Sunday, July 19, 2015

Where Has Our Ability To Discuss Issues Gone?

If one of us dares bring up a Sensitive Issue, the other of us immediately begins to take offense. The problem is how Modern Us defines a Sensitive Issue. A Sensitive Issue is any issue where our opinion is different from the Other Guy’s Opinion of that Same Issue.

When it comes to Solar Power the Other Guy is stupid. There does not seem to be any possibility of one side of the argument thinking that the other side of the argument is not Stupid, Unthinking, Devious & a Bunch of Other Unkind Adjectives.

Is it possible to have a meeting of minds? Probably not but I’m going to give it a try anyway. Wish me luck...


Above is the 2.2 Billion Dollar Ivanpah Solar-Thermal Plant in California which uses thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight and generate steam.

There have been a series of missteps and technical difficulties that threaten to make this newfangled solar-thermal technology obsolete.

Here are facts that the Pro-Solar Side do not want to come to grips with...

Ø Solar Power has a long way to go before it will be able to fulfill the predictions/dreams of those who support it.

Ø Some costly high-tech solar power projects aren’t living up to promises their backers made about how much electricity they could generate.

Ø The Ivanpah Plant was supposed to generate more than a million megawatt-hours of electricity each year but, 15 months after it started up, it is producing just 40% of that prediction.

Ø Replacing broken equipment and learning better ways to operate the complex assortment of machinery has stalled attempts to reach full potential.

Ø Engineers have had to fix leaky tubes connected to water boilers and contend with a vibrating steam turbine that threatened nearby equipment.

Ø The power plant requires far more steam to run smoothly and efficiently than originally thought. Instead of ramping up the plant each day before sunrise by burning one hour’s worth of natural gas to generate steam, the plant needs more than four times that much help from fossil fuels to get the plant humming every morning.

Ø Another unexpected problem: not enough sun. Weather predictions for the area underestimated the amount of cloud cover that has blanketed the area since it went into service in 2013.

Plant operators say their plants will reach power targets once the kinks are worked out.

The short paragraph above makes my point for me. Below is what I think the argument of the Fossil Fuel Proponents ought to be (I’m a True Conservationist because I only use one bullet)...

Ø Until such time as Solar Power can replace Fossil Fuel Production, can we halt attempts to shut down Fossil Fuel Production?

My crazy argument is simply that. If we were to shut down all Fossil Fuel Production immediately, as some propose, it would be impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel (or even crank up the Ivanpah Solar-Thermal Plant each morning).

Would I kid u?


Lagniappe: A couple of other points to consider...

Ø The plant was delayed several months and had millions of dollars in cost overruns because of wildlife protections for the endangered Desert Tortoise.

Ø Once built, U.S. government biologists found the plant’s superheated mirrors were killing birds. It is estimated that 3,500 birds died at the plant in the span of a year, many of them burned alive while flying through a part of the solar installment where air temperatures can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yea, I know my bringing up these 2 Lagniappe Bullets makes me Stupid, Unthinking, Devious & a Bunch of Other Unkind Adjectives. It seems like we are back to where this Blog Posting started, does it not?