Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bosch Finds Solar Business Unprofitable, Exits

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the no-silver-lining-in-actual-clouds dept.

Businesses 477

New submitter rwise2112 writes "German engineering company Bosch said Friday that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it economically viable.'We have considered the latest technological advances, cost-reduction potential and strategic alignment, and there have also been talks with potential partners,' Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said. 'However, none of these possibilities resulted in a solution for the solar energy division that would be economically viable over the long term.'"

cancel ×

477 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I love working with PV cells (5, Insightful)

RevDisk (740008) | about a year ago | (#43249535)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies, it's not economically viable. On the large scale.

That said, I love having a solar panel on my pack when I'm out hiking. It is a nice option when you're somewhere without access to the grid.

solar panel on pack (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#43249581)

I'm curious, what do you plug into your backpack when you're out hiking?

Re:solar panel on pack (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year ago | (#43249629)

If I were hiking, I'd go for a battery charger for a flashlight, cell phone and/or GPS. I know people who'd go for coffee pots or powered water filters.

But mostly I can see chargers for those little battery powered nicities.

Re:solar panel on pack (2)

Rufty (37223) | about a year ago | (#43250209)

I have one of these, clicky [solartechnology.co.uk] which charges a LiPoly unit from a panel on top of my backpack. Well, the LiPoly unit never got fully charged, and then dumping that into a camera or GPS, hardly worth the bother. And you see that wire linking the panel to the battery pack? It got ripped off going through brush. I've seen the BioLite stove, which charges off a peltier from the fire's heat, but I'm not convinced. Any suggestions for something better?

Re:I love working with PV cells (5, Funny)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#43249657)

I have a solar panel just in case all the major cities are wiped out.

That way I'll still have the internet. Right?

You laugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250469)

...but part of the design of the core of the Internet is that it is, in fact, designed to survive a nuclear war [wikipedia.org] .

Which isn't to say you'd have much of the Internet left, but if it wasn't fried by EMP, you could start reconfiguring your routers to connect with surviving nodes.

Re:I love working with PV cells (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about a year ago | (#43249707)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies, it's not economically viable.

Nor are most things.

Government subsidies have been a fact of life since the days of the Pharaohs.

Re:I love working with PV cells (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249791)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies, it's not economically viable.

Nor are most things.

Government subsidies have been a fact of life since the days of the Pharaohs.

Hence the Sphinx's missing nose! Damn government labor.

Re:I love working with PV cells (0)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#43249971)

The government is there for the good of the people (supposedly). Subsidies as a part of a social welfare program where everyone benefits is what it should be doing

Re:I love working with PV cells (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250173)

Government subsidies have been a fact of life since the days of the Pharaohs.

So was slavery. That didn't make it any better.

Re:I love working with PV cells (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about a year ago | (#43250355)

Apples and oranges. Solar energy technology helps society and doesn't hurt anyone directly nor take away their rights. Slavery takes rights and freedoms of people.

Re:I love working with PV cells (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250303)

Exactly this. Almost every part of the energy industry is fascistic/corporatist. A few select players with political pull get a lot of stolen goodies while the rest of the society is unable to make inroads into the market.

Here is one example of the nuclear industry(particular to the British market): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNnRXwPSGJk

Re:I love working with PV cells (4, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#43249831)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies,

The problem aren't government subsidies, but simply that companies in China can produce cheaper solar cells then Bosch can. The solar business is full of companies and lots of competition and it's hard to get a lot of money out of that.

Re:I love working with PV cells (5, Informative)

blue trane (110704) | about a year ago | (#43250081)

China's government subsidizes their solar companies to a much greater degree than the US does; that's why Solyndra couldn't compete.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0320/China-subsidized-solar-panels-US-finds.-Are-tariffs-the-right-response [csmonitor.com]

the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration determined that Chinese manufacturers had apparently dumped "massive" quantities of solar panels into the US market that were sold far more cheaply than US-made panels. According to the finding, the lower price was mainly because the panels were heavily subsidized by dozens of low-cost Chinese government loan programs and other subsidies.

