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News Reducing subsidies for renewable energy

  1. Jan 19, 2014 #1

    Astronuc

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    Germany eyes swift cuts in renewable energy subsidies
    http://news.yahoo.com/germany-eyes-swift-cuts-renewable-energy-subsidies-164549194.html [Broken]

    See also - https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=607814

    In the US, some wind producers use 'negative' pricing to push their power onto the grid. They receive subsidies from the US government, but it also costs the big utilities, who must reduce generation to accommodate the excess capacity.


    Meanwhile, the German Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that the forced closure of RWE's Biblis nuclear power plant after the Fukushima accident was unlawful! This action may pave the way to restart the nuclear plants in Germany.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2014 #2
    It's actually paving the way to more coal plants in Germany. They're even potentially going to level old medieval towns to mine lignite, which apparently is the dirtiest form of coal. On the bright side though,

    Also on the bright side, Deutsche Bank reported recently that something like 2/3 of the world could economically be powered by solar with today's technology & no subsidies at all:

    http://www.pv-tech.org/news/deutsche_bank_hails_second_solar_gold_rush
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  4. Jan 19, 2014 #3

    mheslep

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    Where does Deutsche Bank claim this? There's nothing in that reference suggesting this.
     
  5. Jan 19, 2014 #4

    mheslep

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    The ~2 cent/kWh wind subsidy in the US was recently allowed to expire at the end of 2013, meaning new wind facilities coming online afterwards will not receive the benefit. Wind farms completed prior have at most a ten year window of continuing subsidy.
    https://www.awea.org/Advocacy/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=797
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davelevitan/2013/01/02/wind-power-tax-credit-survives-fiscal-cliff-deal/
     
  6. Jan 19, 2014 #5
    I couldn't find the actual story online but this link has more details. They actually say 3/4 of the world, not 2/3:
    http://tagteam.harvard.edu/hub_feeds/2160/feed_items/263564

    Lux also says that solar will be cost-competitive with natural gas by 2025 in most of the world, also with no subsidies:
    http://www.luxresearchinc.com/news-and-events/press-releases/211.html
     
  7. Jan 20, 2014 #6

    mheslep

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    "... three-quarters of the world’s solar market will be “sustainable” " is an entirely different thing from providing a large fraction of global energy consumption from solar.
     
  8. Jan 20, 2014 #7
    Alaska has 5000 gigatons of coal enough to run the US and China for 200 years. With Germany replacing nuclear with coal this may be the future.
     
  9. Jan 20, 2014 #8
    I don't know how I misread that. Still, that's saying something.
     
  10. Jan 20, 2014 #9

    Office_Shredder

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    I wonder how well that will stand up to growing Asian economies. Coal is economically competitive with solar even though the primary cost driver for coal is mining coal in the US, and the primary cost driver for solar is manufacturing panels in China. When Chinese wages go up is this going to cause problems for solar power?
     
  11. Jan 20, 2014 #10
    This doesn't quite answer that question but a study done by MIT & the National Renewable Energy Lab found that

    http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/sol...ll-price-drop-not-due-to-underpaid-labor.html

    A CEO of an American manufacturer wants to do the same thing in Silicon Valley. Whether it actually works out in the end I guess time will tell:
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Todays-Solar-Manufacturing-Paradox-Profitless-Prosperity
     
  12. Jan 20, 2014 #11

    mfb

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    A very hot future...
    And stormy, but hey that could be good for wind energy :yuck:.

    Not so surprising. Just as direct subsidies, Germany invests several billions per year in photovoltaics (2011: 8 billion €), and that number is still increasing. Even if Germany would suddenly cut all subsidies for additional photovoltaics, this would still give more than 100 billions additional subsidies within the next 20 years. With a more realistic development, this number could easily grow by a factor of two.
    And that is just the money the owners of photovoltaic installations get directly. There are many more ways how money is put into that technology. Cheaper credits, priority at the energy market and so on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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