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Old 09-14-2018, 07:10 AM   #541
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
The thread touches on both.

But the article I posted did not, unless you count their take on Tesla's broad mission statement. The rest of the article focused narrowly on battery production, automation, etc.



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Musk says we have plenty of electricity for his cars if we stop refining oil.

Again, not mentioned in the article I posted, which you were responding to?



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When you said " will soon hit a BILLION/year." A Billion what?

The answer to your question is both in the article AND specifically in my post - "BATTERY CAPACITY" - using caps to help it stand out...



And before you jump back to the bigger picture of world-wide renewable energy, that's battery capacity for Tesla products produced from a Tesla factory. The thrust of the article, for those who haven't read it, was for cars and Model 3 specifically.


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OK, so Tesla will have a big building. What does this really mean for the company? I have no idea. They have lots of competition, their credits are running out (not just customer credits, but credits from other car companies that need to meet 'zero pollution' quotas in some states). I think Tesla the car company will have a tough time of it.

You seem to have missed it, but I did not introduce the Gigafactory building size with the phrase "Proof of success!" - instead, I labeled it as merely 'interesting' - yet you focus on it. I'm puzzled by that.


Moving on, I find most of the media coverage of Tesla to be polluted with short-seller FUD, especially surrounding their finances. I found this article to be (again) interesting - as well as informative:


Tesla is structurally bankrupt - but then so are GM and Ford


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Maybe their batteries will find a place in load leveling on the grid (the seconds/minutes/hours I spoke of)? We will see.

Again you seem intent on broadening the discussion to the world's entire energy needs. Who looks at any one company and then dismisses them because they can't possibly supply more than a small percent of the world's demand? Who uses that standard for anything? Why would Tesla's Gigafactories need to do that? Just like their automotive division, there is a lot of competition out there. It's a transition, not an all-or-nothing jump.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:41 AM   #542
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A little delayed, but here's a quick video on the newer co-gen plant design. It basically uses a steam turbine to recover waste heat from the gas turbine exhaust. They do bump up the efficiency a good bit. But steamers do not like to stop and start. Proper start up procedure on a large steamer is not measured in minutes. You need many hours to do it right.

https://youtu.be/eeiu-wcyEbs
Thanks, nice video. Because of the relatively slow ramp up/down you mention, these won't be able to replace all the NG plants, but hopefully a high % can be brought on-line. Moving from ~35%~40% to ~60% , for even part of the base is a good thing. Probably won't affect kWh prices much, the increased costs of the plant will temper the fuel savings. But we do get to conserve our NG supply, and lower emissions of all types.



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You got me interested, so I looked for some additional numbers.

The US used 3.83 trillion kWh in 2017. That's an average of about 10.5 billion kWh per day.

A battery large enough to store one day of usage for the US would take Tesla 300 years to produce.

The article on Tesla Gigafactory said that the battery price was expected to get down to $100/kWh, which is pretty good by today's standard.

The 1-day giga battery for the US would cost $1 trillion dollars! ...
Of course, these sorts of rough calculations are open to all sorts of alternative and mitigating effects. But they do help give us a sense of scale of the problem.

But you did leave out a HUGE factor - those batteries, going through heavy daily use, won't last so long. If we give a very generous 20 year life (assume improvements in battery tech), you only get ~ 7% of our needs covered, before the whole output of the largest building in the world has to start replacing the batteries it produced 20 years ago. Forever. You can't get there from here!

I did some rough calcs that indicated replacing every coal plant in IL with solar/batteries would cost the average IL household something like $500 a month, ongoing (so includes battery replacement). And they'd still need to buy the ~ 65% of the electricity not provided by coal.

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....

What are we going to do when fossil fuel runs out? We will all live in tiny homes, sweating bullets in the summer, and freezing our buns off in the winter. I am glad I will be already dead when it comes to that point. My great grandchildren will be living in caves to have moderate temperatures.
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If we imagine a world where oil sells for $500/bbl and solar energy can be made for 0.25 cents per watt, a lot of things become economically feasible. We can make liquid fuels (alcohol and hydrocarbons) from air and water using chemical processes and cheap solar electricity (or let algae do it in bioreactors). It is always sunny or windy somewhere, so at some price very long range power grids become feasible. Breeder reactors become politically acceptable.
The bigger problem is that all of this makes energy cost more than it does today (or else we'd already be doing them). That means lower economic productivity and a lower standard of living. Places with dirt streets and unsafe water today might stay that way.
I'm with samclem on this one. I do think that technology and conservation will come to the rescue. Yes, prices are likely to increase, but I expect it to be manageable.

