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Apple planning solar farm opposite NC data center

post #1 of 63
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Local permits reveal that Apple is looking to build a solar farm across from its massive data center in Maiden, N.C., a move that could address criticisms environmental groups have leveled at the company.

Catawba County permits have been issued giving Apple approval to begin preparations for the solar farm, the Charlotte Observer reported on Tuesday (via MacRumors).

The approved lot is 171 acres of vacant land on Startown Road that Apple has acquired. Local rumors had initially suggested that the site would be used for office space.

According to the report, engineering plans have yet to show details about the solar farm, as the permit is simply an early erosion control permit. County engineer Toni Norton said more information about Apple's plans would come when the company applies for a building permit.

The plans do, however, refer to the undertaking as "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded." It had previously been revealed that the data center was codenamed "Project Dolphin."



In April, environmental activist group Greenpeace criticized Apple for relying on "dirty" energy for its data center. The group accused the company of locating its center in an area with one of the dirtiest electrical grids in the country. According to local reports, Apple's power supplier for the center is Duke Energy, which uses mostly coal and nuclear plants, though it does have solar arrays setup in the county.

Though Apple's plans for a solar farm could create goodwill among environmental groups, the company is currently upsetting residents with preparations for it. Hickory Record reports that smoke from the process of clearing the lot is bothering the neighbors.

The [sic] told us they would have a fire, and only do it when the winds blowing away, said Zelda Vosburgh. They do it 24 hours a day. The house inside smells like smoke. I dont know if its hurting us, breathing it 24 hours a day. Between the smell and the smoke, its bad.

Vosburgh also said the smoke has increased wildlife activity around her house.

"Its pushed everything out of the woods into the area here, I had a snake on my steps, she said. Ive seen rabbits and squirrels everywhere.

According to her, Apple also burned property when it began construction of the data center two years ago.

Apple first announced its plans to build the server farm in Maiden, N.C. in July 2009. The $1 billion data center opened this spring and will support iTunes, MobileMe and Apple's new iCloud.

Rumors have also swirled that Apple plans to build a second data center next to the first. The current server farm already covers 500,000 square feet, an area five times larger than that of its data center in Newark, Calif.

Apple prides itself on using sustainable energy for its facilities, which include data centers. According to the company's website, just 2 percent of Apple's energy footprint comes from its facilities around the world. Currently, facilities in Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Cork, Ireland use 100 percent renewable energy, saving as much as 21,500 metric tons of CO2e emissions.
post #2 of 63
Let them Burn!!

Then again solandra proved what big solar company's do
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post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

Let them Burn!!

Then again solandra proved what big solar company's do

Actually, Solyndra's solar tube technology would have been perfect for the white roof of Apple's data center.

They wouldn't have had to clear anymore land which just adds to the greenhouse effect.
post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post

Actually, Solyndra's solar tube technology would have been perfect for the white roof of Apple's data center.

They wouldn't have had to clear anymore land which just adds to the greenhouse effect.

"would have"

Well never know now ha
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post #5 of 63
If the rumor is true, I'd sure like to see that. I really like the idea of using the sun's energy to convert to electricity. It's a shame that most solar companies are crapping out over the last couple of years. As long as we can get carbon-based fossil fuel readily, nobody wants to be bothered investing into solar energy. \

I feel bad for the animals that are losing their habitat, but humans are always pushing wildlife to the brink. The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.

We could also expand human habitat beyond Earth, but no one wants to do it soon.
post #7 of 63
Maybe they should add some windmills for when the sun is not shining!!!

post #8 of 63
Why would they use burning to clear land? Do they not have bulldozers in North Carolina? Burning is just primitive.
post #9 of 63
Presumably they will chainsaw a bunch of square miles of forest for this...
post #10 of 63
Does this mean iCloud will be inaccessible at night?
post #11 of 63
Good for everyone. Good for the economy, apple and the locals. Good Job Apple.
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post #12 of 63
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Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

...God for the economy...

Amen to that.

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

If the rumor is true, I'd sure like to see that. I really like the idea of using the sun's energy to convert to electricity. It's a shame that most solar companies are crapping out over the last couple of years. As long as we can get carbon-based fossil fuel readily, nobody wants to be bothered investing into solar energy. \

I feel bad for the animals that are losing their habitat, but humans are always pushing wildlife to the brink. The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.

