News A123 Systems files for bankruptcy

mheslep

Gold Member
254
727
...This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Would you please provide a reference to a modern day Malthusian. Please be specific, as in, a single person.

I can't seem to find one.
Paul Erlich, John Holdren, Lovelock, James Kunstler, the Earth First environment group, Mathew Simmons, Colin J. Campbell, Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Jean H. Laherrère, Albert Bartlett, ... and your prior posts are closely aligned.
 

OmCheeto

Gold Member
2,054
2,402
Paul Erlich, John Holdren, Lovelock, James Kunstler, the Earth First environment group, Mathew Simmons, Colin J. Campbell, Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Jean H. Laherrère, Albert Bartlett, ... and your prior posts are closely aligned.
Gads! How could I not know I was a Malthusian myself. Silly me.

Perhaps I should rephrase my question. What on earth does the somewhat logical idea of putting a limit on the planets population have to do with the somewhat logical idea of an energy plan that looks beyond extracted hydrocarbons?

ps. and I'm not the first person to propose such an energy plan.

.....
-Fund alternate energy research heavily.
....
-Subsidize personal alternate energy, ie solar panels on houses/businesses.
....
-Reward conservation, ie. give tax incentives for conservation: buying compact fluorescent lights, heat recovery, energy efficient heat/ac, etc.
....
-Upgrade electric grid to handle upcoming new load and distribution. This would cost tens of billions of dollars a year.
....
-Begin phase-out of gas powered cars.
....
Of course, much of this money is recirculated, so its not as simple (or bad) as just sucking it out of the economy.
....
The benefit after 30 years, would be vastly reduced pollution, vastly increased capacity, assured long term availability/renewability, and lower energy costs going forward.
bolding mine

And it's not just A123 I've invested in. I'm not sure how many years or decades ago I was given the choice of how my energy was supplied, but I chose wind.

Wind power surpasses hydro for the first time ever in Northwest region

BPA now has about 4,700 megawatts of wind capacity connected to its transmission system. If all the turbines are spinning full speed -- this typically wouldn't happen -- that's the equivalent of four or five good-size nuclear reactors. Theoretically, that's enough energy to serve about 3.6 million homes, though wind turbines in the region typically produce, on average, about a third of their nameplate capacity.
And where is the infrastructure?

wiki said:
Rolling Blackout

The emergency authority allowed Davis to order the California Energy Commission to streamline the application process for new power plants. During that time, California issued licenses to 38 new power plants, amounting to the addition of 14,365 megawatts of electricity production when completed.
Bonneville Power calls for first wind shutdown of the season

Bonneville Power Administration ordered the temporary shutdown of wind farms in its system for a few hours early Sunday morning and again early Monday morning, marking the first time this year that the controversial practice has been tapped.

Bonneville calls for wind "curtailment" when periods of low electricity demand coincides with periods of strong wind and high water, which put more power on the grid than the system needs.

In all 10,100 megawatt hours of wind energy was curtailed over the two-day
As I said before, this is just stupid. Not sure if anyone can do the math in their heads, but I believe 10.1 gigawatt hours would be valued in the range of a hundred million dollars. In just two days! And where have I heard that "in the range of a hundred million dollars" before? Oh that's right, the money we invested in A123. What a coincidence. Are threads started about the wind farms being shut down? Maybe I should have started one. Then I could have talked about the Antediluvian non-energy plans of my opponents.

pps. I also own stock in solar and super-capacitor companies. Let's hope I don't get sucked into threads about those two. :grumpy:

ppps. Ooops. I guess they were talking about the upgrade just two days ago.

Pacific DC Intertie Upgrade
Customer Forum 36
October 25, 2012
About time. I do not want to hear about us dumping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of energy while the lights are going out somewhere else, ever again.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,708
4,929
As I said before, this is just stupid.
I'm not sure you read it correctly. It appears to me to be saying that if the demand of the grid is too low and all of your power is coming from wind or hydro, you have to turn off either the wind power or the hydro power. Since both of these are fuel free, it doesn't matter which you turn off, but with hydro you have the added complexity of trying to avoid collapsing your dam.

