Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Big Attack on Renewables

Big oil is going all out to squash renewables, through what seems like how we get things done today, the spread of misinformation, propaganda, and lies. The reality is that the subsidies for renewables are a small fraction of the total subsidies for oil, coal, gas, and nuclear.  Many of our energy policies make it difficult for small companies (like Solyndra) to survive without some kind of support…policy, financial, whatever.

An excellent article talks about the energy situation in California, without the 2200MW from the damaged San Onofre reactors. 
This explains peak power (hot summer daytime when demand is high) which is NOW being met with solar, and what the future could hold.  California survived a usual hot summer without any blackouts, etc.  Never came close to maximizing the available amount of electricity available.

So while we’re talking about subsidies and investment in the future, nuclear fusion has been in the news.  “After spending more than $5 billion to build and operate a giant laser installation the size of a football stadium, the Energy Department has not achieved its goal of igniting a fusion reaction that could produce energy to generate power or simulate what happens in a nuclear weapon.  If the main goal is to achieve a power source that could replace fossil fuels, we suspect the money would be better spent on renewable sources of energy that are likely to be cheaper and quicker to put into wide use”.  This from MIT.
Even if ignition is achieved in the laboratory in the next several years, scaling up to a demonstration plant will cost billions and may ultimately show that fusion is not a practical source of power.
There are still some optimists…they probably get government funding!

As for wind power, it is almost cost competitive today without subsidies, and the potential is huge not only here but throughout the world.

Solar power continues to grow, and if we don’t invest in it, others will.
China won’t let its renewable industry die…it will “subsidize” it throughout the world…to their benefit.

I paid $4.77/gallon for gas the other day.  Remember, US oil production is at it’s highest on more than 10 years, and we are exporting a lot of what we do produce here…drill, baby, drill…will get us lower gas prices?  It’s the same “message” we are hearing about renewables…big fossil business profits. 

Let the sun shine, and the wind blow….

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