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sidd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5050 on: October 19, 2020, 09:37:56 PM »
Quiggin at insidestory: interest rate decline drives solar investment

" the sharp change in the IEA’s analysis wasn’t primarily a reflection of technological progress or climate policy. Rather it was prompted by a decline in the interest rate used to calculate the cost of investments in energy."

"after thirty years, modules installed today should still be working at around 85 per cent of their initial capacity. A working lifetime of twenty-five years is therefore conservative."

"Solar PV is so cheap to operate that its cost arises almost entirely from the need for investors to earn a rate of return on the capital  ... Until now, the IEA has used real rates of return ranging from 7 to 8 per cent, which implies payback periods of nine to ten years."

"In its 2020 report, the IEA acknowledged how low interest rates have fallen by reducing the cost of capital to between 2.6 and 5 per cent for Europe and the United States, with somewhat higher rates for China and India. On average, the cost of capital has almost halved, implying a near doubling of the time a project needs to pay a full return to investors."

"What happens in the extreme case where interest rates fall to zero? In these circumstances, the notion of a payback period ceases to be relevant. All that is required for an investment to be justified is that its lifetime returns should exceed the cost of construction."

"Once a solar module has been installed, a zero rate of interest means that the electricity it generates is virtually free. Spread over the lifetime of the module, the cost is around 2c/kWh (assuming $1/watt cost, 2000 operating hours per year and a twenty-five-year lifetime). That cost would be indexed to the rate of inflation, but would probably never exceed 3c/kWh."

"The prospect of electricity this cheap might seem counterintuitive to anyone whose model of investment analysis is based on concepts like “present value” and payback periods. But in the world of zero real interest rates that now appears to be upon us, such concepts are no longer relevant. Governments can, and should, invest in projects whenever the total benefits exceed the costs, regardless of how those benefits are spread over time."

https://insidestory.org.au/too-cheap-to-meter/

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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5051 on: October 21, 2020, 06:36:46 PM »
Silicon based solar cells have a theoretical maximum efficiency of 30% and most of the panels installed now are around 15%.  Silicon solar cells have the benefit of being much cheaper than the alternative materials.

However, new advances in perovskite solar cells could change that.  New breakthroughs in research have allowed perovskite solar cells to reach an efficiency of 66%.

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Solar-Energy/Another-Major-Breakthrough-For-Solar-Energy.html

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Another Major Breakthrough For Solar Energy
By Alex Kimani - Oct 20, 2020

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Back in May, we reported that the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) had forged a public-private consortium dubbed the US-MAP for U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium, which aims to fast-track the development of low-cost perovskite solar cells for the global marketplace.

That partnership appears to be bearing fruit, with the consortium recently announcing highly encouraging advancements in perovskite technology that could boost the efficiency of perovskite solar cells from the current ceiling of ~25% to a dreamy 66%.

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Silicon panels pretty much rule the solar energy sector, with more than 90% of panels manufactured using the versatile element.

Silicon PV cells have their advantages: They're quite robust and relatively easy to install. Thanks to advances in manufacturing methods, they've also become less expensive, especially over the past decade, particularly the polycrystalline panels constructed in Chinese factories.

However, they still come with a significant drawback: Silicon PV panels are quite inefficient, with the most affordable models managing only 7%-16% energy efficiency depending on factors such as placement, orientation, and weather conditions. Indeed, solar cells have been around for more than six decades, yet commercial silicon has barely scraped into the 25% range, maxing out at a theoretical 30%. This sad state of affairs is due to the fact that Si panels are wafer-based rather than thin-film, which makes them sturdier and more durable. The trade-off, however, is efficiency. 

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Thin-film PV panels can absorb more light and thus can produce more energy. These panels can be manufactured cheaply and quickly, meeting more energy demand in less time. There are a few different types of thin-film out there, all of them a little different from standard crystalline silicon (c-si) PV panels.

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In 2012, scientists finally succeeded in manufacturing thin-film perovskite solar cells, which achieved efficiencies over 10%. But since then, efficiencies in new perovskite cell designs have skyrocketed: recent models can reach 20%+, all from a thin-film cell that is (in theory) much easier and cheaper to manufacture than a thick-film silicon panel.

At Oxford University, researchers reached 25% efficiency; a German research team has achieved 21.6%, while a new record was set in December 2018, when an Oxford lab reached 28% efficiency.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL built composite Silicon-Perovskite cells by putting perovskites atop a silicon solar cell to create a multijunction solar cell, with the new cell boasting an efficiency of 27% compared to just 21% when only silicon is used.

And now the most significant breakthrough yet: The Oak Ridge National Lab, the Department of Energy's largest science and energy laboratory, has announced the discovery of novel hot-carrier perovskite solar cells that could achieve a conversion efficiency approaching 66%.


