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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot Evidence, please (476 comments)

Those who participate in net metering are selling surplus power when they have a surplus to sell, and buying power when they don't. It's rather absurd to say the power they purchase at night is "free," when in fact every single kilowatt-hour they purchase eats into the proceeds from their daytime power sales. If they are selling power at, say, a wholesale rate of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour, and buying power at a retail rate of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour, it massively eats into the proceeds from their daytime power sales.

If you were correct that every kilowatt-hour sold by a solar facility has to be "thrown away," or discharged into the ground, then you would also be correct that that's not a sustainable business model. But you present no evidence for this. Here I present evidence to the contrary:

A utility can look at the forecast for how sunny it will be, and then conservatively scale back production at its peaking plants and at its load-following plants, to minimize the amount of solar power that needs to be "thrown away."

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot That's not the definition of net metering (476 comments)

Since their net use is zero, their electric bill is zero

Wrong for several reasons.

Some households that participate in net metering are net producers of power, "exporting" more than they "import." Other households have remained net consumers of power. But no household has perfectly balanced exports with imports, resulting in zero net usage.

And even if a household did happen, one month, to export exactly the same number of kilowatt-hours as it imports, the fact of net metering does not guarantee that the utility will pay retail price for the exported power. The term "net metering" also applies when a utility pays wholesale price:

Net metering policies can vary significantly by country and by state or province: if net metering is available, if and how long you can keep your banked credits, and how much the credits are worth (retail/wholesale).

It doesn't make sense that a utility should be forced to pay retail price for each tiny trickle of power generated by amateur mom-and-pop producers, when bulk power generated by professionally-managed plants can be purchased at wholesale price.

2 days ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot Re:Catastrophe? (476 comments)

A one- or two-percent annual failure rate for such an expensive device is a financial catastrophe, at the very least.

Nope... that means it will fail, on average, every 50 - 100 years. That's a pretty good service life for any device... and if it became commonplace for households to have a flywheel, failure should be covered by homeowner's insurance, just as roof replacement is (which needs to be done every 20 - 30 years).

2 days ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot Catastrophe? (476 comments)

a flywheel that has a distressing tendency to self-disassemble. Catastrophically.

GP did specify a buried flywheel. If pieces of flywheel become embedded in the soil four or five feet under my lawn, I fail to see the catastrophe. A one- or two-percent annual failure rate for a device like that would be quite acceptable.

2 days ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot No magic needed (476 comments)

If everyone is doing net metering, you need a magic free energy source the other 20 hours per day.

Why, when we already have a non-magic, non-free network of generating plants? Some of them burn fossil fuels, some of them don't, but that network as a whole becomes more robust when supplemented by distributed solar power installations that produce during hours of peak demand. Brownouts become less likely, etc.

I'm not in favor of going solar when other sources are more cost-effective -- and I'm not in favor of subsidies that merely give solar the illusion of being more cost-effective. Having said that, you've built a strawman: I haven't heard anyone asking to be provided with "free" energy from the grid during hours when the sun's not shining.

2 days ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot (1) Eliminate subsidies, (2) Solar profits (476 comments)

Allowing utilities to pass along 100% of "the fixed cost for just being hooked up" will -- in the long run, and not-so-ironically, if you think about it -- actually be good for adoption of solar power.

Because the alternative -- bankruptcy for the entities that add value to solar power installations, by maintaining the grid that ties them together and delivering power when the sun's not shining -- is not sustainable.

The utilities' current opposition to solar implies that they're being forced to provide money-losing subsidies for grid connections. Eliminate those, and everyone will benefit from the new transparency in the cost structure.

2 days ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GPS Pilot Dead hand of capitalism? (476 comments)

Actually capitalism is the only thing that is encouraging Americans to install solar power systems in any significant numbers. And within my city's limits, nobody has solar because the government-owned utility forbids residents from doing business with that capitalistic company (or its competitors).

2 days ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

GPS Pilot Thanks (151 comments)

Thanks for the mixture of good news (solar storm only produces type 3) and bad news (average Joe can't defend against type 1). These posts should probably be +5 Informative.

about two weeks ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

GPS Pilot Re:An EMP from a super solar flare... (151 comments)

What exactly is that first component? Is there any way an average Joe can protect his electronics from it? Or is the only defense, "pray that a nuke won't detonate above your region"?

about three weeks ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

GPS Pilot An EMP from a super solar flare... (151 comments)

According to http://watchdog.org/138940/sol... , "An EMP from a super solar flare would behave similarly to one generated by a nuclear missile that detonated in Earth’s upper atmosphere."

