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U. S. solar power - a summary

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  • Power
Last response: in News & Leisure
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May 4, 2012 7:12:12 PM

You do realize that if solar was not profitable...no one would be in the market...not even the democrats.

If there is a demand, there shall be a supply. When supply is met, demand shall follow.

current technology restricts us form having 'employable' solar power. oil was never truly 'employable' either, not until the turn of the century when it replaced steam.

I am not saying we should go all solar, but we do have those who are trying to make it more efficient. Those who research and develop said cells have no gov't backing. Guess what...they fall. Why? They spend time on complex designs instead of the basic principles of photovoltaic. Now, when the gov't gets involved, the market goes sky high...then will possibly crash. If the alternative energy sector of the US economy...the ones that are not publicly funded...disappear, guess what will happen?

I say give it about 20 more years until we can have cells that have higher power ratings. That is why I am a fan of graphene really.

May 4, 2012 7:26:02 PM

The problem is people like President Obama are not waiting for solar to become more efficient and lest costly. Instead, he and others are implementing policies to artificially drive up the costs of oil, coal, and natural gas so it become so expensive that solar will actually look attractive to people.
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May 4, 2012 7:29:36 PM

See...as a wanna-be future scientist/innovator, I see this as motive for political war. The economy cannot feather another war...not on our soil to make it more clear.

When a new technology emerges, you don't flood the market with said product. Instead, you introduce it slowly so you don't drop your price so dramatically:

Ex:

High supply, low demand.

Equilibrium may be lower than initial investment. That is what I see.
May 4, 2012 7:30:52 PM

One does not just place solar cells wherever. The demand has to be created before supply can be met. OR...you create the supply, place it on standby outside of the market, advertize, and wait for demand to increase.
May 5, 2012 2:29:35 AM

Jeez ... my folks have 8 solar panels on their house and it cuts their power bill in half ... as the Aussie Govt buys the power from the owner.

Is that system in place in the US?

It seems sound!!
May 5, 2012 2:52:57 AM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
The problem is people like President Obama are not waiting for solar to become more efficient and lest costly. Instead, he and others are implementing policies to artificially drive up the costs of oil, coal, and natural gas so it become so expensive that solar will actually look attractive to people.
So Obama is playing the waiting game you state to finally buckle to his policies regarding oil and coal.Swift move I must say on his part.
May 5, 2012 4:43:19 AM

Reynod said:
Jeez ... my folks have 8 solar panels on their house and it cuts their power bill in half ... as the Aussie Govt buys the power from the owner.

Is that system in place in the US?

It seems sound!!


Yes very sound.

Is it sound to implement policies, regulations, and taxes to artificially drive up the cost of energy that is already affordable and abundant just to subsidize an industry that is not? I would argue no, it is not.
May 5, 2012 5:56:37 AM

@rey: What is the energy policy of Australia? Does the plan harm your mixed economy in any way? Is there a lingering debt Aussies have to worry about?
May 5, 2012 3:36:56 PM

dogman_1234 said:
You do realize that if solar was not profitable...no one would be in the market...not even the democrats.

Like wind power, solar power is not profitable without the subsidies.

Reynod said:
Jeez ... my folks have 8 solar panels on their house and it cuts their power bill in half ... as the Aussie Govt buys the power from the owner.

Your folks are being paid by your government to do something. That is a subsidy.
May 5, 2012 8:28:07 PM

jsc said:
Like wind power, solar power is not profitable without the subsidies.

You do realize it is the subsidies that are helping artificially drive up prices, right? The US gov't is creating an artificial market that is not stable. I feel like we should let venture capital take over and allow the market determine pricing.
May 5, 2012 11:04:40 PM

dogman_1234 said:
You do realize it is the subsidies that are helping artificially drive up prices, right? The US gov't is creating an artificial market that is not stable. I feel like we should let venture capital take over and allow the market determine pricing.



Explain. What subsidies are driving up what prices?
May 5, 2012 11:16:24 PM

Tax payer subsidies are driving up prices.

Basically, by the gov't intervening in the market, there is a sort of speculative practice occurring...this is what was explained to me.
May 6, 2012 3:41:52 AM

dogman_1234 said:
Tax payer subsidies are driving up prices.

