Seeking Alpha

"Recoverable world coal reserves are the longest life (R/P ratio) of any fossil fuel - the go-to...

"Recoverable world coal reserves are the longest life (R/P ratio) of any fossil fuel - the go-to BTU in any return to global growth," Gregor McDonald writes. Thus QE bulls are pushing coal sector stocks (KOL +3.5%) near the top of today's top gainers: ANR +11.8%, ACI +8.5%, CLF +6.3%, WLT +5.2%, CLD +4%, CNX +3.1%, BTU +2.8%.
Comments (120)
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Yes. "Clean Coal." Wake me when you got it. Until then I'll say thanks but no thanks to burning stuff for energy.
    13 Sep 2012, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
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    Most ironic comment of the day award goes to!!!!!!?!???
    13 Sep 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • Whitehawk
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    "thanks but no thanks to burning stuff for energy"

     

    How do you keep warm and drive your car? Do you harvest all your own food? Produce all your own clothing? Even the sun "burns stuff for energy" dude. Phys chem, QM and that 2nd law of thermo are fun stuff too.

     

    (And there's no such thing as "clean solar" either, while we're at it. But no hard feelings Dana!)
    13 Sep 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Humans are the anthesis of clean, I support the cause for trying to reign in our obnoxious self-destructive efforts, but I'm also realistic. We need coal, we haven't devised a way around it yet.

     

    I have no hard feelings either, i'll still read your tech articles Dana!!!
    13 Sep 2012, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Energy is money. Not coal. Not oil. Not even the Sun.

     

    Energy. Produce energy in any way and you create money, you create wealth.

     

    The technology of wealth creation is changing before our eyes. Coal hasn't kept up. There is no such thing as "clean coal" -- if it existed we'd be mining more of it is all I'm saying.

     

    Think I'm lying? Show me the clean coal.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Dana,
    We are mining more of it... trains of it go by my house everyday. And the ports on the east coast just had another record month for exports out of the US.

     

    And show me any form of energy humans create that is actually clean?
    13 Sep 2012, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I also live next to a train line, which stops at Plant Scherer, a large coal-fired plant near Milledgeville. It's been quiet. The train used to go by every day. Now it's once a week. Maybe. Sometimes less.

     

    Just one example.

     

    Coal is an energy store, and when it can be tapped cleanly go for it. But the relative cleanliness of natural gas, and the even greater cleanliness of systems that harvest the Sun, the wind, and the Earth, should not be in doubt.

     

    The fact that we have a lot of coal is not a news story. Fact is we're tapping cleaner sources -- natgas is cleaner. So are renewables. And as renewables scale, even natgas will give way, in time. That's the transition we've now begun, and it's inevitable.

     

    Meanwhile, you're supporting something called "Clean Coal" that, I repeat, does not exist. And claiming renewable energy isn't real when it's an increasing part of every utility's energy mix.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Natural gas requires you to drill holes into the earth with big huge machines created from stuff that we pulled out of the earth... guess what that stuff is? Coking coal... in order for you to get coking coal you have to mine coal which sometimes meets the standards of coking coal sometimes its just good for burning...

     

    Nat gas is only cleaner at the point where you burn it, the entire process from start to finish is probably only marginally cleaner then coal. And there a relative unknowns.

     

    I never said clean coal exists, I support the effort to make coal cleaner.

     

    Onto your other stupid statements: Sun power, i assume you mean the solar panels that once again are made from stuff mined out of the ground with big honkin machines made from steel that once again is made using coal... no there is no other way.

     

    Wind: big steel turbines .....

     

    Earth? Are you captain planet... I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you think we can somehow harness earthquakes to make energy? Plate tectonics? Hydro power is nice but you need steel again.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    By the way the rest of the world is increasing use of coal as a power source, only in the US where we enjoy 3$ NG are we reducing it.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Funny you should mention that Scherer plant, they just came out with an RFP to buy more coal for this year/next year. Check Argus Daily report if you have access to it I think it was in yesterday's or today's volume.
    13 Sep 2012, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    DB, still selling the same old snake oil. You would have thought after Solyndra disappeared with half a billion in taxpayer dollars and most of the industry is following Solyndra into oblivion that you would have crawled back under the rock you came from.

     

    Even in China the industry is headed towards zero.

     

    http://bit.ly/PyLhbd
    14 Sep 2012, 01:02 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    And yes DB, you're lying. Coal will surge back just as soon as export ports are build out and nat gas prices in North America begin to rise to the $4 to $6 range that reflects production costs in the long term.
    14 Sep 2012, 01:05 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I'll wait until I hear the trains again. They're going to be back-up to natgas power and then they're going to be back-up to the nuclear plant being built on the Savannah River.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I suppose Amdahl's problems in the early 70s proved that computing had no future? Companies come, companies go, the industry keeps growing, efficiency keeps rising and crossover is approaching.

     

    Which is more real -- a solar panel or clean coal?
    14 Sep 2012, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Good luck with that. Jim Cramer was just pounding the table for Joy based on growth in China, which still uses a lot of coal.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Well seeing as you can't make a solar panel without coal... and we haven't yet got to a point where coal is clean the answer is neither Dana.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    The question is which is viable, coal or solar? Solar is going bankrupt everywhere. Were it not for massive subsidies it would have never have gotten off the ground. The Great Lie that is solar is that it's green. It requires a massive buildup of storage and transmission capacity that consumes natural resources in great quantities. Batteries are nasty things. Solar panels have a low energy density and require developing and covering large areas of the Earth's surface. The rare Earths required are scarce and mostly controlled by China.

     

    At this point only the brain-dead, environmental frauds, and the next generation of Solyndra executives looking for govt lining their pockets are pushing solar. To not use coal for electrical generation and reserve nat gas and oil for transport fuels and residential and commercial heating is stupid from a long-term perspective for both environmental and economic reasons.
    14 Sep 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    The irony is greenies do this all in the name of helping the environment, and making a better place for the children when reality is that the approach they take is doing the exact opposite. The smartest people always view both sides of the coin... not just one.
    14 Sep 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I am amused at people here who call me an "environmentalist" and consider it an insult.

