Wind and Solar are NOT Alternative energy sources. At the best they can be classified as supplemental energy sources. The best availability for Solar systems is around 30% at the optimum locations and wind at around 50% and the best locations. The cost for these supplemental energy systems are way to high to be economic ($5,000 to $40,000 per kilowatt). They can never compete with base load power plants (Coal, natural gas fired combined cycle, Nuclear, Hydro, Geothermal). Power consumption worldwide is rising exponentially and no one government or world regulatory agency will be able to contain the power growth as the world's underdeveloped countries emerge. Nuclear power must be considered for electric power for this thirsty market. We already have huge stock piles of depleted and spent U-238 that can be converted to run new thermal nuclear power plants for 50 years.
Natural gas from conventional wells + shale and coal seams have the potential to supply all of the vehicle fuel needs for the earth for decades. By then, methane hydrates may also be accessible extended the fuel availabilty for a century +/-.
David Franklin put some very decidedly incorrect statements down about solar and wind energy installations. First, wind and solar are already replacing coal and Natural gas baseload plants in both California and also in Florida, with another slated for New Jersey next year. To say otherwise just isn't factual. Solar and wind cost more for innitial plant and equipment, but their 40 year return on Investment is even better than the best any fossil fuel can offer as a return. Solar Residential is already creeping into Colorado markets and New Jersey markets are also showing remarkable gains in Residential installations, and since solar does not have to be replaced for 40 years, the return on investment for residential solar outstrips any other investment in energy one could make, unless you have perhaps a generous amount of hydrogen gas stored up, or have enormous water reserves, then Hydrogen fuel cell systems would make more sense, since it can be easily replaced even at projected usage levels.
But if you want to show how solar has grown, just look at the growth of solar over the last year, and it outstrips the growth of any other energy source by significant margins. Incidentally, Solar has more energy output than Nuclear does as of this last year. I would say that definitely puts a h*** in your theory of not being a 24/7 producer, since bi-fueled plants can offer solar heating as well as solar electricity, since molten salt processes last over days and can cover the period of no light over 18 hours at a time. Again, that is more than the performance of any other source I know of at this time. Source information is available if you want more at www.seia.org with over 100,000 jobs represented in most states in the USA, and still growing.
Better get your facts straight or you'll lose all credibility. Here is the current (Oct 19, 2011) electric power production summary from USEIA.
Solar/PV 1.3 Billion kwhr
Wind: 94.6 Billion kwhr
Nuclear: 807 Billion kwhr
Natural Gas: 982 Billion kwhr
Coal: 1851 Billion kwhr
Total Electricity produced from all sources: 4120 Billion kwhr
Solar's contribution: 0.03%
Nuclear produced 783 x more power than Solar last year.
Great question. Short answer, i o believe Pickens sees himself with the short straw in a field 12-15 players. It is the great American way to get big, make a killing in ONE field of endeavor and use those profits to gain an upper leg in another field of business. The past 35 years have been rift with this concept of growth by acquisition. As for Mr. Pickens, he don't need no more gas, he is looking for someone to pick up all those windmill pieces laying on the side of the road in West Texas. Right now, with a CCF of gas at a 5 year low, Pickens is showing his cards-he ain't got none to play. IF he were as bullish on gas as he purports to be he would be in there buying capacity or making partnerships with those who HAVE capacity. But he says nothing and does nothing. Why, because he is a bit player in this market. He was sold a bill of goods in the beginning about the real efficacy of natural gas and the propensity for the country to be ready to switch over to wind generation (loser) and return to us the natural gas being used to generate peak electricity.
Well, fact one, the economy is not in the market for spot electricity (think artificial shortages and ENRON) and two, the market is now FLOODED with CNG. Oil sands in Canada and the US are out stripping ALL previous foercasts of how much oil this country has and can get to. The bottom line is THIS, we gonna be on the crude oil teet for some time to come. It is NOT a matte of "doing what is right", but rather doing what is efficient and effective.