Unfortunately, I just don't see any large scale storage that is viable, not even the 'far out' future ideas, even if you give them a huge does of optimism. But RE can supplement the grid, and future nukes can help, and maybe things we have not thought of?

-ERD50
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:19 AM   #543
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I'll preface all of your questions with a simple answer. This thread is titled "Thoughts on TESLA". Not "Thoughts on the Tesla Model 3", or "Thoughts on Tesla EVs". Tesla makes products like the PowerWall and PowerPack, which are designed to work with RE. And I believe that GigaFactory is producing batteries for those Power products as well as for their EVs, right (edit/add: Musk says 'yes': http://fortune.com/2015/05/18/tesla-...ies-chemistry/ ) ? So yes, it all seems relevant to the thread.

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But the article I posted did not, unless you count their take on Tesla's broad mission statement. The rest of the article focused narrowly on battery production, automation, etc.


Again, not mentioned in the article I posted, which you were responding to?


Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by ERD50 When you said " will soon hit a BILLION/year." A Billion what?
The answer to your question is both in the article AND specifically in my post - "BATTERY CAPACITY" - using caps to help it stand out...
And that is a perfect example of why I try to break down these HUGE numbers into something that people can relate to.

Yes, you put BILLION in caps. But you didn't answer my question - a billion what? What measurement of "BATTERY CAPACITY" is being used here? Is it watt-hours, kWh, ma-hrs, or unit volume? If unit volume, what is the unit?

OK, I went back and read it in more detail, and you know what, I really don't think that that BILLION refers to battery capacity (watt-hours) at all. It sounds to me like they are talking a BILLION cells of production capacity. A billion is 10^9, and Giga is 10^9, so 20 Gigawatt-hour annual production, divided by a billion 'somethings' is 20 watt-hour 'somethings. And 20 watt-hours matches what I've found for a single cell in a Tesla battery pack, and requires somewhere around 3,000 cells per pack.

So when you jump from "will increase Model 3 battery production to 8,000/week" to "battery capacity ... - will soon hit a BILLION/year." without including units, it is hard to follow.


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...
And before you jump back to the bigger picture of world-wide renewable energy, that's battery capacity for Tesla products produced from a Tesla factory. The thrust of the article, for those who haven't read it, was for cars and Model 3 specifically. ...
Fine, but the factory will be producing the Power products as well (unless you have info to the contrary), so why not make it part of the discussion?


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...
You seem to have missed it, but I did not introduce the Gigafactory building size with the phrase "Proof of success!" - instead, I labeled it as merely 'interesting' - yet you focus on it. I'm puzzled by that. ...
Again, just all part of the Tesla (company) discussion. And I agree, there is lots of negative, muddled hype on Tesla as well. But two wrongs don't make a right, and as I said earlier - I like facts and information. And hype from the CEO is different than hype from some blogger or short seller.

bold mine...
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... Again you seem intent on broadening the discussion to the world's entire energy needs. Who looks at any one company and then dismisses them because they can't possibly supply more than a small percent of the world's demand?
I'm not doing that, I'm only trying to put it in perspective. If the largest battery factory in the world couldn't ever produce enough backup for even 10% of the US grid before they need to start over again to replace the first batteries they produced, it gives some perspective on how hard a nut this RE thing is to crack. I wish if weren't so, but "if wishes were fishes...". I think it is far more productive to plan for a future based on reality, not wishes.


So the Gigafactory is interesting, thanks for posting. What are your thoughts on Tesla?

-ERD50
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:08 AM   #544
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I'm not doing that, I'm only trying to put it in perspective. If the largest battery factory in the world couldn't ever produce enough backup for even 10% of the US grid before they need to start over again to replace the first batteries they produced, it gives some perspective on how hard a nut this RE thing is to crack. I wish if weren't so, but "if wishes were fishes...". I think it is far more productive to plan for a future based on reality, not wishes.
So the Gigafactory is interesting, thanks for posting. What are your thoughts on Tesla?-ERD50
Goodness, ERD50, always so negative. Hydro power will never fully replace oil either, but we use what we can and we plan future electrical needs off of whatever percentage can be had from hydro. It is the same with battery tech and the current shift from oil and gas as fast as the tech will allow. This is a plan based on reality, not some Jules Verne fiction.

