Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Ehh.. 40 percent of the japanse population lives in apartments. Powering a condominium off the power you can produce on the shared roofspace just flat out will not work. Fully utilizing the roof spaces of the other 60% might get you a significant surplus above immediate consumption to play with, but at the level the feedin tarrif is set to, that would amount to a gigantic redistribution of wealth from the poorer segment of the japanses population to the well off middle class.

.. Actually, nevermind whether it will work, paying double the german rate is just bugfuck insane. Germany is reducing that rate because the price of cells has come down, and the solar resource in Japan is rather better than the german one, just due to latitude, so the tarrif level set by the japanses is flatout a license for anyone that happens to own a roof to drain the coffers of the utilities and by extension everyone that doesnt own a roof. Massive social injustice, and fairly likely to get repealed and discredit green energy entirely in the minds of really large segments of japanese society.

Green cannot be a synonym for "the rich screw the poor" if it is to be in any way politically sustainable.

by Thomas on Fri Jun 22nd, 2012 at 01:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, when did rooftop turn into residential rooftop only? Second, what happened to the solar irradiation advantage vs. Germany you championed? Third, you make rather vague points in place of a calculation underlining your "marginal" claim.

I won't even comment your social justice concern trolling, but I note as below that the (temporary) high rates have an explicit justification to jump-start big investment, which after all is a core aim of any feed-in law. (The problem is rather that they might choose to collapse the market again with the later rate cuts.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jun 22nd, 2012 at 01:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Solar insulation in Japan is higher than in Germany.
This improves the economics - Sticking a given installation on your roof costs about the same, but it produces more in Japan, and since FiT's pay out for actual production any given feedin tarrif level is a considerably stronger incentive in Japan than it would be in Germany. Setting a much higher tarrif than Germany - when the german tarrif has been extremely effective in spurring lots and lots of installation- is just not good policy. I dont know what level of installation they are expecting, but they are going to overshoot it. Very badly. Which is highly likely to cause problems, both of the engineering variety and the political kind.

Hmm. I predict a very good year for solar cell industry. Not so sure about 2014, tough.

by Thomas on Fri Jun 22nd, 2012 at 02:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RE: social justice. This is not concern trolling, I actually care about this. So should you, because if ever the public gets the idea into its head that "green" means "fuck the poor" the cause of sustainability will suffer immense damage.
Avarding private investors long term rents out of the public purse to get them to invest in renewable energy is an abomination - it is neither a free market of any kind, nor is it a plan, and it combines many of the worst aspects of both.
It would be far preferable for the japanses government to just outright buy whatever number of solar panels it feels it needs for its grid, smack them on public buildings until space runs out and if still more are needed, then bribe people to have them installed on their houses.
by Thomas on Fri Jun 22nd, 2012 at 02:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the historical evidence, if the public get the idea that "green" means "fuck the poor" they'll vote for it in overwhelming numbers.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 25th, 2012 at 05:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least the UK government will finally make a real effort.
by generic on Mon Jun 25th, 2012 at 06:01:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if ever the public gets the idea into its head

While eurogreen does the job to dismantle the class hypothesis, let me just note that the above is like a definition of concern trolling: talk up a nonexistent public concern.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 25th, 2012 at 06:23:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this sort of personal attack really necessary?

I think that the concerns that Thomas is bringing up are sincere, and that it's unfortunate that you're implying otherwise.

I understand your concerns, it's just that I think you're waltzing near the fallacy that any investment in any type of renewable energy ever is going to be economically efficient, at least in terms of the effect on consumer electric prices.  

There is an economic case for renewable electricity, however arguing that it always exists, no matter the circumstances, provides fodder for those who argue that it never can exist.

Peace. Out.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 03:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this sort of personal attack really necessary?

Deeming an argument concern trolling is not a personal attack but an attack of the argument, and I stand by it.

any investment in any type of renewable energy ever is going to be economically efficient

  1. What does this have to do with Thomas's social justice point?
  2. I never claimed that and this doesn't follow from any of our past or recent exchanges. There are different methods of promoting renewables and I had a negative opinion of certificates already when they still could be touted as a success by some ten years ago; you may recall some of my comparisons of feed-in rates in different countries too; you may also recall that I was negative about the on-ground installations boom in Spain; I was never too enthusiastic about biofuels with their even stronger conflict with agriculture; the market crash I predicted for after the initial three years in Japan is not something I'd call economically efficient; and I waited for others to chip in but I think Japan's promotion of microwind is folly, just like njh and eurogreen.
  3. I asked in a previous exchange upthread, what specific meaning of "economically efficient" are you using? There is more than one possible meaning, and debates between me and you (and past exchanges between me and Thomas) were as much about what should be the measure of success for a renewables incentive as about the evaluation of a specific measure (usually a feed-in law for PV) achieving one goal or the other.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 07:22:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas:
So should you, because if ever the public gets the idea into its head that "green" means "fuck the poor" the cause of sustainability will suffer immense damage.

pretzel logic...

the utilities, in connivance with energy -especially oil/nukes- companies, and complicit, well-rewarded politicians have been fucking the poor six ways from sunday for decades with enron scam level and worse money games, ridiculous tax breaks for the screwers and multiple rate and bill increases, suppression of clean energy source harvesting, pollution and war for the screwed.

orwell award!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 26th, 2012 at 03:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
60% of Japan's population lives in houses. It's not clear to me that the house-owners are typically well-off middle class, or that the 40% of apartment dwellers are typically in the poorer segment. On the contrary, I suspect that the small-town and country house-owners typically have modest incomes, and that the high earners are concentrated in apartments in bigger cities. The sociological effect of the feed-in tariff for rooftop PV is to favour the countryside dwellers over city dwellers; the class-based transfer of wealth you allege would have to be validated by someone who knows Japan better, but I doubt that it would be strong.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jun 25th, 2012 at 05:34:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good points. But again we are talking about residential rooftop solar only, which gets a lot less favourable feed-in rate. But what could be the effect of the wealth transfer to installers of 10 kW or larger units? IMO a positive effect could be acceptance by small and mid-level enterprises: instead of fearing rising energy prices, they could hope for partial self-supply with extra income for excess production. The profits accrued by investors of the largest projects could generate negative public opinion, however, unless local utilities are heavily involved.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 25th, 2012 at 06:50:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series