Basically, by the gov't intervening in the market, there is a sort of speculative practice occurring...this is what was explained to me.


can you be more specific?
May 6, 2012 6:38:16 AM

Here is an example:

Marry has a lemonade stand. Marcus has a lime stand.

Both are fruit that people drink; however, Marcus can't get sales due to low demand of lime flavored beverages. The neighborhood head feels like that lime would be better for people because it has less sugar than lemonade. So, the head gives Marcus money to make more limeade for customers, following Say's law: Supply creates its own Demand.

Pretty soon, Marcus is able to drive up sales.

Now, those who favor the neighborhood head agree that Marcus deserved the surplus. There are those who did not favor such expenditure. Marry's sales begin to hurt. Marry cannot do anything except wait for the 'market' to take care of things. Now, Keynes law comes into effect: Demand creates its own Supply.

Marcus has only enough resources,( land, labor, capital and/or entrepreneurship,) to make certain amount of limeade. Pretty soon, high demand and low supply drives up prices. Marcus therefor cannot compete with high prices against Marry, so others go to Marry because she has a cheaper more available products that was/in not inflated.

The analogy hopefully is clear: Marry is oil, Marcus is AE. When the neighborhood head, ( gov't) gave money to Marcus (AE), they drove up prices by messing with the market. The principle of economic stability does not play into effect when and initial investment is made. Why do you think we have regulations in private transaction?

This is the best I could do. Other than that, ask your local economics major about such thing.

dogman out.

P.S. I do think that the govt can positively influence the market. They just need to stop playing ( place favorite sport here).
May 6, 2012 6:39:55 AM

We have created an overhyped market for solar, that demand is over what supply is. Other than that, we have demand for better solar that we do not have.
May 6, 2012 1:47:15 PM

I disagree with supply creates it own demand.

You could have mass supply of sh*t flavored lollipops. It doesn't mean people will be beating down the door the buy them though.

Government policies, EPA rules and regulations, are artificially driving up energy costs. Solar is not yet efficient or affordable for many people. However, when the price of our current affordable, abundant energy, namely oil, coal, and natural gas, exceeds the cost of solar or other renewable energy, then demand will rise.

My point is, the costs of our current affordable, abundant energy are being artificially manipulated via government policies to create a demand where there is none. Hence Solyndra round 15.
May 6, 2012 5:40:27 PM

You disagree with Say then. Do you agree with Keynes demand creates its own supply?

I have to agree with you on this that regulations are hurting our energy system here in America. However, what are you going to do with the einvornmentalist who lobby and stop you from consuming gasoline, kerosene, coal, natural gas, and some renewable tech like hydro? Nothing can stop them, but they can stop you!

Issue I: Who is stopping our energy policy

Issue II: How can we make solar more efficient?

Issue III: Is this really an issue? why do politics have to play into this?
May 7, 2012 12:17:31 PM

Lets just say they invent an engine that gets a 1,000 miles to the gallon. Would the gas industry embrace that tech or try to suppress it? Or a viable alternative energy source, engines that run on whatever whatever. The largest companies in the world would literally fail overnight.

Why would anyone make poop flavored lollipops? There must have been some demand for him to make a ton...... Or his neighbors dog told him to.
May 7, 2012 1:01:49 PM

A demand is always filled. Where do you think big screen TVs came from? Men who wanted to watch the game and actually see what was going on.

Demand drives everything and there is always an entrepeneur to step in to meet that demand. As long as he is "allowed" to.

There are exceptions though. When some creative genius invents a product or service no one has ever seen before that fills a need, it will create a demand or want for said product or service.
May 7, 2012 1:50:19 PM

wanamingo said:
Lets just say they invent an engine that gets a 1,000 miles to the gallon. Would the gas industry embrace that tech or try to suppress it? Or a viable alternative energy source, engines that run on whatever whatever. The largest companies in the world would literally fail overnight.

Why would anyone make poop flavored lollipops? There must have been some demand for him to make a ton...... Or his neighbors dog told him to.


If energy became free such as cold fusion, or enough alternative energy sources were available, what would happen?
May 7, 2012 5:08:23 PM

dogman_1234 said:
Here is an example:

Marry has a lemonade stand. Marcus has a lime stand.

