Stumbled onto a great blog page recently, discussing solar energy and panels and things. The original article faded into the background after reading down the ongoing comments and replies and replies to the replies etc.
Very informative, and, often very confusing, for the counter-arguments inserted and asserted.
But altogether, for anyone interested, or wanting to get better informed about all aspects of solar energy and panels and the options put in politrix and in the commercial and public arenas, well worth following.
One of the great assets of technology and the internet.
So.., from my little level of knowledge on solar stuff, here's the page link, and my day's thoughts on one much deeper-informed fella's comments:
weterpebb commented on Latest solar cell breakthrough a nark’s worst nightmare.
in response to Yes Minister:
Firstly, governments actively encouraged homeowners to install PV systems because it obviated the need for governments to build a bunch of power stations. Particularly in Queensland, daytime use of electricity for airconditioners was such that Energex / Ergon emergency generators were run in many suburbs simply to stop the grid crashing. You won’t hear that [...][You'll have to go to the conversation at the above links to read all "Yes Minister's" comment.]
The domestic solar energy schemes had nothing to do with eliminating the need to build additional power stations. Domestic solar installations generate a tiny amount of electricity, and on cloudy days almost none at all, and don’t meaningfully reduce the requirements for reliable grid power. In States other than QLD, solar could not possibly reduce the requirement for generating capacity, as this peaks at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm when solar contributes nothing.
The various governments introduced the scheme to buy Green votes. Far more cost effective than building a large solar plant; lots of people make money from it (always a vote buyer) and as people can see the installations on roofs they act like billboards advertising the government’s Green credentials.
The schemes are being wound back because they were massively over-generous, and people now obviously care somewhat less about climate change and the environment generally than they did a decade ago when these schemes were introduced.
As to the people who put solar on their roofs in the expectation of continued large government handouts – well, relying that government handouts would continue forever is a bad business model. If your solar installation is not a good idea without continued government handouts, you shouldn’t have done it. If it was a good idea even without continued government handouts, then you really haven’t got a problem.
Maybe so. You are better informed than I.
But do the domestic solar set-ups not effect an improved consciousness across the 'burbs' and rurals, by their being in view, and keeping the issue of energy, where and how we get it, and waste it, in the forefront of our “macro-management” issues?
“Macro-management” used, to avoid the generally negative term “political”, and even “government” for we automatically, and mostly correctly relate those two words to “corruption” and “maximum inefficiency”. I agree, this is a minor issue, but I suggest the presence of the domestic solar panels on roofs does effect a wisening-up across the population. Objections to their “appearance” are trite.
The whole issue of energy creation but more “demand” is not something the macro-managers want to address, because it asks them to ask us to check our desires and 1st world assumed right to over-consume. And, as we're pretty much all spoiled brats, when someone suggests we're spoiled, up we jump, stomp our feet, and shout them down. Best way to be voted out.
So domestic solar setups do make the owners more conscious of their energy usage, and inspire a more intelligent lifestyle, toward using less.
Probably on the scale we've achieved to now, there'd be no reduction of the demand for grid power. And this is added to, or otherwise, by the majority who are not energy-conscious, who haven't invested in solar panels, or simply can't afford them, both as renters, so rightly see it as money to the landlord's pocket, or as lower-income home-owners/mortgagees, and, so often the case, those who're very bad at controlling their expenditure and budgets.
Many Australians simply don't give a shit about their own finances, live off criminal incomes, and don't give a shit about these larger concerns of the macro, of energy wastage, generation, and fiscal and environmental efficiencies.
So domestic solar setups don't dint the demand for energy, at the moment.
The priority, as I say, that the macro-managers shy from addressing, is educating consumers to want less, and thus, to use less, as well as using energy more intelligently, including investing in other equipment like batteries [I know, batteries are a huge bane on their own, in manufacture, efficiency and disposal], but primarily, reducing the need for aircons, and other “luxuries” we 1st worlders blithely consume.
I also know that the cost of solar panel production outweighs the benefits short and long term, so we have to rely on advances in these fields, be-it in improved solar-cell making, or finding other means of trapping and converting solar energy. But again, the research and investment and sourcing and production of almost every hi-technology “advance”, out-costs the planet, and the species ability to rely on them and sustain our very existence.
So..., oh-dear, the whole production-consumption of energy planetwide, for the growing over-population, is really a “lose-lose” scenario.
Back to the ways of the True Fellas, our Wise Aborigines, is the only actual, realistic path for future generations.
But HA! Try running an election campaign on THAT? HAHAHA!
As for “..relying that government handouts would continue forever is a bad business model. If your solar installation is not a good idea without continued government handouts, you shouldn’t have done it. If it was a good idea even without continued government handouts, then you really haven’t got a problem.”
Quite logical. But do solar setups, good ones, eliminate grid fees, by the owner being able to feed their solar power back into the grid, and have them receive incomes or such from the power companies?
I don't know if this is a common reality, or whether all grid corps offer this. But if so, then the reduction or elimination of power costs for the owner-consumer is a fairly significant “plus” isn't it?
If..., in the 19th century, when electricity was first refined to being used across societies, solar panels had been invented/refined at the same time, so that all houses and industries were fitted as standard practice with them, the whole planet would be in a massively more healthy condition, yes? An ideal scenario I agree. But if solar panels etc were around before or when coal was first employed, and other fuel sources, and were “capitalized upon” by private and public investors, it's likely we would not have anything near the pollution troubles now, and the related threats to the environment, to health, to the future.
No.., “it ain't gonna happen”, I agree. Heaps of other factors in employment, housing, social, leisure and entertainment, as well fundamentally of course, as in religious things or not-things, come into it and hugely influence the little issue of energy consumption and resultant pollution.
But as there are good arguments for and against solar, domestic and industrial setups, there are also good arguments for and against every thing we blithely need and want energy to power.
It's clear to me, that if we are serious about energy, and about the various ways we source and use it, other far more fundamental issues and “norms” have to be revolutionized before any sources of energy become anywhere near efficient, sustainable, free, and of a general benefit.
But as the “political” pseudo-economic system and structures are, we're going nowhere good.
Until the People themselves, freed from believing they can rely on these charlatans we know as “politicians”, or as I call them now, ”profiticians”, get off their fatcell comfy-fanny-pads and march down the whole delusional con-fabrication structures, lock-stock-and-barrel, it's a “no-win” situation.
This site is excellent for the diverse and informed comments, as they effectively and intelligently break down the small opinions the profiticians and the masses hold to about solar and electricity generally.
But as I skeptically and tongue-in-cheek wrote to it a few weeks ago, all the informed comments and counter-comments add-up to, is that as we are, there is no genuine solution to energy supply, demand and wastage, short of every one of us learning how to be satisfied with much much less than we are hooked into wanting needing and wasting.
In short, “energy” is so central to everything “political”, or to everything concerning both, both, micro [personal] and macro [governmental] management. It is also central to the preservation or destruction of the environment, and it's essential biosphere, from water, to air, to soils, to foods, to insects to mammals. To US!
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