This looks like a perfect time to talk about my birth control based on stupidity. We are all stupid in our own ways, but some people take it to an extreme that is harmful to others, the environment and make baby jebus cry. Fight the stupid it's the new war on drugs..
post #14 of 63
It would be much better for the environment to plant trees and reforest the land than to cover it with solar panels.
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post #15 of 63
In my opinion environmental groups should kiss the ground Apple walks on. Because they are one of the most environmentally friendly companies in the entire world.

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post #16 of 63
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Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

make baby jebus cry.

Don't worry. I make baby jebus cry everyday. It's my hobby. At least baby jebus is real -- unlike the fairy tale fellow with a similar name who inspires the largest pedophile organization in the world.
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post #17 of 63
I am not a big believer in solar power. Apple's new UFO campus uses all natural gas, and I think that is what most companies will do (switch from coal to natural gas).
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I am not a big believer in solar power. Apple's new UFO campus uses all natural gas, and I think that is what most companies will do (switch from coal to natural gas).

I agree. Natural Gas is way better than coal. Thinking of how coal is acquired. Not the best. From what I understand we have allot of Natural Gas. Clean burning and way more efficient than coal. Solar... I think solar is good in some ways but in others not so good. In the long run the panels degrade and have to be replaced. Also you have to clear land to support a large facility or factory. One could say wind gen is better in some areas. We will have to see.
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post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... The plans do, however, refer to the undertaking as "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded." It had previously been revealed that the data center was codenamed "Project Dolphin." ...

Aren't there any indications that yet another data center will be hiding under these solar panels?
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Don't worry. I make baby jebus cry everyday. It's my hobby. At least baby jebus is real -- unlike the fairy tale fellow with a similar name who inspires the largest pedophile organization in the world.

Here's a novel idea....Next time how about you show us all just how clever you are by aiming that oh-so-eager-to-offend "wit" of yours toward that Mohammad Pedophile and the society of murdering terrorist head cutters he inspires?
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

Next time how about you show us all just how clever you are by aiming that oh-so-eager-to-offend "wit" of yours toward that Mohammad Pedophile and the society of murdering terrorist head cutters he inspires?

Is it your point that an organization pretending to be a religion for the purpose of mass murder is worse than an organization pretending to be a religion for the purpose of mass child rape? If so, then your point is well taken and, on an academic level, I agree with you, but both make my skin crawl.
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post #22 of 63
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Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Does this mean iCloud will be inaccessible at night?

Night is relative, when its night in Carolina its Day in Australia.........
post #23 of 63
So burning coal for electricity is bad but burning vegetation to clear land for solar panels is good. Somewhere in Al Gore's world this makes sense.
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

So burning coal for electricity is bad but burning vegetation to clear land for solar panels is good. Somewhere in Al Gore's world this makes sense.

So you actually think Al Gore ordered the burning of this land? Or that he had anything to do with it at all?

What color is the sky in your world?
post #25 of 63
"Apple also burned property when it began"

Apple did not burn anything. Apple hired local companies that do this for a living. The local companies did work just like everyone in the area always does this kind of thing. PERIOD.

Now, if you want to blame Apple for efforts done during construction, I think you have to give Apple credit for the grass that grows, the trees that sway, and the clouds that move across the sky.

Right??

Just a thought.
en
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

It would be much better for the environment to plant trees and reforest the land than to cover it with solar panels.

I completely agree.
post #27 of 63
The clearing that they are doing is only on a part of the property acquired, the rest was farm fields. Burning at the level required to eliminate the consumable brush and wood doesn't contribute materially to greenhouse gases or global warming and actually polutes less than having large bulldozers, cranes, scoops and trucks running around belching diesel fumes in the neighborhood trying to haul away the detrius from the clearing process to other sites where it will be burned, or chipped.