     

    It's not. It's a term I wear with pride.

     

    I am doing all I can to save this world for your children, while you do all you can to destroy it. I believe that we can save the world and the economy, both. You obviously don't. You want to make something political that should not be, something that should be a win-win situation.

     

    Why? Why won't you accept the reality of global warming even while the ice caps melt? I really find you difficult to understand, except for the fact that you have some personal hatred of anyone, even me, when we disagree with your nonsense.
    15 Sep 2012, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, Mr. Pilate. But you have more of a Lady MacBeth situation here.
    15 Sep 2012, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    I'm amused at the people who call you an environmentalist, and think you're an environmentalist.
    15 Sep 2012, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    So am I. I'm not that much of one. But I do know that the only long-term downward pressure we can put on energy prices comes from having alternative technologies, not from adding our own chips to the same old game.

     

    After all, if America becomes self-sufficient in producing oil and gas, what incentive do we have for lower prices?
    17 Sep 2012, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Obviously as you drain coal produced electricity with your articles/comments. My children are saved!!!

     

    And I have stated I'm for a balanced approach that being a healthy budget in both Renewable sources of energy (renewable and sustainable), as well as technology that makes fossils cleaner...

     

    I'm probably more of an environmentalist then you are to be honest...
    17 Sep 2012, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    You may indeed be right. I am looking at this solely from an economic point of view, as someone familiar with the history of technology from having lived it.

     

    While I recognize I have political opinions and I do state them sometimes, it's mainly as a form of disclosure. Readers should be aware of writers' biases, and writers should always lean against those biases in what they write.
    17 Sep 2012, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Downward pressure on energy prices is driven by supply and demand, not alternative technologies that are higher cost, less efficient, and come with massive infrastructure and resource requirements. For that matter other than yourself, advocates of solar and wind already acknowledge that they are higher cost (it's difficult to argue with reality).

     

    To the layman it may appear that any technology is good, but in the engineering and science fields we recognize that being a "technology" in and of itself does not make it practical for adoption.
    19 Sep 2012, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, besides covering the land with huge arrays of solar panels and wind farms to produce little energy, you're also saving the world from raptor species and migratory waterfowl. Obviously we need to kill off as many of them as we can before they overrun humanity.

     

    http://bit.ly/ODo4R5

     

    http://bit.ly/ODZq8H

     

    Wind farms also provide the added benefit of making the Columbia River Gorge east of the Cascade crest a remarkably ugly place where once there was beauty. The latte swilling greenies in Portland (OR) don't give a damn because like you it gives them a facade to claim their green credentials even while they bleat "not in my backyard" on the monstrosities.
    19 Sep 2012, 02:13 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I get it. You like digging stuff out of the ground. You don't like any technology which threatens your caveman ways.

     

    I disagree. We won't agree. Let's leave it at that.

     

    I think the next generation of solar, by the way, will blow away all your arguments. But that's me. We'll see how the market reacts in a few years.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    No, you don't get it. You've been pumping solar since early 2011 on SA and in that time there's been a record number of solar bankruptcies and stocks like FSLR have lost 85+% of their value. Across the globe solar and wind are failing to deliver, yet still you pump and prognosticate a future that will never arrive. Pity the poor fools that follow you.

     

    http://bit.ly/R1zli1
    20 Sep 2012, 01:31 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    This happens in all growing industries, and solar overall remains a growing industry. Lots of computer outfits went bust in the early 1970s. And there were repeated shakeouts. Read your history.
    20 Sep 2012, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/S9nXS1
    20 Sep 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    The link is to a story at Platt's indicating that solar power is reducing peak load power costs in Germany. While many criticize solar for not running power overnight, fact is demand peaks during the day, especially for air conditioning.
    20 Sep 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    It's been a growing industry only because of massive subsidies. Those subsidies are going away, and the industry is collapsing. You continue to pump and promote the kleptocracy, but the stocks continue to deflate and companies continue to file for bankruptcy.
    21 Sep 2012, 01:41 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, are you as economically illiterate as you appear? Obviously putting supply into the system is going to reduce spot prices, but that says nothing of the economics of the supply itself. If you produce power at $0.50 a kWh and sell it for 5 cents, you'll reduce spot prices on the grid, but you're still losing money and uneconomic. This is the old stupidity of, "we lose money on every sale, but we make it up in volume!" You and kmi need to find the closest community college and take a basic economics course.

     

    Now let's get back to reality (yet again):

     

    http://bit.ly/Vj7T0e

     

    Solar energy problems are not confined to the U.S. Germany is an economic powerhouse and has spent more money on solar energy (100 billion euros) and installed more solar panels than any country on earth. But in recent months two important German solar manufacturers, Solar Millenium AG and Solon SE, have gone bankrupt. Schott Solar shut down a plant producing solar cells in Frankfurt, eliminating 276 jobs.

     

    German solar farm operators and homeowners with solar roofs collected more than €8 billion ($10.2 billion) in subsidies in 2011, but the electricity they generated was only about 3 percent of the nation’s total power supply. Peak demand for electricity in northern Europe in winter is about 6 pm—when the sun is no longer shining—according to Der Spiegel. On January 16, 2012, it reported:

     

    "For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no electricity. The days are short, the weather is bad and the sky is overcast. As is so often the case in winter, all solar panels more or less stopped generating electricity. To avert power shortages, Germany currently has to import large amounts of electricity generated at nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic."
    21 Sep 2012, 02:00 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    "Germany currently has to import large amounts of electricity generated at nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic."

     

    This is why we need to stop the farce and solar/wind corporate kleptocracy. We'll soon be importing electricity from Mexico and Canada if we don't.
    21 Sep 2012, 02:05 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    You remind me of the short sighted folks who say they won't buy solar for their homes because it takes 10 years before they get a ROI.

     

    Without ever considering that part of your ROI is in resale value.

