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Cars EV leaders Europe

Published on November 30th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

358

Top-Selling Cars In Norway Now Electric Cars (Two Months In A Row) — 4 Reasons Why

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November 30th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
For two months in a row, the top-selling car in Norway has been an electric car. (Yes, the #1 best-selling car of any kind was an electric car in both September and October.) Interestingly, it wasn’t the same car. In September, it was the Tesla Model S that led Norwegian auto sales. In October, it was the Nissan Leaf.

Now, there’s a lot of speculation about why Norway is kicking serious ass in electric car sales. Some people think it’s “this,” some think it’s “that,” etc, etc. But can anyone say what it really is?

Well, at EVS 27 in Barcelona last week*, the best presentation that I saw at the whole symposium was one on exactly this topic, which was given by Francisco Carranza, Manager of Corporate Planning at Nissan Europe. Clearly, Nissan is interested in knowing why its Leaf has sold so well in Norway. And it’s also interested in having that level of per capita sales in many more markets. So, it has a good incentive to communicate its best research findings on this matter to as many influential people as possible. I think Francisco really nailed it, and I’ll do my best to share what I learned from that presentation and others (there were a lot of presentations on Norway’s EV success) below and in follow-up posts.

EV leaders Europe

Norway is #2 in Europe in electric vehicle sales.
Slide credit: Francisco Carranza, Manager of Corporate Planning at Nissan Europe.
Photo credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica

Norway Loves Electric Vehicles

But Norway crushes it in market penetration of electric cars, already hitting about 4% of the market (primarily through the availability and sale of just 2 electric car models).
Slide credit: Francisco Carranza, Manager of Corporate Planning at Nissan Europe.
Photo credit: Zachary Shahan / EV Obsession / CleanTechnica


I’m going to jump to the big point right now: while Francisco noted that it was a combination of many important components that has made Norway such a great EV market, he said that the thing that really stands out in Norway is electric vehicle awareness. However, there are some other critical components as well, which he and questioners/commenters brought up. The “big four” which other countries/markets could really try to replicate (at least loosely) include:

1. Electric Vehicle Awareness. Francisco noted that Norway had been working to raise awareness about electric vehicles for 30 years, and the results are clear. A common Norwegian on the street knows what an electric vehicle is and knows which EV models are on the market (unlike the average person in the US). They know about the benefits of EVs. They know about EV incentives. They know where they can charge. And so on and so on. So, Francisco’s biggest recommendation to those working for the EV revolution in other countries was: find ways to raise awareness about electric vehicles!

2. Negative Incentives. This actually came from the Q&A after the presentation. It’s not something Francisco brought up, probably (as the moderator noted) because he represents all of Nissan, which is still trying to sell its gas-powered vehicles as well. But this could potentially be #1, as one commenter in the audience noted. Negative incentives (e.g., taxes) on gasoline-, diesel-, or natural gas–powered vehicles are pretty significant in Norway, more so than perhaps any other country. These negative incentives push people away from dirty vehicle options and push them towards electric vehicles much faster.

most important EV incentives Norway

Norwegian electric car user experiences” study, conducted by Petter Haugneland and Hans Håvard Kvisle of the Norwegian Electric Vehicles Association.

3. Incentives For EVs. Francisco and others did note that Norway has some quite helpful incentives for electric vehicles. It actually doesn’t have rebates or tax credits for EVs (the key incentive used by the US, the UK, France, Spain, and several other countries). However, EVs are exempt from Norway’s rather hefty VAT and sales taxes. Furthermore, what seem to be the biggest incentives for Norwegian EV drivers (based on EV driver surveys) are free access to toll roads and access to bus lanes (see the chart above). Outside of these strong incentives, there are also free parking (ranked quite high in importance), free charging, and free ferry incentives; and a low annual road fee (ranked quite high in importance). However, one of Francisco’s main points was that such incentives are available in many other places, so these don’t explain why Norway is so far ahead of other countries. (Nonetheless, that’s not to say these incentives aren’t super helpful and one of the key building blocks of success.)

4. A Decent EV Charging Infrastructure. Again, this is something that exists in other places, but Norway is certainly one of the leaders on this front. It is building out a pretty good network of EV charging stations. One of the other speakers noted that big EV charging parking lots are prominent right in the center of Oslo — you can’t miss seeing them. (Again, this is actually one of the ways in which awareness about EVs is raised.)

In the Q&A session, I posed a couple questions regarding the importance of 1) what I would call virality as a result of market saturation; and 2) high wealth per capita. Some on the panel (who had also presented on Norway’s EV success) did indicate that they thought that market saturation element was part of the story. (Familiarize yourself with technology adoption curves if you haven’t yet.) Regarding high wealth per capita, Francisco noted that Norwegians made a lot of money but that they also paid high taxes. He also noted that Norwegians weren’t the richest people and there were other nations with high per capita wealth. True, but I think this is still one of the many factors that contribute to Norway’s EV success.

A couple things against Norway, however, are also worth noting. The country is very large, geographically, and spread out. It’s also a very cold country. So, in those respects, it’s surprising that it is a leader on the EV front.

But Norway is a clear leader, so I think other countries would do well to take note of the above 4 points. (#5 is, of course, something that comes about naturally as the market grows; and #6 is something that countries can’t exactly bring about quickly, and they’re constantly looking to bring about anyway).

Any more thoughts on Norway’s electric vehicle success?

*Keep an eye on all my EVS 27 coverage here.

Keep up to date with all the latest electric vehicle insight and news by closely watching our electric vehicle category or by subscribing to our electric vehicle newsletter (it’s free!).

Related Stories:

  1. Wow — Only 22% Of Americans Know About Tesla Model S, Only 31% Familiar With Nissan Leaf
  2. Understanding Electric Car Owners & Potential Electric Car Owners (14 Charts & Tables)
  3. BMW i3 Review (+ VIDEO)
  4. Nissan Leaf vs Volkswagen e-Up! vs BMW i3 (Exclusive EV Reviews)

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



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  • mony
  • Bob_Wallace

    Try to find some commercial activity that hasn’t received government assistance.

    The government constantly picks winners and losers. Every time it makes a purchase, signs a contract.

    Over their first 15 years oil and gas got 5 times what renewables got (in 2010 dollars) and nuclear energy got 10 times as much. (Most of the renewable subsidies went to corn farms for ethanol, not wind, solar and other renewable electricity technologies.)

    Between 1918 and 2009 oil and gas received average annual subsidies of $4.86 billion. (92 x $4.86 billion = $447 billion)

    Between 1947 and 1999 nuclear received average annual subsidies of $3.50 billion. (53 x $3.50 billion = $185.6 billion)

    Between 1980 and 2009 biofuel received average annual subsidies of $1.08 billion. (29 x $1.08 billion = $31 billion)

    Between 1994 and 2009 renewables received average annual subsidies of $0.37 billion. (15 x $0.37 = $5.6 billion)

    http://www.dblinvestors.com/documents/What-Would-Jefferson-Do-Final-Version.pdf

    Renewables received 92% less per year than oil and gas, 89% less than nuclear and 76% less than biofuels. And for many fewer years.

    How have those subsidies paid off? In the last 30 or so years the cost of wind-electricity has dropped from $0.38/kWh to $0.04/kWh. More than a 6x drop. The price of solar panels has fallen from around $100/watt to just above $0.50/watt. Almost a 200x drop.

    As we all know the price of fossil fuels and nuclear just keeps going up. (Aside from a short term drop in the price of natural gas.)

    Try setting aside your libertarian/Tea Party talking points and learn something about what is happening. There’s a major transformation going on in our energy world.

    • ja_1410

      Oh sure. We have best government money can buy. The only time when government should subsidize is the military industrial complex which will not survive in the market. I can see nuclear connection here. Everything else are paybacks to their voting base. Me and you are ending up paying the price weather you voted for a guy or against him by keeping alive business that is either not needed, uneconomical and even could be wasteful. Besides we are talking here of subsidizing so called green energy. Taxing gasoline is not subsidizing new industry but punishing existing one and with it myriad of others that rely on the transportation costs.

  • estoknes

    This article is not dated? Why are there no dates of edits on cleantchnica.com? Or is it only in the URL?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Only URL.

      Request to improve has been made multiple times.

  • http://drjagadeeshncda.blogspot.com/ Anumakonda Jagadeesh

    Very interesting.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  • Sophia

    WBCT is offering you 3 easy steps if you want to sell your car 1: Give your cars registration number 2: We’ll let u know our offer for car 3: We’ll collect your car. >> http://www.webuycarstoday.com/

  • Burnerjack

    For all the reasons for Norway’s embracing EVs, I find interesting that their reliance of readily available Geothermal electric generation was not touched upon. Or did I overlook it?

  • RJ238

    Hahahahaha! Essentially they’re paying people to drive EVs.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sounds like a good idea to me.

  • http://Getgreentv.com/ Jeff Theisen

    Just joining the discussion….I think the incentive most valuable to us in the USA would be No Sale Tax …it would certainly be controversial and could not only raise awareness of the benifit of more Ev to the community but would spark more active involvement by our leaders. Here’s one of my videos about leading communities http://youtu.be/2YaB4miwlcE

  • Calgarystatefarm

    electric cars have not yet taken off in North American to the same extent as Europe

  • Krister Falch

    The reason why electric cars are selling so well in Norway is very simple. All other cars than electrics are heavily taxed in one or several ways. Electric cars are exempt from all of these taxes. Why is this so important ? Well because this means that an electric car is equally priced or cheaper to purchase than a gas/diesel equivalent. So from day one, you’ve already saved money. What makes the electrics even more compelling are free toll roads, free parking in city centers, and free charging etc. So the picture becomes clear really quick.

    I could go out and buy a base Golf for 242 000NOK (2866NOK a month on a 10 year loan) or I could go out and buy a better equipped Nissan Leaf for 229 000NOK (2718NOK a month on a 10 year loan). I would pay about 1500NOK in gas and around 1500NOK in toll road fee a month.

    So on the Golf my monthly cost would be 5866NOK and the Leaf would cost me only 2718NOK, less than half. That is a huge saving, so if I live in a city, why would I even consider a gas/diesel car?

  • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

    i was surprised to see that was the most important incentive according to the EV owners. figured the congestion must be pretty strong.

  • Olav Einervoll

    Interestingly I can tell you that many of the Nissan Leaf sold in France is exported to Norway since the French government subsidise the Nissan Leaf. This means there is a huge amount of second hand Leafs in Norway being sold that is not included in this statistic.

    http://www.connexionfrance.com/France-green-bonus-subsidises-Norway-car-dealers-Nissan-Leaf-15069-view-article.html

    Norway is not subsidising electric cars, but there are almost no taxes on them either.

  • SparkyBtheWonderDog

    Norway as a Northern country has the whole Ant versus the Grasshopper mentality down to an art. Faced with (temporary) hydrocarbon riches from gas and oil, it did a very Nordic/Lutheran thing and put all the money aside for the future (in a huge investment fund, the capital of which is not touchable) for when the oil and gas runs out, instead of tax cuts and lavish spending now. Canada has an echo of that vis a vis the USA (Margaret Atwood EXACTLY captured the fundamental difference in thought, goals, society between cold Canada and hot USA in her tome “Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature”) Taxing choices -now- to get a country where NOTHING WILL CHANGE in the day-to-day when the oil and gas eventually runs out in the future requires discipline and foresight that rarely comes out in a place where making the wrong choice has no consequences. In a cold country, a lack of foresight or a misstep can kill you. Sure, Norway COULD sell gasoline and diesel at a quarter Euro a litre if it wished, instead of the equivalent of about $10.00 US for a US gallon (or about $2.50 US a litre) but there would be nothing left for all the future generations. A Norwegian government minister once said about North Sea oil wealth something like “We have one chance, and only one chance to become a wealthy country. We cannot afford to make a mistake” So, spending money now to get Norwegians out of the fossil-fuel-for-transport business now when they are wealthy makes perfect sense. It is snowing here in my part of Canada, and I have to fill up both cars today with $1.48 a litre diesel and $1.31 a litre gasoline, and I’m glad I slashed my heating oil use 80% by installing solar hot water and solar air heating panels–but complete solar/no heating oil and an electric car/no fossil fuels is starting to look perfectly sensible to me too, even if some Americans don’t twig to it for another decade or two because their fossil fuel prices are so darn low.