Are you saying that writer doesn't know what he's talking about?

about three weeks ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

GPS Pilot No Poland-like outcome possible (540 comments)

One problem with your reasoning. Polish leaders very heartily embraced the West and NATO membership. In Cuba, on the other hand, the Castro brothers managed to hang on to power despite the economic crisis caused by the disappearance of theirr USSR sugar-daddy. If Cuba's economy had gotten a boost from the USA, the Castros would have used the additional revenue to further solidify their grip on power. I don't see a path to obtaining a Poland-like outcome, and you sure haven't pointed out such a path.

about three weeks ago
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Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

GPS Pilot Precision vs. accuracy (171 comments)

Another journalist misuses the word "accurately."

Astronomers can calculate quite accurately how much lithium they expect to find in the early Universe

They can calculate it quite precisely; but if the number doesn't match observations, the model is not accurate.

about three weeks ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

GPS Pilot How about sharing legitimate advice? (151 comments)

Instead of a whimsical poll, I wish slashdotters would be sharing legitimate advice about how to protect devices from EMP (either natural or man-made).

For example, if I store a hard drive or other sensitive device in a safe, can any old safe protect it, or does it have to be a safe specially designed to offer EMP protection?

about three weeks ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

GPS Pilot Thinking outside the box yields a better solution (708 comments)

A lot of people are completely against this idea (government intrusion on freedom, etc.) but that's the only way we've ever solved problems based on the "tragedy of the commons"

Really... government coercion the only way? No one voluntarily shares their assets for the benefit of the greater good? The facts say otherwise:

"Total giving to charitable organizations was $335.17 billion in 2013 (about 2% of GDP). This is an increase of 4.4% from 2012. Although this is the fourth straight year that giving has increased, it is still not at the pre-recession level of $349.5 billion seen in 2007."

Charitable giving increases as a person's disposable income increases -- and not linearly, either: as income grows to exceed a person's basic needs, people tend to increase the percentage of income given to charity. That's why a 10x increase in GDP would result in greater than a 10x increase in charitable giving.

So if we just resume pursuing pro-growth policies for a few more decades, private charity will be more than capable of providing the entire social safety net -- bigger and better than our current social safety net -- and government will be able to streamline itself and stop performing that function. (Which will be a quite virtuous circle that has further benefits for the economy.) There is also quite a bit of value in the fact that it will be 100% funded by voluntary contributions, and 0% by coercive confiscation.

When philanthropists perceive that the social safety net is well-funded, they will shift a portion of their giving to other charitable purposes of their choosing: for example, subsidizing clean energy projects.

Remember, pursuing pro-growth policies is the key to realizing this rosy future. That means growth we come by honestly, as opposed to short-term growth that is forced by unsustainable, house-of-cards measures -- like deficit spending, or the Fed holding interest rates artificially low.

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

GPS Pilot If we let the free market sort it out... (531 comments)

If we let the free market sort it out, no doubt Consumer Reports will print an article revealing which ISPs deliver Netflix content at good speeds, and which ISPs deliver Netflix content at lousy speeds. It's no different than when Consumer Reports prints an article revealing which detergents do a good job of getting grass stains out of your clothes, and which detergents do a lousy job.

Are you arguing for a "Detergent Neutrality Act" that would force all makers of laundry detergent to offer equally-effective products?

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

GPS Pilot Bulk discounts will suddenly disappear? (531 comments)

Should netflix pay premium for every mb because they're a "high bandwidth user"

In every other industry, heavy users get a bulk discount for commodities: The Sara Lee bakery pays a lot less per pound for flour than I do. The bauxite-smelting plant pays a lot less per kilowatt-hour for electricity than I do.

Why are you so worried that bandwidth providers will go against their own self-interest and set up a pricing structure that's completely different from every other industry? Why aren't you also fighting for "flour neutrality" and "electricity neutrality"?

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

GPS Pilot Choices, please (531 comments)

Do you think those that pay for the supersonic speed should be shuttled to the Grayhound station for certain destinations

How about allowing consumers to choose, instead of imposing regulations that may not benefit me in any way?

