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Clean Power solar jobs US

Published on January 27th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

400

Solar Jobs Increase 20%, Rise to 143,000 In US

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January 27th, 2014 by Zachary Shahan
 

Originally published on Solar Love.

The Solar Foundation just released its latest US solar jobs census, National Solar Jobs Census 2013. The key finding is that US solar jobs were up to at least 142,698 as of November 2013. That’s about 20% growth since the last solar jobs census, which had data up through September 2012. Overall US employment grew 1.9% in this period, so US solar jobs grew about 10 times faster!

solar jobs US

Aside from the above, here are some key findings from National Solar Jobs Census 2013:

  • 77% of the nearly 24,000 new solar workers since September 2012 are new jobs, rather than existing positions that have added solar responsibilities, representing 18,211 new jobs created.
  • This comparison indicates that since data were collected for Census 2012, one in every 142 new jobs in the U.S. was created by the solar industry, and many more were saved by creating additional work opportunities for existing employees.
  • Installers added the most solar workers over the past year, growing by 22%, an increase of 12,500 workers.
  • Solar employment is expected to grow by 15.6% over the next 12 months, representing the addition of approximately 22,240 new solar workers. Forty-five percent of all solar establishments expect to add solar employees during this period.
  • Employers from each of the solar industry sectors examined in this study expect significant employment growth over the next 12 months, with nearly all of them projecting percentage job growth in the double-digits.
  • Approximately 91% of those who meet our definition of a “solar worker” (those workers who spend at least 50% of their time supporting solar-related activities) spent 100% of their time working on solar.
  • Wages paid by solar firms are competitive, with the average solar installer earning between $20.00 (median) and $23.63 (mean) per hour, which is comparable to wages paid to skilled electricians and plumbers and higher than average rates for roofers and construction workers. Production and assembly workers earn slightly less, averaging $15.00 (median) to $18.23 (mean) per hour, slightly more than the national average for electronic equipment assemblers.
  • The solar industry is a strong employer of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services, who constitute 9.24% of all solar workers – compared with 7.57% in the national economy. Solar employs a slightly larger proportion of Latino/Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander workers than the overall economy.

Here’s more in a slidedeck shared by The Solar Foundation.

National Solar Jobs Census 2013 from The Solar Foundation

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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.



  • Dennis Heidner

    Those 24,000 jobs since September 2012 — are much better than the part time hamburger jobs. It is good news.

  • Electricsaver1200

    The More Solar Panels been put up, the more people well get good paying Jobs, this way your not just Helping your self on Saving electricity, your also helping other to have job and also helping the environment… Clean Energy plus good paying job equals bright FUTURE!!

    • Peter Moss

      However, if it were done more productively with less work hours per Watt installed, it would be less expensive and more people could afford it. This would mean that more people would install solar and more people would be employed doing it.

      • A Real Libertarian

        “However, if it were done more productively with less work hours per
        Watt installed, it would be less expensive and more people could afford it. This would mean that more people would install solar and more people would be employed doing it.”

        The only reason you keep repeating the blatantly obvious is because you think the only cost is labor.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Installation per watt is dropping. Racking and wiring has become much easier Prices are falling. Solar is taking off. There will be fewer hours per installation but the number of installations are zooming.

        The US is late to the game but we’ve now finished our warm up and things are getting serious.

  • jeppen

    Isn’t Cleantechnica supposed to have positive news about renewables? That solar power sucks up so much of the workforce is an enormous drawback! Our high standards of living is due to us being ever more efficient in production. This is the opposite.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Where I am point of rooftop solar provides electricity at a lower cost than grid electricity. It provides what people want at a lower cost and that is an improvement in efficiency.

      • jeppen

        This does not follow. Efficiency is about resources consumed, in labor and materials. Differences in taxation is one reason grid prices might be quite high compared to rooftop solar costs, even though the grid electricity is far more efficiently produced.

        • A Real Libertarian

          “This does not follow. Efficiency is about resources consumed, in labor and materials.”

          And not using labor and materials to built transmission lines doesn’t count how?

          • jeppen

            It does count. Wind greatly increase the need for transmission while solar might reduce it a little bit.

        • Ronald Brakels

          I think there was a country that tried this approach. What was it called? Oh yeah, the Soviet Union. I’ll have to look them up and see how things turned out for them.

          • jeppen

            Eh, what approach? You don’t make sense.

          • Bob_Wallace

            jeppen, you snuck back in here after getting booted for trolling.

            If you’d like to stay then I’d suggest you limit your number of posts and stay tightly on topic.

          • jeppen

            I think I do a fair job of staying on topic considering how you constantly go off-topic and try to bait me to follow. You should limit your posts as well, btw. (And I wasn’t trolling. I told too much truth in a forum that thrives on misinformed people.)

          • A Real Libertarian

            “I told too much truth in a forum that thrives on misinformed people.”

            The truth that equipment costs nothing and interest on loans is a communist lie?

          • Ronald Brakels

            You appear to be using a model of economic efficiency that doesn’t appear to take the prices people pay for things into account. There have been a number of countries that have tried to finesse this detail and I can’t say it really turned out well for any of them.

          • jeppen

            Then I understand what you mean, at least. Free pricing is usually a great indicator of economic efficiency and all we really need to guide economic activity. We fully agree on that.

            However, subsidies and taxes are sometimes unevenly applied and thus distort pricing and make economic actors suboptimize (since pricing in such cases doesn’t show what’s efficient and not). That’s what’s happening here, and that’s what I pointed out. Has nothing to do with Soviet.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Jeppen, I don’t know what it is like where you are, but here unsubsidized solar is a still a much cheaper source of electricity for households than the grid. (A grid that by the way, does not pay the full cost of greenhouse gases and other pollutants it releases into the air and so which is heavily subsidised in this way and is subsidised in other ways also.)

          • Peter Moss

            Perhaps because rooftop solar does not pay for the cost of the use it makes of the grid for backup.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Perhaps because rooftop solar does not pay for the cost of the use it makes of the grid for backup.”

            It precludes the need for expensive peaking power plants and grid expansions.

          • Peter Moss

            Rooftop solar only reduces the need for peaking power plants. It does not “preclude” it.

            A home with rooftop solar still draws power from the grid when the air conditioner is on. And, the peak load on a hot day with an air conditioning load is about 4:00 PM while the peak output of solar PV is going to be noon. The peakers will still be needed for the 8:00 PM shoulder.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sure. Rooftop solar is only part of the solution,

          • A Real Libertarian

            “A home with rooftop solar still draws power from the grid when the air conditioner is on.”

          • Peter Moss

            Do you have some figures to prove that?

          • Bob_Wallace

            This site states 3,500 watts for a 2.5 ton air conditioner.

            http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/howmuch.html

            A house with a 4k or 5k array wouldn’t need power from the grid unless a large amount of other draw is occurring.

            I really don’t understand why this is an important issue. Are you simply trying to be argumentative or do you have an actual point?

          • Peter Moss

            You have made the same error. That is the average amount of power it uses. Not the amount of power that it uses when the compressor is running.

            And, you also need to consider that when it gets to be 3:00 PM that the power is going to be cut in half (more or less).

            The point is that homes with rooftop solar PV are still going to be drawing power during the daytime. This is a lot different than what you have said more than once and what everyone seems to think that they will only be drawing power at night.

          • Ronald Brakels

            You seem confused, Paul. No form of generating capacity pays for grid backup. Not here anyway. Is that what they do where you are? Or do you mean ancillary services? In that case, looking up the definition for ancillary services should clear up your confusion.

          • Peter Moss

            When a home uses more power than their rooftop solar PV installation can provide, it uses the grid for backup. Then if the customer is on so-called net metering they can later feed extra unneeded power back into the grid with the result that they don’t pay anything for the use of the grid when they purchase backup power. What the customer is doing is using the grid as though it was a battery but not paying the utility anything to do so. In fact, if the customer has a large enough rooftop panel array they might pay zero for their electric bill while making considerable use of the grid for backup power.

            The issue is about paying for the use of the grid which is a considerable percentage of the retail kWh price that you pay for electricity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            And the grid is getting power during hours when demand is high then paying back some of that power when demand is low and their costs are low.

          • Peter Moss

            No, that is where you are wrong.

            The customer is using power when demand is high.

            Didn’t you read and understand what I said? Or, was it so foreign to your mind set that you didn’t process it?

          • Bob_Wallace

            A solar house is using grid power when the Sun is not producing.

            On some grids at some times of the year peak demand is post solar hours.
            So what?

          • Peter Moss

            So, I guess that you wouldn’t know a Watt, or a killoWatt if it bit you on the ass.

            Most homes have 100A 240V electric service. That is 24 kW. Nobody has that much solar PV on their roof. I understand that most people have 7.5 kW or less. Now it is rare to draw the whole 24 kW available. However there are large loads in a house. the circuits for an electric range is 50A, an air conditioner is 50A or 60A, an electric clothes dryer is 30A, a water heater is 30A or 50A. These loads don’t draw the full amperage of the breakers but you should consider that some could draw up to 90% of the breaker rating.

            You also need to remember that the rooftop solar PV panels don’t put out the nameplate rating all day even on a sunny day. The output varies from 0% at sunrise to 100% at noon and back to 0% at sunset.

            Now lets take an example of the 7.5 kW setup 90% efficiency at noon with the AC the only load in the house and drawing 45A. The load is 10.8 kW and the solar is supplying 6.75 kW. Now, much to your surprise, it is going to be drawing 4.05 kW from the grid just to run the AC.

            Now the AC compressor will cycle on and off so when the compressor is off, the house will feed electricity back into the grid. As I said, it will use the grid like it was a battery.

            Obviously, as it gets later in the day, the AC will need more power from the grid to run. And if other high current loads are in use, even more power will be drawn from the grid.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, I tire of your insults. If you want to continue a conversation then please cut it out.

            Now, how large an array would one need to carry a house’s peak load? One certainly wouldn’t do that math using circuit breaker size.

            A large-ish central air conditioner might pull around 3,500 watts. An electric oven 2,000 watts. A 6kW system would carry that load.

            Of course we don’t size home systems to cover peak load, peak load is not produced very often.

            Obviously the house will use the grid like a battery.

            What is your point?

          • Peter Moss

            Bob, outrageous and facetious comments are not insults.

            Did you check my math. I estimated that the AC would use 90% of the circuit’s capacity. You could use 80% if you wanted to, but very few people have 7.5 kW of solar either; 5 kW is more typical.

            You are just way off on the AC. Do some research.

            I don’t know how much my oven uses but I said a stove. It also has 4 burners. I doubt that it often is using half of the available power since it doesn’t use it all at once.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, I tire of going back and forth with you. You seem to be trying to set up some sort of a straw man argument about solar.

            No one is suggesting that the grid will be 100% solar. No one is denying that residences with rooftop solar use the grid as “backup” and “storage”.
            Solar is becoming one of our cheapest ways to generate electricity. The Sun does not shine 24/365 but it does tend to shine when demand is high and that makes solar very useful. We can use a lot of solar directly.

            Solar wipes out a large part of the daily peak and that disrupts the old economic model under which thermal plants (nuclear and coal) earned some sweet profits thanks to merit order pricing.

            Wind has already become cheap. It’s ripping money away from thermal plants during off peak hours.

            Between solar and wind thermal plants are failing.

            Since the Sun does not shine 24/365 and the wind does not blow 24/365 we will need storage, dispatchable load and dispatchable generation to fill in the gaps. Right now natural gas prices are low and there is no price on carbon so we will largely use NG as our fill-in. Later on it is likely that we will develop cheaper storage and at some point we’ll probably get concerned enough about climate change to put a price on carbon.

            At that point we’ll likely move to a 100% renewable energy grid. It won’t be a quick transition, but one that will take over 20 years. But it certainly seems to be where we’re headed and we’re on our way.

          • Peter Moss

            No, I just wanted to make it clear that houses with rooftop solar still draw more power from the grid during the day than people seem to think.

            Then there is the next fallacy which is in what you mentioned. You said that natural gas is cheap. However, it is only cheap if it can be burned in a Gas Turbine Combined Cycle plant. If it is burned in just a Gas Turbine, it is not cheap. The combined cycle part takes a while to start up (1 to 1.5 hours) because a volume of water must be heated.

            So, this leads to a problem that could be likened to the Prisoners Dilemma. The natural gas plant can follow the load as backup for wind and solar PV and probably never get the heat exchanger hot enough to run the steam turbine the result being that it generates an amount of expensive electricity or it can ignore part of the wind and solar and simply turn it on and after the start up time be generating less expensive electricity the result being that the greater amount of electricity generated may have actually cost less to generate. It is an interesting problem that a computer will have to work on.

            It is just like the question of baseload power plants. We need to decide as a matter of policy if it is going to be advantageous for wind and solar PV to be competing with baseload power plants. Currently, it isn’t a large problem since there are only a few areas of the country where there is enough wind to cause a problem.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “No, I just wanted to make it clear that houses with rooftop solar still draw more power from the grid during the day than people seem to think.”

            You’d actually need data to support that claim. You can create a hypothetical in which AC and ovens are on at the same time and a particular house is pulling more than it is producing. But that does not mean that solar houses, in aggregate, are pulling power from the grid.

            “The combined cycle part takes a while to start up (1 to 1.5 hours) because a volume of water must be heated.”

            The steam portion of combined cycle is less that 50% of the output for CCNG plants.

            Gas plants will be the fill in for renewables until storage becomes cheaper than gas either through dropping storage prices or a carbon price.

            Don’t forget, CCNG plants have to fill in on top of thermal plants which can’t load follow.

            ” We need to decide as a matter of policy if it is going to be advantageous for wind and solar PV to be competing with baseload power plants.”

            New nuclear and new coal are more expensive than a combination of wind, solar and NG/storage.

            A combination of wind, solar and NG/storage is “baseload”.

          • Jimbo

            What data do you need? Peter make his point clear that people do draw load during the day that exceed solar export.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t need any data.

            Peter was talking about individual houses at limited points in time.

            In aggregate solar houses are pumping in more power than they are pulling. That is very clear.

          • Peter Moss

            Probably not the on afternoons with high AC load. Houses with rooftop solar PV clearly reduce their own afternoon peak load but at sometime in the afternoon they are no longer feeding in more power than they are drawing out. The average AC load is more than their solar PV can supply.

            See answer to Dennis Heidner.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, Peter, we are all aware that peak demand hours begin before the Sun kicks in and continue after the Sun sets.

          • Peter Moss

            I don’t think that Jimbo is Peter.

          • Peter Moss

            You’d actually need data to support that claim.

            Do you not believe in math? If your AC draws 35 or 40 Amps and your solar PV can’t supply 8.4 or 9.6 killo-Watts at noon, how does that work? And how many kW does a 7.5 kW rooftop solar PV array supply at 3:00 PM (solar time)? Engineering is based on math, not experiments.

            The steam portion of combined cycle is less that 50% of the output for CCNG plants.

            Yes, Bob, I know that you aren’t an engineer. When it burns just as much fuel and produces less electricity what happens? The cost of the electricity produced goes up.

            Some thermal plants can load follow. Nuclear plants, depending on the individual model of the reactor, can, to a greater or lessor extent, load follow. It just isn’t economically advantageous for them to do so. Actually, I was reading the specs for some new ones and they are very good at load following. Old coal plants are very poor at load following. It is expensive with newer ones because they have to be kept hot. IGCC is coal but isn’t a thermal plant. The turbine can load follow, but the plant is CC again.