  • wally12

    It is interesting that the electric vehicles get all these incentives that are now taxes paid by the gas and oil industry via the owners of gasoline cars. I have a problem with providing incentives for electric cars in that it distorts the actual cost of the vehicles at the expense of gas and oil. I understand that an inventive for some products will help start up industries to compete especially if the government is doing it to increase competitiveness to foreign product costs. However, if these same incentives are allowed to continue for much longer, the nation falls into unintended consequences. This will happen when the electric car sales become the predominate vehicle as more gas is converted to electric. At that point, the government will run out of funds to pay for its roads and other services that now are paid by the gas consumers. Thus, the electric car will require those same high taxes that now are forced on the gas industry users. The other problem with incentives is that the poor pay for a disproportionate amount since they in effect subside the rich who can afford to buy these vehicles without an incentive.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      Correct, although there are some advantages on subsidies, I think that on a long term it is better just to tax gasoline. If gasoline costs $12 per gallon, this not only makes EVs more attractive, but also it encourages conserving gasoline.

      • wally12

        I have a problem with that statement of taxing gas at $12 per gallon. What is your problem with gas? Are you convinced that fossil fuels are detrimental to the environment? At this point in time that has not been proven. Besides, many of the existing gas taxes are meant to act as payment to maintain roads etc. Thus, without gas, then electric cars would be taxed for that same purpose.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ” Are you convinced that fossil fuels are detrimental to the environment? At this point in time that has not been proven.”

          It is well proven to those who believe that the laws of physics are universal.

          It is not proven to those who believe that the universe operates on magic.

          • wally12

            Many scientists state that CO2 has a very insignificant affect on the heating of earth. I believe that is the case. However, you are allowed to hold your own opinion. I realize that those who originally bought the AGW statements have difficulty in changing their opinion. It has happened more than once in the scientific community Einstein had similar problems when he attempted to convince the scientist of his time that gravity could bend light. It wasn’t until years later that he was proven right. In 1913 a human skeleton was found that had a jaw resembling an animal and the scientist stated that it was the missing link. That specimen was called the pilt-down man. His discovery was peer approved and the finding was accepted as true until 1953 when another scientist proved that the jaw was from a wolf. In other words, when a statement is peer reviewed, it doesn’t mean that the science is settled. So, time will tell if you or me are correct. Until then ,have a nice day but don’t expect me to change my mind unless there is more concrete evidence.

          • Bob_Wallace

            *wally12*
            “Many scientists state that CO2 has a very insignificant affect on the heating of earth”

            Essentially zero climate scientists say that.

            I really am not swayed by people talking out of their area of knowledge. I would not ask a podiatrist about a cardiac problem.

            This is a site for discussing renewable energy and cleantech. It is not a site for discussing disbelief in climate science. If you would like to stay on topic you are welcome to stay around. If you want to talk about your problems understanding scientific facts please go elsewhere.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            The jaw bone was from orangutan, not from wolf, obviously, but do not let little anatomic details to distract you! I am sure that you have better understanding on climate science.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Well, you argument fails when you talk about the high taxes places on fuel. $0.18 per gallon on $3.50/gallon gas is not that much.

      That 18 cents doesn’t cover the cost of building and maintaining roads. It certainly isn’t subsidizing EVs.

      When EVs become a significant portion of the vehicle fleet they will pay road use taxes.

      • wally12

        I agree that if electric becomes more predominate then a tax on electric vehicles would occur. However, this article was on Norway where the taxes on gas cars is very high. Thus my original statement stands. Also, I think your $.18 per gallon is not the total federal and state taxes. Regardless the tax is a subsidy for electric cars since those same taxes are not charged to them. Another way to view added taxes on gas is that they hurt the poor and middle class the most since they cannot afford a better mileage car or an electric car so the end result is that tax payers end up subsidizing the poor with more food stamps and other subsidies. I know because I once was very poor but today I am just like many others who own a hybrid vehicle that thanks to the government subsidy, I contributed to the problem of the tax payers who couldn’t afford the same purchase.

        • Bob_Wallace

          $0.18 is federal tax. State taxes vary from state to state. From 8 cents to as much as 53.5 cents.

          Gasoline taxes are a regressive tax.

          • wally12

            Correction , the tax is a proportional one in that the more you drive the more you pay. It becomes a regressive tax when one looks at it from the stand point of food transportation where the poor pay a higher percentage of their wages than a rich person on those taxes. Besides what is wrong with gas taxes as a percent of cost per gallon. Even socialist countries do. Also, That $.53 per gallon plus the federal tax add up to a significant value.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It is regressive in that people with a lower income pay a larger percentage of their income per gallon than do people with higher incomes.

            I gave only federal tax the first time because the right-wing knuckleheads who bring up the tax issue are almost always bitching about federal taxes.

          • wally12

            So what are you really trying to say? That gas taxes should be progressive so that the person who drives up to a gas station with an expensive car pays more for his gas than a guy who drives up with a old car? Are you trying to say that the poor drive more miles per year than a rich person? I already stated that the poor can limit the tax they pay by being prudent with the number of miles they drive. That is not being regressive. It is being intelligent about their budget allowances. Regression has nothing to do with the cost per gallon. It has everything to do with spending money wisely.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I wasn’t trying to say anything other than to properly describe the tax.
            I suspect that the poor drive little more than they have to. I doubt they take for for a long weekend at a distant resort very often.

  • Aksel Isaksen

    And when they reach critical mass, they will be taxed to high hell just like the fuel monsters for the same environmental healthy bullshit they are spewing today.

    • A Real Libertarian

      In English please?

  • John Pombrio

    If the electric vehicle is easier to start in cold weather… How about that Norwegians live in a small country (as long as you do not commute over the arctic circle anyways).

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      This was brought up. The country is indeed very large, and counter to what you might think, there is a lot of long commuting.

  • blank264

    In 50 years they will tell us how horrible electric cars are after the landfills are full of lithium ion batteries.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Why the fuck would you throw out a Lithium-ion battery?

    • ctchrisf

      Why not recycle them?

      • A Real Libertarian

        Because Anti-Greens assume everyone is as stupid as them.

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          haha, one of the best comments i’ve seen in a long time. too true.

    • http://electrobatics.wordpress.com/ arne-nl

      Sorry, to be so blunt, I don’t do that very often: spreading mindless FUD will only make you look dumb.

      Batteries will be recycled. They contain far too much valuable materials to send to a landfill. Toyota already has a $ 200 bounty on the traction battery. An EV battery easily contains upward of $ 1000 of materials (lithium, manganese, nickel, cobalt). You really think they are going to dump that someplace?

  • RSMills

    an all electric society. The installed cost of solar and an EV can be paid for in 5-7 years from energy savings than its free. The average cost per mile of a fossil vehicle is $0.25 for home solar it’s $0.01. We all have multiple cars so range anxiety is a non-issue. Early adopters are proving to the doubters that EV are a practical transportation option.
    .

    • John Pombrio

      Own an electric lawn mower?

      • Zorblax

        My moms used one for the last 15-16 years or so. If this was a question about whether electric lawn mowers are hard to come by?

  • RSMills

    Once we tie solar for our home and transportation into one package then it will jump start the transition to

  • Will E

    waiting for in highway—– induction charge by driving—-
    no limit range for EV

    • Jouni Valkonen

      that is extremely silly idea. It is by far cheaper to make an EV with 1000 km range and 200 kW fast chargers. 200 kW charger gives 600 km extra range in 30 mins.

      • http://electrobatics.wordpress.com/ arne-nl

        Not so silly as you think. It is already being studied.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I wouldn’t call it silly. It’s an interesting idea but not a proven idea. And we certainly don’t have the cost numbers we need to make decisions.

        We don’t know what the cost of higher capacity batteries will be five, ten years from now.

        If batteries don’t get cheap (unlikely) it would make sense to drive ~100 mile EVs and rely on induction charging on long trips. One up side – no charging stops.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          I think that the operation costs (not including investment costs) of inductive charging road is more than the capital cost of 85 kWh Tesla Model E.

          Therefore, even if batteries do not improve, inductive charging does not make much sense.

          I would label it to the same category as hydrogen EVs. Good idea until you calculate the price for hydrogen. It is not even necessary to calculate the capital costs of 100 kW fuel cell, hydrogen filling infrastructure and hydrogen generation plants, to see that hydrogen economy does not make sense.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “I would label it to the same category as hydrogen EVs. Good idea until you calculate the price for hydrogen.”

            We don’t have a price for induction charging, we do for hydrogen.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We don’t know the cost of wiring the road. Wiring cars for inductive charging can’t be very expensive since we are already doing that.

            Would wiring the roads be as expensive or more expensive than installing rapid chargers along our highways?

            On the average day no more than 2% of cars drive more than 70 miles. Would it cost more or less to pack all EVs with 200, 300 mile range batteries or wire the road?

            We simply can’t answer that question at this time.

  • rkt9

    If modern Norwegians are anything like my Norwegian/American father, they spend exhaustive hours researching anything they buy. After he makes a decision on what he wants, he uses his charm and negotiating skills to obtain the best price. If EV’s in Norway are leading the market, there is only one simple reason, they provide the best overall value!

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      These points did cross my mind. :D

  • Magnus Larsen

    As a norwegian citizen:
    The main reason that electric cars are so popular in my country, is because of the major tax difference between gas powered vehicles and electric powered vehicles. The Tesla Model S costs about 100-120k dollars in Norway, and the car is comperable to the bmw 5 series, which costs 50%+ more.

    Another reason that we are buying electric vehicles is because of the advantage that you get when you are out on the road. If you drive electric cars, then you can drive with the buses and taxis, and this is saving you A LOT of time during rush hour.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Indeed, the survey noted above (where that 3rd image is from) indicates the same, just in reverse order.

  • JamesWimberley

    Culture must be important. Partly from the Lutheran heritage, partly from living in a cold climate that forces interdependence for survival, Nordics tend to be quite conformist by international standards. In Norway, sustainability has become part of the common set of values. The term really only entered mainstream politics in 1987 with the UN report of a UN commission chaired by Gro Brundtland – who was then Prime Minister of Norway.

  • RayZ

    So basically they are super subsidized by the goverment.

  • BK Sharma

    Can someone give reason on why BYD EV cars are not given coverage, although they being a major player when it comes to %age EV’s share in the planet?

    • Jouni Valkonen

      What are the sales figures of BYD EV? To my knowledge BYD e6 weights two and half tons and it is priced close to Model S base price.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Heavy and expensive. Not being sold much except to taxi fleets.

      They seem to make great taxis. Drivers are putting lots of miles on them with apparently few, if any, problems. But it takes very high annual mileage to make them a good financial choice.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      if they make it to the top, i guarantee they’ll get coverage. no prejudice here.

  • Doland

    I think there is one more rather important reason that the EV use has grown much lately, and that is that the new EV actually looks like normal cars.
    Traditionally EV looks small and ugly, and people would feel embarrassed to drive around in them.
    Now we have EV like nissan leaf and the tesla, these are good looking EV and therefore people can drive them without being ashamed.