That said, I suppose it also means our grid isn't integrated enough to allow the power to be shared with people further away. Or perhaps it is just an economic thing: there are times when an overabundance of power will cause the price to go negative, leading to the odd problem of having to pay people to take your electricity.

One thing that can combat this problem is changing energy usage patterns to flatten the load profile. Now that the price of electricity changes throughout the day, such technologies as ice and cold water storage are becoming more viable.
 

OmCheeto

Gold Member
2,054
2,402
I'm not sure you read it correctly. It appears to me to be saying that if the demand of the grid is too low and all of your power is coming from wind or hydro, you have to turn off either the wind power or the hydro power. Since both of these are fuel free, it doesn't matter which you turn off, but with hydro you have the added complexity of trying to avoid collapsing your dam.
Dams. There are 31 on the rivers, with a capacity of 22 gigawatts.(ref) And I doubt there is little chance of them collapsing.(knocks on skull) The flood of '96 was quite impressive.
That said, I suppose it also means our grid isn't integrated enough to allow the power to be shared with people further away.
I agree.
Or perhaps it is just an economic thing: there are times when an overabundance of power will cause the price to go negative, leading to the odd problem of having to pay people to take your electricity.
I like that idea. I'll turn on all my baseboard heaters!

One thing that can combat this problem is changing energy usage patterns to flatten the load profile. Now that the price of electricity changes throughout the day, such technologies as ice and cold water storage are becoming more viable.
And if everyone were to have plugin hybrids, powered by A123 batteries :wink:, a national grid of 2 terawatt hours of energy storage/generating capacity would in my opinion lessen this problem. This is 1/6th of our daily consumption of 12 terawatt hours per day.(ref)

(Om goes to town on spreadsheet)

Uh oh. 2 terawatt hours of lioh batteries has a current cost of a Trillion dollars. :bugeye:

hmmm.... It takes us ~3 years to ship that amount of money overseas for our petro products. hmmm....

Wait! What the hell is this guy doing in the picture?

Bush-feb07.jpg

President Bush and Dave Vieau,
CEO of A123 Systems, with a
Hymotion-converted Prius,
Friday, Feb. 23, 2007,
on the South Lawn of the White House.
(ref)

My brain just froze.
Bye.
 
12
9
"Paltry efficiency" and "outrageous prices" probably mean different things to you and I.

My definitions:

efficiency:

Chevy Volt: 94 mpg
Scion iQ: 37 mpg
Not as much as you might think.

outrageous prices:

price of imported petroleum products: $322 billion (annually)
price of A123: $129 million (once)
You do realize there is a substantial difference between private and public capital, right?

It goes without saying that there was something wrong with the business plan after a company goes bankrupt. And I plan on not falling into that trap once I get my business going. I, live and learn.
Your arguements on this thread indicate otherwise. Just out of curiousity, exactly what is your business going to do?

I googled: "Malthusian energy plan"
Only the LaRouche troupe and parrots use the phrase.
The phrase, for me anyways, makes no sense.
So not once did it ever occur to you that I came up with that phrase on my own? I've never even heard of this LaRouche guy or his "troupe" until you brought it up as a red herring. The phrase makes no sense to you because you refuse to understand what Malthusian principles stand for.

There's that "massive" again....
See my above response to "outrageous".
I consider money leaving the country to be a much greater tax, than money staying put and recirculating here. Perhaps like some, you only see the word "tax" as something solely related to some form called a 1040. I like to think of it more broadly, as in "taxing". Kind of like; "You are taxing my patience".

And as far as how many energy production/storage/efficiency options there are is a very good question.
We have solar thermal, solar PV, wind, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, kinetic, thermodynamic, biological, etc. etc.
I would like to government invest in them all, just like I did.
Did you know that if everyone of my financial standing had invested as much as I did in A123, they'd have a market cap of 240 billion dollars right now. And I've only invested $100 per month!