Show the facts. Identify the specific driller and producer that is poioning the ground water! If you cannot identify the wells, drillers, producers then you are simply a victom of the anti gas press or you are creating a strawman issue.
I am an engineer that has been working in the gas industry for over 25 years and have never seen a gas producer intentionally poison ground water. The current environmental regulations and permits prohibit this and there are federal fines and actual and punitive damages to face.
So either put up offenders and produce the evidence or shut up.
As Boone has said; NG pricing sets the market for other resourses.
While moving slowly; Solar is gaining ground. Click to this site.
We need to keep gaining ground.
Good to hear from you again Tom! Oklahoma really needs some support for solar development, which I estimate could grow as many as 200 jobs in just one year, if it is supported by legislative support as they have coal and even Natural gas drilling. Is it unfair to ask the same level playing field for solar as both of those? Coal gets a subsidy of $5 per ton of Oklahoma coal used, which sets an unbelievable president to support Brown energy industries when green energy industry jobs would have a longer term impact on reducing governmental expenses for the future. It may seem small to those unaware of coal use in Oklahoma, but it isn't a mystery why Oklahoma has experienced drought conditions in southern Oklahoma during the last summer period. That type of impact only hurts Oklahoma's future. Last year alone it accounted for $27 million in credits! But the costs to do remedial correction of coal ash was just about as bad, so the real costs were about $60 Million to the state. Is that a winning state strategy? It costs the consumer also, since each degree rise in temperature cost the citizens about $40 in electrical costs. Is that a reasonable strategy for the consumer? No, it isn't. So what can Oklahoma do? Natural gas generation costs Oklahoma water to cool down towers and create steam, so is that a rational and useful strategy? Why not just directly create energy via solar PV or Solar Concentrated Power assemblies?
So, I do not see how the state is winning without a strategy that reduces the need for new power production. Only wind and solar offer clearly successful production strategies. If people do not have to rent fuels like coal or natural gas, then those resources are available in the future should the world need them, and there is less pollution, less EPA requirements that Oklahoma can't meet without solar help. So why doesn't Oklahoma support solar development in their cities? Where is the incentive and the cost reductions that would support governmental cost savings, that they would not get from fossil fuels? The OERB has radically marginalized solar by professing it is not efficient, not cost effective, and too expensive, when each of those are within the states own resources to solve. Instead, State Republican legislators deny the conservative nature of solar, and call it wasteful, when it is the ONLY resource that has a Return On Investment! Imagine that! Oklahoma Republicans avoid helping the solar industry, because their fossil fuel masters tell them not to support solar PV and Thermal installations. It is wrongfully labeled as Liberal bias, when what it is, can be summed up as economic Hubris! Why not compete with Oregon and California for better benefits for their customers and citizens? Isn't it time Solar got a fair shake, and also make Oklahoma revenue via fees and sales tax, installation licenses, and Ad valorum upgrades for homes and commerical properties? Isn't the tax commission interested in new sources of income that are tax neutral or even tax positive? Why not incentivize solar so the EPA is off your back Oklahoma? Want to see that happen? Give Oklahomans a 25% credit on purchases of solar thermal and PV. Allow Oklahomans to receive Carbon Tax credits via other industries across the nation. Then offer a feed-in tarriff for Oklahomans so that they can have the incentive for overbuilding their systems, so that future energy and distributed power levels are reasonably countered? The tax revenues generated by sales tax and overall spin-off activities, such as parts makers and system enhancers, will drive solar towards economic superiority as far as electricity is concerned, and suddenly the entire state of Oklahoma would be power hungry, and solar crazy, so much so that industry would be hardpressed to keep up. While financial agencies would be drawing interest income