Tag Archives: economics

A clean energy future is already arriving –350.org & LNS

I’m thankful we’re already on the way to a clean energy future, Big Light bulb with more jobs, less expense than doing nothing, no new nukes, no coal at all, much less natural gas, no need for any new pipelines, better health, clean air and water, and profit. The COP meeting in Paris can do what it will, and we can still make a better world and profit by it. We’re already doing it, with solar and wind power, energy efficiency and conservation,

The Clean Energy Future: Protecting the Climate, Creating Jobs, Saving Money, by Frank Ackerman of Synapse for LNS and 350.org:

[M]eeting the IPCC targets will… create more jobs and save money.

This report, Continue reading

Better chance of upward mobility from Valdosta MSA than Atlanta

A child born in the bottom fifth by income around here has a better chance of reaching the top fifth than in Atlanta. But that’s not saying much. And we can change this.

David Leonhardt wrote for NY Times 22 July 2013, In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters: A study finds the odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston. 4.3% Valdosta MSA vs. 4.0% Atlanta MSA. But 5.9% Brunswick, 6.0% Vidalia, and 8.8% Elijay. That’s the highest in Georgia.

Pretty much anywhere in Florida is higher than 4.3%.

Then there’s 11.2% San Francisco, Continue reading

Nukes economically hard to justify —GE CEO Immelt

The CEO of General Electric, the company that designed the reactors at Fukushima and Hatch 1 and 2, said nukes are economically hard to justify. And that was back in July, before the first new nukes permitted in 30 years, at Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River, slipped 15 months. What’s winning? Shale gas, temporarily, but that’s just a bump in the road on the way to wind and solar power.

Pilita Clark wrote for Financial Times 30 July 2012, Nuclear ‘hard to justify’, says GE chief,

Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become “really hard” to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment.

“It’s really a gas and wind world today,” said Jeff Immelt, referring to two sources of electricity he said most countries are shifting towards as natural gas becomes “permanently cheap”.

“When I talk to the guys who run the oil companies they say look, they’re finding more gas all the time. It’s just hard to justify nuclear, really hard. Gas is so cheap and at some point, really, economics rule,” Mr Immelt told the Financial Times in an interview in London at the weekend. “So I think some combination of gas, and either wind or solar … that’s where we see most countries around the world going.”

GE CEO Immelt may also want to talk to GE’s own research director Continue reading

Cobb EMC backing off of coal at Plant Washington

Could Plant Ben Hill be next?

Kim Isaza wrote for MDJOnline yesterday, Cobb EMC’s pursuit cools on coal-fired power plant

Cobb EMC’s interest in building the coal-fired Plant Washington appears to be dead, and the company has begun soliciting bids for its future power supplies.

The electric cooperative has already spent $13.5 million toward permitting for the coal plant, which would be a new direction for the company from simply delivering electricity to also generating it.

On Jan. 24, Dean Alford, a spokesman for the Power 4 Georgians consortium of EMCs behind Plant Washington, is slated to address the Cobb EMC board, presumably in an effort to save the plant, for which his company, Allied Energy, got a no-bid development contract from P4G.

The Cobb EMC board could decide at that meeting whether to put any more money toward the project.

Many details of the 850-megawatt Plant Washington, including exactly why it is needed and any firm idea of what it will cost to build and operate, have been kept quiet, sparking critical questions from EMC members and environmental groups. It was proposed under former EMC head Dwight Brown, who is facing 34 criminal charges of theft and racketeering relating to his leadership at EMC.

So can somebody come up with an 850 MW solar plant to propose by 24 Jan 2012?

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Solar tipping point within a few years

Why is anyone still building fossil fuel (or nuclear for that matter) power plants when solar is within a few years of being cheaper? In other words, by the time those other plants can be built, solar is very likely to be more cost-effective?

Marcia Goodrich wrote for physorg yesterday, Affordable solar: It’s closer than you think,

It’s a matter of economics. A new analysis by [Michigan Technical University Associate Professor Joshua] Pearce and his colleagues at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, shows that solar photovoltaic systems are very close to achieving the tipping point: they can make electricity that’s as cheap—sometimes cheaper—as what consumers pay their utilities.

