The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project At California’s Ivanpah Plant

Cooked Bird

“cooked bird” Image Credit: BrightSource Energy

It’s not just Wind Turbines that kill wildlife, from the Wall Street Journal:

“A giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of growing evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds.”

“The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. Nearly 350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators.”

“The owners of the project— NRG Energy Inc., NRG, Google Inc. GOOG and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the “tower power” solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.”

“Ivanpah is among the biggest in a spate of power-plant-sized solar projects that have begun operating in the past two years, spurred in part by a hefty investment tax credit that expires at the end of 2016. Most of them are in California, where state law requires utilities to use renewable sources for a third of the electricity they sell by 2020.”

“Utility-scale solar plants have come under fire for their costs–Ivanpah costs about four times as much as a conventional natural gas-fired plant but will produce far less electricity—and also for the amount of land they require.

That makes for expensive power. Experts have estimated that electricity from giant solar projects will cost at least twice as much as electricity from conventional sources. But neither the utilities that have contracted to buy the power nor state regulators have disclosed what the price will be, only that it will be passed on to electricity customers.”

“The BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The company, which is based in Oakland, Calif., reported finding dozens of dead birds at the Ivanpah plant over the past several months, while workers were testing the plant before it started operating in December. Some of the dead birds appeared to have singed or burned feathers, according to federal biologists and documents filed with the state Energy Commission.”

“Regulators said they anticipated that some birds would be killed once the Ivanpah plant started operating, but that they didn’t expect so many to die during the plant’s construction and testing. The dead birds included a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows. State and federal regulators are overseeing a two-year study of the facility’s effects on birds.”

“The agency also is investigating the deaths of birds, possibly from colliding with structures, found at two other, unrelated solar farms. One of those projects relies on solar panels and the other one uses mirrored troughs. Biologists think some birds may have mistaken the vast shimmering solar arrays at all three installations for a lake and become trapped on the ground after landing.”

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241 Responses to The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project At California’s Ivanpah Plant

  1. James at 48 says:

    Steam can be very carbon neutral and much more benign to wildlife. I am referring to burning biomass.

  2. Fabi says:

    Something I never see in the AGW’s calculus for solar farms: land acquisition costs.

  3. phodges says:

    They are building something like that close to us

    http://www.google.com/search?num=100&newwindow=1&q=tonopah+solar+pelosi&oq=tonopah+solar+pelosi

    Pelosi in on the the scam

  4. dccowboy says:

    Umm, duh! It has been a well known fact since the 60’s that guidance control radars on Naval Ships will fry sea birds at distances in excess of 100 meters, why anyone would be surprised at the result of the above is beyond me.

  5. John says:

    I live in Las Vegas and have drove past Ivanpah many times. It is impressive to see. But we already knew it’s a costly waste of money to run. Going Green is a big waste of green backs. So then, where are the bird watching groups and other animal groups? Ivanpah cooks the birds, wind turbines splatter them. Green – great idea huh?

  6. wws says:

    Watch how quickly the so-called “environmentalists” demonstrate that they really couldn’t care less about dead wildlife, unless the deaths can be used to advance their political goals.

    What a magnificent irony – in terms of wildlife preservation, Oil and Gas development is actually the most environmentally friendly source of large scale energy production available!

    (even Hydro requires the sacrifice of thousands of acres of productive valley and river bottoms, see Hetch Hetchy)

    Okay, I’ll tip my hat to the nuclear proponents – that doesn’t actually hurt any real wildlife, either.

  7. It produces how much electrickery at night?
    I’d love for the people who advocate ‘Green Energy’ to have to prove that it works by living with it as a sole source for twelve months.
    John

  8. Jim says:

    This is beyond obscene. Solar is hugely inefficient and only operates when the sun is shining. Because no effective battery system can store the energy for when its needed during the night means that at best these huge bird scorching monstrosities only operate in daylight hours and then far more inefficiently than gas or coal. We consumers are paying a high price for the holier than thou worshipers of the global warming religion!

  9. Latitude says:

    “State and federal regulators are overseeing a two-year study of the facility’s effects on birds.”

    …rotfl

  10. paulfromwloh says:

    Reblogged this on Lake Erie Conservative and commented:
    … fried fowl , yummy !…

  11. Col Mosby says:

    One thought about solar panel farms is the fact that they are heat absorbers/sinks. It would be interesting to observe the temps 200 feet above the solar farms compared to the surrounding real estate. Are the farms themselves creating more warming than their emissions are supposed to reduce?
    I’ve seen various claims about the acreage they require (solar panel farms, that is) – some studies have no doubt improperly used the the nameplate capacity as the generation capacity (which is roughly four times less than the nameplate capacity). I calculated 80,000 acres of solar panels required to match the gross output of a modern nuclear reactor.
    I thought all of the solar thermal farms, such as this one, had been abandoned due to costs.

  12. tteclod says:

    I heard a portion of an interview on NPR this afternoon where an environmental advocate hemmed-and-hawed around a proposed rewriting of wildlife protection rules so California could get more water for its growing population. Madness.

  13. M. Nichopolis says:

    Just went to the BrightSource website, and submitted a comment recommending they do something cheap and easy, like put a ring of scarecrows around the 300,000 mirror power plant, or if they want to go all 21st century, install speakers to emit bangs / ultra-sonic pops to drive the birds away. (If keyed off the cameras / computers, it could be an almost environmentally friendly way to keep birds away from the plant / towers).

    Not that I am pro-solar… The thing is a gigantic waste of both money, and the environment. Bah.

    Anyways, 100 to 1 big solar pharma doesn’t do anything — other other than open a KFC outside the Ivanpah plant.

  14. Fabi: Land cost, way out where it’s cheap & hot. Then the transmission cost.

  15. glenncz says:

    OK. I’m a business man and I want to build a solar plant and sell the energy.
    It’s 377MW at maximum output like the one above.
    It’ll work on average 20% of the time giving me an ave output of 75.4MW or 75,400 kws = Power
    Energy = It’ll produce 75,400 times 365 days times 24 hrs = 660,000,000 kwHrs/yrs
    It’ll cost me 2.2 billion like above, so I”ll get a business loan at 6% for 30 years.
    My yearly payment will be $158,000,000.
    My cost to produce this electricity will be $158,000,000/660,000,00 kwhrs or
    $.24 or 24cents per kwHr.
    Since electricity can be bought wholesale for less than 5 cents per kwHr, I think I’ll get me a partner, the Federal Gov’t. Lucky for me, I can force people to buy my product, and not only force, them, they’ll feel they got a “bargain” and they will feel “good” about it too.
    Anyone want to buy some FREE electricity?

  16. Jim Steele says:

    Good conservation biology is going backward.In order to address CO2 fear-mongering and speculated wildlife devastation, tax dollar are being spent on projects that visibly are killing bats and birds. Its insane!

  17. Chad Wozniak says:

    Just another demonstration of how so-called “renewable” energy is infinitely dirtier than fossil fuels.

    The EPA is giving bird choppers a free pass on penalties for violating the Endangered Species Act. It’s a felony if you accidentally kill an eagle, but Duke Energy – a prime crony capitalist buddy of the Administration – got a pass on something like 84 dead eagles. The EPA is an accessory to a whole bunch of felonies here, methinks. And now we can figure they’ll give a free pass to bird fryers (and to birds killed by diving into solar panels thinking they’re water)

    @fabi – No, they don’t include land, they don’t include the cost of fossil-fuel-powered spinning reserve and inefficient fast start fossil generation needed to protect the grid when the wind stops blowing or clouds cover the sun (resulting in up to 15 percent more fossil fuel burned to produce the same output of electricity), they don’t include the cost of transmission lines and substations, the cost of all the toxic chemicals needed to operate the installations, and the cleanup thereof.

    By my calculations the real cost of either solar or wind, fully absorbed according to generally accepted cost accounting principles, is on the order of $2 per kWh.

  18. philincalifornia says:

    Can’t these people get a unified front ? Are we saving birds and flooding humans, or killing our birds so our children’s children don’t have to see swaths of modeled dead Adelie penguin chicks ? Come on, let’s see some leadership here.

  19. Berényi Péter says:

    It would be a good idea to focus large arrays of solar mirrors to tall wind turbine towers and melt them to the ground. A double pronged attack is always more robust, than relying on a single solution. What is more, this way we could get rid of them in a carbon neutral way. This project only needs taxpayers’ money, of which there is plenty and savings on electricity bills would outweigh it anyway.

  20. dp says:

    They produce zero energy at night necessitating they be backed up with a 24/7 generating system that can handle the entire nighttime load. That won’t be wind power.

    What a foolish state.

  21. pat says:

    12 Feb: UK Dailly Mail: Daniel Martin: So why wasn’t Thames dredged? In case a rare mollusc was disturbed – despite the region being described as one of the most ‘undefended flood plains in England’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2558087/So-wasnt-Thames-dredged-In-case-rare-mollusc-disturbed-despite-region-described-one-undefended-flood-plains-England.html

    9 Feb: UK Daily Mail: David Rose: Agency for flooding that puts greater water parsnips and voles before local people
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2554940/Agency-flooding-puts-greater-water-parsnips-voles-local-people.html

    CAGW causes…..unintended consequences.

  22. Col Mosby says:

    Scandalously, the Audobon Society, never seems to complain when wind turbines slice and dice
    our feathered friends (and possibly making our Whooping Cranes extinct).

  23. John Morgensen says:

    I have flown past the Ivanpah facility at 6,500 ft. several times since December and can attest that it is blinding to a small plane on the opposite side of the valley. It is not surprising that it would fry birds that got closer.

  24. agimarc says:

    Re: pat at 13 Feb 1635: “CAGW causes…..unintended consequences.”

    Cynical rhetorical question: What makes you think the consequences are unintended? (/sarc)

    Cheers -

  25. Tim Obrien says:

    $2.2 billion to power 140,000 homes. And how long will it last in that climate and what nightmares of maintenance? And if you think the birds are bad, wait until see private pilot accidentally goes overhead…

  26. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Still need sun. Where I live sun does not shine 24/7. Environmentalist don’t mind a few birds going down. They have new agenda now!

  27. SIG INT Ex says:

    Reminds me of the game, Fallout – New Vegas. Should make a nice target for someone’s ICBM.

  28. Berényi Péter says:

    “The owners of the project— NRG Energy Inc., NRG, Google Inc. GOOG and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the “tower power” solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.”

    I wonder how many homes are there that need illumination at noon. On the other hand, they may be able to figure out how to focus dark light at night to boilers, especially if Google is involved in the project, because nothing is impossible for them.

  29. glenncz says:

    My Forbes 500 buddy has a Marcellus Shale gas well (Pa)
    It produces 5980 thousand cu ft/day
    http://netrightdaily.com/2014/02/infographic-north-america-sits-enormous-natural-gas-reserves/
    that’s 1.4 million KwHrs/day or 1400 MW hrs per day
    http://www.kylesconverter.com/torque/kilowatt–hours-to-cubic-feet-of-natural-gas
    Instead of all that, I’m going to get me a partner, guess who? Uncle Sam will go for that!
    and I’m going to build me some wind turbines!
    The 1.5MW wind turbines maybe??? will work 33% of the time, and give me an output of
    1.5MW x .33 X 24hrs = 24 MWhrs
    So, instead of going through all that trouble of dealing with the environmentalists, I’m going to put up 117 wind turbines. Of course, I’ll to sneak around and dig a gas well and have a turbine somewhere for the 66% of the time when my turbines aren’t working.
    Oh, it’s such a good feeling to be a righteous man!

  30. SIG INT Ex says:

    Yep. It’s locatable in Google Maps: Dang close to Nipton and Primm just like in the game (Fallout – New Vegas). Guess the high-priced electricity will power the water pumps at the Primm Valley Golf Course! :-D

  31. JBirks says:

    What a coincidence that this massive project should be located in the home state of the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, the same guy who single-handedly shot down the Yucca Mountain storage facility for spent nuclear fuel rods. Conflict of interest? Nah…

  32. Berényi Péter says:

    I am sure this solar array is not only cooking birds, but also frying a great quantity of insects. If so, dead bodies need to be collected, be ground to powder and sold as environment friendly health food. I would be happy to cash royalties.

  33. RACookPE1978 says:

    More info: All from Reuters News

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/13/solar-ivanpah-idUSL2N0LI1D420140213

    Sprawling across 3,500 acres (1,400 hectares) in the Mojave desert near the California-Nevada border, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal power plant has more than 300,000 mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers housed in the top of three towers, each of which is 150 feet (45 meters) taller than the Statue of Liberty.

    The sun heats water inside the towers, creating steam that moves turbines and produces enough emissions-free electricity to power 140,000 homes, or about 392-megawatts.

    Though Ivanpah is an engineering marvel, experts doubt more plants like it will be built in California. Other solar technologies are now far cheaper than solar thermal, federal guarantees for renewable energy projects have dried up, and natural gas-fired plants are much cheaper to build.

    From a distance, the mirrors – known as heliostats – look like a pristine lake rising from the desert. Ivanpah, about four times larger than New York City’s Central Park, can even be seen from the International Space Station.

    The Ivanpah plant was partially backed by a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, the same controversial program that supported failed solar panel maker Solyndra.

    The opening of the Ivanpah plant marks a big step in federal and state renewable energy efforts, but government funds for such projects under President Barack Obama have been largely tapped out.

    That means the private sector must fill the gap at a time when building a natural-gas fired power plant costs about $1,000 per megawatt, a fraction of the $5,500 per megawatt that Ivanpah cost.

    “Our job was to kickstart the demonstration of these different technologies,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview high up on one of the plant’s three towers.

    FAST-CHANGING MARKET

    The solar market has changed dramatically since Ivanpah was approved by California regulators in 2010.

    Traditional solar panels, based on photovoltaic technology that uses the sun’s light to generate electricity, have undergone a massive drop in price in the last few years, leaving solar thermal far costlier.

    Ivanpah developer BrightSource Energy Inc has failed to secure a permit for any other solar thermal projects in California in part due to environmental concerns, including fears that the intense heat and energy around its plants would harm or kill desert birds.

    Ivanpah is jointly owned by privately-held BrightSource, power plant owner NRG Energy Inc and Google Inc .

    Aside from Ivanpah, NRG has invested in two other massive, government-backed solar power plants in the U.S. West, but said smaller photovoltaic (PV) solar panel installations are the future of the industry as it shifts toward distributed generation on rooftops and away from large solar farms.

    “There’s no doubt that in terms of price competitiveness solar photovoltaic is cheaper,” NRG Chief Executive David Crane. “What really gets me excited in the morning is that there are 50 million American buildings that should have solar PV on them.”

    Solar thermal projects like Ivanpah are more likely to crop up overseas in places like India, where land and sun are plentiful and cheap natural gas is not abundant as it is in the United States, said Andy Gillespie, project manager for Bechtel, the engineering and construction contractor for Ivanpah.

    Late last year, Oakland-based BrightSource said it would focus increasingly on markets outside the United States and in using its technology for industrial applications like enhanced oil recovery, desalination and augmenting existing fossil fuel power plants. The market for solar thermal power will reach 30 gigawatts globally by 2020, up from 2.5 GW at the end of 2012, BrightSource said at the time.

    “We will have failed as a company if the last project we build is Ivanpah,” BrightSource CEO David Ramm said at the plant’s opening.

    BrightSource is more than 20 percent owned by French power equipment maker Alstom SA. Other investors include venture capital firms VantagePoint Capital Partners and DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs Inc GS.N, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures.