Re:I love working with PV cells (4, Informative)

asm2750 (1124425) | about a year ago | (#43250109)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies,

The problem aren't government subsidies, but simply that companies in China can produce cheaper solar cells then Bosch can. The solar business is full of companies and lots of competition and it's hard to get a lot of money out of that.

Some solar PV companies in China are also exiting the market. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/20/174828432/chinese-solar-panel-maker-suntech-goes-bankrupt [npr.org]

Fabrication costs need to go down for makers, and ROI needs to go up for consumers.

Re:I love working with PV cells (1, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43250507)

And other energy sources need to have their long term costs included in their prices...like CO2 release. Solar will shine once you charge for CO2 release and the damage it causes.

Re:I love working with PV cells (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43250497)

We're just getting Chinese rare minerals below market value when they make cheaper solar cells. The last-laugh will be from us when we have land-fills full of "cheap" solar-cells and metal cookwear to supply use with materials in the future.

Re:I love working with PV cells (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43249997)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies, it's not economically viable. On the large scale.

The countries willing to subsidize account for a smaller and smaller fraction of CO2 emissions. To make a meaningful contribution, and be widely deployed in India, Africa, etc., solar has to be cost effective without subsidies. If the money that was poured into subsidies went instead into researching and developing green energy solutions that actually make sense, we would be far better off today.

Re:I love working with PV cells (4, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year ago | (#43250077)

But I'm also aware without government subsidies, it's not economically viable. On the large scale.

Yet. The point at which solar energy becomes cheaper than the competition is called 'grid parity', and it's already happened in some countries [triplepundit.com] . Over the next few years we'll see it happen in more and more places.

Re:I love working with PV cells (3, Informative)

Technician (215283) | about a year ago | (#43250589)

In some places include the mobile and remote. In my case, I picked up a pannel for the motorhome. Payback on the house is beyond the life of the panel at current electric rates with hydro, wind, and large scale solar nearby. On the motorhome, the longer I can leave the gas generator shut off the better I and my neighbors like it. Besides, electric generation with a motorhome genset is not in parity with local grid rates, thus the payback is measured in a few summers on the road.

Re:I love working with PV cells (4, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43250117)

It doesnt have to be a full panacea to useful and viable. Right now im planning on converting my home to full LED lighting with some modest sized panels. After that ill work on putting all my computer and networking gear on the solar system, etc. It doesnt have to be an all or nothing proposal and it doesnt have to fully pencil out to be viable. Powering all my lighting and computers via solar is a damn good start.

Re:I love working with PV cells (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250295)

If you were to eliminate government subsidies from oil production it would also not be economically viable. There is a LOT more pressure to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing for cars, though.

Re:I love working with PV cells (4, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43250471)

Coal isn't economically viable either unless you subsidize it. Like allowing unlimited CO2 emissions...

Charge coal to handle that and it fast becomes unprofitable.

FINANCIALLY viable (4, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#43249553)

They probably mean that they cannot make enough money on it. Economically viable means that your situation (literally your household) improves. Most probably they are economically far more viable than cheap polluting alternatives.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (5, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#43249561)

In TFA: "European makers of solar energy have accused low cost Asian competitors, especially manufacturers from China, of creating the trouble for their western peers, partly by flooding the market with products at prices far below production costs."

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (4, Informative)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about a year ago | (#43249653)

It's called dumping and it is working, Chinese dumping was the main reason EU and US removed the benefits.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249855)

What I find ironic is that the US Congress "saved" Harley when there was legit competition from overseas motorcycle makers by levying punitive tariffs.

However, something as vital to our national security as energy independence, Congress lets China dump panels on the market for less than the cost of the rare earths in them.

Ironic this. Even more ironic was the fact that 3-5 months before the dumping happened, every major US solar maker was being inundated by intrusion attempts, both foiled or successful.

I'm sorry, Harleys are decent bikes, but they are definitely not critical to US national security, while solar panels are.