Tesla is working everyday to improve upon and mass market battery driven tech. Production, capacity, and cost are steadily improving over time and will, in fact, continue to do so whether by Tesla or others. Granted, batteries cannot solve all of our energy needs, today, but is that the standard by which we should judge this amazing company?

Regarding investment, what is Tesla's competition going forward? Tesla has passed the experimental phase for me as an investor. Until I see serious competition from the likes of Ford and other battery producers, I will continue to believe that Tesla is in the early stages of being the next Amazon of battery/auto production.

If "reality" starts to indicate otherwise I will support the next leader in this inevitable shift. And, yes, the shift off of oil and gas is as inevitable as full marijuana legalization in the US. Just a matter of time. Get on board, my friend. The train is leaving the station.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:26 AM   #545
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There was an interesting article in the WSJ (last week?) about all the natural gas from fracking that is being flared off because they have no way of storing or transporting it to where it can be used. Perhaps we should fix stupid things like that first, while we wait for EV tech to get better. Just a thought.

OTOH, if somebody does not build EVs and make them available to the general population, then the tech may never improve enough. Necessity is the mother of invention.

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Old 09-14-2018, 09:29 AM   #546
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There are battery factories being built around the world, with the Chinese being most active.

BYD expects to raise its total output to 60 GWh/year by 2020, compared to Tesla planned 38 GWh/year.

CATL is building a battery factory in Germany. Volkswagen has a deal to buy $25 billion worth of battery from Samsung, LG Chem, as well as CATL.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:33 AM   #547
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There was an interesting article in the WSJ (last week?) about all the natural gas from fracking that is being flared off because they have no way of storing or transporting it to where it can be used. Perhaps we should fix stupid things like that first, then get on with EVs later? Just a thought.
Nothing to fix. As ERD50 has repeatedly reminded us, we need more electricity production, now, to power a full shift to all electric cars. We should (and likely will) build more natural gas driven electric plants until other less polluting options are viable. One caveat, the current administration has taken the government boot off of natural gas and coal power generation. That will need to continue so that we can make good use of the gas being burned-off today.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:35 AM   #548
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There are battery factories being built around the world, with the Chinese being most active.

BYD expects to raise its total output to 60 GWh/year by 2020, compared to Tesla planned 38 GWh/year.

CATL is building a battery factory in Germany. Volkswagen has a deal to buy $25 billion worth of battery from Samsung, LG Chem, as well as CATL.
All currently behind Tesla, but I hope the competition keeps getting hotter.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:40 AM   #549
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In the context of humanity, EV vs. ICE will be non-sequitur. I want someone to invent a transporter and warp drive so I can vacation on Saturn. My wife likes rings.

(note: I don't really know what non-sequitur means but thought it sounded cool in that sentence).
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:43 AM   #550
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In the context of humanity, EV vs. ICE will be non-sequitur. I want someone to invent a transporter and warp drive so I can vacation on Saturn. My wife likes rings.
(note: I don't really know what non-sequitur means but thought it sounded cool in that sentence).
I've got some good marijuana stocks for you, Corn.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:44 AM   #551
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I've got some good marijuana stocks for you, Corn.
Now that's something I can get behind.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:46 AM   #552
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Of course, these sorts of rough calculations are open to all sorts of alternative and mitigating effects. But they do help give us a sense of scale of the problem.

But you did leave out a HUGE factor - those batteries, going through heavy daily use, won't last so long. If we give a very generous 20 year life (assume improvements in battery tech), you only get ~ 7% of our needs covered, before the whole output of the largest building in the world has to start replacing the batteries it produced 20 years ago. Forever. You can't get there from here!

I did some rough calcs that indicated replacing every coal plant in IL with solar/batteries would cost the average IL household something like $500 a month, ongoing (so includes battery replacement). And they'd still need to buy the ~ 65% of the electricity not provided by coal.

I'm with samclem on this one. I do think that technology and conservation will come to the rescue. Yes, prices are likely to increase, but I expect it to be manageable.