    It also helps a lot that the Tesla S is an affordable “sports car”. Whit all the high car taxes is Norway its impossible for people with a average wage to afford something close to a new sports car. Whit the Tesla these people can afford a brand new “sports car”, and they also gets all the benefits that comes whit it.

  • Niels de Wit

    Two other reasons for high electric vehicle sales numbers are: (1) Norwegians are rich as hell and (2) electricity is very cheap in Norway thanks to all the hydropower. I only wander if all these electric vehicles will perform well in the cold Norwegian climate.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      It is always possible to have ethanol burning auxiliary heater if freezing temperatures are limiting the utility of battery ev.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Volvo already offers this feature. Ethanol heaters to warm batteries and passengers.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          Yes, too bad that Volvo could not make C30 EV as economically viable car and they had to cancel the production.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      I noted #1 in the article. Regarding #2, it’s very cheap a lot of place, and electric motors are very efficient. I’m sure it helps, but it’s not that unique, is it?

  • Ryan .

    I think Norway actually has a decent rail transport system for long-range transport, negating the benefits of gas cars.

    • Zorblax

      The amusing thing is that we have an even better airline system. For getting myself home to christmas 500km across half the country it is cheaper or costs as much to fly as to take the train (the usual low prices range in between 30 – 50 usd if you don’t order to late, though the train prices tend to be closer to 50). Unless you need them cars aren’t really considered for long range transport, and unless your student budget really sucks you afford yourself the extra 20 usd to not take a bus for 6+ hours.

  • tibi stibi

    what i find interesting is that there are many brands which all get a fair share of the market.
    which makes good competition and is a sign of a mature market. :D

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      And, actually, several EV models are yet to make it to the Norwegian market. Expect 2014 to be an interesting year there! I’ll be watching it closely. :D

  • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

    Petrol (gasoline) is $9.68 per gallon in Norway.

    Unlike in the U.S. and Canada, where the gasoline price is heavily subsidized by the governments, most European nations sell gasoline at the unsubsidized price, or only slightly subsidized.

    http://www.expatistan.com/price/gas/oslo/USD (this price is per 1/4 gallon, so multiply it by 4).

    Check the similar Germany, France, UK petrol prices.

    I think that once electric cars became reliable, mainstream transportation, switching to them became a no-brainer.

    And, think of all the national health-care savings, once most of the cars and trucks are no longer spewing diesel exhaust (a favourite fuel in Europe) or petrol exhaust.

    It is a win-win for all concerned.

    Cheers, JBS

    • Bob_Wallace

      I don’t think you’ve got your facts straight, John Brian.

      Look into fuel tax rates in Europe.

      • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

        Taxes are different than subsidies Bob.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Yes they are, John Brian.

          Now with that knowledge under your belt you might wish to study up on European fuel tax policies.

          • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Good grief man, get a life.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve got a life. I’m trying to gift you with a clue.

          • ctchrisf

            You do realize how much we subsidize the Oil industry here right? They pay no corporate taxes. WE give them land to Drill, we go to war to secure oil supply. We sell them weapons to allow drilling rights over there.

            Yes they are taxed at the pump, Our tax payers subsidize them way before that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, I do realize how much we subsidize oil companies.

            However, that oil is sold into the open market. The subsidies do not directly lower the price of fuel in the US. To the extent those subsidies and wars cut the cost of oil, they cut the price of oil for every purchaser in the world who gets their oil from the market.

            We do not use taxpayer money to make oil cheaper for people who live in the US.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            I wonder how much gasoline would cost in United States, if oil companies had to do the warring thing in Iraq and Middle East by themselves?

          • A Real Libertarian

            Low gas tax = low carbon tax.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It’s one of the ways a carbon tax could be imposed.

            But it’s not a good way. It would be a regressive tax – one that harmed people with the lowest income because they would pay at the same rate as higher income individuals. Also, raising fuel taxes slows the economy.

          • A Real Libertarian

            A low gas tax is a subsidy in the same way as a low carbon tax is.

            By making other people pay for cleaning up your mess.

      • http://electrobatics.wordpress.com/ arne-nl

        Bob, I have to disagree with you there. The absence of any substantial taxes on petrol in the US amounts to a hidden subsidy. The cost of maintaining infrastructure, paying for health care (also for accident victims), etc. can never be covered by auto-specific taxes and thus are payed for from general taxes. The high petrol taxes in Europe can be seen as a very elegant and simple variable road tax: You drive more, you pay more. You drive a heavier vehicle (more damage to road), you pay more. You pollute more, you pay more.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I live in a state in which one must carry insurance coverage in order to drive your car. That takes care of the accident victim issue. Other states may face taxpayer costs if they allow people to drive without insurance.

          And I live in a state in which one pays more to register (annually) for larger, less efficient cars. Plus we do have both federal and state taxes levied on each gallon sold. This means heavier, less efficient vehicles pay more per mile.

          I can see your argument that we should maintain all road infrastructure with fuel taxes. That we don’t may be a small indirect subsidy.

          I’m not familiar with how European fuel taxes are spent. I do know that in Germany a significant portion of electricity tax goes to government general funds, not to anything related to electricity. Is it the case in Europe (sure, countries differ) that 100% of fuel taxes go to road construction/maintenance and accident victims?

    • MikeSmith866

      John:
      In British Columbia (Canada) they have a tax on gas of $30 per ton which works out to about 40 cents per gallon. Gas costs just $4 per gallon but the plan in British Columbia is to increase the carbon tax by $5 per year, so people can see the trend.

      I don’t think it has lead to a big increase in EV car purchases but people are buying more efficient cars and reducing their fuel consumption.

      We don’t have many toll roads in Canada but I think this would influence people’s behaviour just like High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. Deals that help your daily driving may not be totally economic, just getting a deal can shift people’s thinking.

      As mentioned in the article, people have a concern about running out of battery on long trips. As battery charging stations become more prevalent this concern should disappear.

      For sure if we had gas prices at $10 per gallon, there would be a much greater interest in EV cars.

      • Bob_Wallace

        EVs are too new and ranges are too low for sales to be rocketing.

        We have to get a few hundred thousand on the roads so that people who don’t pay attention on line/in print learn what they are.

        We need ranges to improve so that more are sold which will cause price decreases.

        When we get past the familiarity and range/cost issue the price of gas will push people into EVs. It won’t take $10/gallon fuel.

        • MikeSmith866

          Bob:
          In another month it will be 2014 and a year after that it will be 2015 when we have to start reducing our global carbon emissions by 5% per year.

          Transportation causes 27% of the emissions in the US. The biggest source is the power plants at 40%.

          A tax on carbon emissions provides a united disincentive against all forms of carbon emissions – power plant, transportation, heating, cooling, industrial.

          Obama has enough problems with Health Care right now and a Republican Party that is even more intransigent.

          But if the Democrats could win a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014, then there is still a possibility of introducing a Federal Carbon Tax which would help balance the budget as well.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t put any hope in carbon taxes. If they happen, that’s great.

            I think it more likely we will make our major cuts in carbon emission via cheap wind and solar and by EVs replacing ICEVs. I suspect technology will move faster than the government.

  • http://MrEnergyCzar.com/ MrEnergyCzar

    99.99 % of their grid being hydro is incredible and EV’s are a no brainer when gas is $10 per gallon….

    • Jouni Valkonen

      EVs are too range limited, therefore they are not no brainers. The case of Norway proofs that modern EVs are incompetent due to too short range, because less than 10 % of cars sold there are EVs.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Here’s a new technology that’s about three years old and you’re criticizing it because it has yet to dominate the market?

        Are you old enough to remember how limited and expensive the first desktops were? Cell phones? Digital cameras?

        • Jouni Valkonen

          Yes, when the EV technology matures the range, acceleration, top cruising speed and charging rate will improve.

          My first cell phone did not have even a camera and now my cell phone has 41 megapixel camera. This kind of evolution is expected also in electric vehicles.

          • Alf

            lol u must be 12

          • Jouni Valkonen

            judging from your lol-speak you are much older. At least 14 if not 15 years old.

        • jibrilmudo

          Electric cars are over 100 years old. And their range is tied directly to battery capacity. Batteries technology has certainly been studied thouroughly as they touch all facets of our life the last century, so this isn’t some new area that just needs more eyeballs to find an obvious flaw and solution to an underlooked problem. Which isn’t to say there won’t be advances, just not to expect sudden and steady uptick in performance as with computers in the last 50 years.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Electric

          • Jouni Valkonen

            electric vehicles are old technology, but lithium batteries are new technology and their price performance follows Swanson’s law:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swanson's_law

          • jibrilmudo

            Lithium batteries are old:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_battery#Lithium_and_lithium-ion_batteries

            And tbh I don’t like them very much. In my experience, they tend to die fast in the casual power tools I have, within a year or two.

            It’s nano where batteries have promise for advancement, so you can take stories such as this to heart, but as I seen with countless other promising research, don’t believe it until you can buy it on store shelves:
            http://www.techspot.com/news/52286-porous-electrode-batteries-2000x-more-powerful-charge-1000x-faster-30x-smaller.html

          • A Real Libertarian

            Lithium-ion prototype first built in 1985 or 28 years ago.

            Digital computer prototype first built in 1943 or 70 years ago.

            According to my math that would make current day Lithium-ion tech equivalent to 1971 Digital computer tech.

          • jibrilmudo

            You’re comparing the advent of an all new invention with that of a different type of battery. Seems like a false analogy. If you want to feel better, compare a lithium battery to the advent of a Risc processor or something.

            Better yet, look at this graph:

            http://www.akbars.net/images/battery%20energy%20density.png

            From 1990 to now, we did a little more than double battery density, despite demand from notebooks (released 1990), smartphones, and all that mobile tech.

            In fact, we’ve done a much better job making the devices more efficient, making screens less hungry with LED lighting, making mobile chips, etc.

            Problem is one can’t do the same with electric cars. Electric motors are already close to peak theoretical efficiency, creature comforts like heating are also near 100% (though insulation may see a big improvement if stuff like aerogel ever comes down in price), and maybe AC will see an improvement. But the biggest factor, moving, is going to take the energy it will take unless people buy more streamlined cars. One such car was the Aptera, very streamlined. Unfortunately, people did not bite, so we’re stuck with moving these clunkers around that look sporty, but aren’t especially slick aerodynamics wise.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “You’re comparing the advent of an all new invention with that of a different type of battery”

            Digital computers were not an “all new invention” they were an improvement on analog computers which had a long history.

            Energy Density improvements are useless unless they become cheap enough to use.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            You are frustrating, the energy density of EV batteries is already sufficient. Tesla battery pack weights only 550 kg and that is as light weight as BMW M5′s drivetrain.

            The only thing let to improve is to improve cycle life, power density and cost per kWh. Not too long ago the cost of lithium batteries was $2000 per kWh. Today Tesla buys them at $200 per kWh.

            That is already ten fold improvement and it should be possible still to get another ten fold improvement before we find the limits of lithium battery technology.

            If we want to build electric airplanes, then also the energy density must improve considerably. But for current day EV, the energy density is already high enough.

          • jibrilmudo

            Why are you being frustrated? I just consider this a discussion, not some type of debate which either side has to win.

            “You are frustrating, the energy density of EV batteries is already sufficient. Tesla battery pack weights only 550 kg…”

            Depends for what purpose and 1200 lbs (550kg) is a lot, every drop in weight will help in efficiency.

            As a daily driver for a commuter sedan, yes, current EVs are okay. But for extended driving, for a pickup hauling stuff up hills or using the car as an all day tool, not really.

            Plus that 1200lbs of battery costs a lot of money, more than an entire new Honda Civic probably, which would affect adoption in a country like America.