Oh yeah... we have wind, but with voltage losses, the noise factor, the demonstrated stress in animals, and bird kills, wind power does not even come close to solar as a good solution to slow down the use of oil or coal.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (3, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#43250055)

Why would you not want to let China handle all the pollution and production issues and then sell you the product at less than the cost of the raw materials?

Just stock up enough of them to give local production time to start up if the freebies stop flowing in.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#43250207)

Don't worry the bikes that Harley was complaining about was 2 cycle dirt bikes, the Japanese had developed that market in the US, with some competion from Europeans like Husqavarna; Harley jumped into the market and got their asses handed to them. Even with the protective tariffs, Harley got beaten in that market. If I want a Harley I want a a 2 cylinder rumblely vibrating cruiser with massive torque, not a dirt bike.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (1)

gander666 (723553) | about a year ago | (#43250515)

Not quite right. Harley was getting their asses handed to them by the Japanese 750CC bikes. Better performance, reliability and fuel economy for a lot less. Congress (at the urging of St. Reagan) instituted a tariff on 750CC bikes and above. It just caused all the makers to make their bikes 700CCs to avoid the tariff.

The 2 stroke dirt bikes was a 70's folly by HD. They imported and rebadged Aeromacchi bikes from Italy. They were true pieces of shit, even less reliable than the Bultaco's of Spain.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43249863)

No, it's called productivity.

ENVIRONMENTALLY viable (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43250263)

No, it's called productivity.

The manufacturing costs for manufacturing a generally similar in both Europe and China, balancing German automation + power costs vs. Chinese labor costs.

What isn't the same is the after-cost of adhering to German vs. Chinese environmental regulations.

Most industrialized nations could easily save their local manufacturing bases by imposing requirements on products being manufactured in accordance to local environmental standards in the locations they are sold. It's optional whether they would want to impose environmental tarrifs and take the product anyway, despite "dirty" manufacturing, or simply block entry of the product into the country.

For China, depending on how far up the supply chain you wanted to push the requirement, you could take it to the point of requireing scrubbers on the stacks of the coal-fired power plants that powered the manufacturing facilities.

It's ironic that environmentalism has succeeded only in moving the mess out of view (to China), rather than keeping the mess from being injected into the global ecosystem anyway. But at least health care costs tend to go down when you have no local manufacturing going on, due to a reduction in pollutants.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (4, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about a year ago | (#43249975)

I'm surprised they didn't institute anti-dumping tariffs like they did when Chinese companies start dumping cheap clothing on Europe. Considering the EU's usual tendencies I wonder what are the distinguishing factors here.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (2)

Arrogant Monkey (2818767) | about a year ago | (#43250009)

Seems we should take advantage of the situation, using funds from low-to-zero interest treasury bills sold to the Chinese to buy these below-cost panels from the Chinese. That way we get the Chinese government to doubly fund our efforts to get away from dirty energy imports.

Re:FINANCIALLY viable (1)

ilguido (1704434) | about a year ago | (#43249973)

The article reads:
"The solar energy division, which employs about 3,000 people, lost around 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) last year."

That's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249571)

They didn't contribute enough to the Obama campaign.

Re:That's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249669)

It's a German company idiot.

Re:That's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249711)

I guess that's a second strike against them. Also, I believe the word you're looking for is dummkopf.

Re:That's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249967)

Finnish companies got in on the green dream funny money scheme that Obama was handing out. Why does Barry hate the krauts so much?

Re:That's because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250227)

Fisker, a car company based in California, lost it's DOE loans because it failed to meet deadlines on bringing it's 'Atlantic' model to market (which was to be built in a closed GM plant in Delaware). Their 'Karma' model is produced in an old SAAB plant in Finland, which was not funded by the Recovery Act.

Simple physics and the law of diminishing returns (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249589)

Photovoltaics like electric cars are a parlor trick and not sustainable over a long period.

Cars need gas, electrical grids need nuclear reactors.

Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (3, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year ago | (#43249693)

If cars need gas, we'll either need to figure out how to create gas from atmospheric CO2 (probably more biodiesel) or give up on cars in not too terribly long. Eh. Electric or hydrogen will work, it will just take time to ramp up.