Yuha

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5052 on: October 22, 2020, 08:54:37 PM »
My understanding is that perovskite solar cells are not yet practical because they degrade too fast. Here's a new result adressing that.

Australian researchers say “unusual” breakthrough may solve perovskite solar instability
21 October 2020
https://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-researchers-say-unusual-breakthrough-may-solve-perovskite-solar-instability-29300/

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One of the key problems preventing progress with perovskite solar cells has been their instability, which often comes down to light-induced phase segregation, in which sunlight, the very source of solar energy, disrupts the carefully arranged composition of elements within mixed-halide perovskites.

But in a report published in the journal Nature Materials on Monday, scientists across the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, as well as from Monash University in Victoria, have discovered that high-intensity, glaring light can undo the very disruption caused by light at lower intensities.

[...]

“What we found is that as you increase the excitation intensity, the local strains in the ionic lattice, which were the original cause of segregation, start to merge together. When this happens, the local deformations that drove segregation disappear.

“On a normal sunny day, the intensity is so low that these deformations are still localised. But if you find a way to increase the excitation above a certain threshold, for example by using a solar concentrator, then segregation disappears.”

[...]

Dr Hall says that with this “fundamental work” done, the next step is to put the findings into practice in a device.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5053 on: October 23, 2020, 10:46:08 PM »
A company in Austalia has selected the site for a 10 GW solar farm with a 30 GWh battery near Darwin.  The electricity will be sent to Singapore by subsea cables.  More large scale solar farms are planned for exporting electricity to Indonesia.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/sun-cable-earmarks-site-for-10gw-solar-farm-at-cattle-station-south-of-darwin-60771/

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Sun Cable earmarks site for 10GW solar farm at cattle station south of Darwin
Sophie Vorrath 22 October 2020

Sun Cable’s $22 billion plans to build the world’s largest dispatchable solar and battery power station, as well as the world’s largest subsea transmission link, have taken a step forward after selecting a preferred site about 750km south of Darwin.

Sun Cable proposes to build a 10GW solar plant in central Australia combined with a battery storage system 150-times the size of the Tesla Big Battery in South Australia, and then connect this to Singapore via an undersea cable. Each part of the project would be built at an unprecedented scale.

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As well as the 10GW solar plant, the project promises to build battery storage facilities of up to 30GWh, and a high voltage direct current sub-sea cable of 3,750kms – to pipe the solar power across to potential customers in Singapore.

And it’s quite possible Sun Cable won’t stop there.

In an interview with RenewEconomy’s Energy Insiders podcast in May, Griffin said the ultimate plan was for the Northern Territory project to be the first of many.

“Ultimately, we envisage a network that expands, that takes advantage of where the best renewable energy resources are, be it solar and wind in Australia, wind in New Zealand, or solar and wind in India, and we are seeing that  … the potential for load growth in the areas in between is enormous,” he said.

“Indonesia will be the fourth largest economy in the world in the 2020s. We seem to miss that in Australia – the enormity of our northern neighbours. We are absolutely developing long term plans to serve those ever-growing loads north of Australia and doing that by exploiting the renewable energy resources wherever they located, and the HVDC technology.”

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5054 on: October 23, 2020, 11:43:40 PM »
Alberta (Canada) is planning to diversify its fossil-fuel dependent economy by developing geothermal energy.  The same technology used for drilling gas and oil wells works for drilling geothermal wells.  This has the obvious benefit of keeping workers employed while transitioning to a carbon free economy.

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Geothermal-Energy/Could-Oil-Drillers-Make-Geothermal-Energy-Go-Mainstream.html

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Could Oil Drillers Make Geothermal Energy Go Mainstream?
By Irina Slav - Oct 22, 2020

With so much talk about offshore wind and utility-scale solar, it is easy to forget about one other abundant, emission-free energy source. Geothermal has garnered a lot less attention than the more established forms of renewable energy generation, but this is slowly changing as parts of the world increasingly focus on replacing fossil fuels with cleaner alternatives. Alberta, for example, will be promoting the development of geothermal energy as a means of diversifying its heavily oil-dependent economy. This week the province’s legislators introduced a bill seeking to promote the nascent industry by setting rules and guidelines and establishing the authority that will control land use for geothermal.

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Geothermal resources are in fact abundant everywhere: the Earth’s core radiates heat outwards into the mantle and the crust. Oil and gas drillers are familiar with this heat and know that the deeper you drill, the hotter it gets. For oil and gas drilling, this could be a problem, so the industry has developed ways to solve it. For geothermal drilling, heat is the goal. The oil and gas industry is therefore in a really unique position to make the most of geothermal resources, not just in Canada.