            Personally, I think a series hybrid, pretty much the system in diesel electric trains the last 70 years, where you have electric motors powered by battery charged by a combustion engine would have made the most sense. In that case, you could minimize the size of the battery (say 5-10mi range) and make the engine super small (it only has to have enough power/size to supply slightly above average load, instead of peak acceleration). That way the ICE can be tiny, with no affect on acceleration or range and takes into account current infrastructure while allowing the owner to drop in anything rather economically and without much hassel (a diesel engine, or NG engine, whatever). Heat would also stay “free” (electric heat is expensive energy wise) for those cold climates.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Plus that 1200lbs of battery costs a lot of money, more than an entire new Honda Civic probably, which would affect adoption in a country like America.”

            You really think it’s going to stay that expensive?

            Swanson’s Law applies to Li-ion too.

          • ToastyFlake

            I wish battery technology accelerated as fast as computer technology.

          • Dan Hue

            Your point that “battery technology has been studied thoroughly” is like saying that windmills had been thoroughly studied by the Dutch in the middle ages. Recent battery advances have relied on fundamental knowledge in materials science and nano technology that simply did not exist a few decades ago, let alone 100 years.

          • jibrilmudo

            From a size of blade to point of use, do we get a magnitude of an order more energy from windmills today compared to the middle ages?

            Look at the graph supplied, batteries only about doubled in capacity since 1990, despite drive to have more more more in portable computers, phones, music players, and other devices. Capacity affects how affordable those devices are as well as how they are designed and what we can use them for.

            I’m all for hope, but resting plans on unbridled optimism is stupid. It’s like all those flying cars science magazines in the 1950s predicted for the year 2000.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Battery capacity is irrelevant.

            It’s good enough for what’s necessary now.

            All this “we need a breakthrough” denier BS isn’t going to change that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes. And no.

            The modern era of electric cars is only three or so years old.

        • Matthew11

          Exactly the first portable cell phones had about a 30 minute talk and a 3-6 hours standby time, before that they were luggage cases weighing in at over 70 pounds a crude technology at best. People don’t realise it all depends on what you use your vehicle for, I commute 97.4 km a day to work, I live in an area powered by Hydro and gas is 1,40+ per litre. I get to charge at work but even without it I can manage the distance, if barely, the charging at work prevents me from deep discharges every day. I spend less than $1.40 per work day on electricity. I only have to take it in for service at a cost of $50.84 once a year and I have an 8 year warrenty on a vehicle that will pay for the cost of gas and maintenance in 3 years given my usage. Not everyone will see that kind of saving, but let’s say I have to go out of my range, there are either public charging stations or I can rent a car for less than I would pay a week for gas, either way I end up far ahead for something that comes up less than once a year for me. Vacations, I drive an older motorhome rather than buying a gas guzzler to use as my commuter. It all depends on how the math works out for you, if you can live with it it’s very freeing not to ever go to a gas station again.

      • Matt

        250 miles is too short of a range? 0-60 in 4 seconds is too slow? Please familiarize yourself with the Model S, not just the Leaf.

        • A Real Libertarian

          Jouni thinks everyone drives 160 Mph everywhere.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Yes, I think that in 2030′s common top cruising speed will be about 300 km/h. This is the power of electricity.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          Tesla can only deliver 100 cars per month into Norway. The queue is something close to one year. As Tesla is seriously production limited at least two more years, it cannot make big difference in Norway.

          BMW i3 is even worse on supply side: annual production for global markets is only 10k.

          And Nissan & Renault EVs are seriously range limited.

          • http://electrobatics.wordpress.com/ arne-nl

            I can post the same link to you again. http://nypost.com/2013/11/06/tesla-shares-plunge-on-battery-shortage/

            According to the article, battery supply should improve next year already, not in 2016 as you seem to claim.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Tesla is not battery supply limited, but car supply limited. Investing new car factories is expensive. Volkswagen just invested over 100 billion on vehicle manufacturing. Tesla does not have this kind of cash available although I would think that Tesla’s investment need by 2018 is several hundred billion.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If things continue going as well as they have for Tesla there will be no shortage of funds to expand.

            “Hundreds of billions” is likely an exaggeration.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            The demand for Model E, truck and 3-gen SUV is about 20 million cars annually. It is not exaggeration. The demand for Model S is over 200 000 annually.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There is no Model E. If/when there is and people want to buy one in sufficient numbers then Tesla, the company, will grow.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            There is no Model E exactly because Tesla does not have enough cash to finance car factories. Tesla needs to sell first highly profitable Model S cars in order to get cash to finance Model E development and manufacturing.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Excuse me?

            Have you seen what Tesla stock is selling for?

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Tesla stock assumes about 400k cars sold in 2017 or 2018. And highest gross margins in industry.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Tesla has the factory capacity, it is limited by certain suppliers, especially Panasonic. This is well known public information for those who follow the company, but here are a couple links if you want them:

            http://evobsession.com/top-statements-chuckles-from-elon-musk-in-q2/

            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/05/tesla-financial-results-q3-2013-live-blog/

          • Jouni Valkonen

            This is short term supply problem. Not long term. Panasonic agreed to deliver at least 1.8 billion cells. But there is options for more if Tesla can ramp up the production faster than this.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Completely agree.

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Jouni, electric cars have just entered the market. How many EV models are now there? Of course, as the market moves from an embryo stage to more mature stages, the % of sales will grow tremendously. We’re just at the beginning.

        If they were such a poor choice, growth wouldn’t be jumping in the country.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          And as EVs are at embryonic stage, their range is still too short. But this will change, when Tesla delivers Model E with 300–500 km range.

          There is also rumors that Nissan might deliver longer range vehicle quite soon. It would be a best selling car at least in Norway.

          • Bob_Wallace

            And there is well-founded rumor that GM is testing Envia’s battery. If it works as claimed then EVs would have about 2.9x their current range with the same weight battery.

            We’re still in the 5.25″ floppy disc stage of EVs. We’re waiting for hard drives to be invented.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            If Envia batteries work as claimed, this would accelerate the progress of energy technology at least 20 years.

            Envia batteries are welcome for electric aviation and free solar energy! The whole energy and transportation sector would be revolutionized.

    • Martin

      Gas prices have nothing to do with increasing use of EV’s.You can buy about 3-5 gallons of gas working only one hour!

      • A Real Libertarian

        And when you can buy 50 E-Gallons for that same hour?

  • Jouni Valkonen

    It is quite clear that incentives are just huge in Norway. But I think that the most important reason why incentives are so lucrative there, is because they understand that Norwegian wealth and huge living standard is mostly based on exporting oil rather than burning it on highways.

    Also they have overproduction of hydroelectric power, this helps also.

    • Ken Barker

      That’s just not true.
      Everything is expensive here, and we are always looking for ways to save money. Gas is just ridiculously high prised. The norwegian people are heavy bargain hunters on things that we have to pay on a daily basis for so we can then splurge on other things like travel, home equipment etc.

      The incentives play a MASSIVE part in why we buy electric cars.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        the point was not to ponder why Norwegians buy electric vehicles, but why the incentives are so prominent there.

        It is better for the economy to export oil rather than self-consume it. Therefore economic interests are stronger explanatory factor than ‘green thinking’.

      • Commodent

        Everything is expensive, because everyone earns a shitload of money. See the connection?

        • Ken Barker

          That is not true at all. If that was, then why is everyone so poor in USA? Shouldn’t your paychecks be balanced according to the costs?

          • dustin

            Are you not from America? cuz ya, that’s a huge issue to people here, executive to plebeian pay ratio is and has been out of control and rising for like my whole life ( I’m 24)

        • mmolsen

          Hi, sitting in oslo and agree with you…

      • ja_1410

        And that is exactly the reason. Make gas ridiculously expensive and people will buy alternative and deal with inconvenience. However this is not a free market economics and not really a free choice of better solution, but government steered market. Some call it socialism. It delivers socially more expensive solution in effect making humanity poorer.

        • A Real Libertarian

          “However this is not a free market economics and not really a free choice of better solution, but government steered market. Some call it socialism. It delivers socially more expensive solution in effect making humanity poorer.”

          Like banning slavery? That delivered a socially better solution and make America richer.

          • ja_1410

            Slavery existed for literally thousands of years because it was the most economical system at the time. The early capitalism made it less economical and that is the main reason why it disappeared.

          • A Real Libertarian

            No, that was commie Lincoln using big government to violate the property rights of the southern plantation aristocrats.

          • ja_1410

            Whatever label you want to attach to Lincoln, the main reason he succeeded was ,that the North economy thanks to more modern economical system was stronger than south.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “the main reason he succeeded was ,that the North economy thanks to more modern economical system was stronger than south.”

            And how do you think that happened?

          • ja_1410

            Industrial era invented in Britain. That is BTW why Britain was first and strongest opponent of slavery at the time, British Navy introduced Atlantic maritime patrols to capture slave ships and free their captives long before Lincoln. Finally society could afford to be ‘more moral’. However moral never really drives humanity.The quick rise of China to become the strongest economy in the world within next 20-50 years is quickly challenging “moral” libertarian model of the West.

          • A Real Libertarian

            And how do countries industrialize?

            Oh, China brings up the very interesting point… colonialism.

            Just as bad as slavery.

          • ja_1410

            “Bad” is an opinion that is using certain moral code. Abortion is “bad” by many moral codes and it is thriving. Colonialism was economical for a few hundred years and flourished therefore. It become outdated and less economical. The era of Western ideals is now coming to an end to be replaced by raising Asian eastern models.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Western ideals”?

            You mean protectionism? Swearing fealty to the Pope? Buddhism?

            What does “Western ideals” mean?

            Oh, and Colonialism has always been profitable.

            The European Powers were just bankrupt and ruined by the World Wars, which incidentally, were inflamed by Colonialism.

          • ja_1410

            Swearing to the Pope is in a poorer western countries that were actually late to the capitalism. The richer ones are on paper protestant, but in reality pagan. Western ideals recently are democracy, free markets and even more recently more and more socialism fueled by Marks theories.

            Profitable does not mean the most efficient. Germany and USA become regional powers despite having very little colonies in comparison to Spain, France or Great Britain.

            Wars existed long before colonialism on every continent. If colonialism ruined Europe by causing wars that only proves my point that economically it turned out to be outdated and has been replaced by new system that does not lead to the ruining war. It seems that socialism is the leading model for western civilization these days.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Belgium is Catholic and they industrialized way earlier then the Netherlands.

            Again what does “Western ideals” mean? Protectionism? Buddhism? Swearing fealty to the Pope?

          • ja_1410

            Britain is not catholic and industrialized before Belgium.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually, as someone who has spent a fair amount of time in Asia over the last 30+ years, I’d say Asia is quickly adopting western models.

          • ja_1410

            Right. I see democracy flourishing in China.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that big oil money drives government decisions?

          • ja_1410

            Goverment decisions are driven by strong will to win next election.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Goverment decisions are driven by strong will to win next election.”
            But even more by currying the favor of the powerful.
            How else do you explain Hoover?

          • ja_1410

            You curry to the favor of those who help you win the next election. It is very simple. Big oil interests were often aligned with society interests. What was good for General Motors at the time truly was good for America. That is why America become world power. It was Henry Ford who created rich, influential middle class that the world has never seen before.

            It is big unions, big green movement, big pharma, big movie industry, big media these days that help you win elections way more than big oil.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “It is big unions, big green movement, big pharma, big movie
            industry, big media these days that help you win elections way more than big oil.”

          • ja_1410

            Yes

          • A Real Libertarian

            Prove it.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “It was Henry Ford who created rich, influential middle class that the world has never seen before.”

            New Deal.

          • ja_1410

            Sure.

          • A Real Libertarian

            I’m glad you acknowledge the New Deal made the middle class.

          • ja_1410

            Nonsense. New deal extended the depression and US needed WWII to finally stop it. The middle class was made by industrial America and mostly by automobile industry.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “New deal extended the depression and US needed WWII to finally stop it.”