As for power plants. I can certainly see Nuclear as been a good and viable plan for the future (keep them away from coasts and tectonically active regions), but... What is wrong with also using solar? In areas where there is a lot of sunlight, and low enough latitude, solar is a perfectly viable solution. If it can be almost viable in Germany, there are certainly many parts of Africa, the American Southwest, and Central America that could use it just fine.

Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (4, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43249857)

electric cars only suck because our battery technology sucks. But there's nothing in the laws of physics that says you can't make batteries that don't suck.

(triple negative... yikes)

Somebody's gonna come up with a new battery that exploits quantum effects and raises energy density by 10x. The world will be theirs.

Hell, just yesterday I saw a Slashdot article about Lockeed Martin coming up with a new nano-material that decreases water desalinization energy requirement by 100x. We're just scratching the surface when it comes to nano-sized materials and quantum effects (which are related to nano stuff cuz they only happen at very small scales)

Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250103)

Where is the precedent for this kind of jump in science? A golf cart is 80% battery and can go 10 miles. A Tesla S is state of the art, 20% battery and can go 200 or so miles on the 85kwH battery.

When in history has technology jumped 1000% in one discovery. Even when we broke the sound barrier, there were propellar driven planes that could go over 500MPH.

Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43250467)

When in history has technology jumped 1000% in one discovery?

1945 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (1)

toadlife (301863) | about a year ago | (#43249887)

I want a nuclear powered electric car.

Re:Simple physics and the law of diminishing retur (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#43250095)

I want a nuclear powered electric car.

A co-worker of mine has one. It's powered (mainly) by the nuclear plant up the road.

Maybe not in Germany/EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249595)

But in more latitudes closer to the equator that get more and stronger sun?

Re:Maybe not in Germany/EU (2)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about a year ago | (#43249643)

Those "latitudes" are rich in oil and gas, better deal.

Capitalism (1, Insightful)

physlord (1790264) | about a year ago | (#43249603)

So, if something is nor producing money is not worth to try, even when we all know the long therm benefits for the planet and for ourselves.

We uncultured swines, don't deserve the planet we live in.

Re:Capitalism (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43249757)

Or maybe we should look for other alternatives than PV. Of course distributed power generation isn't efficient.

Re:Capitalism (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43249869)

In a word, yes.

Money is a proxy here for the input/output ratio of resources, energy and labor.

Not making money means consuming more in energy, resources and labor than you get in return. That in itself isn't good for the planet, or us uncultured swines.

What you probably want to whine about is not producing ENOUGH money to satisfy investors. Then we get into opportunity costs, and deeper into economics that I want to bother going in this post.

Re:Capitalism (1, Flamebait)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year ago | (#43249969)

This is the stupidity of capitalism in a nutshell: as long as the Q4 before earth ceases supporting human life is "profitable", it's a win-win for everybody!

Re:Capitalism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250401)

If Q1 thro' Q4 are profitable, cash out at Q5 and don't worry that there's nothing but a smoking slag heap left by Q27.

Re:Capitalism (0)

blue trane (110704) | about a year ago | (#43250191)

Government should create money to provide for the General Welfare.

"Not making money means consuming more in energy, resources and labor than you get in return. That in itself isn't good for the planet, or us uncultured swines."

Alternative energy is good for the planet and good for us. If business is too short-sighted to invest in it, then government should create the money to do it.

Re:Capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250065)

They did try. Didn't work for them. If it's important to you, buy your own solar cells and go off grid (or produce extra and sell it to the grid). OR turn off your computer and other devices using electricity. Don't contribute to the problem and expect that others should solve it for you.

Re:Capitalism (2)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#43250377)

Well Bosch is selling out of PV, so if you really think renewables are so essential, get you and your friends together and buy it up at the fire-sale prices!

Or maybe not all that German.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249605)

Bosch is Swiss.

