Workplace Stress Is Literally Killing People; Mass Lawsuits Are Imminent

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. robknob

    robknob Member

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    ...A reusable rocket is a game changing idea. An economically mass produced electric car/ solar panels is a game changing idea, in other words these being a reality is a huge change...
    Ariane5 is a gov't ripoff, a product of nationalism, a politician's selfish fantasy, still a pretty good rocket, but nowhere close to being an economical distribution of resources, hence the massive subsidies to make it actually get contracts to fly. In contrast, the Falcon 9 is far and away the most economical launch vehicle ever made in terms of $-per-lb to orbit, and now of course the falcon heavy will make all sorts of new space missions possible, hard to argue witht the results...
    Stock prices are not a reflection of reality anymore unfortunately, yes tesla is heavily leveraged, but it already has all but achieved its maturity into a major manufacturer, in one of the most competetive industries in one of the most harshest countries to do business w/ regards to corporate taxes/regulations. A market crash woud not threaten tesla, it already exists in an economical form, no matter what the ownership structure is, the facotry will keep humming along.
     
  2. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    So, if energy is the main problem and solar panels are probably affordable for the upper 50% of the population in the USA, then why not simply get people to start installing these panels at home? Anything to help decrease reliance on oil, since as you said even Big Oil has not found new resources.
     
  3. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    Could be BS, but if Pena's right, these "new technologies" are quite a scam.

     
  4. robknob

    robknob Member

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    One problem is geography, it is only really economical in sunny areas. The bigger problem is cronyism...Warren Buffett’s Energy Company Says Net Metering Should Be ‘Eliminated’
    The problem is there is $trillions tied up in oil assets, a sudden change in energy technology will cause global chaos, probably wars, and in a world with nukes, no one wants that to happen, so it will have to be a slow transition.

    One negative legacy of Nikola Tesla is the centralized power grid alternating current to tranmit at long distances(still very inefficient, lots of power dissipates from the big power lines) , Edison envisioned a decentralized grid with many local small generators, seems like we will be moving into this model more in the future.
     
  5. x-ray peat

    x-ray peat Member

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    Residential solar panels are rarely economic on their own and only make sense due to Federal and State Tax credits, utility net metering, and artificially low night time rates charged to solar owners. As utilities realize that their "poorer" customers are forced to subsidize rich people's solar panels they are changing the laws and rules to make things more fair to everyone. Now many people with solar panels are wishing they never installed them.

    The only solar technology that makes sense are dedicated utility scale solar farms or community and industrial solar farms which offer economies of scale that are not applicable to small roof top installations.

    As for solar penetration in general, there is only so much room for solar power in the supply mix due to its economics. Solar is an intermittent power source that peaks during mid day and is zero at night so for an installation to be economic it has to be 100% dispatched during its peak operating hours. The problem is that there is only so much demand at 12 noon to be filled. The general rule of thumb is that the maximum economic penetration of renewable technologies can never be more than its capacity factor. In the case of solar, this is 10-30%. Of course if batteries become more economic then the penetration of solar could increase.
     
  6. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Why would it only be economical in certain area? I decent solar panel set capable of maintaining (relatively speaking) the needs of a house for 4 people runs in the $3k-$5K range. It has an expected lifetime of at least 10 years and warranty of (usually) 5 years. Even at very high latitudes it will generate enough electricity to pay for itself several times over. So, it should be a net positive on the economy/population even if it does not completely satisfy a family's energy needs.
    I get the political motivation but if somebody wants to do that on their own, what would be the catch? Is it illegal to make your own power in some states? If enough people do it then it will become part of the environment like you said about Tesla and the oil powers will have to deal with it.
     
  7. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    See my response to robknob above. I don't think solar panels are that expensive. If a solar panel can pay for itself in terms of total energy generated in its lifetime then why would it not be worth installing? Forget about subsidies - how about not relying on the grid for power? Isn't self-sufficiency not worth much to people? I bet it is to a large chunk of the population.
     
  8. x-ray peat

    x-ray peat Member

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    Your numbers are way off. Also how are these people being self sufficient when they only generate electricity during the day and need to use the grid at night. Installing enough battery storage to provide 100% self-sufficiency suffers from even worse economics.

    Here is an article that details the real costs and subsidies involved.
    An illustration of the horrible economics of residential rooftop solar power
     
  9. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    If the solar panel can provide most of the electricity during peak consumption and the grid is only used at night (when prices are cheaper) it makes sense. There is no need to install enough batteries to store all produced energy. Complete self-sufficiency is probably not cheap (but still achievable). The initial point is economics mostly - why not install a source of energy that will generate enough electricity in its life time to more than pay for itself?
    The article is misleading. A cost of $32K for 8,540 watt solar system is absurd. If you shop around you can find complete systems that cost under $10K. Unless of course there is a law mandating a purchase from a specific vendor or country, in which case I can see why it would not be feasible.
    I bought a 5kW solar panel system for $4K from China and it works rather well. It is installed on the roof of a house in Europe. The battery is the biggest cost and liability as it has to be replaced every 3-5 years but a new one costs $750.
     
