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Tags global warming , Solar panels , Solar power

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Old 1st June 2012, 06:24 PM   #161
CapelDodger
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Originally Posted by Christian Klippel View Post
Unfortunately, that advantage is decreasing. For example, PV producers in Germany face a rather rapid decline in business, since China is now producing the panels much cheaper. By 2011, German manufacturers' global market share went down to 21% from 50%. With the accelerated degression in feed-in tariffs for PV electricity, many people in Germany lost interest in installing new panels. At least one of the German manufacturers is in rather bad shape now (I think it was either First-Solar who recently had to close a fab, but i'm not sure, have to look it up again). The BMWi made a report in 2012 about the situation, you can find it here (but it's in German, so be aware...)
No offence meant, but this I regard as short-term thinking. Think twenty years ahead and you just know there are going to be major German players in the global PV industry. They are either out there now or they'll be formed by people who are out there now (perhaps between jobs today, but the talented ones will be wiser. You're not really in business until you've been through at least one bankrupty).

Quote:
In 2008, German PV panel/module manufacturers had about 60% market share in Germany, by the first half of 2011 it went down to 15%.
A good old-fashioned tariff war looks on the cards, with GATT going the way of the Geneva Convention on Torture. These are great days to be a diplomat with an Economics Doctorate.


Quote:
Manufacturer of Wind energy systems are still a bit better of currently, but that can change as well, especially if China decides to decrease Neodym exports even more.
If you're not being held to ransom over Russian gas or Middle East oil it's something else. What's the equivalent for PV?

Quote:
Another effect is that the way EE's are subsidized currently, the cost for electricity is going up and up, which causes more and more companies to relocate production into other countries.
They relocate for cheap labour and cheaper regulators, not because of electricity prices.

Quote:
The government tries to counter that, for example by allowing that fees for grid usage have to be paid only by private customers, but not by commercial customers, or that the "EEG-Umlage" (a fee that people pay per kWh that goes directly into subsidizing EE) has to be paid only by private customers and not commercial ones.

Which is kind of crazy, considering that commercial customers impose a far bigger load on the grid than private ones, and that, for example, companies who profit heavily from the EEG are themselves exempt to pay their share (however, that EEG exemption applies to all commercial/industrial customers).
I don't doubt your grasp of the current detail, but I think you're missing the big picture.

Quote:
Plus the general (i guess worldwide trend) to relocate production into low-income countries anyways, to make the shareholders happy...
Well, quite. German industry has the advantage of an educated workforce with six or eight generations of experience of factory, clock-driven culture. Something you simply can't teach (as so many German managers dscovered in Turkey back in the day; people would keep drifting off or simply not turning up because it was lambing-time, it drove them crazy. There are Chinese discovering the same thing in Africa right now).

Quote:
While there was quite a boom with regards to renewables (i mean companies producing that stuff), it is definitely declining now, so it's not that sure at all that we will profit from the switch to renewables commercially (export, etc.).
I'm pretty sure of it myself. Let's revisit this again here in 2022 .
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Old 1st June 2012, 06:25 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
[snip]

If you have PV generation on your roof you have something other than the monetary value : you have first call on it. You can't really put a price on that.[snip]
But, unless you live in the wilderness, I am betting against you. And I have already won ...
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Old 1st June 2012, 06:29 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by balrog666 View Post
But, unless you live in the wilderness, I am betting against you. And I have already won ...
Dang.

Would an intellectual wilderness count? I often feel like I'm living in one of those. If we take this into the metaphorical arena I may still have a chance.
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Old 1st June 2012, 06:53 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by mhaze View Post
You may not have understood, so let me repeat it: There are in engineering, known upper limits to the efficiency of various devices. Electric motors, piston reciprocating engines, pumps, etc. That is from where I noted that you will not have a fridge 100x as efficient as today's equipment. Does not matter what you would like or think tomorrow might bring.

The efficiency of a fridge is based on the principle, of moving heat from one place to another by gas expansion and compression in the two places.

If you like, keep the mojo secret, because if you post how to do this, we'll all go out and make fortunes.