Re:Or maybe not all that German.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250359)

It originated in Germany (Stuttgart) and even today 127 years later it is still about 55% German.
(They have operations on all continents, about 3500 locations, varying from 3 person offices to 10.000 people industrial sites.)
The PV solar business is just a very small part of Bosch (less than 1%).
Slightly more than half of the company is in the automotive industry.
Bosch is one of the biggest car-parts suppliers in the world.
(Pick any car build in the last 30 years and there is at least 1 Bosch part in it.)
It's dependency on automotive was about 90% 25 years ago.
Then they started a large operation to diversify in other business, mainly by mergers and acquisitions.
Now they are in off-shore (pipes, valves, pumps), hydraulics, heating systems (domestic and industrial), packaging industry, power-tools (Skill, Hilti are both Bosch), batteries (Varta), security systems (badge-readers, electronic locks, camera surveillance systems), public address and evac systems (think airports, subway- and train-stations), just to name a few.

As Bosch is privately owned they can invest a lot of the profits back into the company and also play the long term strategy game much more easily than companies that are ruled by whatever hype is taking Wall-street this week.

Unprofitable (5, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#43249623)

The reason it is unprofitable is because China is flooding the market with panels that cost less than the production cost. If China was punished for its behavior, these companies would be able to compete and stay in business.

"European makers of solar energy have accused low cost Asian competitors, especially manufacturers from China, of creating the trouble for their western peers, partly by flooding the market with products at prices far below production costs."

Re:Unprofitable (4, Funny)

z4ce (67861) | about a year ago | (#43249679)

I hate it when countries make stuff for us for free or below cost. Maybe we should punish them buy sending them some free/discounted stuff. I'm sure that will teach them a lesson they won't soon forget.

Re:Unprofitable (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#43249759)

Maybe we should punish them buy sending them some free/discounted stuff. I'm sure that will teach them a lesson they won't soon forget.

That does nothing to help our domestic market and would probably involve government subsidies (aka spending) just to hurt China.

Re:Unprofitable (-1)

blue trane (110704) | about a year ago | (#43250243)

More government spending is exactly what we need. The "spending problem" is entirely psychological, the same sort of unreasonable and unsupported fear that led to the Iraq war ("they have WMDs!").

Re:Unprofitable (5, Insightful)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about a year ago | (#43249823)

It's a huge problem if they selling them below their own production costs. It's a strategy to push your competitors out of a market by selling a competing product at a an unsustainable loss. When the competitor leaves the market you use your new found monopoly to ramp up the prices to extortionate rates. The outcome is almost never in the public interest.

Re:Unprofitable (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#43249847)

People have been doing that, and causing some of the Chinese producers to bankrupt themselves [bbc.co.uk] already, even with all of the government subsidies and kickbacks.

Re:Unprofitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249953)

It's called predatory pricing, bro. It's illegal. Even in China.

Re:Unprofitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249957)

I hate it when countries make stuff for us for free or below cost. Maybe we should punish them buy sending them some free/discounted stuff. I'm sure that will teach them a lesson they won't soon forget.

I hate it when posters miss the point. I mean it isn't like you cannot make a car analogy here. For example:

Imagine you have a dozen car companies. One company, because they have an abundance of cash, starts selling cars cheaper then it costs to make them. They lose money on every sale but the other companies can't keep up and go out of business. Eventually the company that was 'dumping' their product is the only company left. Funny enough the surviving car company then jacks the price up or does all sorts of unsavory practices. Just imagine the fun with controlling an entire market! Especially when it can help cripple an entire country.

Re:Unprofitable (1)

z4ce (67861) | about a year ago | (#43250175)

And then.. someone new enters the market.. and consumers got great deals on the cars at the expense of the "Evil Car Corporation"

Re:Unprofitable (1, Insightful)

BLKMGK (34057) | about a year ago | (#43249943)

While I agree that the dumping is a problem high cost is an issue all around. It makes sense to invest in this technology IMO but with power prices where they are it's a low incentive to get people to move. The payoff on the system I looked at was something well over 10 years - who stays in a home that long? I do and have but we're now talking 1- MORE years! Push costs down on this technology and I can see people investing in it but until that happens even the panels being dumped aren't enough to push prices down far enough for most people. It would also help if there was more competition in the market for installers but that's a chicken\egg problem I'm afraid. I think the quote I was getting for panels was probably damned high but I had a hell of a time even finding a local vendor that would come out and give me a price - argh!

