14 thoughts on “Bill Nye – How Stuff Works – Solar Energy”

  1. Bill Nye's hyping solar power is simplistic nonsense. I'm an electrical engineer with decades of experience and everytime I listen to this dweeb peddle his utopian garbage to the public I get sick to my stomach. For those that don't know, Nye is no scientist. He got a degree in mechanical engineering and worked for the Boeing aerospace company for some time before he became an entertainer.
    Renewable energy generation has already been tried in large measue in Germany, where it's now the world leader in that field. German utility customers now have among the very highest electric bills in the developed world despite it's government officials bragging that 28% of their electric generation comes from re-newables just this year in 2015. German electricity customers pay on average 4X more than their American counterparts. Around 5 years ago the German political classes went forward with a crazed energy policy called Energiewende (Energy Turn) which mandated high usage of renewable electric generation sources and the idling of almost all her nuclear plants in as an overreaction in the wake of Japan's Fukashima seismic catastrophe. This policy of closing down her nuclear plants was implemented even though Germany is a seismically stable country. Since there is no wind or solar electricity generation power plant can provide predictable and controllable power yields around the clock, referred to by us electrical engineers as steady state power, a conventional, nuclear, or hydro-electric generation facility has to be run simultaneously in order to provide the slack power required to make up steady state safely in order to safely operate any electric power distribution grid. Running an electric transmission power grid using just renewables will result in burned up cables all over the network and fires. Thus because Germany has shut down most of her nuclear plants, electric utility operators have had to replace that missing steady state power generation capacity with coal fired and natural gas electric plants using large amounts of imported American lignite coal and natural gas. Germany isn't so green after all. But that is is still not all. Now that Germany's power generation capacity is severely crippled, their power authorities often have to tap into France's largely nuclear powered electric grid when peak power demands require it, albeit at a much higher cost.
    The price of electricity in Germany has become so costly that one of it's premier news periodicals, Der Speigel, has declared electricity as becoming a "new luxury". According to Der Speigel, many homes in that country often go without any electricity usage throughout the daylight hours in order to be able to afford it. Germany is currently spending a better part of a trillion Euros building transmission lines from it's north shores to it population centers in the southern and central regions of that nation. With a gross demestic product of less than $4 trillion, German utility customers and tax payers alike shall see uber high electric bills for decades to come in order to pay foer that expensive new infrastructure.

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