            New nuclear and new coal are more expensive than a combination of wind, solar and NG/storage

            If you are talking about NG I have read recent articles that disagree with that although the price is close. If you are talking storage, then what (or which) storage? Only hydro storage is economic and that is limited. So despite the fact that it is true with hydro storage (or backup) it is limited so it doesn’t really matter a lot.

            I still have hopes for other promising storage developments, but I can say the same for advanced nuclear (cheaper than coal). Both are in the R&D stages.

            A combination of wind, solar and NG/storage is “baseload”.

            Well, it can supply baseload power. However, the recent cold emergency showed that there can be problems with natural gas supply. Also, consider that in a similar weather emergency that storage could run out.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve answered the momentary peak demand question twice. I’m not going over that again. Try reading replies before you post.

            Yes, some thermal plants can load follow. And, as you admit, load following makes nuclear even more expensive. Load following with new nuclear is really off the table.

            We have far more sites for pump-up storage if that’s the route we decide to take. We have somewhere in the 5,000 to 10,000 range of existing dams that can be converted. We have more than 10,000 abandoned mines. We’ve got tremendous resources for closed loop systems.

          • jeppen

            The EPR-1600 and the AP-1000 are both designed to be able to load follow within a range of about half to full power stepping 5% per minute, with no extra wear on components. Of course you’d normally want to run it full throttle since it costs no extra, but load following ability helps to accomodate high nuclear penetration.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If new nuclear costs (being generous to nuclear) 15 cents then running a reactor at an average 50% output the cost rises to something more like 22 cents.

            The cost of electricity produced by nuclear is mostly capital expenses, financing expenses and fixed operating expenses. Almost nothing is saved by decreasing output.

            Decreasing output means that costs have to be spread over fewer units of electricity.

          • Peter Moss

            Will you please stop beating us up with that somewhat invalid UK nuclear figure. The official $0.084/kWh for the AP1000s being built by the Southern Company is more valid because those plants are actually being built.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Those plants are not on line therefore we have no idea what the final cost will be.

            We do know that Vogtle is over budget and has stated that they will no longer make numbers public. Forget the 8,4 cent stuff. It’s clearly inoperable.

          • Peter Moss

            Those firms want Southern Co. and other plant owners to pay more than $900 million in extra charges stemming mostly from licensing delays. Southern Co. and the other owners deny they are responsible for those charges.

            The NRC strikes again.

            No wonder nobody wants to risk money building new nuclear power plants.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Southern Company fell behind schedule early on due to rebar mistakes and the failure of subcontractors to deliver modules on time.

            They put on extra shifts and seem to have caught up. But they’re over budget.

            Don’t try to blame either regulations or the regulators. This was builder screw ups.

            Let’s stick with facts. Shall we?

          • jeppen

            But it was a regulator/regulation screw up. They took half a year and a lot of paperwork to come to the conclusion that the minor rebar deviation was of no consequence. That is not an acceptable timeframe.

          • Peter Moss

            Caught out again Bob. There may have been the usual building errors and it is true that some milestones were completed behind schedule, but others were ahead of schedule.

            However, that quote was about the NRC not having the construction license ready on time. Over half of that amount is directly due to that NRC delay which appears to be partially, or totally, caused by anti-nuclear activists.

            Again, Bob, please check the facts completely and don’t just read an anti-nuclear site.

          • Bob_Wallace

            BTW, Peter. The UK price is cheaper than the Ontario, San Antonio and Turkey prices.

            These are the prices we can use. They are actual bids for a product to be delivered. Nuclear has a long history of promising cheap but delivering expensive. That’s why nuclear construction stopped in the US last century.

          • Peter Moss

            Apply your own standard. Is the plant built? Is the plant being built?

            My standard is: is the plant being built in the US.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Your standard is worthless, Peter.

            We can’t know the price of a new nuclear plant until it’s build and in service.

          • CaptD

            Seen This article about Westinghouse saying N☢ to SMR’s?

            I guess Westinghouse (one of the best in the business) has finally seen the light… Solar that is…

            Westinghouse backs out of Small Modular Reactor market http://enformable.com/2014/02/westinghouse-backs-small-modular-reactor-market/

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s interesting. I wonder if it foretells a general pullback for SMRs or only for Westinghouse?

            The whole SMR = cheap electricity just doesn’t make sense to me. Nissan says that reaching low cost for EVs takes 500,000 or more builds per year. Making a few dozen SMRs just won’t create much economy of scale.

            Plus there are redundancies when one builds more smaller reactors. And more siting problems unless one clusters them around existing reactors.

          • CaptD

            I strongly believe that in the USA at least, when the Gov’t.’s R&D money runs out, so will the push for SMR’s by those wanting to cash in on doing the SMR R&D. General Atomic in San Diego is one of the key players since they have the ear of the Gov’t./DoD/DoE/CIA and also many other Big Donors to the GOP, because SMR tends to all blur the line between small nuclear reactors and small nuclear “other” research, which is being touted as peaceful R&D, instead of as new weapon R&D.

          • Bob_Wallace

            My take is, were there money to be made from SMRs then some big company like Westinghouse or GE would be manufacturing SMRs.

            It’s not like they have to invent fusion. All they have to do is to design one, set up a factory and crank them out.

            I’m guessing that ‘in quiet rooms’ the numbers have been crunched, the costs projected and the market analyzed. And based on that the big boys have given SMRs a pass.

            Some smaller firms can create salaries for themselves via government research grants as long as they can keep the tap turned on.

          • CaptD

            I believe that Westinghouse (owned by Hitachi) is THE best nuclear company both in design and fabrication, so if they are pulling out, good ruck to the Chinese and Indians…

          • Peter Moss

            I don’t think that you have an estimate of how much power that these could actually store.

          • Bob_Wallace

            What are you talking about?

          • Peter Moss

            Possible pumped storage hydro sites that you claimed.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There’s a 1997 study of existing dams on federal land. The researchers were interested in seeing if any were potential power producers. They looked at 871 existing dams and screened them for adequate hydraulic head (enough pressure to run a turbine), stream inflow, reasonable distance from transmission lines, outside of protected areas, etc. They found that 6 had hydro generation potential. That together they could produce 1,230 MW. Enough power for 957,000 residences

            http://www.usbr.gov/power/data/1834/Sec1834_EPA.pdf

            Luckily they posted a list of all 871 dams in the appendix, along with dam height/head.

            I worked my way through the first 212. Out of that 212 sample 29% (61) had at least 50′ of head. 9% (19) had at least 100′ of head. And 4% (8) had at least 190′ of head.

            In the US we’ve got around 80,000 existing dams. We use about 2,500 currently to produce electricity. That leaves us with approximately 77,500 candidate existing dams.

            Using the federal dam percentages we might expect 22,475 with greater than 50′ of head.

            That’s only dams. I recently read that we have 20,000 to 30,000 abandoned mines. The UK is building pump-up in an old rock quarry. Canada is building one in an abandoned open pit mine. There are far more places available that we could ever use.

          • Peter Moss

            MW is not a measure of storage.

          • Dennis Heidner

            Peter, you logic and numbers are way off.

            I have PV on the roof. I have a 200A service, but I down rated the main breaker to 150A because it isn’t needed. I would have gone smaller yet, but inspectors would not have been happy… since I had a 100Amp sub panel and a 50Amp solar panel.

            I measure generation and usage with current transformers. I can look at (and have frequently looked at) the minute by minute data over the last four years. Even if I force on an old air conditioner (I have for experiments) during the sunny periods of the day – I still use far less power from the grid than if solar wasn’t there. No if ands or buts…

            Most air conditioning systems run only when needed, if you are in a sunny climate The roof top solar PV can provide limited shade to the roof and actually further reduce heat gain. If the house is reasonably well designed – the HVAC should not be kicking on until at least 10AM… The southern border states have sunlight hours that run from about 7AM to 7PM during the summer time. The peak air conditioning hours are likely to be 10AM to about 9PM. That means solarPV coincides with a large portion of the hours needed for HVAC.

            Incidently at 7PM in those same regions, street lights start turning on, and they use somewhere between 100W and 200W, then the sports fields lights come on (school, parks, professional) and they use massive amounts of power.

            You can also say that the backup peaking plants are for those street lights and sport stadiums….

          • Peter Moss

            I still use far less power from the grid than if solar wasn’t there.

            Most air conditioning systems run only when needed,

            Yes, those two statements are not inconsistent with what I said. Although, I don’t see the relevance or the point of the rest of of what you said to my point which is that when your AC compressor is running that your solar PV does not provide enough power to run your AC. So when the AC compressor is running you will be drawing power from the grid. Specifically you will be drawing the difference between the power that your home needs and the power that your solar PV setup can supply. Of course that is less power than if you didn’t have the solar PV but the point is that you are still drawing power when the AC is on, not feeding power into the grid as people seem to think.

            You are not going to be able to see this with a transformer current sensor because they lack polarity. There is no way to tell if the current is being drawn from the grid or fed into the grid. You will need to read your Watt-hour meter to tell that.

            In addition to the peak power question, there is also the average power question. I hope that you can see that if the AC draws more power (e.g. 9 kW) than you solar PV setup can provide at noon that it will always draw some power from the grid when it is on.

            However, there is also the question of the average power that the AC is using. This is also an important issue considering the claims made about rooftop solar supplying power to the grid during peak demand. Obviously, in the morning, you start out with your AC using less average power than your solar PV can supply. This is probably true until noon. Then as the afternoon progresses the average power that the AC uses is going to increase until it reaches a peak about 4:00 PM or so and the power that the solar PV produces is going to gradually decrease until it goes to zero at sundown. At some point in the afternoon the curves will cross and the AC will be, on average, using power from the grid. Obviously, this will depend on individual factors including the size of the AC and the house as well as the size of the solar PV setup. But, I think that it would typically happen between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM so the best that the typical rooftop PV setup will do is reduce that homes peak AC load which in a way is contributing power to the peak load but now in the way that we would think it was. The point here being that this peak power isn’t going onto the grid for the utility to sell as people keep saying; it stays at your home to offset your purchase of power.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, if a rooftop system is designed to produce a net zero use of grid power then what you claim does not hold.

            Over the course of a year it will feed into the grid the amount taken out. That is net zero.

            When that power goes in and when “backup/storage” power comes out is a different topic.

            If there are enough solar houses on line producing net zero levels of electricity then there has to be a surplus of power flowing into the grid when the Sun is shining. Were that not so the houses would have undersized arrays, not be net zero.

          • Peter Moss

            Does a net zero sized system produce a net zero result in the Summer with air conditioning?

            Probably not. But, even if it does, what I am describing is still going to be correct. The system is going to, on average, feed power into the grid in the morning and till some time past noon at which point it will start to draw power from the grid. If properly sized, this, along with the night time use could average out to zero.

          • Bob_Wallace

            My guess is that most systems feed a surplus of power to the grid in the summer.

            But what does that matter?

          • Peter Moss

            Just wondered. I have read that people with gas heat run a Summer deficit in areas with high AC loads and make it up in the Winter. I have a heat pump in AZ and I have higher electric bills in the Summer.

          • Dennis Heidner

            Yes, a netzero house with AC and solar can still be netzero. In fact many are net positive. Minisplits are now very efficient. New building envelopes are very efficient.

            But wasn’t the story about solar industry jobs and not about the building industry?

          • Peter Moss

            In the Sumertime?

            Just tell Bob when he goes to far off topic changing the subject instead of arguing the point before him.

          • Dennis Heidner

            Yes summer time.

            Quite a few very large commerical buildings are now able to go fully netZero year round (or net positve).

            In Seattle the Bullit Center Building is an example of a commercial building that is designed to meet the requirements for the Living Building Challenge, but producing its power onsite, collecting water on site, and processing waste water on site. They have a large solar array on roof top – and worked with the power/light company in a partner ship.

            http://www.bullittcenter.org/

            A few of those jobs mentioned in the story above – were probably involved in the design and installation.

            Perhaps if Zachary or Cleantech might be interested in doing story on HVAC/Solar and where the future might go.. as a separate thread.

          • Dennis Heidner

            Actually current transformers can sense direction. And with transformers on the connection to the meter, separate current transformers on the pv production, and transformers on the sub panels… I can actually see quite well what is happening. I also have some higher end Fluke power quality analyzers (not simple multi-meters).

            I am guessing part of the problem is that you don’t have solar and haven’t ever tried to measure what actually happens… you are postulating.. real life is often different than the simple back of the napkin estimates.

            And I have checked – with the old central HVAC- I can still be stay where the house is self consuming. I do have lots of raw data and charts that demonstrate the blanket statements you suggest are not 100% accurate.

            A lot depends on the house location, the state of the house, and the equipment.

            PS, The only time I’ve seen an AC draw 9KW is when the fan for the outside condenser unit had a shorted winding and was not cooling the coils. Old AC originally 6 SEER. — 25 years old! Your example is for an extreme.

          • Peter Moss

            Does your Fluke do that without hooking up the Voltage leads? That sounds cool. Have to look into that. My field is electronics, not electrical engineering so I don’t normally deal with the large stuff.

            One word of caution. A Watt meter only measures real power, not Volt-Amps. This fact can lead to the wrong answers. It also means that you pay for less power than your AC actually uses which further confuses the issue.

            The nameplate on your AC should have a VA rating to which you need to add the blower VA if that is separate.

            I am considering solar but decided that I need to replace the AC (actually a heat pump) first. It is that old, but doesn’t draw that amount of power because I have a small house. I do think that my old one draws 8kW +/-. I plan to get a variable speed one.

            A larger AC could easily draw 9kW. People have huge houses around where I live.

            I was including the power for the blower in my figures.

            Basically, the load on an AC compressor remains fairly constant so if it is running it will be drawing the rated power. Other factors are only going to affect the average power that is being used for AC, not the power that is being drawn when the compressor is running.

          • Dennis Heidner

            No, you have to hook up line side. The current transformer is high frequency so you can pick up harmonics. And direction on current transformers can be sensed.

            Compressors in HVAC have changed significantly in the last five or six years. Huge difference. And expect to see more changes in the next several years.

            My old central HVAC was 6 SEER, I can easily replace it with a 17+ SEER HVAC. That means the load drops from about 3.5kW to about 1.5-2kW. Run times are also different. Emphasis is now on managing latent heat. New HVAC can vary not just the compression cycles, but also flow rates. That means that while it may be running to remove moisture — the load on the grid is still reduced further.

            More useful is the shading the roof top provided. It lowered the temps just under the roof sheathing by about 20F. I have lots of data on that also. Slower heating of the attic means it takes much longer for the heat to stack up in the attic and soak through the insulation into the ceiling of the house.

            I am an electrical engineer. I understand reactive power, apparent power and watts. I’ve been spending last several years looking only at buiding performance including air quality and HVAC.

            In any house – any climate – the rule is always fix the envelope, fix the thermal insulation, then size the energy needs. BIG houses well designed can be chilled and heated with quite small HVAC systems. Solar can easily meet those loads.

