FemaleGermanyMember since 21 Dec 13Last online 3 years ago

  • kristelgeisel

    5 Alternative Energy Sources That Are Cheaper Than Solar Tokyo Westward Group Energy Alternatives

    Is solar power "the fuel of the future"? Elon Musk thinks so.

    The co-inventor of PayPal, now turned alternative energy rock star, has built two companies -- solar power utility SolarCity (SCTY) and electric car company Tesla (TSLA) -- around the idea that solar-generated electricity is the way to power our cars and save our environment. He's also working on a third company -- SpaceX -- which aims to bring mankind a bit closer to that ultimate clean-energy source, the sun.
    But is solar power truly the solution to our energy needs? Not necessarily.

    'Free' Power Can Be Awfully Expensive

    Last month, alternative energy analyst Gordon Johnson at Axiom Capital crunched the latest numbers out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and published a report on his findings.
    The upshot: When it comes to "alternative" ways to generate electricity, solar energy is just about the most expensive form of energy you can get.

    Calculating the cost of generating a kilowatt hour of electricity by tallying the cost of building a facility, operating it, and paying for the fuel it consumes -- then amortizing all this across all the electricity it's expected to produce in its lifetime -- Johnson points out that solar photovoltaic power costs about 22 cents a kwh. Solar thermal power, where sunbeams are reflected and concentrated on a heat-retaining medium such as salt or graphite to store heat for later use in generating electricity, costs even more -- about 32 cents a kwh.

    What forms of energy are cheaper than these? Pretty much any that you might think of.

    Electricity generated by running water through a dam's turbines costs about 9 cents a kwh generated. That's less than half the cost of electricity generated from "ordinary" solar panels. More than three times less than solar thermal power. And hydropower may be even cheaper than what the EIA says it is.

    The Hoover Dam, for example, is said to wholesale the electricity it generates for as little as 1.6 cents a kwh -- about a penny-and-a-half.

    Say what you will about the downsides of wind power -- that windmills kill birds and bats, that they allegedly induce headaches in their neighbors -- one thing's for sure: Wind power is a whole lot cheaper than solar.

    EIA estimates say that amortized over their lifetime, windmills generate electricity for a cost of just 10 cents a kwh on average -- on par with hydro, and far cheaper than solar.

    Across the ocean, the European Wind Energy Association claims that some of its member projects are generating electricity at a cost of as little as 5 cents a kwh.

    Result: Falling module prices don't necessarily make solar plants cheaper to operate.
    Long story short: You can have your solar power if you want it. But do expect to pay through the nose for it -- because the EIA's numbers don't lie, and solar power doesn't come cheap.

    Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any solar or electric car company named above. (Go figure.) But The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Tesla Motors.
  • kristelgeisel

    Paris Energy Westward Group News: Thirteen ministers urge EU to agree green energy goals in March

    BRUSSELS, March 3 (Reuters) - Thirteen ministers on Monday urged the European Union to reach agreement on the main elements of 2030 environment and energy policy this month or risk deterring investors and delaying efforts to get a global deal on climate change.

    Among the rest of the 28 EU member states, the most prominent opposition has come from Poland, which says there is no hurry to reach a political deal.

    "We can work with Poland to get an agreement in March," Britain's Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey told reporters. "I'm not saying it's going to be easy."

    But he said the early agreement of the 13 ministers, including from France, Germany and Britain, provided a chance to make an agreement with Poland and others.

    The Commission, the EU executive, in January outlined its vision of 2030 climate and energy policy to succeed the existing set of 2020 goals.

    The Commission suggested a single fully binding 2030 target to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels, plus an EU-wide goal to get at least 27 percent of energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar. In broad terms, the Green Growth Group supports the Commission view.

    A full legislative proposal is not expected until next year, when a new set of Commissioners will have taken office, so it will take years to finalize a 2030 law, but an outline agreement from all leaders would be a strong signal.

    Europe's economic fragility, however, has increased the difficulty of agreeing on climate policy. A draft EU document ahead of the meeting of leaders on March 20-21 placed the focus on industry and competitiveness, rather than the environment.

    The Green Growth Group of 15 countries, including the 13 who issued the statement, says climate policy need not be an enemy to competitiveness.

    "A delay risks undermining commercial sector confidence, deferring critical energy investments, increasing the cost of capital for these investments and undermining momentum towards a global climate deal," the group of 13 ministers said.


    Britain, which previously avoided any commitment to a renewable goal, said it could accept an EU-wide target provided it did not lead to any binding national targets. Critics of the EU-wide target say it is almost impossible to enforce without national targets.

    The group of ministers says there is no time to lose ahead of U.N. talks seeking to get a global deal on tackling climate change in Paris next year.

    It also says investors need early certainty if they are to help with the upgrading of infrastructure, for instance, which would improve grid connections in Europe, increase security of supply and theoretically lower costs.

    Poland, whose economy is heavily dependent on coal, says the goals under debate would impose a greater burden on it than other countries.

    Marcin Korolec, Poland's deputy environment minister, told reporters that aiming for agreement in March was "a very optimistic approach" and that the international agenda did not require EU agreement until early next year.

    "I think it will be difficult for the European Council to decide on some targets without knowing crucial elements," Korolec said, referring to how targets should be distributed among different member states.

    For more related topic, visit the following:
  • kristelgeisel

    Westward Group Alternatives: What we do with your data?

    1 Like

    Westward Group Energy Alternatives is the information manager with regards to this website and your individual data. If you have some issues pertaining to our usage of your personal information or any other data security or confidential policy matters, then please contact our Data Protection Officer at Westward Group Energy Alternatives or write to the Data Protection Officer at the listed address.

    We have a complete Privacy Policy which we encourage you to properly review. It clarifies how we use the personal information you submitted to us or those we obtain from you while browsing our site, as well as the steps we take to safeguard your personal data. The Privacy Policy also itemizes how you may ask for changing, augmenting or deleting your personal data from our archives as well as for applying for termination of all contact with you.

    We treat your confidentiality and the safety of your personal data with great care.

    Kindly read carefully the Privacy Policy for when you use our website we will presume you have understood and accepted the terms of the policy.

    How we make our money?
    We derive commissions and ad fees from firms that link to, or promote on Westward Group Energy Alternatives. This does not increase the cost of any service that you plan to subscribe to via our website. Our advertising plans have no bearing on the way that we list gas and electricity suppliers or other services.

    Our listings and consumer guides are totally independent and through our assistance you can scrutinize costs against other suppliers, search for invisible costs and inspect more than merely news headline rates or prices.

    We are committed to delivering valuable, unbiased information that provides genuine worth to our clients.
Loading ...