     

    You simply don't understand basic principles of ROI and productivity.
    21 Sep 2012, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Assuming that solar panels actually increase the price paid for a home. Some HOA's don't allow them because they aren't "pretty" (which of course I laugh about but it's happened to me).
    21 Sep 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    Well, it isn't the only method. For example, I installed an EV charger in my home for resale ROI when I was doing a wall down renovation.

     

    The extra cost to me was insignificant, but for a purchaser the existence of a EV charger (I don't own an EV by the way) may make the deal.

     

    I'm just making the case that the pro-renewable argument is more complex than initial observation may account for.
    21 Sep 2012, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    My mom has had Solar panels on the roof for years now (probably going on 6-7). The nice thing is she hasn't needed any repairs or significant maintenance costs. Keeping them clean I think has been the most significant thing, I keep looking for a good deal and my new HOA seems more receptive to having them, I don't plan on moving anytime soon so I think it would be smart for me.

     

    I've also looked into rain capture systems to feed my irrigation instead of paying for it but couldn't find statistics on that ROI... There is a lot we can do that I think should be done. New homes should come standard with some things like the flash water heaters (heats water in matter of seconds on demand vice the current system of water being heated constantly).

     

    Anyway I'm just advocating that we only do away with coal when we truly can do it while maintaining our life styles or close to it. Going backwards doesn't help anyone.
    21 Sep 2012, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I agree. Coal's current doldrums have nothing to do with solar. Yet. They have everything to do with natgas.

     

    Natgas prices will rise once we get export capacity back. How much renewable power will be online at that point?
    21 Sep 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    kmi, they don't have an ROI. That's why you need the kleptocracy to keep them going. I have a colleague at work that installed them, but only because the taxpayers and ratepayers paid a large share of the cost. He's not stupid and he wouldn't have done it otherwise.

     

    Personally I wouldn't do it, because I don't think just because government gives you the opportunity to rip off others, that you should do so. You obviously have no such concern.
    25 Sep 2012, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Why is it theft to have solar but not theft to have oil? Cleaned up the Gulf of Mexico yet? Paid the costs of the carbon yet? Paid for your wars yet?

     

    But a little help to build competition is a kleptocracy. Look, folks, I think we all know what's going on here. Politics. The politics of the oil barons, who have us by the short hairs and want to keep us there.

     

    Don't listen to the Koch Brother.
    25 Sep 2012, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, the question is why is it not theft to subsidize ethanol? That's an energy source that like solar is kept afloat by a corporate kleptocracy and political graft. I happen to agree with you, ethanol will be a never ending black hole of payoffs to the politically connected, just like solar.
    26 Sep 2012, 01:28 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, one of the things you're clueless about is that oil isn't used much in electricity production. You've got your conspiracy theories confused again. Oil is less than 1% of US electricity production. Granted that's more than solar, but it's still negligible.

     

    Thermal coal is a primary energy source for electricity that is ramping throughout the world. And we have lots of coal right here in the US.

     

    http://bit.ly/Skzytp

     

    http://bit.ly/Skzytq
    26 Sep 2012, 02:14 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Why is it not theft to subsidize hydrocarbons? As we continue to do. Why is it it not theft to ignore the full costs of production in any area? As we routinely do with hydrocarbons.

     

    Why is it not theft to let up on BP over Deepwater Horizon and not to recognize the Iraq war for what it was?

     

    Government is the only agency we have capable of making the long term investments necessary for fundamental change. We have seen that repeatedly. Corporations must have shorter time horizons. They have shareholders.
    26 Sep 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Coal's share of the U.S. electricity generation market has been declining for two years.

     

    You keep claiming solar doesn't exist, but it does. You keep claiming clean coal exists, but it doesn't. Who is clueless?
    26 Sep 2012, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    a) Solar exists, it's just that after massive subsidies and decades of promises it's still less than 1% of US electricity production.

     

    b) I never said anything about clean coal, or clean solar. There isn't any such thing as a clean energy source. That's your fantasy, not mine.

     

    c) Oil used in US electricity production is nil. Thermal coal is an abundant US resource and the US is a significant exporter of it.

     

    d) Neither oil nor coal are subsidized. Oil in fact pays some of the highest tax rates on the lowest margins of any US industry. Oil and coal are economic and self-sustaining not just in the US, but indeed around the world, that's why they are major energy sources, unlike solar.
    27 Sep 2012, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    a) Lie. It doesn't require "massive subsidies" and it supplies much more than 1% of grid energy.
    b) Relative cleanliness is an issue. Don't dodge it through projection.
    c) What's your point?
    d) Another lie. There are literally billions in tax subsidies given to oil companies every year, and to coal companies.

     

    If you've got something other than oil company propaganda to offer I'd love to hear it. But you don't. My point is that this "political" issue should and will be decided by the market, which your side is slowly losing. The next few years will be very interesting, as more areas see solar costs going below those of grid energy, everywhere in the world.
    27 Sep 2012, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • rockyrocky
    , contributor
    Comments (118) | Send Message
     
    I agree with wigit5.. The greenies need to let me know what six hours a day I will have electricity at 5X the cost.
    13 Sep 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    You store it. The whole "energy debate" comes down to how we store energy, not about whether it's produced in this way or that way.

     

    Coal, oil, natural gas -- they're batteries. As storage improves, other sources of energy will be tapped in much greater quantities.

     

    And there are many, many ways to store excess solar electricity. Methods that are in the process of scaling.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    you will burn it when you have to....but we have to elect a new President first...but Dana..you do not have to use any energy...none at all if you want..
    13 Sep 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Dana forgets that his very existence is ruining the planet, but since he is unwilling to stop living his life with sunglasses and hats, heat, clean water, food, houses, all made with electricity that was mostly created via coal his statement is just borderline stupid... which is depressing because I like his articles on the tech industry... mostly.
    13 Sep 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • strougo
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    coal provides us with big cheap usa energy to power already operating power plants and to expoert if the stupid epa and administration permit......and the industry provides millions of jobs including railroad shipping mining electric plants exporting but we have regulators that are too stupid ..china is burning coal non stop ours is but a drop in the bucket --clean coal is a worthy goal not more
    solandras
    13 Sep 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    We definitely need to optimize coal, make it as clean and as efficient as possible. That deal the chinese just made down in texas is a pretty good example. Using byproducts and such as materials for other industries.
    13 Sep 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Unlike solar panels, though, "clean coal" does not exist. I'm being hammered here for supposedly talking about "imaginary" sources of energy by supporters of something that truly does not exist.