Wow. That would give them the 5th largest market cap in the world.
Most of those in that list are on government life support. I'll take solar PV. If you put solar PV on your home, you'll get a 30% federal tax credit plus another tax credit provided by the state government. Using California as an example, that would be another 30%. So basically more than half the cost is paid for by tax dollars. Here's a good idea of what solar PV REALLY costs without all that tax money. It will take a hundred years before that project even breaks even.

Looking more at the Volt and other electric vehicles, it turns out there is a $7,500 tax credit for that too. I've see nthe MSRP range from $32,000 to $38,000, so I'll pick a nice middle number, say $35,000. So basically we're looking at a 20% subsidy for that as well. I haven't looked too carefully into wind, but I'm betting I'll find similar percentages there too.

ps. Your rhetoric makes me laugh

"Massive ... government support ... truely collosal subsidies. ... paltry efficiency ... outrageous prices ... massive. .... flawed. .... not hard to see ... doomed to fail. .... at best a small niche ... inflated by tax dollars. ....Again, a small market. .... it's entire existence is politically engineered. .... government central planning .... large quantities of tax money .... fundemental inefficiencies. ... fact ...sustainability hype ... government support ... toe the line. ... ideology supporting the blatantly obvious political agenda ... hugely expensive ... massive amounts of tax dollars... a recipe for disaster. ... fanciful notions ... dangers of governments ... winners and losers. ... political reasons.... the Malthusian theory is alive and well....eugenics conference ...The Malthusians ....expensive and inefficient .... a political agenda..."

Those dreaded Malthusians..... Weren't they responsible for the deaths of all Trekkian red shirts?
If you actually bothered to learn the backgrounds of what you preach instead of being obnoxious you wouldn't lose nearly as much investment money.

Gads! How could I not know I was a Malthusian myself. Silly me.

Perhaps I should rephrase my question. What on earth does the somewhat logical idea of putting a limit on the planets population have to do with the somewhat logical idea of an energy plan that looks beyond extracted hydrocarbons?

ps. and I'm not the first person to propose such an energy plan.
When it comes to generating electricity we've had the technology for more than 50 years to generate abundant amounts of it in a reliable fashion. But no, the Malthusians decided it was evil, it was the devil, and so it had to be shunned. We also have a real alternative to oil in our vehicles in the form of methanol or even ethanol created from methanol. If every car was flex fuel as the Open Standards Fuel Act would mandate, it would give tens of millions of cars the opportunity to run M85, E85, or even gasoline. We would be off of foreign oil in less than ten years. But no, the Malthusians have their Annointed Saviors here too in the form of low performance and very expensive hybrids and EV's. As you can see, alternatives to oil for cars, and coal & natural gas for power plants do exist, but they are unwelcome because they don't fit the agenda of artificially inflating the costs of energy. This has nothing to do with protecting the environment or even getting off of hydrocarbons, but it has everything to do with constricting growth and crushing ambition.

As further evidence I submit some quotes from an article the LA Times ran in 1989, not long after the Ponns & Fleischmann "breakthrough", regarding the possibility of cheap and abundant carbon free energy. Disclaimer for people who might not read carefully: The article was run before it was determined to be hoax, so this should be considered a thought experiment.

And even if it were, given society's dismal record in managing technology, the prospect of cheap, inexhaustible power from fusion is "like giving a machine gun to an idiot child," Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich says.

Laments Washington-based author-activist Jeremy Rifkin, "It's the worst thing that could happen to our planet."

Inexhaustible power, he argues, only gives man an infinite ability to exhaust the planet's resources, to destroy its fragile balance and create unimaginable human and industrial waste.

The Power to Pollute

That fusion itself may be a clean energy source, especially in comparison with fossil fuels, is beside the point.

