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The Green Energy Revolt


#1

The Green Energy Revolt

Jason Mark

Debbie Dooley is mad as hell.

Since 2012, the fifty-six-year-old grandmother and former IT consultant has been waging a fierce grassroots battle against her home state utility, Georgia Power, to make it easier and cheaper for homeowners to install rooftop solar panels. Now, she’s working with allies in Florida to sponsor a ballot initiative that would allow businesses and homeowners there to sell any energy they generate back to the grid.


#2

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#4

OK Debbie Dooley, I like your work, but in the short run, the transition phase, get over net metering. Get batteries, build your own solar panels, and reduce, conserve, your energy demand. Solar power to the people is the right and conservative way to go. Work on reducing the cost of going solar for the poorest in your community.


#5

Having been off the grid for over 40 years living in a rural community , I can confirm that all this is possible . The panels make the energy , the transformers convert it into charging the batteries , the inverter makes AC to make the coffee hot , the microwave,toaster oven, refrigerator,washing machine , this computer , etc work . when there is extra it goes to a relay that turns on an electric heater . When there is still extra it goes to one of the other neighbors house if their battery is below a certain voltage . As i have stated before this is not rocket science , someone as dull as myself can make it happen . The reason it has been as slow to get off the line is purely the greed factor of those in the dirty power business.They have no scruples , its obvious they don't care about air, water or environmental quality. The few continue to profit from the many . Yes the batteries are the Achilles heel , but that too will change when the obstacles to alternative energy (and i am not referring to nucs as an alternative) are removed . Yes there is some power loss in converting DC to AC and vice versa , and line loss in transmission , but watching the alternative , friying the planet, it is worth the price . So Debbie , whatever you political affiliation , you go girl ! ok and for full disclosure , the cook stove is propane , the winter heater is wood when the hydro isnt running , the offset is the wood stove is good for cooking and in the summer the solar oven works tho takes time to be under obversation to work correctly . No magic bullet but every little bit helps .as my brother sez progress not perfection


#7

Indeed battery technology has taken off particularly after the introduction of lithium ion batteries. I've bought a weedeater and chainsaw that runs off of li-ion batteries and those things recharge faster than they can be discharged and the equipment is just as powerful as their gas burning counterparts. Ni-cad and lead acid batteries are out and Elon knows it! IMO, his powerwall battery is brilliant! The technology can only continue to improve and mature.

Ronald raygun was nothing more than a hippy hating, pro-military, neo-con. The only reason he took down the solar panels was because they smelled too much like patchouli. He wasn't about to tolerate anything that might even be remotely popular among hippies. That's also why drug prohibition escalated so much during his presidency- mandatory minimum sentecing and all that. It was an excuse to put hippies in jail- nothing more.


#8

The Green Tea Coalition. Oh, that's just classic!
Good luck Debbie!


#13

I'm with you ,, simplicity is the key ,, and yes the panels , fridge etc are LUXURIES .and not much made in the US anymore . if we could figure how to devolve to the pre industrial ages somehow without frying the world or bombing it into oblivion .. i suppose that could be one tac , but its not looking like we are headed in that direction . I can think of a bunch of fancy slogans but i don't really know the answer other than consciously consume less? I m sure we could learn from the indigenous past thinking about your decisions and how they will effect seven generations ,, unfortunately most traces of that mind set have been wiped out . Anyway i appreciate where you are coming from ,, I too will now try to think some happy thoughts


#14

All the things in our world have an industrial history. Behind the computer, the T-shirt, the vacuum cleaner is an industrial infrastructure fired by energy (fossil fuels mainly). Each component of our car or refrigerator has an industrial history. Mainly unseen and out of mind, this global industrial infrastructure touches every aspect of our lives. It pervades our daily living from the articles it produces, to its effect on the economy and employment, as well as its effects on the environment.
Solar energy collecting devices and their auxiliary equipment also have an industrial history. It is important to understand the industrial infrastructure and the environmental results for the components of the solar energy collecting devices so we don’t designate them with false labels such as green, renewable or sustainable.
This is a challenge to ‘business as usual’. If we teach people that these solar devices are the future of energy without teaching the whole system, we mislead, misinform and create false hopes and beliefs. They are not made with magic wands.
There are videos and charts provided by the various industries themselves. Look up charts and videos for the solar cells, modules, aluminum from ore, aluminum from recycling, aluminum extrusion, inverters, batteries and copper.
Please note each piece of machinery you see in each of the videos has its own industrial interconnection and history.


