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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 09:01:02

Please watch this video, it is a fascinating takedown of the German 'Green' party and its Energiewende is an environmental disaster of epic proportions!


https://youtu.be/UaNzLvArGsk
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 09:44:05

Very interesting. A bit hard to follow. But my takeaway: prioritizing alt energy on grid has made coal more price competitive. As a result more coal burned = CO2 emissions have increased. Additionally the electricty price structure wouldn't produce a profit for investors. So apparently each German pays €300 per year to provide the promised ROR to alt builders. Bottom line: a $25 (eros/$'s ?) billion per year subsidy for alt and GHG emissions increased.

Similar to Texas. Tax payers had to eat a $7 billion grid upgrade. And consumers voted for slightly higher rates above market to pull investors in. But in the long term those rates are fixed and will be significantly lower as we stumble down the fossil fuel laced path.

Interesting that Germany and Texas are two of the biggest alt energy producers. And both use coal/lignite as backups. Long term I suspect Texas consumers will fair better then the Germans.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kublikhan » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 10:12:30

It also talks about other issues like plowing forests and nature for a wind farm and wind farms causing bat deaths. They mentioned bats are attracted to the wind farms because they plow down the trees to build roads for the wind farms. This easy to drive roads are also easy to fly through for the bats. And the bats were even smart enough to avoid the turbine blades. The real danger for the bats was the low pressure areas following the turbines. It causes the bat lungs to burst and they die. According to German law it is illegal to deploy technology that systematically slaughters animals like this. However in the case of wind turbines officials are looking the other way.

It seems to me that issues like that could be worked around. Stop plowing down forests for wind farms. IMHO it seems like a better idea to intermix wind farms with farming and grazing land. Wind farms only need a small fraction of the land for the actual turbines. Most of the area is just spacing requirements. Also do an environmental impact study to make sure these things are not in a bird/bat migration path.

Solar can be used on dual purpose land as well. Rooftop solar, combined solar & wind farm, etc.

Just as with many human endeavours, wind farms are being installed without regard to despoiling nature. However this doesn't mean this is the only path that must be taken for wind. With some careful planning I think much of the damage could be mitigated. Lets not forget that fossil fuels cause environmental damage themselves.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 10:29:08

"According to German law it is illegal to deploy technology that systematically slaughters animals like this." Similar to concerns in Texas about bird deaths from turbines. OTOH in a state where we intentional kill millions of birds during hunting season it was a very short discussion. And then best spot for a deer blind in heavy mesquite brush is along a pipeline route. Essentially win/win. Except for the doves and deer.

There never have been a never will be "perfect solutions". Always trade offs. There not one person on this site that doesn't live or work on a latch of ground where it's ecosystem wasn't destroyed. Or do folks think all those buildings were there in NYC when the English first arrived?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 11:02:58

The one that drives my bonkers is that they import millions of tons of wood pellets, made from trees in Canada and the USA among other places, and burn them in coal fired power plants as 'renewable fuel' to claim the tax credit for doing so. Meanwhile in Canada virgin Taiga forest is being cut down and turned into pellets. How does this make a lick of sense to anyone who cares about the environment at all?

In its various forms, from sticks to pellets to sawdust, wood (or to use its fashionable name, biomass) accounts for about half of Europe’s renewable-energy consumption. In some countries, such as Poland and Finland, wood meets more than 80% of renewable-energy demand. Even in Germany, home of the Energiewende (energy transformation) which has poured huge subsidies into wind and solar power, 38% of non-fossil fuel consumption comes from the stuff.

In the electricity sector, wood has various advantages. Planting fields of windmills is expensive but power stations can be adapted to burn a mixture of 90% coal and 10% wood (called co-firing) with little new investment. Unlike new solar or wind farms, power stations are already linked to the grid. Moreover, wood energy is not intermittent as is that produced from the sun and the wind: it does not require backup power at night, or on calm days. And because wood can be used in coal-fired power stations that might otherwise have been shut down under new environmental standards, it is extremely popular with power companies.

With incentives like these, European firms are scouring the Earth for wood. Europe consumed 13m tonnes of wood pellets in 2012, according to International Wood Markets Group, a Canadian company. On current trends, European demand will rise to 25m-30m a year by 2020.

Europe does not produce enough timber to meet that extra demand. So a hefty chunk of it will come from imports. Imports of wood pellets into the EU rose by 50% in 2010 alone and global trade in them (influenced by Chinese as well as EU demand) could rise five- or sixfold from 10m-12m tonnes a year to 60m tonnes by 2020, reckons the European Pellet Council. Much of that will come from a new wood-exporting business that is booming in western Canada and the American south. Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, calls it “an industry invented from nothing”.