            How does that make sense at all?

            Let me try:

            Dialysis extended the Kidney failure and I needed a transplant to be cured.

          • ja_1410

            Why don’t you go help implementing “New Deal” in sub-Saharan Africa ? I’m sure, you will be successful there in creating vibrant middle class and finally you will solve poor Africa problem. You will become historical hero. They will be building monuments of you all around the world.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Perhaps you’re one of those people who think sub-Saharan Africa is a country rather than a collection of countries, some of which are moving along quite well.

            Now let’s get back to the topics appropriate to this site.

          • ja_1410

            Yeah. People are emigrating there in droves. They are about to vote illegal immigrants out of their countries. But to some extent those countries should bring smile to your face. Theay are using mostly renewable energy – they are burning wood.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Renewable energy is doing a great job of reducing energy poverty in the third world.

            The entirety of the Washington Consensus must be killed in order for sub-Saharan Africa to industrialize.

          • ja_1410

            Energy always ids doing good job raising people out of poverty. The cheaper the energy is the better.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Energy always ids doing good job raising people out of poverty. The cheaper the energy is the better.”
            So renewables?

          • ja_1410

            The cheapest energy in most areas or the world are still fossil fuels.Few lucky countries have sufficient hydro, geothermal or wind energy that is economically more viable. Most of the heavily industrialized countries do not have those conditions. Many poor countries do not have those either however they also have hard time to afford even fossil fuels.

          • A Real Libertarian

            The why are Third World countries going all in on renewable energy?

            And why is wind the cheapest source of electricity in America today?

          • ja_1410

            They cannot afford to buy coal or oil. Burning local wood turn out to be cheaper.

            Regarding America. Sure. Wind is cheap in North Dakota. Sad there is very little industry or population there. Try Michigan or Ohio. See how many plants you can run on wind.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “They cannot afford to buy coal or oil. Burning local wood turn out to be cheaper.”

            So if they can’t afford to coal or oil why are they buying solar, wind and geothermal?

            “Regarding America. Sure. Wind is cheap in North Dakota. Sad there is very little industry or population there. Try Michigan or Ohio. See how many plants you can run on wind.”

            The average PPA for wind is $0.04/kWh, it doesn’t get cheaper then that for new power.

          • ja_1410

            When strong wind blows that maybe true. Assuming you don’t have to pay millions tin fines for killed birds like recently one of the wind farms was forced to do by animal rights group. You guys on the left seems to have conflicting strategies.

            Anyway, guess how much it cost to restart a plant that lost power due to temporary lack of wind. Pray that it was not a steel mill. Not mentioning that most of the industrialized areas don’t even have sufficient solar or wind. Like I said, South Dakota has cheap wind. They build wind farms there. Iceland has cheap geothermal and industry is happy to respond. However those who are not so lucky to have sufficient wind, or other green – and that is most of the industrialized world, are choosing fossil fuels or nuclear.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The one or two wind farms that are killing endangered species will have to solve that problem.

            Since coal kills 35x more birds than wind per GWh electricity produced it’s a matter of going with the least harmful technology.

            You have no clue as to the amount of fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable generation being built.

            In fact, you’re pretty clueless in general.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you know that in the US we actually move electricity from one state to another? Do you know, for example, electricity generated with hydro power in Oregon is shipped all the way to Southern California?

            We can do that incredible thing.

            Do you realize that there is enormous wind potential over the Great Lakes? Do you know that Michigan and Ohio are both adjacent to some of those lakes?

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s a dumb statement. It shows that you do not understand the cost of building a new fossil fuel plant.

            Oops. Statements. It also shows you that you don’t understand wind resources.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You clearly don’t know your history. The programs begun by the Roosevelt administration begin lifting the US out of the depression and then people became overly concerned about inflation and cut back on those programs which shoved the economy back down. It took the War to cancel out the harm created by conservatives.

          • ja_1410

            I took the industry build for war to end depression and make people rich.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So Big Government?

          • ja_1410

            No, big industry builds rich middle class. However big industry is not sufficient. It also has to be free market capitalism. Big industry build by Soviet Russia Big Government brought unbelievable poverty and environmental disaster to the world.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So you’re claiming that the government had nothing to do with building factories during World War II and the average Soviet citizen was poorer in 1991 then 1921?

          • ja_1410

            Compare average Soviet citizen to German citizen in the same time period. Of course, you can always claim that Russians are genetically more stupid than Germans. You seem to be blaming rich white man for all world problems so clearly you have racist world view.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Compare average Soviet citizen to German citizen in the same time period.”

            Soviets improved faster, but not enough to close the gap. Russian life has always sucked.

          • ja_1410

            What a sad joke. You should tell that to the Ukrainians especially in 1920′s. You have no clue what you talking about. Since your knowledge of Soviet Russia is anecdotal, please, explain me how come East Germany and West Germany ended up so different ? Basically the same nation, same cultural roots, same industrial level at the start. Why the hell East Germans wanted to leave their paradise ?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “You should tell that to the Ukrainians especially in 1920′s”

            What happened in the 20s?

          • A Real Libertarian

            P.S. Still claiming that the government had nothing to do with building factories during World War II?

          • ja_1410

            I didn’t said that. I said, that it is private industry that pulls people out of poverty. In fact after the war without Big Government “influence” the raise of quality of life for average American was even faster. Can government make things better ? sure they can. Especially with less regulation. That was nicely demonstrated by Ronald Reagan administration. But that would be contrary to your “Big Government” socialist beliefs.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You: “I took the industry build for war to end depression and make people rich.”

            Me: “So Big Government?”

            You: “No, big industry builds rich middle class. However big industry is not sufficient. It also has to be free market capitalism.”

            Me: “So you’re claiming that the government had nothing to do with building factories during World War II”

            You: [Dodges]

            Me: “Still claiming that the government had nothing to do with building factories during World War II?”

            You: “I didn’t said that. I said, that it is private industry that pulls people out of poverty.”

            Me: …

          • ja_1410

            Don’t cry. It’s not the end of the world to learn that socialism leads to poverty. It is proven many times by history.

          • A Real Libertarian

          • A Real Libertarian

            “In fact after the war without Big Government “influence” the raise of quality of life for average American was even faster. Can government make things better ? sure they can. Especially with less regulation. That was nicely demonstrated by Ronald Reagan administration. But that would be contrary to your “Big Government” socialist beliefs.”

            So 90% tax rates are not big government and a quadrupled national debt and crumbling infrastructure raises quality of life?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Did you enjoy the Great Recession of 2008?

            If so, thank Reagan for talking us into fewer regulations.

          • ja_1410

            I blame Democrats for creating pressure on Banks to allow housing financing for people who never should have been given a loan. Another useless Big Government regulation that lead to disaster. Now you can thank Obama for the recession that is quickly becoming the longest lasting in US history.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Oh right, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, it caused the great recession by interfering in the free market.

            What, you want to know why it took 30 years and how it did that when the loans make under had a lower default rate then other loans?

            It’s very simple, it caused the great recession via shut up hippie.

          • ja_1410

            It’s equally nonsensical as blaming Reagan 20 years after he left WH especially after phenomenal success of rebuilding US economy after disastrous Carter years. Clearly recession was caused by housing loans that were politically correct but economically nonsensical for the banks and that is the area where Democrats happen to take leadership. Party of “community organizers” and “socially responsible” activists. No surprise that in comparison to Obama many people started missing Bush II.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “It’s equally nonsensical as blaming Reagan 20 years after he left WH especially after phenomenal success of rebuilding US economy after disastrous Carter years.”

            Reagen changed the political climate away from big government. He also quadrupled the debt.

            “Clearly recession was caused by housing loans that were politically correct but economically nonsensical for the banks and that is the area where Democrats happen to take leadership.”

            Clearly the recession was caused by adorable puppies not being kicked enough. You can say something was clearly caused by something else, now that don’t necessarily make it so.

            If that was true why did loans made under the Community Reinvestment Act have a lower default rate? Might it be because the act had regulations in place to prevent the kind of bankster thievery like what actually caused the crash?

          • ja_1410

            “Reagan changed the political climate away from big government”

            True

            . “He also quadrupled the debt.”

            False.

            He did raised the debt but nowhere near “quadrupled”. It cost money to win the Cold War with the Soviet Empire. Speaking of public debt however nobody can match even close what Obama did. This is not a secret knowledge. You can Google US public debt easily to see it for yourself. The only problem with Obama is that we won absolutely nothing. Quite contrary, we seem to be folding to China. O yeah, I almost forgot.Obama saved General Motors to produce this abomination of the car – Chevy Volt. The disguised Chevrolet Cruze at twice the price for bunch of naive posers with too much money to spent. But even this wasn’t enough to sell the car. He had to force poor people to pay for it in “tax credits” for those few rich posers.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You don’t count Bush 41 as an extension of Reagan? OK then he tripled it.

            So apparently you support sending money to the Saudis?

          • ja_1410

            I don’t think we buy coal from Saudi Arabia. Regarding oil we buy most of it from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.
            Regarding Saudi Arabia do you hate Arabs specifically or Muslims in general ?

          • A Real Libertarian

            How do you run a gasmobile off of coal?

            P.S. Reagan tripled the debt, your response?

          • ja_1410

            My response: no he did not. If you plan adding selected Republican presidents to get any twisted number you should include Eisenhower and you will find out, that debt under even George W Bush did not exceeded what Eisenhower inherited from the great “New Deal” president. Only Obama exceeded it. However in defense of Roosvelt and Regan at least they both won conflicts with major global superpowers. Obama will ruin the country for nothing.
            You run most electric cars on coal. My response was more general about generating energy in US. Oil is only part of it.

            Total energy produced including transportation in US consists of:

            36 % oil
            26 % natural gas
            21 % coal
            10 % nuclear
            1 % hydro
            4 % biofuel / waste
            1 % geothermal / solar / wind

            But we know that US is a backward country run by Bible loving ignorant politicians.

            So here is the economical leader of enlighten EU, Germany:

            33 % oil (improvement but bought mainly from Gulf states – supporting Saudis)
            25 % coal
            22 % natural gas
            9 % nuclear
            0.5 % hydro
            8 % biofuels / waste
            2 % geothermal/ wind
            What an improvement !

            But hey what about China, emerging economical superpower:
            68 % coal
            16 % oil
            4 % natural gas
            1 % nuclear
            2 % hydro
            8% biofuels / waste
            1 % geothermal / solar /wind

            Good news. China does not support Saudis !

            P.S. Do you hate Arabs specifically or Muslims in general ?

          • A Real Libertarian

            Where are these numbers from? And more importantly when?

            P.S. Trillions wasted on the military when reinstating the grain embargo would work just as well? Not smart. Also what happened to tax-rates about the same time the debt started skyrocketing?

            P.P.S. I hate the Saudi government because it’s a violent backwards theocratic absolute monarchy.

          • Andy

            Dude your numbers are really suspicious, what’s your source?

          • ja_1410

            IEA

          • A Real Libertarian

            Do you have a link?

          • ja_1410
          • A Real Libertarian

            Do you have a link to your numbers?

          • ja_1410

            Can’t you find anything yourself ?

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/USA4.pdf

          • TedKidd

            Wow. Your debate skills and understanding are non existent. Complex interconnections seem impossible to you. You seem to only see correlations that are direct and immediate, no ability to see historical context.

            These guys are attempting to help you see things and you bury your head. They patiently ask you to support your position (very weak, losing badly, and continuous fallacy in in your arguments bleed strength from positions that might have strength).

            The tipping proof they are wasting their time with you – you expect them to research numbers you should be providing to support your position?