Both are fruit that people drink; however, Marcus can't get sales due to low demand of lime flavored beverages. The neighborhood head feels like that lime would be better for people because it has less sugar than lemonade. So, the head gives Marcus money to make more limeade for customers, following Say's law: Supply creates its own Demand.



"Say's law did not posit that (as per the Keynesian formulation of Say's law) "supply creates its own demand". Neither was it based on the idea that all that is saved will be exchanged. Rather, Say sought to refute the idea that production and employment were limited by low consumption."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Say's_law

Simply put, you are misinterpreting the law. As someone mentioned previously about some "tasty" lollipops, the simplified interpretation of "Supply creates it's own Demand" is entirely false. If such a thing were to be to be true then everyone would make money by producing whatever they want. I think I'd venture to sell carbon dioxide.
May 7, 2012 6:45:42 PM

riser said:
If energy became free such as cold fusion, or enough alternative energy sources were available, what would happen?

The energy market would shift? I could see BP, Exxon, and the rest embracing it if it provided means of greater capital than oil. Oil will still be here. We need plastic, cosmetics, chemo-therapeutic technology, and rubber band for our homemade banjos.

I doubt 'cold fusion' will happen. More like supper heated fusion by ITER and DEMO.
May 7, 2012 7:47:04 PM

Free energy would pretty much make all the energy companies obsolete right now. How many cornered animals just say screw it the free market wants us dead. None. Its not about lemons vs limes, its about a product that makes lemons and limes obsolete.

If you agree that corporations are people dont they have a right to self preservation? Isnt that in direct conflict for with our belief in for the better good?



May 7, 2012 7:57:38 PM

Self preservation by corporations is great if they can do so by successfully evolving as a company in different environments. Unfortunately the U.S. political system makes this a joke. Survival of companies is no longer due to efficient production of valuable resources/products/technologies, but instead lies with corporate lobbyists in Washington - the key to letting them milk profits off stale, stagnant products and keeping down innovative new technologies and products. Lobbying is, in large part, the reason for some of our major economic inefficiencies; it is quite sad that so much potential economic prosperity is lost to do lobbying (read: legal bribery).
May 7, 2012 8:02:11 PM

wanamingo said:
Free energy would pretty much make all the energy companies obsolete right now. How many cornered animals just say screw it the free market wants us dead. None. Its not about lemons vs limes, its about a product that makes lemons and limes obsolete.

If you agree that corporations are people dont they have a right to self preservation? Isnt that in direct conflict for with our belief in for the better good?


So nuclear plants aren't needed, coal mining isn't needed, etc.

Coal mining for example.. all the tech that goes into developing that is no required anymore, or the requirements are very small. So these guys are out of work, the companies that sell them equipment are out of business, etc.

See where that goes? You end up with a lot of people without anything to do... There would be a halo effect from each business to each person. While in theory is may be a good thing, I don't think society is anywhere near ready for something like that.
May 7, 2012 8:24:41 PM

riser said:
So nuclear plants aren't needed, coal mining isn't needed, etc.

Coal mining for example.. all the tech that goes into developing that is no required anymore, or the requirements are very small. So these guys are out of work, the companies that sell them equipment are out of business, etc.

See where that goes? You end up with a lot of people without anything to do... There would be a halo effect from each business to each person. While in theory is may be a good thing, I don't think society is anywhere near ready for something like that.



Is this a criticism of capitalism, too big to disappear? We have purchased our way into a corner, everything is based on oil so we cant stop now. I think its kind of interesting your argument against any type of energy other than fossil fuel based, including coal is because we as a society can deal with the change.

So what would you do riser if you had an epiphany and thought up an infinite energy device? Would you destroy it?

If I invented a free energy reactor I would do precisely what Tony Stark did and build myself some sweet armor and life life like a playboy billionaire with a toy so cool they dont even have laws against it yet. Screw everybody else......

May 7, 2012 8:46:41 PM

Not at all, but you have the understand the implications of changes. You would all those people without the structure around them. Many people require that kind of stability.. and in short time that can be completely removed.

On top of that it could never be truly free, it would still cost money to purchase power, or a monthly fee. Maintenance will need to be done, heck maybe they'll even do up a pension for all the people without jobs.

