Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

In a dusty northwest India desert dotted with cows and the occasional camel, a solar-power plant is producing some of the world's cheapest energy.

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That $10 Billion that Bezos pledged is going to scientists to make green energy infrastructure that is cheaper than fossil fuels.
Bezos is going to make money on that investment.

Bezos 2020, he will actually fix US infrastructure. He also doesn't need to be the ---- holster of dictators.

#1 | Posted by bored at 2020-02-17 07:00 PM | Reply

I call BS. For industrial scale solar, it is a long term game where you need to produce power over a 20 year period to start earning a decent return. What this operator is doing is fooling themselves into thinking that the panels - probably cheap Chinese made crap - will not degrade. They will. If you want to do industrial scale solar - you need about 8.5 cents/kilowatt-hour over a 20 year period.

#2 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2020-02-17 09:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The problem is we are getting too much solar power. Which can only be used in the daytime unless battery storage improves.

Bezo would do well to invest in Tesla.

The problem is we generate too much PV in some places in California. This "unbalances" the grid and we are creating what engineers are calling the "duck curve". The duck curve means that we have an abundance of power during the day but we need generators that can ramp up fast when demand ramps up in the afternoons. At the sane time we are losing our solar energy. Right now only nuclear or hydro or fossil fuel (coal or gas fired) generators can fulfill this function and we are slowly shutting them down. We only have one nuclear plant left in California.

We will need some way to correct this.

#3 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-02-17 10:50 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

Have we hit Peak Solar yet?

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-02-17 10:52 PM | Reply

What are they going to do when the solar cells wear out? Bury them with the wind turbine blades?

#5 | Posted by goatman at 2020-02-18 12:25 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#3 Thermal solar provides power at night. Pumped hydro is an okay battery. Using excess PV solar power to make hydrogen is inefficient, but might be viable to make green gas.

#6 | Posted by bored at 2020-02-18 02:43 AM | Reply

"I call BS."

Iratool calls BS. That's enough for me, why would anyone look any farther for information when we already have Iratool's comment?

Totally laughable.

#7 | Posted by danni at 2020-02-18 06:58 AM | Reply

Which can only be used in the daytime unless battery storage improves.

Bezo would do well to invest in Tesla.

#3 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY AT 2020-02-17 10:50 PM | FLAG:

Tesla isn't a battery manufacturer. They are battery assemblers, using obsolete cylindrical cells built by Panasonic. They bought Maxwell Batteries to try and integrate some capacitor technology, but Toyota and Mercedes are ahead with Solid State. Rumors are floating China's GF could be supplied with prismatic lipo batteries from an obscure Chinese manufacturer nobody has ever heard of, or that's a Chinese stock pump because Tesla hasn't acknowledged it. That would be a step up from what they're using now but still has all the problems that come with lipos.

The latest big announcement for car and battery tech is VW. They are abandoning all ICE and hybrid based racing to go purely electric. Since they own so many premium brands it could be the death of LeMans, Formula 1 by accident, etc.

#8 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 08:18 AM | Reply

I like Formula E, it's kind of peaked lately at IndyCar level viewership. That's a great start for a new series. They need to dump the fan voting. Drivers keep wrecking themselves out of good positions with the fan supplied speed boost lol.

#9 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 08:19 AM | Reply

Oh fun morning. Musk is now mad at Bill Gates because he bought a Porsche instead of a Tesla and is trying to neg him on twitter. Yeah, screw the guy who spends $2 billion a year on just humanitarian efforts in Africa because he bought a different brand battery car that's better in every metric.

#10 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 08:27 AM | Reply

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#3 - this was true last year, but it won't be true next year.

Scientists have created cells to create 'solar energy' at night.

It captures and converts infra-red radiation.

Plus, the industry is going to start using capacitors instead of batteries. Actually the 2 are merging with the new solid state batteries.

Take that gas burner to the metal recycle.

#11 | Posted by kudzu at 2020-02-18 09:21 AM | Reply

I've worked off and on with alternative energy since the mid 1980s. The storage issue has been a primary concern the entire time - what do we do when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow?

That said, it's absurd to discount alternative sources because we haven't solved all the problems yet.

I do have to grin when I see some "well-meaning soul" cautioning against pv because of panel disposal issues, or wind because turbine blades don't last forever. Where were you guys when we were discussing Yucca Mountain, or the disposal of coal ash?

Basically, I question your motives.

#12 | Posted by contrecoup at 2020-02-18 11:07 AM | Reply

We certainly know the motives of the Big Green Industrial Complex. They want government to mandate the purchases of their products. Ka-ching!

#13 | Posted by nullifidian at 2020-02-18 11:16 AM | Reply

I've worked off and on with alternative energy since the mid 1980s.

#12 | POSTED BY CONTRECOUP AT 2020-02-18 11:07 AM | FLAG:

Then you've seen the turbines being de-iced in winter with twin turbine helicopters that consume more energy in that flight than the turbine will produce in its entire life cycle. It's an absurd thing to watch.

