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Study: Solar power could add 123,000 new jobs by 2020
Business Wire ^ | 7/3/2007 | Staff

Posted on 07/03/2007 1:32:27 PM PDT by P-40

Development of the solar energy industry in Texas would have a significant economic impact for consumers, the environment and workers, according to a study released by the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

Opportunity on the Horizon: Photovoltaics in Texas finds the benefits of nurturing the solar energy industry will stimulate the state's economy, reduce the cost of power for consumers and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

"Worldwide, the cost of converting sunlight to electricity is rapidly decreasing. The right public policies, combined with emerging and increasingly efficient technologies in solar power, would create a solid opportunity for Texas to build an economic engine on this non-polluting resource," Joel Serface of Clean Energy Incubator said.

The paper cites a recent University of California-Berkeley study that finds the solar industry produces seven to 11 times as many jobs on a megawatt capacity basis as coal-fired power plants and has a larger positive trickle-down effect than wind energy.

Estimates suggest Texas could generate 123,000 new high-wage, technology-related, advanced manufacturing and electrical services jobs by 2020 by actively moving toward solar power. It is predicted these jobs would be created across the entire state as large solar farms grow in West Texas, silicon plants develop along the Gulf Coast and manufacturing centers appear in Central Texas.

The report evaluates the competitive benefits Texas has in the worldwide market and compares the overall results of Texan efforts against other states and international competitors. The study notes that although Texas consumed more energy than any other state and has the best overall climate for producing solar energy year-round, it ranked 8th in solar adoption in 2006, producing just 1/100th of the solar energy of California.

Texans pay about 13 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. It is believed that the production of photovoltaics, like other semiconductors, would follow a predictable decline in costs. Analysts predict this cost decline will translate to between 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour as early as 2010.

In 1999, the Texas Legislature adopted a bill that introduced the retail competition in the sale of electricity and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to consumers. Since 2002, electricity-users in deregulated markets have been able to choose their power providers from a multitude of retailers. The legislation requires energy providers to increase the amount of renewable energy produced through a combination of solar, wind, geothermal, hydro wave, tidal, biomass-based waste products or landfill gas.

To date, energy producers have chosen to focus on wind energy for a multitude of reasons, including federal tax incentives for producers, the large amount of wind resources in the state and the scalability of large wind projects. The report concludes that the legislation has brought many benefits to consumers across the state and can be used as a roadmap for the successful expansion of solar power across the state.

Worldwide, investors are confident in the future of solar power. The solar industry grew to $10.6 billion in revenues in 2006 and is estimated to be greater than $30 billion, with some analyst estimates as high as $72 billion for the entire solar value chain by 2010.

The report outlines several recommendations to strengthen the state's solar strategy. Starting with leadership to create the policies necessary for success, Texas could leverage its natural resources, skilled workforce, existing industries and entrepreneurial spirit to create a new energy industry, the report says.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: brokenwindows; energy; jobs; renewenergy; solar; texas
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To: chimera
Imagine you are sitting in the "hot seat" of the regional grid control center (as I have).

You must smoke a lot...and drink a lot of coffee. That is how I always picture grid operators. I remember the 'outages' we had here last April when it got hot beyond expectation at a time when it was normally cool and they had to 'shed' some areas to save the grid. People were pissed...and one representative had called in to a local talk show and had to listen to people gripe about what they did and did not do...in a decision they had 45 seconds to make...or the grid could have been down for some time.
101 posted on 07/03/2007 8:23:36 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: WOSG
But the opposition has no basis in reality, or at least real immediate concerns...

Welcome to the world of politics. Do you know I still hear from a friend of mine how it goes at Yucca Mountain...who lives in Perth? As in...Australia!
102 posted on 07/03/2007 8:26:09 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40

I finished “The Grid” on Sunday and have “Infrastucture” by Hayes open on my desk as I type. I have to agree that they are a couple of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m and old electrical engineer, and I learned a lot of things in those two very readable and entertaining books. Especially “Infrastructure.” It should be in every library.


103 posted on 07/03/2007 8:26:23 PM PDT by weaponeer
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To: P-40

Speaking of Texas - notes on the nuclear expansions in Texas:
http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2007/07/looking-at-nrg-and-new-nuclear-in-texas.html

see also
http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2007/07/texas-energy-future.html


104 posted on 07/03/2007 8:28:16 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: weaponeer

I’m glad you have liked them. I have gotten some of the same responses back from the people I have suggested them to at the utility here in Austin. I mean.....the books sound dull...but they aren’t. Infrastructure was just absolutely amazing...and it was hard to believe that The Grid was written by a PhD in particle physics...and a playwright.


105 posted on 07/03/2007 8:32:12 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40

So you’re in Austin? I’m just up north a bit by Fort Hood. Are there any good alternate/renewable enrgy groups down there? Or RE themed stores? I get down there once a month or so.


106 posted on 07/03/2007 8:37:08 PM PDT by weaponeer
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To: WOSG
Yup, we have some great new nuclear projects going in Texas...which, if you are cynical, we got as a result of TXU working with the Governor to 'fast-track' twelve or so new coal plants that TXU never wanted...but did get the freedom from lawsuits to build three plus add to its nuclear capabilities. Oddly enough, a lot of it started with a former governor we had...some guy named Bush.

Texas wants to use every acre it can to produce and sell power be it coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, or frog farts.
107 posted on 07/03/2007 8:38:52 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: weaponeer

What particular area are you interested in? I can get you some groups or have you considered talking to the companies involved themselves? The LCRA is great, as is Austin Energy, and one of my favorite wind companies is Cielo Wind located just downtown.


108 posted on 07/03/2007 8:42:11 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40
Thanks. I'll check out their web sites. I know Austin Energy is big in the so called "green" movement.

I just recently got interested in the whole energy/environment/efficiency/independence thing. I've had PV panels powering my ham radio shack for years, and I've been interested in home-scale alternate energy systems for quite some time (I was an original stockholder in Real Goods Trading Company when I lived in Calif. back in the day.) But I've just gotten interested in utility-scale issues due to all the climate change hype. I've been doing a lot of reading in the last few months, which is why I happened to have those two books you mentioned.

I'm flying to Munich, Germany next week where I am working with a German company building methanol fuel cells for military applications. I'm finding it quite interesting. I'll be retiring soon after 38 years working for the Army, and might want to look around a bit for a part time gig in the energy biz, just to keep my hand in. Good to know there's some activity in the Austin area.

109 posted on 07/03/2007 8:54:27 PM PDT by weaponeer
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To: weaponeer

I’m working on an energy forum that will involve the city now. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. If this is something that you are interested in...Austin will be where it is at. :)


110 posted on 07/03/2007 8:57:03 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Keep drinkin that Kool-Aid there Red. [rolls yer danged eyes right back to ya] Ha Ha Ha!!! The Jane Fonda/Michael Moore/Mark Riesner/Wallace Stegner propoganda machine sure has had it’s way with your mind, I see!!!


111 posted on 07/03/2007 8:59:21 PM PDT by SierraWasp (SIERRA REPUBLIC!!! (our 51st united state)(all of CA excluding coastal counties))
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To: P-40

TXU never wanted the coal plants they wanted and paid money to have PR over having us let them build them???
That doesnt make any sense.

What does make sense is this: Texas needs power to grow and be successful. As gas gets expensive and coal gets unpalatable, nuclear will save the day.


112 posted on 07/03/2007 9:06:39 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: television is just wrong; P-40; WOSG; EGPWS; editor-surveyor

Yeah... These will be mainly night jobs, right? You solar workers better start savin up fer a rainy/cloudy day, too!!!


113 posted on 07/03/2007 9:06:59 PM PDT by SierraWasp (SIERRA REPUBLIC!!! (our 51st united state)(all of CA excluding coastal counties))
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To: WOSG

I’ve no ‘postable’ proof of this...but I think TXU only wanted three new coal plants, and did want two new nuclear generators....but also wanted no more lawsuits. They got their three plants and their two new generators...but I think they will still have some lawsuits to deal with. I think it was one of those ‘we all know we need the energy so how are we going to get it’ type deals. I think at one point they were even ‘suggesting’ taking plants down for maintenance during summer.


114 posted on 07/03/2007 9:12:44 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: chimera; P-40

“I am watching Exelon’s efforts with the Matagorda County effort. “

As a central Texas resident and Excelon shareholder, I am watching with interest as well.

I hope their plant goes well.

Now should be a good time to get a nuclear engineering degree and/or get in the nuke construction business again. There should be quite a bit of build out in the next 20 years, should all these plans come to fruition.

See:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/1/55720/19863
The difficulties with the coal proposals and the remaining demand for increased baseload capacity provided a window for NRG Energy, the largest shareholder (44%) of the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC) to propose expanding the 2 existing units at STP to 4. TXU similarly proposed expanding the two units at Comanche Peak (Dallas region) to four; these plans remain active after TXU scrapped most coal designs. Two additional plants on greenfield sites are also proposed; one by an Amarillo group, the other by Exelon corp. to be situated on the Gulf Coast somewhere near the STP site. In total, these represent somewhere in the neighborhood of 8000 MW capacity on top of ~4500 MW existing nuclear capacity. For scale, Texas capacity was approx. 63,000 MW in Summer 2006. If 8000 MW of nuclear displaced an equal amount of coal or natural gas and overall consumption remained the same, it would still only bring Texas to the national average for nuclear power usage (~20%). However — it would go a very long way towards decreasing out CO2 emissions, and integrate well with expansion of wind power.”


115 posted on 07/03/2007 9:12:54 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: SierraWasp
These will be mainly night jobs, right? You solar workers better start savin up fer a rainy/cloudy day, too!!!

Believe it or not, they plan for these things.
116 posted on 07/03/2007 9:15:08 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: WOSG
Now should be a good time to get a nuclear engineering degree and/or get in the nuke construction business again.

I would think so. I don't know where all this 'green' stuff is going but if Al Gore & Company will shut up nuclear will be around for a few lifetimes.
117 posted on 07/03/2007 9:18:18 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40
"And you can put a nuke in my backyard. I have property that is close to one. Doesn't bother me a bit."

But still you continue to hype the most expensive way to make electicity... solar!!!

It just doesn't compute!!!

118 posted on 07/03/2007 9:23:21 PM PDT by SierraWasp (SIERRA REPUBLIC!!! (our 51st united state)(all of CA excluding coastal counties))
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To: SierraWasp
But still you continue to hype the most expensive way to make electicity... solar!!!

The most expensive way? How do you compute that?
119 posted on 07/03/2007 9:26:16 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40

“It is...and my state is the only one that is expanding it that I can think of at the moment. “

Actually there is a LOT of movement on nuclear power plants in many states, with 30 new nuclear power plants on the drawing boards...

List:
http://www.nei.org/index.asp?catnum=2&catid=344

http://www.nei.org/index.asp?catnum=4&catid=1032
“As the nation looks to strengthen its energy security, meet future electricity needs and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, 16 energy companies and consortia over the past 18 months have announced their intention to file license applications with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build as many as 30 new nuclear power plants.”

BTW, more on Excelon’s site:
http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2007/06/exelon-announces-two-possible-texas.html


120 posted on 07/03/2007 9:28:12 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: WOSG
Actually there is a LOT of movement on nuclear power plants in many states, with 30 new nuclear power plants on the drawing boards...

That is good to see. Be better when the ground is actually broken and the plants are going up though.
121 posted on 07/03/2007 9:32:04 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: WOSG; thackney
"I am convinced that energy technology hype is inversely related to its actual utility."

Oh, you just don't understand the romance novel aspect of dreamin about stickin it to the massive multinational oil companies who can't even match our multi-level governments in ripping us of each and every day of our lives with taxes on energy.

Plus the intrigue of cutting off OPECKERS who must be force to drink their damned oil because we won't buy it because we're willing to do without power when the sun don't shine, right?

Yeah... That's right! We gots ta git back ta livin like the "simple people" in the rest of the tird whirled! We gots too much affluenza afflictin everything here in these exceptional, usually victorius and triumphant United Straits!!! Shazzam!!! We gots ta turn that all back around, don'tcha know???

122 posted on 07/03/2007 9:33:25 PM PDT by SierraWasp (SIERRA REPUBLIC!!! (our 51st united state)(all of CA excluding coastal counties))
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To: P-40

“Al Gore & Company will shut up nuclear will be around for a few lifetimes.”

Not that I agree with Al Gore’s Global Warming rantings, but Global Warming fearmongering has been quite helpful in restarting nuclear power plant building. That and $7/mcf for natural gas. Ten years ago, the ‘future’ was natural gas cmbined cycle plants - best economics. But it was built on the basis of cheap gas. I owned calpine stock for a while, and watched that company go to nothing as gas rose and made their gas-fired-power-plant-building strategy untenable.

The other fossil fuels rose in tandem, even coal. It’s the 1970s all over again.

Al Gore’s Global warming crusade is a clarion call to stop using fossil fuels. Well, what are the alternatives? The only on that is economical for baseload generation is nuclear. Moreover, if we did switch from coal to nuclear for 70% of our baseload electricity generation, we would cut our CO2 emissions by 40%. The global warming threat would be hugely diminished. If all we do is simply build new nuclear power plants to replace old coal plants, and do it over the next 30 years, we would go most of the way towards solving global warming.

The logic is so inescapable the more intelligent environmentalists and lefties are on the bandwagon. We need nuclear power in the mix to reduce our CO2 emissions.
I see it as a win/win/win - it’s good economics and pro-energy, gives us sustainable energy independence, and good for the environment.

Now the irony is that the environmental movement is the #1 pusher on global warming *and* the major opponent of nuclear power. This is an issue the environmentalists could end up losing their credibility over, as being the #1 impediment to solving global warming.


123 posted on 07/03/2007 9:39:16 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: SierraWasp

Can you translate that?


124 posted on 07/03/2007 9:41:27 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: WOSG
Al Gore’s Global Warming rantings, but Global Warming fearmongering has been quite helpful in restarting nuclear power plant building.

I forget which House hearing it was but Al Gore was asked about nuclear and said it would play a small role...but was unfamiliar with an acronym he promoted which was basically a high-pressure nuclear reactor.
125 posted on 07/03/2007 9:45:39 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40

In other words, you are saying they asked for more than they wanted in order to ‘bargain down’ to their real needs?

Maybe. they wont need all those plants now, but they will sometime in the future. but the funny thing is they were advertizing that the new plants would be so much cleaner that the total emissions would be far less even post expansion.
why would we want that?

And BTW, did you know that the “Coal is filthy” campaign was paid for by the ... (drum roll) gas-fired utility generators!


126 posted on 07/03/2007 9:59:08 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: WOSG
In other words, you are saying they asked for more than they wanted in order to ‘bargain down’ to their real needs?

Yes, but neither I nor anyone I know have any proof of that they are willing to share. The 'coal is filthy' ads were kind of well done though.
127 posted on 07/03/2007 10:05:44 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: WOSG

I think what P-40’s trying to say is that:

1) Technically, you’re absolutely right, though I would add that reprocessing wouldn’t take even a hundred years if we were allowed to build breeder reactors, but the laws are what they are at the moment...

2) People are completely ignorant of how nuclear power and radioactivity work, and are in general terrified of it due to media sensationalism. This won’t change until the public is better educated, which could take a long time or forever depending on how optimistic we want to be about the intelligence of the general public.

In this case, it’s a political, not a technical problem.


128 posted on 07/03/2007 10:26:25 PM PDT by Constantine XIII
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To: Constantine XIII

But I have also pointed out the polls that show 60-70% favorability to nuclear power. People are not as negative on nuclear power as you might think. Maybe in the 1970s people could be swayed by scaremongering because it was new technology, but nuclear power’s proven track record of safety over the years has won people over and debunked the anti-nuclear activists’ claims.


129 posted on 07/03/2007 10:33:42 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: WOSG
It is heartening to see intelligent discussion about nuclear power and its options. I too forsook the potential for rational discussion on these issues almost 30 years ago, deciding that the market, economic forces, would eventually force our unwieldy society to reign in legal opportunists used by sometimes naive, sometimes political Luddites, who wish to throttle progress.
Once a solar idealist, I did a graduate project to evaluate the potential for solar thermal electric, and learned, in a nutshell, that, among other liabilities, it is too dangerous (industrial accident statistics are not in question about the number of accidents as a function of height, time of day, weather), too expensive, and, in spite of my intuition, there is not nearly enough suitable land to cover with collectors of any type for solar to be more of a fringe supplier to the electrical grid.
Solar has already caused many orders of magnitude more deaths and injuries than commercial nuclear power! How many people died or were injured at Three Mile Island, our worst nuclear accident? None! Chernobyl, while characterized by some as a “commercial” reactor, was created by a noncommercial society, without the containment structures required by all reactors in Western countries, and still resulted in something like 50 lives lost. The numbers of people killed and injured falling off of roofs while working on residential solar installations each year is close to 1000.
I wouldn’t expect people to understand the solar energy flux, or the effect on insolation of water vapor. I do think most understand that the sun sets each day, and that if you start with .8 Kilowatts/sq meter on a perfect clear day at the equator, what you end up with after conversion, storage, transmission, is much much less. The potential for snake oil, and the elasticity of the US economy makes boondoggles certain until the market straightens things out.
I would rather see nuclear fuel used to generate electricity than fossil fuels, but have seen no convincing argument that CO2 has anything to do with warming; to the contrary, the inconvenient truth is that the record shows that warming preceded the increase in CO2 by from 100 to 800 years, perhaps suggesting that the release of C02 from oceans as the earth moves through a cyclic warming trend drives CO2 to follow warming.

Keep up the thoughtful discussion, all of you.

130 posted on 07/03/2007 11:31:17 PM PDT by Spaulding (Wagdadbythebay)
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To: editor-surveyor

I just bought a small panel intended to trickle charge my car battery that cost $15 a watt. This cost is not encouraging.


131 posted on 07/04/2007 7:32:33 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: P-40

It’s Jackson Browne’s fault.


132 posted on 07/04/2007 7:35:28 AM PDT by P.O.E. (School's Out. Drive Safely.)
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To: P-40
And you would store that waste....where?

You only have a long-term storage problem if you're prohibited from recycling the plutonium into more fuel

And I think the greenies gave up on solar power...now that too many people are using it and getting paid for it. :)

That's the name of the game for the watermelons. They tell everybody to wait for stuff that they expect to never be viable

133 posted on 07/04/2007 7:40:20 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Open Season rocks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymLJz3N8ayI)
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To: P-40
You must smoke a lot...and drink a lot of coffee.

Ha! Like our colleagues in the ATC business? No smoking for me, and just one cup of caffeine in the morning to get my eyes open. Fortunately, I didn't spend too much time in the dispatching center. You don't do four years of college and six years of grad school to work shifts. But I wanted to have the experience to understand the technology better and to be able to broaden my background as preparation for consulting work. Nothing like learning by doing.

No one notices when the power is on, but they sure notice it when the power is off. Modern grid reliability is in the range of 99.99999% availability, but the 0.00001% unavailability causes a lot of griping. I'm no better, even though I understand the complexity of the technology and have experience with it. Having to deal with an evening of power outage and whiny kids who can't get their MTV and Cartoon Channels is bad enough. One can imagine the "inconvenience" (more like life-hreatening) those who need electricity to literally stay alive go through.

134 posted on 07/04/2007 8:46:50 AM PDT by chimera
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To: Phantom Lord
123,000 new jobs huh. How many will be paid for in total with tax dollars or heavily subsidised? 122,000?

Think of how many more jobs they could create by outlawing power excavating machinery. Half of Mexico would be employed in construction in Dallas alone. (If they aren't alread.)

In fact, if they outlaw shovels and require teaspoons, they could employ all of China as well.

135 posted on 07/04/2007 8:52:38 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (I never consented to live in the Camp of the Saints.)
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To: Constantine XIII; WOSG; P-40
FReeper P-40 points out the political difficulties and how those can impact the economics of a technology. True, not just for nuclear, but anything that becomes a political wedge issue. Look at the go-arounds on ANWR and drilling in coastal waters. The bureaucracy has tried to address this on the nuclear side with the COL process. Once someone actually steps up and builds a plant using the COL process and has a successful venture, others will follow. Industry is going to have to show some leadership and take some risks. There is evidence that this is starting to happen, with the plans announced for enhancing the Texas capacity, and elsewhere.

Intervenors have learned to game the system to accomplish their ends. They know it is generally true that you can kill any capital-intensive endeavor if you delay it long enough so that whatever money you end up making doesn't cover the financing charges for a delayed project. Look at the Diablo Canyon travesty. A completed plant sits idle for 10 years, unable to generate a single watt-hour of energy, investors unable to recover costs, because of spurious lawsuits filed by intervenors which, by law, have to be settled before the project can go forward. That process, above all else, has to change, if we're going to find a path to energy independence.

136 posted on 07/04/2007 8:56:35 AM PDT by chimera
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To: chimera

It’s good to see commentary from someone else who has spent time in a control room. Were you generation, transmission, or both?


137 posted on 07/04/2007 9:41:50 AM PDT by meyer (It's the entitlements, stupid!)
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To: WOSG
Not that I agree with Al Gore’s Global Warming rantings, but Global Warming fearmongering has been quite helpful in restarting nuclear power plant building. That and $7/mcf for natural gas. Ten years ago, the ‘future’ was natural gas cmbined cycle plants - best economics. But it was built on the basis of cheap gas. I owned calpine stock for a while, and watched that company go to nothing as gas rose and made their gas-fired-power-plant-building strategy untenable.