            Guys, there needs to be some disclosure of potential bias or you are stuck by some unknown fallacy or fallacies. If you can’t tell if its blind dogma, financial bias, inability to question or think, ignorance, or stupidity, you are in very lose sand, not ever going to gain traction, and not likely to know why.

            Why continue?

          • ja_1410

            No, these guys are living in fantasy world. I gave the link the the website that has very rich data for many countries. I assume that any person with minimum brain can do the research on the website. Here is the link for those unable to use internet:

            http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/KeyWorld2013.pdf

            Coal (and fossil fuels) will remain main source of energy for many decades.Except biomass most of so called “green energy” remains insignificant blip.

          • A Real Libertarian

            The IEA is unreliable for predictions.

          • ja_1410

            You are entitled to have your own opinion.

          • Andy

            And what year?

            Latest numbers are 2011 for Germany. 19340/608665 = 3.2% energy produced from solar. Oil is 6608/608665 for 1.1%. Nuclear is 107971/608665 for 17.7%. These are not matching what you posted.

          • ja_1410

            Since when Germany is part of USA ?

          • Andy

            “So here is the economical leader of enlighten EU, Germany:

            33 % oil (improvement but bought mainly from Gulf states – supporting Saudis)
            25 % coal
            22 % natural gas
            9 % nuclear
            0.5 % hydro
            8 % biofuels / waste
            2 % geothermal/ wind
            What an improvement !”

            Are you being intentionally obtuse?

          • Andy
          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m sure you find a way to blame Democrats. Anything to shift blame off the people who caused the problem.

            Now, enough.

            This is not a political discussion site. Please get back on topic.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Another dumb claim.

            A truly free market leads to monopolies with a very few extremely rich individuals and the vast majority of people living in extreme poverty.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “A truly free market leads to monopolies with a very few extremely rich individuals and the vast majority of people living in extreme poverty.”

            Actually… truly free markets lead to what Mutualists and Individualist Anarchists want. But they’re all socialists and thus were unpersoned.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m quite unimpressed with your facts twisting ability.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We aren’t saying anything different. If you’re in power best you keep the people who are going to contribute the most money to your next campaign happy.

            Now what would be better would be if elected officials were free to work more for the voters and not so much for the campaign financiers.

          • ja_1410

            And how exactly would you do that ? I consider Unions, political groups such as Green Movement, or Woman Rights movement etc. etc. equally influencing (corrupting) political process.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Of course unions, women’s groups, etc. exert influence on the government.
            I suppose in your world only rich white men should have a say in how things are run.

          • ja_1410

            Thank you for the leftist talking points. You are presuming that only rich white men run things. That is blatantly nonsense since the White House is run for the last 6 years by an African American. The second world power is completely run by Asians. In your world we should have dictatorship of enlightened community organizers ? It was already tired in Soviet Russia. You should try to live in such country for a few years like I did.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You’re the one declaring “support this position or we’re not voting for you” and “support this position or we’re not giving you money” to be equally corrupting.

          • ja_1410

            There is no such thing as “position support”. Influence organizations pay money to buy advertisement where they present their point of view. In fact unions do that often against the will on their individual members who pay fees. We could see that in Wisconsin where you cant even work as a teacher without paying bribe to the teachers union regardless of who you support. I like to be informed by both sides. You would like to censorship your opponents. There is nothing new in it. All leftist movements are strong proponents of censorship.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Right.

          • ja_1410

            In any event the biggest donations to the last presidential campaign were $715 million to Barack Obama, $446 million to Mitt Romney (you were saying something about rich white man running things …). Of those donations the biggest donors were:

            Lawyers $28 millions to Obama
            Communication / electronics $ 20 million to Obama
            Finance / Insurance/ Real Estate $20 million to Obama
            Ideological / single issue $17 million to Obama (here are your concerned citizens groups).

            And way, way down the list: your “big oil” $2 million to Obama.

            Very similar picture for Romney with slightly lower overall sums.

            Data can be easily found. So, please, stop the talking points.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Even big donors realized that Mittens was a POS.

            Perhaps business is starting to understand that is does better when Democrats are in charge.

          • ja_1410

            Perhaps. It still proves that “big oil” influence is a myth and “concerned citizens” and “community organizers” are equally corrupting force.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you think big oil wanted Mittens in the White House where he could blunder us into another oil war?

            Or are you opposed to citizens getting involved in government?

            I’m having a hard time reading you. It sort of sounds like no one but businesses should organize and attempt to influence the government. And that ordinary people should just go to the polls and vote for whomever their betters have picked out for them.

          • ja_1410

            With $2 million donation big oil influence is another myth manufactured by the left. Ordinary people can go and vote whoever they want to. Obama win is a proof that rich white man is another one of those myths. The mythical rich white man would be clearly Romney supporter. You still cam blame The Jews and Masons.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You mean Jackie Mason and his wife Jyll? They are Jewish. I should blame them?

            Oy.

            Now, how about we bring this political ‘stuff’ to an end? This is not a site for political banner, but for discussing renewable energy and figuring out how to minimize our climate change problem.

          • ja_1410

            Correct. Burning gasoline instead of coal is a positive step.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you have a reading comprehension problem? English is a second language, perhaps?

          • ja_1410

            Perhaps. At least I know fluently more languages.

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Gas cars deliver massive health and environmental consequences. Norway corrects for those externalities through taxes, as any logical government or society would. Of course, those taxes should not be put on clean vehicles, like electric cars, so they aren’t. It’s all logical, and there’s nothing sinister about it. People just have a hard time understanding the concept of externalities, it seems.

          • ja_1410

            “Gas cars deliver massive health and environmental consequences”. That is BS. Power generation is the main source of CO2 emissions. Therefore electric cars are making things worse.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You would be right were more of our electricity generated by coal. But coal is now down to about 40% of our sourcing.

          • ja_1410

            Globally coal is the dominant power energy source and will remain so for few hundred of years.

          • A Real Libertarian

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s a prediction that’s likely to fall flat on its butt….

            Let’s look at coal consumption by country for the major coal users and see what the likelihood of continued/increased use might be.

            #1 China. Consumed 50.2% of the world’s total coal consumed in 2012.

            China has capped coal use starting in 2015 and set the cap at the 2011 level. In 2011 China burned 1760.8 million tons “oil equivalent”. That rose 6.4% in 2012. The amount could rise for another year or two but all that extra over-cap amount will have to be dropped.

            China has allowed more coal burning for a limited time while it brings lower carbon generation online. And China has announced that it is very serious about stopping growth in greenhouse gas emission by (hopefully) 2025. China has a history of meeting its clean energy goals early.

            #2 US. Consumed 11.7% of world total in 2012.

            The US has 150 coal plants scheduled for early closure with some already closed. It’s possible that new EPA regulations will close over 100 more. The US has basically quit building new coal plants.

            Hard to burn more coal when you don’t have the capacity.

            #3 India. 8% of the world total in 2012.

            India has just announced a carbon tax on coal with the proceeds to go to solar. This is a thumb on the scale that will most likely reduce their coal consumption.

            #4 Japan. 3.3% of world consumption in 2012.

            Japan is considering construction of some new coal plants to replace existing nuclear plants. They are going to have to decide whether to go this route and abandon their CO2 commitments or whether to put more effort into solar, offshore wind and geothermal.

            #5 Russia. 2.5% of 2012 world total.

            Who knows? Tsar Putin is a loose canon.

            #6 South Africa. 2.4% of 2012 world total.

            South Africa has major plans to install more renewables. A quick search found that SA has built no new coal plants in the last 15 years and a planned one has been “delayed”.

            #7 South Korea. 2.2% of 2012 world consumption.

            South Korea has given the go ahead for eight new coal plants to be built by 2027. This would increase their capacity by 8,000 megawatts. This would bring their total capacity to 30,080 megawatts. That’s a 36% increase in a 2.2% world share, a 0.8% increase for the world.

            #8 Germany. 2.1% of the 2012 world consumption.

            Germany is currently completing construction of 11.3 GW of new coal capacity. When they are fully operational 18.5 GW of existing, less efficient coal plants will be closed. German utilities recently called for the closure of 3.1 GW of the old 11.3 GW.

            The new plants will be much more efficient and they will be capable of load-following, so the 39% reduction in capacity will actually be a larger reduction in coal consumption.

            That’s 82.4% of the world’s coal consumption in 2012. South Korea and Japan might go up a bit, it looks like other countries are more likely to drop consumption levels.

            So this coming increase and continued use in world coal consumption, where’s it going to be happening? It looks like possible generation capacity increases in South Korea and Japan will more than be offset by capacity decreases in the US and Germany. And China is going to make a large consumption cut.

            Is it likely that a small user country is likely build a lot more coal plants and pay for imported coal? (Remember shipping costs.) Or are they likely to look to renewables which will be faster and cheaper?

            Even Australia which produces 6.3% of the world’s coal and burns only 1.3% is cutting consumption.

            http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/statistical-review/statistical_review_of_world_energy_2013.pdf

          • ja_1410

            And here is China chart:

          • Bob_Wallace

            Did you notice that your chart stops at 2011?

            Did you read what I wrote?

          • ja_1410

            What you wrote is an empty promise that Chinese will not hold. My chart ends in 2011 because that is the latest data UN IEA published.

          • Bob_Wallace

            China has set several wind and solar installation targets and met all or most early.

            China has passed the legislation to cap coal.

            You are free to disbelieve if that’s what you need to do.

          • ja_1410

            It is obvious that I don’t believe what you say.

          • ja_1410

            China:

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/CHINA2.pdf

            USA:

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/USA2.pdf

            India:

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/INDIA2.pdf

            etc, etc,
            Fossil fuels total for what ? ~90%. Sure coal is low for now. Cracking and gas are cheaper and easier to process for now. Except oil will run out within few decades. Known coal will last several hundred years.

          • Andy

            Seriously? Solar energy will have replaced all coal in less than a hundred. You gotta understand the exponential nature of technology.

          • ja_1410

            Dream on. When technology is promising it takes over the world in less than 10 years these days. Solar will run garden lights and few fanatics homes. Without heavy government subsidies solar energy would die within a year because it is hopelessly uncompetitive. It might be 200 years from now when we run out of oil and burn half of the coal. But then probably Hydrogen fusion will replace as much more dense and reliable source.

          • Andy

            The cost is falling exponentially. The cost of solar electricity is now roughly equal to that of solar. Have you looked at a graph of cost over time lately?

            New and improved types of solar cells are being developed all the time. Have you read about any of the scientific papers detailing these breakthroughs?

            I’m not dreaming. It’s reality.

            Seriously, have you read about the breakthroughs they are making, and do you understand exponential growth of technology?

            The “heavy” subsidies from the government are a fraction of what was given to the oil industry for half a century. It’s not gonna be a problem to continue them. But soon we won’t need them, just as we don’t need the fossil fuel subsidies. If anything, those subsidies are slowing down the arrival of cleaner alternatives.

          • ja_1410

            Oh really ? If it is so cheap why almost no new house construction is using it ? All those builders are in conspiracy ?

          • Andy
          • A Real Libertarian

            They haven’t adapted yet.

            Do you have any clue how long it takes for an entire industry to change practices?

          • ja_1410

            I see technology catching up pretty fast these days as long as the technology is truly good. solar is not. It is expensive and not reliable.

          • Andy

            Walmart is going crazy with solar.

            You didn’t answer my questions… have you seen the graphs of the price of solar electricity falling over time?

          • ja_1410

            What charts ? Those made by green activists ? I’ve seen that it cost $20,000 to $40,000 depending on the power output to install house system that only works during sunny day.
            Don’t get me wrong. If it will cost less then it is great. Right now it all smoke and mirrors.

          • Andy

            Charts by ANYONE that have the year on the x-axis and the price per watt of solar cells on the y-axis. Have you looked at any of those?