This is nonsense. You're talking about compressor efficiencies. This doesn't address the insulation, the temperature of the heat sink; the arrangement of the opening, or almost any other relevant aspect of keeping things cold.

You should do some homework. There are refrigerators that don't have compressors. We used to have clunky coolers that used a chunk of ice, cut from a frozen lake, and kept all summer, buried in a huge barn, surrounded with sawdust. We've come a long way from then, and yet, your math can't address even that sort of refrigeration.
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Old 1st June 2012, 07:04 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
No offence meant, but this I regard as short-term thinking. Think twenty years ahead and you just know there are going to be major German players in the global PV industry. They are either out there now or they'll be formed by people who are out there now (perhaps between jobs today, but the talented ones will be wiser. You're not really in business until you've been through at least one bankrupty).
Looks like you have little to no clue about what is going on here in Germany about renewables. In 2011 alone, and _only_ from the "EEG-Umlage", 8 billion Euros went towards it. And the full amount of money going towards EE's is way more than that.

For over a decade now renewables are pushed here with insane amounts of subsidies, cheap-to-no-interrest credits, funding to build factories, etc, etc. And still, even with all that money pumped into it, companies in that market go out of business, growth-rate is declining, sometimes rapidly.

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
A good old-fashioned tariff war looks on the cards, with GATT going the way of the Geneva Convention on Torture. These are great days to be a diplomat with an Economics Doctorate.
Which has what exactly to do with the quote you replied to with this incoherent something?

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
If you're not being held to ransom over Russian gas or Middle East oil it's something else. What's the equivalent for PV?
You are confusing the issues here. This is not about "being held ransom" over some energy source, this is about the oh-so-shiny industry of renewables going slowly out of business here because they simply can't compete anymore, despite all the massive subsidies and benefits they get here.

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
They relocate for cheap labour and cheaper regulators, not because of electricity prices.
Now it really shows that you have absolutely no idea what's going on here. Google for "deutschland wirtschaft abwanderung energiepreise". Bayer is about to move out of Germany because of too high electricity costs. Others are already moving out because of that. It is a reality.

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
I don't doubt your grasp of the current detail, but I think you're missing the big picture.
And i doubt that you have any clue at all about what's happening here. Again, Google is your friend. There are many online translators available so that you can get the gist of what those articles in the search results say.

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
Well, quite. German industry has the advantage of an educated workforce with six or eight generations of experience of factory, clock-driven culture. Something you simply can't teach (as so many German managers dscovered in Turkey back in the day; people would keep drifting off or simply not turning up because it was lambing-time, it drove them crazy. There are Chinese discovering the same thing in Africa right now).
Again, you show quite a lack of understanding of the situation here. That "educated workforce" you speak of is more and more a thing of the past. Minimum-wage jobs are on the rise here, and big at that. "Zeitarbeit" is spreading like wildfire. Less and less people get good education here.

Seriously, those things that you fantasize about are long gone. Sure, they still exist in a few places, but that's the exception nowdays, not the norm anymore. Seriously, educate yourself a bit about how things are now, what trend they had in the past 20+ years, and where the current trend will lead to. You will be in for a rude awakening.

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
I'm pretty sure of it myself. Let's revisit this again here in 2022 .
You are sure about that because of your ignorance of the facts about the situation in Germany, i'm afraid.

Greetings,

Chris

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Old 1st June 2012, 07:15 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by mhaze View Post
You may not have understood, so let me repeat it: There are in engineering, known upper limits to the efficiency of various devices. Electric motors, piston reciprocating engines, pumps, etc. That is from where I noted that you will not have a fridge 100x as efficient as today's equipment. Does not matter what you would like or think tomorrow might bring.

The efficiency of a fridge is based on the principle, of moving heat from one place to another by gas expansion and compression in the two places.
While I agree that you can't modify my refridgerator to reduce the power consumption by 99%, I don't necessarily agree that there isn't a way to keep my food sufficiently cold while consuming radically (perhaps even 99%) less power. For instance, several times every day I open the fridge door and all the cold air pours out. What if that wasn't necessary? On a hot day in the summer, my fridge is dumping heat into my over-warm kitchen, while nearby there's a pipe with cool water that's running into a water heater; if the fridge was dumping heat into the pipe rather than my kitchen, the fridge would be more efficient (smaller delta-T) and my water-heating energy would drop. And Quarky's right about the thermodynamic absurdity of, say, a Wisconsin winter with an indoor refrigerator using energy to chill air after we used a furnace to heat the air because the house is surrounded by very cold air.