Not all pollution is caused by burning fuel; there are many other pollutants that fast-growing industrial societies throw into the atmosphere--compounds from rubber tires, fumes from drying paint, and hundreds of other byproducts of industrial processes. And clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.

A mere technological change in fuel sources also does nothing to change man's attitude toward nature--what UC Berkeley physicist John Holdren calls the "pave the planet and paint it green" mentality.

In addition, Holdren says, despite the claims made, there is no guarantee that fusion will necessarily be a clean process; in some circumstances it can produce deadly neutron radiation and poisonous tritium. Worst of all to some observers, its cheap inexhaustible energy would let the planet support many more people than its current population of 5.2 billion. And this, they say, would be a crowded Earth, without forests, wilderness, open space or the chance for solitude. What would the planet be like without "psychological space?" asks Richard Charter, a coastal lobbyist and environmentalist who notes that many of the aberrations and turmoil of inner cities can be blamed on "just plain crowding without hope."
Source

It's the worst thing that could happen to our planet? Does this sound like the words of someone who is really interested in getting off of hydrocarbons and onto something more abundant?

John Holdren, by the way, is Obama's science czar.

As I said before, this is just stupid. Not sure if anyone can do the math in their heads, but I believe 10.1 gigawatt hours would be valued in the range of a hundred million dollars. In just two days! And where have I heard that "in the range of a hundred million dollars" before? Oh that's right, the money we invested in A123. What a coincidence. Are threads started about the wind farms being shut down? Maybe I should have started one. Then I could have talked about the Antediluvian non-energy plans of my opponents.
These things are a total waste. Most of the time when they produce power it's when demand is low and hydro capacity is high. The only reason they appeared to produce more than the dam was because we had a big storm blow in, making is far more windy than it normally is. Typically they produce very little power and when they produce enough to be useful it's when there is no need for them. The only reason Bonneville uses it during those times is because they are required to by federal laws forcing utilities to use wind.

The environmentalists by the way have been trying to get rid of the dams on the Columbia for decades. They provide abundant, reliable, and cheap energy. Can't have that now can we?

pps. I also own stock in solar and super-capacitor companies. Let's hope I don't get sucked into threads about those two.
Unlike wind, these are not totally useless. They actually do have some niche uses and as the technology advances those niches will get bigger but those markets are being hugely inflated by tax dollars and central planning, not just here but all over the world. It's only a matter of time before those subsidies disappear as governments try to rebalance their budgets. When that happens those industries will implode, leaving investors like yourself holding the bag. Bottom line is, if you're smart you'll pull out before the bubble bursts and come back when the dust settles.

Dams. There are 31 on the rivers, with a capacity of 22 gigawatts.(ref) And I doubt there is little chance of them collapsing.(knocks on skull) The flood of '96 was quite impressive.
As I said, the environmentalists have been trying to get rid of them for quite a while.
 

mheslep

Gold Member
254
727
President Bush and Dave Vieau,
CEO of A123 Systems, with a
Hymotion-converted Prius,
Friday, Feb. 23, 2007,
on the South Lawn of the White House.
(ref)

My brain just froze.
Bye.
It is one thing for politicians to take glad handing pictures with business people and another to write them checks with taxpayer money. Obama/Pelosi gave A123 a $249 million grant via DoE, and had a tentative loan about to start for over a billion. Gov. Granholm in Michigan gave another $125 million in tax credits. How much did Bush give to A123?
 
61
0
It is one thing for politicians to take glad handing pictures with business people and another to write them checks with taxpayer money. Obama/Pelosi gave A123 a $249 million grant via DoE, and had a tentative loan about to start for over a billion. Gov. Granholm in Michigan gave another $125 million in tax credits. How much did Bush give to A123?
Didn't Bush also spend around two trillion dollars on an absolutely useless war in Iraq? We are talking peanuts here, bickering over a few hundred million dollars that were mostly spent here in the US and fueled our economy.