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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 11:11:59

Hahaha, even he laughed about German engineers. Remember how they are always pushing for the future. They stumble, but they will get there because there are enough people who support my meme.

I am a man of few words but if you want to understand my logic, here goes.

I know we face challenges, better than most. 10 years ago I took it to heart and picked the best earth friendly tech I could find that had the best chance to succeed and jumped in with both feet. Solar has no moving parts, harvests waste energy from Father Sun, and is cutting edge but still off the shelf. It combined my past in an interesting way. I was sick of sitting at a desk at a computer and wanted to go outside. I had generous experience in electricity and circuits. And I am comfortable hanging from a rope in a cave entrance. What better way to combine that than to climb on a roof in the Sun and hook up electrical shit :) As I said I think Mother Earth has been leading me here.

PV is only getting smaller and space is not a problem in the US. Destroying nature to implement green energy is following the old meme. BAU at all costs and events will overcome this problem. Soon we will be grasping for enough power to keep our food cold.

I support all types of green power. I do not especially like wind for the reasons given and the fact that is has moving parts and requires maintenance. My talents could have led me there as well but I chose PV.

Flying thru the rotors just for fun sounds like something I would do :)

Poor people without solar power is societies problem, not solar's.

My dad's family is from Kemper co MS. That Lignite stuff sticks out of the ground there. My dad said "It burns a little better than a rock". Talk about grasping for the old meme.

I hate regulations but most people don't move with out being pushed. And the lack of a focused policy for renewables is also not solar's fault. I believe in the science.

I am also concerned with cold winters when the sun doesn't shine for 3 days at a time. For now I have the grid. In the future I will make do. I am a camper so a few days with no electricity is really a vacation for me :) Although I expect, with no grid, business will improve. A climate catastrophe may be a little more challenging.

The growth and technological development I have seen in the last 7 years only confirms the feeling that I made the right choice. And the fact that my career has blossomed and I have Mother Earth on my side...we have reached grid parity and I think the next 5 years will tell the tale. But I will never give up...
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby GHung » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 11:12:20

You have to break some eggs to make an omelet, eh?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby kiwichick » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 15:36:28

as I have said before solar and wind are not the only sources of renewable energy.....geothermal is being developed in Hungary for example.....solar is expanding rapidly in the Middle East and southern Europe .....the UK and Ireland are working on wave and tidal .....and connecting the various sources together in a multi country grid along with large efficient battery storage will , IMHO, be essential for low cost and continuous supply

What I do know is that there is no future for fossil fuels
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 16:12:38

I didn't watch the whole nonsense, but anyone who does should know that Vahrenholt (who's being interviewed in the video) was a politician with minor posts in environmental agencies, then joined the board of Shell Germany as director of PR for their greenwashing campaigns, and finally went to work for RWE (Big Coal). He's now probably the most well-known German AGW denier.

And the GWPF is a UK AGW denier PR outfit, linked to the UK coal industry.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 16:17:24

baha - Even now Texas, land of turbines, is swinging towards commercial scale solar now that prices have come down:

"Georgetown’s municipal utility on unveiled plans to abandon traditional electricity sources like coal and gas power plants, instead exclusively tapping wind and solar energy to meet all of its customers’ power needs. It is the state's first city-owned utility to make that leap. The city announced a 25-year deal with SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy company, to buy 150 megawatts of solar power beginning next year. (2016). The company said it would build a solar farm in West Texas to meet the demand." {If you've never been to west Texas it's millions of acres of flat empty and arid land of minimal value that burns under a relentless sun.}

And again it would not be able to get that west Texas electricity to Georgetown without the taxpayers spending $7 billion to upgrade the grid. Yes: taxpayer money used to make a private commercial investment profitable. But that's how Texas is becoming one of the largest alt electricity producers in the world.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby sparky » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 18:05:02

.
There is nothing much wrong with wind , solar and bio-fuels
except for the elephant in the room :evil:

they are mostly financial cripples , propped up by artificial legislation and subsidies .
if they can pay their way , as they can in some applications , that's fine !

in Canada and Finland bio-fuel are quite obvious ,in outback Australia solar contribute to power whole communities
offshore wind in the North sea had some serious runs on the board .

wind and/or solar have a place in the grid or as a local supply

Too often renewables have been a plaything and a gimmick for politicians seeking to dazzle the credulous voters
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 19:53:55

Without disagreeing with any of the above, we must find new sources of energy. We eventually will face Peak Oil, Peak Gas, Peak Coal, and Peak Uranium as M. King Hubbert said we would.

