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We need to change the paradigm of how we think about where and at what cost we currently meet our electrical demands in our nation.
When analyzing any form of production we must consider a cradle to grave approach to understand the "real costs' associated with that particular method of production. Every form has it's inherit plus' and minus'.i.e. pollution (CO2), diminishng resources (coal/ oil), maintenance costs, environmental mitigation(Salmon), realiability (lack of sun, wind, water) at a particular time of the day, initial investment costs to build, lifespan of the power plant, costs to decomission etc...
Achieving cost parady must be realized by including all these factors and considering the region the particular power method is going to be deployed. It is a balance of all of the most appopriate technologies using a cradle grave approach.
Solar has it's benefits here in the NW as it does in Germany and the Netherlands. Both share approx. the same peak sun of production of 3.9 hours a day annually. This doesn't sound like alot, but when utilized correctly it will very likely meet about 10% of our regions electrical demand if allowed to to be integrated into the utility grid over the coming years.
Solar technology being carbon free in production and virtually maintenance free over the life of the system of twenty five years, it's cost per watt produced are less than traditional methods of production when the costs of operations and decomissioning are included.
As for incentives, tax breaks and the costs associated to produce a given technology, giving a flat $150 million tax break to Exxon, or housing atomic waste from nuclear electrical production at taxpayer expense is also a method of subsidy that is currently not being included in the equation.
A big difference is that the traditional producers never stop taking the subsidy where the renewable producers only require the incentive initially. And these incentives in time will not be required as the economy of scale takes over and real cost parady is realized.
To conclude, it will take a plan that includes a little of everything that works and eliminating and scaling back those that don't. Holding in reserve those forms of power production that insure realibilty and are diminishing will allow us to transission and meet out future energy grid demands
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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