    So, the same department that funded the losses at Solyndra, from the same people, all using evil-oil money. All knowing already they cannot make money from it – even before it turns on.

    And, 3, 500 acres of glass over the desert – turning it barren and sterile below .. at 5x the price per Magewatt to build for 1/4 of the day able to get power out. (Yes, they could store the solar energy (somehow) and let it cool down as it generated “some” power overnight then heated again up in the morning. But THAT just means that 3/4 of each afternoon’s “potential” power gets wasted going to storage + losses + reheat losses + power gen losses. So the maximum afternoon output goes down by 3/4.

  34. RoHa says:

    Mmmmm … scorched birds.

  35. Dirk Pitt says:

    I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to find out what is the installed capacity (in MW) of this plant alone. I would like to compare the cost of a MW to nuclear, coal, nat-gas, or hydro. $2.2B seems extremely steep. For what output?
    Anyone having this information?

  36. Fabi says:

    GogogoStopSTOP says:
    February 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I think there is some land available that is inexpensive, or even ‘free’ on Federal lands; however, those won’t suffice for very long should they try this farce on a large scale. But, yes, transmission infrastructure will be a significant new cost and yet another source of inefficiency.

  37. philjourdan says:

    Alarmists like theirs extra crispy.

  38. Dirk Pitt says:

    Being an engineer myself, the first thing that would come to my mind when designing something like this is how long these mirrors would last exposed to sand storms, before being sand blasted to next to no reflectiveness. This plant is in a desert, isn’t it?

  39. Was looking at the site on Google Earth:
    35°33’27.69″ N 115°28’00.29″ W
    Copy and paste in Google Earth search to see the location. Boy, that’s a lot of mirrors!!!
    Don’t they have to move all the mirrors as the sun moves across the sky to keep sunlight focused on the top of the tower?
    Maybe it creates just enough electricity to move all the mirrors.

  40. Tom J says:

    Oh, am I gonna’ have fun with this. In fact, it’s gonna’ be so much fun I don’t know where to begin.

    ‘“The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land … includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. …350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight … creating steam that drives power generators.”

    “The owners of the project … call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.”’

    Now, let us start by asking for their interpretation of what it is to “light up” a home? Simple, you say? Probably not with these people because on so many occasions they conjure a magical meaning for a word, but then, wham, when we least expect it they become word meaning literalists. When they say, “light up a home” are they also including air conditioning that home, running a dehumidifier, refrigerator, dishwasher, electric oven (if so equipped), & flat screen. Or, does it (and don’t be surprised) it only mean literally turning on nothing other than a couple compact fluorescents?

    Now, for the fun part. In the US each home is considered to be occupied by 2.58 human beings. (And yes, there is such a thing as a 0.58 human being: I turn into one after 4 martinis.) So this major feat (or, maybe ‘feet’ is more accurate) of engineering which can “light” (I believe we just discussed that) 140,000 homes can therefore provide this service to 361,200 people. Sounds impressive, right? But, just how many square miles do 361,200 people occupy … in homes? I’m sort of assuming they’re not considering a 10 story, 500 unit urban housing project as a home (but who knows). So, let us use a more traditional definition. One of the most, if not the most, densely populated suburbs of Chicago is Oak Park; famed for having been the residence of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the location of the Unitarian Church he designed. Anyway, Oak Park, bordering Chicago, with city characteristics of its own, has a mix of tightly packed single family bungalows, spacious single family homes, two flats, and a proliferation of old and new apartments and condos. In other words, it’s fairly dense with a population of 15,443 people per square mile. The overall population of Oak Park is scrupulously maintained so as not to fall below 50,000 (something about qualifying for matching funds). Oak Park encompasses about 3 1/4 square miles. Thus, this major feet of engineering, this engineering marvel, this stepping stone, this glimpse into the future can supply the electrical needs of about 7 Oak Parks occupying about 22 3/4 square miles while only occupying a mere 5 square miles itself. Maybe we can raze 1 1/2 of those 7 Oak Parks so that we can power (or, maybe, just light) the remaining 5 1/2.

  41. Fabi says:

    Exactly, Tom J. Now, where are they going to install that solar farm for Manhattan? There’s cheap land around there, right? Maybe Central Park? Why is the acronym NIMBY flowing back into my memory all of a sudden?

  42. MattS says:

    James at 48 says:
    February 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Steam can be very carbon neutral and much more benign to wildlife. I am referring to burning biomass.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Apparently this solar farm is burning biomass. :)

  43. MattS says:

    First it was windmills, now solar plants. Why do environmentalists hate birds so much?

  44. RACookPE1978 says:

    This plant is 392 MegWatt, according to Reuters above. “That means the private sector must fill the gap at a time when building a natural-gas fired power plant costs about $1,000 per megawatt, a fraction of the $5,500 per megawatt that Ivanpah cost.”

    A single modern large natural gas fired single-stage gas turbine creates a little over 375 MegWatt, and its secondary steam generator from the waste heat creates an additional 225 to 275 for “free” energy otherwise lost up the exhaust pipe on older single stage units.

    So, you buy get a single CT combined cycle for 24-hour/365 day a year 570+ Meg capacity of generator for under 1.000 billion … and release free fertilizer to the feed the world. Or you can spend 5.5 x the money to get 3/4 the capacity running only 1/4 the output time.

    Guess what the democrats chose?

  45. Chris Riley says:

    What The United States most urgently needs is a way to “fix stupid”, something that heretofore has been deemed to be entirely unfixable. Perhaps a Manhattan-Style project is appropriate here.

  46. MattS says:

    Chris Riley,

    “Here’s your sign.”

  47. cnxtim says:

    “BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the “tower power” solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.”

    Personally, I don’t think too many homes need much lighting between 09:00 and 14:00 every day.

  48. Physics Major says:

    There is no need for a study, just administer the law which already provides fines for killing protected species. I believe that killing a falcon will cost you $5000 and maybe even more if you persist in killing more falcons. There is nothing about this facility that should exempt it from the law.

  49. kylezachary says:

    Is anyone going to stop Obama and his war on birds?

  50. n.n says:

    This may actually be a viable alternative to photoelectric technology. It also offers the additional feature that environmental disruption is localized, thereby forcing immediate scrutiny of its impact. No more shifting the side-effects of “green” technology from recovery to reclamation, which has caused a distorted perspective of its value. We may yet have a rational review of each technology on its merits. There is no energy utopia and we should avoid forcing a misaligned development based on the false promise that it exists.

  51. A. Scott says:

    glenncz … California has a strong solar mandate, and tiered peak pricing plan for electricity. They charge customers dramatically more for power during peak load periods – even above 30 cents per kWh if I recall from memory.

    Regardless the utilities will buy this power at inflated rates to meet their renewables requirements,

    This massive boondoggle at Ivanpah – covering 3500 acres – will power just 140,000 homes – appx 20-25% of the time – only when the sun shines. For comparison, the single XCEL Sherco plant in MN powers 2 million homes with 90+% up time.

    The solar from Ivanpah will very likely INCREASE emissions, as the backup generation, providing power the 75%+ of the time solar is not available, likely comes mostly from less efficient fossil fueled peaking load plants, instead of more efficient base load generators.

    Germany found emissions have INCREASED appx 2.5% annually, as they have added solar power … and their electricity costs have skyrocketed to the point their industry is approaching being non-competitive..

    Solar is not the solution. Germany, Spain, the EU and even the solar people in Calif are backing away from or even abandoning solar

  52. Arno Arrak says:

    Just shows you that these so-called “environmentalists” are nothing of the sort. They are first rate hypocrites who put their irrational hatred carbon ahead of every decent human feeling for the environment, not to mention civilization.

  53. megawhut? says:

    we can point out all the flaws in every aspect of global warming theory/models as well as green energy all day long. it won’t matter at all to the faithful. logic may be part of their vocabulary but certainly not part of their thought process. dead birds ok for them long as its not a chemical killing them. ripping people off with outrageous energy prices ok as long as its not bush – cheney and their oil buddies getting rich. hydro good till downstream silts in then dam must be removed . nuclear was horrible 30 years ago – now ok maybe? build one and see how long it takes for it to be horrible again. cost for any project is not a problem as well as big government pays with your money. lots of people have no real desire for the truth if it does not fit their view and they get their view from cbs or nbc or cnn or the weather channel. see it everywhere – they don’t care about actual observations. crazy

  54. ntesdorf says:

    Windmill generators chop up birds and bats, the concentrating solar boiler fries them alive but the EPA is quite happy to give these inefficient industries a free pass on penalties and allow tem to violate the Endangered Species Act. The Greenies would be enraged and demonstrating if it was coal fire or nuclear power stations doing this. But, Hey, why should the Greenies care about birds and bats and the environment, if it all advances their Marxist philosophy.

  55. Gunga Din says:

    I guess it comes done which they prefer, eating boiled lobster or cooked crow.

  56. polski says:

    I would think workers there could just toss their lunches into the air and it would come down cooked ready to eat..bag of popcorn would be fun. Wonder what kind of worker safety issues there would be

  57. SKC says:

    Just read about the project in the San Jose Mercury News, and the developers built this $2.2 billion project on a dry lake bed. What? Living in Nevada, I’ve seen water in these “dry” lake beds. Are you kidding me? One good pineapple or summer thunderstorm over the area will cause flooding. Amazing.

  58. J.P. says:

    I saw this comment at the WSJ site:

    “I have driven past the complex several times. Visually it looking pretty cool; however, at night it is lit up with a bunch of electric lights & I just wonder if it is sucking electricity from the grid, or if they run off batteries charged by the complex during the day.”

    It made me wonder if they are buying power at market rates to operate lights that generate electricity that can be sold at their contract rates? Something similar was happening in Spain a few years ago I think.

  59. Mike Smith says:

    In short, green energy is an environmental disaster as well as an economic disaster.

    Still, I’m sure Obama can and will do worse.

  60. CD (@CD153) says:

    Between solar project like these and wind turbines (if they build enough of both), the idiotic wind and solar energy zealots will probably wipe out half the bird population in the U.S. Add that to the fact that this solar project is far more expensive to build and operate than a NG power plant producing more (and reliable base load 24/7) electricity, and any reasonable thinking person is left to wonder if the greenie left is even capable of thinking rationally and logically. It’s all religion with them.

    Kill wind turbines (and solar farms like this), not avian wildlife.

  61. LamontT says:

    /facepalm

    Wait it’s built in the middle of a dry lake bed?

    Did they do something to divert the currently dry river courses the feed the dry lake bed during wet seasons like we get every oh decade or two? Like maybe is anticipated in the next year or two?

    /facepalm

  62. Christian Bultmann says:

    “A major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.”
    I don’t see much of a demand for lighting homes during daylight hours.
    But I’m not a scientist or engineer so I possibly couldn’t understand the complexities and urgency to provide lighting during daylight hours.

  63. CD (@CD153) says:

    …… and one other thing. Has anyone associated with this idiotic project thought about what is going to happen with a wind storm goes barreling through that area? Not to mention keep them clear of dust and dirt from everyday blowing wind. Absolute idiocy.

  64. bw says:

    Capital cost is the same as a twin nuclear plant of 2.4 GW. The solar plant rated size is under 0.4 GW. Nuclear has a 95 percent capacity factor, solar thermal around 20 percent. Life cycle costs are likely going to end up over 10 times a nuclear plant. Current natural gas production costs, capital (and operating) are much lower than nuclear. One fifth the capital cost to produce the same amount of electric power. No normal person pays five times more for the exact same product when they are side by side. Not even nuclear can compete with natural gas or coal.
    Life cycle costs for 40 years of operation are known to a tenth of a cent per kWh of electricity, about 4 cents per kWh for either coal or natural gas.
    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/capitalcost/

    p.s. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere is a beneficial side product of fossil fuel burning.

  65. Reblogged this on RubinoWorld and commented:
    Land developers are prevented from building new homes because of some “endangered” bug. But it’s perfectly fine to kill birds if the cause is green energy.

  66. KevinK says:

    “Solar is not the solution. Germany, Spain, the EU and even the solar people in Calif are backing away from or even abandoning solar”

    Yep, folks that where paying attention the last time we tried this (late70’s) learned the same lesson. Who was the prezzie dent back then, I forget…..

    But the good news is we could pay some new federal employees the higher minimum wage to collect the “food” from around these towers and deliver it (already microwaved) to food stamp recipients (plenty of those now). This would reduce the deficit, eliminate evil income inequality, and stimulate the economy, a good old “threefer”……

    also, /sarc off……

    Cheers, Kevin.

  67. Victor Frank says:

    PGE Electricity rates.
    I’m somewhat envious of those of you quoting low rates for electricity.
    This is from my mid-August to mid September 2013 bill for E7 QB Residential Time-of-Use Service, Daily Tier 1 Allowance was 7.5 kWh. 652 kWh were used in 29 days.
    Tier 1 Peak 41 kWh @ $0.32251
    Off peak 176 kWh @ $ 0.08159
    Tier 2 Peak 12 kWh @ $ 0.34122
    Off Peak 53 kWh @ $ 0.10029
    Tier 3 Peak 29 kWh @ $ 0.50196
    Off Peak 124 kWh @ $ 0.26103
    Tier 4 Peak 41 kWh @ $ 0.54196
    Off Peak 176 kWh @ $ 0.30103
    Home is in the SF Bay area and doesn’t have (or need) an air conditioner.
    Note the small size of Tier 2 and the big jump in rates between Tier 2 and Tier 3.

  68. Zeke says:

    ““Utility-scale solar plants have come under fire for their costs–Ivanpah costs about four times as much as a conventional natural gas-fired plant but will produce far less electricity—and also for the amount of land they require.

    That makes for expensive power. Experts have estimated that electricity from giant solar projects will cost at least twice as much as electricity from conventional sources. But neither the utilities that have contracted to buy the power nor state regulators have disclosed what the price will be, only that it will be passed on to electricity customers.””

    Try to think of the bird as your local economy, your paycheck, and your purchasing power all sort of rolled into one.

  69. LamontT says:

    Hey does anyone remember Solar One built back in 1983? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Solar_Project

  70. CD (@CD153) says:

    Could this happen at the site of this solar project?

  71. Gamecock says:

    Being Green means never having to say you are sorry.

  72. KevinK says:

    From a wiki link someone provided; (CAPS added by myself)

    “On November 25, 2009, after 10 years of NOT PRODUCING any energy, the Solar Two tower was demolished.[1] The mothballed site was levelled and returned to vacant land by Southern California Edison. All heliostats and other hardware were removed.”

    Oh goodie,now we have some more vacant land to build these monuments to idiotically stupid ideas on…..

    Think of the economic stimulus, design a bad engineering solution, build it (at tremendous expense), learn that it is a bad engineering solution, tear it down, rinse and repeat……

    Cheers, Kevin.

  73. Truthseeker says:

    So, if you had a bunch of Wind Turbines and this Solar Plant, you could end up with your birds chopped and fried. Sounds like a fast-food winner to me.

  74. Zeke says:

    The results of these “renewables” experiments in energy are now quite abundant. The costs of the “sustainable, renewable energy” adds tremendous fees and rate increases to users.