     

    It's funny.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    a good environmentalist...com... suicide
    13 Sep 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • maudie
    , contributor
    Comments (468) | Send Message
     
    "Methods that are in the process of scaling."

     

    Wake me up when you got it.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • maudie
    , contributor
    Comments (468) | Send Message
     
    "I also live next to a train line, which stops at Plant Scherer, a large coal-fired plant"

     

    And he's still alive to tell the story.
    13 Sep 2012, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    The plant is almost 100 miles away, and there have been many health problems suffered by people downwind of that and other large coal-fired plants.

     

    Unless coal gets clean, it's got no market here. And I haven't yet seen anyone here claim that coal has become clean. They only claim it's necessary nevertheless.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • sppitman
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Dana, you need to look up how solar panels are made before you proclaim them to be "clean". I am all for alternative energy sources, but I am also tired of people complaining about the dirtyness of coal without providing a clear alternative. Hiding behind vague ideas like Dana does, just further invaludates any argument.

     

    Toyota Prius uses the most Rare Earth Metals out of any car.
    13 Sep 2012, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    We won't need Rare Earths for solar panels much longer. We know, now, how to build solar panels out of base metal. We know how to make them from plastics.

     

    And you're not seriously claiming that coal is cleaner than solar, are you, merely that there is some waste from solar panel production? Difference being, once the panel is in production, it will keep producing for decades, while y'all will be back in the coal mines tomorrow.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    I own stocks in oil, natural gas and coal. Why, because they are profitable in the long term because they adhere to the market place principals of supply and demand. The efficient companies have solid balance sheets.
    Now lets look at your wind and solar companies, they are heavily subsidized in some manner. Usually against the consumers will. At least with a consumer product like the Chevy Volt the consumer can choose not to pay the over $40,000 sticker and just be out the 3 billion the taxpayers had to eat in this subsidy. Bottom line, safe energy stocks aren't ones who have balance sheets that rely on the government. Green energy is energy that only supplements reliable energy sources which are coal, oil and natural gas. And lastly, each wind turbine that goes into production take 250 tons of coal to produce that turbine.
    13 Sep 2012, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • racerz
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    ...and the Chevy Volt plugs into your electric outlet which, on average, comes from a coal fired electric plant.
    13 Sep 2012, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Every new technology gets heavy subsidy before it succeeds. You're using one right now. I don't worry about short-term gains from long-term investments. I only worry about not making them.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    "Every new technology gets heavy subsidy before it succeeds." From the government Dana?
    15 Sep 2012, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    From the people, Dean. That's a key difference between American success and what happens elsewhere.

     

    So I'll thank you not to denigrate the memory of Neil Armstrong again.
    15 Sep 2012, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    Dana, I just happen to be related to Neil Armstrong and your comment of "So I'll thank you not to denigrate the memory of Neil Armstrong again," is way out in left field since neither I, not anyone in this thread has mentioned his name. Only you. I wonder if you are man enough to apologize and if you can explain what you meant by "again." Very strange reaction to my comment.

     

    If you let down your defenses and are capable of entertaining another's point of view, there just might be a learning opportunity you are missing. From going back and reading this entire thread, I don't see where you think anyone can offer any insights to you. That said, since Seeking Alpha should be about discussing investments, I was trying to make a point that when it comes to investing ones money there is a huge difference in getting behind a company that is heavily subsidized by the government and one that is subsidized by monies that come from the private sector.
    16 Sep 2012, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Your faux outrage doesn't impress. It's a game too many people play. You said something I can be faux outraged about, so you're a bad person and no one should listen to a word you say about anything.

     

    Return to the topic, please. The topic in this case was a claim that we have a lot of coal. I've pointed out that there are alternative technologies, that we don't need to bring up that coal, that there is no such thing as "clean coal."
    17 Sep 2012, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    Dana, please stop the name calling it only serves to make you look childish. I'm sorry you are so prone to narcissistic injuries, but I'm not going to take responsibility for your shortcomings. People will continue to have opinions that differ from yours so learn to attack the opinion, not the person. Let's focus on the thread.

     

    While you make the point that you want to avoid any coal, by stating, "there are alternative technologies, that we don't need to bring up that coal, that there is no such thing as clean coal." I was making the point that when it comes to investing ones money there is a huge difference in getting behind a company that is heavily subsidized by the government and one that is subsidized by the private sector. I would always favor people who bet their own money on a company over betting others money. Many of your clean companies are subsidized by federal dollars. I am not against clean energy but I believe, as many others believe, that clean energy will only serve to supplement reliable energy sources which are coal, oil and natural gas. For the time being we are a free enterprise nation and we will balance our countries economic interest with our countries resources. That is why you actually can make money on natural gas, oil and coal stocks. I found your statement, "energy is money. Not coal. Not oil. Not even the Sun.
    Energy. Produce energy in any way and you create money, you create wealth" a little trite. Producing energy with coal, natural gas and oil is indeed a way to create money and wealth.
    17 Sep 2012, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Your projection is getting silly. I haven't been doing the name calling -- you've been. I know this is a game conservatives play, and I'm tired of it.

     

    The idea that something backed by "private enterprise" - people who already own the past and want it to continue -- rather than "government" -- something created by investment in cutting edge research, is a right-wing nonsense.

     

    There is already a lot of private investment in the renewable energy sector, and proof that these technologies work. There is no such thing as "clean coal" -- and all the political nonsense in the world doesn't change that reality.

     

    You deliberately misinterpret what I write so I write this last for others, whose minds might be open.