Simplified hypothetical example:

Mega-ISP offers three tiers of service:
1. 7 Mbps to all destinations - $30 per month
2. 40 Mbps to all destinations web services, with some exceptions: you get 7 Mpbs when visiting foo.com, foo2.com, and foo4.com - $50 per month
3. 40 Mbps to all destinations, period -- $60 per month

If a fast connection to foo2.com is important to me, I'd probably choose Tier 3. If not, I'd choose Tier 2 and save $120 per year. Let ME have that choice.

I can see how this will go down... "No matter how we reform the 'net, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your internet plan, you will be able to keep your internet plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

GPS Pilot Bring on the toll roads (531 comments)

After reading this, please let me know what would be so awful about 100% toll roads.

All roads are already toll roads, in that their maintenance is paid for by gas taxes. What would be so awful about that money going to an efficient enterprise, as opposed to an inefficient bureaucracy?

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

GPS Pilot Paying by the MB (531 comments)

Without it you get toll roads everywhere, and you constantly have to pay by the mile, or bit the MB

We've been paying for roads by the mile for decades, via gas taxes -- an effective way of making people who drive more, pay more.

Do you feel that all electricity users should pay the same cost, regardless of whether they wastefully use many kilowatt-hours, or frugally use few kilowatt-hours? I'm guessing no. So why impose a completely different price structure for bandwidth (which is a finite resource, just like electricity)? Why penalize grandma for her thrifty usage pattern (she receives a few emails per week and never surfs the web), by charging her as much as someone who downloads movies several times per week?

about a month ago

Submissions

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More details about Mars mystery rock

GPS Pilot GPS Pilot writes  |  about 8 months ago

GPS Pilot (3683) writes "Previous reports said the rock that suddenly appeared out of nowhere was merely 'the size of a jelly doughnut.' Now, a color image shows additional reasons for this metaphor: 'It's white around the outside, in the middle there's kind of a low spot that's dark red,' said lead scientist Steve Squyres. In the image, the object does stick out like a sore thumb amidst the surrounding orange rocks and soil. Its composition is 'like nothing we've ever seen before. It's very high in sulfur, it's very high in magnesium, it's got twice as much manganese as we've ever seen in anything on Mars.' If it's just a random rock that had been kicked into position by one of the rover's wheels, chances are it would not be 'like nothing we've ever seen before.'"
Link to Original Source
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Autonomously-driven car transports Congressman

GPS Pilot GPS Pilot writes  |  1 year,27 days

GPS Pilot (3683) writes "The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee just took a ride in Carnegie Mellon University's autonomously-driven Cadillac — a nice step forward for acceptance and awareness of this technology."
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Independent replication of BlackLight Power energy

GPS Pilot GPS Pilot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

novel_compound writes "Faculty memebers at Rowan University have independently replicated the remarkable energy source invented by BlackLight Power, Inc. Their report confirms that this process causes hydrogen to release 100 times more energy than ordinary combustion."
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Greenpeace founder promotes nuclear energy, again

GPS Pilot GPS Pilot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GPS Pilot (3683) writes "Patrick Moore is promoting nuclear energy again.

The only viable solution is to build hundreds of nuclear power plants over the next century, Moore told the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. There isn't enough potential for wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal or other renewable energy sources, he said."
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Roll your own pivoting display?

GPS Pilot GPS Pilot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GPS Pilot (3683) writes "A monitor with 16:9 aspect ratio is perfect for watching DVDs, but perfectly wrong for word processing and coding. What's the best way to get the best of both worlds: should I pay a premium for a display that has a 90 degree pivoting feature built-in (such as the HP LP2465), or is there a good aftermarket VESA mount desktop stand that can turn any LCD into a pivoting display? And how well do various OSes support pivoting displays? (I'm most interested in OS X.)"
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Fifth fundamental force of nature: antigravity?

GPS Pilot GPS Pilot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GPS Pilot (3683) writes "Dr. Randell Mills has just posted a paper in which 'We report the experimental confirmation of 15 predicted hyperbolic-electron states that are observed forced away from the Earth with an acceleration that is over twelve orders of magnitude greater than that of gravity, as predicted.'

In other words, a fifth fundamental force of nature, which amounts to a very powerful form of antigravity.

He performed the experiment with an off-the-shelf electron gun."

Link to Original Source

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