  10. x-ray peat

    x-ray peat Member

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    Those numbers are actually not that ridiculous for an installed system in a high end neighborhood. $32k for 8540 watts is about $3.80/watt installed. If you google the average cost of installed roof top solar it was between $2.71 and $3.57/watt. The solar panel is only part of the cost. You also have to account for the installation costs, the hardware, the wiring, the inverter as well as overhead and profit to the installation company.

    The economics just aren’t there without the subsidies. A 25 year payback without subsidies and a 14 year payback with subsidies are generally not considered good investments. Moreover those cheap nighttime rates are subsidized by the utility's full time customers. Utilities are now starting to charge roof top solar owners demand charges to pay for those subsidies.

    Utility scale solar in the US by comparison is about $1/watt or less than half of what residential solar costs. There is no way that roof top solar at twice the cost is a good societal investment.
     
  11. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Agreed, but again, not sure why the prices of solar equipment are that high. Good quality technology for 1/3 of that price is available (I bought it and use it myself), albeit probably not from US vendors (which does make it hard to apply on large scales). So, it is not technology that is the barrier. Most of the systems sold in US are produced/assembled in China/Taiwan and can be bought for less than 1/3 of the listed price even after factoring in the import/duty taxes. So, it is either pure greed on behalf of the US re-seller or political maneuvering that prevent the mass adoption of that technology.
     
  12. x-ray peat

    x-ray peat Member

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    Given the huge subsidies available to roof top solar purchasers as well as State mandates for utilities to use more renewables I think the political maneuvering is what is encouraging the uneconomic adoption of these technologies not preventing them.

    Again you cant compare the cost of a solar panel to the cost of an installed system by a company. Its like looking at the cost of paint and asking why the price to have your house painted by a professional is so much higher.
     
  13. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    What portion of the TCO do you think is installation/maintenance and what portion is the actual technology/gear?
     
  14. x-ray peat

    x-ray peat Member

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    It looks like the panels are about 12-25% of the total installed cost based on a couple of websites I just looked at. I agree that the residential installation companies are charging a lot but I think that is due to their product being so heavily subsidized. Any subsidy will raise the price a supplier can charge while at the same time lowering the net price to the consumer. Basically the benefit of the subsidy is split between the supplier and the consumer.

    https://sunmetrix.com/solar-panel-installation-cost/
     
  15. mr_mercer

    mr_mercer Member

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    The big problem with intermittent sources like solar and wind is our grid must be speced to satisfy peak demand at all times. Brown outs ruin equipment. When you introduce highly variable sources like solar you must also build out additional capacity from other sources, or highly inefficient storage technologies. This in turn reduces both the capital efficiency and the operating efficiency of the rest of the grid.

    In any case, the theoretical maximum EROI of solar is simply not enough to scale up to substitute for our hydrocarbon consumption, which has had here-to-fore had fantastic EROI figures. You don't even need to think about the grid specifics. It's like going from a $200K salary to a $35K salary and hoping to maintain the same standard of living. It just doesn't work like that.

    If solar and wind made sense there would be profitable operators by now. There aren't. Anywhere in the world it's a tax farm, operating on subsidies of various sorts. Nobody has positive free net cash flow from operating solar panels. Maybe this will change someday soon but I've seen no signs.
     
  16. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    So, what you are saying is that battery technology is the bottleneck for any of these alternative and intermittent sources, right?
     
  17. mr_mercer

    mr_mercer Member

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    Correct. A major leap in battery technology is necessary for intermittent sources to even be particularly useful on our grid. Even then, they are poor substitutes for ultra high EROI coal and oil and natgas.

    There is the added complication that our civilization as currently configured actually critically runs on diesel and diesel engines, and it's not a simple matter to swap in electrification for the roles diesel engines fulfill. We need to move trucks, trains, barges, mining equipment, farm equipment, and water pumps. There are special properties of diesel and diesel engines that are very difficult to replace with batteries or power lines.

    https://www.amazon.com/When-Trucks-Stop-Running-Transportation/dp/3319263730/
     
  18. mr_mercer

    mr_mercer Member

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    People don't understand that as hydrocarbon supplies decline the price will decline. It's a complex dynamic system. Everybody thinks "peak oil is debunked" because the price is not near highs. Our financial system is a proxy for energy. As there is less energy in the economy there is less real wealth, and as expectations of future energy decline there is less credit. Less wealth and credit means deflation and lower prices. Oil will crash down in price as supply problems develop.

    Drillers and miners need credit and high prices to operate profitably, and so more and more oil and natgas suppliers will go bankrupt as energy availability declines. Suppliers will shut down in the descending order of their extraction costs. As they do so, the price of oil will crash faster. Fewer and fewer bidders will have the wealth buy energy. The tar sands plays will shut down first, then the shale plays, then the stripper wells, and then finally the old supergiant fields of last century like Ghawar and Canterell.

    A Look to 2016 | Economic Undertow
     
  19. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    Here's the full podcast where Pena describes that the amount of oil in the Middle-East is far larger than previously claimed (sorry, I thought that info was included in the previous clip):

     
  20. mr_mercer

    mr_mercer Member

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    Without watching the two full hours I would have to ask Where he thinks the oil is? "Amount of oil" isn't the question. The question is Where is the cheap oil. If he thinks it's in Saudi Arabia, that's ridiculous. Obviously the reason the Saudis are selling equity in Aramco is they know the jig is about up and they are trying to pocket cash from naive westerners.
     
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