North Carolina on average sees 212-215 days of partial or full sunshine, by comparison, the solar panels used at Google's facilities is in Santa Clara Valley sees an average of 160-180 days of sunshine. Moreover, the Maiden facility is constructed to be much more power efficient than what Greenpeace estimated in their critique. Especially since Greenpeace was using flawed estimates based on twenty-year-old power studies at low efficiency data centers. The fact that the grid is "dirty" also means (unfortunately) that power provisioning is less expensive ($/KW) than other areas that rely on a mix of "green" power technologies. Besides, the power suppliers there are trying to diversify the power supplied, earlier this year Dominion Power which is one of the state's major power companies added in solar supplies. The Duke grid IS arguably among the heaviest users of coal and nuclear, but also has quite a few hydro plants supplying as well. If the solar farm for Maiden DC is reasonably efficient by solar standards, it could conservatively generate 34 megawatts. From a posting I wrote for the Greenpeace thread earlier, let me reiterate my point there:

Quote:
Greenpeace also estimated that the 500,000 sq ft facility would require 100MW of power to operate. If you look at real energy use studies for operational data centers, the actual energy demand runs roughly at 40W/sq ft. Doing the math shows that - without any other efficiencies built in - the Apple data center would in fact require only 20MW for operation on average. That is five-fold lower than what Greenpeace estimates in their report. They have not used real energy use numbers to arrive at their calculations and simply grabbed a number they thought would work in their best interests.

If you calculate the complete Maiden facility (1,000,000 sq. ft.) at full capacity (which it currently is not), the real demand comes in at 40MW of which the proposed solar farm would provide intermittent supply 34MW to offset grid usage. Not a bad approach if Apple doesn't mind the increased cost of operation incurred by supporting a solar farm as well.
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post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Why would they use burning to clear land? Do they not have bulldozers in North Carolina? Burning is just primitive.

When land is covered with trees, as is normally the case in North Carolina, you have to do something with the trees that you clear off the land. Obviously, if there is lumber value, you have that harvested first, but you still are left with a whole lot of scrappy wood that has no commercial value. What are you going to do with it? If you bulldoze it away, you only doze the wood half way into the ground, which just creates a huge mess. You have to clear off the wood. Then you are left with these really big piles of scrappy wood. It is very, very unsightly, and it also is a fire hazard, since it is prone to catch fire at any time. And it has nutrient value that is not available until either it decomposes naturally or else is burned. The standard practice is to go ahead and burn it and then spread the remaining ash over the land that has been cleared. It is probably not ideal from some perspectives, but nothing is ever ideal.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I am not a big believer in solar power. Apple's new UFO campus uses all natural gas, and I think that is what most companies will do (switch from coal to natural gas).

I agree. Solar power has always been sort of a joke. It takes huge, huge arrays of panels located in the desert before it even starts to make economic sense. Most electricity comes from burning coal, which is far worse than natural gas from the standpoint of greenhouse gases and global warming (which is real), owing to the difference in the proportion of carbon vs. hydrogen. Large commercial sites such as the one that Apple built in NC and is planning in California have the option of creating their own electricity on site, from combustion of natural gas that is piped in. The exhaust gases will be released on site, which isn't pretty, but does not imply any greater real pollution than the same amount of exhaust gas would if released at a large-scale electricity generation station where lots and lots of gas is converted to electricity. The real advantage is that by doing it yourself at a location that you control, you have the option of using strictly natural gas, and this is something that you cannot control when you buy your electricity from the power company.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

Here's a novel idea....Next time how about you show us all just how clever you are by aiming that oh-so-eager-to-offend "wit" of yours toward that Mohammad Pedophile and the society of murdering terrorist head cutters he inspires?

Wow, he really pushed your buttons didn't he? I thought his comment was inappropriate, for the record. But you expect that in most any on-line forum, along with finding yourself attempting to have a rational dialog with people who are as likely as not to be teenagers who actually understand almost nothing at all. But I want to toss this your way: if you allow that his comment is valid (it is to a real degree), and that your comment about Mohammad is valid, then in what way would your comment invalidate his comment? It would have made some sense if you had said something along the lines of, "Yeah, and here's another religious group that is also bad." But that isn't where you went. You seemed to be trying to imply that because there are other religious groups that are also bad, that somehow this makes what he was talking about less bad. That doesn't actually make sense, but neither does 90% of what most people say, ordinarily. Ordinarily, at least 90% of what most people say does not actually make sense.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

So burning coal for electricity is bad but burning vegetation to clear land for solar panels is good. Somewhere in Al Gore's world this makes sense.