Unfortunately, I just don't see any large scale storage that is viable, not even the 'far out' future ideas, even if you give them a huge does of optimism. But RE can supplement the grid, and future nukes can help, and maybe things we have not thought of?

-ERD50
When I showed that the Tesla plant will need 300 years to build enough batteries to store 1-day's worth of US electricity consumption, I knew someone would say "but these batteries do not last that long for us to accumulate them".

For batteries to be incorporated into the infrastructure, their price will have to drop, or the cost of the alternatives to rise for the two to match.

And when that happens, batteries will be a commodity that is continuously produced, rotated, and recycled. It's just like other materials that get spent, and discarded or recycled.

I guess that when fossil fuel runs out, some percentage of the world population would be employed to continually turn out solar cells and batteries to keep the others air-conditioned and enjoying the "ludicrous" acceleration of their EVs.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:49 AM   #553
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Goodness, ERD50, always so negative. ...
Again, my comments aren't negative, they are factual. Don't shoot the messenger.

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...

Tesla is working everyday to improve upon and mass market battery driven tech. Production, capacity, and cost are steadily improving over time and will, in fact, continue to do so whether by Tesla or others. Granted, batteries cannot solve all of our energy needs, today, but is that the standard by which we should judge this amazing company?...
No, of course not, and that is not what I am saying. I give these numbers to put scale to things. As I've said before, wind and solar are good as far as they go, but they only go so far. Musk says shut down refineries and we have all the electricity we need for EVs. That kind of BS needs to be countered by facts.

And look at all the politicians (any engineers?) claiming that they want their city to be 100% RE by 20xx (or already are!). That needs to be countered with facts - can we do it? How, At what cost? What are the real benefits? And their measure is warped. They still rely on the grid and their neighbors for their power. If everybody did it, there is no neighbor to rely on when the wind dies at night (w/o a LOT more infrastructure to bring the grid from far away, and that has its own environmental issues and costs). And most of those rely on hydro, which can't really be expanded in the US, and is questionable as an environmental plus.

Batteries will be applied to storage as they make sense, that's great. They have a place (see - positive!), but it is limited (fact).



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.... Regarding investment, what is Tesla's competition going forward? Tesla has passed the experimental phase for me as an investor. Until I see serious competition from the likes of Ford and other battery producers, I will continue to believe that Tesla is in the early stages of being the next Amazon of battery/auto production.

If "reality" starts to indicate otherwise I will support the next leader in this inevitable shift. And, yes, the shift off of oil and gas is as inevitable as full marijuana legalization in the US. Just a matter of time. Get on board, my friend. The train is leaving the station.
OK, Tesla may become the leading battery producer, and that could be very good for them as a company. Hard to say. Also hard to say how they will do over the next 5~10 years as an auto manufacturer (yes, they have lots of competition coming on board there). Just going by gut feel, I think I'd take battery production as a better bet than car production. But I dunno, we will see.

Shift from oil and gas inevitable in what time frame? It appears to me that we will be using more gas (Natural gas) as we bring on more RE. I'll look at some numbers later, but I'm pretty sure that supplementing RE intermittency with an NG peaker plant is far more practical and cost effective than using batteries.

A grid operator has as much peak capacity as they envision they will need, and probably buffer that by X%. If you take a steady producing coal plant off-line and replace it with wind/solar, that grid operator needs to add more peaking capacity to their grid to maintain the same buffer against brownouts. That's simple arithmetic. And we just don't have the storage tech to do it, so NG will be the answer for decades. And grid infrastructure changes slowly, due to scale.

We are in good shape (see, positive!) when wind solar is at low levels, the grid can react/plan. But at higher levels, things have to give. So RE is not just the cost of RE (often touted as being cheaper than coal now), it is the cost of RE and the NG plant needed to back it up when output is low. That's not what we want to hear, but I don't see any way around it. Better to plan real solutions for that, than be fooled by politicians, Musk and well-meaning 'greenies'.

-ERD50
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:00 AM   #554
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We are in good shape (see, positive!) when wind solar is at low levels, the grid can react/plan. But at higher levels, things have to give. So RE is not just the cost of RE (often touted as being cheaper than coal now), it is the cost of RE and the NG plant needed to back it up when output is low. That's not what we want to hear, but I don't see any way around it. Better to plan real solutions for that, than be fooled by politicians, Musk and well-meaning 'greenies'.-ERD50
Love the positivity. Yes, we will need NG plants as a crutch. Good thing they are less polluting than millions of ICE (or even hybrid) cars/trucks. Incremental improvement is all I expect.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:16 AM   #555
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There was an interesting article in the WSJ (last week?) about all the natural gas from fracking that is being flared off because they have no way of storing or transporting it to where it can be used. Perhaps we should fix stupid things like that first, while we wait for EV tech to get better. Just a thought.