for nearly every system built. Just imagine how banker will like such a protected and verifyable cash cow! Consumers will be gratifeid, because they can buy their systems for nearly 45% of the sticker price, and get immediate Return on Investment of 100%, going up each year as the price of fossil fuels rise also, since not eveyone will want solar. I just do not understand the stupidity of the Republican party in Oklahoma that refuses to support solar is if it were a liberal platform issue, when in fact it is an economic engine they have refused to pay attention to for nearly 2 decades! It is a fact, that if Oklahoma governmental offices had switched to solar, just 10 years ago, all offices of the state would be running for 70% less than their current expense levels! Now consider a 30% cost instead of a 100% current electrical cost, and you see the impact even the least efficient PV could have had on Oklahoma energy costs for the government! That is why they need people to educate the public about solar. It is a means towards free and ready energy, that does not even require the grid in stand alone installations. How much could the state save on just distribution wiring if they went to stand alone solar? A lot more than the cost of a 25% credit and a feed-in tarriff would cost them! I just do not understand their unwillingness to face real, hard, data . Perhaps someone else has a rational excuse, but with the proofs we already have, they would be quickly defeated with clear-cut results that are already public record. So stop being stupid Legislators! Catch the wave now and get Oklahoma connected to future prosperity via using their natural resources better, and offering sun to their citizens in such a way, we all win. And even public utilities like OG&E can win as well as they get better distribution, better quality of electrical power outputs, and then those smart meters can also be used to their best result by showing just how beneficial solar PV will be, and they can be checked for accuracy via controllers that offer solar owners a realtime way to check just how much value the utility is getting from their solar systems. So wise up Oklahomans! Solar is there waiting for the state legislature to act and create jobs that will be directly related to solar energy. 100 Installer jobs, 100 sales jobs, 20 secretary jobs, 40 manager jobs, 40+ accounting jobs, 200+ parts and component jobs to support installers, spin-off work for salesmen and insurance adjusters, county assessor part-time jobs, convenience store clerks, since support is going to be needed, and also fast food, restaurant sales, and advertising personnel...Just for a few of the many forms of jobs solar would create, I can easily gestimate that the incomes of those people would be in the area of 12% taxible income and so tax revenue just from income alone would account for a lot of new state revenues. All created in just one year... There is the Republican jobs bill they should pass! It would be nice to see Republicans on the right side of solar!
You have made one VERY LARGE UNPROVEN ASSUMPTION!. There is absolutely no eveidence that carbon is the culprit or cause for climate change. The climate has been generally warming since the last ice age. That can primarily be contributed to solar irradiance and water vapor.
If you have to subsidize the solar industry with tax payer dollars than it is not economic. Solar is too inefficient and costly for wholesale electric use. And it only quasi works when the sun is shining in the tropics or sub-tropics in the daytime when it is not cloudly, or raining or snowing.
Come up with some real solutions that do not need to be Solyndraized with Obama Money, Like Natural Gas, Nuclear, Geothermal.
If you want to sink your own money into foolhardy Solar ambitions there is noone here to stop you.
Current CAPEX for simple cycle natural gas fired power gneration is about $500/kw. Combined cycle is about $800-$1000/kw.
Last time I looked at Solar, various types of systems ranged from $5,000-$40,000/kw installed. You cannot even cover the CAPEX of the plant with the current wholesale cost of electricity let alone the OPEX, maintenance and replacement. Add in that its availability is less than 30% while natural gas powered units have an availability of over 95%. No logical person would invest in solar at this time.
I differ with you, since SEIA has already proven these so-called assumptions over and over again, but you do not read their reports, do not try to educate yourself and so you are stuck in this time warp of denial as big as your ego!