            If they have 9kW HVAC systems – even on large houses – more than likely those are houses that could easily be made more efficient, or they are very large mansions and they don’t care about the cost of electricity…period. One of the surprising notes is that before electricity – large mansions were often common – in part because they would have summer rooms and winter rooms for the family. Summer rooms were screened, with natural breezes that kept the occupants cool at night. The winter rooms were designed to use SOLAR again for passive heating… Even the Greeks did that 3000 years ago…

          • A Real Libertarian

            “My field is electronics, not electrical engineering so I don’t normally deal with the large stuff.”

            http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/27/solar-jobs-increase-20-rise-143000-us/#comment-1229263813

            “BTW, I never mentioned to Bob that I was a retired electronic engineer although my field has been mostly computer science lately.”

            Lying again Peter?

          • A Real Libertarian

            So you’re outraged that people are being paid for what they produce?

            Do you feel workers are mooching by expecting to be paid for their work?

            Wait a minute…

            Looks up, looks down… OK, I’m betting yes.

          • Peter Moss

            The problem here is that your electric bill isn’t itemized. I had an itemized one for a while but they went back to the combined one. So, you are charged so much a kWh for everything. That includes the actual electricity, the grid, and other ancillary costs.

            So, the way I figure it, when you purchase electricity form the utility, you should pay for all of these costs in the combined charge. Yes, I believe that people should be paid for what they produce. So, when you sell electricity back to the grid you should be paid for that part that is for the actual electricity.

          • Ronald Brakels

            So you understand that my local coal plant doesn’t pay “backup” charges to the local gas plant or vice versa? And that neither does rooftop solar?

          • Peter Moss

            So you understand that my local coal plant doesn’t pay “backup” charges to the local gas plant or vice versa?

            What??? No, what brought that up.

            And that neither does rooftop solar?

            What???

            No, the house that has rooftop solar PV on it has to get power to backup the rooftop solar PV from the grid because the rooftop solar PV can not provide enough power (Watts) to supply the peak load of the house.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Rooftop solar systems are designed to produce 100% of the power used by the house over a 24 hour period. And that power has to be produced in a 4 to 6 hour period.

            Clearly the array, if properly designed, produces far more than the house’s peak load.

          • Peter Moss

            Are you unable to do the math?

            50A breaker and 240V is 12 kW. Most rooftop systems are smaller than than that and that would only be at noon. That power decreases as the sun goes down in the afternoon. The exact rate depends on the panels.

            You are simply mistaken. I find that it is something that most people don’t realize.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, Peter, 240 x 50 is 12,000.

            That does not mean that the actual draw is 12k.

            What is your point?

          • Peter Moss

            No, the actual run current drawn is going to depend on how efficient the unit is. An old unit might draw 45A while a 13 SEER about 40A and more efficient ones would draw less.

            The point was that homes with rooftop solar PV (I might add especially all electric homes) are going to be drawing power from the grid throughout the day, not just at night.

          • Bob_Wallace

            So, what is your point?

            People with solar on their roofs either use batteries or the grid to make things work.

          • Peter Moss

            Actually, it is also the implication for the grid that is important.

          • jeppen

            “Rooftop solar systems are designed to produce 100% of the power used by the house over a 24 hour period.”

            Is that the case in the USA? Interesting. Are your roofs large enough?

            In Sweden, where I live, we easily use 15,000+ kWh/year and house, if we don’t have district heating, and thus we’d need 15+ KW of solar. Our typical roof-top systems are 2 KW.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, it takes only a portion of the part of the roof that best faces the Sun. Well under 50% of the roof is used for solar.

            Sweden is not a good solar location. You live there, you should know.

          • jeppen

            Of course I know, but still. So what’s the average home rooftop capacity in the US?

          • Bob_Wallace

            High enough to cover the annual electricity usage.

            Systems are designed to cover usage.

          • Jimbo

            You would need storage to aggregate what your saying.

            That would be ideal situation, reality that never work like that for solar homes, I like to agree with you but I think that not right.

            For a 24 hour period even aggregated solar could not escape the peak load of in-home use. Even if the home is designed to produces more, there always singular watts that exceed the home generation looking at Peter view.
            Your confusing accumulative watts over the day not watts on demand, two separate energy states, it should not be taken right total supply of energy.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If we are talking about a single home with solar panels then, yes, it is possible that a specific times of the year demand for that single house might exceed maximum solar output.

            Let’s say that it’s a very hot day so the AC is running strong, at the same time someone decided to roast a turkey and do a seven course meal which takes all four burners on the stove and also has a load of clothes in the dryer.

            Now, take that out to the neighborhood level. What are the odds that all houses are engaged in the same behavior?

            The odds that all solar homes in aggregate are pulling more than they are generating? Pretty danged low.

            Now, I’m not sure why Peter thinks this important.

          • Jimbo

            Some people need to make this point, Peter just making a point of loading power factors over time, nothing wrong with it.

            It’s clear that solar home need to be self- efficient profiling the line of questioning non-reliance on the grid self storage and energy management to escape this fundamental concerned of Peter points.

            Shift towards self-efficiency and energy management is emerging as the one big concern of clean-techs. Taken Peter’s points on its merits, its importance for people to acquire better understandings on how energy works, watts supplied over watts drawn falls back on the energy management of home users, Peter take his point seriously, I agree with it, as you couldn’t escape that argument under off grid battery storage situation, energy management must be scrutinized and not taken for granted compared.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Rooftop solar shows as a demand reduction to the grid and as a new supply.
            The grid may want to time demand in order to lower overall peaks.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “If the customer uses the power, then they need to pay for the power used.”

            And if the customer sells excess power to the grid, then they need to be paid for the power sold.

          • Peter Moss

            But, only for the actual electricity. Not for other things included in the price on a non-itemized bill.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Peter, you wrote, “Perhaps because rooftop solar does not pay for the cost of the use it makes of the grid for backup.” So it sounded like you are pretty confused.

          • Jimbo

            Ronald your confused, exported solar power will not offset load peaks. That a double dumbass on you, watts drawn don’t = watts supplied at any singular solar house.

          • Bob_Wallace

            This is Germany before and after “exported” solar.

            Notice how the midday peak is crushed?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “What the customer is doing is using the grid as though it was a battery but not paying the utility anything to do so. In fact, if the customer has a large enough rooftop panel array they might pay zero for their electric bill while making considerable use of the grid for backup power.”

            And the problem is?

            That only happens when the solar power given to the grid is more then what’s purchased by the solar owner with a non-itemized bill.

            And given that it’s a credit, not money, any extra power is free.

            So, basically you’re whining about how moochers can’t force producers to pay them for leeching their product.

          • Peter Moss

            The problem is — to use your term — that the moochers aren’t paying anything to use the grid.

          • A Real Libertarian

            No, the moochers are the ones running the grid and getting free power from solar customers.

            Or is there some “If you’re a big corporation, you can take property and not pay for it” clause hidden in the definition of moocher somewhere?

          • Peter Moss

            Do you know how net metering works?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Do you know how net metering works?”

            Do you?

          • Bob_Wallace

            At this point in the game the utilities are making money off rooftop solar. They are taking in power when wholesale costs are high and paying back with cheap wholesale power.

            That won’t hold over the long term. When there are enough people with rooftop solar then we’ll need a new economic model. Utilities will get paid for the use of their distribution system and for the power users do purchase.

            What that model will look like – it’s too early to tell. Various utilities will try out different ideas and the best solutions will prevail.

            Utilities face a number of difficulties. Many own coal and nuclear plants which are likely to be forced out of business leaving them with stranded assets. If they try to recoup those losses too aggressively by ramping up prices they will encourage more rooftop solar and even see customers installing storage and dropping off the grid.

            Interesting times ahead….

          • Peter Moss

            Well, as I am trying to explain. It appears that they aren’t actually taking as much power in the daytime peak use periods as you might think. That was my point. Part of that time (small time slices) their rooftop solar PV customers are actually drawing power from the grid.

            APS wants to institute a model that has pricing reflect costs but still be billed per kWh.

            If the utilities own a coal or nuclear power plant, the plant won’t be forced out of business. Only independent ones will be forced out of business and that may happen before the regulators step in and decide what to do.

            You appear to be leaving out an important fact about a nuclear plant; if the utility has it, it costs very little to run.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Some nuclear plants cost very little to run.

            Some nuclear plants cost enough to run that they are in danger of bankruptcy. One paid off and fully operating reactor was shut down in 2013 because it wasn’t competitive. For four other reactors the margin was too tight to cover needed repairs.

            Now, if fully paid off reactors aren’t competitive how does one build a new reactor and compete in the open market? Clearly it can’t happen.

            The only time new reactors can be brought on line is when customers are forced to pay higher prices for electricity as is now happening in Georgia and a few other states.

          • jeppen

            Seems to be true for all generation except gas nowadays, at least in some states. A carbon tax would be ideal to fix that, but if that is politically unfeasible, then subsidies of non-fossils is a way.

          • Peter Moss

            As I have implied before, you don’t seem to understand the current issues regarding utility economics.

            These complex issues cannot be addressed by a list of talking points.

            The most important thing to understand is that in utilities that there is no “open market” A utility is a natural monopoly. Some foolish politicians that do not understand that have tried to introduce artificial (fake) competition into the electric utility market. In doing so, all that they have done is to prove that they flunked microeconomics, disrupted the market, and raised ratepayer prices.

            There are two things which they didn’t learn from microeconomics:

            The Law of Supply and Demand only operates in the short run. In the long run, price is determined by the cost of production.

            In a regulated natural monopoly, the customer pays the average price while under free competition the customer pays the marginal price which is higher.

            Now regarding your talking points.

            The reactors that are in financial troubles are ones that are independent power suppliers and are being subjected to this fake competition. These so-called repairs that you mention are upgrades being required by the NRC. Their only possibilities are to somehow be purchased by a regulated monopoly utility or go back to the regular free market where power is sold under contract.

            The way that new reactors can be built is that they can be built by a regulated monopoly utility or a consortium of same, or the builder can have advanced contracts to purchase most of the power good for long enough to pay off the capital investment. So, yes it can happen. And, or course when advanced nuclear becomes available for half the capital cost, it won’t be a problem.

            And here we have that “its nuclear” fallacy again. When any utility builds a new power plant, the electricity from it is going to cost more than the existing rates. Surprise! It is called inflation. You don’t mention how high, or low, these prices are in relation to other areas of the country. The good thing is that this investment will result in a stable source for 60 years.

            Natural gas will be cheaper now but the EIA projects that it will increase in price and increase in price relative to coal over the coming decades.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, keep your lectures to yourself. You are new here and simply don’t know what others may or may not know.

            The nuclear plants which are failing are being subsidized. Taxpayers give them free liability coverage and cover some of the cost of long term fuel storage. Were that not the case then their cost would be even higher and even more reactors would be in trouble,

            Yes, reactor can be built by regulated utilities. That is exactly what is happening right now in Georgia. Rate payers had their rates increased over the reasonable cost of electricity in order to give the utility some “free” money to offset construction costs and ratepayers will likely see their rates increase again after the reactors come on line in order to cover the higher cost of electricity.

            “When *any* utility builds a new power plant, the electricity from it is going to cost more than the existing rates.”

            Actually, not. Right now solar is coming on line in the SW at a price less than what utilites pay for gas peaker supply. New wind is cheaper than some gas generation.

            Natural gas prices will likely fall a bit in the sort run but increase later on as demand grows, This just means that we’ve got a couple of years to sort out the best storage solutions.

            We’re not going to keep burning coal

          • Peter Moss

            A free lecture on the fallacies promulgated by the anti-nuclear movement doesn’t seem called for since it is not in direct answer to anything that I said. In fact it appears to be an instance of the method of changing the subject and introducing extraneous material.

            Nuclear power plants are not provided with free liability coverage. Utilities self insure through a mutual insurance plan that all of the plants in the US contribute to and are liable for. The limitations on liability exist due to the fact that the insurance industry wants it since insurance in an amount over the limit would simply not be available. It is a benefit for the insurance industry. Perhaps if you would do a little research on the subject before you post something.

            Utilities with reactors were paying a fee for fuel storage. This appears to be the opposite of a subsidy. Their trade group recently sued the government and won an order to allow them to stop paying this fee until the used fuel issue was resolved.

            Again, do research if you are not knowledgeable about the issue. Or, at least get your information form somewhere other than an anti-nuclear site.

            Your statement about new solar in the SW and wind, gas generation, etc. makes no mention of who owns this generation capacity, thus missing the main point.

            Do you understand how utility regulation works? I presume not. They are entitled to a guaranteed profit which is a percent ROI so whenever then make an new investment in generation capacity, they are entitled to a ROI on that and their rates will be increased accordingly at the next rate case.

            Bob, I presume that you are newer here than I am, and by that I mean to the planet. You appear very enthusiastic, but you are naive and seem to lack knowledge and don’t appear to be interested in acquiring real knowledge. I suggest that you take the time to acquire more actual knowledge about the things that you are interested in from sites that provide hard knowledge rather than from the sites that you appear to be getting it from.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The nuclear industry covers the first 12 billion in the event of a disaster.
            To date the Fukushima disaster is at least $110 billion and might run well above $250 billion.

            What the nuclear industry pays for fuel storage does not cover the full costs.
            .. doesn’t matter who owns the wind/solar farm. I gave you the prices that utilities are paying.

            Roosevelt was president when I was born. You older than that?

            I admit that I don’t know everything. I try to learn more. I also know that you don’t know everything.

          • Peter Moss

            To date the Fukushima disaster is at least $110 billion and might run well above $250 billion

            It is interesting how the anti-nuclear cabal consider Fukushima to be a nuclear incident while other people consider it to be a natural disaster.

            What the nuclear industry pays for fuel storage does not cover the full costs.

            The full costs of what? They are currently storing it on their property.

            .. doesn’t matter who owns the wind/solar farm.

            Once again, you have entirely missed the point.

            Obviously, the utility can’t claim a ROI of they don’t own it. Remember what I said about utility rates being based on their earning a ROI on their assets?

          • Bob_Wallace

            The tsunami was a natural disaster.

            The reactor meltdown was a nuclear disaster.

            Are you now going to go into full nuclear defense mode and try to define away every nuclear incident rather than being objective?

          • Peter Moss

            No, I am just pointing out that you have a very strange and biased way of looking at this.

            No tsunami, then no meltdown.

            This appears quite clear to me.

            It appears to be just another instance of damage caused by the tsunami. But, then, I am an objective person and not an anti-nuclear activist. It is, after all, only a small percentage of the damage caused by the tsunami.

            You could logically say that it is another fact that illustrates that LWRs are probably not the best type of nuclear power plant, but that is a different question.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m paying no attention to your ROI stuff. Someone is making money by building wind farms and they’re selling wind at very attractive prices.
            If people weren’t making enough money then builds would cease.

          • Peter Moss

            Might I point out that you are the one that brought this (ROI) up in relation to Vogtle units 3 & 4 being built by the Southern Company.

          • jeppen

            Electricity generation is so far from a natural monopoly you can come. Rather it is a field of potentially great competition, since all electrons are the same. All you need to do is separate grid ownership (which is a natural monopoly) from electricity generation by law, and require grid owners (could be the government) to allow all producers access at equal terms. Preferably also try to make the framework the same in all of the US, so that each state isn’t its own island.

          • Peter Moss

            That sounds logical, but it is wrong — maybe.

            If you read a good Freshman college Econ text book, you will understand how that can actually increase the prices that ratepayers pay for electricity. The marginal price is higher than the average price.

            But, the problem now is the terms that some states have imposed. The fake competition based on hourly ISO auctions for power rather than allowing long term contracts between suppliers and utilities.