          • ja_1410

            Yes, those are coming down. I’m asking however about the whole cost. The panels don’t last forever. They do not work over night or when clouds are around. The get dirty and need cleaning. Having dual system to provide power when solar is not working is as well as maintenance of the system and replacing the panels when worn out will be a cost that must be included. Where is the chart showing this in comparison to the utility power ?

          • Andy

            I don’t know, why don’t you find one?

            That’s not the important point. The important point is how quickly the price has been falling, and PROJECTING THAT INTO THE FUTURE.

            You said coal would be around for centuries.

            I said no, in less than 100 years solar would replace all coal because of the exponentially declining cost.

            You say “what about the price RIGHT NOW?”

            The price right now doesn’t matter. It’s the overall trend. Solar WILL replace coal by the end of the century.

          • ja_1410

            I found one in my area. 30 kW system to be installed at the cost of ~$40,000. Warranty only 3 years. Unknown lifetime of the panels. Some saying that panels are only good for 20-25 years.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Some say that the moon is made of blue cheese.

            I suspect you made a mistake with 30 kW for $40k. That’s only $1.33/W. If prices were that low everyone would be lining up for solar.

          • ja_1410

            So what is the price ?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Why don’t you slow down the posting and read replies?

            I already told you. The average US price, EOY 2013 was $4.59/watt. Some installations are getting under $3/watt but there are some places where the cost is quite high, almost $8/watt.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We don’t know how long panels last. We do know that they last at least 40 years and that they lose 0.5% or less output per year.

            http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf

            Our oldest tested array was last tested when it was 35 years old and found to have lost 0.1% output per year. 3.88% total loss.

            http://www.presse.uni-oldenburg.de/einblicke/54/files/assets/downloads/page0009.pdf

            We all know that solar panels don’t produce when the Sun isn’t shining. We also know that nuclear and coal plants don’t produce power 24/365. The grid is designed to work around problems of no generator being on constantly.

            What is happening is that the grid purchases the cheapest electricity possibly (at least the non-regulated grids do). Wind and solar are often the lowest cost sources. That means that wind and solar get used and other sources get turned off.

            Since nuclear and coal can’t be quickly turned off, they are in deep trouble. They have to lower their prices and sell at a loss in order to force wind and solar (and natural gas) off. Exelon owns six nuclear plants in Illinois which have been losing money for the last five years.

            A combination of wind, solar and natural gas is killing nuclear and coal, except for the least expensive to operate plants.

            As NG prices rise storage will replace gas. It already is starting to do so.

            Our thermal plants are old. Many are past the 40 year average lifespan.

            The combination of wind, solar, NG and storage is pricing out so cheap that it will make no sense to replace worn out coal and nuclear with coal or nuclear. Both are dead men walking.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Energy density” is almost entirely worthless.

            It’s why we don’t run our society on anti-matter.

          • ja_1410

            Well, not everyone must be an engineer. If you have low cost industrial amounts of antimatter I will buy the whole stock from you.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Without government subsidies solar would have died. Probably would have died. But, thankfully, some of our elected officials had the foresight to help solar develop as our tax dollars have help so many other technologies get a firm footing.

            Thirty years back solar panels were around $100/watt. Now they cost less than $1/watt, a 100x price decrease.

            Solar is now selling for ~6 cents (no subsidies) which makes it cheaper than new coal or new nuclear. The invisible hand of the market will shove coal and nuclear aside as it gathers in solar and wind generation.

            Ain’t capitalism wonderful?

          • ja_1410

            Yes, except nobody is buying this BS. I see lots of homes being built around and none of them has any solar installation.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Don’t know where you live. By the end of 2013 the total was somewhere around 400,000.

            Our prices are still very high. EOY 2013 the average residential price was $4.59/watt. Solar is being installed on rooftops in the UK, Germany and Australia for about $2/watt.

            If you live in a place with low electricity prices and not a lot of sunshine then it should be understandable that you aren’t seeing much solar.

          • ja_1410

            Ontario

          • Bob_Wallace

            I figured it wasn’t in the US SW where solar on rooftops has become quite common.

          • ja_1410

            I don’t see them in Michigan at all either.

          • Bob_Wallace

            And I don’t see much reason for your latest posts.

            Why don’t you do some reading and catch up with what is happening with renewable energy and EVs? You’re knowledge-lite.

          • ja_1410

            What is happening in EV ? Fisker is bankrupt, GM barely sells Volts, Nissan already cut price twice to the Lemon Leaf and still can’t move them from dealerships. Ford EV’s are existing mostly on paper for advertising reasons because you can;t see them on the streets anywhere. Tesla is selling low numbers of super expensive car that only few rich posers can afford based on smoke and mirrors and government heavy help. Car that is useful mostly in perfect weather conditions when you do not need heater or AC.

            In renewable energy we have minuscule progress mostly due to heavy hand of government putting more and more taxes on carbon emissions and subsidizing heavily so called green energy which is the only way to make most of the green solutions to appear remotely economical.

            According to EIA in USA total energy supply from 2011 to 2012 in quadrillion Btu had seen the following changes:

            Oil: 1.67 growth
            Natural gas: 0.1 growth
            Dry natural gas: 1.55 growth
            Coal: 1.62 decline

            Total fossil: 1.7 growth

            Nuclear: 0.21 decline

            Total non reneweables: 1.49 growth

            Hydropower: 0.44 decline
            Biomass: 0.12 decline
            Other renewables: 0.27 growth

            Total green energy: 0.29 decline

            So much for your growth happening.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Your rant on EVs is full of incorrect statements.

            EV sales are growing at a good rate. Faster that hybrids did when they first came to market.

            You’ve had Tesla’s strategy explained to you.

            Let’s take a look at solar and wind growth in the US.

            So much for your claims….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Disqus failed to post graphs. Let’s try again.

            eta: Will probably show up in a bit when they chew through things.

          • A Real Libertarian

            I’m in Ontario and I see solar panels often.

          • Bob_Wallace

            One of you is in CA and the other in Ca?

            (Yeah, I know that didn’t add anything to the conversation. ;o)

          • ja_1410

            And where exactly do you see them in large numbers ?

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Maybe do a bit of research before posting. EVs offer massive climate & health benefits: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/18/electric-vehicles-greenhouse-gas-emissions-save-money/

          • ja_1410
          • A Real Libertarian

            Oh yeah, a short-seller’s definitely a good source for that claim!

          • ja_1410

            Equally good to the proofs raised by the Church of Global Warming.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Equally good to pointing out that physics can’t be defeated by screaming “free market! free market!”?

            I doubt it.

          • ja_1410

            What physics ? Did you took your science classes in USA ? That would explain a lot.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Fucking greenhouse gasses, how do they work?

        • mmolsen

          You should learn what sosialism is before you use the term..

          Here:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

        • Andy

          “Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.”

          How does a gasoline tax equal socialism?

          • ja_1410

            Gasoline tax to discourage use of particular product means that government is using tax system to select winners and losers in the economy that if left free would most likely produced the opposite outcome. For many of us this means socialism. I agree that it is different from the socialism practiced in the Eastern Block known under the popular name as “International Socialism” and the western version known to the world as “National Socialism”. Due to the historical reasons the left is pretending that only “International Socialism” exists. In the National Socialism version the industry remained in the private hands but was strongly regulated by the state.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If using the tax structure to influence economic decisions is the same as socialism to you, then you have a very strange dictionary.

            Published by Fox Media, by chance?

          • Andy

            Was it socialism when the US used various tax breaks and incentives to encourage the fledgling oil industry in the early 1900s?

            “The first 15 years, the report says, are critical to developing new technologies. It finds that oil and gas subsidies, including tax breaks and government spending, were about five times as much as aid to renewables during their first 15 years of development; nuclear received 10 times as much support.”

            http://cen.acs.org/articles/89/i51/Long-History-US-Energy-Subsidies.html

          • ja_1410

            Absolutely. There should be no subsidies to any industry. That is the only way to find out which technology is truly better for the society.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There should be no subsidies for established/mature technologies. Subsides for emerging technologies is a very wise use of taxpayer money.

            If the new technology holds promises of making things better for taxpayers then spending some money to get them started is a wise investment in our future.

          • ja_1410

            So why exactly we should subsidize Elon Musk but not Henrik Fisker ? Why are we subsidizing $80,000 toy car that top rich 5% of the society can afford anyway ? Why are we using poor people money that will never own Tesla to subsidize luxury product that only filthy rich will buy ?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Are you actually so ignorant that you need to ask these questions?

            If so, admit it and we’ll explain things to you.

          • ja_1410

            I’m happy to learn form the self appointed expert. What is the earth shattering technology in Tesla ? The electric car is a XIX century technology FYI.

          • Bob_Wallace

            What is Earth-shattering about the Tesla?

            Tesla destroyed the myth that EVs are slow, limited range “golf carts with windows”.

            Both the EV and the ICEV were born in the 19th Century. The electric car gained market share early on but was overtaken by the ICEV. Now we’ve got better battery technology and we’re understanding why we must get off fossil fuels so we are transitioning back to electricity.

            Here ends lesson one….

          • ja_1410

            No it didn’t. The first car that beat 100 km/h record was electric – XIX century. So what is energy density of the best Tesla battery compared to 1 kg of gasoline ?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Gasoline is more energy dense than current batteries.

            Electric motors are far more efficient than internal combustion engines.

            Energy density is only one part of the formula. Coal is a lot more energy dense than is wind. However the cost of new wind-electricity is considerably cheaper than new coal-electricity. (No subsidies.)

          • ja_1410

            Electric motors are using batteries that are not as efficient when charged and discharged, and most electricity is still created by some form of combustion with similar efficiency to ICE.
            Wind is free but wind farms are not. Most industrial places are far from windy areas. I’m not against building wind farms where it makes economic sense. It will be decades when wind energy will make a significant dent in total power produced.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Huh?

            You’ve got about a 10% energy loss in charging and 90% of the stored energy gets converted to kinetic.

            How our electricity is generated now is not how our electricity will be generated in the future. We’re in the early days of a transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

            Wind should hit 5% this year. Is 5% not a significant dent for a technology that only recently reached affordability?

            The first US reactor came on the grid in 1958. Fifteen years later nuclear still produced less than 5% of US electricity.

            It took nuclear 20 years to reach the level of hydro.

          • ja_1410

            Stop lying

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/USA4.pdf

            5% is all renewables taken together. 5% is not significant. There is more fossil fuel / nuclear growth every year in energy production than all renewables taken together in absolute numbers of kWh produced. Its only look good in %

          • Bob_Wallace

            Out of 4,058,209 thousand kWh produced in 2013
            167,665 thousand kWh were produced by wind.

            http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/

            That’s 4.13%. Wind went from 3.46% in 2012 to 4.13 in 2013. We’re on track to hit 5% this year or shortly after.

            Don’t accuse me of lying and then post statistics for energy in 2011. That’s a double fail.

            In 2013 hydro produced 6.6% of US electricity. Non-hydro renewables produced 6.24%. That makes the total renewable contributions 12.84%.

          • ja_1410

            Congratulations. In the same time energy produced in absolute terms grown more in fossil fuels than in reneweables. BTW, here is your China promise:

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/CHINA2.pdf
            Let’s see how this Chinese communist promise to cap coal will hold.

          • Bob_Wallace

            China’s done an excellent job meeting their wind targets. And they are ramping up solar like crazy. In 2013 they installed 10 GW of solar, more than the US has installed in total.

          • ja_1410

            Sure. I will wait for IEA report on this.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re making the same claims multiple times when you’ve been given information that proves them wrong.

          • ja_1410

            The misinformation that you provided was mostly false.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That is the second time you have accused me of lying.

            I take that seriously.

            Now show me what I have posted that was false.

