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Comment Re:If it's thriving why does it need government mo (Score 1) 415

The numbers don't support your conjecture! The over capcity is not due to lack of demand, its do to crazy production capacity increases in China. The solar energy industry hasn't stopped growing. It may slow in the US (it hasn't yet!) due to cheap natural gas, but most of the world doesn't have that luxury (or our prices!). Furthermore, natural gas is the perfect companion to solar energy It's cleaner, cheaper and more efficient than other fossil fuels. And a huge installed natural gas base is perfect for a large solar grid: the gas does load following on solar and base load. Economical and clean! Everyone is happy. :) And natural gas infrastructure is the perfect segway into a syn-gas economy ... artificial natural gas from solar or biomass.

Comment Re:Do you think the Chinese are going to sell us.. (Score 1) 415

There are no direct subsidies. Only provincial tax and energy breaks that look identical to what all municipalities (including Ca, Az, Co, Ma) do to entice development. China Development Bank has given loan-guarantees and project financing to many players ... with terms that look terrible in comparison to what our Dept. of Energy offered First Solar, Solandra, etc. What no one wants to admit is that most of the financing for this Chinese push came from private markets in US and HK. AKA Capitalism, is a destructive bitch!

Comment Re:I don't think so. (Score 3, Insightful) 1128

believe me, there's one just as bad on the left

False equivalency, there absolutely is no comparison. The evidence is in the direction of the county, which has been shifting right ever since LBJ. The idiot of the right wing is a plurality or maybe even a majority of the party. A group that routinely denies the scientific method in favor of super natural explanations and are extremely well represented in government. I'd like to see any evidence that the radical (science denying ) left has similar influence in their party or representation in government. I'd be looking for anti-wifi, anti-vaccine, or anti-GMO to dominate the debate (on the scale of AGW, evolution) and have 50-200 member congressional delegation of self-avowed socialists calling for an end to capitalism. Instead I see a few fringe moderate-socialists, a large majority of capitalist/fiscally conservative social liberals, and republican-democrats. Here's BHO, "the radical leftist:" . Of course, I'm open to evidence that political compass is communist propaganda and in fact there is true "leftist" representation in government and the dramatic 40 yr shift toward the right wing is a hallucination.

a lot of conservatives are concerned that the scientific method is properly being followed.

I doubt there are "a lot" (whatever that means) of any non-technical group that could even articulate acceptable scientific procedure. I am open to evidence supporting your claim before I write it off as a self-selection bias among a small, technically minded libertarian minority.

Comment Re:If it's thriving why does it need government mo (Score 1) 415

If solar energy isn't thriving, what is? The solar industry has blown away expectations for several years running... Even the massive over capacity and German/Italian incentive cuts haven't slowed it down. In fact, we're in the midst of a shift from western-RPS based demand to BRIC/developing country demand. That ought to tell you something about the cost of solar energy. The annualized growth is ~30%-40%. The global solar industry is growing at 10-15X the US economy... The fastest growing industry of its size ($50b + ) on earth. The US was ~7% of the 28GW global installs last year, growing 109% from 2010. Any hiccup with fracking (e.g. regulations, LNG exports, etc) and solar takes the lead everywhere. Module + BOS costs are at grid parity. Installation costs still tip the scales, but they will die as the industry matures (really? We're paying electricians 400-600% the cost of the equipment to mount on residential roofs? absurd...I could very successfully argue at this point that these guys are just eating all the incentives, at least in the US) and large firms dominate installation/leasing or utility scale arrays dominate. IMO, there will be utility scale PV projects installed at $2/Wp by 2013, neglecting incentives. Calculate LCOE on that over 30 yr... The big firms are still not even completely vertically integrated yet, but they will be soon... from polysilicon to project.. From modules they can grab 1 cent of profit off each vertical and they gross $60 million per GW (which is what they are doing now, and basically breaking even or slightly losing money due to OPX and debt payments) or they can do the project and grab $280 million per GW at $ 3 installs or $180 million per GW at $2 installs at a margin of 7 - 9 %. Or heck, they pay just start installing plants themselves. Not to mention China Development Bank has something like 40 billion in project financing available, which few firms have used at all...

Comment Re:The feds are NOT killing solar power (Score 1) 415

Can you show me your evidence of dumping or "excessive subsidies"? I see net gross margins on Suntech, Trina, Yingli, Canadian solar, JA Solar, China Sun, Jinko Solar and the dozen other companies I follow for Q2,Q3, and Q4. Meanwhile I see older German, American, Chinese, and Taiwanese liquidating products as part of bankruptcy because none of the 'old firms' can compete with the new cost structures established by these firms... Isn't this what is suppose to happen?

Comment Re:Do you think the Chinese are going to sell us.. (Score 2) 415

According to documents filed with the SEC, the publicly traded Chinese firms I follow (~70% of production) have net gross margins for the entire period in question. Granted, they are still running at operating losses for a myriad of other reasons..So either these firms are fraudulent (a pretty serious allegation, far worse than dumping or this is all protectionist garbage) Yet, the majority of opinions on this forum are based on this easily falsifiable U.S. financial media reporting. The evidence of positive gross margins is publicly available via the SEC... Where is the critical thinking here people? Isn't the burden of proof on those who make the accusations? Instead, the firms behind these allegations remain anonymous and fail to provide any evidence. I'd also like to see evidence that Chinese subsides are larger than U.S. subsidies... The big public firm behind this, SolarWorld, is well connected politically and couldn't compete with China even with a 50% tariff ...

Submission + - Hoover Dams for Lilliput: Does Small Hydroelectric Power Have a Future? (

MatthewVD writes: "Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker, author of Before The Lights Go Out, writes that the era of giant hydroelectric projects like the Hoover Dam has passed. But the Department of Energy has identified 5,400 potential sites for small hydro projects of 30 MWs or less. The sites, in states as dry as Kansas, represent a total 18,000 MW of power — enough to increase by 50 percent America's hydro power. Even New York City's East River has pilot projects to produce power from underwater turbines. As we stare down global warming and peak oil, could small hydroelectric power be a key solution?"

Submission + - 3D may be answer to solar power inefficiencies (

An anonymous reader writes: A team of MIT researchers has come up with a new approach to solar energy hardware: building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells upward in three-dimensional configurations. The results from the structures they’ve tested show power output ranging from double to more than 20 times that of fixed flat panels with the same base area. The biggest boosts in power were seen in the situations where improvements are most needed: in locations far from the equator, in winter months and on cloudier days.
The Internet

Submission + - Thieves to steal "broadband batteries" ( 2

Barence writes: "British broadband customers routinely have their service disrupted because of thieves stealing the copper telephone cabling. Now a new potential threat has emerged: battery theft. The former chief technologist of BT has claimed that the company's fibre broadband cabinets will become a target for battery thieves.

"Fibre to the cabinet is one of the biggest mistakes humanity has made," Dr Cochrane told the Lords' Select Committee on Superfast Broadband. "It ties a knot in the cable in terms of bandwidth and imposes huge unreliability risks.

"Once the local bandits have recognised that there is a car battery in the bottom, you can bet your bottom dollar that a crowbar will be out and the battery will keep disappearing.""

Submission + - UK man jailed for "offensive tweets" (

Motor writes: "A UK judge has jailed a man for 56 days after he posted offensive comments on twitter about a footballer who had a heart attack during a game. He's also been thrown out of his university degree course weeks from graduating. His comments may have been offensive... but do they really justify a prison sentence and ruining his life?"

Submission + - Particle-wave duality demonstrated with largest molecules yet ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: From an article at "One of the deepest mysteries in quantum physics is the wave-particle duality: every quantum object has properties of both a wave and a particle. Nowhere is this effect more beautifully demonstrated than in the double-slit experiment: streams of particles (photons, electrons, whatever) are directed at a barrier with two narrow openings. [...] Now researchers have successfully performed a quantum interference experiment with much larger and more massive molecules than ever before. Thomas Juffmann et al. fired molecules composed of over 100 atoms at a barrier with openings designed to minimize molecular interactions, and observed the build-up of an interference pattern."

Submission + - James Cameron's Solo Dive to Deepest Spot on Earth (pics) (

An anonymous reader writes: ames Cameron, director of epic films like Avatar, Titanic, The Terminator 1 and 2 and Aliens, happens to have a bit of a love affair with the ocean. So much so that he decided to make a solo dive to plume its deepest depths.

Driving his own custom submarine called the ‘DEEPSEA CHALLENGER’, Cameron descended 35,756 feet, or 6.77 miles, to the deepest discovered spot on the bottom of the ocean, known as the ‘Challenger Deep.” His dive was part of ‘DEEPSEA CHALLENGE’ (they love their capitals in oceanography, apparently), an ocean exploration initiative by National Geographic, Rolex and Cameron. His dive makes him the first person to ever make the dive solo and only the second to ever make a manned dive.

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