            So, the question is if there is competition, what will happen to those suppliers of electricity that lose out in the competitive marketplace after they go bankrupt. If they are purchased by their former competitors then it starts to sound like a natural monopoly like my Econ text book says.

          • jeppen

            The marginal price should be the consumer price. It will spur investments and conservation to get the marginal price close to the average. Trying to regulate for average prices backfires by stifling innovation and competition.

          • Peter Moss

            Trying to regulate for average prices backfires by stifling innovation and competition.

            Paying the average price is simply a consequence of the way that utility regulation works. It is not something that is deliberately done.

          • jeppen

            You’re saying that utilities face difficulties with solar. I’d say solar owners face the big difficulties with high-penetration solar.

            Assuming high-penetration (10%+) solar, hourly metering and spot prices, utilities can always provide expensive “peaking” power when the sun isn’t high in the sky to keep a healthy profit going. Solar owners however will find their PV replacing increasingly cheap mid-day electricity, so will be unable to find a price differential that gives them much savings. Their investment will turn sour.

            PV owners will be stuck with installing even more solar and expensive batteries, essentially throwing good money after bad, and then living with the inconvenience of being off-grid. Or they’ll have to pony up whatever the operator needs to keep running the grid and its powerplants at approximately the same level as before.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Solar owners will install batteries only if it makes financial sense.

            If grid operators can’t provide non-solar hour power at a low enough price then people will start storing and using their own power.

            Watch what is going to happen in Germany and Australia where grid prices are high.

          • jeppen

            I think very few would want to go off-grid, because that will introduce elements of seasonal scarcity, monitoring and energy insecurity.

            if people start installing batteries to shirk grid costs, but keep their grid connections, the grid operators’ likely response is obvious: They will simply up the fixed yearly fees and lower or remove the per-kWh fee.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Utilities, in general, can’t arbitrarily change prices. Being essentially monopolies they are somewhat controlled by the government.

            Utilities will be able to make an argument that they should be able to recoup their distribution cost (plus a reasonable profit) but that won’t be an excessively large amount.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      So, you want a country in which no one has a job? Not sure if I follow.

      And perhaps note that creating jobs is consistently at the top of US public priorities: http://www.people-press.org/interactives/top-priorities/

      • jeppen

        This is not about countries, it is about sectors of the economy. If the energy sector balloons in terms of jobs, but provides the same output (or less output per worker), then less workforce is available for the other sectors. Less builders will build houses, less teachers will teach and so on.

        The idea of “creating jobs” is very dubious because work hours is a resource that is consumed, not a good we create!

        True, when a politician lowers the NAIRU, the natural rate of unemployment, by removing barriers for employment, then that “creates jobs”. But when we, or politicians, just shift our allocation of money then that doesn’t create jobs. It just shifts them to satisfy other consumption patterns.

        • Bob_Wallace

          That’s a pile of crap.

          Jobs are jobs. Installing renewables will create thousands of good jobs for decades.

          • jeppen

            I explained the economics as well as I could, and I’m sorry you still don’t understand. I recommend you take some Econ 101 class if you’re interested in the subject. If not, please feel free to keep substituting shallow repetition and rudeness for arguments.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You seem to think that there are few people looking for jobs, that labor is a limited resource.

            In the US that is not the case. We have lots of people who would be very happy to get a good job installing solar and earning a decent wage.

            People that earn money spend that money back into the economy.

          • jeppen

            As I said, in fairly special circumstances around recessions and with good timing, increases in aggregate demand might be beneficial. To the extent the time is right and solar investment makes people dig into savings or take loans that they otherwise wouldn’t, then this might have a positive short-term impact on economic activity.

            But politicians usually don’t time stimulus well, and it’s very doubtful that the timing is right for this either, as the US isn’t in a recession. There has been a lot of roads to nowhere in different countries and it hasn’t helped them. This is not a critique of solar power per se – I’m just pointing out that the job creation argument is upside-down. It is used for any number of activities and industries and it always bugs me.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The growing boom in solar is not due to a government stimulus program, it’s due to the falling price of solar.

            The jobs created are badly needed jobs. They don’t require a lot of specialized training, they’re pretty much replacement jobs for the semi-skilled factory jobs we’ve lost.

            Repay times for end-user solar have dropped below ten years. Even at ten years one is looking at a 7% return on investment which is very good for a low risk investment.

          • jeppen

            Well, if you feel low production costs and lots of well-paying jobs are consistent, then why not…

            Still, nothing makes ballooning labor requirements beneficial in a sector with more or less constant output. A child should be able to understand that that is a bad thing. But sadly, this goes nowhere, as has no discussion with you. I’ll probably give up here.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Still, nothing makes ballooning labor requirements beneficial in a sector with more or less constant output.”

            So a 20% increase is “ballooning” while a 50% increase is “more or less constant output”?

          • jeppen

            You compare solar to itself, which is meaningless. I’m talking about solar jobs compared to the jobs replaced.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Really?

            Then you should get numbers to prove it.

          • jeppen

            Prove what? I’m not the one making the argument that solar is bad or consumes a lot of jobs. I’m just saying that the “creates many jobs” argument is a bad one.

          • Peter Moss

            It is called the Law of Supply and Demand because someone else proved it.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “It is called the Law of Supply and Demand because someone else proved it.”

            Sorry, I’m a deluded leftist so I don’t understand how the “Law of Supply and Demand” makes a 20% increase “ballooning” while a 50% increase is “more or less constant output”?

          • Peter Moss

            What does that have to do with supply and demand being a law?

          • A Real Libertarian

            jeppen: “Still, nothing makes ballooning labor requirements beneficial in a sector with more or less constant output.”

            Me: “So a 20% increase is ‘ballooning’ while a 50% increase is ‘more or less constant output’?”

            jeppen: “You compare solar to itself, which is meaningless. I’m talking about solar jobs compared to the jobs replaced.”

            Me: “Really?

            Then you should get numbers to prove it.”

            You: “It is called the Law of Supply and Demand because someone else proved it.

            Me: “Sorry, I’m a deluded leftist so I don’t understand how the ‘Law of Supply and Demand’ makes a 20% increase ‘ballooning’ while a 50% increase is ‘more or less constant output’?”

            You: “What does that have to do with supply and demand being a law?”

            Me: Pay attention next time.

          • Peter Moss

            Installation costs less half as much in Germany and I don’t think that it is because the per hour labor rate is lower. Don’t you think that if a solar installation cost even 25% less in the US that more people would buy them? The result being that more people would be employed.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Installation costs less half as much in Germany and I don’t think
            that it is because the per hour labor rate is lower. Don’t you think
            that if a solar installation cost even 25% less in the US that more
            people would buy them? The result being that more people would be
            employed.”
            How does that relate to your “Solar is the spawn of the demon government!!!” spiel?

          • Peter Moss

            It is the subsidies that are the spawn of the demon government.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You are right!

            Look at all the money we pissed away on nuclear energy and all it got us was piles of deadly radioactive waste and expensive electricity.

            Don’t get me started on what coal costs us. Or what we’ve wasted supporting the oil industry.

          • Peter Moss

            If you mean that the government has handled the nuclear power program very poorly, you are correct. And, actually, the pile of spent fuel is rather small if all piled in one place it would not take up much room.

            However, not all of the nuclear reactors that are in operation are producing expensive electricity. Some of them are even paid for.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A significant number of our paid off reactors are in danger of going bankrupt over the next few years. The Kewaunee, Wisconsin reactor was shut down last year even though it was paid off and working fine.

            Additionally many other reactors are only one significant repair bill away from going out of business. That happened in 2013 to Crystal River, Oyster Point, and the two SONGS reactors.

            Operating costs for several paid off reactors are high enough to make it difficult for them to compete against cheaper natural gas and wind electricity.

          • Peter Moss

            SONGS has fallen victim to the NRC. If you doubt that, look into it further.

            It is interesting to note that the old reactors that are part of a utility are not having problems. It is only the independently owned ones that are subjected to the fake competition that are in trouble and from what I have read, the problem there is more a question of not affording to upgrade to apply for a license extension.

          • Bob_Wallace

            SONGS could have danced the dance and stayed in business.

            The owners of SONGS decided that they didn’t want to spend the money to keep the reactors in service.

            It’s a money thing.

            There’s no “fake competition”. Natural gas prices are what natural gas prices are. Wind is now about the same price as the O&M for the threatened nuclear plants. Solar is arriving at that price point.

            And before you go off on subsidies, wind is competitive without subsidies. Solar soon will be. Additionally we’ve poured enormous amounts of public money into the nuclear industry.

          • Peter Moss

            No money need to keep SONGS running. Something about running one of the reactors at 90% power. The other one works fine.

            The hourly ISO auctions are fake competition. I don’t know what the final end of it will be. But, eventually someone will pick up the pieces and understand what Natural Monopoly means. Now, it is playing out just like it was explained in my economics book.

          • Bob_Wallace

            SONGS was not operational at full power.

            Running at a reduced level would have required some engineering research and, obviously, the owners did not feel it a good investment.

            I suspect part of the problem for the owners was that they saw the solar Juggernaut heading their direction.

            The reactors were shut down because there was not sufficient profit to keep them running.

          • Peter Moss

            Most importantly, it would require NRC approval.

            Solar doesn’t matter to a nuclear power plant. Nuclear is baseload.

          • Dennis Heidner

            Yes, it would have required an NRC approval after the engineering studies and certification for the plant to run at the reduced power level. The shutdown of SONGS was a design error on the part of the steam generator manufacturer when they refurbished it. They used simulation and design tools that had not been tested and certified to do what they did.

            The result was that shortly after the newly refurbished steam generator was put into service – it developed leaks… internally. The fault was not the NRC, it was improper design and refurbishment work. Once it has leaked — they can spend a lot of time fixing a few stress fractures – but unless they pulled the whole item out and went through it with a fine tooth comb – it would still be suspect. And remember since it is a steam generator – that means reactor coolant had been going through it. Fixing it again might not be an overnight job.

            FWIW, Apparently here are about four other steam generators out there with similar problems – and they are now on a watch list.

            Since steam generators are custom designed, built and tested for specific plants – the flow time to replace a defective steam generator is many many months… probably a couple of years.

          • A Real Libertarian

            But, don’t you see Dennis?

            If there was no regulations the Free Market would prevent that from being necessary with Freedom!

            And if it didn’t the government could pay for any cleanups.

            I don’t know why people think that have to leave a nuclear disaster site, I mean Chernobyl wasn’t dangerous or anything, right?

          • Dennis Heidner

            Yes, and a truly free market, with out restrictions, regulations, constraints or aid from the government would also mean – Anderson-Price would not exist. Without government acting as secondary catastrophic insurance holder – the industry would be unable to obtain insurance to operate plants. (They tried years ago and failed — that is why Anderson-Price was written).

            It means that all companies would be at the mercy of open season hunting by lawyers — as there would be no momentary restrictions on the awards by the juries. Those are restricted under state and federal laws….

            It would be the wild west again.

            A fully unregulated market – is not a good thing – we saw that in the early 1900′s — it was the utilities that went to the government and proposed utility commissions!! The early utilities saw the commissions as a means to restrict entry into the markets by competitors….

            Early utilities often were competing in the same market spaces with incompatible energy infrastructure. There were lots of problems.

            The original story is about jobs – and even in the solar industry the certification of modules, the common structural specs for rails, know materials property, predictable interconnection requirements – make it easier to train the workers for the industry. Those skills are also transferable to other industries – construction (commercial buildings) for example.

            Find a country where there is absolutely free markets – no controls of any type for any service – and you find chaos.

          • jeppen

            You do realize that chemical, food and medical industries, among others, can’t insure themselves fully either? Again, nuclear is not magical, nor very different. It’s just an industry.

            I do agree that incumbents generally like regulation to keep competition out, though.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That’s the “Little Johnny put a firecracker up the cat’s butt, too” defense.
            It’s a Fail right out of the gate.

          • jeppen

            Don’t agree. I’m pointing out that handling really bad accidents are what we have states for. We can’t shut down all industries because they can’t get insurances, and doing price-anderson for all of them make little sense, just as singling out nuclear makes little sense.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s your argument.

            We should lower the safety requirements for nuclear reactors and accept meltdowns with their resulting radioactive contamination in order to make nuclear energy competitive with wind and solar.

            I cannot fathom why someone would make that argument.

            The rational argument is screw nuclear, it’s too expensive and dangerous. Since we have cheaper and safer alternatives then install them and forget nuclear.

          • jeppen

            One of the many things you don’t seem to understand is that lessons learned and improved designs (even with some scaled-back safety features after deregulation) would make reactors a lot safer than the 70-ies reactors that make up much of the global fleet today.

            So I’m not advocating that we should make the reactors more dangerous than what we have. I’m rather advocating that we should make do with 100 times better than the old stuff, rather than with 100,000 times, in order to get stuff built in a timely fashion. Of course, I’m leaning on the law of diminishing returns here.

            We have yet to see your favorite tech reach buildout rates and penetration rates anywhere near the peak nuclear construction rates and penetrations. Likely we won’t either.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Of course you’re arguing that we should make reactors more dangerous. That’s exactly what you a Peter are doing. All those regulations driving up costs – that’s your complaint.

            Let the industry police itself. What could possible go wrong with that?

          • jeppen

            Then keep a few light-weight regulations that make nukes 100 times better than the Fukushima ones. I do prefer a state which seems to be beyond your comprehension, but I’d be fairly happy with regulation that optimize across the entire electricity production instead of the current suboptimizations.

          • Bob_Wallace

            But you nuclear fanboys keep telling us that the only reason nuclear is expensive is because of regulations.

          • jeppen

            Yes? But that doesn’t mean regulations have to go to zero for nuclear to be competitive. Look at China – they have regulation and are building nuclear with costs that intermittent sources can’t touch.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sure, nuclear in China is cheap. If you don’t include financing costs.

          • jeppen

            Remember that China’s nukes are built in less than five years and the risk is fairly low. Consequently the interest needed would not be that high, and the time for build is low, so finex doesn’t change much.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually the average time for China to build reactors is 5.5 years and the last few years they have been closer to 6.

          • jeppen

            I just checked that statement and it turns out not to be true, from what I can see in the WNA reactor database. What is your source and could you enumerate the reactors and dates, please?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I took start and complete dates from the Wiki page and worked out the years
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_reactors

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you’ve got a thermal plant running at cost or even below cost during off peak hours and depending on high merit order prices during peak hours and then bring solar on line that wipes out the peak that thermal plant is in deep trouble.

            Thermal plants have solar lowering the price ceiling and wind lowering the floor. The profitable hours are going away.

            The only profitable hours will be late afternoon before the wind picks up. “Baseload” thermal plant would need to sell for even more during those hours to make up for the solar hour losses and falling price floor. The higher they set their prices, the more they open the market for gas plants and storage.

          • Peter Moss

            Might I first thank you for an excellent explanation of why so-called competition doesn’t work in the electric utility market.

            Then I need to ask you what: “merit order prices” are. I know what merit order is but it has little to do with prices.

            Your explanation is totally irrelevant if the baseload thermal power plant is owned by the utility or is under contract to a utility since there is no question of cost or profit.

            Then there are the problems with your argument. There is a baseload and the daytime load. Even if there was a lot of solar, it could only supply 100% of the daytime load and baseload at noon. Then if we also have wind with an average 35% CF, there is still going to be a considerable part of the baseload left.