    For example, in Germany, “Almost all predictions about the expansion and cost of German wind turbines and solar panels have turned out to be wrong – at least by a factor of two, sometimes by a factor of five.”
    –Daniel Wentzel, Die Welt, 20 October 2012

    Therefore, people who are hawking renewables, and selling them to young, uncritical idealists, are at best ignoring the plain results of these previous experiments. That is something a scientist or an engineer would never do. Remember Popper warned that if social experiments are to be run, they must be small, and the results must be accepted if negative. “Sustainability,” if it has any definition at all, is plainly a totally anti-rational and anti-scientific term, which disregards all observations and objectivity in favor of carefully manipulated government numbers showing success and hiding the expense and shortages.

  75. Truthseeker says:

    The statement “light up about 140,000 homes a year” is deliberately misleading. It can only provide power during the day, and homes only need to be lit up at night. Also those 140,000 homes actually need power 24/7. So which coal fired or nuclear power plant is going to be used when the sun is not shining or during the night for those 140,000 homes.

    Is it just me or are these people incapable of saying anything without lying about it?

  76. Truthseeker says:

    Saying things more eloquently than I ever could about this solar plant …

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/02/farewell-knights-of-delingpole-say-it-isnt-so/#comment-1386541

  77. MattS says:

    What they need to do is scale this thing down and market it as a carbon free tailgate party turkey cooker. :)

  78. SAMURAI says:

    It’s $2.2 BILLION bird zapp-o-matic monstrosities like this that should be incontrovertible proof showing CAGW has NOTHING to do with CO2 and saaaaaving the plaaaaanet, but something else very nefarious.

    I contacted all the most powerful and influential US Congressmen and Senators about Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) and ONLY Senator Rand Paul and his staff have seriously looked into the matter and remain in contact me.

    All the other politicians I contacted just sent auto replies and later sent me e-mails soliciting campaign contributions…. Yeah, right…

    The Thorium Age officially starts next year when China flicks the switch on their first LFTR. After that, China will build 100’s of them over the coming decades,……while the US builds $2.2 billion bird zappers…

    With the same $2.2 billion spent on this bird zapper, the US could have built their SECOND test LFTR (first one was built in 1965) and would have been well on their way to 100% energy independence at power costing 1/5th that of a bird zappo-matic and 1/2 the cost of natural gas/coal power, with ZERO CO2 emissions and no O3, NH4, N20, SO2, no air/water pollution and no zapped birds, for the next 10,000 years…

    The upside is that China’s LFTR rollout will force the US and other Western nations to also implement LFTRs or risk economic suicide, or risk a second and much larger wave of manufacturing move to China to take advantage cheap, unlimited and sustainable power.

    Politicians are such clueless scoundrels.

  79. James at 48 says:

    CD (@CD153) says:
    February 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Could this happen at the site of this solar project?

    ============================

    Yes.

  80. _Jim says:

    bw says February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Not even nuclear can compete with natural gas or coal.

    Hmmm … as a hedge there can be a ‘play'; the economics of natural gas would seem to be subject to swings in market pricing and physical availability/distribution (it must always be flowing in the system), whereas Nuclear does not have this day-to-day volatility or reliance on a pipeline system.

    .

  81. J.H. says:

    wws says: February 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    What a magnificent irony – in terms of wildlife preservation, Oil and Gas development is actually the most environmentally friendly source of large scale energy production available!
    —————————————————————————————————————————
    Yep….. and it was Kerosene that saved the whale too…. But you won’t hear Greenpeace acknowledging those kind of facts.

  82. Zeke says:

    Inre: Thorium reactors in China.

    If wikipedia is correct, India is bringing thorium reactors online right now.

    India

    “India’s government is developing up to 62, mostly thorium reactors, which it expects to be operational by 2025. It is the “only country in the world with a detailed, funded, government-approved plan” to focus on thorium-based nuclear power. The country currently gets under 3% of its electricity from nuclear power, relying for the rest on coal and oil imports. It expects to produce around 25% of its electricity from nuclear power.[15]:144 In 2009 the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission said that India has a “long-term objective goal of becoming energy-independent based on its vast thorium resources.”[39][40]

    In late June 2012, India announced that their “first commercial fast reactor” was near completion making India the most advanced country in thorium research.” We have huge reserves of thorium. The challenge is to develop technology for converting this to fissile material,” stated their former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission.[41] That vision of using thorium in place of uranium was set out in the 1950s by physicist Homi Bhabha.[42][43] India’s first commercial fast breeder reactor — the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) — is approaching completion at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu.”

    China

    At the 2011 annual conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences it was announced that “China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology.”[35] In addition, Dr. Jiang Mianheng, son of China’s former leader Jiang Zemin, led a thorium delegation in non-disclosure talks at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, and by late 2013 China had officially partnered with Oak Ridge to aid China in its own development. The World Nuclear Association notes that the China Academy of Sciences in January 2011 announced its R&D program, “claiming to have the world’s largest national effort on it, hoping to obtain full intellectual property rights on the technology.” According to Martin, “China has made clear its intention to go it alone,” adding that China already has a monopoly over most of the world’s rare earth minerals.[15]:157[19]

    In early 2012, it was reported that China, using components produced by the West and Russia, planned to build two prototype thorium molten salt reactors by 2015, and had budgeted the project at $400 million and requiring 400 workers.”[15]:157 China also finalized an agreement with a Canadian nuclear technology company to develop improved CANDU reactors using thorium and uranium as a fuel.[38]
    ref: wikipedia, emph added
    Comment: thorium is being developed in India. I think this issue is another example of China’s economic and technological power being lionized in the press, when it is probably in worse condition than is reported.

  83. _Jim says:

    J.H. says February 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Yep….. and it was Kerosene that saved the whale too

    You mean trees (for turpentine) – right? And coal (coal oil)? But whales? What was available before ‘oil’ was struck? Why, these compounds:

    Camphene — turpentine and camphor oil without alcohol / not as bright as burning fluid
    Burning fluid — combinations of alcohol, turpentine and camphor oil – bright, sweet smelling
    Lard oil — low quality, smelly
    Coal oil — sooty, smelly, low quality, the original “kerosene”

    But whale oil? C’mon …

    .

  84. _Jim says:

    From: Henry Ford, Charles Kettering and the fuel of the future

    – a brief except from a long piece:
    – – – – – – – –
    Ethyl Alcohol Fuel before the Discovery of Petroleum

    The history of energy is loaded with inaccuracies and myths. One myth is that Edwin Drake’s first oil well, drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, arrived in the nick of time to replace a rapidly dwindling supply of whale oil.

    Actually, as we will see, a variety of lamp fuels were common in the U.S. and Europe through the 19th and early 20th centuries. These fuels offered the most logical starting point in the search for portable liquid fuels which inventors would use in the internal combustion engine.

    Lamp fuels included all kinds of vegetable oils (castor, rapeseed, peanut); animal oils (especially whale oil and tallow from beef or pork,); refined turpentine from pine trees; and alcohols, especially wood alcohol (methanol or methyl alcohol) and grain alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol). The most popular fuel in the U.S. before petroleum was a blend of alcohol and turpentine called “camphene” or simply “burning fluid.”

    The”whale oil myth,” appears in many places, most recently in the history of the oil industry, The Prize, which hailed kerosene as “the new light which pushed back the night and extended the working day.”
    – – – – – – – –

    Bolding mine.

  85. _Jim says:

    (A formatting redo)

    From: Henry Ford, Charles Kettering and the fuel of the future

    – a brief except from a long piece:
    – – – – – – – –
    Ethyl Alcohol Fuel before the Discovery of Petroleum

    The history of energy is loaded with inaccuracies and myths. One myth is that Edwin Drake’s first oil well, drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, arrived in the nick of time to replace a rapidly dwindling supply of whale oil.

    Actually, as we will see, a variety of lamp fuels were common in the U.S. and Europe through the 19th and early 20th centuries. These fuels offered the most logical starting point in the search for portable liquid fuels which inventors would use in the internal combustion engine.

    Lamp fuels included all kinds of vegetable oils (castor, rapeseed, peanut); animal oils (especially whale oil and tallow from beef or pork,); refined turpentine from pine trees; and alcohols, especially wood alcohol (methanol or methyl alcohol) and grain alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol). The most popular fuel in the U.S. before petroleum was a blend of alcohol and turpentine called “camphene” or simply “burning fluid.”

    The”whale oil myth,” appears in many places, most recently in the history of the oil industry, The Prize, which hailed kerosene as “the new light which pushed back the night and extended the working day.”
    – – – – – – – –

    Bolding mine.

  86. SAMURAI says:

    Zeke says:
    February 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm
    Inre: Thorium reactors in China.

    If wikipedia is correct, India is bringing thorium reactors online right now.

    =========================================

    China is the only country that will soon be running LFTRs.

    Other countries are burning thorium, but these are simply modified Light Water Reactors using solid fuel that still require steam to operate at 70+ atmospheres of pressure, which is inherently dangerous.

    LFTRs work at single atmospheric pressure, have one safety mechanism based on gravity (which always works), runs gas powered generators instead of steam so they can even be built in desert areas, produce 200 times less nuclear waste, turns 99% of thorium into energy (while Light Water Reactors–including those burning thorium–turn only 0.5%~1% of solid nuclear fuel into energy before Xenon gas degradation requires reprocessing, LFTRs create their own neutron source (U233) in the process of burning thorium (a really neat trick) so they don’t require any additional U233 once switched on, etc.

    In full disclosure, I live about 150 miles away from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant meltdown area, so I’m admittedly biased against LWRs. I realize there are MUCH better LWRs designs now compared to the Fukushima plant, but carrying around a Iodine pill in your shirt pocket for 2 months after the Fukushima accident does tend to make you biased…

    LFTRs are simply much more elegant in design and produce the cheapest, safest, cleanest form of nuclear energy available. There just doesn’t seem to be a need for other types of LWRs when there is are only disadvantages in doing so.

    The only “disadvantage” of LFTRs is that it is much more difficult to create fissile material to build nuclear bombs, but this is an advantage in my view…

  87. _Jim says:

    bw says February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Not even nuclear can compete with natural gas or coal.

    More on the ‘hedge’ against rising natural gas costs and related – Fair use excerpt for discussion purposes and to whet appetites to read the post at the link below:

    – – – – – – – – –
    Nuclear Energy Less Risky Than Natural Gas
    Posted August 4, 2013 by Rod Adams

    One of the major reasons that nuclear plants are not flying off of the shelves is that rate-regulated utilities do not pay the cost of buying fuel. They have convinced public service commissions that establish their rates that they have no control over variable fuel costs; as a result, the money that they pay for fuel is considered to be a direct “pass through” to customers.

    Fortunately, there are a few rate-regulated utilities that are run by devoted engineers or service-oriented leaders. They are not dominated by financial specialists who cannot see past their green eyeshades. Those companies (Southern Company, TVA, and SCANA) have accepted the responsibility of providing the best possible service to their customers over the long term.

    Each one of them have done the math and run the models, including the cost of fuel, even if they are legally allowed to pass that cost on to their customers. Their analysis has been thoroughly reviewed by regulatory authorities. The companies and their regulators have concluded that their investment will protect customers from the risk of rapidly rising monthly bills during the 60 (or longer) life of the power plants.
    – – – – – – – – -

  88. JPeden says:

    At Ivanpah a bunch of desert turtles had to be relocated at a cost of ~$50,000 per turtle. Apparently there was only one similar plant in quasi-long term operation in Spain. So why didn’t they build any more there?/ha ha

  89. Mike Wryley says:

    Glennez makes the excellent point that a reasonably well educated and rational person can deduce the wisdom of a project like Ivanpah on the back of a napkin in 15 minutes and know with certainty that it is folly. An engineer friend of mine did some preliminary work on another solar thermal scheme, backed by the DOE, using sterling engines and miles upon miles of high pressure stainless tubing with even poorer capital cost to capacity ratios.

    Trying to use any form of diffuse energy as a source for a national grid is a fool’s errand.

    The hubris of the progressive bureaucrat politician is boundless. These bastards assume that their bright ideas just need an infusion of money to overcome the ignorance of the common man,
    and they cause billions of borrowed tax dollars to be wasted in unproductive efforts, lowering everyone else’s standard of living. When Ivanpah is shut down because it can’t cover it’s operating costs (as other solar thermal plants have preceding it), there will be no consequences for these people, the will continue on to other debacles without remorse and collect their fat pensions.

  90. Hoser says:

    John Ratcliffe says:
    February 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Whatever sunlight they collect during the day at Ivanpah, they store up and beam back up at night from the Luxor.

  91. John Andrews says:

    Impressive pictures of the planthere: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brightsourceenergy/sets/72157633434942709/show/. The plant is an ordinary steam plant that will not store heat long into the night. That means that it will be a known rate of change in the power output daily. This should be acommodated without too much trouble since it is in the desert. It is too expensive. $1.6 from the Federal Government is a lot. It is sad for the birds, but the coyotes will get some free meals and learn quickly to come to eat sometime after 3 PM. They have done a nice job of not destroying the natural landscape, so there will be lots of wildlife there. It should be interesting to watch.

  92. Hoser says:

    SAMURAI says:
    February 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    It’s a different kind of power they want. They can’t actually solve problems and retain power. They can’t give us what we need to be free, or they don’t rule.

  93. Neil Jordan says:

    Re SKC says: February 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    and
    LamontT says: February 13, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    From what I observed several years ago after a wet season, the playa flooding that could be seen from the I-15 freeway was mostly to the east of the freeway. However, the solar arrays west of the freeway are located on what looks like an alluvial fan. Flooding would be in the form of high velocity flows coming out of the mountain canyons to the west. Some examples:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yCnQuILmsM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVBivki-hss
    FEMA:
    http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/alluvial-fan-flooding

    Incidentally, the Mountain Pass rare earth deposits (for solar panels) are in those mountains to the west.

  94. john robertson says:

    Another example of putting the Mental back in Environmental.
    Another successful progressive policy, achieving the exact opposite to what they promised the paying public at 5X the cost.
    And sensible people who told them the obvious, are saboteurs .
    Democrat-Speak.

  95. Catcracking says:

    Yes Whale oil for lighting
    Not a myth but reality
    http://www.ramshornstudio.com/early_lighting_6.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_oil
    http://www.sjvgeology.org/history/whales.html
    http://www.wilsonmuseum.org/bulletins/summer2003_2.html
    Don’t fall for the myths created by the biofuel websites subsidized with your tax dollars.
    Whale oil was expensive and mostly used by the rich because it was clean and brighter.

  96. John F. Hultquist says:

    Dirk Pitt says:
    February 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm
    I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to find out what is the installed capacity (in MW) of this plant alone. I would like to compare the cost of a MW to nuclear, coal, nat-gas, or hydro. $2.2B seems extremely steep. For what output?
    Anyone having this information?

    ~~~~~

    There are some here in comment #25.1 by TonyfromOZ
    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/02/farewell-knights-of-delingpole-say-it-isnt-so/#comment-1386541

  97. Dr Burns says:

    So it costs five times the cost to build, based on theoretical peak output, ignoring dust, mal alignment etc, or 25 times the costs based on average output. It produces power at 5 times the cost of coal, ignoring the cost of a back up generator, which takes it to around ten times the cost. What a bargain!

  98. I don’t get something, and I don’t see anybody commenting on it.
    Where in the desert do they get all the water to produce all that steam?
    Do they collect the steam, and condense it somehow?
    Their idea doesn’t seem as bright as their mirrors, in Mohave-like conditions.
    Smoke and mirrors. $1600000000.

  99. CNC says:

    The birds a really a non issue, a lot more die flying into bay windows, a lot more. The point is if solar is an economical source of power fine. But it is not. I have no problem with the government giving incentives for 5,10, years to a new promising new power source but solar has be subsidied for way to long It is and most likely will never be economical. If you truly green and want a zero CO2 emitter power source that will last for ever you need to support nuclear. In the mean time coal and gas work quite well as CAGW is totally…. well you know what I was going to say.

