Excellent post Rob. In the southeast, we are seeing more and more installations in which alternative energy is being produced. Several solar installations in the immediate Chattanooga tri-state area are:
1.) VW facility in Chattanooga. (This is a "solar farm" producing energy fed into the facility to reduce purchased electrical power.)
2.) Wilson Air Center--Wilson is also using solar panels to lessen the use of purchased electrical power.
3.) Standard-Coosa-Thatcher--Solar also.
All of these and several others further west of Chattanooga, are with TVA power running about $0.98 per Kw-hr. The average in the United States is about $0.12 per Kw-hr. In each case government incentatives are being taken advantage of.
Cliff--I could not agree with you more. Honda needs to be commended for taking this approach. My oldest son works with renewable credits and this field is truly a moving target. The rules and regulations are constantly in a state of flux. The Western Alliance is trying hard but definitely not there yet relative to stability. To achieve 10% as Honda has done is very significant. I will also have to say, this is one area where our Federal Government is making a difference.
Well, yeah, but car sales are just like electricity consumption in that you can only move as many cars (or watts) as what is demanded. You can't push EVs (or electrons) onto people; they have to pull them. And Honda is no dummy - they will produce what their customers demand. That's how they stay in business. When their customers demand a flood of EVs, they will produce them by the thousands.
OTOH, i could wish that all these car companies that are producing EVs would roll them out to other states besides the coasts. I'm thinking they could sell in Iowa too!
OK, maybe a Bronze Star. But they fail when it comes to moving in any needed direction with a measly 40 FIT EVs per month. Plug-in EVs and wind are two technologies that are already there and need to be agressively embraced. When a car company fails to do so it becomes part of the problem.
I give Honda a lot of credit in that they actually BUILT turbines in order to claim the use of renewables. Too many companies just buy RE credits from resources that are already built - and add not one Watt to our total RE complement. Gold Star for Honda.
Yes, that is quite the irony (i admit, i hadn't caught that at first...). But the reality is that we need ICE vehicles with complex, costly, and heavy transmissions ... for now. We really don't have anything today that really can replace it - certainly not in the volumes and breadth of use cases that ICE vehicles occupy! The trend is moving in the right direction and the science and engineering are being worked at a healthy clip, but it's just not there yet. Yeah, we need those transmissions - for now. It's not a waste, it's reality.
That is true, in the aggregate, for the most part, wind and solar won't be zero output. The first link specifically was considering California and their solar profile looks a lot different than the profiles in other parts of the country.
People are looking closely at the stability issue. As long as there is sufficient base load with rotating machines (or grid storage batteries for inverters), that generally buys enough time to fire up gas peaking units when there is a sudden drop in wind or insolation.
The utility industry is generally very risk averse, and with good reason, so I suspect that this issue will be studied carefully and small scale installations will be used to evaluate the effects on the grid.
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