     

    It's true you can burn stuff to make energy, but there are new technologies that don't require burning stuff. Investing in these technologies will, in a very short time, put downward pressure on energy prices, pressure that will increase over time.

     

    I'd much rather be invested in something whose costs -- all costs -- are declining rather than something whose costs -- especially unrealized costs -- are increasing.
    17 Sep 2012, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    Dana, sorry if I called you a name. I went back and reread everything and can't seem to find where I did. Maybe it just felt like I did. Again, sticking to the conversation you stated, "The idea that something backed by "private enterprise" - people who already own the past and want it to continue -- rather than "government" -- something created by investment in cutting edge research, is a right-wing nonsense." Let's have a conversation, and for the record I'm not a conservative but I did move away from the far left because they have trouble defending their positions. It is interesting now "private enterprise" is perceive. You would think that someone in private enterprise would be seen as someone who wants to be independent and can only survive if they are providing a service or product that someone wants to buy; be it another person or the government. So when I hear they "own the past and want to continue it," I actually interpret that as they have had a degree of success and independence and want to maintain or advance that status. There is nothing wrong with that unless I'm missing something. Lastly, so I don't misinterpret what you mean by "rather than "government" -- something created by investment in cutting edge research, is a right-wing nonsense." I'm certainly not opposed to tax monies subsiding research in energy or medical technology. However, my point all long from an investment has been that between a company that receives subsidies from the government versus a company that receives "subsidies" in the form of a private investment, I would always lean towards the latter. When the government makes a bad investment they don't get hurt so they do not have to be as efficient in their due diligence as private money. I don't see that reasoning as being alligned with being liberal or conservative.
    18 Sep 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Not to worry. I have done the same thing many times. It's an artifact of this medium that I've been trying to fight for almost 30 years, and it's not going away.

     

    The key is to learn to forgive yourself first, and then learn to pretend that the person you're writing about is sitting in front of you. Buy you a beer? <g>

     

    I started out as a conservative, working for Sen. James Buckley in the 1970s. I moved left on social issues, and stayed there once they got their economic act together in the 1990s.

     

    I don't hate conservatives, or conservatism, but I recognize from my study of history that movements have their sell-by dates, and they never recognize this until voters point it out. It took Democrats almost 20 years to get from Humphrey to Dukakis, and even he was a Version 1.0 of new, more realistic economic ideas.

     

    In fact, I firmly believe it's economic necessity that actually drives the political train, not the opposite. It's this medium that matters, and what it can do, from labs and from within small groups, has barely begun to be exploited.

     

    Markets are about to be transformed by technology. Don't bring a closed mind to an open party. I may vote Republican again...
    18 Sep 2012, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, has a history of hypocrisy. He'll launch into some feigned outrage as he has here to cover for his lack of substance, and then follow it up with whining about how he's being called names and insulted when he's the one that initiated the insults. There's clearly some kind of deep issue going on with him.

     

    If you're bored this might be entertaining. It's a long comment thread so it will take a while to load, but you'll find there is nothing new here as far as Dana's method of operation.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    DB,
    Here is an example of your rendition of the "Truth" and respect for other people's opinions:

     

    "A libertarian is just a Republican who doesn't want to admit he hangs out with wackos."

     

    You're not only highly emotional, you're also very hypocritical - the left-wing authoritarian "do as I say, not as I do" type.
    19 Sep 2012, 01:11 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    I agree, thanks for sharing and I like the beer comment. You seem to write about many of my investments.
    19 Sep 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Your personal insults are a bit tiresome, but I tell myself they reflect more on you than on me. Unlike you, I respect those who disagree, and while I do sometimes get angry I try to control that. I might recommend you try the same -- you will get better results.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, which of us wackos are you referring to?
    20 Sep 2012, 01:37 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    I was wondering the same thing Cincinnatus. I guess maybe we're both in good company. Think?
    20 Sep 2012, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    I'm offended if Dana doesn't let fly with at least one insult in my direction during an encounter.

     

    You know when he's given up on a losing position when he comes out with something like equating a position opposed to corporate welfare for solar and wind companies with denigrating Neil Armstrong and his accomplishments.

     

    The irony is Dana regularly insults Republicans and libertarians as idiots and wackos, and like myself, Armstrong had decidedly libertarian leanings in what is known of his political positions.
    21 Sep 2012, 02:37 AM Reply Like
  • racerz
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    I'm long ACI and BTU in my 401. Also own ABX, NEM, PPL, RAD and HL. Like all of them---even RAD--which I feel one day will either pull out of its losses or be a take over candidate. Their stores nowadays are really nce.
    13 Sep 2012, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • vireoman
    , contributor
    Comments (866) | Send Message
     
    You're right, Dana. There currently is no such thing as 'clean' coal, which is why coal is, and should be, on a long-term downward trend as a primary source of energy. There is still money that can be made from it in the short-term, but developed economies will be shifting away from it as rapidly as is feasible.
    14 Sep 2012, 12:26 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Europe's coal burning is in an upward trend now that they are shutting down NG plants because it's to expensive.
    14 Sep 2012, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • coalhouse
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    China and India are burning out of coal and that same pollution reaches us in a matter of weeks-- does it clean up on the way ? not a chance
    14 Sep 2012, 03:42 AM Reply Like
  • barrymayer
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    wigit5...spot on. the greenies keep spewing their liberal propaganda to justify their own depravity. seriously, what do they think is used to harness their so called 'clean' energy sources. every which way they turn they are using coal and other fueled energy just like the rest of us, all the while truly believing they walk upon a higher plane. its ridiculous.
    14 Sep 2012, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    The cheapest renewable energy is the energy you don't use, and we have that in abundance. Efficiency is what is keeping power use down, and that will remain the prime driver of the industry for some years to come -- until we reach crossover. As I've said many, many times.
    14 Sep 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • racerz
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    We should thank God above that he gave us a country filled with natural gas, oil and coal. Id ever we were to drill the way we should, and with coal and gas abundant, we would never have to go to the crazy, crazy mideast for 10% of our oil.
    I don't know what is wrong with our government these days. They are all crazy, too. I'd love windmills and solar as much as anyone else, but it will NEVER turn our toasters on in the morning.
    14 Sep 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    "I'd love windmills and solar as much as anyone else, but it will NEVER turn our toasters on in the morning."