Here’s why. First, the price of solar panels has plummeted. “Since 2009, the cost has dropped 70 percent,” says Pearce. But more than that, the assumptions used in previous studies have not given solar an even break.

“Historically, when comparing the economics of solar and conventional energy, people have been very conservative,” says Pearce.

It’s not just that the cost of equipment keeps dropping; older panels remain more efficient than most previous estimates:
For example, most analyses assume that the productivity of solar panels will drop at an annual rate of 1 percent or more, a huge overestimation, according to Pearce. “If you buy a top-of-the-line solar panel, it’s much less, between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.”
There’s more in the news article, and in the journal article it references, A review of solar photovoltaic levelized cost of electricity, K. Brankera, M.J.M. Pathaka, J.M. Pearce, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 9, pages 4470-4482. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.104

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An Open Forum on Financial Issues Concerning Consolidation —LCBOE 1 November 2011

Last chance for an open forum about school consolidation issues.

Lowndes County Board of Education will hold a An Open Forum on Financial Issues Concerning Consolidation:

6PM, 1 November 2011
Lowndes High Cafeteria
1606 Norman Drive
Valdosta, GA
All about the previous LCBOE Forum of 4 October 2011.

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School consolidation as disaster capitalism

School consolidation would set up an artificial fiscal disaster that could force the “unified” public school system to turn to private foundations for funding, at the price of control of public education by private entities. This is disaster capitalism, or the shock doctrine, right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County.

What’s the Shock Doctrine? It’s been around for a long time, but Naomi Klein researched it for her book of the same name. It’s

“the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock”
She was writing mostly about wars, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Locally here we haven’t had any of those. But we may be about to create a disaster, a shock, at the ballot box in November, if voters fall for the school “unification” snake oil.

What’s the next step after CUEE has accidentally revealed that Continue reading

Occupy Valdosta

It’s spread from Wall Street to Valdosta, scheduled for noon-3PM Friday 14 October 2011:
It is time to Occupy Valdosta!

Friday October 14, 2011 BE AT DREXEL PARK @ 11:45am AND MARCH WITH YOUR FELLOW NEIGHBORS, CLASSMATES, COWORKERS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!

We are the 99% and it is time to be heard!!!

Erin speaking at the organizational meeting today:

Y’all come!

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From 4 to 40 solar companies in Georgia —James Marlow @ Solar Summit

James Marlow started the Georgia Solar Summit by saying in a few years we’ve gone from four to forty solar companies in Georgia, and we should:
“Stop talking about what we’re going to do in the future, and start talking about what we’re going to do in 100 days.”
He directly challenged Gov. Deal and the legislature.

“This is about goodness and light, and sound economics.”

The next speaker (didn’t get his name, sorry) ran through some statistics, including:

  • 93,502 U.S. solar workers: doubled since 2009
  • 26% growth
  • No other industry is growing like this.
A telling comparison:
  • 1GW nuclear power station takes 10 years to build.
  • In one month Germany installed 2GW of solar last June.
Germany, which is far north of Georgia. Georgia has far more sun.

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VSU study and videos of Economic Summit on VLCoC website

The Chamber has put videos of its Economic Summit along with the VSU report it commissioned up on its website. The videos are on vimeo, because they’re a tad lengthy. However, they are conveniently linked in by subject.

Here’s a quote from Chamber president Myrna Ballard:

Particularly our average weekly wage rates, which we started becoming very concerned about around 2004. My first human inclination was to go into denial. I spent several months deciding whether I should even mention this in our community or not. But the bottom line on it is, when you have a challenge, when you have a problem, you can’t fix it until you come to grips with the fact that you do have an issue that you need to deal with.
There’s part of the problem around here: nobody wants to talk about problems. That needs to change.

However, I don’t like her next point quite as much, which was that they already have a plan and were presenting it. That’s part of the reason people don’t want to speak up about problems: because so often nobody is listening.

She did go on about Opportunity Central, though. And the Chamber did put up videos of the whole thing on the web. Bravo, Chamber and ReKasa!

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PS: Rekasa told me they were going to do that, and Jim Parker noted that they had done it.