Solar Industry Learns Lessons in Span...

Solar Industry Learns Lessons in Spanish Sun

There are 120 comments on the www.nytimes.com story from Mar 9, 2010, titled Solar Industry Learns Lessons in Spanish Sun. In it, www.nytimes.com reports that:

Two years ago, this gritty mining city hosted a brief 21st-century gold rush. Long famous for coal, Puertollano discovered another energy source it had overlooked: the relentless, scorching sun.

Armed with generous incentives from the Spanish government to jump-start a national solar energy industry, the city set out to replace its failing coal economy by attracting solar companies, with a campaign slogan: “The Sun Moves Us.” But as low-quality, poorly designed solar plants sprang up on Spain’s plateaus, Spanish officials came to realize that they would have to subsidize many of them indefinitely, and that the industry they had created might never produce efficient green energy on its own.

Puertollano’s wrenching fall points to the delicate policy calculations needed to stimulate nascent solar industries and create green jobs, and might serve as a cautionary tale for the United States, where a similar exercise is now under way.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.nytimes.com.

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GEEWIZ

Ashland, KY

#103 Mar 22, 2010
TINA ANNA RULES great answer to solarman.
happy camper

AOL

#104 Mar 22, 2010
Let the sun shine on our heads each and every day. May the beer be cold, the girls hot, and the horses fast.
Gord

Calgary, Canada

#105 Mar 22, 2010
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
Gordo, That is what is wrong with YOU. No reasoning ability and no background in science.
http://www.topix.com/forum/news/global-warmin...
Earthling

Hellín, Spain

#106 Mar 23, 2010
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
Siemens, GE, Enercon, Honeywell, Dongying Alcir (china), MHI (japan) etc etc etc.
Essentially all large manufacturers and many small manufacturers are selling gearless units today. Pushing them in fact for their increased reliability.
Let's have a closer look:
With a new purchase, GE is betting on an early-stage turbine technology that could make offshore wind farms cheaper to maintain.
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/23517/...
I hope you noted the word, "could," not IS or ARE when reading that snippet?
Next:
Siemens is testing a new gealess conzept for wind turbines The purpose of the installation is to evaluate if the Direct Drive technology may be competitive with geared machines for larger turbine sizes..
http://www.siemens.com/press/en/presspicture/...
Please note the word, "testing."
Next:
Honeywell only produce small wind generators for home use.
Next from Dec 2009:
Germany's Enercon is currently the only manufacturer worldwide which produces gearless wind turbines, while China's Goldwind, according to industry information, is planning to start production at some point. If Enercon and Goldwind can cope with competition with Siemens' new invention, competition for customers is set to intensify.
http://www.investindk.com/visNyhed.asp...
Richard

Sydney, Australia

#107 Mar 23, 2010
Why is everybody talking about wind power when the topic of this thread was solar???

But it does not really matter as both are equally pointless in the overall picture.

Arguments about gearboxes and bearings are like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as neither of these systems can produce the power required.

Domestic consumption of power is small when compared to the requirements of industry, so while it is nice to talk about solar power on the roof of your house and domestic wind generators. How do you get around the problems of generating power for smelting metals or refining oil? Or do you think these items just magically appear out of the cabbage patch?

Omnibus question:-

How much energy goes into making a solar panel or wind generator and how much do you get back?

In short how about you "greenies" get your collective heads out off your A... and learn about the second Law of Thermodynamics and buy a calculator.
Earthling

Hellín, Spain

#108 Mar 23, 2010
Richard wrote:
Why is everybody talking about wind power when the topic of this thread was solar???
I'm not sure when the thread went off topic.
Richard wrote:
But it does not really matter as both are equally pointless in the overall picture.
True.
Richard wrote:
Arguments about gearboxes and bearings are like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as neither of these systems can produce the power required.
I'm not sure whether or not rearranging Titanic's deckchairs was or wasn't an amusing pastime for those involved.
Richard wrote:
Domestic consumption of power is small when compared to the requirements of industry, so while it is nice to talk about solar power on the roof of your house and domestic wind generators.
Not having stopped to consider the difference, I can't comment, do you have any figures?
Richard wrote:
How do you get around the problems of generating power for smelting metals or refining oil? Or do you think these items just magically appear out of the cabbage patch?
Good question, do you have any answers?
Richard wrote:
Omnibus question:-
How much energy goes into making a solar panel or wind generator and how much do you get back?
Given enough wind and solar generation, couldn't that be self generating, eventually, in the distant future?
LessHypeMoreFact