  100. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Well, I guess the first key question is whether costs will come down to the cost of conventional power if manufacturing scale-up reduces the costs of construction radically or not. The second is whether you can site mirrors in a 3-D configuration to reduce the land required. The third is whether the energy capture technology is at its natural limit or can be improved further also.

    Upon those three things, plus maybe a couple of others, will determine whether this technology is already overtaken by events or whether it is still in the Moore’s law phase of technology improvement.

  101. Silver ralph says:

    You would have thought that the nighthawks would have known better….. ;-)

  102. CNC says:

    Silver ralph says:
    February 14, 2014 at 12:12 am
    You would have thought that the nighthawks would have known better….. ;-)
    ——-
    Ok, that is funny…

  103. Greg Goodman says:

    Zeke: For example, in Germany, “Almost all predictions about the expansion and cost of German wind turbines and solar panels have turned out to be wrong – at least by a factor of two, sometimes by a factor of five.”
    –Daniel Wentzel, Die Welt, 20 October 2012

    Hey you know the odd thing is nuclear projects seem to over like that too.

    Now if we stop all the disingenuous politically motivated sniping on all sides and look at overall picture, it seems that whatever kind of technology is being developed it’s always grossly under-estimated to get the project approved , then it’s like “oh dear we’ve hit a couple problems and it’s not going to take years longer than expect to complete and will cost the taxpayer/consummer twice as much as initially estimated.”

    EDF’s Flammenville project in France is a fine example and the UK govt, has just accepted that wholesale “strike price” from two such plants it has approved for the UK will be TWICE the current wholesale price of power in the UK. (Plus the govt takes on the cost of clean up in the case of any leaks or accident at the plants: more hidden costs for taxpayers and illegal subsidies for EDF).

    By the time it’s build it will probably have doubled again.

  104. Zeke says:

    Greg Goodman says, “Hey you know the odd thing is nuclear projects seem to over like that too.
    Now if we stop all the disingenuous politically motivated sniping on all sides and look at overall picture, it seems that whatever kind of technology is being developed it’s always grossly under-estimated to get the project approved….”

    That is why it is so foolish to purposely destroy, decommission, and phase out coal. Society loses the value of objects destroyed. Suppose we break all windows in everyone’s houses because we do not like them anymore – let’s just say they’re “dirty.” The owners have to spend money on new windows, and are unable to enjoy what they would have done with that money if his windows had not been broken. What is being done to the energy sector is vandalism on a massive scale. Frederick Bastiat warned about ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas in any economic policy. The fact that coal plants that work perfectly well are being destroyed for no reason means that we all must spend money to replace them. The added insult is that the replacements are worthless and intermittent.

  105. negrum says:

    CNC says:
    February 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    “The birds a really a non issue, a lot more die flying into bay windows, a lot more. …”
    —-l
    Citation? And would these include the rarer species? Not that I don’t agree that the comparative inefficiency of the solar plants is the more important issue.

  106. CNC says:

    Greg Goodman says:
    February 14, 2014 at 12:27 am
    ……
    Over regulation is the problem with nuclear and drives up the cost to silly numbers. Bureaucrats. Long term our children or grandchildren will use nuclear because it is by far the most environmentally friendly energy source and could easily be the cheapest. In the mean time shale gas and oil can take care of what wind and solar never can do. Used responsibly they can help the world.

    Cheap energy is what make everyone’s life better and is what we all should be pushing for.

  107. CNC says:

    negrum says:
    February 14, 2014 at 12:55 am
    CNC says:
    February 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    “The birds a really a non issue, a lot more die flying into bay windows, a lot more. …”
    —-l
    Citation?

    Fair enough, here it is:

    http://www.huntingtonaudubon.org/window-collisions.asp

    “Did you know that between 100 million and 1 billion birds are killed by collisions with windows each year?”

    Solar is still a big waste of money in most locations.

  108. Stephen Richards says:

    This is french technology and NRG is also a frech alphabetic way of saying N-air-G. This technology was first tried in france many years ago but I can’t remember where or when but they did in the mountains. They line a south facing slope with rotating mirriors and fired the heat into a single tower. They must have known before building that cooking birds was one of it’s main features.

  109. Stephen Richards says:

    “Did you know that between 100 million and 1 billion birds are killed by collisions with windows each year?”

    Another of those finger in the air estimates with a range of an order of magnitude. These estimates really wind me up. They are rubbish. NONSENSE.

  110. CNC says:

    Stephen Richards says:
    February 14, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Another of those finger in the air estimates with a range of an order of magnitude. These estimates really wind me up. They are rubbish. NONSENSE.
    ————–
    I agree but it is a citation which was requested so that was the first Google I found. A waste of 10 seconds. But I am still sure that more birds die running into windows then fried by solar plants or hitting winds mills. It is a BS argument to use against them. The fact the are not economical and do nothing to reduce the world carbon foot print (no that it needs to be reduced) and what we should focusing on in my opinion.

  111. negrum says:

    CNC says:
    February 14, 2014 at 1:04 am
    —-l
    The article seems positive, though there seems to be a conflict of interest which might detract from its objectivity and scientific approach. Stephen Richards seems to feel that the citation could be better :)

    For conservationists the number of deaths is not as important as which species are involved. Sparrows could still be viable after a few thousand deaths, while peregrine falcons might not be.

    I think the main point of the post is to highlight the hypocrisy of the “green” movement where renewable energy is concerned.

  112. CNC says:

    negrum says:
    February 14, 2014 at 1:32 am

    I think the main point of the post is to highlight the hypocrisy of the “green” movement where renewable energy is concerned.
    ——————–

    Agree, I am a bit off topic.

  113. cd says:

    This is quite a state of affairs. But why does anybody only care when wildlife is affected. The impact of renewables on energy prices affects human beings and very often the poorest.

  114. negrum says:

    cd says:
    February 14, 2014 at 1:39 am

    “This is quite a state of affairs. But why does anybody only care when wildlife is affected. …”
    —-l
    It’s easier than dealing with human problems :)

  115. David L says:

    It’s a federal offense to kill endangered species. It’s even a violation to own a single feather. Who would be held accountable and prosecuted for killing them, the owners of the power plant?

    What would be the attitude if I built a machine in my backyard that killed eagles all day long? How long before the Feds were at my front door?

  116. Gamecock says:

    Ahhh . . . the thorium reactor hoax shows up again. It’s getting to be like Godwin’s law.

    SAMURAI says:
    February 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm
    “LFTR (first one was built in 1965)”

    Absolutely false. A reactor was built. No thorium was ever placed in it.

    Your LFTR belongs on the shelf next to the 100 mpg carburetor.

  117. Brezentski says:

    The best part of the wsj article is the comment section. People with numb minds try to defend this boon doggle and get repeatedly slammed.

  118. _Jim says:

    Catcracking says February 13, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Yes Whale oil for lighting
    Not a myth but reality

    Whale oil use, at its peak, amounted to about 10% of the other major ‘fuel’ at one time.

    Whale oil was also the most EXPENSIVE ‘fuel’ to be had … you expect ppl at that time were not aware of the ‘economics’ (cost) of one fuel vs another?

    Maybe in one’s haste one just ‘glossed over’ the 164 footnotes (citing historical accounts, records and reports written in the day) found bottom of the webpage I cited above; surely all these accounts and reports are not “myths created by the biofuel websites subsidized with your tax dollars“? Surely one is not prone to simply ignoring well-researched pieces with such rich and detailed references, rather than believing in grand and widespread con spir acies spun by the biofuel industry?

    BTW, cites from Wiki should be the last one uses in lieu of more reliable sources when working to support one’s point or assertions.

    A sample of a footnotes and article excerpts which reference them:

    #13 Some 152 popular and scholarly articles under the heading “Alcohol as a Fuel” can be found the the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature between 1900 and 1921; about 20 references to papers and books written before 1925 are found in the Library of Congress database catalog; a 1933 Chemical Foundation report lists 52 references before 1925 on alcohol fuels; a 1944 Senate report lists 24 USDA publications on alcohol fuels before 1920; and several technical books from the period document hundreds of references from the 1900 – 1925 period.

    #19 Index of patents issued from 1790 to 1873, Inclusive, (Washington, D.C.: US Patent Office). Listed as “patent for alcohol for burning fluid, carbureted,” March 17, 1834.

    By the late 1830s, alcohol blends had replaced increasingly expensive whale oil in most parts of the country. It “easily took the lead as the illuminant” because it was “a decided improvement on other oils then in use,” (especially lard oils) according to a lamp manufacturer’s “History of Light.”21

    #21 History of Light, pamphlet by the Welsbach Gas Co., Philadelphia Penn, 1909; on file in the Smithsonian collection of Advertising, Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

    By the late 1830s, alcohol blends had replaced increasingly expensive whale oil in most parts of the country. It “easily took the lead as the illuminant” because it was “a decided improvement on other oils then in use,” (especially lard oils) according to a lamp manufacturer’s “History of Light.”21 By 1860, thousands of distilleries churned out at least 90 million gallons of alcohol per year for lighting.22 In the 1850s, camphene (at $.50 per gallon) was cheaper than whale oil ($1.30 to $2.50 per gallon) and lard oil (90 cents per gallon). It was about the same price as coal oil, which was the product first marketed as “kerosene”23 (literally “sun fuel”).

    #22 Free Alcohol Law, Senate Finance Committee Hearings on HR 24816, Feb. 1907, Doc. No. 362, page 320. The authority cited is the Civil War era Special Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, David A. Wells, and the apparent reference is to the New York regional market. It is possible that over a hundred million gallons per year of camphene were sold by the late 1850s. The city of Cincinattie alone reportedly used 10 million gallons in 1860. Note that kerosine sales in 1870 reached 200 million gallons.

    #23 Harold F. Williamson & Arnold R. Daum, The American Petroleum Industry, 1859-1899, The Age of Illumination (Evanston Ill NW U Press, 1959).

    .

  119. hunter says:

    Big Green is not about the environment. Big Green is about lining the pockets of insiders with our money. None of their schemes work. Wind is a huge bird killing landscape destroying fail. Now we know solar is as well.
    And the nasty hypocrites from the Big Green dare to talk about oil industry tax subsidies. Not ONE of their fisaco projects would even exist if it were not for direct tax payer operating subsidies or the laws they push through forcing utilities to give preferred tariff rates to the miserable power they actually generate.

  120. hunter says:

    Gamecock,
    So thorium is unworkable? I have followed the issue some, but would like to know more.

  121. Steve from Rockwood says:

    with all these solar installations, children just aren’t going to know what birds are…

  122. Andy says:

    I thought California had very stiff penalties for “poaching” wildlife:-/

  123. Jimmy Dell says:

    Trying to determine why this facility was built is a mystery.

    It does not have thermal storage, like so many of these plants in the world do
    it doesn’t supply power to its nearest city, Las Vegas, 38 miles away
    it’s built more than 400 miles from its intended market San Francisco( transmission line loss ???)
    it’s being opened during the largest natural gas discoveries in the last 60 years, a fact that was known prior to construction.
    and as covered many times above, it cost 5+ times the cost of a natural gas plant that operates 24/7

    The only explanation can be that if you only have one idea, solar, every problem must be solved using that idea. (if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail)

    As to the cost of the land and the birds; have you ever been out there? It’s an empty barren inhospitable place that if it wasn’t for the greens being offended by any progress would not even be being discussed.

  124. kevin kilty says:

    Breaking news from 222BC. Archimedes used this technology to “light up” Roman galleys. Maybe he had a DOE grant.

  125. Mr. Lion says:

    I would ask what kind of blithering idiocy is required to view this Rube Goldberg idiocy as a reasonable method of power generation, but unfortunately, I already know the answer.

  126. Severian says:

    No surprise that green types are selective in their outrage about bird deaths depending on the source. You never see PETA types throwing red paint on the leather jackets of big, burly dudes coming out of outlaw biker bars, only on little old ladies wearing fur.

  127. CD (@CD153) says:

    Gamecock says:
    February 14, 2014 at 5:05 am
    *******************************************
    You are correct that thorium was not used in the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) at ORNL back in the late 1960s. I assume you have some knowledge or expertise in the area of nuclear power technlogy, so I will ask you this: If there some huge disadvantage that you are aware of when using thorium rather than uranium in a LFTR that escaped the understanding of Alvin Weinberg and his people back then? I ask this because they wanted more funding to continue the research. Nixon stupidly pulled the plug on it back in the early 1970s for political reasons as I understand it, not technical ones.

    The advantages of LFTR as I understand them have this stupid solar project at Ivanpah beat by a thousand miles. It’s a tragedy that the technology for LFTR has gone all but ignored all of these years, but it is at least reassuring that LFTR is getting the attention now that it deserves. And it deserves a lot more of it.

    That $2.2 billion spent on this solar boondoggle would have gone a long way toward getting LFTR up and running someday. Tragic and stupid.

  128. mkelly says:

    Surely, if 390 w/m^2 of DWLWIR is enough to raise the temperature of the earth over 33 K then it should be enough to run this when the sun does not shine.

  129. Rod Everson says:

    Jimmy Dell says:
    February 14, 2014 at 6:24 am
    Trying to determine why this facility was built is a mystery.

    Oh give me a break. There is one, and only one, reason that this facility was ever even engineered, much less built, and that is that we taxpayers were suckered into guaranteeing a 1.6 billion dollar loan to build it, a guarantee that is almost certainly going to be exercised, and because the loons that govern California are screwing all of their residents by requiring “green” energy be purchased by supposedly-private utilities at exorbitant cost.

    How exorbitant? Well, exorbitant enough that you can’t even find out, even though regulatory bodies should be subject to public record laws if such laws are to mean anything. From the above article:

    “But neither the utilities that have contracted to buy the power nor state regulators have disclosed what the price will be, only that it will be passed on to electricity customers.”

    First, it’s an indication of the quality of present-day journalism that no enterprising reporter anywhere in the vast state of California has taken it upon himself to dig out that information, even if, perhaps especially if, it requires action under the FOIA.

    And second, with regulators like those in charge, who’s to say that anyone is watching the plant’s operation closely enough to determine that they are not importing wholesale electricity at a cheap price and exporting it at the agreed-upon, exorbitant regulated price to the saps who own the private utilities so that they can sell it at the mandated inflated rates to the saps who elected the people who run California. For that matter, with this crowd in charge, who’s to say they aren’t actually in on any scam that would line their pockets? Seriously.

  130. negrum says:

    Severian says:
    February 14, 2014 at 7:55 am:

    ” …You never see PETA types throwing red paint on the leather jackets of big, burly dudes coming out of outlaw biker bars, …”
    —-l
    Very accurately observed (or did you pinch that from Last Continent?”

  131. Joe Crawford says:

    Dirk Pitt says on February 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm: “Being an engineer myself, the first thing that would come to my mind when designing something like this is how long these mirrors would last exposed to sand storms, before being sand blasted to next to no reflectiveness. This plant is in a desert, isn’t it?”

    I’ll go one more… Once this the facility is shut down who is going to be responsible for decommissioning and clean-up. I’ll bet BrightSource Energy and NRG have already figured out how to bail out on those costs. You can bet they already have a plan to transfer ownership and responsibility to some other entity, let it declare bankruptcy and throw it on the government to do the clean-up (and eat the unpaid loan).

  132. philjourdan says:

    @Jimmy Dell – fried fowl smells better than car exhaust?

  133. Taphonomic says:

    The article does indicate that the water used in the boilers will be recycled but doesn’t mention another problem with water use: keeping the mirrors clean. They need to wash the mirrors and the only water available is from pumping groundwater from a basin with extremely low recharge.

  134. Crustacean says:

    Whom the gods would destroy, they would first make insane.

  135. george e. smith says:

    “””””……“The owners of the project— NRG Energy Inc., NRG, Google Inc. GOOG and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the “tower power” solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.”…..””””””

    So in 15 years (roughly how long we have had no warming), this thing will be “lighting up” over 2 million homes..

    Currently I “light up” my home with 200 Watts of electric power consumption (ALL LED lighting), so this solar plant must put out a power of at least 28 megaWatts (per year of course).

    Now it is five square miles in area, but let’s cut that to three square miles if tilted to track the sun, so that works out to 7.77 million square meters.

    So 7.77 gigaWatts of solar energy falls on that place when the sun is up, and they are getting 28 megaWatts of electricity. (my calculation), which says their solar collection efficiency is 0.36%.

    Well that’s really wunnerful !

    The trouble with these steered mirror array thermal collectors, is that as the mirrors move to track the sun, they shadow each other; so they have to be widely spaced apart, to track the sun for any time. So most of that 5 square miles is simply vacant waste space.

  136. Jimbo says:

    If the birds had died near a gas fired power plant all hell would break loose. Eco-loons would be camped out there day and night demanding this slaughter to stop. Where are they now?

  137. Jimbo says:

    Wind turbines and bat deaths. The slaughter continues.

    “About 600,000 bats killed by wind turbines in 2012, study shows”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/about-600000-bats-killed-by-wind-turbines-in-2012-study-shows/

  138. Jimbo says:

    That’s just the bats across the United States.

  139. Curious George says:

    Contra Costa Times have done some research:
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25134533/huge-ivanpah-solar-power-plant-opens-industry-booms
    Among their findings, one MWh will cost $261 (for a conventional coal plant it is $100). And 11 dead birds were found in the month of November.

  140. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Col Mosby says:

    February 13, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    One thought about solar panel farms is the fact that they are heat absorbers/sinks. It would be interesting to observe the temps 200 feet above the solar farms compared to the surrounding real estate. Are the farms themselves creating more warming than their emissions are supposed to reduce?…..”””””

    Actually they are not. “Heat” is very undesirable for solar cells; it lowers their efficiency in several ways. For one thing, the Forward Voltage of the cells drops 2 mVolts per deg. C (junction Temperature) so well designed cells have reflective coatings, that reflect solar wavelengths that the cell (silicon) cannot convert to electricity, to prevent that being captured as “heat”.

    Also the solar cells convert the usable part of the solar spectrum, into electricity, not into “heat”, so the cells are not generating as much “heat” as the bare ground would. Moreover, that electricity, can be conducted to the other (night ) side of the earth, and then used to create an efficient LED light beam, which can be beamed out to dark space, instead of back to the sun.

    So the solar panels are NOT in thermal equilibrium with the sun. Demonstrating that although electro-magnetic radiation can transport energy through empty space, it transports NO “heat”, which requires a material medium to convey from one place to another, by Convection or conduction.

    The schools can continue to teach that “heat” is transported by EM radiation, as well as conduction and convection. Solar cells and LEDs prove that it transports useful energy, not waste “heat”.

    I think solar cells theoretically can convert about 75% of the solar spectrum energy into electricity. The current demonstrated record is about 43%, and LEDs can convert about 60% of electricity, into EM radiation (in air), and maybe more in the future.

  141. george e. smith says:

    As a California taxpayer, I would like to know just how much NRG Energy Inc, is paying in Property taxes, on this valuable desert land, that Californians worked so hard to protect, against environmental damage, and also what they pay in property taxes on the real estate improvements, that they have added to the land, like towers, mirrors, boilers etc.

    I pay my property taxes, why shouldn’t they, on their five square miles.

  142. george e. smith says:

    “”””””…..RACookPE1978 says:

    February 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    This plant is 392 MegWatt, according to Reuters above. “…..””””

    That works out as 30 Watts per square meter for the whole 5 square miles (13 million square meters).

    Assuming 1,000 Watts per square meter for the sun input , but maybe 60% of that for that latitude so 50 Watts per square meter, that’s 5% efficiency, which I don’t believe given the mirror shadowing factor, to be able to scan even 8 hours a day.

  143. WestHighlander says:

    If you want a True Green Solution it is to develop a a small mass producible modular nuclear technology similar to the 50 year old proven Naval Nuclear Power plants. .. You standardize on a design and license the technology to all comers — no need for tons of red tape and paperwork.

    The plant consists of a site housing the standard electrical gear with an underground “bunker” housing the collection of packaged nuclear thermal units — with the size of the plant quarantined in say 100 MW per unit..

    These plants don’t need to be twenty year construction projects, nor need to store spent fuel rods. Like the modern Naval Reactor — when the clock runs out after many years, each of the individual modules are removed and refueled in the factory. Meanwhile the plant continues to operate with just a slight (say 1 of 10) reduction in capacity — 24 X 7

  144. Warrick says:

    Silent Spring?

  145. Jimmy Dell says:

    I’ll give you that, but somewhere along the funding process a review board would had to have asked the very same elementary questions that I asked. If that is not the case and as you believe, that all in the process are corrupt, which I do not believe, then we are doomed. I’ve gone through the funding process on a MUCH smaller scale and my impression is that most decision makers are uninformed and swayed by the hot green topic of the moment. Further when they are funding a project it’s not treated as though it’s real money, in their defence in this case, it’s not real money, it’s a loan guarantee. So the officials that need to deal with the collapse and liquidation, should that occur, will not be the same parties that issue the guarantees, hence escaping any blame.If the fallout from the Solyndra collapse is any indication of what might befall any of these decision makers; they have little to worry about and we should expect more not fewer of these boondoggles. .

  146. CalMike says:

    Mirrors to kill animals is not a new idea. Larry Niven used light reflecting “Slaver sunflowers” in his sci-fi novel Ringworld (1970).

  147. Gail Combs says:

    Fabi says:
    February 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Something I never see in the AGW’s calculus for solar farms: land acquisition costs
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Here is an example of how the ‘land acquisition costs’ were dealt with in Antelope Valley

    Jun 23 2011 L.A. County’s Private Property War
    …The men demanded her driver’s license, telling her, “This building is not permitted — everything must go….

    As her ordeal wore on, she heard one agent, looking inside their comfortable cabin, say to another: “This one’s a real shame — this is a real nice one.”

    A “shame” because the authorities eventually would enact some of the most powerful rules imaginable against rural residents: the order to bring the home up to current codes or dismantle the 26-year-old cabin, leaving only bare ground.

    “It is so heart-wrenching because there was a way to salvage this, but they wouldn’t work with me. It was, ‘Tear it down. Period.’ ”….

    Tough code enforcement has been ramped up in these unincorporated areas of L.A. County, leaving the iconoclasts who chose to live in distant sectors of the Antelope Valley frightened, confused and livid

    Bare ground with the owners desperate to sell is always a lot cheaper that a home where the owners refuse to move.

    03 January 2013 Warren Buffet Buys Antelope Valley Solar Projects for $2.5 Billion
    the energy utility owned by Warrant Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed to pay SunPower Corp. between $2-2.5 billion for the design, development, and installation of the 579MW Antelope Valley solar projects.

    The two solar installations that make up the 579MW project have been described as the largest photovoltaic development in the world. Construction is expected to begin this quarter and be completed by the end of 2015….

    The small profit margins expected from the SunPower facility mean that it has struggled to find financial backing, especially from banks. Chief Executive Tom Werner believes that Buffett’s involvement will now make SunPower more credit worthy

    So why the try to make a go of SunPower? This is just a bit from this article (No, really)

    October 21st, 2011 SunPower: Twice the Green Jobs Scandal for the Obama Administration of Solyndra
    news(DOT)thomasnet.com/IMT/2011/10/21/sunpower-twice-the-green-jobs-scandal-for-the-obama-administration-of-solyndra/

    …Now we find another green technology and energy company receiving a large slice of American taxpayer dollars… — SunPower.

    Not Again? Yes, Again. And Even Worse.

    SunPower’s..co-founder Richard Swanson, … a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, received grants from the Electric Power Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy to support solar power explorations. He incorporated SunPower.

    … it’s hard on any grounds to justify giving $1.2 billion to SunPower’s project to help build the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County [NOT Antelope Valley Solar I and II] under the rationale that it was “helping create green jobs.”

    The project would create permanent jobs, all right — all 15 of them…

    But the Obama administration forged ahead with the deal…

    …“Soon after the project run by SunPower got this loan guarantee, SunPower sold a big stake in itself, an estimated $1.3 billion, to French energy giant Total, at a 46% premium to its shares at the time.”…

    …the loan was made only hours before the DOE 1705 loan program expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2011 on Sept. 30. That the loan was made at all beggars belief, until one follows the whiffs of corruption surrounding the deal.

    Democrat Rep. George Miller’s son, George Miller IV, is SunPower’s top lobbyist, and he was paid $178,000 to lobby on behalf of the company. And as Fox reported, “the elder Miller, a powerful California Democrat, toured the plant last October with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.” The project is not in Miller’s congressional district. Miller’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

    Industry observer Neil W. McCabe wrote that SunPower now carries $820 million in debt, “an amount $20 million greater than its market capitalization. If SunPower was a bank, the feds would shut it down. Instead, it received a lifeline twice the size of the money sent down the Solyndra drain.”

    As McCabe reported, SunPower PAC filings show that for the 2010 midterm election campaign cycle, it donated $14,650 to Democrats and $1,000 to Republicans…..

  148. TonyG says:

    Every time I see one of these, I marvel that ANYONE can think this is GOOD for the environment.

  149. Steve Deatrick says:

    What’s not to like? Birds are a renewable resource. They are biomass. In that desert climate, their little bodies will dry hard in just a couple of days, and then they can be burned for fuel.

  150. wayne Job says:

    Unless the air is pristine and sand storms never happen, the maintenance will be horrendous.
    Cleaning mirrors in sunshine would be a no no. Some friend of a friend will most likely get the cleaning contract. Night shift only. Fixing any tracking problems or tower/ generator problems,
    would also be night shift. Ten years from now this will be an abandoned folly, covered in sand and tumble weed.

    Much like the forests of dead wind turbines that already exist.

  151. Berényi Péter says:

    Though Ivanpah is an engineering marvel, experts doubt more plants like it will be built in California.

    Rightly so. Because it is obvious at first sight, that it is not an “engineering marvel” at all.

    I assume automatically adjustable mirrors cost money and 347 thousand of them, the size of a garage door each cost a lot. I also assume engineers are supposed to find solutions that decrease costs without compromising operability.

    Now, roughly concentric arrangement of mirrors at Ivanpah is suboptimal, one could achieve higher average light flux density at the top of towers with less mirror surface. It is a simple puzzle in geometric optics, any moderately educated engineer should be able to find a much better solution in no time. I myself could do a decent job on it, with several hundred lines of code at most, although I am only a mathematician by training. The difference is not negligible, it can be as high as several hundred million dollars.

    It only shows no attempt was made at Ivanpah to decrease costs, that is, it was never meant to be a commercial venture, but something else. Fried birds are only a minor inconvenience compared to this blunder.

  152. K Smith says:

    Really, “dozens” of birds over the last few months? Do you realize that feral cats alone are estimated to kill more than 100 Million birds per year in the US? A single house cat can kill 300-500 birds per year. The biggest risks for bird are cats, buildings, and cars – upwards to a billion birds per year. Let’s keep this in perspective, especially when fossil fuels kill wildlife as well (including people) – emissions, chemical waste, gas explosions.

  153. dbstealey says:

    K Smith says:

    “A single house cat can kill 300-500 birds per year.” Estimated by whom, may I ask?

    Anyway, what’s your point?

    The point here is that adding more bird slicers/dicers is a bad idea.

    Besides, the average house cat probably doesn’t kill even one bird a year, unless it’s Tweety. They’re house cats, see?

    Now, if you want to help with the feral cat problem, every local Humane Society can use your assistance. [I've done this myself.] Cats are captured, neutered or spayed, then returned to their territory with a clipped ear to show they’ve been fixed & can’t reproduce. [They also get a flea treatment, rabies shots and other vetrenarian help.]

    Other feral cats don’t move in to a cat’s territory, otherwise they could be exterminated. So it’s more effective to fix and return them. They keep other ferals out.

    You can make a red-herring argument about cats, or you can debate the pro’s and con’s of windmills. But I suppose it’s easier to make the cat fallacy argument.

  154. K Smith says:

    The point is we need to make decisions about energy and the environment based on all the facts and based on the relative impact of those choices. Fossil fuels kill birds, animals and people. While I’m concerned about killing birds as much as the next guy, I’m not out there protesting hunting. If you care about birds so much, you should focus on the bigger avian issues – buildings, feral cats, cars, transmission lines – not an innovative plant that could be responsible for the amount of birds killed by one stray cat or one building in a year. The statistics on the top 10 risks to birds can be found in Google, and solar and wind turbines don’t even add up to one tenth of one percent. There may be other reasons not to do solar and wind, but risks to birds is truly a red herring.

  155. apachewhoknows says:

    So, just got here and read a bit up top.

    Question for moderators and or Anthony and/or other weather experts with access and knowledge of this area’s weather history.

    Any hail storms? How severe, how often?

    Anyone have an idea of the cost of “Hail Insurance” for this project?

    Sorry if this has been disscussed prior.

  156. apachewhoknows says:

    Too, any high wind problems in the area?

  157. K Smith says:

    The mirrors are constructed of tempered glass and to a thickness and durability to withstand hail, and in fact, undergo hail testing. Lenders and investors wouldn’t take that risk.

  158. K Smith says:

    Heliostats/mirrors also designed for high wind, but at a certain level they go into the “stow” position, which is flat for low wind resistance. Expect the design will handle 99% of the wind speeds anticipated in the area, just the crazy wind speeds forces them to go into stow. Projects typically monitor wind and solar resources on site for a couple of years prior to construction and correlate that with 20 years of satellite data or data from nearby airports.

  159. apachewhoknows says:

    So little bait, such a quick strike.
    Careful of apaches who know of ambushes.

  160. K Smith says:

    I read a lot.

  161. apachewhoknows says:

    Mr. K Smith of the reading a lot world.

    As this operation was built next to existing transmission lines that seem to power Las Vegas and or L.A. what do you think the transmission/distribution line loss is with the existing Power Factor?
    As the sun has this thing about “coming up” and “going down” what are the constraints of the time when the sun is not so, shall we say “hot” aka low angle of support. Out on the reservation we do not get much radiant heat until around 10:00 and often it cools down around 6:00 also.
    Thus it is not a 12 hour max deal yes? Sort of like a normal work day, say 8 hours or so.
    What do you thinki?

    The line loss would seem to be somewhere around 6% to 10%.
    The low angle time seems to be a known also. Looks to be only 7 hours out a possible 12 total.

    May be they need to go back and put all the mirrors on towers of say 300′ high to better the results because of the fact the earth is round and all that.

  162. john robertson says:

    Funny how the progressive/eco-nasty partnership works.
    Steal from and tax the poor to enrich the well connected.
    Throw out rule of law.
    One law for me. Nine for thee.
    Yet any who oppose this mendacity, are supposed to act only within the law?
    At what point does governments contempt for the law and wilful breach of contract with the lawful citizen, put them outside the law?

  163. RACookPE1978 says:

    K Smith says:
    February 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    The mirrors are constructed of tempered glass and to a thickness and durability to withstand hail, and in fact, undergo hail testing. Lenders and investors wouldn’t take that risk.

    K Smith says:
    February 14, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Heliostats/mirrors also designed for high wind, but at a certain level they go into the “stow” position, which is flat for low wind resistance. Expect the design will handle 99% of the wind speeds anticipated in the area, just the crazy wind speeds forces them to go into stow. Projects typically monitor wind and solar resources on site for a couple of years prior to construction and correlate that with 20 years of satellite data or data from nearby airports.

    No reason t assume at all that they had time for “years of tests” – since funding and construction followed so closely on the federal budgets and construction start limits since Obama and Reid took their dictatorship only in very early 2009, and needed a while to get funding into the contractor’s hands.

    Lots of assumptions there, and – IF this were a “real” design built by “real investors” (instead of Solyndra-clone-democrat-buddies-of-Reid-and-Obama) who were investing for a “real” power project, you might be right.

    This isn’t.

    Their “water use” alone – a “pump from the remaining underground reservoir until everybody runs out of water” proves it. The funding, the politics, the statements they are makning now – all prove it. “Make money fro political connections” NOW (during construction, for the union voters they are paying to get union re-election support) , then …. quit. Walk away. Like Solyndra, and any other of 300 similar nationwide construction projects for solar, insulation, wind and solar PV – with no repair and operations and maintenance budgets ever intended.

    What? You think California’s Democrat Senator Feinstein husband won that bid for the high-speed train inside California using federal and state money from nowhere to nowhere on “competence” and “economy” ?

    few records I found about hailstones in Las Vegas, but this was on UTube:
    ” Uploaded on Nov 3, 2011

    Here is another video of the September Hailstorm in my neighborhood, it was over almost as fast as it started and the hail was all melted 10 minutes later (but for a minute it looked like a winter wonderland with all the hail and when the water went down the drains)
    ” .

    Few hailstorms in Las Vegas is good. Reno had quail-sized hailstones, but rarely in the last 100 years. Also good.

    Are the tiled mirrors built against hail? Let us see the actual tests. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe the spec’s – IF they were written at all – were followed.

    More recent Las Vegas hailstorms reports below:

    Storm, hail pound Las Vegas Valley
    Posted: Oct 12, 2012 1:09 AM EDT Updated: Jul 22, 2013 6:20 PM EDT
    Posted By Craig Huber

    Lightning was a significant element of this week’s storms in Las Vegas. (Darien Kimrey)

    A viewer collects hail in Mesquite. (David Argaez)

    Hail hits the Las Vegas Valley (Liliya Caudill)

    LAS VEGAS (FOX5) –

    The Las Vegas Valley got hit by an intense storm Thursday night. The storm came from the south and moved to the north, intensifying as it moved.

    Lightning, thunder, heavy rain and hail peppered the valley. At one point, both a flash flood warning and severe thunderstorm warning were in effect.

    Crews had to perform a few swift water rescues, including one at I-15 and U.S. 95 and another at Eastern and Stewart avenues.

    The storm was so intense at one point the debate between Sen. Dean Heller and challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley at PBS was interrupted.

    Rainfall amounts for Thursday already broke a record for Oct. 11. The previous record was set at 0.12″ in 1945.

    Folks began to see rainfall as early as Wednesday night, as a low pressure system moved into the region.

    Along with the precipitation, people should expect temperatures to drop. Thursday’s high was forecasted at 71 degrees. Friday’s high is predicted at 70 degrees.

    Southern Nevada has undergone a significant weather event for the third straight month. In August, storms and flooding caused damage to some homes in the area. Those storms also claimed the life of a Henderson teen who was swept into the Pittman Wash.

  164. _Jim says:

    apachewhoknows says February 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    The line loss would seem to be somewhere around 6% to 10%.

    Probably the lowest loss component of the system; overall losses from transmission to distribution (T&D) could approach 10%, but not transmission alone …

    From page 3 of this
    document:

    The transmission and distribution or “T&D” system, then, includes everything between a generation plant and an end-use site. Along the way, some of the energy supplied by the generator is lost due to the resistance of the wires and equipment that the electricity passes through. Most of this energy is converted to heat. Just how much energy is taken up as losses in the T&D system depends greatly on the physical characteristics of the system in question as well as how it is operated.

    Generally speaking, T&D losses between 6% and 8% are considered normal.

    .

  165. RACookPE1978 says:

    Oh. Water use:

    This plant requires a modest amount of water every hour to make up for cooling (evaporation) losses and leaks in the steam side of their power plant. Not as much as some conventional steam plants, but about 5-8% is lost every day, and every gallon lost needs to be replaced from Las Vegas’ vunerable underground water. Which otherwise would be available for drinkign and people and crops and livestock.

    Hoover Dam is going empty to send water to Los Angelos and the Imperial Valley and Palm Springs. When the first surveys were done on the Colorado RIver flows in 1915-1918, and 1920-1930 to determine of Hoover Dam could fill up…. The Colorado Drainage Basin was in all-time high water and snow high. It has never been that high since.

    And is still going down.

  166. K Smith says:

    Let’s see catching up. Transmission line losses are likely much smaller than identified here. I’d be surprised if they were much more than 1%. Water use – the Ivanpah project is fully dry cooled (no evaporative losses), so water use is 15% of a conventional power plant with wet cooling (virtually all fossil fuel plants are wet cooled). A little water for mirror cleaning, but not significnat compared to wet cooling in conventional power plants. BrightSource had been developing the project since 2006 or 2007 and only started construction in 2010, so they certainly had a couple of years or more of solar and wind data – investors require it. Hail risk is zero – they will test and specs require it. Ivanpah will likely run 8-9 hours a day when the sun shines as they don’t have energy storage. SolarReserve’s project in Tonopah, Nevada has 10 hours of energy storage so can meet the utility’s peak energy requirements well into the evening hours – 10-11-12 midnight.

  167. stephanie says:

    We do not need to kill innocent birds to have energy folks, this sickens me

  168. anticlimactic says:

    PRODUCING SOLAR ENERGY AT NIGHT

    As mentioned in a previous post, this heliostat at Tonopah uses molten salt to store the heat so that energy can be produced round the clock. I like the low-tech idea of using mirrors, and also the low tech solution of molten salt as an energy store.

    It depends whether the economics works out – the EROEI [Energy returned on energy invested]. And of course it is only really suitable for a hot dry climate. Even so it sounds like an interesting idea. Could be ideal for Africa IF the economics are okay.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article44429.html

  169. john says:

    Pipe Rupture, Fires Vex Ivanpah Solar Crews

    http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/concentrating-solar/pipeline-rupture-fires-vex-ivanpah-solar-crews.html

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert suffered a setback in mid-May when a rupture was found in a tube intended to heat steam for use generating power at Unit 2. Repairs are still continuing, according to a state agency that monitors the energy plant. That rupture followed close on the heels of three “ignition incidents” at the plant’s Units 1 and 2.

  170. WestHighlander says:

    K Smith says:
    February 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm
    Really, “dozens” of birds over the last few months? Do you realize that feral cats alone are estimated to kill more than 100 Million birds per year in the US? A single house cat can kill 300-500 birds per year. The biggest risks for bird are cats, buildings, and cars – upwards to a billion birds per year. Let’s keep this in perspective, especially when fossil fuels kill wildlife as well (including people) – emissions, chemical waste, gas explosions.

    K. Smith and sources don’t seem to differentiate between almost nuisance song birds [e.g. sparrows] and perhaps a young inexperienced Blue Jay which are targets for feral or even pet cats — and Falcons, Eagles, Hawks — which no cat with even a half-brain would think of taking on.

    The solar mirror fryers and wind dice-a-matics are agnostic — they don’t care whether the targets are migrating song bids or hunting birds of prey — no bird has evolved any defenses of any use against the Green Technologies. Even bats who could in principle use their sonar to evade the wind turbines’ bird-a-matic blades have nothing to help them with the solar version of the Foreman Grill

  171. Lars P. says:

    K Smith says:
    February 14, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    The point is we need to make decisions about energy and the environment based on all the facts and based on the relative impact of those choices. Fossil fuels kill birds, animals and people. While I’m concerned about killing birds as much as the next guy, I’m not out there protesting hunting. If you care about birds so much, you should focus on the bigger avian issues – buildings, feral cats, cars, transmission lines – not an innovative plant that could be responsible for the amount of birds killed by one stray cat or one building in a year.

    The typical double standard at work K Smith. Then why not judge these initiatives by the same standards set for fossil fuels?
    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2010/11/01/wind-powers-double-standard/
    How much is a birds life worth?
    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2009/08/21/how-much-is-a-birds-life-worth-part-1/
    Why is it different depending on your group-think wishes?

  172. Andrew says:

    So…a plant that (during peak daylight) takes up the entire area of – for example – the City of Perth local govt area. And produces enough power 20% of the time for 50,000 people (homes are about 1/3 of total power; the rest being the transport and business they rely on). Yep – sounds great.

    But wait – maybe this is just a stage. You know, “investing in green energy development” – after all, “technology is making green energy cheaper and more competitive.” Perhaps the next generation of solar collectors will be 1/10 of the size and generate 5x the power, by…um…focusing 2000% of the energy hitting a given area. Or not. Solar CANNOT get any better than this. Mirrors are basically 100% reflective already. And they need constant cleaning to stay that way.

    About $2bn flushed down the toilet.

  173. john says:

    Iberdrola: Suddenly sour on solar thermal

    http://social.csptoday.com/technology/iberdrola-suddenly-sour-solar-thermal

    Sánchez Galán, head of Iberdrola, the world’s largest renewable energy operator and a member of the council of Spain’s solar thermal association Protermosolar, had laid into the CSP sector during the call. “The 2,500 MW of solar thermal plants already preregistered could result in an additional cost of €2 billion,” he claimed after trumpeting a 3.5% rise in company profits, to EUR€2.14 billion.
    “The massive deployment of these plants at the moment has no justification. We must immediately stop the development of economically and environmentally inefficient energies. Someone has to pay for the green solar feast; we can’t carry on doing things for the few.”

  174. rakman says:

    I find it interesting the plant foot print is 13 million sq m and can produce 400 MW of electricity. That comes out to about 30 w/sqm of solar energy to electricity far short of the 1kw/sqm the sun provides. This would seem to be less efficient than photo-voltaic systems. I would have expected a much more efficient system. And at a price tag of $2.2 billion, way too expensive and probably will only run until the government subsidies die out.

  175. K Smith says:

    Wow. You are fending Exxon’s environmental activities against wind and solar? That’s pretty misplaced. Do a search on all the environmental damage done at Exxon facilities – spills, pollution, fatalities to wildlife and humans. How about the Exxon Valdez? The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, eventually covered 1,300 miles of coastline and 11,000 square miles of ocean. That one accident dwarfs the entire worldwide solar and wind industry (forever…). And the lobbing activities and donation to politicians in the oil industries are on the order of 1000 times greater than that in renewables. Go to Opensecrets and check out the public information on donations.

  176. K Smith says:

    You’ve missed the rest of the conversation Stephanie. The biggest risks to birds, by orders of magnitude, is feral cats, building, transmission lines, cars & trucks. More than 500 million birds per year fall to these risks. What’s your view on this? Tear down the buildings? Close the roads? Kill all the stray cats? (they actually tried to pass legalize the hunting of stray cats in Wisconsin to help the bird problem, and it failed).

  177. richardscourtney says:

    K Smith:

    At February 15, 2014 at 8:42 am you say

    Wow. You are fending Exxon’s environmental activities against wind and solar?

    Yes. Of course.

    Only a fool would think the immense benefits of Exon’s activities fail to outweigh the trivial disadvantageous effects of their activities.

    Also, only a fool would think the trivial benefits of wind and solar outweigh their immense disadvantageous effects.

    And you follow that with your post at February 15, 2014 at 8:46 am which further demonstrates your inability to balance costs and benefits. The benefits of housing and power supplies are more than worth the cost in bird deaths they cause. But there are no benefits of wind and solar to be assessed against the cost in bird deaths they cause.

    It would be helpful if you were to try to think before making your posts.

    Richard

  178. K Smith says: February 15, 2014 at 8:46 am

    The biggest risks to birds, by orders of magnitude, is feral cats, building, transmission lines, cars & trucks. More than 500 million birds per year fall to these risks. What’s your view on this? Tear down the buildings? Close the roads? Kill all the stray cats? (they actually tried to pass legalize the hunting of stray cats in Wisconsin to help the bird problem, and it failed).

    No, I think we just start feeding bird of prey and bats into the smokestacks of coal and natural gas fired power plants so that greens can feel less like hypocrites…

  179. K Smith says:

    Who are you kidding, that’s been happening for decades and decades. I built a bunch of them for the first 20 years of my career.

  180. richardscourtney says:

    K Smith:

    Your post at February 15, 2014 at 10:29 am says in total

    Who are you kidding, that’s been happening for decades and decades. I built a bunch of them for the first 20 years of my career.

    OK. I’ll bite.

    What has “been happening for decades and decades”, and what do you claim to have “built”?

    Richard

  181. K Smith says:

    A wise friend told me that once someone resorts to insults, he has clearly reached the limit of his mental capacity. Looks like you are there and time for me to on with my small part in changing the world. One last note. Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the world has embarked on a 120 Billion (that’s a ‘B’) dollar solar program. They recognize where oil is going and they want to sell rather than consume. We should take note. Exxon sells to the highest bidder, whether its the US, the Europeans, or the Chinese. Energy independence can’t be achieved at world oil prices. The world is changing and we need to change as well – new energy sources, new solutions for conserving water. Not all of the new ideas will work, but that hasn’t stopped Americans from trying, We either change or get left behind. You are on the wrong side of history my friend, but I forgot, you’ve reached your limit.

  182. richardscourtney says:

    K Smith:

    At February 15, 2014 at 10:34 am I asked you to clarify a post you had made at February 15, 2014 at 10:29 am.

    Subsequently, at February 15, 2014 at 10:38 am, you posted an irrelevant diatribe aimed at some friend of yours whom you claim has insulted you. Although I have some sympathy for you having fallen out with a friend, your distress seems to have caused you to overlook my request for clarification.

    Please be so kind as to provide the clarification I requested.

    Richard

  183. Lars P. says:

    K Smith says:
    February 15, 2014 at 10:38 am
    A wise friend told me that once someone resorts to insults, he has clearly reached the limit of his mental capacity. Looks like you are there and time for me to on with my small part in changing the world. One last note. Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the world has embarked on a 120 Billion (that’s a ‘B’) dollar solar program. They recognize where oil is going and they want to sell rather than consume. We should take note.

    Where are the insults? Arguments are not insults K Smith, but arguments. Wind and solar do not get a free pass just because they are wind and solar. It has to make sense, which does not seem to be the case. There are many arguments against.
    Where are the pro arguments?
    If you have arguments post them. I think most of the people here are very interested in new energy sources and would be great to get new ideas, but not propaganda.

    Frankly speaking I do not look forward at Saudi Arabia as an innovative country, but if you have an information about the 120 billion solar project would like to learn more.
    Saudi’s oil will end sometime, the population is increasing fast, so they will have some challenges to overcome.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/31/a-look-at-oil-production/

    For energy I’d rather think China and India are on the right path with Thorium, but lets see.

    For oil there is still some in many parts for instance here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/24/up-to-233-billion-barrels-of-oil-discovered-in-southern-australia/
    and other…keystone?

  184. Water! Steam engines need a lot of water, no matter what you burn, coal or mirrored sunlight. Where in the desert they get all that water? Even if they condense and recuperate steam (which is not very efficient in hot and dry conditions), they constantly lose at least part of it, and need additional water. You need water to periodically clean all those 350,000 mirrors. You need to cool somehow not only your steam but all the mechanisms moving the mirrors, and the electronics controlling those mechanisms, in the middle of fiery desert, under the air blanket heated to thousand degrees by your solar plant. I’ve heard California is in serious drought.

  185. Chad Wozniak says:

    @RACookPE1978 –

    1/4 of 3/4 is 3/16; divided by 5.5 (difference in cost per MW) works out to solar being about 3.4% as efficient as fossil fuel per dollar spent – and that’s just the equipment cost. Add in the 15% fossil fuel increment for backup (increment in addition to fossil generation), the land cost (not included in the 5.5 x multiplier), additional transmission lines and substations, maintenance, unforeseen but certain excessive wear, etc., and there is no way in hell these installations will ever be economic – my back-of-the-envelope figure of $2/kWh is probably optimistic – could actually be substantially more than that. Building them is just pouring money into the sewer. It’s so obvious as to make me suspect the deliberate commission of waste here.

    Our country is being run by thieves, vandals, wastrels and mental cases – that’s the only explanation for all this stuff to have been possible.

  186. _Jim says:

    K Smith says February 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

    One last note. Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the world has embarked on a 120 Billion (that’s a ‘B’) dollar solar program.

    This, as they say, is going to be interesting to watch. The Saudis expect to install approx. 16,000 (16 Gigawatts) of PV cells by 2032 … what does this mean as to ‘the numbers’ (of panels, that is) with an interim goal of 6 (six) GW by 2020 (just SIX years off now)?

    Saudi Arabia needs 10,000 solar panels a day to achieve goal
    Posted by: October 7, 2013

    7 October 2013 – Saudi Arabia plans to install 16 GW of solar-photovoltaic (PV) capacity by 2032, of which 6.0 GW is targeted for installation before 2020. Given that few megawatts of solar PV have been installed so far, nearly 1,000 MW will need to be installed every year to achieve Saudi Arabia’s 2020 target.

    Since 1,000 MW of PV equates to some six million square metres, roughly four million solar panels will be required a year, or more than 10,000 solar panels per day.

    Now, the proposed use of some of their solar is to operate desalination plants, which makes some amount of sense as opposed to using solar to replace conventional power sources (given the character of solar over the course of a day).

    Regardless, buy popcorn and stay tuned …

    .

  187. _Jim says:

    K Smith says February 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

    One last note. Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the world has embarked on a 120 Billion (that’s a ‘B’) dollar solar program.

    Then, there is this article below, leaving me a little confused because, you just got done saying Saudi Arabia has embarked on a “120 Billion (that’s a ‘B’) dollar” solar … well, it seems the Saudis are ‘covering’ all bases/options with this move:

    Why has Nuclear Power become so Important to Saudi Arabia?
    By MINING.com | Fri, 10 January 2014 18:56 | 4

    Saudi Arabia – known for its massive oil resources – is making a serious push for a different kind of energy: Nuclear power.

    Last week the country signed a deal with France’s AREVA and EDF on a series of initiatives aimed at supporting Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy program.

    Japan is also preparing a nuclear power pact with the Saudi Kingdom. The deal would allow Japanese businesses to export atomic-related infrastructure to the country, as reported by Japan Times.

    Saudi Arabia officially started looking into nuclear power in 2006. Along with the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman – the oil-rich nation led an investigation into the possibility of a nuclear power and desalination program.

    According to the World Nuclear Association, Saudi Arabia plans on building 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years, with the first scheduled to come on line in 2022.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-O-S/Saudi-Arabia/

    Per the report (link above) the above story was based on, these two items are their energy goals:

    – Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, with the first reactor on line in 2022.
    – It projects 17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2032 to provide 15% of the power then, along with over 40 GWe of solar capacity.

    We. Shall. See. In my previous post I cited a story in which the Saudis’ plan for solar is “6.0 GW is targeted for installation before 2020.

    Who wants to bet me that the Nuclear goal is met, whereas the Solar goal is not met?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? K Smith?

    .

  188. K Smith says:

    You calculations are completely wrong. The Power Contract for SolarReserve facility in Nevada was made public in 2009 and was 13.5 cents/kw (not $2/kw) and flat for 25 years even if oil prices go to $250/barrel. A bit high, but it is the first of a kind technology with energy storage. PV prices for utility scale facilities in California and Arizona are now around 6 to 7 cents/kw-hr. in the recent bids. Actually cheaper than natural gas. A judge in Minnesota ruled solar cheaper than natural gas – http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/02/judge-rules-solar-power-better-deal-minnesota-natural-gas . Renewable are now much more cost effective than coal and nuclear and with natural gas prices double in the last few years, very competitive even with natural gas. Once natural gas prices start being exported a LNG at world prices that are triple what we pay, you can expect some big spikes in natural gas.

  189. K Smith says:

    The nuclear program in Saudi Arabia is currently failing farther behind the solar program. Biggest issue is cost, which is far greater than the cost of solar. Solar with energy storage is a reality (see SolarReserve and Abengoa and Sener). The solar goal is achievable, nuclear unlikely (I’ve met with the Saudi government in the last 60 days). Check out South Africa – they too have been looking at solar and nuclear. In South Africa they have successfully built almost $5 billion in solar over the past two years alone, and the nuclear program is on life support and likely to be cancelled due to high costs and lack of support.

  190. K Smith says:

    For RACook and for all you Exxon lovers, check out the public information on lobbying and donations: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000129&cycle=A . Or just go to http://www.OpenSecrets.org and search Exxon. Total lobby expenses that Exxon has publicly registered is $207 million since 1998 ($13 million in 2013 alone) with 298 bills being mentioned in their filings. Lobbying efforts are required to be publicly filed. Historical donations to politicians of $18 million. The website shows the split between Repubs and Dems. No surprise they are big supporters of Republicans, favoring Repubs over Dems by 90% to 10% (or so). And that’s just Exxon. Completely legal though. Then check out the largest solar company in the US, First Solar. Total lobby of around $3M of which 2013 was around $600k or less than 5% of Exxon’s activities. There are not too many big solar companies so oil/nat gas lobbying and donation activities versus the renewable energy industry is probably 100 times greater. These are big, profitable multi-billion dollar companies versus a band of primarily new technology venture capital backed startups. Is that really surprising to you guys?

  191. _Jim says:

    This, K Smith, is also telling:

    Saudi Arabia plans gas-fired power plant integrating solar energy
    December 31, 2013
    By PennEnergy Editorial Staff

    Saudi Arabia’s state-owned utility Saudi Electricity Co. has announced it is seeking bids to build, own and operate an advanced gas-fired power plant, Reuters reported. Saudi Electricity anticipates building the 550-megawatt plant near Tabuk on the Red Sea coast. The plant would be the first facility in the country to be powered by both fossil fuels and solar power, using a process know as integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC). Saudi Electricity said it aims to use solar power as a means to increase fuel efficiency.

    Solar just *can’t* make it on it’s own … there is no cheating physics, no ‘pushing of the string’ when it comes to the actuality of power system engineering with regard to reliability and consistency.

    .

  192. K Smith says:

    Jim, that was the story about 3 or 4 years ago, not today. Investments worldwide last year alone of more than $250 BBBillion. In the US last year there was more renewable energy capacity built than natural gas – almost nothing built for coal and nuclear (and no prospects in the future). Pretty much the same worldwide. Dramatic decreases in the prices of solar and wind have changed the markets. Check out the stock market prices for 2013 and 2014 for companies like First Solar, Solar City and SunPower. Wall Street has supported 400% price increases. It’s going to be a solar world my friends, it’s just a matter of time.

  193. _Jim says:

    K Smith says February 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Jim, that was the story about 3 or 4 years …

    You are a funny [wo?]man K Smith; I like the “Do you believe me or your lying eyes” bit too when the ‘story’ datelines above are from October and December of 2013 and January of this year …

    Do you garden K Smith? Or did you assist when you were younger? Even back then you would have realized the part solar insolation (short for incident or incoming solar radiation) played in plant growth …

    Are you aware of the mania that gripped a good portion of the western world about the year 1637? What parallels with solar can you draw with that ‘event’ vis-a-vis artificial bubbles? The stock market is also operating in an ‘artificial bubble’ because of Fed Reserve bank policy known as Quantitative Easing; I hope this is note the first time you have been made aware of this …

    .

  194. K Smith says:

    The stock market was only one signal, but not really the story. The real story is competitive electricity pricing. World panel prices have gone down by 80-90% over the past 5 years. From places like Minnesota, Colorado and even Brazil wind and solar are now viewed as cost competitive with all forms of electricity generation. You can fool a few people, maybe, but not $250 billion of investments worldwide in dozens and dozens of countries. I spent most of my career building and financing natural gas and nuclear projects, and have reviewed hundreds of economic pro formas on projects. The utilities and oil companies are striking back hard because they recognize the real threat. Too late though, the market is here.

  195. _Jim says:

    K Smith says February 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Renewable are now much more cost effective than coal and nuclear and with …

    This sounds so like much like a “talking your book” moment, as if done by a solar salesman, bookmaker or odds-maker, and with continued nutty mandates, requirements by your ‘partners’ in on the swindle (the government) you could force it to happen.

    Of course, there will be consequences, e.g. a lowered standard of living as the ‘price’ of everything must bear the higher cost of energy (usually electrical energy in a modern society), and especially as evidence of fuel poverty grows among the poor who can’t afford ‘heat’ …

    And you just don’t care!

    .

  196. _Jim says:

    K Smith, this post is for you. After you have finished reading the excerpted text below, please answer the following two questions:

    1) Was this published: in 1983, 2003 or 2013?
    2) If this was published in 2003 or 1983, why hasn’t solar made greater inroads (and faster) in the Saudi Kingdom than it has?

    IN SAUDI ARABIA, THE SUN SHINES BRIGHT ON SOLAR POWER

    TWO years ago, this village of 3,000 people, only 20 miles from Riyadh, the capital of this kingdom, had no electricity. Today, villagers proudly display their televisions, toasters and other accouterments of an electrified society.

    But when Saudis here turn their lights on at night, they are using energy generated not by their country’s vast oil reserves, but by the sun.

    This village and two others nearby are the first in the kingdom, or anywhere, to be powered continuously and primarily by solar power.

    Earlier this month, the kingdom celebrated this accomplishment at a dedication attended by a bevy of princes, solar scientists, Government officials and the direct beneficiaries of the project itself, the villagers.

    The Saudi Solar Village Project, as it is called, is one of several solar experiments being sponsored by the Saudi Arabian National Center for Science and Technology and the United States Department of Energy as part of a joint cooperation agreement signed in 1977. Under the five- year agreement, each country is to provide $50 million for specific technical projects. The agreement was extended last year for three more years to enable all of the $100 million to be committed. The solar village, which has cost about $26 million, is the largest project to date.

    After 16 months of continuous operation, Saudi officials decided to pronounce the solar village a success.

    You can check your answer to my first question posed above here.

    .

  197. Bob Spline says:

    *sigh* Just because big businessmen are being unscrupulous, doesn’t mean it can’t work. Look up what Germany is doing. You’ll see how it’s done. 1) Guaranteed payments, sunsetted over 20 years. This incentivizes small scale development. 2) Development of storage and distribution with a combination approach (they produce excess power during the day, store it as gas by converting the power to methane via a water vapor shift reaction, and then burn the gas at night, as well as are working on installing special wet cell ‘neighborhood’ battery arrays. They use matte solar panels to reduce/eliminate glare. They install on roadways and roofs. It’s a good project and is working. But here in the good ‘ol US, we won’t let innovators loose by creating good incentives for small business and individuals. No, we just want to fund BIG projects that are total crap. Gotta love it.

  198. richardscourtney says:

    K Smith:

    It seems that you have still overlooked my question in response to your assertions which I first posed here.

    I feel sure you will want to correct this oversight because your failure to do so suggests you were posting pure BS.

    Richard

  199. drumphil says:

    I find most of what has been said here very weak.

    “Look at those stupid greenies! They say they are out to save the planet, but look! Their ideas have impacts too!”

    This is just a straw man attack. Who is claiming that renewable energy sources can be built for free with no impact on anything?

    Of course building a solar plant has an impact on the environment, but so does drilling for gas, or mining and burning coal. The relative levels of environmental damage have to be assessed, and in my opinion (cue WUWT burning of the heretic) carbon output should be factored into this assessment as a negative.

  200. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    At February 16, 2014 at 6:55 am you say

    Of course building a solar plant has an impact on the environment, but so does drilling for gas, or mining and burning coal. The relative levels of environmental damage have to be assessed, and in my opinion (cue WUWT burning of the heretic) carbon output should be factored into this assessment as a negative.

    Nobody denies that all methods for obtaining useful energy have “an impact on the environment”. Indeed, I addressed this specifically in my post addressed to K Smith at February 15, 2014 at 8:42 am where I wrote

    Only a fool would think the immense benefits of Exon’s activities fail to outweigh the trivial disadvantageous effects of their activities.

    Also, only a fool would think the trivial benefits of wind and solar outweigh their immense disadvantageous effects.

    I write to ask you for an explanation of your assertion that

    carbon output should be factored into this assessment as a negative.

    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Richard

  201. drumphil says:

    richardscourtney said:

    “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    So I take it you are stating that the only effect increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere has on our environment is to enhance plant growth?

  202. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    At February 16, 2014 at 7:42 am you restate my question and reply with another question. Your post says in total

    richardscourtney said:

    “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    So I take it you are stating that the only effect increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere has on our environment is to enhance plant growth?

    NO! It is simply true that enhanced plant growth is the only discernible effect of increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere from their present levels. Some people claim that in future some other effects may become discernible, but there are no reasons to suppose their claims have any validity.

    So, having reminded you of those indisputable facts, I again ask you
    “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    Richard

  203. drumphil says:

    richardscourtney said:

    “NO! It is simply true that enhanced plant growth is the only discernible effect of increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere from their present levels.”

    Ok, so you agree that there are other discernible effects.

    ” Some people claim that in future some other effects may become discernible, but there are no reasons to suppose their claims have any validity.”

    Except that there is no validity to claim that other effects may become discernible.

    So, which is it?

    “So, having reminded you of those indisputable facts,”

    Exactly what were the facts that you just stated?

    “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    Well, that assumes that “enhanced” plant growth would be a good thing, but it is besides the point anyway. You aren’t just asking a question. You are also making the statement that enhanced plant growth is the only side effect of increased carbon levels, when you ask me a question like that in response to my statement that I believe that increased carbon levels would be a negative effect on the environment, as the answer to that would only settle the issue if it was in fact the only effect on the environment.

  204. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    Your post at February 16, 2014 at 9:02 am demonstrates that you are the worst kind of dissembling troll. It misrepresents me in the most blatant and egregious fashion because you are trying to avoid answering my clear and simple question concerning YOUR daft assertion that

    carbon output should be factored into this assessment as a negative

    .

    My question was and is

    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    You attempted to evade an answer by posing a question in reply and I answered that reply. Your post I am answering misrepresents my reply to your evasive question as a method to provide a Red Herring which also deflects from MY QUESTION WHICH YOU ARE REFUSING TO ANSWER.