Wood pellets are not the answer. As Tanada pointed out, Canada is being clearcut to feed German power plants that used to burn coal. In fact history says that burning wood is simply NOT A GOOD IDEA, because it always gets out of hand as demand for the fuel increases. My wife was born and raised on Nantucket Island, once covered with such a dense forest that it was nearly impenetrable, before the Quakers arrived and used the giant oaks for whaling ships and firewood. Easter Island is another example of a place where a thriving community died once the European settlers introduced agriculture and released pigs, destroying the environment.

If you still think that burning wood is a sound practice, tell it to the Greek olive farmers, who have been guarding centuries-old olive groves against an army of chainsaw-wielding wood cutters for over a decade. Greece is another place once covered with dense forest before humans moved in.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 20:24:19

Wow, no one has shot me down yet. Are we converging on an answer? If J6P were as intelligent and informed as the people on this site we wouldn't even have a problem...

I have not posted much in the past because I am not very knowledgeable about oil wells and such. And talking about doom and gloom isn't really very productive, especially to your friends and family :) I will plan for it, but not embrace it.

I have been seeing more posts about subjects I can contribute to and I am encouraged by the positive responses I have gotten here. Maybe the world isn't the disaster I thought it was. Maybe things will get better...after the crash :twisted:
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 20:52:15

Wind and solar may in fact be the wrong path for power-intensive Germany. However, they are NOT the wrong path for me, in my hoped-for new lake home, to be constructed on the Western shore of Lake Michigan.

Come July, I will have had my modest 2.8 KVA solar roof and my Sunny Boy inverter and my two SmartMeters for six years, and I expect to have benefitted from my $0 down PPA (solar lease) to the tune of $1400 or so. The only trouble I ever had was some nesting pigeons, and the lease holder uncomplainingly took care of that with some stainless steel poultry netting barriers.

My grand scheme: Build an off-grid "PassiveHaus", with 10% of the energy needs of a typical residence. If one has the means, one should not build anything else, nor should you move into the typical energy-wasting residence if you have available alternatives. Make the home all-electric, and generate the power needed via a Tesla roof, a single small wind turbine, and store the energy in a Tesla Powerwall. Make enough extra power to utilize an EV to visit my grandkids in Madison, about 150 miles away - there to recharge for the return journey.

I don't plan to burn anything once it's built.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 21:39:10

KaiserJeep wrote:Wood pellets are not the answer. As Tanada pointed out, Canada is being clearcut to feed German power plants that used to burn coal.


Not only Canada. In 2011 RWE Innogy opened the biggest pellet factory in the US, capacity 750,000 tons/year, in Waycross, Georgia. RWE Innogy is a subsidiary of RWE (German coal giant) and the majority of their US production is fired in RWE's coal plants. At the time the plant opened, Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt was CEO of RWE Innogy. That's the guy from the video Tanada posted. The one who's so sceptical about wind and solar power.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby C8 » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 22:19:13

Solar and Wind will be looked at as a weird fad someday. They are terrible sources of energy because:

1. They are intermittent- requiring an overbuilding of back up energy sources or ridiculous levels of battery storage

2. They consume tons of materials to create- there have a bad ratio of build material to energy output

3. All these oceans of material start breaking down and need constant replacement- who will pay for millions of new wind turbines to replace the old every year?

4. They require lots of land for the amount of energy produced- this is great for powering sparse homes in the country but a bust for dense cities which need far more energy than weak renewables can produce given the smaller area of the city

5. They worsen the experience of the outdoors- who wants to stare at irritating windmills or listen to their whining sound- or look at boring blank miles of solar panels? Solar and wind make nature look like a depressing energy factory- nature shouldn't be hammered into a grid of panels or windmills

6. They take up a lot of wildlife land and kill animals

7. They are horribly labor intensive to install and maintain

The only reason we are stuck with wind and solar are the Gaia worshiping Greens who force subsidies for their nature temples via our taxes. I look forward to the day when all the windmills and solar panels are torn down and nature is restored to beauty.

If Greens weren't so irrationally in love with their idols and really wanted to crash CO2 emissions in a civilized way they would push for nuclear research and more nuclear plants. Nuclear is the historically safest energy source ever created and newer designs eliminate what little risk there is to nothing.

Religion always leads to irrationality. The Gaia religion of the Greens is forcing advanced nations into disastrous decisions that will cause damage for years.

Greens are essentially more against nuclear than they are against global warming- this position is so incredibly illogical that it is a sure fire sign that a subconscious religious pagan belief is the dominant force among environmentalists. The massive inability of solar and wind to ever be financially competitive is of no concern to those of the "true faith" because they aren't really that interested in true solutions. Mankind must die from global warming as punishment for its sins against Gaia. Secretly Greens don't want nuclear because it would spare mankind from judgment day.