            So, now your are proposing that gas and storage could compete for this remaining chunk. That would be difficult since at least part of the natural gas would be expensive natural gas and even with inexpensive storage, it is still going to cost more than the thermal plant.

            There is an important point here. The power from this thermal plant is probably needed. There might well be a shortage of power at sometimes of the day without it. So, if an independent plant is forced out of business,or into Chapter 11, by what you call an “open market” what should the regulators do about the issue?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, 35% CF does not mean that the wind blows only 35% of the time. You need to understand CF before you go further with your argument.

            Baseload. That level below which demand never drops. We agree that is what baseload means?

            New nuclear costs, based on real world prices, over 15 cents.

            Solar is now under 10 cents. Wind is now around 5 cents.

            Storage runs 5 (pump-up), 8 (flow battery) to 10 cents (EOS system batteries). Those prices are the best I can get, not hard numbers.

            If you mix say 40% direct from wind, 40% direct from solar and 20% stored you end up with less than 10 cent electricity. That’s baseload cheaper than nuclear.

            When you figure out that CF is not hours of production you can read the Archer and Jacobson paper which shows that connecting wind farms over a hundred or two miles to the grid gives “baseload” generation 85% of the time.

          • jeppen

            You dishonestly don’t mention how little baseload you get 85% of the time.

            40% direct from wind and 40% direct from solar isn’t possible without a LOT of overbuilding – since a lot of power would be stranded in such scenarios. Remember Germany had hours with 50% solar at a penetration of only 3%. 40% solar penetration would give them hours at 50*40/3 = 666% solar. Not only the number of the beast, but also a bit too much to do anything with. :-P

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do I need to give you that number? The issue is that Peter doesn’t understand what CF means.

            Yes, we will likely overbuild wind/solar capacity. Overbuilding is likely to be cheaper than storage unless we develop cheap storage.

            Do understand, curtailing 10% of 5 cent wind makes the cost of wind about 5.5 cents.

          • jeppen

            I think Peter does understand what CF means, and your interference that he does not is not valid. And yes, you need to give that number in that context to not be misleading.

            Regarding overbuild, sure, some amount may be done if the subsidies are high enough. (Remember that when penetration is so high that some power is stranded, the power produced fetch no appreciable market price, and thus investments are unlikely.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Even if there was a lot of solar, it could only supply 100% of the daytime load and baseload at noon. Then if we also have wind with an average 35% CF, there is still going to be a considerable part of the baseload left.”

            Did you not read what he wrote before you spouted off or do you not understand what capacity factor means?

          • jeppen

            I read it, and he is correct. There are definitely times where you don’t get much wind, even with interconnected wind farms.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Bogus.

            That was a POS post.

          • jeppen

            I think you’re just being uncharitable in your interpretations.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, you’re right even when you’re wrong.

            Is that good enough for you?

          • Peter Moss

            Yes, Bob, one word is wrong. Notice that it doesn’t parse to make any sense with the wrong word. ‘it’ instead of ‘that’.

          • Peter Moss

            It is obvious that Bob doesn’t understand what CF means to reverse the argument. In general Greens don’t appear to understand that it is the integral of the output curve divided by the time period (often expressed as a percent). It is obvious here that Bob does not understand that fixed panel solar PV has a fixed shape curve (half wave rectified sine wave). So it is indeed very difficult do understand how he is going to have 40% direct solar and only 20% storage when a good design for only the solar part would have the storage increase linearly (accounting for the charging efficiency) with any increase in solar over 25%.

            BTW, I never mentioned to Bob that I was a retired electronic engineer although my field has been mostly computer science lately.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, do you have a reading problem?

          • Peter Moss

            I wonder how long I should let you insult my knowledge before I tell you what my major was in college.

            It would actually be better if the 35% CF meant that the wind blew fast enough for full output 35% of the time but, unfortunately, it doesn’t. It is the integral of the curve of the variable output.

            That is what ‘baseload’ is supposed to mean however utilities tend to fudge this definition a bit.

            There is no point even commenting on anything based on your questionable numbers for costs.

            However, might I ask you why you think that people are selling wind power below market value?

            What are the qualifications of Archer and Jacobson? I have not read their paper. I have only read criticism by scientists and engineers of papers with conclusions like it.

            Note that 85% of the time isn’t enough.

            Also, I read in the news that there was an experiment and there was an experiment that was conducted that disproved the hypothesis that combining wind and solar PV could produce 24/7 power. The experiment was called Germany.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’re talking junk.

            CF tells us nothing about about how many hours the wind blows over a year.
            A good wind site would not produce a lot of 100% nameplate hours. That would mean that production hours would be low

            Jacobson is a professor of engineering at Stanford. Archer is now on the faculty at Delaware.

            However, might I ask you why you think that people are selling wind power below market value?”

            I don’t think people are selling wind below market value. They are selling at competitive prices. Market value is the price that gets one the contract.

            It would help, Peter, if you would slow down a little and think. You claim that 85% of the time is not good enough. Did it not occur to you that if wind can market 85% of the time then the cost of fill in (say stored wind) for the other 15% is going to do little to raise the overall cost of the “baseload” power?

            0.85 * 0.05 + 0.15 * 0.15 = 0.065/kWh.

            I started thinking that nuclear was our solution to getting fossil fuels off the grid and combating climate change. The the price for wind and solar plummeted. There is no longer any reason to accept the problems that nuclear brings with it.

          • Peter Moss

            So what you are saying is that most wind farms installed wind turbines that are too large. Obviously, that is not correct. Sorry, it was sort of a trick question. Perhaps you really don’t understand CF. They could run all day at 35% or 35% of the time at 100% or something in between that was equivalent. That is easier than the Calculus.

            I was talking about the market value of electricity, not the market value for wind power. I figure that wind power is sold for less than the market value for electricity because it isn’t worth as much due to the fact that it is intermittent.

            Nice to know that you have a sophistic answer for everything. What I clearly meant was that 85% of the time isn’t enough for baseload power. Personally, having electric power 85% of the time isn’t enough.

            You committing the LWR (Light Water Reactor) fallacy when you talk about nuclear. You need to be careful about that if you get your information from anti-nuclear sites. Everything that they say is based on the presumption that nuclear is LWR.

            You are also suffering from the Green’s major fallacy that somehow intermittent and variable wind and solar power can provide all of our energy needs when they can’t even provide our electricity needs in the near future.

            There is a combined fallacy of the two also. It is claimed that because wind and solar can be quickly installed and nuclear takes several years to install that there would be a large problem installing enough nuclear to replace coal but it would be simple to install enough wind and solar to do so. However that fact is the opposite. The reason is that wind and solar must be manufactured and we currently have only a small manufacturing capacity for wind and solar. Manufacturing rather than installation time would be the limitation for wind and solar. There are also possible materials limitations. Most of nuclear plant construction, even the large LWR plants, is standard construction methods. This is not a limiting factor.

            However, I think that we need to take the advice of James Hansen’s group that what we need is not a lot more LWRs. What we need is advanced nuclear. HTGRs and Generation IV reactors. These could replace coal for electricity much faster than wind and solar and can replace fossil fuels for other uses as well.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Also, I read in the news that there was an experiment and there was an experiment that was conducted that disproved the hypothesis that combining wind and solar PV could produce 24/7 power. The experiment was called Germany.”

            And I see in the news that Germany has more sun then America.

            Does that make it so?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Now, it is playing out just like it was explained in my economics book.”

            Let me guess…

            Atlas Shrugged?

          • Peter Moss

            No, McConnell Economics, you twit.

          • jeppen

            Of course the SONGS decision was a money thing. Under California’s system of regulation, the consumers will foot the bill for replacement infrastructure and generation, along with a healthy 10% profit for the SDG&E.

            What would the utility’s rationale be for keeping a low-cost operation going when it can change into high-cost operations, given that they’re handed a 10% profit either way? The high cost option is obviously better for them.

            http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Jul/27/swift-secret-kill-onofre-nuclear/

          • A Real Libertarian

            So you base math on ranting rather then on numbers?

          • Peter Moss

            At $4/Watt lets see your figures with a 4% interest rate.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, I really don’t know what your problem is. Can you not understand that the solar industry is growing and it’s creating lots of jobs?

            Is that not a good thing in your book? Do you have some reason that we should stay with fossil fuels?

          • Peter Moss

            So, I guess that they really can’t pay off rooftop solar in 10 years or earn 7% ROI.

            So, you have changed the subject.

            My point is obvious. Higher productivity and lower prices are better for the economy and, therefore, for the workers and the customers as well. Isn’t solar doing better in Germany due to lower installation costs? Isn’t solar installation labor more productive in Germany?

            What is this nonsense that wanting higher productivity would mean that I wanted to stay with fossil fuels. That is nonsense.

          • Peter Moss

            You appear to forget the economic fact from the law of supply and demand that if the service: solar installation cost less, then more people would buy it and more people would be employed doing it.

            Your thinking is typical of a Leftist/Democrat.

          • Peter Moss

            You need a little study of basic economics.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “You need a little study of basic economics.”

            We aren’t interested in basic economics, we’ve interested in advanced economics, the kind where you learn about all the exceptions to the rules taught in econ 101.

          • Peter Moss

            There are no exceptions.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “There are no exceptions.”

            There are no exceptions to unemployment being a good thing?

          • Peter Moss

            There are no exceptions to the laws of classical economics. If you think that there are exceptions, then you forgot the conditions such as the Law of Supply and Demand only applies in the short run.

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          right now, jobs are in short supply. $ put into solar creates more jobs than $ put into coal or natural gas. growing clean energy also grows jobs rather than costly pollution.

      • Peter Moss

        It is a paradox of economics. Productivity is increased and less people are employed to do a given job. The result is that the people that are employed are payed more and the goods and services that they produce are less expensive. The economy as a whole benefits and people have more money to spend on goods and services. The result is that more jobs are created.

        • A Real Libertarian

          “The result is that the people that are employed are payed more and the goods and services that they produce are less expensive.”

          No, the result is unemployment goes up and the rich get richer.

          Unless you have something like a union or government to counteract the corporate looting spree.

          • jeppen

            Why do you call yourself “a real libertarian” when you spout the same tired socialist mythology all the time? Seems a bit immature if you ask me.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Why do you call yourself ‘a real libertarian’ when you spout the same tired socialist mythology all the time? Seems a bit immature if you ask me.”

            I like to remind you of your thieving nature:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_D%C3%A9jacque

          • Peter Moss

            I guess that Leftists are really so stupid that they believe that increases in productivity cause unemployment.

            You need to realize something which is that businesses understand economics even if you don’t. If a business can make more money selling more of a product at a lower price, they will do it.

            Don’t you understand that there is a reason that the garbage that you claim happens won’t happen? It is because the businesses have competition.

            So, when prices fall and sales increase, I suppose that these businesses don’t bother to increase production.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Producing more product while using less labor is a common goal for businesses. Is that news to you?

          • Peter Moss

            No, but my point is that it is good for the whole economy too.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So why has unemployment gone up since the fifties and sixties?

            And why have real wages not increased since 1973?

          • Peter Moss

            The US is not competitive in the World Market.

            Recent stagnation in the jobs market since the recession has additional causes.

            The statistic about real wages is questionable since a lot of people now own a lot of things that they couldn’t have afforded in 1973.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “The statistic about real wages is questionable since a lot of people
            now own a lot of things that they couldn’t have afforded in 1973.”

            So the average worker hasn’t gotten a raise since 1973, but that’s OK because technology has advanced?

            P.S. 1947-1973, 100% increase in real wages.

          • Peter Moss

            I didn’t say that it was OK.

            However, if people own a wireless phone that is more powerful than a 1973 mainframe computer, a flat screen TV, and an optical disk drive; it is something to think about when you say that their wages haven’t increased.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “it is something to think about when you say that their wages haven’t increased.”

            No it isn’t.

          • jeppen

            1. Inflation is overestimated.
            2. Non-taxable fringe benefits have soared. Health benefits, pensions, paid leave and the rest now amount to an average of almost 31% of total compensation.
            3. In influx of women and immigrants into the workforce have held average worker compensation down, while if you look at some actual flesh-and-blood worker, then his wages has increased.

            If you think anyone would trade their living standards of today with the living standards of the 1970-ies, you are probably quite young and haven’t thought it through.

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Not always the case. That’s the idea in theory. But let’s be honest — if these solar installers didn’t have jobs installing solar, what would they be doing?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Creating a lot of good paying jobs is a positive thing.

      These are very good jobs for people who have seen their options decrease as manufacturing has gone offshore.

      • jeppen

        Is it good to have a lot of solar jobs? Then I guess it would be even better if we needed to put in twice the amount of work? And it would be bad if we got the solar power without any work at all?

        Your understanding of economic realities closely mirrors Bastiat’s fallacy of the broken window:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

        It shows how the unseen economic activity is important, the activity that doesn’t come into existence because we have to allocate our money to repairs.

        • A Real Libertarian

          Bastiat had no clue how the economy works.

          As evidenced by the “Parable of the Broken Window” which has been nothing but a drag on production for 160 years.

          • jeppen

            Interesting. Could you link to a substantial critique, please? I mean, this is very much Econ 101.

          • A Real Libertarian

            For one thing it presupposes Say’s Law is true (it’s not).

            For others, see the page you linked to.

          • jeppen

            I don’t agree that it does. For the critiques at the wikipedia page, I agree that any spending might have temporary beneficial effects to counter a recession. But that’s not really the point, neither the case here.

          • A Real Libertarian

            It assumes that there are no idle resources.

          • jeppen

            No, not really. But you might argue that it assumes money isn’t hoarded. Again, spending during recessions might be beneficial under certain circumstances, but it generally isn’t the case. The natural rate of unemployment doesn’t budge just because investments are channelled to some specific area or project.

            Anyhow, this is getting a bit too technical, and your objections too marginal. The macro perspective on this should be that ballooning jobs in any sector of the economy is a warning sign if not accompanied with great gains in output. Being inefficient and/or breaking windows is far from a reason to celebrate.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you not realize that we are building a new energy system which will give us a much less expensive grid in the future? A grid free of fuel costs and nuclear danger?

            Can you understand the concept of “investing”?

          • jeppen

            “Do you not realize that we are building a new energy system which will give us a much less expensive grid in the future?”

            That is, to put it mildly, not the mainstream view. But no matter – you’re changing the subject. I merely opposed the view that “job creation” in any sector of the economy is a good thing. If X is inexpensive, its adherents should boast that it needs FEW jobs. You do the opposite, and that’s just plain economic illiteracy.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “That is, to put it mildly, not the mainstream view.”

            You mean like “Tesla will succeed” isn’t the mainstream view?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “The macro perspective on this should be that ballooning jobs in any sector of the economy is a warning sign if not accompanied with great gains in output.”

            20% increase in jobs and 50% increase in output.

          • jeppen

            I kind of doubt solar has increased US electricity output by 50%.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “I kind of doubt solar has increased US electricity output by 50%.”

            Solar has increased its US electricity output by 50%.

        • Bob_Wallace

          We’re getting electricity at a lower price and at the same time creating lots of good jobs.

          Lots of jobs means more money flowing into the economy at the bottom which is excellent for everyone.

          • jeppen

            This is some kind of economic magic you’re talking about? Cheaper energy, but still higher employment in the energy sector. Or, expressed differently, solar makes energy’s fraction of GDP to go both down and up at the same time!

