DarthPuppy wrote:Yeah my main point I guess is that it is easier to say on a survey you are okay with paying more for clean energy. It is quite different to actually do it. Way too many people in the country are living paycheck to paycheck.
If those views were as widely held as the survey suggests, I would expect to see a lot more homes in So. Cal. with solar panels. Here in California, we are supposedly more green oriented than the rest of the country except possibly OR and WA. And we are well positioned for solar productivity.
California's got around 800k homes with PV, but about 8 million customers have opted (either individually or by community, including mine) for green electricity providers, so just because they don't have PV on their homes doesn't mean they aren't opting to pay more for VRE.
DarthPuppy wrote:I also don't see it in the other consumer behaviors like car buying. If people are truly willing to pay 30% more for green, I think I'd see a lot more EVs, PHEVs, and even regular hybrids running around. I do see that in the wealthier communities. But that isn't what makes up the population base.
Now I acknowledge the above two observations are anecdotal and not statistically collected. But data that drives Ford to abandon cars because the US consumer wants big, inefficient trucks, doesn't really support that public opinion is anywhere near as strong as what the article asserts.
I expect what people want is 100% renewably-powered CUVs with comparable capability and infrastructure to ICEs, that cost no more to buy. We're obviously not there yet, and we both agree that prices have to drop to mass-market levels before we will see mass-market uptake. That being said, the number of PEVs in my occasional evening commute counts has risen considerably over the past two years, and I'm seeing Model 3s so often in the last month or so they're almost common - I spotted an ex-girlfriend driving a black one last week!
How much of this is driven by aversion to the current administration in Washington, and how much by the fact that there are now a fairly large number of relatively affordable PEV models with adequate capability I couldn't say, but I imagine it's mostly the latter. We're still waiting on the mass-market-priced AWD BECUV that I expect will really kick things into high gear.
On points raised by others, the general public has no idea of the costs involved in going 100% renewable, and that the last 1/3rd will likely cost more than the first 2/3rds. But that's no reason not to get as far along the path as possible as early as possible. As we do so, the ultimate costs including storage will come into much better focus, and the public will become more realistic. Of course, we're not going to go 100% renewables for all energy: among other things, if we need to continue using steel we need coke from coal, as the necessary amounts of charcoal would take most of the acreage of the Amazon rain forest in high-yield and heavily fertilized and pesticided monoculture tree farms, with the attendant environmental costs.