Tax credits are a boost for a start-up company (I work for one) but are generally not refundable. Thus, the local taxpayer does not feel the difference.
 
351
2
I'm not sure you read it correctly. It appears to me to be saying that if the demand of the grid is too low and all of your power is coming from wind or hydro, you have to turn off either the wind power or the hydro power. Since both of these are fuel free, it doesn't matter which you turn off, but with hydro you have the added complexity of trying to avoid collapsing your dam.

That said, I suppose it also means our grid isn't integrated enough to allow the power to be shared with people further away. Or perhaps it is just an economic thing: there are times when an overabundance of power will cause the price to go negative, leading to the odd problem of having to pay people to take your electricity.

One thing that can combat this problem is changing energy usage patterns to flatten the load profile. Now that the price of electricity changes throughout the day, such technologies as ice and cold water storage are becoming more viable.
More integrated grid means building more transmission lines which is next to impossible. It's expensive (http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4854.html) and politically challenging (http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericagies/2011/07/25/new-transmission-lines-coming-to-an-area-near-you/).

However, the US seems to be going on right track:
An old saw would have it that new transmission cannot be built in the United States. That preconception is outdated. Last October, the Obama administration announced it was expediting and accelerating the permitting and construction of seven new major tranmission lines criss-crossing twelve states, as Energy Central's TransmissionHub reported on Dec. 20, 2011.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/compeitive-electiricity-pricing-complicates-smart-gird-buildout
 
12
9
a blog? really?

and the rest? tldr

unsubscribe

Is this the best reply you have to all of that?


Believe it or not, I get it. I used to buy into all this nonsense too. Until I started to look into the fundamentals on my own. Then I realized how damaging and ultimately unhelpful these prescriptions really are, not just to the environment but to our civilization. This kind of intellectual bankruptcy doesn't do anyone any good, especially the tax payer.
 

mheslep

Gold Member
254
727
Tax credits are a boost for a start-up company (I work for one) but are generally not refundable. Thus, the local taxpayer does not feel the difference.
A tax credit is dollar for dollar reduction in revenue, which some other business or person then has to make up later, often through increased taxes. A123 received grants from the fed.
 
61
0
A tax credit is dollar for dollar reduction in revenue, which some other business or person then has to make up later, often through increased taxes. A123 received grants from the fed.
A123 received money from the fed, certainly. Why would local governments have to make up revenue lost due to tax breaks on new companies when there had been no income from such an entity prior to the tax break?

Say I open a pizza place on my street. I pay the electric bill, thrash pickup. Taxes on desolate offices have been minimal. The local government does not necessarily see a hike in its expenditures that would justify the dollar for dollar argument.
 

OmCheeto

Gold Member
2,054
2,402
/me resubscribes.

pats puppy on the head, and says; "Good dog".

/me re-unsubscribes

:wink:
-----------------------------
"means to an end" has some nasty connotations. But if the "means" is simply taking your first step in the morning with your left foot, rather than your right foot, then, it's pretty much meaningless.
 

mheslep

Gold Member
254
727
A123 received money from the fed, certainly. Why would local governments have to make up revenue lost due to tax breaks on new companies when there had been no income from such an entity prior to the tax break?
Either the firm made money and would have paid taxes or it did not. If the firm made no money then it received no tax credit. Either the tax credit had value or it did not.

Say I open a pizza place on my street. I pay the electric bill, thrash pickup. Taxes on desolate offices have been minimal. The local government does not necessarily see a hike in its expenditures that would justify the dollar for dollar argument.
These are not city property taxes but state business income taxes in the Michigan case - have to be for the term 'credit' to apply.
 
2
0
hmm missed that news apparently. Sad it went down, the products they made were actually quite good in comparison to other lifepo batteries.
 

Related Threads for: A123 Systems files for bankruptcy

Replies
27
Views
8K
  • Posted
2 3
Replies
65
Views
8K
  • Posted
Replies
14
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
3
Views
343
  • Posted
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
4K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top