One quibble -- anyone who has watched any of Sean's videos knows that his name is pronounced "Haw," like the river.
Duke's business is actually in providing energy infrastructure to consumers. They'll try to do that via the most profitable means available. Building coal, nuclear or NG-fired power plants, and then paying to maintain & fuel them, is extremely expensive. If they can buy/build solar for cheaper, there's no logical reason why they wouldn't do so.
However, power generation is only half of their business. Power distribution is the other half. Think of all the miles and miles and miles of distribution lines, the hundreds of substations & hundreds of thousands of power poles that make up the Duke Energy distribution system. Those things cost real money to construct & maintain.
If citizens wanted to put solar power on their roofs & *not* connect themselves to the grid, then Duke probably wouldn't care one way or another.
But most citizens adopting solar, particularly those who live in homes that are already grid-connected, want to have it both ways -- they want to generate power when the sun is shining, and sell that power to Duke if they're making more than they can use, but they also want to be able to use grid power when the sun isn't shining.
So how much would you pay for that luxury? Current electric rates are set with the assumption that any grid-connected home is going to spend within some predictable range every month, and that has to cover both generation and grid maintenance.
The other difficulty with adding large amounts of grid-tied solar to the current grid is that the grid is highly inelastic. The regional grid operators have to balance supply to demand on a minute-by-minute basis. They like production sources that can be turned off & on reasonably quickly, like natural gas.
So in addition to figuring out a new equitable billing structure to cover grid maintenance under this new distributed generation model, we also need to figure out how to manage a distributed network of generation sources on a grid where there's no storage capacity to speak of.
THAT is what companies like Duke Energy are afraid of.
I have been following the solar energy industry for 15 years, including designing & building a passive-solar home with solar hot water panels. I actually set it up for solar electric as well, but couldn't afford the panels at the time.
In other words, I'm by no means an electric industry apologist. But it's a difficult problem to solve, much more difficult than a lot of people seem to realize.
Folks who are interested in learning more about the delicate balance of the current US electric grid should read Maggie Koerth-Baker's excellent "Before the Lights Go Out" : http://www.amazon.com/Before-Lights-Go-Out…
I definitely second Barry's comment. Could use some better streetlighting as well. I have a decidedly un-fond memory of being flipped off & yelled at by some jerk in an SUV as I tried to cross the road from the Fish Shack to Local Yogurt.
I'm confused. In the Michelle Shocked vs Azure Ray vs Brendan Benson section, Chris Parker goes out of his way to compare the [lack of] "natural beauty" of Shocked to the "cuteness" of Azure Ray's Orenda Fink & Maria Taylor. But he must've gotten distracted when writing the Brendan Benson section, because nowhere does he mention how Benson's handsomeness, or lack thereof, compares to the other two.
HOW AM I TO MAKE AN INTELLIGENT DECISION ABOUT WHICH SHOW TO ATTEND WITHOUT THIS CRUCIAL INFORMATION?
As I did for Hopscotch, I put together a Troika flickr pool -- but in looking through people's photos I realized that a bunch of folks had a lot of good stuff from the previous 7 years that hadn't ever been collected, so I went ahead & invited everyone. So there's good stuff in there from '05, '08, '09 *and* 2010: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1535435@N20/
Lovely photos, and I'm not just saying that because some of the photographers are friends of mine ;-)
Truly obsessive readers/viewers can also check out the flickr pool for Hopscotch, which currently boasts 16 photographers & 375+ photos, and is still growing. In fact, anyone with photos from Hopscotch is encouraged to add them:
I don't know what the Census forms in Chatham say, but the one I received in Durham asked me to base my answers on the residents of my home as of April 1, 2010.
Given that we're still a week shy of that date, how can all these people have already returned their forms? So much can happen in a week! ;-)
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