For my German-speaking readers.
* * *
Please support I. U.
The 3,800 photovoltaic panels installed in a 16,000 square-meter (3.95-acre) area are expected to produce a total of one megawatt of energy for the local grid – enough power for roughly 2,000 homes reports Science Alert. The Shelter Object, the aforementioned sarcophagus installed last year to replace the rapidly-eroding original concrete shield, has reduced radiation levels to a tenth of their previous amount, affording developers the opportunity to repurpose the nuclear wasteland.
“This territory obviously cannot be used for agriculture, but it is quite suitable for innovative and scientific projects,” Ostap Semerak, Ukrainian Minister of the Environment, told AFP in 2016. Ukrainian authorities have opened up roughly 25 square kilometers for solar project developments with 60 proposals currently under consideration. Another 4.2-megawatt solar power plant was recently completed within the irradiated zone in neighboring Belarus.
Highly not recommended!!!
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
Almost two weeks have passed since Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida, yet tens of thousands remain without power. With temperatures regularly eclipsing over 90 degrees, these outages are not only a grave inconvenience for Floridians cleaning up after the storm, but have proved to be deadly. Given the power of Irma, it is not surprising that it has left behind incredible devastation. Unfortunately it is also not surprising that it is a government-protected utility that has done the most to impede recovery. The pain and suffering currently being felt is the direct result of government policy and the perverse incentives of crony capitalism.
One of the talked about examples of how bad policy is making things worse for Florida families are a variety of government policies that discourages the use of solar power in the Sunshine State. Government policy dictates that Floridians are required to be connected to the central power grid, even if they have enough solar panels installed to power their entire house. Because of this requirement, a family stuck in areas without power with solar panels installed cannot use them now because doing so could endanger workers trying to restore power for their neighbors. Once again government’s desire for centralized control has unintended consequences.
When it comes to the U.S. economy, the “con” part offers the best description of the current relationship between business, government and the preyed upon consumer.
The way things work in early 21st century America is large businesses bribe politicians in a variety of ways at both the local and federal level, and the end result is laws that are designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of the wellbeing and freedom of the American public. Politicians end up with financial war chests to run their next campaign, while bureaucrats see a lucrative opportunity to swing through the ever spinning revolving door should they play ball with lobbyists and their patrons. Yes, there’s always some degree of corruption within any society of humans, but there are peaks and valleys in such cycles. I’d argue we are somewhere in the peak corruption phase.
Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.
Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives.
All of which begs the question: just how big of a problem is solar waste?
Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste.
A $1 billion battery and solar farm will be built at Morgan in South Australia’s Riverland by year’s end in a project the proponents describe as “the world’s biggest”.
The builder, Lyon Group, has already proposed a smaller solar farm and battery storage facility, named Kingfisher, in the state’s north.
Lyon partner David Green said the project was 100 per cent equity financed and construction would begin within months, employing 270 workers.
It only takes .6 percent of the country to fuel the United States
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
The New York Times tells us that Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal. But watch the pea – these jobs are “energy jobs”, not jobs that use energy.
Apparently it takes 79 people to create the same energy through solar as one person does through coal. (And that would be cheaper, how? )
After the solar roadways project made all these claims that they were basically ready to start manufacturing their solar roadway panels… turns out, that merely 4 years ago, the thought it would take ~50 million USD.
This is ignoring all the other issues they had:
-no functional road surface
-no plan for road manufacture
-no cost realistic plans for implementation of power transport systems.
* * *
H/t reader kevin a:
“Green Energy Is Causing Power Shortages In Europe During An Awful Winter
Green energy subsidies and mandates have greatly increased the price of electricity throughout Germany, especially, which has some of the continent’s highest power prices. The German government has mandated that the nuclear reactors be replaced with wind or solar power, but the estimated cost of doing so is over $1.1 trillion.
If you can translate a little that would be great.”
I can translate it, but I have no time.
Sorry about that.
Google translation: HERE
* * *
A new U.S. Energy and Employment Report is providing yet another indication that our energy paradigm is rapidly shifting away from fossil fuels. The most promise for jobs lies in clean energy, with solar jobs in particular rising at a tremendous rate.
The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s second annual report found that, in 2016, solar employment was almost double that of fossil fuel employment in the Electric Power Generation sector.
“Proportionally, solar employment accounts for the largest share of workers in the Electric Power Generation sector. This is largely due to the construction related to the significant buildout of new solar generation capacity. Solar technologies, both photovoltaic and concentrating, employ almost 374,000 workers, or 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation workforce. This is followed by fossil fuel generation employment, which accounts for 22 percent of total Electric Power Generation employment and supports 187,117 workers across coal, oil, and natural gas generation technologies.
Rising employment in solar, wind, and natural gas coincides with the shift in energy generation by source, especially given recent large-scale distributed and utility-scale solar capacity additions.”
The total number of jobs in the Traditional Energy and Efficiency sectors was 6.4 million for 2016, which includes: 1) electric power generation and fuels, 2) transmission, distribution and storage, 3) energy efficiency, and 4) motor vehicles.
As if burning cars were not enough.
Waiting for the first Tesla solar powered house to burn to the ground.
During a press event at Universal Studios in L.A., Elon Musk announces that Tesla will build and sell its own line of solar panels with integrated batteries. Coupled with the also unveiled PowerWall 2, it will allow residential homeowners to replace their entire roof with solar panels, making it much simpler for homes to be entirely powered by solar power.
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
Chile’s main solar power plants are supplying so much electricity that they have to give it away for free or face prices going down. The glut has been driven by the country’s booming copper industry.
Chile’s growing energy demand has prompted the development of 29 solar farms to supply the central grid. Booming mining production and economic growth have been the main drivers. The country is expected to install almost 1.4 gigawatts of solar power this year, up from 371 megawatts in 2015, according to Bloomberg , which is enough to supply hundreds of thousands of homes.
Energy is perhaps the most important issue of human civilization at this time, and we are fortunate to bear witness to many exciting changes happening right before our eyes when it comes to creating the shift away from destructive fossil fuel power.
Germany has impressed Europe and the world with its success in providing nearly all of the power for its forward-thinking people from green energy sources. The small but progressive Latin American nation of Costa Rica has been in the spotlight for fueling its entire nation for some 285 days of the year 2015 with renewable energies. The movement towards renewable energy seems to be taking hold in Europe: