It would appear that we may not be doomed after all.

Just watched Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel”.

During a visit to Georgetown he was told by the Republican mayor that the town was 100% clean renewable energy. He said that he’d pursued this from a Republican standpoint, that is, that it was his responsibility to lower his constituents local taxes by using the cheapest source possible for local government usage.

Of course,  you can also do that for yourself. I’m sure there must be other companies doing this but Nordic just happens to be the one I use.

I rather like the idea of me living in southern Spain being provided with cheaper electricity by a Scandinavian company who are selling me environmentally-sourced energy at the world wholesale market rate.

And it’s easy.  Just ask for it and they do everything else…

It’s also the sort if thing that would tend to give Brexiteers and President Tweetflake an apoplexy.

Which is nice.

Original Post

The true cost of renewables in many areas has fallen so far that it is now the cheapest option. It certainly a tipping point for substantial uptake, in my view. The tariffs the US has slapped on imported cells is but a road bump. The free market will win out. If I was the US, I'd be buying all the subsidised cheap imported solar panels I could get my hands on, and be installing them like crazy. The cheap energy would drive far more domestic economic growth than the tariffs could ever achieve.

We are not only doomed, we are also fooled.

If energy (in the form of electricity) gets transported from Scandinavia to the South of Spain, its going to be quite inefficient. It will loose much energy during transportation - even using high voltage networks.

We have setup a system in Europe where we can trade in certificates for green energy. Since Scandinavia produces so much green energy, they can sell the certificates on the European market - which they do. So a dirty coal based energy plant in Spain can buy a green certificate and then sell its energy being 'green'.

There is in Europe no distinction between green / grey / black energy networks.

It all makes no difference for the environment, it is just business and fake politics.

What work for you, is to disconnect from the network, get your own windmill and solar panel, put a large aquarium on your roof which you fill with water when you have too much energy and let it empty via an electricity generating turbine / dynamo when you are listening music.

Satirical link:

https://cliscep.com/2018/02/05...s-green-energy-scam/

Ardbeg10y posted:

We are not only doomed, we are also fooled.

If energy (in the form of electricity) gets transported from Scandinavia to the South of Spain, its going to be quite inefficient. It will loose much energy during transportation - even using high voltage networks.

We have setup a system in Europe where we can trade in certificates for green energy. Since Scandinavia produces so much green energy, they can sell the certificates on the European market - which they do. So a dirty coal based energy plant in Spain can buy a green certificate and then sell its energy being 'green'.

There is in Europe no distinction between green / grey / black energy networks.

It all makes no difference for the environment, it is just business and fake politics.

What work for you, is to disconnect from the network, get your own windmill and solar panel, put a large aquarium on your roof which you fill with water when you have too much energy and let it empty via an electricity generating turbine / dynamo when you are listening music.

Satirical link:

https://cliscep.com/2018/02/05...s-green-energy-scam/

The reason that a coal plant is required to buy a certificate is not so it can sell its electricity as "green" (no-one is fooled by that) but so that the cost of the coal-fired electricity is raised, both to discourage consumption (improve the value of buying energy efficient appliances, for example), and to allow renewable competitors to enter the marketplace. Yes, it is market interference, but  is required because it is acknowledged by most thinking people that the true environmental cost of coal-fired electricity is externalised and deferred until the future, and individual power-purchasing decisions will tend to favour near-term savings over longer-term benefits. The trading of carbon/renewable credits is not the only approach. Carbon taxes are another mechanism that is simpler in some ways.

Going "off-grid" can be a terribly inefficient way of reducing your footprint. It is almost certainly more effective to take that investment and pool it with others for the financing of large, capital-efficient industrial-scale renewable generation facilities.

That satirical piece is right skewer the wood pellet biomass "solution" though. Yeah, the wood is renewable, but the physical transport of the wood is terribly inefficient. If the European trading scheme allowed the creation of credits by burning it locally (to displace Alberta coal-fired electricity for example) to generate credits, which were then traded electronically, it would make much more sense. It's one atmosphere. It doesn't matter where the saving in GHG emission is made. (Small factoid - I nearly took a job with one of the BC wood pellet companies a few years back)

It's all a shell game with the power companies and ultimately electricity comes from the source(s) most able to meet real time demand, be it from fossil fuels, hydro, wind, solar, tidal, or wherever. Some companies imply your particular power is coming from a green source, and feel-good buyers may pay more for that right (at least in the US). In fact it's a massive electrical grid with a complex architecture. My power is actually arriving from which source?

To assume anyone is directly buying 'green power', let alone paying a premium for that measure is farcical and blindly pays into the power companies' coffers. Suckers I'd say.

From the Energy Nordic website:

“All electricity supplied by Energy Nordic is sustainable green energy,” explains Phil, “anyone who is interested in learning about how we can help them can feel free to contact us for more information.”

Which I have. Just waiting for a reply.