And if we re-thought about what stuff really had to be kept cold (as opposed to quick-chilled on demand), and for how long, could I get away with a dramatically smaller refrigerator? If I was getting food delivered every day, how much stuff would I really need to keep cold? Daily food delivery needn't be energy-prohibitive; I live 2 miles from work and I drive past a grocery store and countless restaurants twice a day. I usually eat at the cafeteria at work; if I simply picked up a second meal from them before I went home, I could probably get by without a refrigerator most days.

Implementing stuff like that brings its own problems, of course. From a systems engineering perspective, it's a lot cleaner to make the fridge a standalone box that doesn't need a mess of connections to your plumbing, ventillation, etc. And a more complex installation means more ways that things can break, and in my house, things break with distressing frequency. I'm not ready to dump my refrigerator yet. Frankly, I tend to cast a very skeptical eye at ideas like these, and I'm not sure that any of them are practical.

But that doesn't make it woo.

ETA: Quarky responded while I was working on this post.

ETA2: it may be a while before mhaze responds . . . I should probably check FM a little more often .. .
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Old 1st June 2012, 07:54 PM   #167
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I'm not sure that 'practical' is practical.
Is global warming practical?
How do we gauge fuel efficiency of a car, for instance, without addressing the inefficiency of what the car is doing?
The hybrid cars, which I think are a net loss, and by no means a new idea, get their advantage from traffic jams, which are an engineering failure.

None of this even addresses culture. I've tried to steer clear of that, but maybe I shouldn't.
The best diet I've ever had required zero refrigeration. How do we rate the efficiency of that lack of refrigeration need?

I find it disturbing and depressing that we seem willing to throw out the world for the sake of certain habits that aren't even any fun.

The most vibrant cities, not coincidentally, tend to have the highest % of bicycle paths and commuters. This is the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 1st June 2012, 08:06 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Christian Klippel View Post
Looks like you have little to no clue about what is going on here in Germany about renewables. In 2011 alone, and _only_ from the "EEG-Umlage", 8 billion Euros went towards it. And the full amount of money going towards EE's is way more than that.
And the obvious damage done so far to the German economy is not immediately obvious.

Quote:
For over a decade now renewables are pushed here with insane amounts of subsidies, cheap-to-no-interrest credits, funding to build factories, etc, etc. And still, even with all that money pumped into it, companies in that market go out of business, growth-rate is declining, sometimes rapidly.
Insane amounts would surely have impacted the German economy in some obvious way, and yet it seems to be doing relatively well.

Quote:
Which has what exactly to do with the quote you replied to with this incoherent something?
When a domestic share of market falls from 60% to 15% in three years, unfair competition is a very obvious suspect and a tariff response has already emerged in the US over exactly that issue. Is Germany (and Europe, by extension) going to let it pass? Or do you think the fall in domestic share is down to some failing in German industry?



Quote:
You are confusing the issues here. This is not about "being held ransom" over some energy source, this is about the oh-so-shiny industry of renewables going slowly out of business here because they simply can't compete anymore, despite all the massive subsidies and benefits they get here.
You brought up a Chinese neodymium monopoly which the wind-industry is presumably held hostage to. I'm not confusing anything, I'm simply responding to you.

Quote:
Now it really shows that you have absolutely no idea what's going on here. Google for "deutschland wirtschaft abwanderung energiepreise". Bayer is about to move out of Germany because of too high electricity costs. Others are already moving out because of that. It is a reality.
Let us know when they actually do it, and where. I'll take great interest in how things work out for them.

Quote:
And i doubt that you have any clue at all about what's happening here. Again, Google is your friend. There are many online translators available so that you can get the gist of what those articles in the search results say.