As you put it, I doubt seriously if that make's sense to anyone. To me, it is just unfortunate that people often put things as simplistically as you put it. It accomplishes nothing at all.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

If the rumor is true, I'd sure like to see that. I really like the idea of using the sun's energy to convert to electricity. It's a shame that most solar companies are crapping out over the last couple of years. As long as we can get carbon-based fossil fuel readily, nobody wants to be bothered investing into solar energy. \

You are incorrect. The reason solar companies are 'crapping out' is that China is subsidizing their solar industry to the tune of tens of billions of dollars per year and American companies can't compete. The market price for their panels is too low for them to make a profit. Just another example of the 'free trade' bandwagon not caring about a level playing field.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

I agree. Solar power has always been sort of a joke. It takes huge, huge arrays of panels located in the desert before it even starts to make economic sense. Most electricity comes from burning coal, which is far worse than natural gas from the standpoint of greenhouse gases and global warming (which is real), owing to the difference in the proportion of carbon vs. hydrogen. Large commercial sites such as the one that Apple built in NC and is planning in California have the option of creating their own electricity on site, from combustion of natural gas that is piped in. The exhaust gases will be released on site, which isn't pretty, but does not imply any greater real pollution than the same amount of exhaust gas would if released at a large-scale electricity generation station where lots and lots of gas is converted to electricity. The real advantage is that by doing it yourself at a location that you control, you have the option of using strictly natural gas, and this is something that you cannot control when you buy your electricity from the power company.


Solar actually makes a good bit of sense in some areas. In parts of the south, it can have a payback period as short as 5-10 years. While that's longer than most companies would typically invest in, it is certainly within the range that it's plausible.

You're also only looking at solar electric. Some solar technologies are very inexpensive and pay for themselves quite quickly. Solar thermal technology for heating is actually quite advanced and reasonably cost-effective.

The real problem with solar (and other power) is that we waste too much of it. What we're doing is like walking into a grocery store and paying for $100 worth of groceries and throwing $20 worth of the groceries in the trash can as you leave the store. My company specializes in energy conservation and we've found that almost all of our customers (across a wide range of industries) can easily reduce their energy usage by 10-30% at relatively low cost (payback period under 3 years in almost all cases and under a year in some cases). If everyone did that, our energy needs would drop by 20% (on average), oil imports would drop even more, our balance of payments would improve, pollution would be reduced, and so on. It would also reduce the cost of a new solar system by 20% or so, making solar or other newer technologies more cost effective.
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post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

The clearing that they are doing is only on a part of the property acquired, the rest was farm fields. Burning at the level required to eliminate the consumable brush and wood doesn't contribute materially to greenhouse gases or global warming and actually polutes less than having large bulldozers, cranes, scoops and trucks running around belching diesel fumes in the neighborhood trying to haul away the detrius from the clearing process to other sites where it will be burned, or chipped.

North Carolina on average sees 212-215 days of partial or full sunshine, by comparison, the solar panels used at Google's facilities is in Santa Clara Valley sees an average of 160-180 days of sunshine. Moreover, the Maiden facility is constructed to be much more power efficient than what Greenpeace estimated in their critique. Especially since Greenpeace was using flawed estimates based on twenty-year-old power studies at low efficiency data centers. The fact that the grid is "dirty" also means (unfortunately) that power provisioning is less expensive ($/KW) than other areas that rely on a mix of "green" power technologies. Besides, the power suppliers there are trying to diversify the power supplied, earlier this year Dominion Power which is one of the state's major power companies added in solar supplies. The Duke grid IS arguably among the heaviest users of coal and nuclear, but also has quite a few hydro plants supplying as well. If the solar farm for Maiden DC is reasonably efficient by solar standards, it could conservatively generate 34 megawatts. From a posting I wrote for the Greenpeace thread earlier, let me reiterate my point there:



If you calculate the complete Maiden facility (1,000,000 sq. ft.) at full capacity (which it currently is not), the real demand comes in at 40MW of which the proposed solar farm would provide intermittent supply 34MW to offset grid usage. Not a bad approach if Apple doesn't mind the increased cost of operation incurred by supporting a solar farm as well.

There you go confusing the misinformation by injecting facts. You think you're special or something? Sorry, I just can't help be sarcastic when I see something like this where dozens of people commence to share their opinions when they don't have a single fact shared among them, and then one person steps in and actually starts talking on a factual basis. It just amuses me.


