essentially a lock for two terms. If you thought New Jersey was installing a lot, PA should surpass their pace by quite a bit over the next three years.
     
  17. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Ignorance also still abounds... I STILL get asked on a regular basis; by educated people; how much maintenance my batteries require.... WHAT BATTERIES?
     
  18. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    So USA... France just raised you one: France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels | World news | The Guardian

    "Check" France (but not near check mate yet).

    This is very progressive legislation. France has always had a different view on energy than much of the rest of Europe. Despite having Total (one of the largest oil corps. of the world) they were never that in love With oil (only the Money I Guess) and they have always had a high % of nuclear in the energy mix, for example. So it's only natural that they are progressing naturally in to the solar economy, without struggle but rather with logic.
     
  19. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    They simply realized Germany and any other electricity export customers who are already strong on solar are gonna eat their lunch if they don't catch up. France has tons of nukes and was loving life selling peak power at peak prices, but once solar hits a certain marketshare the midday peak hours become super cheap on the wholesale side. France's nukes have been essentially relegated to only baseload and they're learning real quick that if you don't have solar in the mix, you're the odd man out paying others a premium at midday.

    [the above statement is conjecture from a half educated non-industry American, but probably in the ballpark]

    On a sunny weekend day in Germany, a nuke operator in Germany may actually have to PAY to dump their load into the grid. It's astounding and no one in the US seems to really talk about it much. It seems like even a moderate % of solar is far more destructive to the utility ecosystem than folks predicted.
     

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