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Senior Contributor

The future for energy?

In this German village they produce more energy than they use and sell the extra.

 

"Wildpoldsried produces 321 percent more energy than it needs and is generating $5.7 million in annual revenue — a remarkable accomplishment for a modest farming community that has been able to invest in new municipal infrastructure without going into debt."

 

They have done this with no debt and they increased the economic activity in the village with new businesses. 

Plus they have reduced CO2

 

"As of 2010, Wildpoldsried has reduced its CO2 emissions by 65 percent, and village officials and its citizens believe they will reach 125 percent by 2012. The current targeted emissions reduction for the country is 40 percent by 2020, as set forth in Germany’s Climate Initiative."  

http://www.jgpress.com/archives/_free/002409.html

19 Replies
Advisor

Re: The future for energy?

You have to include the government subsidy on the green goodies before you can make an honest assessment.
Senior Contributor

Re: The future for energy?

Yes I wondered about that too but as I read this 


How the structure works is based on the type of alternative energy produced. For example, homeowners in Wildpoldsried who installed solar in 2004 were guaranteed to receive 45.7 to 57.4 cents/kWh (based on kWh production). AÜW, the regional power company, must purchase the energy (with a guaranteed constant price for 20 years). The extra costs that utilities incur for feed-in tariff payments are averaged across the country, and then recovered through an equal surcharge placed on electricity bills. In the region of the Allgäu, where Wildpoldsried is located, the AÜW reports that household energy prices have increased from .1608 € cents/kWh in 1999 to .2575 € cents/kWh in 2011. About 14 percent of that increase is attributed to the EEG.

 

“Homes with solar pay the same price as everybody, but in the new EEG law from 2011, the energy company has to pay 12 cents for every kWh homeowners use from their solar panels,” explains Councilman Mögele. “This means homeowners with solar panels save the .2575 € cents and receive .1200 € cents on top, leaving .3775 € cents in their pocket. If you use more than 30 percent of your self-produced energy by yourself, you receive €16 cents.”

 

I think it is paid for from others using it.

Still may be some government subsidy in it but the market pays for a lot of it.

That of course will not work as well if everyone goes this route but the argument always is when solar, wind etc. is used more costs of equipment will fall, therefore cost of 'green' energy will fall.

Time will tell.

Just a good point to note what can be done when everyone looks for a different way to do things.

Re: The future for energy?

That is pretty steep compared to US retail costs around .15/kwhr.

 

However, one must note that Germany is a very globally competitive economy so you would have to say that all things being equal the "job killing" tag that will come out as argument # 1 is not 100% universally valid. 

 

To me the salient fact is that all fossil fuels are finite and depleting. Therefore it is entirely reasonable to tax those depleting resources to tap a part of the one time value of their extraction for renewable alternatives.

 

In an ideal world the global playing field would be somewhat level- everyone taxing fossil energy at more or less the same level.

 

Of course the Europeans would absolutely love that since they're already getting ahead of the curve.

 

PS: "conservatives" are not conservative on this issue.

Senior Contributor

That's just silly

"To me the salient fact is that all fossil fuels are finite and depleting. Therefore it is entirely reasonable to tax those depleting resources to tap a part of the one time value of their extraction for renewable alternatives."

 

There is no reason to give the government money because we are running out of something.  The government will not create a new energy source but will squander the money that energy produces.  The history of government waste is evident in the debt we now have. 

 

If anybody should get the money it is companies that produce energy.  That is Exxon, Shell, BP and others.  They actually have an interest to continue in business and supply energy.  Allowing them to keep their profits allows them to do research into new fields but taking the money from them and the American consumer only allows the government to get into more wars, create more welfare and increase it's size.

 

When we look at government involvement in medicine, mail, transportation and education all we see is higher cost, lower quality.  The department of energy is as big a joke as the department of education.  Neither has produced anything since their inception, however they have continued to grow and raise the cost to consumers.

Veteran Advisor

Re: The future for energy?


@hardnox604008 wrote:

.

 

PS: "conservatives" are not conservative on this issue.