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ll try to talk you through the process, but based on past experience I’m not hopeful that you’ll be able to follow.

            Right now in the US we are paying somewhere around 20 cents/kWh for coal produced electricity. Only a small part of that is paid at the meter, the greater portion is paid through tax dollars and health insurance premiums covering the health/environmental damage.

            Moving from 20 cent coal to 5 cent wind and solar equals cheaper electricity.

            Wind turbines paid off in 20 years then produces almost free electricity for another 10 to 20 years. Solar will produce almost free electricity for 20, 30 or more years after a 20 year pay off.

            And while we save money with cheaper electricity we put a lot of people to work which is a major benefit for our economy.

          • jeppen

            You try to bait me with your outlandish cost claims again. Why? So you can threaten me again when I give more serious figures? No thanks, no fun.

            No, I’m just trying to get you and a few others to understand that we want to get as much output as possible for as little work as possible. Thus it is a major drawback (not a major benefit) if we put a lot of additional people to work without a corresponding boost in output value.

            If I were you, I wouldn’t boast about job creation in solar. Rather I would try to make excuses for it, like you hint of in your last comment. Like “oh, it’s just a temporary bump, and then the panels will produce labor-free electricity for 50 years, promise”. That would be somewhat legitimate and also more consistent with the claim that solar is cheap.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “No,I’m just trying to get you and a few others to understand that we want to get as much output as possible for as little work as possible.”

            You need to understand that the utility industry wants to get as much output as possible for as little money as possible.

            Wind and solar, while they might have a higher labor input, produce electricity cheaper that coal and nuclear.

          • jeppen

            Not only the utility. The entire society wants that. We’d be nowhere if agriculture hadn’t shed a lot of jobs more than a hundred years ago, for instance.

            Time is money, and money is time. Costs, ultimately, stems from wages (consumed labor, consumed time). If labor input is higher, then costs are higher.

            I’m helping you be a bit more sophisticated here. You could say “Nuclear has a lot of labor that isn’t seen even at build time. A lot of labor time is hidden in those big machines, the heavy forgings, all the metals and so on that goes into construction.” Something like that. That would be at least a basis of an argument, and it wouldn’t look like economic illiteracy.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Costs, ultimately, stems from wages”

            Bzzt!

            Oh I’m sorry! The correct answer is “Costs stem from wages, materials and financials”.

            If you’re assuming material and loans don’t cost anything then you don’t know what “economic illiteracy” is.

          • jeppen

            Why do you think materials cost anything? Could it be because wages have to be paid to miners and so on? I won’t go into financials because it’s a bit more complex.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Why do you think materials cost anything?”

            Because of scarcity, manufacturing, transportation, lots of things.

            “I won’t go into financials because it’s a bit more complex.”

            You can’t throw some platitude to handwave it, so you’re just ignoring it?

            Typical.

          • Peter Moss

            All of the costs which you list can ultimately be traced back to labor. Materials are “scarce” because it takes a lot of labor to extract them from the ground.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “All of the costs which you list can ultimately be traced back to
            labor. Materials are “scarce” because it takes a lot of labor to
            extract them from the ground.”

            So Astatine is rare only because it takes a lot of labor to get?

          • jeppen

            Rare elements cost a lot, are scarce in an economic sense, because they take a lot of labor to get.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Rare elements cost a lot, are scarce in an economic sense, because they take a lot of labor to get.”

            So Astatine is rare only because it takes a lot of labor to get? Yes or No.

          • Peter Moss

            Rare is not the same as what you meant by “scarce” when you used the word.

            Gold is expensive because it is “scarce” — it is costly to mine quantities of it. In the long run, the price is determined by the marginal cost of mining and refining it.

            Natural Astatine is rare because there is very little of it on the planet. It would certainly be true that it would be very expensive to obtain any quantity of it since it would have to be made. Then it becomes a manufactured product and the question then is the cost of production, not scarcity.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Gold is expensive because it is “scarce” — it is costly to mine quantities of it. In the long run, the price is determined by the marginal cost of mining and refining it.”

            And the fact that it’s rare has nothing to do with it being scarce?

          • Peter Moss

            Gold is not rare.

          • Peter Moss

            No, costs ultimately stem from labor. The cost of materials is the cost of the labor to extract them from the ground. The cost of capital is the labor that workers did and were not reimbursed for.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “No, costs ultimately stem from labor. The cost of materials is the cost of the labor to extract them from the ground. The cost of capital is the labor that workers did and were not reimbursed for.”

            You know, for someone ranting about The Leftists, your economics is a particularly simplistic form of the Labor Theory of Value.

          • Peter Moss

            If a product is a commodity, what other costs would there be except for intangibles (e.g. land)..

            The problem with Marx is the errors that he makes in applying the Labor Theory of Value.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “If a product is a commodity, what other costs would there be except for intangibles (e.g. land).”

            There’s labor, financial capital, manufacturing capital (i.e. equipment) and resources.

            “The problem with Marx is the errors that he makes in applying the Labor Theory of Value.”

            Too complex?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Labor is one component. Someone (individual, company, country) owned the minerals. Energy is used.

            Capital is not un-reimbursed labor. Capital can arise as payoff for innovation and risk assumption. From labor earnings set aside for investment.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “You could say “Nuclear has a lot of labor that isn’t seen even at build time. A lot of labor time is hidden in those big machines, the heavy forgings, all the metals and so on that goes into construction.”

            I could say something like that but it wouldn’t make nuclear cheap enough to consider.

            You seem to lose contact with reality in your zeal for nuclear power.

            The price of electricity reflects all the costs from excavating the ore to make the metals to the office supplies used in daily operations.

            Solar and wind are out two cheap generators. That they also create lots of good jobs is a very nice bonus. Much better that the money goes into the pockets of workers than into the offshore accounts of coal barons or those who finance nuclear plants.

          • jeppen

            Your interpretations are quite baffling. I handed you an argument against nuclear and you respond with “You seem to lose contact with reality in your zeal for nuclear power.”

            I have clearly explained to you why added jobs are bad. You respond with socialist nonsense and misinterpretations. I can’t help you, sorry.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You keep using “labor” when you mean “costs”.

            If you think pointing that out is “socialist nonsense” then you exemplify why nuclear power is a dying industry.

          • Peter Moss

            Labor is a Cost There is no difference.

            Nuclear is dying in the US due to over regulation by the NRC.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Labor is a Cost There is no difference.

            Nuclear is dying in the US due to over regulation by the NRC.”

            And the fact that nuclear enthusiasts apparently think people working for them is a bad thing has absolutely nothing to due with it, right?

          • Peter Moss

            I have to say that I really don’t know what you mean.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You claim the only way to improve productivity is to employ less people.

            What do you think that does to companies that put that belief into action?

          • Peter Moss

            You claim the only way to improve productivity is to employ less people.

            Not exactly what I said.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yep, ever time a reactor melts down or comes close to melting down the NRC writes new regulations that tell the operators “Don’t do that again”.

            So which regulations do you think we should roll back? The ones that require staff to practice emergency routines? How about the ones about keeping guards on alert and not sleeping? How about the one that locates backup generators above flood lines?

            Since you know that over regulation is the problem you must have a list of regulations we could dump….

          • jeppen

            “the NRC writes new regulations that tell the operators “Don’t do that again”.”

            Yeah, because operators are too stupid to not repeat mistakes that would have them bankrupt.

            “Since you know that over regulation is the problem you must have a list of regulations we could dump…”

            I’d imagine he has. As a Swede, I haven’t read up on the US details and know more of our own, but I’ve seen some big US problems:

            * ALARA – The “As Low As Reasonably Possible” requirement on emissions, rather than limits on a firm basis of what we know is harmful. These are orders of magnitude harsher limits than necessary, which drives costs a lot.

            * Licensing requirements such as “waste confidence”. I.e. with no Yucca, no licenses.

            * Requirement to withstand airliner impact.

            * Ban on reprocessing.

            * Slowness of regulatory oversight in general, and the delays that causes. I remember an instance where regulators forced Westinghouse to go back and calculate the impact of solar heating of the containment building during an accident with 300 degrees celsius water. They did it and concluded worst case, the increased pressure was about 0.3 psi. There are a lot of these meaningless exercises. (Gregory Jazcko, former NRC chairman, was a handpicked anti-nuclear activist and did all he could to slow and halt nuclear power.) Also, the new Vogtle 3 construction suffered a long delay because regulators identified a minor deviation in rebar work, which it finally deemed acceptable after about 6 months. These are just examples.

            * Regulatory risk of shutdown. For instance, when San Onofre had a minor tube leak in a steam generator that didn’t even was bad enough to break any rule on emissions or contaminations, the NRC called “abnormal conditions” and shut the plant down.

            And now you baited me to talk about nuclear again. Darn it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            So in order to make nuclear affordable we should rely on the designers, builders and operators of nuclear reactors to do the right thing with no government oversight.

            Sure. That would work.

            Why should we require reactors to be hardened against airliner impact? Who would ever take over an airliner and turn it into a destructive weapon? That would never happen.

            Why should we require reactor to undergo checks of their security systems? No one would ever think of taking over a reactor and melting it down. Let the guards sleep on duty.

            Requiring backup generators to be located where they wouldn’t get flooded? Where they were protected from tornadoes? Foolishness.

            What we should do is to let the nuclear industry build and run reactors as they see fit. Then when one melts down the company will lose their investment (actually stick the financiers by declaring bankruptcy) and let taxpayers clean up the mess.

            That will make nuclear cheap enough to consider.

            Great thinking!!!

          • jeppen

            If nuclear had been unregulated, we’d not have the 500 billion/year cost of coal, and we wouldn’t have had hundreds of thousands coal related deaths since the 70-ies when nuclear was regulated off the market. We wouldn’t have the existential threat to humanity due to AGW. Please see:

            http://cleantechnica.com/2011/02/17/cost-of-coal-500-billion-year-in-u-s-harvard-study-finds/

            The costs of nuclear regulation is NOT what the operators have to do to fulfill regulations. That’s not the problem. The cost is that the US (and the rest of the world, as the US was until recently the world leader) doesn’t have the nuclear fleet it should have, and thus have to live with the alternatives.

            Now, the question is, does the nuclear regulation save the same amount of money and lives in avoided meltdown costs? To me, the answer is “of course not”. Operators have some sense of self-preservation, and that will keep down the number of meltdowns without any regulatory oversight. Even if regulators help with safety, which is doubtful, they constitute a suboptimization of epic proportions.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Now, the question is, does the nuclear regulation save the same amount of money and lives in avoided meltdown costs? To me, the answer is “of course not”. Operators have some sense of self-preservation, and that will keep down the number of meltdowns without any regulatory oversight. Even if regulators help with safety, which is doubtful, they constitute a suboptimization of epic proportions.”

            See folks?

            Nuclear power wants to poison the planet because it’s cheaper to meltdown reactors and fob the costs off on the taxpayer, then it is to put safety features on them.

            The only reason they don’t is socialist regulations.

          • jeppen

            So you didn’t understand anything of what I wrote?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “So you didn’t understand anything of what I wrote?”

            I understood everything, including the “safety features cost money no matter how much you shout ‘Free Market!!! Free Market!!!’ part”.

          • jeppen

            I’m sorry, you’re not making sense, so I don’t know what to respond with.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You think safety features will be free if they’re not mandated.

          • jeppen

            Eh? No, I don’t.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Then why do you think nuclear will be cheaper if safety features aren’t mandated?

            If the answer is “there won’t be any safety features”…

            How does that square with your claim that cheap nuclear plants won’t be unsafe?

            If the answer is “there will be safety features, just not unnecessary ones”…

            Then which safety features are you classifying as “unnecessary” and why? How much money would be saved removing them?

          • jeppen

            I have never claimed they “won’t be unsafe”. You’re constantly making up arguments that I haven’t put forward. My take is that nuclear isn’t magical. It’s just an industry, and as with all industries, there are accidents. If we consider Fukushima and TMI, the real-world consequences of those accidents have been extremely small considering the size of the global nuclear operation, and considering the alternatives.

            Yes, obviously, there will be safety features, just not (that much) unnecessary ones. Also, it’s not just about physical safety features. It’s just as much about regulatory delays and uncertainties that drives financial expenses. I’m sorry I can’t give you a price list. Sadly, I have my limits too.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Yes, obviously, there will be safety features, just not (that much) unnecessary ones. Also, it’s not just about physical safety features. It’s just as much about regulatory delays and uncertainties that drives financial expenses. I’m sorry I can’t give you a price list. Sadly, I have my limits too.”

            So, you’ll cut nuclears price by 70% via removing unnecessary safety features, but you don’t know what they are, what they cost, or how much removing them will increase risk?

          • jeppen

            70%? Where did you get that from? And again, it’s not just safety features.

            No, I can’t give you a price list. It’s a common theme among people like you – you demand dissertations from enemies and accept anything without proof from friends. Anyone who is reading what we write have to make up their minds based on what we present, both of us. Perhaps they think I’m hand-waving too much while they feel your logic is impeccable, and then they will dismiss what I say.

            I’ll point out that nuclear fuel is the most compact energy source we have, by many orders of magnitude. Its power plants need little metal and concrete compared to most other sources. Thus it is inherently cheap, before regulatory burdens. And it is built really cheaply in parts of the world where regulatory frameworks go hand in hand with progress, instead of opposing it, notably South Korea and China. This is hand-waving, but it is correct hand-waving, as opposed to yours.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “70%? Where did you get that from?”

            $0.15 KWh vs. $0.04 KWh.

            “I’ll point out that nuclear fuel is the most compact energy source we have, by many orders of magnitude.”

            No, that’s Anti-Matter (Can you see the problem with the “Only energy density matters” argument yet?).

            “Thus it is inherently cheap, before regulatory burdens.”

            Deals with the Devil usually are cheap before you factor in the catch.

            “And it is built really cheaply in parts of the world where regulatory frameworks go hand in hand with progress, instead of opposing it, notably South Korea and China.”

            So, first it was France, then it was Japan and now it’s China that forever proves nuclear power is best power.

            P.S. China is going all in on renewables.

            P.P.S. So, you think going on about “totally safe, Chinese nuclear plants” is going to get public support? And you still have no clue how nuclear ended up a dying industry?

          • jeppen

            Ah, imaginary costs again.

            Anti-matter is not a source we have. Uranium is.

            Yeah, deals with the devil. Very convincing argument.

            France, Japan, China, South Korea, yes, sure. If it can be done cheaply, it can be done cheaply.

            You’re still fighting straw men. Now you quote me as saying “totally safe, Chinese nuclear plants”. Everybody who is following this discussion should see the dishonesty in your arguments.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Ah, imaginary costs again.”

            You don’t like them, therefore they’re imaginary. Oh yeah, that’s not going to backfire at all.

            “Anti-matter is not a source we have. Uranium is.”

            We’ve made Anti-matter.

            “Yeah, deals with the devil. Very convincing argument.”

            Maybe if you covered your head, so we couldn’t see your horns you’d be more convincing.

            Some kind of hat, perhaps?

            “France, Japan, China, South Korea, yes, sure. If it can be done cheaply, it can be done cheaply.”

            So you’ve dumped “Those countries with the screw-ups aren’t doing it The Correct Way!!!” for “Those countries with the screw-ups, didn’t screw-up that bad”?

            Jesus, the nuke industry is desperate.

