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Total number of comments: 6 (since 2013-11-28 16:38:12)

Ramon

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  • Muslims are no Different, or why Bill Maher's blood libel is Bigotry
    • One think I agree with Maher is that western culture is way better than muslim culture:

      separtion between church and state,
      gender equality,
      freedom to mock religion
      including the freedom to insult prophets,
      freedom to ignore old books, traditions and religios authorities.

  • Assange Demands end of US War on Whistleblowers
    • Why Assange believes that the US government is in a war against whistleblowers? because it jailed the official that released the info?

      A democratic government cannot do that? Government officials cannot be prosecuted for releasing clasified documents?

  • Top Five Green Energy Stories Today
    • Germany should subsidize the instalation of solar panes in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. It could achieve twice the carbon reduction per euro of subsidy. Insolation in those deserts is twice the average level of Germany.

      To prevent Global warming it doesn´t matter if CO2 is reduced in Germany or anywhere in the world. That´s why Germany will reduce about twice the CO2 if it subsidized panels to be istalled in the SA or Egypt.

  • Can Solar Energy in Mideast Stop a Gas War?
    • I meant 0.5% (half a percentage point)

    • Yes, I read the article.

      No, right now solar is not being installed competitively anywhere in the world.

      Look at the feed-in tariffs for solar electricity in wikipedia. Germany and Spain, countries often taken as a model. They pay feed-in tarifs above 30 eurocents per Kwh. At the same time the tarif is between 5-10 cents for wind, hydro and nonrenewables.

      The 30+ eurocents that the electric companies pay in Spain and Germany is further subsidized: Intermitency costs are not paid by the producers; producers get 20+ year contract with fixed price; and their facilities are last to be disconected from the grid in case of lack of demand or excess generation.

      In the case of Portugal, it is true that they have close to 50% of renewables and can handle intermitency thanks to hydroelectric plants. However, the argument is about economic feasibility, not about tecnical feasibility. Intermitency can always be handled if we are willing to pay the cost.

      By the way, in Portugal solar (PV o Termal) are only 0.05% of their generation (half a percentage point). Their renewables are mostly wind, hydro and biomass. See:

      link to pelanatureza.pt

    • Juan,
      I think we shouldn´t start opening the champagne just yet. Solar is still far from being a competitive source of energy, except in marginal situations.

      In my experience, solar entusiasts underestimate the cost by quite a lot by making favorable assumptions. For example, they estimate the current cost per kwh in in the range of 10-15cts, which they see as falling very rapidly. However, the true cost is around 30-50 cents and it is not certaing that costs of production are falling that fast.

      It is possible that prices of solar panes are going down in part because of a temporary trend, not because cost of production are coming down that rapidly. Many commodities like corn, steel, beef, etc, have had two or three year periods of falling prices, after which prices start rising again. Some solar enthusiasts just assume that the current trend can be extrapolated to the next 10 years when the panels will cost close to zero.

      Current cost estimates are generally optimistic. For example, they generally ignore the cost of intermitency or back up that an electric company has to make to compensate for the non availability of solar.

      I think we can start celebrating only when we see thousands of squared miles carpeted by solar panels by unsunsidized firms in Las Vegas, Cairo, kuwait or Ryhad.

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