"Can you imagine if our cars wasted two-thirds of gasoline we put in them every time we filled up?"
That would be a huge improvement. On average cars actually waste 5/6ths of the gasoline we put in them.
The claim that powerplant thermal efficiency has not changed a single percentage point since the late '50s is incorrect.
Thanks for mentioning the difference between capacity and generation as well as the fact that rooftop solar is under-counted. I wonder how much the 214 MW of new solar capacity would grow if we included all rooftop solar?
Imagine everyone net metered to zero except one customer. That one customer must pay for the entire grid, all nighttime and cloudy day generation, all the people needed to maintain the system and provide customer service, etc.
Now imagine that one customer is you. Still think net metering is a fair way to allocate costs?
Why do people think it's a good thing to have more solar jobs than coal jobs? If solar requires more labor hours to generate much less electricity it's a huge step backwards.
We could have many more agriculture jobs by outlawing tractors and combines. Or think of all the jobs we could create by building roads with picks and shovels instead of huge machines from Caterpillar.
If you really want to promote solar you need to stop with the jobs nonsense.
This is a massive misinterpretation of the report's findings. They basically say the long-anticpated CA solar "duckbill" problem is now showing up in wholesale pricing. The duckbill problem arises because solar output peaks several hours before summer demand peaks. This REDUCES the value of new solar in CA vs. what it has been in the past. The report also says this favors wind, which peaks later, but I think that may be geographically limited to certain areas such as the famed San Gorgonio Pass.
The duckbill problem can be resolved at a cost. My favorite approach is load-shifting. Ice-Bear type AC systems do a great job of removing summertime demand peaks.
@ Anumakonda Jagadeesh - Although offshore has advantages, the cost is still very high compared to US onshore. With so many terrific US onshore sites still available the economics make offshore a tough sell, even when subsidized.
@Ross Wexford - The report actually says 35% of the nation's electricity. This article should be corrected. Wind provided about 4.5% last year. The industry added 110 TWh over the past 5 years, averaging 22 TWh of new generation per year. We'd have to add about 35 TWh/year to hit their 2050 goal. That doesn't seem like a stretch.
I wonder how many of the 13 billion dollars we invested in PV went to China?
How does CSP compete with a capital cost of $6/W ($4.4b/767MW) vs. about $2/W for PV? Especially since CSP opex is also higher. I love the concept of desert CSP with thermal storage, but the cost is hard to justify. The largest of these plants (Ivanpah) doesn't have storage and still cost >$5/W, ones with storage like Abengoa's Solana plant in AZ run $7-8/W.
The cost is astonishing. This is expensive electricity. Capital cost alone will run about 20 cents/kwh. Plus a penny or two for operations. And that's just wholesale. Still, it beat fuel oil at $100/bbl. Does it beat oil at current prices? Probably not, but it could be close.
The main thing the greens accomplished was increased transport of oil via rail. Rail transport is much more dangerous and environmentally damaging than pipeline, but Keystone XL was always a "rally the troops" issue not a "protect the environment" issue.
I love your Starbucks analogy. To make the analogy really match net metering, though, you need to pass a new law forcing Starbucks to let customers bring in their excess home-brewed coffee whenever they feel like it (e.g. just before closing time) and get a full cup-for-cup credit to be redeemed later (e.g. during the morning rush).
Starbucks wouldn't have any problem with that, right?
Brian, can you clarify your statement that ecars will double electricity demand? US vehicle miles traveled is about 3 trillion miles/year, which would consume 1 trillion kWh or roughly 1/4th of current US electricity demand.