            “You’re still fighting straw men. Now you quote me as saying ‘totally safe, Chinese nuclear plants’. Everybody who is following this discussion should see the dishonesty in your arguments.”

            No, that’s a quote. “This is a summery of what you’re effectively claiming”. See the difference?

          • jeppen

            No, they’re imaginary because they are imaginary, not because I don’t like them. On the contrary, I absolute love your figures, but sadly, they aren’t true.

            Yeah, we’ve made some anti-matter particles, but it’s not an energy source we have. Your objections very often consists of some completely irrelevant literal interpretation of what I said. You may think that is clever, and it is, in an autistic kind of way, but ultimately it just wastes our time. If you can, please stop doing that.

            Haha, hat to hide my horns. Good one. Or not.

            Screw up? Not making sense again.

            Nuke industry desperate? I’m not the nuke industry. I’m not even part of it.

            Your “summery” is a lie. Plain and simple. Everyone following discussions see that I’m always fighting back at “totally safe” requirements and claims.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “No, they’re imaginary because they are imaginary, not because I don’t like them. On the contrary, I absolute love your figures, but sadly, they aren’t true.”

            And your source is? Because I’ve noticed this, you keep called my numbers imaginary, but don’t provide any source of your own.

            P.S. Signed contracts only, predictions are so reliant on assumptions that have been proven false.

            “Yeah, we’ve made some anti-matter particles, but it’s not an energy source we have. Your objections very often consists of some completely irrelevant literal interpretation of what I said. You may think that is clever, and it is, in an autistic kind of way, but ultimately it just wastes our time. If you can, please stop doing that.”

            So nuclear is energy dense and thus cheap, but Anti-matter, despite being much more energy dense, is expensive because “[my] objections very often consists of some completely irrelevant literal interpretation of what I said.”?

            “Screw up? Not making sense again.”

            Let me explain it:

            1st. “France proves nuclear works!!!”

            2nd. “Ignore France, Japan proves nuclear works!!!”

            3rd. “Ignore Japan, China proves nuclear works!!!”

            Now. “They all proves nuclear works!!!”

            “Your ‘summery’ is a lie. Plain and simple. Everyone following discussions see that I’m always fighting back at ‘totally safe’ requirements and claims.”

            Considering the nuclear industry believes that being forbidden to build on top of an active fault line is a ” ‘totally safe’ requirement”, not too reassuring.

          • jeppen

            No, I won’t go into costs again. I did it in the previous lengthy discussion in another thread. You can reread that.

            Yes, your anti-matter argument is nonsense. We are comparing energy sources which “fuels” are moderately cheap, cheap or free (coal, nuclear, wind, solar). A dense fuel gives low material requirements and low footprint for energy production. Diffuse or less dense sources require more.

            You ignore context and pull a fantasy source with impossible fuel costs out of your hat as a proof that I’m wrong, somehow. It serves only to make the discussion less meaningful. I don’t expect you to understand this, but I think you should really try. Generalized, it’s kind of important and I suspect this is a problem for you in everyday life.

            Yeah, they all have proved that nuclear works. Perhaps not Japan, though, I’m not sure they’ve ever built very cheaply.

            “being forbidden to build on top of an active fault line is a ” ‘totally safe’ requirement”,”

            Not making sense again.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “No, I won’t go into costs again. I did it in the previous lengthy discussion in another thread. You can reread that.”

            So, you totally have a source for wind being more expensive then nuclear, but you’re not going to give it, but it totally exists?

            “Yes, your anti-matter argument is nonsense. We are comparing energy sources which “fuels” are moderately cheap, cheap or free (coal, nuclear, wind, solar). A dense fuel gives low material requirements and low footprint for energy production. Diffuse or less dense sources require more.”

            So does an energy source being dense make the electricity produced from it cheap? And does an energy source being diffuse make the electricity produced from it expensive?

            Note, if you say no, then you can’t use energy density as an argument for nuclear.

            “You ignore context and pull a fantasy source with impossible fuel costs out of your hat as a proof that I’m wrong, somehow. It serves only to make the discussion less meaningful.”

            Hydro power uses diffuse water, is it expensive?

            “Not making sense again.”

            You said “Why should we not build in tsunami/quake zones?”

          • jeppen

            “you totally have a source for wind being more expensive then nuclear, but you’re not going to give it, but it totally exists?”

            No, wind is fairly on par, not considering the external costs and limitations that comes with intermittency. Solar, however, is not.

            “So does an energy source being dense make the electricity produced from it cheap?”

            Let’s just say that density generally helps. Where the sun is more intense, solar power is cheaper. Where the dam is higher, hydro is cheaper. Where wind is stronger, wind power is cheaper. Where the coal is of higher quality, coal power is cheaper. Uranium is crazy energy dense, and so require little effort to produce energy from. However, for all of these energy sources, regulation can create arbitrary costs. Also, local economies of scale and other factors also influence costs. Of course.

            A nuclear power plant is basically like a coal plant without its fuel needs. Therefore, nuclear power, before regulations, is cheap.

            You said “Why should we not build in tsunami/quake zones?”

            That doesn’t mean it’s “totally safe”. It just means its safe enough to do. Such zones does add some risk, but not enough for a country like Japan to do coal and gas instead. Fukushima proved this.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You are using paid off nuclear vs. new wind and solar.

            You are also not acknowledging the external costs of nuclear.

            That is dishonest.

            You base your arguments on allowing nuclear to be run in unsafe manners.
            That is stupid.

          • jeppen

            You are using paid off nuclear vs. new wind and solar.

            No, I’m not. You’re making stuff up.

            You are also not acknowledging the external costs of nuclear.

            These are negligible.

            You base your arguments on allowing nuclear to be run in unsafe manners.
            That is stupid.

            It’s stupid to think there is such a thing as safe, in any industry. If we’d really set out to minimize overall health consequences of energy production, nuclear power would lose most it’s regulation to allow it to rapidly replace other generation. Sadly, the NRC only suboptimize nuclear power and cares little for the consequences overall, even though it should.

          • Bob_Wallace

            In the US taxpayer are providing the bulk of liability coverage. As we can see with the Japanese disaster this is an extremely high external cost. Taxpayers are also stuck with much of the cost of long term fuel storage.

            New nuclear, based on the four real world numbers we have, is more that 15c/kWh

            New wind in the US is now around 5 cents. Solar has dropped below 10c/kWh. These are non-subsidized prices.

            You are willing to endanger others in order to build your beloved nuclear. Other people are not willing to allow that sort of foolish behavior.

            The NRC is there to protect us from people like you.

          • jeppen

            You’re just trolling. Fukushima constitutes an extremely small external cost. Long term fuel storage is crazy cheap unless politicians make it expensive.

            I don’t love nuclear. I’d be really happy if something politically simple was better. But unfortunately, nuclear is still our only real hope, and it endangers the least amount of lives and is low cost if regulators let go a bit. You seem to be unable to use division to realize how small nuclear external costs really are, and you’re unable to look up the LCAs that proves nuclear is far less damaging to human health than solar.

            But, again, you’re trolling and you’re uncharitable, trying to paint me as evil, and its getting boring.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, I’m not trolling.

            I’m replying to your stupid posts.

            Nuclear is too expensive and too dangerous. The world will not accept more dangerous nuclear in order to drop the price some. And even with the hazard factor greatly increased nuclear would still be too expensive.

            You’re a one note song, jeppen. Make nuclear even more dangerous and accept dangerous storage of used fuel in order to drop the cost.

            There’s no reason to do so, as you’ve been told multiple times. We have safe and affordable alternatives.

          • jeppen

            Sad and disingenuous comment.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Let’s just say that density generally helps. Where the sun is more intense, solar power is cheaper. Where the dam is higher, hydro is cheaper. Where wind is stronger, wind power is cheaper. Where the coal is of higher quality, coal power is cheaper. Uranium is crazy energy
            dense, and so require little effort to produce energy from. However, for all of these energy sources, regulation can create arbitrary costs. Also, local economies of scale and other factors also influence costs. Of course.”

            So you admit nuclear isn’t cheap because of energy density.

            “That doesn’t mean it’s ‘totally safe’. It just means its safe enough to do. Such zones does add some risk, but not enough for a country like Japan to do coal and gas instead. Fukushima proved this.”

            Fukushima proved nuclear is safe?

          • jeppen

            I’m sorry you didn’t understand my energy density argument. I really did my best.

            Yes, Fukushima proved nuclear is safe enough. The loss of life from Fukushima comes from Japan replacing its nuclear power with fossils.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That, and the people who died during the evacuation.

            Or do those people not count in your book? They were older so their lives have no value for you?

          • jeppen

            They have. But I’m an evil bean counter, so I care more for the larger numbers of YOLL. The fine particulate deaths due to the nuclear shutdown and fossil replacement dominates by orders of magnitudes.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The choice is not nuclear or coal.

            The choice is neither.

          • jeppen

            Yeah, I know Japan has increased LNG and oil much more than coal. But still.
            http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10391

          • Bob_Wallace

            Japan’s shutdown of their nuclear industry was not a planned event.

            Their short term increase in fossil fuel use is a result of their terrible reactor siting decision.

          • jeppen

            If they don’t restart the reactors, it’s a multi-decade increase. The siting is ok if you tsunami-proof the reactors, and they are doing that now. That’s humanity for you – make mistakes, adapt, rebuild.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Probably not. Japan is installing solar and will be installing wind at a rapid pace.

          • jeppen

            Then it’s the German syndrome – they replace nuclear when they should be replacing coal. So it’s still a multi-decade increase, since it isn’t over until all fossils are gone.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germany is replacing nuclear and coal at the same time.

            You know that.

          • jeppen

            Troll much? They have been increasing coal generation and you know that.

            More importantly, even if they would replace coal and nuclear at the same time, they would still replace coal faster if they concentrated on that. So again: any nuclear shut-down keeps coal going until coal is out of business entirely.

          • Bob_Wallace

            One more name calling and you’re gone.

            Here’s how Germany’s coal burning has been going.

            Notice that net exports have increased. If Germany was not selling power to other countries they would be burning even less coal.

          • jeppen

            Can you be a bit more explicit with your threats? Are you one of the moderators here, or are you just running to mommy complaining? I honestly don’t care if I’m cut off.

            We both know that you’ve called me names a lot more times then I have you, btw. If you want me to be more polite, then go ahead and lead by example – I promise I’ll keep being ahead of you in politeness.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “You may think that is clever, and it is, in an autistic kind of way, but ultimately it just wastes our time. If you can, please stop doing that.”

            So the reason we keep arguing about whether 4 is a smaller number then 15 is because I’m Rain-man and you’re Tom Cruise?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Nuclear fuel is both energy dense and cheap.

            But the electricity coming out of new nuclear plants is expensive. It’s the final cost that counts.

          • jeppen

            Of course, but high energy density and low footprint says something about the cost sans regulation. This is the reason they talked about energy “too cheap to meter”. In the early days, they just saw the fundamental properties of the energy production, and didn’t anticipate the regulatory burdens.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You talk as if regulations were some sort of hat that gets passed around so that governmental officials can take a cut of the cost.

            Potential profits cause people to cut corners and take risks. Look what happened in the financial industry when we cut back on regulation and relied on banks to regulate themselves. After all, if they didn’t do a good enough they would cause themselves to fail.

            Guess what. Regulations were reduced. Banks did not take adequate care and took too many risks.

            We got the Great Recession of 2008.

          • jeppen

            It’s very important to cut corners and take calculated risks. Without that, we’d get nothing done.

            Your portrayal of the financial meltdown is not correct either, as it was in part caused by regulations, but that is even more off-topic, so I’ll leave that too.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “It’s very important to cut corners and take calculated risks. Without that, we’d get nothing done.”

            OK, so now we are very aware that you care little about human life.

          • jeppen

            So you don’t see the obvious truth in that statement?

            But I would say the same about you. So far, your kind of nuclear policies has probably killed a million in the US alone.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, jeppen. That’s enough of your crap.

          • jeppen

            Another ban? Go ahead. Truth hurts, doesn’t it?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “It’s very important to cut corners and take calculated risks. Without that, we’d get nothing done.”

            - Outspoken supporter of the nuclear industry

          • jeppen

            Outspoken supporter of human activities in general. We would literally not get out of bed if we didn’t cut corners and take calculated risks.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Outspoken supporter of human activities in general. We would literally not get out of bed if we didn’t cut corners and take calculated risks.”

            So the nuclear industry won’t get out of bed unless they can cut corners?

            And you wonder why no one trusts you?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Nuclear was not regulated off the market. Nuclear failed because it was too expensive.

            Yes, coal is a terrible way to generate electricity. But the choice is not nuclear or coal. The choice is clearly neither.

            Now, is it the case that you are unaware of all the problems that we’ve had with reactors, all the close calls in addition to the widely know melt downs? Or are you aware and not acknowledging?

            If operators/owners will keep reactors safe without government oversight then why did the owners of Fukushima build in a clearly known tsunami zone?

          • jeppen

            Let’s disagree on why nuclear went off the market in the US.

            You say that the choice is not nuclear or coal. I disagree, but it is kind of beside the point. If there are alternatives now, they weren’t there in the 80-ies and 90-ies. And then, the US made terrible choices that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives and keeps costing hundreds of billions of dollars every year, as well as thousands of lives. Not counting AGW. This is facts that even you should be able to concede.

            To me, “close calls” are typically figments of imagination from anti-nukers, such as CaptD’s claims below. But I’m sure there were a few real ones as well. Yes, we have meltdowns, yes, there will be more of them, just as we will have car crashes tomorrow too. So?

            Why should we not build in tsunami/quake zones? Plants can clearly be made to handle them. Fukushima didn’t, but government oversight didn’t help. You’re a socialist, so your answer to every government failure is more government, but to me, Fukushima is one indication among thousands similar that governments adds costs but doesn’t help.

          • A Real Libertarian

            See, this is why nuclear always fails.

            Because its advocates have this delusion that reality is just a point of view and if they disagree it means their beliefs will work anyways.

            See them calling everyone who points out problems “socialists” despite demanding massive government subsidies?

          • jeppen

            Now you’re not making sense again.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Bob: “Nuclear was not regulated off the market. Nuclear failed because it was too expensive.”

            You: “Let’s disagree on why nuclear went off the market in the US.”

            Bob: “Yes, coal is a terrible way to generate electricity. But the choice is not nuclear or coal. The choice is clearly neither.”

            You: “You say that the choice is not nuclear or coal. I disagree”

            Me: “See, this is why nuclear always fails.

            Because its advocates have this delusion that reality is just a point of view and if they disagree it means their beliefs will work anyways.”

            You: “Now you’re not making sense again.”

            Me: Precisely my point.

          • jeppen

            Well, you’re entitled to your point of view. :-) My point of view is that nukers are rational bean counters with far less delusions than most people.

            I’m politely declining to shoot down some faulty arguments and facts since this whole discussion is ballooning to much anyway. It’s hard for me, because I’m like this guy (especially as it’s 1:30 AM here in Sweden):
            http://xkcd.com/386/

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Why should we not build in tsunami/quake zones? Plants can clearly be made to handle them. Fukushima didn’t, but government oversight didn’t help. You’re a socialist, so your answer to every government failure is more government, but to me, Fukushima is one indication among thousands similar that governments adds costs but doesn’t help.”

            Even with police, murder still happens, so we should repeal all laws!!!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Please don’t call me a socialist. I am clearly not one.

