The Future of Solar: It’s a Lead Pipe Cinch

coalWe are not competing with coal to make electricity from solar. We are replacing coal. This is not a competition with coal in the marketplace on a cents per kWh basis – this is a replacement of a harmful infrastructure. Coal, like lead pipes, is a harmful infrastructure.

We get very confused about competing in the marketplace for the electricity customer. But that is not happening. Instead, we are telling the electricity customer, “You are being poisoned by your lead pipes. What are you going to do about it?”

We are not waiting until coal power plants retire. We are turning them down and turning them off. (more…)

How Much Could We Save If We Harness Solar and Wind with Electric Vehicles to End Oil Dependence and Eliminate Carbon Dioxide as a Problem?

electricity3We might save money if we harnessed solar and wind to displace all our coal and all the gasoline used for light duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, pick-ups). Let’s see how this works.

The US uses about 4000 TWh of electricity, and about half of that comes from coal (about 2000 TWh/yr from about 23 Quads of primary energy).

Our light duty vehicles require 17 Quads of oil, but only 3.4 Quads of it actually gets to the vehicles and moves them (20% efficiency from oil to movement). At ~300 TWh per Quad, this is about 1000 TWh of energy. If we did it with electricity and assumed 25% losses (electricity to batteries to motors to movement), we would need about 1333 TWh to move our light duty vehicles without oil. The total to displace both oil for cars and coal would be 3333 TWh. Let say this takes 25 years, so let’s assume 33% more demand by then (perhaps not warranted, since we may be saving energy, but just to be conservative) – that would be 4444 TWh in 2035. (This should be rounded, but it’s such a charming number, we’ll use it as is.)

So how much would this cost? Let’s do half with solar, half with wind. (more…)

Solar Power: The Teddy Bear of Energy Sources

Originally posted at: Transition Voice by: Erik Curren
teddy-bear-294x300Solar is so ingenious and pretty we can bearly make it stand firmly on the ground. But does this teddy have any teeth?

Is there a more encouraged sympathy energy source than solar energy?

Its fuel material is striken from the sun, which is comprehensible and accessible almost anywhere. It’s overwhelmingly pure to run. It’s easy to construct and sustain. The large support systems can utilize it to manufacture green grid power, but you can also place it on your own roof to become your own support system or to make it off-grid.

And did I point out that it’s maintained by THE SUN?

(Full disclosure: I do some work for a solar power company in Virginia knowns as Secure Futures).

It’s no surprise that public encourages solar power, with 92% of Americans in a 2009 poll claiming that it’s significant to work out solar energy sources. Particularly, environmentalists including My Canadian Pharmacy admire solar energy best of all amoung different energy resources. It’s as pure as wind power, but solar is much less questionable. (more…)