Obama had nothing to do with the failure of Solyndra solar and neither did the solar industry as a whole. Yet, the 1/2 Billion was an obvious error in judgement for many that knew better and so I am not defending that mistake by financial entities. Someone will eventually be revealed to be guilty of some sort of scandal and it will be forgotten as easily as BP's debacle in the Gulf is forgotten...OK, maybe it won't be forgotten like that huge screwup, which is a good thing. Big OIl screws up to the tune of $28 Billion estimated, and you do not cry fowl, but a solar company gets a government deal and suddenly it is a huge deal. I get it. Big Oil is everywhere. But solar is about to make believers out of Americans. I know the payback really bothers you, because you are afraid to support those you oppose. SO do we, when big oil gets $36 Billion in pure profits off of margins that only big oil believes are fair and are subsidized for $3.6 Billion by us, the American public! What is bigger? $3.6 Billion going to big oil crooks or a scrawny $.5 Billion for one solar company that will be sold for scrap and still give back at least $.25 Billion in assets? Some investors got their money first, because the national attorney screwed up and approved the deal. Who do you fault? Obama, who had nothing to do with it except applaude their effort to become solvent and forge ahead in an industry that has small margins, unlike big oil! It is unfair even if I do not like his performance as a President either.
Your idea of real solutions are also unfounded and very much refuted assumptions, especially concerning nuclear power and Natural Gas as a heating fuel. I take huge exception to both of those which I could take several pages to refute them, but why bother, you wouldn't read them. So Nuclear has enormous costs to build, even larger than any one solar plant. You can't refute that, it is public record. Then each year the National Energy Commission has to fork out $1 Billion dollars in lawsuits, wrongful deaths and Radiation mitigation settlements. Now that is really efficient! And yet who hears about those costs, even though the AP reports it regularly! Imagine that! You just do not pay attention do you? Then the cost of nuclear fuel costs more than all those huge costs combined, but the result of superheated steam is such that the turbines can run for days and not slow down, generating constant and very effective electricity until the rods are spent. And then you have the cost of disposal, so where is the savings with nuclear? It just does not exist...try to make it exist! I dare you, because then I will cut your figures to pieces! It just does NOT exist. No benefit for the public, except available and reliable power, as long as they do not break down, melt down, or get flooded. So then the assumptions are they can stay healthy and won't kill people associated with them or those who live nearby. I believe I WILL take my chances and other Americans' chances with safer, better, cleaner, no-drama-attached solar energy. You must not understand heat domes or other meteorological terms. It simply means heated air accumulates into high pressure air masses that do not get pushed away due to their dry nature, as moist air can be moved, while dry air tends to be stuck in place until moist air moves it. When coal fires up a plant, the exhaust is hot and drier than normal steam that escapes from plants that do not mix the exhaust of their plants. Most plants just do not have much exhaust other than CO2, but coal palnts do. Sulphur gases and Arsenic, mercury and other pollutants form exotic molecules that tend to dry out the air masses and since dry air moves more slowly, heat rises and it reenforces its footprint in a local area. Jet stream currents normall have enough moisture to move them, but when there are several pockets of dry air, the jet stream is cut out and diverted, north or south of the dry air mass. That is why a huge influx of moist gulf air can create such violent tornados, because the moist air rapidly disperses the dry air and suddenly the speed of the winds is increased by a factor of two or three, creating tornadic conditions over cities and populated areas. Without coal fired air, such conditions did not exist. And I will take quasi-working solar that is factored for conditions, every day over the need to scrape people out of tornado ravaged cities, like in Missouri. Those issues do not go away, but reoccur, more frequentily now than ever before. It would be wise to use some common sense to see the coal fired air is a significant factor in such tornado formations. But go into denial. It doesn't affect the weather. While coal fired plants do affect the weather, at least in Oklahoma.
The Solar Reserve molten salt plant in California is nameplated at 150 MW. Recent loan approval for $757 million for the plant. Not sure what the total CAPEX estimate is but just the loan portion of CAPEX is $5000/kw.
New Nuclear plants in the 1.3 GW range are estimated to cost $2500/kw based on the data from NRC.
Modular/Distributed 15MW High Temperature Gas Cooled Pebble Bed Reactors (PBR's) are estimated to cost around $1500/kw. Further, the can be optimized to produce economic hydrogen as well as power.
So again your costs are wrong.