Having spent the last 30 years of my oil & gas career in the field solving issues such as what to do with natural gas that has no home at a well site (among other problems), let me assure you that the feds and state agencies are writing regs to address the management of flared natural gas. And they have been for decades.

Not that many wells are in this particular situation these days. Most of them are in North Dakota and areas of West Texas where no pipelines are in-place to transport the gas. However, if the state and federal environmental agencies would get off their dead asses and smooth out the pipeline permitting process, flaring gas would be reduced to only short and manageable periods during well construction and development.

It's getting better, but it's a cumbersome process and believe it or not, well owners would be more than happy to sell that flared gas rather than flare it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:23 AM   #556
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What do you think if Apple buys TSLA? Lets Elon out with a payday and puts management in place to run an actual company. Clark Howard brought this up recently. Sounds intriguing. Allows Apple to kick start the autonomous car program



This sounds like some stupid people throwing out stuff...


First, TSLA is way overvalued on any metric... to buy it you would need a premium on an already high price...



Second, even if run to make a profit it just does not have the margins that Apple would want...


Third, Apple can not give much value to TSLA and if you look at the first two TSLA cannot give much value to Apple...
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:46 AM   #557
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... look at all the politicians (any engineers?) claiming that they want their city to be 100% RE by 20xx (or already are!). That needs to be countered with facts - can we do it? How, At what cost? What are the real benefits? ...
I remember seeing the definition of engineering is the application of science to produce things of economic values. That is the main thing that separates science and engineering. A scientist is mainly concerned with knowing if something is possible. An engineer has to be more practical.

It is well-known that politicians are huge ignoramuses. Witness the craze about "solar roadways". Instead of using that money to build conventional solar plants which is a lot less expensive, some cities and towns spend money to do these silly things for publicity. If you point out the silliness, they will say that it is new and exciting, and the "way of the future", etc... I would not mind if they spend their own money, but to use public money?

PS. This strays from the topic, but this "solar roadway" is really out of this world. For example, it was proposed that the "smart road" could be heated to melt snow and ice in the winter. Good lord! While people are freezing to death, where do we get the power to heat the damn road? Have they looked at how much energy is needed to melt ice and snow on the road? Physically, it is of course possible. A child would know that heat turns ice and snow to water; the science was known to the caveman. An adult would ask how much power is needed, the cost for that power, and where to get it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:02 AM   #558
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It is well-known that politicians are huge ignoramuses. Witness the craze about "solar roadways". Instead of using that money to build conventional solar plants which is a lot less expensive, some cities and towns spend money to do these silly things for publicity. If you point out the silliness, they will say that it is new and exciting, and the "way of the future", etc... I would not mind if they spend their own money, but to use public money?
What is enlightened about pushing for solar plants that require natural gas or coal back-ups? The hard truth is that we are decades away from being able to rely primarily on solar and wind production in any form. Thank goodness that the current administration is open to more gas generated power. It is a bit ironic that those pushing solar over gas (today and for the near future) are actually slowing the transition to less polluting electric vehicles by straining the power grid with feel good solar plants.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:07 AM   #559
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There are solar plants with built-in energy storage. They are just expensive. Not as expensive as "solar roadway", and they work.

It all comes down to money. If it weren't for money, we could all go to Mars.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:08 AM   #560
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What is enlightened about pushing for solar plants that require natural gas or coal back-ups? The hard truth is that we are decades away from being able to rely primarily on solar and wind production in any form. Thank goodness that the current administration is open to more gas generated power. It is a bit ironic that those pushing solar over gas (today and for the near future) are actually slowing the transition to less polluting electric vehicles by straining the power grid with feel good solar plants.
One thing that is always overlooked when discussing replacing hydrocarbon based fuels is the huge tax revenue lost by state and federal governments in the process. Kind of makes sense that the politicians really don't want to see tax revenues go away for the sake of feel good electric power (generated or otherwise).
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