Re:Unprofitable (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | about a year ago | (#43250229)

The payoff on the system I looked at was something well over 10 years - who stays in a home that long? I do and have but we're now talking 1- MORE years!

1) Half of home owners stay in their home at least 10 years. Buying a new home is a good time to do remodeling and renovations, so it's also a good time to install PV solar.

2) Roughly a third of home owners stay in their home at least 20 years.

3) A PV system adds value to the home which can be used as a potential selling point and increase the asking price if you decide to move, so it's not like the entire unrecovered cost of the installation is lost.
=Smidge=

Saving in your bank is unprofitable (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43249625)

I put all this money in the bank and don't have it anymore, at least for a long time. In the short term, is unprofitable.

Re:Saving in your bank is unprofitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249885)

I put all this money in the bank and don't have it anymore

I take it you live in Cyprus then

Organic growth (1)

cabazorro (601004) | about a year ago | (#43249639)

Instead of mega projects we need a hybrid domestic appliance refrigeration unit.

Re:Organic growth (2)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year ago | (#43249787)

You mean one powered by a solar-cell that's driven by the light in the refrigerator? But what happens when you close the door?

Solar is great (5, Interesting)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year ago | (#43249709)

I have solar and an electric car. It is an amazing combination. A 10Kw grid-tie system is now about $3/watt installed, and that drops to $2/watt after a 30% tax credit. If most new houses built included a solar panel on the roof, I could see the US becoming energy independent in a decade.

Re:Solar is great (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43249815)

Which electric car?

I have been looking and none seem to be worth it just yet. As much as I would love to abandon gas I can't see spending luxury car money for a econobox.

Re:Solar is great (5, Insightful)

BLKMGK (34057) | about a year ago | (#43249859)

I looked into this myself. With the 30% credit and for a 3KW system the vendor was offering it was right around $30K using 280watt panels. My bills are actually pretty low, well below $200 on the worst month and power here is fairly cheap. The guy was figuring efficiency levels fairly low and I'd have probably done better but the payoff for this system was quite long. I decided to skip the system, the wattage potential was too low and the payoff far too long. I have a South facing home but apparently need more roof. The vendor also seemed to be pricing high and with no State incentives I just couldn't see myself doing it, I wish I could.

Bosch exiting the market isn't good IMO. They have been doing this a very long time and for them to find the business untenable really signals that the market may not be healthy. I do understand their frustration at the dumping that has occurred but if you price panels those are the ones that are actually affordable. They really need to drive prices downward or the price of electricity needs to rise a great deal before it's worth it - at least when there are so few incentives. Overall I would agree that we need to get more people into solar, yes even with Govt. incentives. Once the install hurdle is passed the damned things produce power for a good long time during peak usage hours. It simply makes sense as a nation to do this IMO but until prices to the consumer come down I don't see any mass movement in that direction :-9

Re:Solar is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249893)


$3/watt installed, drops to $2/watt after a 30% tax credit.

So getting someone else to pay the difference makes it cost-effective for you? You are unprincipled and completely uncool.

Re:Solar is great (1)

blue trane (110704) | about a year ago | (#43250299)

Government can, and should, create the money to further the General Welfare.

Re:Solar is great (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250443)

The general welfare is one reason that explicit powers were delegated to the Federal government. The clause is not an open-ended delegation of power itself.

Re:Solar is great (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#43249927)

Tell me about it! Why new homes don't have them or at least have better freaking insulation I'll never understand. But seriously each new home with a panel that feed into the grid - think about the power generated in that array!

Get Lockheed to do it (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43249723)

Seriously, do I have to think of everything?

Look you can produce a product, put it on the market, blah blah blah. Fuck that. Do what lockheed does.

1. Open a number of plants within the US, get the politicians to give speeches about how wonderful each plant will be locally. Make sure to choose towns that would be as deastated as possible by any future plant closure.