You look at it skewered thinking it to be about oil. No, this is about the foundation of society and the structure that governs daily activity.
May 7, 2012 8:56:11 PM

I fail to see how coal and oil are the foundations of society, that kind of thinking will never allow any other thoughts, like clean energy. I believe society existed for quite some time before we became dependent on oil. That speaks volumes about our society if inexpensive energy would cause it to crumble.....

I wouldn't try to break down the device in the analogy. I guess a better description would be an engine that creates more energy than is put into it. A device that was 110% efficient, or energy so cheap it might as well be free, just use your imagination.

So what would you do with that device, and how does corporate preservation work?

Doesn't supply and demand come into effect here, with a device like that or cheaper than oil technologies doesn't the supply control the demand? Since when did supply and demand care how able you are to handle change?
May 7, 2012 9:09:01 PM

Is it you don't want to, or are you unable to separate an economic issue from a society issue?

If a clean energy was efficient today and abundant in 5 years, do you not see any kind of negative impact on society? The amount of workers who are out of jobs without a valid skillset, the amount of companies that would shut down in support of those operations alone? We would have hundreds of thousands of unemployed people in this country alone.

In having that, free energy will never exist. People will still have to pay for it for maintenance, upgrades, continued research, etc. That's fine and I fully would expect that.

You're all over the place with your argument. Either you're not grasping a major portion of the argument, or you are completely ignoring it.
May 7, 2012 9:21:22 PM

Funny, here I am the evil conservative arguing for the blue collar worker's job and careers. Yet, you're so quick to dismiss them and not worry about what happens to them if a free energy source became available.

Finally, a perfect example of how much you really don't care about society, only the advancement of idea without taking into account the effect on society.
May 7, 2012 9:53:14 PM

What if those who got layed-off were given the opportunity to work for said free energy company. I know energy cannot be free, but the exchange of electrons for dollars is a sure fire economic viability. think about it. you lost your job at a coal factory. you know how to repair machinery? Heck, we need mechanics where we are! You're hired.
May 7, 2012 10:00:23 PM

If free, unlimited energy were available today we would likely see the largest economic boom the world has ever seen over the next 10 years. Yes, "blue-collar" workers may lose their immediate job, however the increased demand for employees in other sectors of the economy due energy cost going down to zero would be staggering. These workers may find jobs immediately in other sectors or see opportunity in education. There are literally thousands of new jobs that would emerge in major sectors of the economy overnight. It would be the single greatest economic opportunity in human history, not some grand tale of sadness for people that lose their job. The entire country and world would be instantly more productive and better off.
May 8, 2012 1:43:27 AM

It's impossible to have "free" energy in any form. Cheap and abundant, yes. Free? Impossible.

Crush is correct in saying the biggest hindrance to a booming global economy is rising energy costs. A new, cheap, abundant energy source would put many immediately out of work and yes it would mostly be little guy, blue collar workers.

It would be a grand tale of sadness for many, as that West Virginia coal miner doesn't exactly have the skill set to just go out and find another job. Or that rough neck is not suddenly going to become a short order cook overnight.

The only way it could work is if we were in some future Star Trek universe where currency was no longer used, and people had something else to provide incentive to work, live, and prosper, and progress as a species.

Nikola Tesla had a means of providing and distributing abundant free energy and we all know what happened to that project and him.
May 8, 2012 3:07:13 AM

Old, out-dated, and I hesitate to say, useless, jobs must die. It is the way of the world and the only way that economies can continue to grow. If we strictly tried to maintain jobs that were outdated just so that people that didn't have an 'applicable' skill-set could continue to thrive without making themselves valuable we'd still be wearing armor so that blacksmiths could keep a job and riding on wagons so wooden-wheel makers could maintain a living.
May 8, 2012 3:43:10 AM

I don't think those jobs are outdated. We have enough oil, coal and natural gas to power this nation for 200+ more years. In that time, with continued advancement in technology we WILL have an alternative. That is for certain. But stifling available, affordable, and abundant energy stores now, right when we are trying to advance technology is not a sound policy, IMO.
May 8, 2012 12:17:20 PM

Oh absolutely. There is no way these jobs should disappear now while there is no alternative. However if a cheaper, cleaner source were to present itself I'd shed no tear for the feelings hurt and jobs lost due to our evolving economy based on new technologies.
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