#15

Energy irreversibly flows like time. It comes from the Sun and radiates out into space after in some cases being stored in fossil fuels and serving a useful purpose (in the opinion of people in some cases). 'renewable' and 'clean' energy are misleading terms that lead to the type of misunderstanding in this article.


#16

What do you do for transportation? Also, where does your income come from? And, is your solution workable for any but a very small minority of privileged individuals?

Most people must have jobs and cannot afford spreads out in the county - and even if they could, would you want cities emptying out into the countryside - and all the far greater infrastructure demand and automobile use this creates?

I live in the city, buy commercial wind-sourced electricity, use public transportation or electric vehicles, I buy local food as much as possible. I suspect that my carbon footprint is at least a small as yours.


#17

i imagine your footprint is as small as mine ,, i dont think that is the issue , Im retired yes i drive a car, 5oo miles last year on the old work truck and 2ooo on the van , i have a pretty good garden that i grow most my own which takes alot of time . There are local buses . I see the problems as well in the city as well as in the bum phuc egypt place i am fortunate to live , but on a smaller scale ,, there is low income housing , farmers market , community park , soup kitchen and homeless . I also grok that if everyone in the world has the same belongings i have acquired thru the years there would be no more resources ? I m saying that PGE could be much further along than they are if the tec was applied in a thoughtful way to benefit the earth rather than one based on profit for the upper echelons .. Im not trying to compete with you .. what are your solutions for all ??.. peace


#18

The Kochs and Co. must know that profitting from pollution cannot be good. Milking pollution profits for all they are worth is not just bad, but evil. This is the way our limitless wealth system has been contrived by oligarchs past and present. Concentrating wealth and power are evil unlimited. Something periodic referendums to cap wealth could easily solve without resorting to redistribution schemes by politicians.

One important, but completely overlooked issue in greening the planet is that recycling pollutants creates a demand for more pollutants. Spending public money to build plants for recycling pollutants like plastics instead of including recycling costs in their manufacture does nothing to make plastic manufacturers turn to renewable or reusable packaging. Freed from recycling costs, this prompts corporations to continue to use more and more polluting plastic packaging.

Recycling plants create a demand for more plastics to provide jobs and keep the plant going. In Florida, incinerators caused mercury pollution in the Everglades that made fish unsuitable for consumption. Plastics were trucked in from other counties to feed one incinerator.

People are expected to recycle plastics and other packaging for free when these costs should be borne by those profiting from their manufacture. Volvo adds (added?) the cradle to grave costs of recycling to the price of its cars. This can be done with all consumer products.


#23

Yes," reducing the cost of going solar for the poorest in your community."

I have a house... a little land... but, there is no way I can go out and purchase solar power for my roof top, full on... especially the batteries.... only people with money can do that... or great credit... I have neither... so... .... I will, at some point... buy some panels... and slowly try to get enough to generate a little power to have once every thing goes dark...and as for the batteries.... (now please do not take this wrong) ...but all that lithium for billions of batteries... where is that going to come from.... and how does that effect the poorest people?.... I mean...is that going to be the new "non re newable resource to fight over?.... I AM NOT SAYING WE STICK WITH FOSSIL FUELS... but, as I have stated before... are we really going to be able to produce as many batteries over and over... and NOT cause some kind of problem... OR IS IT THAT WE SHOULD CONSIDER GOING WITH OUT POWER.... I mean, humans did survive for thousands of years with out it... just fine.... or we wouldn't be here....


#24

"Solar power to the people is the right and conservative way to go"?? You meant the "conservationist way to go" right? Most conservatives want the opposite; fossil and nukes and screw the people.


#25

Baby steps, man, baby steps. Gotta walk before you can run and you'll fall a few times when you're figuring out how to walk.


#26

When I tell people what my electric bill is, they can't believe its so low. I have all the appliances they have and all of my energy comes from the grid. The difference is in how I use it all. I curb my appetite better than most it seems. Although, I do have the potential for micro-hydrological power production if'n when I get one of those elusive round tuits.

Perhaps someday limitless, clean energy will be developed but until then "turn that thermostat down!" And why can't businesses use glow-in-the-dark signs to advertise their businesses at night instead of wasting all that energy using lights?