            Nuclear failed in the US solely based on cost.

            Government oversight in Japan failed and that allowed their nuclear industry to take too large a risk. A risk that was undertaken in order to keep costs lower.

            The citizens of Japan are going to have to pay out well over $100 billion and as much as a half trillion dollars to clean up the mess made by nuclear. A meltdown in the US could cost a lot more money

            These risks need to be recognized. Not minimized.

          • jeppen

            In the US, I’ve noticed that the socialists aren’t socialists, as that’s a bad word over there. In my Sweden, however, sadly it is not.

            Your conclusion that the risk was too large is an obvious retrospective. In real life, bureaucrats don’t find these things before they happen, and then they smash in the open doors and guys like you go on about how the failure of regulation proves we need regulation.

            So Fukushima, due to a radiation scare and politically motivated cleanup operations that are not necessary, might have costs soaring to equal the external costs of one year of coal combustion in the US? That reinforces my point: Killing nuclear was an enormous sub-optimization. You may argue that solar is the salvation now, but it clearly wasn’t before.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The choice is not nuclear or coal.

          • jeppen

            You may argue that solar is the salvation now, but it clearly wasn’t before.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Correct.

            A few years back wind and solar were too expensive and it looked like nuclear was our best route away from fossil fuels.

            Now wind and solar have become cheap. Nuclear has become more expensive. Nuclear no longer is the solution, there is no reason to accept the risks that nuclear brings with it.

          • jeppen

            Great, that’s as far as I expect to come with you.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Your conclusion that the risk was too large is an obvious
            retrospective. In real life, bureaucrats don’t find these things before they happen, and then they smash in the open doors and guys like you go on about how the failure of regulation proves we need regulation.”

            So cops don’t catch murderers when they’re just petty criminals, so laws against murder are bad?

            In real life, cops don’t find these things before
            they happen, and then they smash in the open doors and guys like you go on about how the failure of laws proves we need laws.

          • jeppen

            Now you’re doing it again. Your analogy is completely irrelevant.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Now you’re doing it again. Your analogy is completely irrelevant.”

            We have regulations and people break them, we have laws and people break them.

            What’s the difference?

          • jeppen

            The question is kind of surreal to me. I think there is a number of obvious differences between “prove to us that your plant can withstand an airliner impact, or you can’t move” and “if we can prove that you have killed, we lock you up”.

            It’s mainly about the (lack of) necessity of the regulation itself and the absence of real victims, but certainly also a burden of proof thing.

          • CaptD

            Big Utilities can twist their regulations as they see fit and even when caught never can be put in jail.

            People have a much harder time twisting the law and when they are caught they can be put in jail.

            This is why I believe that the SCOTUS is fundamentally wrong in allowing Corp.’s to behave like people. Corp.’s have NO FEAR of breaking laws like people do because they know that they have unlimited amounts of money to spend on the best lawyers and seldom if ever really lose in court!

          • CaptD

            jeppen
            RE: politically motivated cleanup operations that are not necessary

            Gee, I guess all those workers at Fukushima should stop wearing masks and all those funny yellow suits, because according to you everything is just rosy in Fukushima Japan…

            :-0

            Your comments are Unbelievable, to say the least!

          • CaptD

            RE: But I’m sure there were a few real ones as well. Yes, we have meltdowns, yes, there will be more of them, just as we will have car crashes tomorrow too. So?

            This says it all about your view of nuclear and how it relates to an industry that continues to insist that, “Safety is our number one concern”, when in fact it is N☢T…

            Example: Japan is now suffering with a Trillion Dollar Nuclear Eco-Disaster, yet many of their Leaders (and others globally) consider that, in effect, Radiation is “NO BIG DEAL”:

            Polluted Ocean, N☢ Problem, it will become less polluted after a while….

            Polluted Fields, N☢ Problem, farmers can remove the radioactive upper layer

            Polluted Air, N☢ Problem, people can wear paper masks for a while

            Polluted Food, N☢ Problem, people should mix the good to dilute the bad

            Polluted Homes, N☢ Problem, people can power wash them clean

            Polluted Schools. N☢ Problem, students and teachers can clean them

            Polluted Cities, N☢ Problem, residents will be able to return soon…

          • jeppen

            Cute O’s. Well, the pollution in most evacuated areas are not really enough to merit cleanup, but they do it anyway. So it becomes a bit expensive (but trillion dollar is not real figures – it’s Greenpeace-type nonsense). Radiation, like any contaminant, is a big deal if there is enough of it. In the sea and in most of the evacuated areas, it is not.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Man, you sure are coldhearted when it comes to other people’s welfare.

          • jeppen

            Bah, as if you care about them. The really cold-hearted people are the politicians who keep people off their properties and mandate big cleanup operations they don’t need, causing anxiety, suicides, family breakups and more. Also those who ramp fossils when they know it will kill thousands.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sure, jeppen, what do you care if some people who don’t look like you die from cancer.

          • jeppen

            You’re projecting. I’m nothing like you.

          • CaptD

            San Onofre’s NPP replacement debacle answers your comment completely!

            More here:

            http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/jan/30/two-years-after-san-onofre-shutdown-questions-rema/#c27207

          • Peter Moss

            You don’t appear to get it. Over regulation is not a list of regulations.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “You don’t appear to get it. Over regulation is not a list of regulations.

            Then what is over-regulation?

          • Peter Moss

            Well, to start with, it is a process.

          • CaptD

            Ha Ha Ha that is just too funny…

            Try telling that Nuclear Baloney* (NB) to SCE, whose in house designed replacement steam generators failed causing a nuclear near miss accident and resulted in the Utility decommissioning San Onofre, all because they did not want to undergo a NRC review of their design…

            * http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nuclear+Baloney

          • jeppen

            CaptD, you are making this stuff up, and you have been corrected before by professionals. Since CleanTechnica staff seems to have low tolerance for blatant lying, I expect they will remove your comment and block your account. You have been exposed here, for example:
            http://atomicinsights.com/steam-generators-are-option/

          • A Real Libertarian

            Way to go CaptD!

            You made a personal enemy of Rod Adams.

          • CaptD

            Rod Adams is welcome to his viewpoint, but that does not make him or them correct. ;^)

          • CaptD

            Actually jeppen without blowing my own horn too much, I’ll simply say that the technical papers that myself and others have submitted describing what exactly happened at San Onofre (think FEI) have been very well received by the NRC and also various groups within the NRC.

            I had not seen that Rod Adams piece or that link before.

            Finally, your claim of “blatant lying” has no basis in fact so it may very well be you that is banned instead of me…

            BTW: This is just one paper in support of exactly what I have been saying about San Onofre’s dangerous replacement steam generators:

            Dr. Joram Hopenfeld, a retired engineer from the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, sharply criticized NRC officials for downplaying the dangers of degraded steam tubes in December 1999, http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0037/ML003709086.pdf three months before the Indian Point accident, and said, “To be credible, risk-informed regulation mandates statistically valid and scrutable data, competent insights of accident scenarios and their consequences, and of accident prevention strategies, as well as meaningful public involvement. In reality, the staff examines accident scenarios and their consequences in a superficial manner; accident prevention is apparently dictated primarily by financial considerations, and the public is being excluded from meaningful participation in the NRC deliberation process’, ‘The nuclear industry and the NRC have a poor track record of controlling steam generator tube degradation.” The NRC’s Advisory committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) issued a report in February 2001 and substantiated many of Dr. Hopenfeld’s concerns.

            Please get educated yourself on the problems surrounding large steam generator tube leakage at San Onofre before you call others to task…

            Here is a very well done animation that even the NRC found factual:
            http://goo.gl/efJFO

          • jeppen

            So the NRC have applauded your technical papers? I imagine it’s part of their job to be polite even with people like you. You know, your claims are completely ridiculous to someone who knows anything about nuclear reactor design.

            Oh, yes, and your lengthy quote gave you no support at all. It’s just a sweeping diatribe from an obvious anti-nuker, with no technical content whatsoever.

          • CaptD

            jeppen Can’t understand what the words and links say or do you just choose not to?
            Since this is a solar article, I’ll not waste my time, letting interested readers choose who to believe!

          • jeppen

            Great, let’s do that.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Oh, for the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s sake.

            You’re going to use Rod Adams as a credible source?

            That’s ridiculous.

          • jeppen

            Yep, I am. He (and almost anyone else) is fully qualified to call BS on what CaptD said.

          • Peter Moss

            Jobs are a cost.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Jobs are a cost.”

            Not the only cost.

            “So what point do you try to make with these neo-Marxist rantings except to show us how far left and irrational you are?”

            Looks at a previous comment:

            “No, costs ultimately stem from labor. The cost of materials is the cost of the labor to extract them from the ground. The cost of capital is the labor that workers did and were not reimbursed for.”

          • Peter Moss

            If you were trying to make some point, you failed.

            I was trying to be facetious, but I guess you missed the Marxist definition in the last sentence.

            Obviously, the cost of capital equipment can also be defined in terms of labor.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “If you were trying to make some point, you failed.

            I was trying to be facetious, but I guess you missed the Marxist definition in the last sentence.

            Obviously, the cost of capital equipment can also be defined in terms of labor.”

          • Peter Moss

            I don’t know about wind. But, I know that solar installation is a high labor and low productivity industry in the US because I have seen the reports.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “I don’t know about wind. But, I know that solar installation is a high labor and low productivity industry in the US because I have seen the reports.”

            Well, I know solar power is endorsed by Jesus and anyone who doesn’t like is really the EBIL Cobra Commander in disguise because I’ve seen the reports!

            What? Sources? What is that?

          • Peter Moss

            Do you read CleanTechnica

            I saw some of it posted there.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Do you read CleanTechnica

            I saw some of it posted there.”

            1. Guess what site you’re on.

            2. Sources, please.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Solar installation is not at all a high labor business. Improvements in racking have greatly decreased labor per watt.

          • Peter Moss

            What? Of course it is high labor. The racking is fabricated and assembled on site and then the panels are attached to it. That is very inefficient and time consuming. And, the electrical craft isn’t very speedy either.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You aren’t aware of improved racking and wiring technology?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “You try to bait me with your outlandish cost claims again. Why? So you can threaten me again when I give more serious figures? No thanks, no fun.”

            It doesn’t matter if cost numbers are “outlandish” or “serious”, only if they’re true or false.
            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

          • jeppen

            Normal people would recognize that I implicitly claimed that they were false.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Normal people would recognize that you’re trying to dodge the question.

            What cost numbers are you citing? Not cost predictions, cost numbers that have been contracted in the real world.

            And cite them with a link.

          • CaptD

            Your claim of baiting is ridiculous! Post some factual links if you can, to back up what you are trying to say…

          • Peter Moss

            If wind turbines are great, they would be better still if they could be produced with more productive labor. Your argument is totally irrelevant.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Peter, that’s just stupid.

          • Peter Moss

            Then you think that increases in productivity and economic growth are a bad thing?

          • A Real Libertarian

            You know what isn’t a bad thing?

            Wind power!

            Yes, it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to kill coal and nukes.

          • Peter Moss

            It is hopeless. If Greens were capable of critical thinking, they would probably not be Greens. They boast the solar is inexpensive but reject the idea that it would be better in the US if rooftop solar was as inexpensive as it is in Germany. Or, perhaps while they advocate for that, they don’t realize that that would mean less jobs.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “It is hopeless. If Greens were capable of critical thinking, they would probably not be Greens.”

            Sorry, but we insist on believing that equipment isn’t free and interest exists.

            P.S. Who needs to learn about basic economics now?

            “They boast the solar is inexpensive but reject the idea that it would be better in the US if rooftop solar was as inexpensive as it is in Germany”

            We rejected that when?

            “Or, perhaps while they advocate for that, they don’t realize that that would mean less jobs.”

            Well, we’re communists, so we think there are ways of lowering costs that don’t involve firing people and making others work unpaid overtime to pick up the slack.

            Efficiency maybe?

          • Peter Moss

            Say all of the foolish things that you want, but it is clear that the rooftop solar industry in the US needs to get their costs under control and that includes the amount of labor it takes to do the job.

            Yes, that is what I said, higher productivity — call it efficiency.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s a hint. Installation labor is not a major component of rooftop solar cost.

            Customer acquisition and permitting/paperwork are.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Yes, that is what I said, higher productivity — call it efficiency.”

            Firing people isn’t efficiency or productivity.

          • Peter Moss

            You are the one that brought up firing people.

            Who said that you needed to fire people?

          • Bob_Wallace

            What would be helpful is for you give us some proof for your claim that Greens want solar to remain expensive.

            I’m calling bullshit on your claim if you can’t bring some proof/

          • CaptD

            Lets make it Double Bullshit and hope for a factual reply!

          • Peter Moss

            Don’t you understand what the reports say? One of the reasons that rooftop solar costs more in the US than in Germany is that the labor costs are higher in the US. I presume due to lower productivity.

            Your Straw Man is nonsense. Jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “One of the reasons that rooftop solar costs more in the US than in Germany is that the labor costs are higher in the US. I presume due to lower productivity.”

            And productivity is growing.

            20% increase in jobs and 50% increase in output = 25% increase in productivity.

            1.50/1.20 = 1.25.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Or, expressed differently, solar makes energy’s fraction of GDP to go both down and up at the same time!”

            Correct. Part of the financial and equipment costs are moved to wage costs, the other part is not spent, resulting in savings.

    • Wayne Williamson

      Jeppen, please provide anything to back up your statement that “That solar power sucks up so much of the workforce is an enormous drawback!”.

      • jeppen

        I don’t really understand your question. Isn’t it fairly obvious that the less work we have to do to get energy (or any other good), the better it is? When we have to work more for a good, we have less capacity to create other goods and services that enrich our lives. If I misunderstood your question, please elaborate.

    • Peter Moss

      I understand what you mean. Installation costs less than half as much in Germany and I doubt that it is because labor costs less per hour.

      • Bob_Wallace

        US solar prices are higher than in Germany due to costs other than materials and installation labor, To a great extent the high cost is due to “customer acquisition”. Solar, in the US, is not selling itself but requires a lot of sales effort.

        As the price of solar falls then solar begins to sell itself. Selling costs drop.

        Germany pulled their costs down quicker by using a feed in tariff (FiT) subsidy system. From early on one could install solar, save money on their own utility bill and make some money by selling power back to the grid.

        Because there was the potential to earn profits apparently people worked harder to find lower installation costs. The lower the cost, the higher the profits.

        We didn’t include the profit portion in the US approach and our costs are coming down slower. We lag Germany by 2-3 years.

        • CaptD

          Bob, I’d also add that the Big Utilities have done everything that can to make installing Solar more expensive for US because they realize that they are going be losing ever more market share to private solar installations, especially when people begin to also own and recharge their eVehicles with their own rooftop solar panels.

          If Utilities had to pay us what they pay themselves for the exact same energy, at the time it was put into the grid, the number of US Solar installations would skyrocket.

          I also realize that at least in CA, we pay a separate monthly charge for the grid and it’s maintenance, so any under payment to private solar “generators” by Big Utilities for energy produced by US is just an unfair bonus for their shareholders while being a ripoff for US…

        • Peter Moss

          Yes, costs other than installation are lower in Germany as well.

          Many analysts have attributed the higher US costs to the direct subsidies to the costs of the installations.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germany chose a better method of subsidy for solar.

            Had we gone with a FiT system our costs would likely be a lot lower

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