Those of us working stiffs in the electric utility industry predicted that natural gas rates would skyrocket, which they did. Adding a large chunk of demand vs. a slowly-changing supply did the trick. But gas-fired turbine generators were/are cheap to build, and have been politically pallatable for the last several years while coal and nuclear have been on the s-list for a few decades.

The tide has changed somewhat, and TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) spent a good sum of money re-firing the Browns' Ferry Nuclear Plant's 1155 megawatt generating unit #1, which has sat idle since 1985. This is the first (to my knowledge) move towards adding nuclear-powered generation to the grid in decades.

Coal has also taken a significant turn upward with some 14,000+ megawatts of new coal-fired generation planned to be on line in 2009. That's significant, though I'm not sure of the construction status of these proposals. I'm sure that the environazis have filed their objections to all.

I do know that the supply side is tight, and barring some additions to the supply, we will be experiencing the effects of load reduction up to and including rolling blackouts in many areas if we don't add supply.

138 posted on 07/04/2007 10:09:15 AM PDT by meyer (It's the entitlements, stupid!)
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To: meyer

A lot of good points ....

“The tide has changed somewhat, and TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) spent a good sum of money re-firing the Browns’ Ferry Nuclear Plant’s 1155 megawatt generating unit #1, which has sat idle since 1985. This is the first (to my knowledge) move towards adding nuclear-powered generation to the grid in decades.”

Yes, Brown’s Ferry restart is the beginning of the ‘nuclear renaissance’ that will surely occur in the next 10-15 years.
We can also thank the 2005 energy bill for fixing a few things in law that was stopping new nuclear plant construction.

“Coal has also taken a significant turn upward with some 14,000+ megawatts of new coal-fired generation planned to be on line in 2009. That’s significant, though I’m not sure of the construction status of these proposals. I’m sure that the environazis have filed their objections to all.”

This is where the global warming factor comes in, not to mention the (reasonable imho) objections to pollution in local areas that have coal plants. The tide is shifting where, for various reasons, coal plants are goign to be resisted a lot more heavily by interest groups and local communities than nuclear plants will be. We saw that in Texas this past year.
Coal and nuclear are close in cost, with the edge to coal, but the utils are not sure about future regulation of CO2 and may have difficulty getting support for coal plant construction. If you had to abate CO2 emissions, nuclear is a better deal economically by far. Hence, the utilities that are smart are looking to nuclear to hedge their bets and/or make it their baseload backbone.
Excelon continues to excel with this strategy.


139 posted on 07/04/2007 12:07:07 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: P-40; weaponeer

Guys,
Please check out Travis Monitor:
http://travismonitor.blogspot.com

This is a local conservative community blog for central Texas/Austin area. we’ve included posts on energy issues in Texas on the blog. P-40, your insights on the Austin energy forum stuff would be more than welcome there.


140 posted on 07/04/2007 12:14:00 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: Spaulding

Thanks, some good points.


141 posted on 07/04/2007 12:18:20 PM PDT by WOSG (thank the Senators who voted "NO": 202-224-3121, 1-866-340-9281)
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To: P-40; Siobhan; sockmonkey; B-Chan

Bump for later reading. Ping to others.


142 posted on 07/04/2007 12:19:47 PM PDT by Maeve (Do you have supplies for an extended emergency? Be prepared! Pray!)
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To: WOSG
This is where the global warming factor comes in, not to mention the (reasonable imho) objections to pollution in local areas that have coal plants. The tide is shifting where, for various reasons, coal plants are goign to be resisted a lot more heavily by interest groups and local communities than nuclear plants will be. We saw that in Texas this past year.

This is, in my opinion, unfortunate. The entire global warming (CO2) issue is political bunk, and it will be a shame that such issues continue to make their mark on the US.

Being in the electric utility industry, I've seen the negative effects that nuclear power has brought forth - no, they're not unsafe. And no, they're not really a major pollution issue. But they way they are operated - the micromanagement and procedurized methodology tends to stifle innovation and nudges thinking, intelligent people into procedure-following robots.

I've not worked in nuclear, but I've been in the power industry for almost 3 decades. I've watched as the nuclear methods trickle into the rest of the industry and I'm not impressed. Right now, I work with several newer people that, due to lack of experience in applying basic theory and innovation, are lost if there's no procedure already written for their particular situation. They simply cannot perform in unfamiliar territory. And with the proceduralized management approach, they are not given enough unfamiliar situations in which to hone their skills. Not only that but they've been made to be scared to think for themselves. Management has taken on a very "Germanic" (for lack of a better word) approach to how we operate.