     

    You've never been to Germany or the Netherlands I take it.
    14 Sep 2012, 06:42 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Germany relies heavily on coal. They're fifth in electricity production from coal in the world behind, China, US, India, and Japan. They are in the process of building 26 new coal-fired plants as they announced back in 2007.

     

    http://onforb.es/U57PBF
    http://buswk.co/UVeTQw

     

    At the same time they are cutting way back on solar. They can't afford it, and the high energy costs of solar (and wind) are killing German industry.

     

    http://bit.ly/U57PRY
    15 Sep 2012, 01:31 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    The comment was that it wouldn't turn on our toasters, as if it isnt viable, which is false. You are attempting to change the conversation. But I'll accommodate you with a reply:

     

    Germany is the world's third largest user of wind power, behind China and USA. Wind power currently produces about seven percent of Germany's total power.

     

    The German solar PV industry installed 5.9 GW in 2011, about 3% of total electricity. Price of PV systems has decreased more than 50% in 5 years since 2006. Every third solar panel and every second wind rotor is made in Germany, and German turbines and generators used in hydro energy generation are among the most popular worldwide. (from http://bit.ly/Qh5dQ6)

     

    Germany has a target of 35% of generation from renewables (which includes geothermal and hydro) by 2020, i.e. 8 years from now. Germany currently sources 25% of its power from renewable sources. (http://bit.ly/SnTTOC) i.e. quite a few toasters.

     

    Here is an article about renewables actually producing too much power: http://bit.ly/SnTRGA

     

    And, yes, it costs money to subsidize growth in energy capacity. Whatever the source. But the point is renewables can indeed power our toasters, and do, every day.
    15 Sep 2012, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • racerz
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    kmi--I used the "toaster" comment only as an example of a country's energy needs. There is overwhelming evidence---ala Cincinnatus---as to Germany and Netherlands energy uses--- and more important--our country's energy needs far outweigh the Netherlands.
    In ending, I'm NOT against developing wind and solar, but I am also able to see clearly that the energy reserves we have on our own land will guarantee turning on the "toaster" in the morning. Coffee pot, too.
    15 Sep 2012, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    You have a basic misperception here. You think coal and gas and oil are "energy." They're not. They're potential energy. They're things cavemen like you can dig up and burn.

     

    Energy is produced directly from the Sun, from the wind, and from beneath the Earth's surface. It's harvested. It's only a lack of technology and production that keeps us from getting all our energy this way.

     

    The world is now in a race to harvest that energy, to create technology for harvesting that abundance. I want to win it. Not only to save the planet, but to save the economy.
    15 Sep 2012, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Natgas is in glut. Oil production is up 20% since 2009. I know you don't like to accept this reality, but there it is.
    15 Sep 2012, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Your comment was that solar and wind will power our toasters in the morning. It's a nonsense claim. They don't in Germany, and they won't here.

     

    The Der Spiegel (a German magazine) article clearly refutes your claims and doesn't support the fantasy land you've tried to portray, so you ignore it.

     

    Wind and solar simply aren't reliable and as such can only be used opportunistically. The Germans understand that you can't run a modern society with any significant manufacturing & industrial base on unreliable energy sources (i.e. wind and solar). That's why they're ramping coal-fired capacity. Without it, as Der Spiegel points out, industries will continue to shut down and move out of Germany, and the power grid will continue to become less and less reliable.

     

    And note that wind and solar aren't just expensive to build in and of themselves. They're more expensive because you have to design them in as redundant capacity - you still need to build reliable electricity sources, even if they sit idle when wind and solar do happen to be available. There's a reason German industries are paying triple what they paid in 2000 for electricity and going bankrupt or moving out of Germany in the process.
    17 Sep 2012, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Here's the reality of the supposed success of green jobs in Germany:
    (From the Der Spiegel article linked previously)
    "In macroeconomic terms, the impending demise of heavy industry is all the more worrying, because the job losses will not be offset elsewhere. There is no sign yet of the green economic miracle that the federal government promised would accompany Germany's new energy strategy. On the contrary, many manufacturers of wind turbines and solar panels complain that business is bad and are cutting jobs. Some solar companies have already gone out of business. The environmental sector faces a number of problems, especially -- and ironically -- those stemming from high energy prices."

     

    The reality of heavy subsidies to attempt to hide the fact that solar is failing:
    "Solar Subsidy 'Insanity' Will Cost Consumers"
    http://bit.ly/U2HiGo

     

    And wind power is in deep doo-doo as well:
    "Germany's Wind Power Revolution in the Doldrums"
    http://bit.ly/SswDz6

     

    "Utility Giant E.on Threatens to Halt Wind Farm Investment"
    http://bit.ly/U2HHca
    17 Sep 2012, 01:22 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    As to your 25% and 35% claims, it's 20% currently and that includes hydro. They'll never make the 35% target even with hydro included. Far too many failures are mounting up to make that plausible.

     

    http://bit.ly/Qvr97D
    17 Sep 2012, 01:40 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Solar, wind, and coal are all forms of energy. Specifically they're electro-magnetic, mechanical, and chemical, respectively. Any of them can be "harvested", and one may be converted to another. The main difference between them is the chemical sources are much more energy dense, which makes them much more viable energy sources than wind or solar.

     

    I recommend the following book. It lays out the history of mankind's migration from less energy dense sources to higher energy density sources, and why it's necessary from both an environmental and economic perspective.
    http://amzn.to/PILOYa

     

    Finally, it's widely accepted at this point that mass and energy are not different things, they're interchangeable. In physics it's called mass-energy equivalence, conservation of mass, and conservation of energy. It's not just that your "this is energy and that's potential energy" makes no sense, it's spectacularly bad science as well.
    17 Sep 2012, 02:21 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I have no idea why you are pounding the table for fossil fuels, other than you may own a lot of reserves.