I've never known what to make of Greenpeace. I was an advocate of environmental protection going back to the mid '60s, but then Greenpeace came along and made everyone who shares these concerns look like a nut job. Other than that, it isn't apparent to me what they have accomplished, if anything. Other, more rational organizations such as the Sierra Club have lost their voice as a consequence.


Greenpeace basically criticized Apple for building a facility in a location that did not provide power as green as they would have liked. I disagree with blaming Apple for that, and I think that they only made themselves look stupid by doing that. They should stay focused on the companies that provide power that isn't as green as they want, i.e., Duke Energy. They routinely do not exhibit good judgement, and this is just another example of that. The public is not going to understand why this should be thought of as Apple's problem. The public will look at it from the perspective of themselves being held accountable when they relocate to an area and call up the power company and ask to have electricity turned on.
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

If the rumor is true, I'd sure like to see that. I really like the idea of using the sun's energy to convert to electricity. It's a shame that most solar companies are crapping out over the last couple of years. As long as we can get carbon-based fossil fuel readily, nobody wants to be bothered investing into solar energy. \

I feel bad for the animals that are losing their habitat, but humans are always pushing wildlife to the brink. The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.

And with some of the people making babies, we should give serious consideration to a plan to help curb some folks from having babies.

Heck, most of them would be very happy just practicing

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post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

...
Solar actually makes a good bit of sense in some areas. In parts of the south, it can have a payback period as short as 5-10 years. While that's longer than most companies would typically invest in, it is certainly within the range that it's plausible.

That is fully in agreement with what I wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You're also only looking at solar electric. Some solar technologies are very inexpensive and pay for themselves quite quickly. Solar thermal technology for heating is actually quite advanced and reasonably cost-effective.

When you write "...also only...", you imply that the ensuing criticism is in addition to the one preceding, which is odd considering that your preceding comment was fully in agreement with what I wrote. I could be polite and leave it at that, but the truth is that what you wrote is patently dishonest. When you say something that is fully in agreement with something I wrote and then you imply that you had corrected me, that is patently dishonest, and that is exactly what you did. People conduct themselves in this manner on web forums all the time, but that doesn't change the fact that it is dishonest conduct.

And the reason that I was only looking at solar electrical power is that (DUH) the context of the conversation is solar electric power. DUH. And personally I doubt whether "passive solar" for heating is particularly effective except on a small scale where it can be tolerated for hours to be needed to heat up a small tank of water to a moderately high temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The real problem with solar (and other power) is that we waste too much of it. What we're doing is like walking into a grocery store and paying for $100 worth of groceries and throwing $20 worth of the groceries in the trash can as you leave the store. My company specializes in energy conservation and we've found that almost all of our customers (across a wide range of industries) can easily reduce their energy usage by 10-30% at relatively low cost (payback period under 3 years in almost all cases and under a year in some cases). If everyone did that, our energy needs would drop by 20% (on average), oil imports would drop even more, our balance of payments would improve, pollution would be reduced, and so on. It would also reduce the cost of a new solar system by 20% or so, making solar or other newer technologies more cost effective.

Ah, I should have guessed that you work for (or possibly own) a company that is in the business of selling alternative energy. Can you spell "agenda"? How about "not exactly what you'd call impartial"? I challenge the truthfulness of what you wrote. The real problems with solar power do not have very much at all with how much of it is wasted, and only someone who has completely lost the ability to stand back and look at the matter objectively would ever think that. I do not doubt that if everyone made a concerted effort to install alternative energy systems, that at reasonable cash outlay they could accomplish something that would pay for itself within a reasonable period, and that there would be real benefits in addition to eventual cost avoidance. But you claim that "almost all of our customers" can reduce their energy costs by 30% and recover their investment in under 3 years. Or, maybe it is some non-specific percentage of some non-specific segment of the population reducing their costs by 10%. And maybe, just maybe you haven't factored in the associated costs for a small company to even invest the time to sit down and talk with you, or the reluctance on the part of most companies to even entertain the idea because of the number of times that they have heard similar claims from other companies only to discover, after significant time and investment, that there was a whole lot of exaggeration. It would be interesting to survey and find out what percentage of small-scale passive solar systems that were installed in the '70s have not long since been abandoned. Do you have any hard, reliable data on that, or do you not think that is relevant?
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

You are incorrect. The reason solar companies are 'crapping out' is that China is subsidizing their solar industry to the tune of tens of billions of dollars per year and American companies can't compete. The market price for their panels is too low for them to make a profit. Just another example of the 'free trade' bandwagon not caring about a level playing field.

