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We’re producing so much energy that prices are going below zero

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean sub zero bills

With increasing investment into wind and solar, companies in the US, Germany, and Australia are producing so much energy that the price is falling below zero, Bloomberg reports.

What it means: Sadly, it doesn't mean free energy for all. It's just an interesting example of how difficult it is to manage a transition in the economy - in this case, from coal and gas-powered energy systems to wind and solar.

A lot sunny days and breezy mornings has basically meant that at certain times of day, we're producing more than enough energy through renewables not to need coal and gas plants. But the plants weren't designed to just switch on and off quickly, so they keep producing as much as they used to, and we end up with way more energy than we need - which is why prices fall below zero (because no-one needs to pay for it, so it's got no value).

It's a sign that we need better energy infrastructure to allow a smooth phasing out of coal and gas - so that eventually we get to a point where we're able to just switch it on for an hour or two when we need it.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?