     

    New technologies are always non-economic until they're economic. We can see crossover, in the case of solar, within the next four years. The DoE and GE agree -- costs are going to fall below 50 cents/watt of energy produced.

     

    At that point, the economic situation changes radically, and all those who are long fossil fuels have a problem.

     

    I know you want to deny that's even possible, but it is not only possible, it's coming, and as investors we should deal with reality, rather than your fantasies of a world burning itself away on a wave of coal.
    17 Sep 2012, 08:01 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    The lnk is to the book "Power Hungry" by Texan Robert Bryce http://bit.ly/StgQQu), a global warming denier, tool of the oil interests, and idiot.
    17 Sep 2012, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • Dean1111
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    Dana, now there you go again with your name calling, Racerz is not a "caveman" just because he made a point. Again, attack the statement not the person. Please explain why Racerz is wrong with his statement "In ending, I'm NOT against developing wind and solar, but I am also able to see clearly that the energy reserves we have on our own land will guarantee turning on the "toaster" in the morning. Coffee pot, too." Lastly, are you even able to admit that oil and coal are needed in the development and substainability of wind and solar energy?
    18 Sep 2012, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    The caveman line is one I've used for many years to refer to anyone who thinks that oil and coal are energy. They are no different from cavemen, looking for stuff they can burn.

     

    I have spent my career watching technology transform industry after industry. It's energy's turn. Ignore it at your peril.
    18 Sep 2012, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3964) | Send Message
     
    Anyway I suppose we should get back on topic, no one is going to convince anyone the other side is right. And the truth is neither side is completely wrong or right (there is still a lot of research to be done).

     

    ANR announced more coal reductions to match sales for 2013, however SCE&G has come out with an RFP asking for nearly 1million tons next year. Demand is still tepid in light of NG prices and stockpiling.

     

    The export market is still expected to explode next year (and is still setting monthly records this year) so whether or not fossil fuels is the way to go in the US, the rest of the world will continue to burn it so mine as well profit from it.
    18 Sep 2012, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Name calling is all Dana's got. He's not going to come up with anything other than ad hominem. There's nothing out there for him to cite to back up his claims.
    19 Sep 2012, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, it's a case of being against adopting poor, impractical technology and fleecing taxpayers and ratepayers to support corporate kleptocracy. I work in semiconductor R&D and I recognize impractical technology. I don't live in the political writer world you inhabit where the only thing that matters is how many folks you can fool into subsidizing fat cats with their hands out. And this isn't just Solyndra - it's across the industry.

     

    The question is why when this is failing so obviously in Germany would we want to repeat the same stupid mistakes? As you've pointed out it obviously makes sense for the corporate welfare queens like GE, but for the average Joe taxpayer and ratepayer its' a royal screwing over.
    19 Sep 2012, 01:28 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Here Dana - yet more for you to denigrate. As usual you're in full Dana form - no substance but plenty of insults.

     

    How about we call this "harvesting the contents of the wallets of taxpayers and ratepayers for your solar kleptocracy."

     

    http://bit.ly/UmNCHD

     

    "Germans Cough Up for Solar Subsidies"

     

    "Solar subsidies cost German consumers billions of dollars a year and are widely regarded as inefficient. Even environmentalists are concerned that Berlin's focus on solar comes at the detriment of other renewables. But the solar industry has a powerful lobby, and politicians have proven powerless to resist.

     

    Germany's new environment minister Peter Altmaier had only been in office a week before he traveled to Bonn for an urgent appointment. Important representatives from the German renewable energy industry were expecting him, including Frank Asbeck, CEO of the Bonn based Solarworld AG. And they were not to be put off. They wanted to know from Altmaier, who assumed his office in May, what was going to happen with solar industry subsidies.

     

    The results of those closed-door negotiations will soon be passed on to the general public via their electricity bills, which are once again about to go up -- even though Germans already pay the second highest energy prices in Europe. Next year, a three-person family will likely have to pay up to an additional €175 ($220) to finance the construction of renewable energy infrastructure.

     

    The biggest culprit behind this increase is the German government's misguided subsidy policy. To the delight of the solar industry, Altmaier has decided to divert the largest share of renewable energy subsidies to photovoltaics, the most expensive renewable energy technology. As a result the solar industry is expecting continued record growth, despite the fact that photovoltaics are also the renewable energy least suited to the German climate."

     

    <continues at the link>
    19 Sep 2012, 01:39 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, like your comments here there is no substance at the link you provided on the book. Heaven forbid you'd read anything that might not agree with your preconceived beliefs on how the world must be run.
    19 Sep 2012, 01:43 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    "The caveman line is one I've used for many years to refer to anyone who thinks that oil and coal are energy."

     

    Firstly, they aren't thought of as energy, they are energy.

     

    Secondly, cavemen relied on low energy density sources relative to their impact on the environment, which is precisely what you're advocating be used. You regard wind and solar as clean only because you treat them as magical sources that simply show up at your electrical outlet, just as a caveman would imagine. You're an advocate of going backwards in history.
    19 Sep 2012, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Here's a WSJ review of the "Power Hungry" book.

     

    http://on.wsj.com/S6Nlb6

     

    Lots of good facts and observations there Dana, even though it pulls only a small sliver of what's in the overall book.
    19 Sep 2012, 02:04 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    Cincinnatus I usually get tired of your rants and wander off but you are so far off base I wonder how long it will be before you realize how wrong you are.

     

    If it were 'poor impractical technology' no one would be doing it, and yet commercials do it every day (including me).

     

    Here is just one more recent example:

     

    http://bit.ly/Ql9VJD

     

    Apple's brand new 20mw solar farm, Apple also has another 20mw farm being built nearby.

     

    You are really clueless about the concepts of ROI and productivity.
    19 Sep 2012, 08:06 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Projection isn't just for movie houses. What was that comment except a personal insult -- name calling as you call it?

     

    If you don't want name calling, don't do it. If you like it, then go ahead and discredit yourself.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I have never been a "political writer." I am a business reporter covering technology. Don't tell people what they are, and don't tell them what they think. Say what you are and what you think, leave it at that.