Again, you show quite a lack of understanding of the situation here.
You show a fixation with the very-short-term. We all have our different natures.

Quote:
That "educated workforce" you speak of is more and more a thing of the past. Minimum-wage jobs are on the rise here, and big at that. "Zeitarbeit" is spreading like wildfire. Less and less people get good education here.
That's the post-2008 western world, but how is Germany doing in relative terms?

Quote:
Seriously, those things that you fantasize about are long gone. Sure, they still exist in a few places, but that's the exception nowdays, not the norm anymore. Seriously, educate yourself a bit about how things are now, what trend they had in the past 20+ years, and where the current trend will lead to. You will be in for a rude awakening.
I think you're living in a fool's-dystopia. I'm not new to observing the world, and Germany is not a mystery to me. Look yourself at the last twenty years if 120 years is too much for you to assimilate, and consider just how diminished Germany is in global economic rankings. It's less than most, isn't it?

Quote:
You are sure about that because of your ignorance of the facts about the situation in Germany, i'm afraid.
You have the details of the day to focus on while I'll continue to do the big-picture vision thing and see you in 2022 to compare notes.
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Old 1st June 2012, 10:38 PM   #169
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Regarding the issue of investment in solar power: it's worth pointing out that even at a net loss putting money into building solar power also means some of that money goes into research and development of improvements of solar power technology. And it's not clear that there is a better way to get that research and development done than by letting the companies who build the stuff do it, which means this may be the most efficient way to do that research and development.

That, in turn, may be an important part of our future energy production, even if currently there are better solutions.
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Old 1st June 2012, 10:44 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
This is nonsense. You're talking about compressor efficiencies. This doesn't address the insulation, the temperature of the heat sink; the arrangement of the opening, or almost any other relevant aspect of keeping things cold.

You should do some homework. There are refrigerators that don't have compressors. We used to have clunky coolers that used a chunk of ice, cut from a frozen lake, and kept all summer, buried in a huge barn, surrounded with sawdust. We've come a long way from then, and yet, your math can't address even that sort of refrigeration.
Which again makes it clear that what you are talking about is changes to the way that we do things, while mhaze is talking about improvements to the technology that allow a continuation of the status quo.

(just pointing this out for clarity)

Honestly I think you are right quarky. And I also think that if environmental issues are as serious as I think they are, we need to move to the sorts of technologies that, yes, require changes in our relationship with that technology, but which, as you say, may mean huge savings.

In the winter rather than keep the heat on all night, I use a hot water bottle. It just makes sense to me to warm my bed rather than the whole room when I'm going to be staying in my bed. Some people use an electric blanket, which is the same idea. I don't think that's a huge sacrifice, and if we talk about "energy used to keep you warm at night" there's probably at least an order of magnitude in savings there (actually I suspect with my hot water bottle as compared to an electric heater, it's more than one order of magnitude).
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Old 2nd June 2012, 12:08 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
I apologize for my snark. I certainly didn't mean to get personal about it.

The 'pie in the sky' aspect of what I hinting at, is that it will take some time and energy to recreate our technologies. Smart roads and light cars will improve travel efficiencies enormously. Trains already do. Consider that Sam Whittington has managed 83 mph on his own power, on a flat hiway with no wind. On a monorail, he could have gone much faster, because he wouldn't need to balance, steer, or even watch where he was going. His vehicle is obviously radical, but there are lessons to be learned from these efforts.

Look at your refrigerator. How much insulation does it have? Almost none?
Is it able to tap into the outside temp? If you live somewhere that is cold half the year, how much power should you need to keep things cold?

Earth sheltered homes are obvious.

Check out the work of Amory Lovins and Paul Hawking, for a start. Watch some TED talks about new architecture and smart buildings.

I've got to go. I'll find some links when I get back.
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
This is nonsense. You're talking about compressor efficiencies. This doesn't address the insulation, the temperature of the heat sink; the arrangement of the opening, or almost any other relevant aspect of keeping things cold.

