Part of the new State budget, the $5,000 EV rebate is cut to $2,500. Actually, people are on a waiting list to get their money. Think this bodes well for EVs going forward?
So he effectively uses the power grid for grid storage. The power company gets to build less peak capability. So everybody is happy except you, of course.
Solar cells have dropped markedly in cost as the government of China decided they were an important technology. Prior to that the cost was dropping just not so fast. The lower cost and better efficiency does increase the volume a lot.
"Solar panels have been around for at least 30 years. "
Yes, and the cost has dropped, and the efficiency and longevity of the cells has increased. And, unlike imported oil, the cost of the sunlight input tends to be constant.
Oil. by the way, has been subsidized out of general revenue for years. Military and foreign aid expenses in the Middle East and some elsewhere since the Cold War can be considered oil subsidies. Low cost fuel has been very expensive - our patterns of settlement and commerce are built around cheap fuel which is still cheap in constant dollars. So now we look for tech fixes with the end of the "Fun, fun, fun, till Daddy takes the T-Bird away" economy in sight. The cities and suburbs and railroads of the US can't be rebuilt in just a few years even if the capitol were available.
Rapid increases in oil prices and the decline of US power makes us very vulnerable as a country. A Libertarian solution doesn't seem to work since we don't live in a Libertarian world. Further, now that the US has visible country risk for investment even US companies are steering away from it.
Any newer technology has a barrier to entry against a well developed mass produced technology even if there are grounds to see the prevalent one as inherently inferior. It has to be necessary to ditch or delay it if the newer tech development shows flaws or, like hydrogen, is not ready for prime time. For hydrogen the how do you generate, transfer, and store the hydrogen is not solved. For wind power today there is no grid storage technology available yet.
Because of the oil subsidies - including massive highway programs - we subsidize all forms of transport. So we have lost the mechanisms of the market to choose the most efficient ones. It would seem better to have no subsidies at all. But oil subsidies are there because of the Washington Pay-To-Play system. We've been a Banana Republic from the beginning. We need a Constitutional Amendment to dump the built-in corruption of our political financing system. The only way that may happen is if the US does collapse financially and the IMF and the financing countries could impose one and maybe a Parliamentary system as well.
Sounds like you've been gone from the area for awhile, so let me bring you up to date:
-The "igloo" house is still there; it's very visible as you drive north over the Doran Bridge on 280. A few years ago it got a bright orange (?) paint job and now it really stands out.
-The College of Notre Dame is where you recall it (on Ralston in Belmont).
-Filoli is still there; it's on Canada Rd. probably 10 - 15 miles from my house.
-I think Nick's in Pacifica is no longer there. I know it had a good rep in past years but I never ate there (I should have).
Anyway, I hope you enjoy your reminiscing.
At some point Solar might not be worth the trade off in install cost. That would be after kWH costs go through the roof due to fossil fuel scarcity and inflation of the related power generation vs paying more and more for Solar equipment due to a massive increase in demand not yet offset by decreased costs to manufacture. That would be a very short window of time 15-20 years from now. With current subsidies, recent efficiency advances and lower manufacturing costs today and over the next couple years, now might just be the BEST time to get a solar array installed. By the time the rest of the State is paying 10x the current rate for power off the grid, you'll be selling it to the grid.
I know Ralston very well. At the top of the hill I seem to remember a bunch of condos. Then again, you're just a stones throw away from the 280 entrance. I'm sure you've gone north over the valley bridge and saw the igloo home on the right, no? Not a single straight wall in the house. Ralston Ave is considered to be Belmont. Isn't there a college down the bottom of the hill across from the shopping center and before the El Camino? College of Notre Dame?
Is the Filloli (sp) mansion still there? I seem to remember it's just over the hill from where you live? The San Andreas fault is directly west of the lake there. I also played many times at the semi-private golf course just off 280 as you're heading north. I think it's technically in Burlingame?
Ever go to Nick's in Pacifica? Greatest cracked crab and toasted garlic bread I've ever eaten! The place is on Rockaway Beach. I knew Nick. He's probably dead by now.
Lastly, just as you exit 280 in San Bruno, I think it's San Bruno Ave, or maybe Mill St, the jets landing at SFO fly directly over the hill and on down the street to land. It's quite a sight! They can't be more than a couple hundred feet in the air as they descend.