They have a Spanish office so are more than likely hooked into the Spanish green energy grid which is, as  far as I'm aware, one of the biggest and most advanced on the planet. ..

joerand posted:

It's all a shell game with the power companies and ultimately electricity comes from the source(s) most able to meet real time demand, be it from fossil fuels, hydro, wind, solar, tidal, or wherever. Some companies imply your particular power is coming from a green source, and feel-good buyers may pay more for that right (at least in the US). In fact it's a massive electrical grid with a complex architecture. My power is actually arriving from which source?

To assume anyone is directly buying 'green power', let alone paying a premium for that measure is farcical and blindly pays into the power companies' coffers. Suckers I'd say.

To assert that renewable energy purchasing policies are nothing but "feelgood" scams is a cheap shot at anyone who is prepared to forgo personal consumption by paying a premium to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy. Yes it might feel good, but then doing something for others (in this case future generations) generally does.

The feel-good scam for those that live in the western US is that government regulations require utilities to show that a percentage of their overall energy production comes from alternative, "green" energy sources (although said requirement may have changed since Trump). Many of our utilities are quasi-governmental; state or county entities that sold stocks and bonds to originally fund their costly hydroelectric projects. So private investors (stock holders) realize profits from operations of the electric utilities.

Feel-good Joe is willing to pay more than market value for his electricity with the notion it's coming from a "green alternative". So Joe pays more for the very same electricity that his neighbor, realistic Randy gets cheaper. So what has Joe actually done for future generations? Fed the pockets of the stock holders that invested in the utilities who were required to provide alternative energy sources in the first place. Who's the sucker in this scenario? Who spent more on their electric bill so that the utility could meet their license requirements while distributing a bigger dividend to share holders?

winkyincanada posted:
To assert that renewable energy purchasing policies are nothing but "feelgood" scams is a cheap shot at anyone who is prepared to forgo personal consumption by paying a premium to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy.

 No one, in any scenario, is forgoing personal consumption simply because they pay more for their electricity. As I've said here before - really want to do something for future generations? Make one less car trip per week, turn down your thermostat by one degree in winter and up by a degree in summer. For that matter, "invest" in a feel-good amp that offers standby-mode when your listening session is done. The list of potentials is unending. These are the true factors that forgo personal consumption - using less power to begin with. There's no free lunch and, at least where I live, you can't buy your way out of your carbon footprint.

joerand posted:

The feel-good scam for those that live in the western US is that government regulations require utilities to show that a percentage of their overall energy production comes from alternative, "green" energy sources (although said requirement may have changed since Trump). Many of our utilities are quasi-governmental; state or county entities that sold stocks and bonds to originally fund their costly hydroelectric projects. So private investors (stock holders) realize profits from operations of the electric utilities.

Feel-good Joe is willing to pay more than market value for his electricity with the notion it's coming from a "green alternative". So Joe pays more for the very same electricity that his neighbor, realistic Randy gets cheaper. So what has Joe actually done for future generations? Fed the pockets of the stock holders that invested in the utilities who were required to provide alternative energy sources in the first place. Who's the sucker in this scenario? Who spent more on their electric bill so that the utility could meet their license requirements while distributing a bigger dividend to share holders?

winkyincanada posted:
To assert that renewable energy purchasing policies are nothing but "feelgood" scams is a cheap shot at anyone who is prepared to forgo personal consumption by paying a premium to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy.

 No one, in any scenario, is forgoing personal consumption simply because they pay more for their electricity. As I've said here before - really want to do something for future generations? Make one less car trip per week, turn down your thermostat by one degree in winter and up by a degree in summer. For that matter, "invest" in a feel-good amp that offers standby-mode when your listening session is done. The list of potentials is unending. These are the true factors that forgo personal consumption - using less power to begin with. There's no free lunch and, at least where I live, you can't buy your way out of your carbon footprint.

I beg to differ. If I spend more for solar power than for coal power, that is fewer dollars I have left over to spend on a new TV, a bigger car, or an overseas holiday. I'll consume less and my footprint will be smaller. How could I not? Think of it the other way as you have suggested. If I save a car trip, or turn my amp off when I'm not using it, I need to consider what to do with money I have saved. To spend it on something that simply replaces one form of GHG emission with another, doesn't really achieve anything. In some sense I have to make an economically inefficient, but environmentally sound decision. What would I do with that money? Well, I could fund renewables. We must, in a sense "buy our way" out of our carbon footprints by consuming less. You're 100% right, there is no free lunch. If the best environmental solutions were also the cheapest, we'd already all be doing them. But we're not. We are too selfish and focussed on the-near term.

Mike1951 posted:

Green energy is cheaper.  If it's costing you more than trad energy in 'murca, that's another reason for not living there...

That's not quite yet true in many places, if the externalised (future-shifted) costs of burning fossil fuels are ignored. But the cross-over between renewables and the heavily subsidised fossil fuel industry is being reached in an ever-increasing number of places.

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