Woodstock, Canada

#109 Mar 23, 2010
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>Let's have a closer look:<quoted text>
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/23517/...
I hope you noted the word, "could," not IS or ARE when reading that snippet?
I also note that they are talking about GE's acquisition of the technology to apply to the U.S. which has very little offshore wind power, unlike the MAJORITY of the world. The fact is that GE had to BUY the technology from the EU. But that just demonstrates that the USA is slowly catching up to the world in this area.
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>
Next:<quoted text>
http://www.siemens.com/press/en/presspicture/...
Please note the word, "testing."
Yes. THey were still creating new direct drive designs back in July of 2008. Just as they are developing new designs for atom bombs today. The fact that you found a test of a new design by one company does NOT equate to it being unique. The real innovation here is the SIZE of the direct drive unit for offshore use.
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>
Honeywell only produce small wind generators for home use.
The point is that the 'direct drive' concept is sweeping the field, even moving into 'small scale' units. IT has a sligtly higher initial cost but this is MORE than compensated by lower maintenance and higher 'uptime', especially in large scale offshore windfarms where maintenance is difficult.
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>

Next from Dec 2009:

http://www.investindk.com/visNyhed.asp...
Obviously a journalist with no background in wind energy. THere are also hybrid designs with low ratio gearboxes using the same techniques as the fully gearless generator. The low gear ratio reduces stress loads significantly over standard geared designs.

Large scale turbines for offshore (as I said) are moving towards gearless.
http://www.wwindea.org/technology/ch01/en/1_3...

As you can see, in 2005, the technology had 4 geared, one hybrid and one gearless generator. You will note that this discussion was spurred by ONE of the 'holdouts'(GE) moving towards gearless generators. And competiton is building. Norwegian company Enova is developing a 10 MW gearless offshore turbine ( announced Feb 2010) in partnership with SmartMotor AS.

You have to let go of the past Dirtling. Get a clue about where the technology has gone and is continuing to move, not holding on to the past.. they don't MAKE buggy whips much any more, you heard?
Earthling

Hellín, Spain

#110 Mar 23, 2010
Whatever, gearless wind generators, large or small, are not yet in general use, as LessFact has claimed.
End of.
PHD

Jackson, MI

#112 Mar 23, 2010
tina anne wrote:
<quoted text>
But it is being given way more. Wind and solar both receive more subsities than coal does per KWH. Not only that but they received goverment subsities back in the late seventies and early eighties. Carter was a big supporter of solar and even had solar panels placed on the roof of the White House.
But once the money was cut both wind and solar could not compete because they were just to expensive per KWP compared to coal and were not reliable enought. Hence the reason for all the abandoned wind and solar plants.
You are right about the National Power grid but it evolved and can continue evolving but running the lines out for your wind generators would be a loosing bet since your wind generators could never generate enought power to pay for the cost of connecting them into the power grid and are not constent enought to be allowed. Even a small flucation in the current system can cause havoc so adding something like wind would be asking for regional blackouts.
BTW, thanks I haven't thought of that reason why wind and solar should be canned.
I beg to differ you can't think your like the straw man dust between your ears. Coal and gas fired recieve Gov.dollars for years. Here you go again as one of our great Presidents once said. Go back to school if one would let you in start at pre K level and pay attention this time.
PHD

Jackson, MI

#113 Mar 23, 2010
tina anne wrote:
<quoted text>
But it is being given way more. Wind and solar both receive more subsities than coal does per KWH. Not only that but they received goverment subsities back in the late seventies and early eighties. Carter was a big supporter of solar and even had solar panels placed on the roof of the White House.
But once the money was cut both wind and solar could not compete because they were just to expensive per KWP compared to coal and were not reliable enought. Hence the reason for all the abandoned wind and solar plants.
You are right about the National Power grid but it evolved and can continue evolving but running the lines out for your wind generators would be a loosing bet since your wind generators could never generate enought power to pay for the cost of connecting them into the power grid and are not constent enought to be allowed. Even a small flucation in the current system can cause havoc so adding something like wind would be asking for regional blackouts.
BTW, thanks I haven't thought of that reason why wind and solar should be canned.
One of many this year. Could Texas, whose governor dismisses global warming and opposes climate legislation, deliver the world's first carbon-neutral coal-fired power plant? That looks increasingly likely thanks to a $1.75 billion project in West Texas that received a signed agreement last week for a $350 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
LessHypeMoreFact

Woodstock, Canada

#114 Mar 23, 2010
Earthling wrote:
Whatever, gearless wind generators, large or small, are not yet in general use, as LessFact has claimed.
End of.
Teh number of models is hardly an indicator of the total general use. Fact is that as I said, for large generators, gearless is starting to dominate the industry.

I was actually surprised that the technology has grown down to units at the 500 watt capacity..

Still stuck in the past, are you Dirt? That is the lesson here. You will always get SOME idiot whinging because they lost money on buggy whip manufacturing.. and figure that it will come back any time now..
Earthling

Hellín, Spain

#115 Mar 24, 2010
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
Fact is that as I said, for large generators, gearless is starting to dominate the industry.
If you had written that in the first place, it would have been acceptable, but it isn't even close to what you originally wrote, which was:
Most large wind generators these days don't USE gear boxes.
A statement which was easily proven to be inaccurate.
Richard

Sydney, Australia

#116 Mar 24, 2010
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not sure when the thread went off topic.<quoted text>True.<quoted text>I'm not sure whether or not rearranging Titanic's deckchairs was or wasn't an amusing pastime for those involved.<quoted text>Not having stopped to consider the difference, I can't comment, do you have any figures?<quoted text>Good question, do you have any answers?<quoted text>Given enough wind and solar generation, couldn't that be self generating, eventually, in the distant future?
"Richard wrote:
Domestic consumption of power is small when compared to the requirements of industry, so while it is nice to talk about solar power on the roof of your house and domestic wind generators."