     

    Oh. Semiconductor technology was pioneered by government, the transistor being a product of WWII research. Semiconductor technology was heavily supported by the military during the Cold War. Apollo, like Vietnam, was a Cold War activity.

     

    Don't pretend that your government-supported industry is "free enterprise" while new industries with government research behind them are "kleptocracy." It's wrong-headed, and leaves the country vulnerable to other countries that do invest in research,
    19 Sep 2012, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I've read the book in question, and I've read the author in question. He's paid by the oil lobby to deny global warming and new technologies. Period, end of story. He's not doing science, he's doing creationism, which is the opposite of science.

     

    I said so, You may hate me for it, but that's your problem. I don't have time for that kind of hatred. I'm too busy trying to make a living as I've always done, as a tech reporter.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Oil is not energy. Oil is potential energy. Oil must be burned to create energy. We know that oil and coal contribute to global warming, and we know that global warming is real.

     

    The answer is not to do what Al Gore did, which was attack business. The answer is to roll up our sleeves and work on new technologies, which is what I'm glad to say he's doing now.

     

    New technology is never backwards. It's always forward.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    I don't really care what the Murdoch press thinks of a global warming denialist, and neither should anyone else.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    He's going to hate me for saying this, but I like Cincinnatus. He brings a necessary counter-perspective to our discussions.

     

    This is how science works. Without disagreements you can't have progress. Pasteur was very thankful for those who condemned him, and attacked him, throughout his career. So is any scientist worth their salary.

     

    As a journalist, I am subject to being attacked, and attacked personally or rudely, for anything I say. I accept that. I use my own name here, not a pseudonym, but I recognize that the Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms so I don't automatically reject those who use them.

     

    Point being that disagreement is a necessity for progress. Embrace it. Try and do it in as collegial a way as possible, recognizing that we're all human and that we all lose our tempers from time to time. Forgive your trespasses and those who trespass against you.

     

    That's the scientific method, and it works.
    19 Sep 2012, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    kmi, what has you shaking, sputtering, and spinning is that I caught you lying about the situation in Germany and I've cited a number of articles out of Germany, something that you won't do.

     

    Here's another one:
    "Bankruptcies Have German Solar on the Ropes"
    http://bit.ly/OHgXqW

     

    If the government pays me to polish turds all day I can make a business of it, but that doesn't make it practical. The government subsidizes mohair production and ethanol (turning food into fuel, which even Algore now admits is stupid), neither of which are practical, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

     

    The fact is that solar isn't sustainable outside of the massive government subsidies that are keeping it afloat. Those subsidies are drying up and solar companies are going bankrupt. If you knew anything of logic you'd understand the existance of solar arrays provides no proof that the industry is healthy or viable.

     

    P.s. My employer has installed solar panels at three sites in the US, but it's entirely a PR move and the government pays for much of it. Why should taxpayers and ratepayers pay for something that benefits so few?

     

    And the photos show what an environmental disaster solar is, why would we want to carpet the Earth with something of so little practicality?
    20 Sep 2012, 02:01 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    Dana, there's no such concept as "potential energy" versus "energy". It's all energy. As I said previously it's just that energy comes in different forms, mechanical, chemical, electro-magnetic, etc.. It's simply an issue of transforming energy from one form to another. If you ascribe to modern physics (I'm not claiming you do - that seems doubtful) it's even more complicated because matter and energy are interchangeable. The Sun is fusion reactor that turns matter into matter and energy. The overall mass is conserved.

     

    "Potential energy" is a term used in conjunction with the complementary concept of "kinetic energy".

     

    Here's a State of Texas educational website for middle and high school students that explains the concepts:
    http://bit.ly/QnA1Mi

     

    Here's a page explaining the forms of energy:
    http://bit.ly/Rx6kgO

     

    "Energy comes in six forms: chemical energy, electrical energy, radiant energy, mechanical energy, nuclear energy and thermal energy. These six forms of energy are all related. Each form can be converted or changed into the other forms. For example, when wood burns, its chemical energy changes into thermal (heat) energy and radiant (light) energy.

     

    Not all energy conversions are as simple as burning wood. An automobile engine is a complex tool that converts the chemical energy in a fuel into mechanical energy, the energy of motion."
    20 Sep 2012, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    "I don't really care what the Murdoch press thinks of a global warming denialist, and neither should anyone else."

     

    Dana, that much is clear. You don't care to know much about anything. If it isn't part of the preconceived belief system you've created for yourself it isn't worth knowing.
    20 Sep 2012, 02:24 AM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5685) | Send Message
     
    Watch that projection. You keep accusing me of things you're doing yourself, at the same time you're doing them. As President Clinton said, "Takes some brass..."
    20 Sep 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/OGRmUr

     

    http://bit.ly/S9nXS1
    20 Sep 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3354) | Send Message
     
    kmi, what's at the links? Is it another news report that says if one places more supply of a commodity into a market it tends to drive down the spot price of the commodity? Thanks, but I don't need a news report to figure that out, and it's irrelevant to this discussion.

     

    This is your second comment today with nothing but links. I think you should be willing to invest enough time in the discussion to do some homework and at least write a few sentences summarizing and describing the relevance to the discussion.

     

    If you're trying to drive up the price of your underwater solar stocks I think you'd be more effective if you gave Pelosi a call and told her to get more of the taxpayers' dollars flowing into the coffers of solar companies - and quickly.
    21 Sep 2012, 02:56 AM Reply Like
  • racerz
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    well put Dana! (RacerZ here).
    26 Sep 2012, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • racerz
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    Cincinnatus--you are so correct on the links, etc. and true use of solar. I bought a solar stock back in 1982, called "----darn--even forgot the name but I still have the certificate---maybe "First Solar Energy"--something like that. I had checked it several times but it went under.

     

    I can't believe the administration is putting money into another solar startup--it is truly crazy, crazy, crazy.
    26 Sep 2012, 09:59 AM Reply Like
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