You should do some homework. There are refrigerators that don't have compressors. We used to have clunky coolers that used a chunk of ice, cut from a frozen lake, and kept all summer, buried in a huge barn, surrounded with sawdust. We've come a long way from then, and yet, your math can't address even that sort of refrigeration.
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
I'm not sure that 'practical' is practical.
Is global warming practical?
How do we gauge fuel efficiency of a car, for instance, without addressing the inefficiency of what the car is doing?
The hybrid cars, which I think are a net loss, and by no means a new idea, get their advantage from traffic jams, which are an engineering failure.

None of this even addresses culture. I've tried to steer clear of that, but maybe I shouldn't.
The best diet I've ever had required zero refrigeration. How do we rate the efficiency of that lack of refrigeration need?

I find it disturbing and depressing that we seem willing to throw out the world for the sake of certain habits that aren't even any fun.

The most vibrant cities, not coincidentally, tend to have the highest % of bicycle paths and commuters. This is the tip of the iceberg.
Guess I missed the links.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 12:12 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Which again makes it clear that what you are talking about is changes to the way that we do things, while mhaze is talking about improvements to the technology that allow a continuation of the status quo.

(just pointing this out for clarity)

Honestly I think you are right quarky. And I also think that if environmental issues are as serious as I think they are, we need to move to the sorts of technologies that, yes, require changes in our relationship with that technology, but which, as you say, may mean huge savings.

In the winter rather than keep the heat on all night, I use a hot water bottle. It just makes sense to me to warm my bed rather than the whole room when I'm going to be staying in my bed. Some people use an electric blanket, which is the same idea. I don't think that's a huge sacrifice, and if we talk about "energy used to keep you warm at night" there's probably at least an order of magnitude in savings there (actually I suspect with my hot water bottle as compared to an electric heater, it's more than one order of magnitude).
I've been warm at -20 degrees using nothing but body heat but I'd rather not have the rest of my house at that temp.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 05:43 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
I've been warm at -20 degrees using nothing but body heat but I'd rather not have the rest of my house at that temp.
That's true - over here it generally doesn't get below freezing much in the winter. It stays around 2-4 degrees or so I'd say, sometimes down to 0 or even -1 or -2, but not that much.

Still, there's a big difference between heating a house from -20 to +20 and heating a house from -20 to +5 or +10.

(all in degrees celsius)
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Old 2nd June 2012, 07:26 AM   #174
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http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/...chenAppliances

RMI link. You'll have to download a pdf file.
Lovins has some TED talks as well.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 09:43 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Guess I missed the links.
Odd that you quoted things I wrote that are rather rational and obvious, with no comment, yet chose to focus on my slowness to provide some links.
I don't get why these issues are so contentious.

Oddly, its our economic systems that prevent investment in fission (as well as redesigning end use applications) because of the need for short term returns on investment.

When our cars doubled their gas mileage, they turned out to be better cars as well. There was no sacrifice.
Not sure why this phenomena cannot be extrapolated upon.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 10:54 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Odd that you quoted things I wrote that are rather rational and obvious, with no comment, yet chose to focus on my slowness to provide some links.
I don't get why these issues are so contentious.

Oddly, its our economic systems that prevent investment in fission (as well as redesigning end use applications) because of the need for short term returns on investment.

When our cars doubled their gas mileage, they turned out to be better cars as well. There was no sacrifice.
Not sure why this phenomena cannot be extrapolated upon.
Because improvement in efficiency isn't a linear function.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 04:03 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Because improvement in efficiency isn't a linear function.
Care to elaborate on that?
I really want to know what I'm missing.
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:19 PM   #178
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I say we switch to 100% solar power right now! I do not suffer fuels gladly.
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:34 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Tricky View Post
I say we switch to 100% solar power right now! I do not suffer fuels gladly.
Look, I understand, it's already Thursday and you hadn't gotten your bad-pun-for-the-week out of the way. Hey, we've all been there.

But don't you think it would have been more considerate to bury it in the middle of some larger post in an active thread, so that many readers would assume it was simply a momentary lapse, or miss it altogether? Maybe some "replay to all" remark in a gaming thread, or an "atheism pulse" reference?

Oh, kewl, now I'm covered for 2 weeks!
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