The most dangerous religion today isn't Islam or Christianity- its a pagan worship that condemns the world to GW disaster with useless wind and solar that cannot ever seriously reduce CO2. If we don't start recognizing that we are dealing with a cult we will never save the world.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Antaris » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 23:01:19

C8, don't get too paranoid, but an ambulance and Doctor are on the the way to your place. The nice white jacket pulling your hands around back will be warm.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 23:21:11

C8, the world is full of people ALREADY. We could probably agree that there are too many of them, but they are here already, and they need energy to eat, live comfortably, and be happy.

I'm going to talk relative impacts here. First of all, the common coal power plant will be set to a 1.0, representing the energy to both fabricate it and fuel it over the 50-year lifetime. Note that coal is dug and transported by petroleum-fuelled machines, continuously over it's life.

Nuclear energy has an impact of about 0.2 over the 50 year life. That is 5% energy of fabrication, and 15% the energy used to fuel the reactor. The uranium is mined, refined, and transported with petroleum machines and electric centrifuges.

Hydropower, wind turbines, and solar PV, all with battery backup, all come in somewhere in the 0.05 to 0.15 range. They all require energy of fabrication, and the wind turbines and solar panels won't last 50 years, each would have to be replaced once in a 50-year span, whereas modern lithium batteries would probably get replaced 2X in 50 years. However, they don't require the ongoing expenditure of fossil energy to generate energy, either.

Don't belittle "green" energy sources, they make sense even to hard-headed engineers like me.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 23:24:07

Every point except for 1. and 4. applies to roads as well, only 1000 times worse. Let's hope the ambulance can find a road to get there.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 28 Jan 2017, 00:22:12

Z - Do you notice how folks tend to ignore one of the biggest alt electricity generators in the world...Texas? Probably two reasons. First, it circumvents many of the supposed negatives. 1) we don't need no stinkin' batteries to overcome intermittency...we got a shit load of NG and lignite. Our alt was built to supplement ff's...not replace them. Greenies can complain but had we not built those turbines (and more solar now) we would have built more ff fired plants to meet our booming electricity demand. 2) Insufficient grids: solved that by spending $7 billion to upgrade our grid. And used tax payer $'s to do it with very little public dissent since they understood it was done for the common. 3) Uses to much land: by upgrading the grid we can make use of tens of millions of empty low value lands in west Texas. 4) Killing wildlife for instance with the huge farm on our southern coast which is in a big migratory bird route: given we shoot millions of those same birds during hunting season there was no discussion of this matter. 5) Not economical: consumers agreed to higher initial rates for the long term supply guarentee and lower rates. 6) Lack of capex sources: With guarenteed sales/prices such loans have not been a problem. 7) Inability to coordinate regulatory, utility, environmental, consumer and investor aspects: we have EXCOT. Not my favorite term but ERCOT is essentially the electricity "czar" in Texas. Also explains how the largest fossil fuel producing state developed so much non-ff energy: EXCOT management is structured around common sense solutions such as the need for tax payer and consumer support to assist private investors to overcome financial hurdles. Described before so I'll skip. Actually a portion of its heritage was helping the WWII effort by supplying the country's war machine. Details about EXCOT if interested:

http://www.ercot.com/about/profile/history - Do you notice how folks tend to ignore one of the biggest alt electricity generators in the world...Texas? Probably two reasons. First, it circumvents many of the supposed negatives. 1) we don't need no stinkin' batteries to overcome intermittency...we got a shit load of NG and lignite. Our alt was built to supplement ff's...not replace them. Greenies can complain but had we not built those turbines (and more solar now) we would have built more ff fired plants to meet our booming electricity demand. 2) Insufficient grid: solved that by spending $7 billion to upgrade our grid. And used tax payer $'s to do it with very little public dissent since they understood it was done for the common. 3) Uses too much land: by upgrading the grid we can make use of tens of millions of acres of empty low value lands in west Texas. 4) Killing wildlife for instance with the huge wind farm on our southern coast on a big migratory bird route: given we shoot millions of those same birds during hunting season there was no discussion of this matter. 5) Not economical: consumers agreed to higher initial rates for the long term supply guarentee and eventual lower rates. 6) Lack of capex sources: With guarenteed sales/prices such loans have not been a problem. 7) Inability to coordinate regulatory, utility, environmental, consumer and investor aspects: we have EXCOT. Not my favorite term but ERCOT is essentially the electricity "czar" in Texas. Also explains how the largest fossil fuel producing state developed so much non-ff energy: EXCOT management is structured around common sense solutions such as the need for tax payer and consumer support to assist private investors to overcome financial hurdles. Described before so I'll skip. Actually a portion of its heritage was helping the WWII effort by supplying the country's war machine. Details about EXCOT if interested:

http://www.ercot.com/about/profile/history
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