MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

November 19, 2010

Cheap, Abundant, Efficient

Those are three words you never hear mention when “green” energy is talked about!

Wind and solar (as they are the current two top darlings of the “green” energy crowd) are never ever described in those terms.

MasterPo wonders: Why?

Sure wind and solar are described as “environmental”, “safe” (what can go wrong with a windmill unless you walk into it?!), “renewable” but never ever described as being cheap, abundant or efficient.

“Cheap” you can see for yourself. Go price the cost of an 80% solar power system (which is what the “experts” recommend for most homes). MasterPo has. To add an 80% solar system to MasterPo’s house would cost $50,000. Even with the tax credits and rebates (which are not guaranteed MasterPo would qualify for) it will still cost MasterPo about $25,000 out of pocket At that cost electric rates would have to jump 8x current rates in order for MasterPo to break even in 10 years on such a system!

If anyone has a spare $50,000 or just $25,000 to donate for MasterPo’s solar system your generosity would be appreciated.

“Abundant”. Sure. If you can guarantee cloudless skies and stiff breezes 365 days a year.
A couple of years ago MasterPo and Mrs. MasterPo spent a few days in Atlantic City in the summer. The local power company has 3 MASSIVE wind turbines on the shore line. Throughout the stay only 1 turbine at a time ever turned and even then it was slow. No breeze.

And what of shorter days and lower light intensity in the winter?

“Efficient” changes almost every day as newer technologies come out. Solar panels manufactured today are twice as efficient as those made just 5 years ago! Imagine what it will be in 10 years. So why buy today what will literally be obsolete in a year or two?

Wind turbines have a very limited life. Wear&tare is extreme.

And in both cases commercial solar and wind power generation has to be built in remote areas with wide open spaces. Construction costs and logistics are more difficult, plus loss of generated power efficiency when the electricity has to travel long transmission lines to the consumer.

Cheap, abundant and efficient energy is vital to the growth and prosperity of a 21st century economy. If you look across the world those countries that do not have cheap, abundant and/or efficient electrical energy production also do not have strong economies or high standards of living!

That begs the question: Why is the President so head strong pushing to abandon traditional energy sources for admittedly more expensive, less plentiful and inefficient sources instead?

Never in human history has a nation advanced by going to lower efficiency and reduced energy production.

Things that make you go “Hmmmmm….”


Anonymous said...

Affluence is key.
My mother and sister both put on solar panels last year. Up front the costs were about $100,000 and $120,000. They will get back 80% in refunds. My sister took out a loan for it. Both live in a major city and the panels are on their roofs. It is against the law to restrict said panels.
My mother no longer has electric bills (which were often over $500. a month). My sister is doing even better since the panels run all of the electricity for her business (car repair- so lots of electricity). They both "sell back" to the electric company every month. They will be even in 3-5 years.
Can you say that about the soldiers we are sending out for oil? How about the regimes we support that hate the US? Would you like to see a few more oil rigs blow up in the gulf?
Sometime "we" are going to have to face it Po. Might as well be BEFORE we get into another middle east war over oil! (Or maybe the next one will be with the Chinese in Africa!)
sort of like the deficit- we can ignore it - but someone will have to pay. Is it fair that it is continually put off to the next generation?

MasterPo said...

Up front costs of $100,000-$120,000.

Needed a loan.

That says volumes. Especially in this economy.

And that 80% back - was that real cash in hand or simply tax credits and/or promises of not raising taxes (it is afterall a capital improvement on the property) for some period of time?

MasterPo's guess is the latter.

ps- "Sell back" is at wholesale electric rates which are usually only 1/3rd of what you pay on your bill as retail.

MasterPo said...

pps- You still didn' address the issue of the article which is solar and other 'alternative' energy sources are simply never decribed as "cheap, abundant, efficient".