On 11/8/2013 9:11 PM, Chris de Morsella wrote:

*From:*everything-list@googlegroups.com [mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *spudboy...@aol.com
*Sent:* Friday, November 08, 2013 5:49 PM
*To:* everything-list@googlegroups.com
*Subject:* Re: Our Demon-Haunted World

If you hold the Rational Optimist view aka Matt Ridley, people will act altruistic much more, if they get a reward, then in they get jack. >>A dictatorship of your own preference is suitable for many, but not for most. Plus, think about pure materiality. If a cruel dictator has his goon point a semi-automatic at each of our heads and demands of us to immediately produce an energy source that will power his civilization for the rest of his life, and unless we can produce this energy source, bang goes the gun. I will shout shale gas or even tar sands. If you shout out sun and wind, bang goes the gun against your skull. Why? Because even after decades of work, even after daily advances, there's no city on earth that is now powered by sun or win, were that it was so. My point is we cannot legislate reality. I will take the marketplace with all its flaws versus coercive government. Which would you choose?

I do not subscribe to your Manichean world view, in fact I find it ill reflective of the complexity and nuance of reality. You like to see things in a either this or that kind of way, and maybe that works for you, but it doesn't work for me.

Are you really that certain you know your energy facts. Global installed solar consumption went from 2.1 TWh in 2001 to 55.7 TWh in 2011; growing by a factor of more than 20X in 10years; this is reflected in the growth in installed capacity, which went from a little over 2GW of installed solar capacity in 2001 to around 20GW of installed capacity in 2011. In fact there is so much solar and wind electric capacity already installed in Germany that on days which are favorable for wind and solar power, the overabundance of supply can drive the wholesale price into sharply negative territory. The market inverts and in order to shed load onto the grid -- when supply exceeds demand beyond the capacity of the grid to manage it -- you need to pay the grid operators because the grid cannot accept any more energy without becoming unstable -- the grid is a balancing between instantaneous supply and demand (act at the speed of electricity) The cost per kwh of solar PV is following a Moore's Law type progression in falling costs and the dollar per kwh of solar PV are closing in on the cost of coal generated electricity, which has been the least expensive (largely because it can externalize hundreds of billions of dollars per year of costs incurred by mining, and burning coal onto the commons).

Spudboy is just making a specious argument. Of course no city is powered entirely by wind or solar - neither of those is consistent enough to depend on and we haven't developed energy storage technology sufficient to rely on inconsistent power sources. I expect that for the forseeable future we will have to use some other source to supplement wind and solar. But that doesn't mean we have to use fossil fuel. I think we should be developing some of the safer nuclear reactor designs such as liquid salt thorium reactors. They fit into the existing grid structure and even if we install enough wind and solar to power a city we'll still need backup for windless nights.


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