Don't we subsidize them too? Or just the purchasing of their products and guaranteeing their funding?
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

Ah, I should have guessed that you work for (or possibly own) a company that is in the business of selling alternative energy. Can you spell "agenda"? How about "not exactly what you'd call impartial"? I challenge the truthfulness of what you wrote.

ROTFLMAO. So you challenge my truthfulness because you're lying about what I do?

I do not work for a company that sells alternative energy - and never did. As I said, my company provides services to allow our customers to conserve energy. From our perspective, it's completely irrelevant where the energy comes from.
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post #38 of 63
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Originally Posted by geoffrobinson View Post

Don't we subsidize them too? Or just the purchasing of their products and guaranteeing their funding?

The U.S. does not subsidize solar energy in anywhere near the way that China does. There are consumer credits in the U.S., but they apply regardless of whether you buy American or Chinese panels, so they do not provide any net subsidy advantage for the U.S. firms. China, OTOH, directly subsidizes the manufacturers (I believe the figure I saw was $34 billion a year). That makes it nearly impossible for a U.S. supplier to compete.
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post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I agree. Natural Gas is way better than coal. Thinking of how coal is acquired. Not the best. From what I understand we have allot of Natural Gas. Clean burning and way more efficient than coal. Solar... I think solar is good in some ways but in others not so good. In the long run the panels degrade and have to be replaced. Also you have to clear land to support a large facility or factory. One could say wind gen is better in some areas. We will have to see.

I agree, natural gas is good, but coal is also okay (there are "clean" ways to burn coal). The problem is (and the environmental lobby is too stupid to see it) every single form of energy generation is going to have an environmental impact.

Fossil fuels emit CO2 - big deal. Plant more trees. A huge amount of natural gas is obtained through fracking. Solar panels have to be manufactured, and manufacturing creates pollution, and they're made with products that are toxic to the environment, plus they take up space - as we see, Apple is clearing some land of trees to put up solar panels (they really ought to put them on the roof of the existing building).

Wind "turbines" have to be manufactured as well, and those towers take up huge amounts of space and have a tendency to kill birds. All forms of "renewable" energy have to be stored. What about all the toxic materials for all the batteries necessary to store electricity? They can be recycled, but recycling takes energy too (and creates pollution). Nuclear fission works, but generates nuclear waste. Nuclear fusion would be great if we can ever get it under control (and forget about generating it at room temperature - not gonna happen). Biofuels generate their own type of pollution, cut into our food supply, and are ineffective fuels (putting ethanol in gas is beyond stupid).

The point is, there is no free lunch. I'm sooooo tired of hearing whining from the "green" community because they don't know shit.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

I agree, natural gas is good, but coal is also okay (there are "clean" ways to burn coal). The problem is (and the environmental lobby is too stupid to see it) every single form of energy generation is going to have an environmental impact.

Fossil fuels emit CO2 - big deal. Plant more trees. A huge amount of natural gas is obtained through fracking. Solar panels have to be manufactured, and manufacturing creates pollution, and they're made with products that are toxic to the environment, plus they take up space - as we see, Apple is clearing some land of trees to put up solar panels (they really ought to put them on the roof of the existing building).

Wind "turbines" have to be manufactured as well, and those towers take up huge amounts of space and have a tendency to kill birds. All forms of "renewable" energy have to be stored. What about all the toxic materials for all the batteries necessary to store electricity? They can be recycled, but recycling takes energy too (and creates pollution). Nuclear fission works, but generates nuclear waste. Nuclear fusion would be great if we can ever get it under control (and forget about generating it at room temperature - not gonna happen). Biofuels generate their own type of pollution, cut into our food supply, and are ineffective fuels (putting ethanol in gas is beyond stupid).

The point is, there is no free lunch. I'm sooooo tired of hearing whining from the "green" community because they don't know shit.

There IS a free lunch - but not enough people are using it. Our business involves retrofitting buildings for energy conservation. Our average customer saves about 20% of its energy usage and the cost is relatively low (1-3 year payback). There's nothing but upside to that.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
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