2. Lobby congress directly to buy the solar panels as a national security issue, and ignoring any irresponsible departments who claim they are not cost effective or they don't need them.

3. If #2 doesn't work right away, threaten to close individual plants, rinse and repeat until congress orders enough to ensure your profits. Be sure to tell your employees that the plant might be closing because of the uncertainty around government orders. Try to get the whole town involved.

4. Once they are buying them, get them to throw a few orders into the foriegn aid bucket. (Isreal needs solar power to keep it safe from Iran!)

5. Profit.

Re:Get Lockheed to do it (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43250287)

make sure you open your plant in the middle of no where. no one wants your pollution around their homes

Re:Get Lockheed to do it (1)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | about a year ago | (#43250319)

Essentially do what the Chinese are doing, but add a crapload of special interest cash into the system. This would work. (I didn't say this was a good thing, I said this would work.)

profit vs environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249783)

Same as always. There's not _a lot_ of money to be made in it, but if everything's going to always be about the money, may as well let the supporting race of that theory die out. You know, to make room for the improvement that will take it's place.

Re:profit vs environment (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#43249883)

More importantly solar doesn't get nearly the amount of government subsidies as oil. You know oil companies that make BILLIONS of dollars in a single quarter. Switch the oil subsidies to solar and what the solar industry take off.

Re:profit vs environment (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | about a year ago | (#43250239)

Acutally, solar gets more subsidies by percentage. Oil gets more subsidies in total. This is pretty well known.

Blaming the industry??? (3, Interesting)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a year ago | (#43249817)

Look, in every business, there is going to be a low cost provider, a high quality provider, and a bunch of also rans.

The low cost provider will ALWAYS make money.

The High quality provider may or may not make money.

The also rans usually get eaten up by the low cost provider.

The fact that your particular company fails in a business is a failure of YOU, not the business. It means you can't compete with the rest of the world.

When Bosch leaves, it lets everyone else raise their prices just a little bit.

Maybe that will be enough to make the rest of the corporations profitable. Or maybe some more 'also rans' may have to quit because THEY are losing money.

But I guarantee you, once enough also rans have left the business, the rest of the people will make money hand over fist.

And this is the country with enormous solar subsid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249845)

And the country which announced they want to go wind/solar/renewable as much as possible while abandonning nuclear out of fear of radiation.... And then went to burn coal , you know, a way to generate power which does not release radioactive particle in the atmosphere /sarcasm_tag. The country which added record amount of solar panel in 2012 , even while subsidy were cut a little. IRC the solar subsidy amounted to about 100 billion over 10 years.

And from that country, one of the best engineering manufacturer says "not rentable". You think solar company have a smidge of chance in the US ? Think about it.

Good (2)

qwidjib0 (900833) | about a year ago | (#43249871)

Just makes things easier for SolarCity.

Forget about economic validity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43249895)

Think about humanity as a whole. Solar energy benefits the earth and every living thing on it. Take a financial hit and progress humanity you cheap bastards...

Re:Forget about economic validity... (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | about a year ago | (#43250269)

Can you replace /build a solar cell with the energy it provides? I'm pretty sure you can't. Thus it's not sustainable and not really helping anybody.

How long term? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43249947)

Petroleum isn't economically viable over the long term either.

Re:How long term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250487)

Today's petroleum is. Meaning that you can go get petroleum today and expect to profit and to pay off all your costs of doing business before the fun train reaches the station. Today's solar is not. Meaning that you cannot go get today's solar power and expect to profit and pay off all your costs of doing business - over any time period. Tomorrow's solar and tomorrow's petroleum are a different story.

Subsidies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43250353)

The US doesn't spend trillions of dollars devoting its entire military to invade and destroy countries that refuse to hand their solar manufacturing facilities to US-owned companies.

that's ridiculous (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43250459)

It's a magical device that continuously spits out money. How the hell can they not make money on solar arrays? Technology is moving forward to the point where nobody in their right mind would have a hydrocarbon plant in a sunny area because it would actually cost more and produce less.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>