#14 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 12:13 PM | Reply

It's particularly nice how they spray the toxic chemicals all over the farmland the turbines are in. I mean, why would you do it in a controlled environment like an airport where you can manage the run off? That'd be lazy.

#15 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 12:18 PM | Reply

And you are, of course, familiar with the work being done to add deicing capabilities to the airfoils themselves.

Are you arguing in bad faith?

Ummm...

#16 | Posted by contrecoup at 2020-02-18 01:15 PM | Reply

I call BS. For industrial scale solar, it is a long term game where you need to produce power over a 20 year period to start earning a decent return. What this operator is doing is fooling themselves into thinking that the panels - probably cheap Chinese made crap - will not degrade. They will. If you want to do industrial scale solar - you need about 8.5 cents/kilowatt-hour over a 20 year period.

#2 | POSTED BY IRAGOLDBERG

No.

It's 4-6.5 years depending on local energy prices for household units.

On a larger scale, it's faster.

You are using numbers from the 90's. Prices on solar panels have fallen 80% in recent years while becoming far more efficient.

Most solar panels now have a 25-30 year warranty as well.

#17 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-02-18 01:18 PM | Reply

Then you've seen the turbines being de-iced in winter with twin turbine helicopters that consume more energy in that flight than the turbine will produce in its entire life cycle. It's an absurd thing to watch.

#14 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

No.

Many newer turbines in colder environments have heated systems for de-icing. This includes electrical de-icing like your defroster in the your car or heater air blowers. Many of these only start when there is a drop in power from the turbine to control usage costs or can be scheduled when expecting weather that would ice the turbine.

Just cold weather doesn't ice the turbines. It takes certain types of precipitation. Just snow doesn't do it. Usually it takes freezing rain or sleet.

#18 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-02-18 01:22 PM | Reply

"We certainly know the motives of the Big Green Industrial Complex."

You still here? Don't you have a chicken to choke?

#19 | Posted by contrecoup at 2020-02-18 01:37 PM | Reply

No.

#18 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2020-02-18 01:22 PM | FLAG:

Oh, then you should see it for yourself. This is what the vast majority of de-icing ops look like.

This is what the vast majority of de-icing ops look like.

#20 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 01:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

No.
#18 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2020-02-18 01:22 PM | FLAG:
Oh, then you should see it for yourself. This is what the vast majority of de-icing ops look like.
This is what the vast majority of de-icing ops look like.
#20 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

That video is 4 years old.

Currently for manual de-icing, they are moving to drones. It's 1/5 the price.

In addition, for older turbines, they are using solutions now that aren't harmful to crops. And because the drone can get closer, their is less spray getting into the wind.

You also completely ignore that newer models of wind turbines are starting to have their own de-icing mechanisms that don't require chemicals or drone/helicopter spraying.

#21 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-02-18 02:47 PM | Reply

I didn't ignore any of that. I'm familiar with what's in de-icing fluid and how to design and build blades with embedded heating elements and designs that use pores and centrepidal force to weep fluid across the blade.

That's just not what's been happening for a long time and remains the dominant method of de-icing. There's no offsetting those emissions and it never made sense in the first place except to keep turbines from self destructing completely.

#22 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-18 03:42 PM | Reply

"No.
It's 4-6.5 years depending on local energy prices for household units."

Industrial scale solar and home solar are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Even for household, the economics are completely different for grid tie vs. off grid solutions - hint OFF GRID NEVER MAKES SENSE ECONOMICALLY. For grid tie systems, the $0.03/kwh quoted in the article is nothing like you would use in a home NPV analysis. In that case, you use the higher cost power tiers you are deferring - YOU NEVER ARE PRODUCING AND SELLING BACK TO THE UTILITY and if a solar salesman convinced you to size your system that large, you are an ---- moron. But, let's take a 5kv home system assuming you install yourself - you are looking at $2700 in equipment. That system should generate 22khw/day under a best case scenario. At $0.03/kwh (per the article), the payback period would be $2700/(22*.03) = 11 years. However, it you factor in any sort of 'cost of money', the payment period stretches beyond the lifetime of the panels. In short, you are talking out of your ass.

"On a larger scale, it's faster.
#17 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT "

On a larger scale, the industry standard is $1.5m USD / MW of installed capacity. Sorry, you CANNOT MAKE THAT WORK ECONOMICALLY at $0.03/KW transfer pricing. Even at a transfer price of $0.09/kwh - you need a SUNNY AREA and FREE LAND to make the numbers work. I suggest that you actually do a bit of research beyond spouting your misinformation.

#23 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2020-02-18 11:10 PM | Reply

Depreciation numbers were better before the switch to China production. A stunning number don't even last 3 years.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-19 06:42 AM | Reply

A stunning number don't even last 3 years.

#24 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

That's the dirty little secret of so-called green energy. It's called "renewable" when in reality it isn't.

Take wind turbines. The manufacturers and the governments that propped them up claimed they'd last 20-25 years. In reality they last 12-15 years.

#25 | Posted by JeffJ at 2020-02-19 07:18 AM | Reply

It makes the Tesla solar roof a little more interesting to watch now. Depreciation differences between arrays of fewer large panels taking up under 50% of roof space VS large numbers of small tiles taking over the entire roof are inevitable.