    Your Red Herring starts by quoting my having said

    NO! It is simply true that enhanced plant growth is the only discernible effect of increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere from their present levels.

    then says

    Ok, so you agree that there are other discernible effects.

    SAY WHAT!? HOW DARE YOU!?
    What parts of “NO!” and “only” are you incapable of reading?

    I specifically denied that there are other “discernible effects”.

    Indeed, I stressed the point by adding my statement which you also quote; viz.

    Some people claim that in future some other effects may become discernible, but there are no reasons to suppose their claims have any validity.

    and you reply to that saying

    Except that there is no validity to claim that other effects may become discernible.

    YES! THAT IS WHAT I CLEARLY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY STATED.

    And those two clear and unambiguous statements are the two “facts” which you assert I did not provide to you!

    Egregious troll, you have obfuscated enough.
    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Richard

  205. Lars P. says:

    drumphil says:
    February 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Well, that assumes that “enhanced” plant growth would be a good thing, but it is besides the point anyway. You aren’t just asking a question. You are also making the statement that enhanced plant growth is the only side effect of increased carbon levels, when you ask me a question like that in response to my statement that I believe that increased carbon levels would be a negative effect on the environment, as the answer to that would only settle the issue if it was in fact the only effect on the environment.

    Before putting enhanced between apostrophes do a bit of research. The stupidity of your post is clearly explained if you start to understand that food for about 1 billion out of 7 billion of people is due to the enhanced plant growth due to CO_2.

  206. drumphil says:

    “You attempted to evade an answer by posing a question in reply and I answered that reply. Your post I am answering misrepresents my reply to your evasive question as a method to provide a Red Herring which also deflects from MY QUESTION WHICH YOU ARE REFUSING TO ANSWER.”

    How can I answer that question in a manner relevant to the subject if I don’t agree with the premise that enhance plant growth is the only effect of increased carbon levels.

    As for the rest, seriously, get over yourself.

    One concession I will make is over the issue of “NO!”

    I should have read more carefully, when you started with “NO!”, in answer to my question:

    “So I take it you are stating that the only effect increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere has on our environment is to enhance plant growth?”

    My bad.

  207. drumphil says:

    “And those two clear and unambiguous statements are the two “facts” which you assert I did not provide to you!”

    I didn’t realize that your opinion was the standard that facts were judged by.

    “Egregious troll, you have obfuscated enough.”

    Gawd, you do love to get all sanctimonious don’t you.

  208. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    At February 16, 2014 at 9:49 am you try another Red Herring by saying to me

    Gawd, you do love to get all sanctimonious don’t you.

    Don’t try to pretend my anger at your disgraceful behaviour is sanctimony.

    Answer the question.
    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Richard

  209. drumphil says:

    “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    I don’t, but then I don’t know a lot about the possible negative effects of enhanced plant growth, so I can’t really comment. That question however, makes no mention of CO2, or effects of increased carbon levels, which is after all what we are talking about.

    I mean, how would you take it if I asked: “Why do you think it is “a negative” to reduce global warming and stabilize ecosystems?”

    I am still at least a little bit surprised by your attitude, but I guess I’ll get use to things round here eventually.

  210. drumphil says:

    And, on the subject of being sanctimonious, do you still maintain your position on my comments about Don Easterbrook? You were pretty harsh in your statements about me. Has he corrected the relevant graphs, and provided the data necessary to replicate his work, or not?

    Didn’t see much of you in the last thread on the issue started by Bob Tisdale.

  211. drumphil says:

    Frankly, I came into this issue as a skeptic of the science of global warming, but putting froward here a few of the arguments suggested to me by some of my friends has been an eye opening experience for me. Especially the manner in which I have been treated personally in the process.

  212. richardscourtney says:

    Drumphil:

    I am replying to your obfuscations, self-stated falsehood and additional Red Herring in your posts at February 16, 2014 at 10:01 am, February 16, 2014 at 10:06 am and February 16, 2014 at 10:15 am.

    Before that, I again ask you to give a clear answer to my question concerning your daft assertion. Again. My question is
    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Firstly, I made it very clear that I know for certain fact that the only discernible effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration above present levels is enhanced plant growth. Hence, it is stupid for you to ask me if I want to “reduce global warming”, especially when global warming stopped at least 17 years ago. And, of course, I do not want to “stabilize” biodiversity: I want evolution to continue.
    But so what? None of that has anything to do with your refusal to justify your daft assertion.

    Secondly, your “surprise” at my attitude is to be expected from an egregious troll: I don’t like them.

    I don’t have a clue what your comments were about Don Easterbrook and I can’t be bothered to look them up. Bob Tisdale, Anth0ny and Willis each made the pertinent complaint and I saw no need for me to ‘pile in’. I was the most severe complainant at Scarfetta when he first posted here, and my complaints at the ‘Solar Team’ here and on another blog were among the most severe because I oppose bad science from anybody.
    Again, so what? None of that has anything to do with your refusal to justify your daft assertion.

    Thirdly, you have been “treated” as you asked to be “treated”.
    You claim you

    came into this issue as a skeptic of the science of global warming

    but you make no comment on that “science” except to ask me if I want to stop global warming.

    And you made an assertion but you refuse to provide any justification for it; instead you evade, and obfuscate then feign indignation when called-out for trolling. Which brings us back to the question which you refuse to answer;
    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Richard

  213. drumphil says:

    “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”

    “I don’t, but then I don’t know a lot about the possible negative effects of enhanced plant growth, so I can’t really comment. ”

    Are you really suggesting that what I said there isn’t an answer to your question? Second time I’ve typed that now.

    If you accept that I have answered your question, then what on earth was the point of the rest of your rambling?

    A little less time being sanctimonious, and a little more actual reading would help.

  214. drumphil says:

    “Firstly, I made it very clear that I know for certain fact that the only discernible effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration above present levels is enhanced plant growth.”

    Right, so it must be true.

    “Hence, it is stupid for you to ask me if I want to “reduce global warming”, especially when global warming stopped at least 17 years ago.”

    But it isn’t stupid for you to ask me “Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?”, when I don’t believe that “enhanced” plant growth is the only effect CO2 has on the environment.

    And of course the basis you have to justify your question, but dismiss mine is….. the self proclaimed fact that you are right, and I’m wrong. Not a lot of science in that.

  215. drumphil says:

    If you wanted to ask about the reasons why I believe what I do, then you could have. But you instead chose to ask a loaded question, that is only reasonable if one agrees that enhanced plant growth is the only effect of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, when I do not agree with this. Your choice to go about things this way.

  216. drumphil says:

    Something else I’m pretty sure of is that Willis or Bob wouldn’t have lead with a question like that if they disagreed with me on something. I wonder if you can think of any reasons why that would be? Do you disagree?

  217. drumphil says:

    And, to add one final note, Bob and Willis are the reason I decided to actually keep reading WUWT, and take part in the discussions.

    They are too busy with facts and figures to have time to run around looking for reasons to take offense at someones response to a loaded question they wouldn’t have posed in the first place.

  218. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    I am replying to your posts addressed to me at
    February 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm
    February 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm
    February 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm and
    February 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm
    in which you laughably accuse me of “rambling”.

    I again remind that you made the daft assertion

    carbon output should be factored into this assessment as a negative.

    and I replied saying I was “asking you to explain that assertion” by asking you

    Why do you think it is “a negative” to have enhanced plant growth resulting in greater harvests and greater biodiversity?

    Your response was a series of evasive and objectionable posts which attempted talk about anything except your assertion.

    Eventually I managed to get a response but not an answer to the question when you wrote

    I don’t, but then I don’t know a lot about the possible negative effects of enhanced plant growth, so I can’t really comment.

    You “can’t really comment” on a requested justification of your assertion!?
    You “can’t really comment”!

    And you try to excuse that saying

    If you wanted to ask about the reasons why I believe what I do, then you could have. But you instead chose to ask a loaded question, that is only reasonable if one agrees that enhanced plant growth is the only effect of increased CO2 in the atmosphere, when I do not agree with this. Your choice to go about things this way.

    The question was NOT “loaded”. It was a direct request for you to justify your daft assertion by explaining why the ONLY discernible effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration should be assessed as being “a negative”.

    And the best you can do is to say you “can’t really comment”.

    OK. drumphil, the stage is now reached where the ONLY reasonable response from you is to withdraw your untrue assertion which you admit you cannot justify and to apologise for your behaviour.

    I will be pleased to accept the withdrawal and apology, and I will ignore any more of your ridiculous waffle.

    Richard

  219. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    I observe that while I was writing my response to your previous four posts you added some more ridiculous waffle at February 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm.

    My reply to the four earlier posts incorporates my response to your additional irrelevant nonsense.

    Richard

  220. drumphil says:

    Gawd, the arrogance.. It’s so bright it burns! The goggles do nothing!

    “The question was NOT “loaded”. It was a direct request for you to justify your daft assertion by explaining why the ONLY discernible effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration should be assessed as being “a negative”.”

    Right, so the “fact” that you are right means your question isn’t loaded, and the “fact” that I am wrong means that mine is. I get it now. The double standard is crystal clear.

  221. drumphil says:

    I wouldn’t ask you “Why do you think it is a “negative” to have reduced sea level rises”, because I know that you don’t agree that increased CO2 levels are causing this. The answer is meaningless for the real issue, which ISN’T whether or not sea level rises are bad.

  222. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    I see you have decided to make additional unjustifiable assertions instead of apologising for your first one.

    Sad. Very sad. Not even good trolling.

    Richard

  223. drumphil says:

    “You “can’t really comment” on a requested justification of your assertion!?
    You “can’t really comment”!”

    You question was about whether or not I think enhanced plant growth is a good thing. I don’t know. Probably… But you are relying on the tortured logic, that because you are right about the “fact” that this is the only effect increased CO2 has, that this somehow makes the question relevant to my statement.

    Tell me this. Why didn’t you just ask what I have to justify my belief? Why did you feel the need to ask a different question instead?

    You could have asked a straight question, but chose not to.

  224. drumphil says:

    “I see you have decided to make additional unjustifiable assertions instead of apologising for your first one.

    Sad. Very sad. Not even good trolling.”

    Yeah, well, I work as a musician playing in pubs, so the bile of an angry old man really doesn’t phase me.

  225. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    Your problem is that I DID ask “a straight question” and it exposed your comment for what it is; i.e. baseless nonsense.

    Apologise or go away.

    Richard

  226. drumphil says:

    “Your problem is that I DID ask “a straight question” and it exposed your comment for what it is; i.e. baseless nonsense.”

    A straight question would have been “Why do you believe that increased CO2 concentrations are bad?”

    You instead ask why I think enhanced plant growth is bad, which is only relevant if I agree that enhanced plant growth is the only effect. I mean, you weren’t just randomly wondering what I thought about enhanced plant growth.

    I fail to understand how you can’t see what you are doing there. Do you really not think that “Why do you believe that increased CO2 concentrations are bad?” isn’t a better question? More direct? Straighter?

  227. drumphil says:

    argh.. double negative….

  228. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    Just withdraw and apologise. Your resort to sophistry makes you a laughing stock.

    Richard

  229. u.k.(us) says:

    @ richardscourtney:
    Has it ever occurred to you, that new ideas can be hard to accept.
    Your tactics of persuasion suck.

  230. richardscourtney says:

    u.k.(us):

    re your post at February 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Has it ever occurred to you, that trolls are not open to persuasion?
    The best one can do is to expose the pausity of their “ideas” to onlookers.

    If you have “tactics of persuasion” that would not “suck” then display them.

    Richard

  231. drumphil says:

    He hasn’t tried to persuade me of anything. All he has done is try to win at the game of arguing. This achieves nothing useful outside of massaging his ego.

    He manufactured a question where the yes answer would imply I believe that CO2 doesn’t have any other effects on the environment, and the no answer would imply that I don’t like plants growing faster, when I don’t agree with either.

    I basically comes down to:

    “CO2 has no other effects other than enhancing plant growth, so what is negative about enhancing plant growth?”

    Except that I don’t agree with the premise that CO2 has no effects other than enhancing plant growth.

    Seriously, this is playground level bullshit. I expected better.

  232. drumphil says:

    or to put the thing even more simply:

    “I say this is a fact, so why do you disagree with facts”

    I’m sure I don’t have to explain exactly how strong that is scientifically.

  233. drumphil says:

    Anyway, I’m use to richardscourtneys outbursts. He had a go at me for what I said calling Don Easterbrook out on his bullshit. How’s that going richard? Has Don actually provided the data, and actually updated the correct graph yet? Do you still think what I said justified your response, because I believe that my statements have been shown to be dead right by Don’s failure to do what he said he would do.

  234. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    I threw you in the deep end, but I am now taking pity on your floundering because I have some pity for your plight. This post throws you a lifeline if you care to grab it.

    Please note that I recognise you are a warmunist troll so I know you are immune to reason, evidence and logic. But I am offering you a way to recover some appearance of sanity.

    You made a stupid assertion and I responded by asking a question which required you to justify your assertion. You could not and you admit that you cannot. So, you are faffing around by squealing about Easterbrook and any other irrelevance you can imagine. That is pointless: it only emphasises that you made a stupid assertion which you cannot justify.

    Allow me to point out how you could make a rational response to my having asked you the question which torpedoed your daft assertion below the water-line.

    My question is based on the fact that increased plant growth is the only discernible effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution. My question would be shown to be an incorrect request of you if you were to provide evidence of any other discernible effect of the increase and that the other discernible effect is harmful.

    Please note that this is NOT a debating trick. It is a genuine solution to your problem and it is the ONLY way you can show your assertion was not pure bollocks.

    Richard

  235. drumphil says:

    “You made a stupid assertion and I responded by asking a question which required you to justify your assertion.”

    You leave out the bit where you attached a premise to the question that I disagree with. You would not answer a question like that from me on the basis of what I claim are facts. I wouldn’t expect you to.

    Tell me richard, why did you state the question in the manner you did, with your claims (sorry, FACTS!) about enhanced plant growth being the only side effect, rather than just ask me directly why I believe that increased CO2 levels have negative effects on the environment?

    You still haven’t asked that direct simple question. If that is what you want to know, then why can’t you express it in a straight forward manner.

    Anyway, I’m done with this discussion. It is plain that you wont acknowledge the problems with how you dealt with this, and it is a complete waste of time discussing things with anyone who is so sure they know for a fact what is true about these things. I wish I had the arrogance and ego to be able to proclaim facts so freely, and use the fact that I am right as a justification for attaching a premise like that to what would otherwise be a simple question..

    I’ve wasted enough time on this crap.

  236. richardscourtney says:

    drumphil:

    re your silly post at February 17, 2014 at 5:29 am.

    You are wrong. I explained how you could refute what you wrongly claim is my false premise.

    You can still save some face by withdrawing and apologising.

    Richard

  237. James says:

    Oh yes how many birds will it take to equal 1 day of the last oil spill’s die off? Or all the marine life killed from oil runoffffrom marine production facilities? Seriously, think it through before spouting idiotic crap. As for solar at night, well liquid salt would be the way with focusing towers. But all of its a joke when you compare it to thorium reactors that cannot melt down. Or pebble bed reactors which also cannot melt down. This entire nation energy debate is a joke. We have the tech to do it all insanely cheaply and safely but no one makes windfall profits so its like it doesn’t exist. Eventually greed will destroy this system.

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  240. Dave says:

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