Baloney...  I drive a Ford Festiva that gets right at 53 miles per gallon of gasoline.  That is way better than even the Toyota Prius (maybe 40 mpg)... or just about any other car, for that matter.  I have also stripped all of the fuel consuming environment crap out of it as well.   I am working to save up to buy an Aptera all electric car as soon as I can.  They are talking about raising the state gas tax soon.... fine with me, I will be on all electric power. (no road taxes at all)

 

Our farm is on a very high hill, and it makes sense to figure out a way to grab some of the wind.  We are trying to figure a way to do it that does not cost an arm and a leg for a store-bought pricey rig.

 

The only permanent way to replace oil, is to use nuclear power as much as possible.  Figuring a way to supply power strips along a highway.  Maybe making cars that are a combination of rails and wheels.  Intercity driving would be along a rail corridor with a power line overhead, or along the side, then when at an exit, wheels come down and you drive from the "landing pad" off the side exit on battery power.   Then at the end of the day, drive up the on ramp, the GPS system will steer your car directly over the rails.... and the wheels come up and you are back on full electric power and the rails steer your journey until you need to exit the system.

 

That is the kinds of things of the real future.  Capturing cow farts and the like, is all nice and such, but will not be the replacement of our real needs.

Senior Contributor

Re: The future for energy?

Millie you have some good future ideas.

One thing to remember though is 'electricity' is not the real source of the power.

It like Hydrogen or even gasoline is just the method of storeage.

Yes petroleum is really just energy that was laid down millions of years ago in a form that we have figured out how to unlease the energy from again.

Electricity is just the way to transport the energy which could have come from burning petroleum or coal. It is of course better if the electricity came from wind or sun or water but lots of our electricity does not.

Nuclear has potential BUT we really need a good solution for the waste it produces. So far I think that waste, which will remain able to damage life for thousands of years, is just being stored for ???? our grand children to deal with?

 

The article I linked to has a large component of conservation built into it with redoing buildings to make them more efficient, moving to renewable fuels for heating instead of oil etc.

Veteran Advisor

Re: The future for energy?


@Canuck_2 wrote:

Millie you have some good future ideas.

Nuclear has potential BUT we really need a good solution for the waste it produces. So far I think that waste, which will remain able to damage life for thousands of years, is just being stored for ???? our grand children to deal with?



There are new technologies that produce no waste with nuclear.  France uses that technology right now.  You harvest the plutonium from a reactor and it makes the fuel that never runs out.  It is a type of "breeder reactor" that does not make waste.... the "waste" is the new fuel.

 

We do not have that here, because of backward thinking about nuclear.... so, we have the old type of reactors that make waste that has to be disposed of.

Re: The future for energy?

One of the reasons why the French have been successful with nuclear power is that it is a totally federalized political system- if the federal government says put a plant here it goes here and nobody local has any say in it.

 

I'm guessing that along with Harry Reid pleasing his constituents by opposing Yucca Mountain there are plenty of conservative folks who would also throw a shoe if somebody wants to build a nuke plant next to them, safe tech or not. Just a fact of the problems we face.

 

I think nuke has a very important role to play as the base load (not intermittent) for a future electrical system. And it probably is, by nature, something that absolutley requires government involvement at a umber of levels particularly R and D, regulation and a waste system (even the French breeders do produce lower grade waste). I don't think I'm ready to turn BP loose with the idea that those nice people wouldn't possibly cut any corners.

 

 If you were going to throw a Hail Mary and pick a technology to throw money at that might save us, thorium cycle reactors look like one of the best bets.

 

BTW, the Sierra Club had finally come around to the conclusion that nuclear might be the greener than the alternatives. Don't know how people are feeling after Fukushima, which had to be a huge setback even if you try to put it in some kind of context.

Veteran Advisor

Re: The future for energy?

What about those Alberta tar sands--trying to put a pipline thru Nebraska---having lots of issues---my question being why does it have to go clear to Port Authur Texas to be refined---MAYBE on a ship with "un-known " destination ? ?