View Poll Results: Is it time to double down on green energy that has never been more promising?

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  • Yes

    17 50.00%
  • No

    15 44.12%
  • Other (Explain)

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Thread: Obama Green double down question

  1. #11
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar
    Yep, that's how technology always has worked and always will. In the history of every new technology that changed the world, there has always been a period of time preceding it when it was expensive and didn't work very well. And prior to THAT period, there has always been a period of time when it didn't work at all. That isn't a reason to stop funding it; just the opposite.
    Energy has always been a bit different mostly because of how the model was affected early on by the government and simply not allowed to normal out, so comparing it to just about anything else is just not workable.

    However, there is a vast difference between funding something that has potential with millions/billions of dollars in the market and simply funding something for the hopes that it will have potential in the future for decades on decades with trillions of dollars. The fact is, when you decide to fund technologies two of the things you weigh it on are potential and cost effectiveness and on both fronts what you guys are pushing is outright ridiculous.
    Last edited by Henrin; 04-21-12 at 05:28 AM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Other:
    "Is it time to double down on green energy?" Yes.

    The rest of the question as phrased is vague at best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    [...] The fact is, when you decide to fund technologies two of the things you weigh it on are potential and cost effectiveness and on both fronts what you guys are pushing is outright ridiculous.
    Both of which are subjective calls.
    Thanks for your input.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 04-21-12 at 09:17 AM.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    Another talking point that makes no sense.
    I fail to see how this is a talking point "Obviously. If we don't the tech just won't develop fast enough, we need to be a leader in this field, not a follower.". Nor is it nonsense.

    If we do not invest in this technology, it will not develop as quickly, and we will fall even further behind those who do so. This is a very simple reality.

    These folks (Germany), knew this in the 80's:

    "It seems a simple enough concept: build a development around its solar energy strategy, rather than just adding solar panels later as a kind of eco-decoration. Builders in Freiberg, Germany seem to have the right idea. The Sonnenschiff solar city, a large-scale, self-sustaining development (which comes to us via Inhabitat), uses energy efficient home design, smart solar orientation and a whole lot of photovoltaic panels pointed in the right direction to go way beyond beyond net-zero, producing four times as much energy as it actually consumes. Now that’s what we call grid-positive."
    German Solar City Super Grid Positive | Earthtechling

    These guys (China), know it as well...are we really that backwards?

    "The filing claims Chinese rivals – propped up by tens of billions in government subsidies – are “dumping” solar panels in U.S. at below fair value to seize market share and drive out competitors. The Chinese government aid ranges from cash grants to preferential loans to deep discounts on land, water, power and raw materials, the complaint alleges."

    Read more: Solar industry divided, threatened by Chinese imports

  4. #14
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Yep, that's how technology always has worked and always will. In the history of every new technology that changed the world, there has always been a period of time preceding it when it was expensive and didn't work very well. And prior to THAT period, there has always been a period of time when it didn't work at all. That isn't a reason to stop funding it; just the opposite.
    For decades now, the green movement has been swearing to us that with some support to start, green energy can take off on its' own.

    Well, now with skyrocketed deficits and a looming fiscal crisis, the time has come;

    time to fly, little bird.

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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    For decades now, the green movement has been swearing to us that with some support to start, green energy can take off on its' own.

    Well, now with skyrocketed deficits and a looming fiscal crisis, the time has come;

    time to fly, little bird.
    I would venture to say the entire field is indeed advancing quite nicely.

    This paper provides an overview of some of the key technological and market developments for leading renewable energy technologies—wind, wave and tidal, photovoltaics (PV) and biomass energy. Market growth, innovation and policy are closely interrelated in the development of renewables and the key issues in each area are explored for each of the main types of renewable energy technology. This enables the prospects for future development and cost reduction to be considered in detail. Key issues for policy are outlined.

    ScienceDirect.com - Environment International - Progress in renewable energy

    Imagine is we had decided to stop our funding for NASA in the 70's.

  6. #16
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Its always easy to double down when you are using someone elses money. When this current bet fails, expect Obama to double down again.

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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Can't burn fossil fuels forever. Gotta go for it.
    Cell phones were also expensive and had the size of a brick at first but now they are slim and the battery last for a week or so. You get the idea, I think.

  8. #18
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    The only way alternate forms of energy will become economically viable in the near future is if the price of petroleum is artificially inflated. That appears to be Obama's goal.

    The only problem with this action is that in the time between full implementation of alternate energy technologies and the increase of petroleum, the consumer gets screwed...royally.

    So much for caring about the people.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    I have watched people get stubbornly obsessed in Reno and Vegas and keep doubling down until they lost everything they had. Obama reminds me of them, he is going to stubbornly keep throwing OUR money on the table until WE are broke!

  10. #20
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    Re: Obama Green double down question

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    Energy has always been a bit different mostly because of how the model was affected early on by the government and simply not allowed to normal out, so comparing it to just about anything else is just not workable.
    I would suggest that energy, at least on the production side, is among the most efficient, commoditized markets that we have...at any given time I can go online and find out the exact price of a barrel of oil anywhere in the world, down to the cent (after adjusting for transportation costs). Sure, there are some inefficiencies, such as the "natural monopoly" that exists on the distribution side: our power grid. But even that's a good reason to fund alternative energy; many people could go off the grid entirely or even start selling energy back, if we had the technology to produce cheap and efficient solar panels for the roofs of homes.

    Any regulations that the governments of the world impose upon the producers of energy (e.g. environmental restrictions, drilling permits, etc) are pretty minor compared to what many other industries face.

    However, there is a vast difference between funding something that has potential with millions/billions of dollars in the market and simply funding something for the hopes that it will have potential in the future for decades on decades with trillions of dollars.
    Not really. How much does our economy directly spend on oil and coal? And then there are the indirect costs too...How much environmental damage (as a dollar amount) do those things do? How much does the volatility of those commodities harm our economy? How much does our reliance on fossil fuels promote expensive interventions and/or wars in the Middle East? When you add up all these hidden costs that the consumers don't pay for themselves, it becomes very worthwhile to make a strong national push to ween ourselves off of fossil fuels as soon as possible.

    The fact is, when you decide to fund technologies two of the things you weigh it on are potential and cost effectiveness and on both fronts what you guys are pushing is outright ridiculous.
    OK, let's examine those two metrics:

    Potential - Solar energy alone is advancing on a Moore's Law-like exponential curve, albeit a bit slower than the one for computer chips. The cost per kilowatt-hour of solar energy falls between 7% and 14% every single year, consistently. This is because every year, new solar technologies come online, which increases the energy density of solar panels for any given cost. Nationwide, solar energy costs about 10-14 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to about 2-4 cents per kWh for coal or natural gas, and about 5 cents per kWh for oil. If we merely assume that solar power will continue the trend that it has been on, it will reach cost parity with fossil fuels in the sunnier parts of this country by the middle to end of this decade...and will reach cost parity with fossil fuels nationwide some time in the 2020s. And if the price of fossil fuels continues to increase, this could happen even sooner.

    Cost-effectiveness - As of 2009, the total amount spent worldwide (both private and government) on renewable energy was $162 billion. In the US, this included $18.6 billion in private investments and another $7 billion in corporate R&D and government grants. This compares to about $3.1 TRILLION worth of oil that is consumed worldwide every year. The investment that we are making on alternative energy is a drop in the bucket, and we are nowhere near the point where it is no longer cost-effective.
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