          • A Real Libertarian

            The electric car is a XIX century technology FYI.

            So is electricity.

            The internal combustion engine is 17th Century tech by the way.

          • ja_1410

            Correct. and ICE is still an easy winner for cost / performance.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Really?

            Do you know that the Nissan Leaf is cheaper then the average new American car?

            Or that EVs have almost no maintenance costs?

            Or EVs have better handling then gasmobiles?

          • ja_1410

            ROTFL.
            BS – Nissan Leaf MSRP 28950, Chevrolet Sonic 2014 MSRP 14170 – comparable cars.

            BS – battery replacement will cost far more than all the oil changes taken together. Prius owners already found that out.
            True – low center of gravity is key to handling. All those hundred of kilograms in batteries that are taken for a ride are making EV low CG cars.

          • A Real Libertarian

            BS – Nissan Leaf MSRP 28950, Chevrolet Sonic 2014 MSRP 14170 – comparable cars.

            Average new American car – $31,252:

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/09/04/record-price-new-car-august/2761341/

            Comparable?

            Let’s compare them then:
            http://www.chevrolet.com/sonic-hatchback-car/specs/options.html
            http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/versions-specs/version.s.html

            BS – battery replacement will cost far more than all the oil changes taken together. Prius owners already found that out.

            1. Source?

            2. Prius is a gas car.

            3. Oil changes, spark plugs, drive-shaft, etc. etc.

            4. Gas.

            http://sam-koblenski.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-year-and-half-with-nissan-leaf-part-4.html

          • ja_1410

            Average American car is far larger and far more luxurious than the econobox class to which Leaf belongs. Leaf can be compared with Sonic, Fiesta, Accent, Rio, Versa. All those cars are far cheaper than the Leaf.

            Prius is a hybrid and battery replacement is “only” $2700 for the customer. Full EV with Lithium batteries will cost around $10,000 to replace worn out battery. People do not realize this yet, because there is no EV on the market that is around 7-10 years old.

            Modern spark plugs with platinum tips are replaceable after 100,000 miles. For most of the people it is 7 or more years. Set of 4 plugs is around $60.

            What kind of a junk do you have that you need to replace drive shaft ?

            Gas is not maintenance. It is energy. True that it cost more, but in return I have far better range and quick refueling when traveling far. What is the range of the Leaf in northern states during winter when cabin requires heat or during summer in Arizona when you need air condition at full blast ?

          • Andy

            Points for consistency.

            Where I disagree with you is your belief that a free market will automatically develop the best technology for society.

            Sometimes it needs a little intelligent prodding :)

          • ja_1410

            What is “best technology for the society” ? Define the meaning of it.I see more help in building infrastructure than trying to pick winners. Most of today technology was created by private business without much of the government help. There is some exception to this with technologies that wee militaristic in their beginning. In fact historically many of the industries originally build their power on the pure market and then later bought politicians and perks using their already existing power.

          • Andy

            >What is “best technology for the society” ? Define the meaning of it.

            The “best technology for the society” is tech that improves well-being and happiness and minimizes harm and suffering for the greatest amount of people.

            So for example, green technology is best for society compared to fossil fuels because it causes less pollution which damages our health and doesn’t contribute to global warming, which will harm many people.

            >I see more help in building infrastructure than trying to pick winners.

            In fact I think we should be investing a lot more than we currently are in infrastructure. However, isn’t this the government picking the construction industry as a winner? Why are you okay with picking a winner in this case, but not others?

            >Most of today technology was created by private business without much of the government help.

            Many industries and associated technologies got a vital boost from government spending when they were first starting out. For example, the fossil fuel industry as I pointed out in an previous comment. Check out the book The Entrepreneurial State. Companies are often afraid to spend money on unproven, experimental technologies, so it is very important for governments to bear the risk by funding initial research to get the ball rolling.

            > In fact historically many of the industries originally build their
            power on the pure market

            As mentioned, if it were up to the pure market it would have taken industries such as the oil industry a LOT longer to get going. Industries founded on space technology pioneered by NASA or the government-created Internet are additional examples.

            >and then later bought politicians and perks
            using their already existing power.

            Sadly this is indeed the case. Check out the American Anti-Corruption Act, proposed legislation to weaken the power of special interests and big money on the government.

            Companies operating in a pure market environment are going to do what makes them the most money. That does not automatically translate to what is best for the country. An unguided, unrestricted free market is just as dangerous as complete socialism. Just look at England during the industrial revolution if you want to see the horrors of a hyper-capitalistic society. As in many other areas of life, balance is key. Right now we desperately need to continue to support green technology while it is still in its infancy, to make sure it quickly grows to be strong and vibrant.

          • ja_1410

            “The “best technology for the society” is tech that improves well-being and happiness and minimizes harm and suffering for the greatest amount of people”. Yeah, right. Well being and happiness to the greatest amount of people. That is exactly what market does the best. Expensive, artificially subsidized technology means that government will move money from other needs like homelessness, hunger, healthcare to finance it. Communism is the full implementation of your philosophy. The amount of devastation it brought to society is a perfect example of why you are wrong. Infrastructure such as roads were never economical. That is why they were always build by the state since Roman times. Car industry or energy industry do not have this problem.

          • Andy

            >Expensive, artificially subsidized technology means that government will
            move money from other needs like homelessness, hunger, healthcare to
            finance it.

            So the government should be providing healthcare, food, and shelter, and roads? You sound like a communist yourself.

            >Infrastructure such as roads were never economical. That is why they were always build by the state since Roman times. Car industry or energy industry do not have this problem.

            Sounds like the government stepping in to provide support where the free market economics was not proving a solution. That’s exactly why I want more government help for green tech! The free market is stuck on fossil fuels which is killing us. We NEED green tech, but it needs a boost before it becomes more economically viable.

            You are being very inconsistent in what you think the government should support.

          • ja_1410

            No. Just an example how government subsidizing anything is communist :-)

          • Andy

            There is a spectrum, a range of choices, a number of various options, between pure free market capitalism and pure communism.

            Too far to either extreme is bad.

            We need a balance somewhere in the middle.

          • ja_1410

            I actually agree with you. I would support green energy subsidies within a reason. But when I’m talking subsidies I would rather see green power generation research subsidies, advanced battery studies, fusion research, fuel cell research, building hydrogen infrastructure, things that are truly scientific and promising. I differ from most of you guys, that I do not value Tesla. Tesla for me is nothing special. It is well known technology that is not generating any new science. Expensive toy for millioners. I actually think that Chevy Volt or fuel cell Honda are far more interesting constructions than Tesla is and where I fully disagree is in “heavily taxing gasoline to create competitive edge”. Taxing gasoline will create “competitive edge” but at very high price to the society by making almost everything more expensive and therefore impacting economy and well being of the society.

          • Andy

            Well that’s good :) I think you’re mistaken about electric cars and Tesla though. It’s not about new science, necessarily, thought there IS a lot of new science going into making electric cars… It’s about getting affordable alternatives to fossil-fuel based transportation, and Tesla is blazing the trail clean open. Musk can’t make ‘em fast enough.

            Taxing gasoline may be a high price, but pollution and climate change are even higher a price to pay. The conservative thing is to slow growth so that we can preserve the environment in which we live, because our very lives and livelihood depend upon the health of the environment.

          • ja_1410

            Tesla is completely wrong choice. If anything then Leaf is much closer to the goal by providing much lower cost. Tesla is a smoke and mirror for the rich.

            None of this is affordable or as convenient comparing to gasoline cars. That is why they sell so poorly.

            Electric cars do not reduce pollution. Majority of electrical energy in developed countries is a mixture of fossil fuels and nuclear fission. Modern cars pollute very little.

            It is debatable if climate change is a cost to us.

            http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-probable-net-benefits-of-climate-change-till-2080.aspx

          • Andy

            Who says they are selling poorly? Tesla can’t produce them fast enough!

            They DO reduce pollution, especially if we invested in more renewable energy production so we don’t have to charge them with fossil fuel electricity.

            There are a few benefits to climate change that Matt Ridley lists, but the downsides are overwhelming. The oceans are acidifying. Pests are disease are spreading. Extreme weather events are increasing in power. Having warmer winters isn’t gonna be worth it.

          • ja_1410

            Tesla sales volume is around 25,000 vehicles/year. Ford sells around 750,000 of the F150 model alone.
            It is not Matt Ridley opinion but analysis of many economists. As Matt says, if you believe in global warming scientific consensus, then why don’t you believe in economists consensus ?

          • Andy

            Tesla has been around how long compared to Ford? It’s just getting started for heavens sake. The demand is huge! The just can’t produce them quickly enough!

            And WOW, I guess this is the next stage of climate change denial.

            Stage 1 – deny climate change exists
            Stage 2 – deny humans are causing climate change
            Stage 3 – deny the effects will be that bad
            Stage 4 – climate change is GOOD!

            Matt is wrong about the consensus. Most economists believe global warming will do much more harm than good.

          • ja_1410

            Hyundai is relatively new in US. Demand for Hyundai cars many times greater. 35,000 cars a year is ridiculously low.
            Why do you deny global warming ?

          • Andy

            What? I don’t deny global warming.

          • ja_1410

            So why you assumed that I do ? I said that economical impact of climate change is debatable.

          • Andy

            Because that Matt guy believes in global warming but thinks it will be good

          • ja_1410

            I don’t know what Matt believes. He did not posted there about his beliefs but what number of economists are saying in their books.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Hyundai has been in America since 1986.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Ford sold 230 Model Ts the first year, 12,176 the second, and 19,291 the third.

            Tesla delivered 2,650 Model S the first year. 22,477 the second, and we’re now in Tesla’s third year with 6,457 sales in the first quarter.

          • ja_1410

            Right. Ford sold 20,000 vehicles in the dawn of XX century. We are over 100 years from then. Today new, non luxury, car model sell in 200,000 units per year.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, Charlie. This is a new type vehicle. It takes a while to build market.

            Tesla is doing great. They are selling cars as fast as they can build them With zero advertising.

          • ja_1410

            They sell so little only because it is useless toy that only 1% of the richest people can afford. 30,000 vehicles in 300,000,000 plus country is a joke.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Weak. You probably let that line of argument go.

          • Andy
          • A Real Libertarian

            And how well did “Rational Optimism” work for Northern Rock?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Rock

          • ja_1410

            Are you smoking something funny ? What bank collapse has to do with this discussion ? Did you knew that Lehman Brothers financed wind energy ?

          • A Real Libertarian

            Matt Ridley claims climate change isn’t a cost…

            Matt Ridley claims his bank will be profitable…

            Matt Ridley’s bank collapsed…

            See where I’m going with this?

          • ja_1410

            So Matt Ridley was mistaken about the bank. Have you been always right ?

          • A Real Libertarian

            All I’m saying is, if someone has a track record of utter failure…

            Don’t count on them being right this time.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Perhaps you don’t understand Tesla’s strategy.

            Economy cars have very low profit margins. One has to build a lot of them in order to generate enough profit to stay in business.

            Luxury cars have a much higher profit margin. One can sell fewer and create a thriving company which will generate enough profit to attract investors and expand.

            Tesla started with the Roadster, which was pretty much a proof of concept. Their first total car was the S which has been an outstanding success, both as an EV and as a luxury vehicle.

            The success of the S is allowing Tesla to introduce a cheaper, sub-luxury model. And off the earning from those two models Tesla intends to produce an”EV for the rest of us”, for the people can’t afford or don’t want to pay over $30k for a car.

            It’s a very smart way to build a new car company.

      • mmolsen

        Hi Ken

        Norwegian here… yes you got a point, but i think he is talking about the state, not the people…

    • Littlebitserious

      Actually our biggest export is natural gas to rest of Europe not oil.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        Perhaps, but oil generates more profit per barrel.

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