143 posted on 07/04/2007 1:17:11 PM PDT by meyer (It's the entitlements, stupid!)
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To: P-40
"Can you translate that?"

Yes! Of course!! I lapse into slovenly, sloppy, slouchy language whenever I'm fatigued trying to get the "P-40" person to stop hyping solar to the exclusion of all other economically viable sources of energy, especially OPEC/traditional on the false hope we can drive their prices down by some magic alternative or conservation without ruining our own ecomomy, first!!!

You just keep beatin that dead horse till I have a stroke of impatience and go ebonics, er sumthin!!! Ha Ha Ha!!!

144 posted on 07/04/2007 2:27:53 PM PDT by SierraWasp (SIERRA REPUBLIC!!! (our 51st united state)(all of CA excluding coastal counties))
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To: P-40

We’ve been all through that with you here and on many other threads in vain!!! You just don’t want to get it as you’ve lined up your living and your future with solar and just cannot dare let go!!! That’s a personal problem and we can’t solve that for you...


145 posted on 07/04/2007 2:31:04 PM PDT by SierraWasp (SIERRA REPUBLIC!!! (our 51st united state)(all of CA excluding coastal counties))
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To: meyer
A little of both. The commentary I posted earlier relates to (relatively brief) time in the regional dispatching center. Balancing loads, dispatching generating assets, routing transmission, that kind of thing. But I have done time in power [plant control rooms as well, primarily in an advisory capacity, but have had occasion to be a “rod jockey”. All that was for experience and knowledge. Like I said, I didn’t want to work shifts, even though the pay differential was quite handsome. The money came in handy later, believe me.
146 posted on 07/04/2007 5:24:41 PM PDT by chimera
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To: meyer
...the micromanagement and procedurized methodology tends to stifle innovation and nudges thinking, intelligent people into procedure-following robots.

The regulators beat a lot of operators into this mindset, everything had to be procedurized, right down to how you made a fart. One of my jobs as a consultant was to write a set of scram response procedures for a power reactor, wherein the response to a whole set of scram conditions was the same ("Acknowledge the annunciator. Affirm that rods are on the bottom. Consult ATOG display for plant evolution. Etc. ..."). I asked the operations manager if he really wanted 20 or 30 pages in his procedure manual that said essentially the same thing, stuff that any operator trainee would know. His response was, yes, we had to do it, because Mr. So-And-So (NRC resident inspector) says we have to.

147 posted on 07/04/2007 5:31:24 PM PDT by chimera
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To: meyer
Those of us working stiffs in the electric utility industry predicted that natural gas rates would skyrocket, which they did. Adding a large chunk of demand vs. a slowly-changing supply did the trick.

Probably one of the most bone-headed disasters this country ever undertook, using NG in central power stations, whether it be baseload, GT, or combined cycle, whatever. Anyone with an elementary knowledge of economics could see the fallout. Huge increase in demand and a limited supply means skyrocketing prices and shortages. The wackos won't allow any increase in supply (try siting an LNG terminal, which makes siting a nuclear plant seem like child's play). So costs go up, supply dwindles. Yep, sure takes a brainiac to figure that one out.

So we're diverting a perfectly transportable fuel, one very well matched to end use in many applications (building heating, cooking, some industrial processes) and burning it up making electricity, which involves losses, and transporting that, which incurs further losses. The very first thing a nuclear revival, if it happens, should displace, is use of NG in utility applications, as much as possible. And if that means spending some effort improving the load-following capability of nuclear plants, I say do it, and save the NG for better uses.

148 posted on 07/04/2007 5:39:31 PM PDT by chimera
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To: Phantom Lord

LOL! Did you know the tinest bit of snowfall shuts Texas down?


149 posted on 07/04/2007 5:45:11 PM PDT by Mamzelle (We need a new, conservative chairman of the RNC first, because the elites are about to take revenge)
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To: P-40
" ... a recent University of California-Berkeley study that finds the solar industry produces seven to 11 times as many jobs on a megawatt capacity basis as coal-fired power plants ... "

Sounds inefficient to me.

What if we put the labor effort into nuclear power?

150 posted on 07/04/2007 5:53:22 PM PDT by magellan
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