"Earthling wrote:
Not having stopped to consider the difference, I can't comment, do you have any figures?"

It has been a while since I have worked with the power industry but the situation would not have changed much, for Sydney its about 60-70% goes to industry.

"Richard wrote:
How do you get around the problems of generating power for smelting metals or refining oil? Or do you think these items just magically appear out of the cabbage patch?"

Earthling wrote:
"Good question, do you have any answers?"

No I don't, but then nobody else does either and certainly not those air head "greenies" who like to make people think they know what they are talking about (I don't think half of them could change a trier)

Richard wrote:
"Omnibus question:-
How much energy goes into making a solar panel or wind generator and how much do you get back?"

Earthling wrote:
"Given enough wind and solar generation, couldn't that be self generating, eventually, in the distant future?"

The short answer is NO, but anyway.
How do you smelt the Iron ore to make the bearings?

Earthling, please do not think for a moment I am having a go at you. Because you one of the few people who talk logically here, my next comment is directed at the air heads.

It is not until you have been to an open cut coal mine and stood on a drag line, been to a coal fired power station, been in a fertiliser plant or blast furnace that you really understand the scale of things.

So to all you greenies, get off your god damn keyboards into your cars and have a look at these places. Then when you have stood next to a drag line you may have some understanding of what you are trying to replace.

Until then perhaps you should listen to those of us who have.
GEEWIZ

Ashland, KY

#119 Mar 24, 2010
PHD wrote:
<quoted text>I beg to differ you can't think your like the straw man dust between your ears. Coal and gas fired recieve Gov.dollars for years. Here you go again as one of our great Presidents once said. Go back to school if one would let you in start at pre K level and pay attention this time.
phd U know coal pays a lot in taxes only reason coal gets any help is because they are trying to lower emissions COAL DOES NOT NEED GOV.$ all it needs is a fair shake from the EPA IF we do not use our cheap resources now like coal+more drilling we are NOT going to have any moneyleft in the US. 4 any FUTURE energy research
LessHypeMoreFact

Woodstock, Canada

#120 Mar 25, 2010
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>If you had written that in the first place, it would have been acceptable, but it isn't even close to what you originally wrote, which was:<quoted text>A statement which was easily proven to be inaccurate.
You haven't proven that the geared generators dominate. The majority of LARGE offshore windmills are made by Enercon which has been gearless for quite some time.

Nice try though. The old 'declare victory' dance..
Earthling

Hellín, Spain

#121 Mar 25, 2010
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
You haven't proven that the geared generators dominate. The majority of LARGE offshore windmills are made by Enercon which has been gearless for quite some time.
Nice try though. The old 'declare victory' dance..
Oops:
Enercon is not offering or supplying wind turbines to offshore projects as Enercon's managing director Aloys Wobben questions the costs and risks of offshore wind farms because the demand for onshore wind turbines where costs and risks are significantly lower can hardly be satisfied.
"As of November 2009, Enercon has installed more than 15,000 wind turbines."
That would account for what percentage of wind generators worldwide?

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#122 Mar 25, 2010
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
<quoted text>
You haven't proven that the geared generators dominate. The majority of LARGE offshore windmills are made by Enercon which has been gearless for quite some time.
Nice try though. The old 'declare victory' dance..
Nor have you proved that gearless do either. Only one company in many is making gearless while several are making wind generators.

Either way the point will be mute in a decade or so when they are all sitting abandonded.
SoE

United States

#123 Mar 25, 2010
tina anne wrote:
<quoted text>

To bad there isn't some steaming doodoo around. At least it would be useful as compost and fertlizer.
..........
Well, Twisty?....apparently you don't possess a mirror?
er, was that doodoo or dodo ?

“EnvironMENTAList ”

Since: Feb 07

Near Detroit

#124 Mar 26, 2010
SoE wrote:
<quoted text>
..........
Well, Twisty?....apparently you don't possess a mirror?
er, was that doodoo or dodo ?
We feel your love for the planet.
Voters who have the real consensus that matters will have to be walking to the voting stations sweating to death in an obvious climate crisis in order to approve what the politicians and scientists want us to do.
SoE

United States

#125 Mar 27, 2010
mememine69 wrote:
<quoted text>
We feel your love for the planet.
Voters who have the real consensus that matters will have to be walking to the voting stations sweating to death in an obvious climate crisis in order to approve what the politicians and scientists want us to do.
Somehow i can envision a situation where you wouldn't.
..........
Voters who have the real consensus that matters.
..........
and obviously they are the ones that have the most complete understanding of the subject.

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