On Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 5:49 PM, <spudboy...@aol.com> wrote:
> Yes, Jesse, I do buy into that arguement.
Which one? The idea that declining prices of solar panels are bad news for
solar energy? Or the one that says Solyndra is representative of what
happens when the government invests in solar and other forms of clean
> If you permit me, I will exclude DailyKos Kos Kids from your evidence, as
> the are far from a disinterested party in this matter.
I only cited Kos as an afterthought, to support the point that the Solyndra
story is being pushed by conservative media outlets (they provided plenty
of links to original sources, so I wonder if you actually question the
specifics of that post or if any link to their site would elicit a
knee-jerk ad hominem dismissal from you regardless of its specific
content). My main point, that Solyndra isn't representative of the outcome
from government investment in solar, was supported by the three articles
before that. It's fine with me if you prefer to address the other articles
rather than the Kos article, but you didn't do that, in fact your response
completely ignored the other articles and the evidence they presented. Did
you glance over those articles? If so, do you dispute any of the factual
points they made? For example, do you dispute the graph at the end of the
Media Matters article showing a recent surge in the amount of energy from
solar each year? Likewise, do you dispute any factual aspect of this part
of the longer Forbes magazine quote I posted?
"when judged by its entire diverse portfolio of investments, the LGP has
performed remarkably well. Indeed, with a capitalization of just $4
billion, DOE has committed or closed $37.8 billion in loan guarantees for
36 innovative clean energy projects. The Solyndra case represents less than
2% of total loan commitments made by DOE, and will be easily covered by a
capitalization of eight to ten times larger than any ultimate losses
expected following the bankruptcy proceedings."
> Whatever the politics, whatever the polemics, a technology has to do this,
> be successful. If solar is always just a fraction of the world's energy,
> despite decades and bilions, then I have some problem with proposing it.
Decades in which it wasn't anywhere close to being cost-competive with oil,
something which is changing now (see for example
Are you just assuming the future will be like the past, or do you have
any other basis for predicting solar will "always" be just a fraction of
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jesse Mazer <laserma...@gmail.com>
> To: everything-list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Sat, Nov 9, 2013 2:25 pm
> Subject: Re: Our Demon-Haunted World
> On Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM, <spudboy...@aol.com> wrote:
> Chris, I just read a study by the U of Colorado, published in the Journal,
> Bioscience, claiming that up to 1 million bats have been killed by green
> energy wind turbines. The arrival of solar power, its decline in price, and
> thus it will power all human civilization never arrives.
> Why would the decline in price of solar power mean it can never power all
> human civilization? The lower the price the better for its prospects for
> large-scale adoption, no?
> Its what the math people call asymptotic, which in this case means, it
> never achieves target, it never gets there. The same with nuclear fusion,
> despite happy reports. It never gets there after decades of research. Thus,
> it cannot be Relied Upon to substitute for Dirty energy sources. What might
> prime the technological pump is the market place, where supply and demand
> are invoked, and there is commercial reason to produce minus government
> hand outs to crony companies, in Germany, and in the US. With tax payer
> monies, these companies vanish, like farts in a high wind, like Solyndra
> did. Unreliable substitutes are non substitutes.
> It sounds like you are buying into the myth that Solyndra was somehow
> representative of government investment in solar power in general. It's
> not, the department of energy invested money in a large portfolio of clean
> energy businesses and most did well while a few like Solyndra did not, and
> then opponents of investing of clean energy cherry-picked an example of a
> failure. See these articles:
> The second of the two articles mentions that "only 3 out of 26 loan
> guarantees dispersed under the Department of Energy's 1705 loan guarantee
> program have gone to companies that later filed for bankruptcy. One of
> those three, Beacon Power, is still operating, has repaid most of its loan
> guarantee, and rehired most of its employees." It also mentions at the
> bottom that Fox news is promoting the idea that declining prices of solar
> panels are bad for solar power in general (as opposed to just some
> individual manufacturing companies), so perhaps you got that puzzling idea
> above from Fox or some other conservative media source--but as the graph at
> the bottom of the article shows, solar installations (and the corresponding
> total energy output from solar) have surged in the last few years, probably
> thanks in part to government investment.
> In case you don't trust the left-leaning Media Matters site, here's a
> piece from Forbes magazine arguing for the overall success of government
> investment in clean energy so far, and for the important role played by
> such investment in promoting innovation in this field:
> 'Solyndra’s failure, while unfortunate, is hardly an indictment of federal
> energy technology policy. Failure is to be expected with emerging,
> innovative companies, whether they are financed by the government or the
> private sector. The success of the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee
> Program (LGP) should thus be judged not by any one investment but by the
> performance of the entire portfolio.
> Critics have seized on the news of Solyndra’s bankruptcy to condemn the
> Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program, which provided a $535
> million loan guarantee in 2009. The National Review’s Greg Pollowitz writes
> that Solyndra’s failure shows “why the government should not play venture
> capitalist.” Yet the fact is that, when judged by its entire diverse
> portfolio of investments, the LGP has performed remarkably well. Indeed,
> with a capitalization of just $4 billion, DOE has committed or closed $37.8
> billion in loan guarantees for 36 innovative clean energy projects. The
> Solyndra case represents less than 2% of total loan commitments made by
> DOE, and will be easily covered by a capitalization of eight to ten times
> larger than any ultimate losses expected following the bankruptcy
> The broad success story of the LGP shows why federal investment in clean
> energy is necessary to help early-stage clean energy technologies achieve
> scale and reach commercialization. The inherent uncertainty in investing in
> novel technologies, coupled with the high capital costs and long time
> horizons, prohibits most venture capital funds from investing in
> large-scale clean energy projects. Financing tools and direct investment
> from the federal government can help bridge this well-known
> “Commercialization Valley of Death,” and the LGP is an effective way of
> doing that.
> Instead of “picking winners and losers,” as the program’s critics allege,
> the program actually reduces risk for a suite of innovative clean energy
> technologies and allows venture capitalists and other private sector
> investors to invest in the best technology. Rather than picking winners,
> the LGP enables innovative companies to compete in the marketplace,
> allowing winners to emerge from competition. And while Solyndra is shutting
> its doors, companies like SunPower, First Solar, and Brightsource Energy,
> which also received loan guarantees and other support from the federal
> government, are industry leading success stories.'
> Finally, here's an article that details many of the conservative media
> sources (many with major ties to the oil industry) that have been promoting
> the Solyndra story as an excuse to stop investing in clean energy:
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