On Aug 14, 2015, at 1:00 PM, Cor van de Water via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org> wrote:

> Coal power is history. It is not
> because of more strict regulations (even though "the polluter pays" would
> have been nice for so many people suffering from the results of decades of
> burning coal) but simply the business case for coal is worse than for
> investing in clean power, so why bother?

So long as the coal miners and power plant operators have the option to 
socialize the costs of pollution from their operations whilst maintaining the 
private capitalization of the profits, coal continues to be the cheapest 
utility-scale power generation option. But, especially with Tesla's recent 
utility-scale battery announcements, utility-scale solar is now, at least on 
paper, cheaper than everything else other than dirty coal.

It will take some time for everything to ramp up, but there's no longer a 
business case for utilities for new construction of anything other than dirty 
coal, solar, and quick-response peaking supplement plants.

And it won't be that much longer before dirty coal loses out to solar, as well, 
from two fronts: first, because of increasing political pressure to stop 
subsidizing the private profits from public pollution from dirty coal; and, 
much more importantly, because solar is continuing to get cheaper whilst coal, 
even dirty coal, is on an irreversible upward price trend.

Even once the solar and dirty coal price graphs cross, we'll still be stuck 
with all the existing facilities. It'll be much, much longer before it'll be 
cheaper to build a new solar plant and decommission an existing coal (or 
nuclear or gas or whatever) one still in good condition. But these facilities 
have limited lifetimes, so we're essentially now approaching the upper limit 
for the total number of non-solar power production facilities humanity will 
ever have.

Utilities are especially paranoid about solar, though, because it's so cheap 
that you can put it on your own rooftop at a price competitive with 
grid-sourced non-solar power production. Your grid connection comes with a lot 
of overhead rooftop solar doesn't, including capital and maintenance for the 
power plants and transmission facilities and all the salaries and what-not; 
rooftop solar just needs the initial capital expense and damned little else, 
meaning you pocket all the difference, even if you have to front the capital 
yourself. Finance the capital the same way you finance the capital for the 
house itself or a car, and the utilities don't have much left to compete on. As 
such, there's a lot of incentive to defect from the grid...and every such 
defection drives up the average per-customer cost fro those left, creating an 
ever-increasing spiral of incentive to defect from the grid. As such, I predict 
that we'll eventually see coal plants shutting down because their operat
 ors have been put out of business by rooftop solar.


UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
For EV drag racing discussion, please use NEDRA 

Reply via email to