#26 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-19 09:02 AM | Reply

Take wind turbines. The manufacturers and the governments that propped them up claimed they'd last 20-25 years. In reality they last 12-15 years.

#25 | POSTED BY JEFFJ AT 2020-02-19 07:18 AM | FLAG : EYEROLL

So what? we spent a billions over 3 decades of bombing Arab countries into submission. The ultimate of government propping up of big business.

You like making widows and orphans use the black goo rather than change a fekking propeller every decade. What a snowflake excuse.

BTW if you live near an oil field you would know cricket pumps don't last forever either... woopie doo.

in other words skru-u and your libertarian delusion. There is no laissez faire in clown town.

#27 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-02-19 11:57 AM | Reply

The turbine is a product of oil refining and strip mining. You're not even going to the make stainless fasteners and rails used in solar installs without chromite strip mines and heavy industry.

#28 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-19 12:33 PM | Reply

The IMF found that direct and indirect subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the U.S. reached $649 billion in 2015. Pentagon spending that same year was $599 billion.

www.rollingstone.com

#29 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-02-19 12:39 PM | Reply

The turbine is a product of oil refining and strip mining. You're not even going to the make stainless fasteners and rails used in solar installs without chromite strip mines and heavy industry.

#28 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

Whats your point?

Its still better than coal plants.

#30 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-02-19 12:52 PM | Reply

The IMF found that direct and indirect subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the U.S. reached $649 billion in 2015. Pentagon spending that same year was $599 billion.
www.rollingstone.com

#29 | POSTED BY CLOWNSHACK

Hold up.

Welfare to rich people and rich companies with lots of foreign investors is GOOD according to Republicans.

Welfare for the working poor is BAD according to Republicans.

#31 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-02-19 12:54 PM | Reply

#30 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2020-02-19 12:52 PM | FLAG:

We still get to bomb arabs.

#32 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-19 01:10 PM | Reply

We still get to bomb arabs.

#32 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG AT 2020-02-19 01:10 PM | FLAG: PFFFTTTT

oooo yah muneh fah nuttin an' boo-$#! fah freeeeeeee

#33 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-02-19 02:16 PM | Reply

Authentic frontier gibberish. Nice.

#34 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2020-02-19 03:03 PM | Reply

It's particularly nice how they spray the toxic chemicals all over the farmland the turbines are in. I mean, why would you do it in a controlled environment like an airport where you can manage the run off? That'd be lazy.

#15 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG AT 2020-02-18 12:18 PM | REPLY | FLAG

I'm not saying you're wrong but not offering the truth about big oil & gas really kills your post. And I've been in the industry for 31 years now. It had its day. It's time to look for something else. Maybe oil and gas for industry and solar/hydro for residential. Oil and has are finite others, not so much.

Politics is a weapon of industry on both sides of the energy issue.

#35 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2020-02-19 07:45 PM | Reply

Can you make a solar cell without oil?

#36 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2020-02-19 08:22 PM | Reply

#36

As energy? Probably not. If we expand energy going forward? Yes.

Can we produce hydro at inception without hydrocarbon energy? Like 3 rivers? My Louisiana brother.. not up front. But a conversion could.

#37 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2020-02-19 10:03 PM | Reply

Can you make a solar cell without oil?

#36 | POSTED BY BOGEY1355 AT 2020-02-19 08:22 PM | REPLY |

If you don't know better, then you are hiding your head in the sand. Why? Because you're clinging to a finite energy with no planning for the future, And I'm an oil company employee of 31 yrs.

#38 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2020-02-19 10:06 PM | Reply

Can you make a solar cell without oil?

#36 | POSTED BY BOGEY1355 AT 2020-02-19 08:22 PM

This is probably one of the best reasons why we need to stop burning oil and gas for transportation and heating. We need oil and other fossil fuels for so many other needs that simply burning them is just stupid.

#39 | Posted by prius04 at 2020-02-19 10:44 PM | Reply

There are a lot of people in this thread who continue to insist that solar and wind energy can't work. That they cannot meet the need.

What I say to them is fine, believe what you want but if you insist that it can't be done, please at least stay out of the way of the people who are doing it.

#40 | Posted by prius04 at 2020-02-19 10:45 PM | Reply

What I say to them is fine, believe what you want but if you insist that it can't be done, please at least stay out of the way of the people who are doing it.

#40 | POSTED BY PRIUS04

Absolutely. They can believe what they want to believe, as long as it does not pick my pockets or break my bones. In other words, as long as their beliefs don't harm the rest of us.

The facts are clear, solar energy is working way better than we ever thought It would and it is cheaper than ever. In fact it is working too good. We now have a glut of energy during the day in California and we have to export it out to areas that are behind in time so it can be used. It is unbalancing the Grid. It is causing the "duck curve". And we have to get better at load shifting and managing this glut. Once again California is leading the way in solving the problem created by too much PV.

You are welcome world.

cpowerenergymanagement.com

#41 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-02-20 10:36 AM | Reply

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