The European Union is also interested in the heat that the insides of our planet generate. A project sponsored by Brussels, MEET, set out to tests the viability of geothermal extraction from oil wells. This is a lower-cost alternative to drilling new wells specifically for geothermal energy extraction, and costs are an issue with geothermal. The project has managed to generate electricity using the heat from oil well brine extracted from a well in France along with the crude. The result is potentially significant because the temperature of the brine was not all too high at 92 degrees Celsius. Yet it has yet to be replicated on a wider scale.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5055 on: October 24, 2020, 12:21:38 AM »
The linked article indicates that after a few decades of slow development, geothermal energy is poised for rapid growth.  This is in part due to the technological advances made by the oil and gas companies in fracking during the past two decades.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/10/21/21515461/renewable-energy-geothermal-egs-ags-supercritical

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Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

“An engineering problem that, when solved, solves energy.”
By David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com Oct 21, 2020

Geothermal power is the perpetual also-ran of renewable energy, chugging along in the background for decades, never quite breaking out of its little niche, forever causing energy experts to say, “Oh, yeah, geothermal ... what’s up with that?”

Well, after approximately 15 years of reporting on energy, I finally took the time to do a deep dive into geothermal and I am here to report: This is a great time to start paying attention!

After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

Vik Rao, former chief technology officer at Halliburton, the oil field service giant, recently told the geothermal blog Heat Beat, “geothermal is no longer a niche play. It’s scalable, potentially in a highly material way. Scalability gets the attention of the [oil services] industry.”

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Four basic types of geothermal energy technology

Once it reaches the surface, geothermal energy is used for a wide variety of purposes, mainly because there are many different ways to use heat. Depending on how hot the resource is, it can be exploited by numerous industries. Virtually any level of heat can be used directly, to run fisheries or greenhouses, to dry cement, or (the really hot stuff) to make hydrogen.

To make electricity, higher minimum heats are required. The older generation of geothermal power plants used steam directly from the ground, or “flashed” fluids from the ground into steam, to run a turbine. (The water and air pollution that has been associated with first-generation geothermal projects was all from flash plants, which boil water from underground and end up off-gassing everything in it, including some nasty pollutants.)

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1) Conventional hydrothermal resources

In a few select areas (think parts of Iceland, or California), water or steam heated by Earth’s core rises through relatively permeable rock, full of fissures and fractures, only to become trapped under an impermeable caprock. These giant reservoirs of pressurized hot water often reveal themselves on the surface through fumaroles or hot springs.



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2) Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)

Conventional geothermal systems are limited to specialized areas where heat, water, and porosity come together just so. But those areas are limited.

There’s plenty of heat stored down in all that normal, solid, nonporous rock, though. What if geothermal developers could make their own reservoirs? What if they could drill down into solid rock, inject water at high pressure through one well, fracture the rock to let the water pass through, and then collect the heated water through another well?

That, in a nutshell, is EGS: geothermal that makes its own reservoir.



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The basic idea has always been that EGS would start off within existing hydrothermal reservoirs, where fields are relatively well-characterized. Then, as it learned, honed its technology, and brought down costs, it would branch out from “in field” into “near field” resources — solid rock adjacent to reservoirs, at similar depth. Eventually it would be able to venture farther out into new fields and deeper into hotter rock. In theory, EGS could eventually be located almost anywhere in the world.

That’s been the game plan for a decade now, and it’s still the game plan, as laid out in the magisterial 2019 GeoVision study on geothermal from the Department of Energy. The EGS industry has had trouble, though, getting all the ducks in a row. There was a burst of activity around 2010, based on Obama stimulus money and binary power plants. But by the time the drilling technology from the shale gas revolution had begun making its way over to geothermal, around 2015, capital had dried up and attention had turned away.

It’s only been in 2020, Latimer says, that everything has finally lined up: strong public and investor interest, real market demand (thanks to ambitious state renewable energy goals), and a flood of new technologies borrowed from the oil and gas industry. EGS startups like Fervo are growing quickly and bigger, established companies are running profitable EGS projects today.

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Still, if the engineering and marketing challenges can be overcome, the prize is almost unthinkably large. Assuming an average well depth of 4.3 miles and a minimum rock temperature of 150°C, the GeoVision study estimates a total US geothermal resource of at least 5,157 gigawatts of electric capacity — around five times the nation’s current installed capacity.

The article goes on to detail a third type of geothermal energy, super-hot-rock geothermal, that requires technology not currently commercially available to deal with supercritical water.  It then discusses another more promising type, advanced geothermal systems (AGS).

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AGS refers to a new generation of “closed loop” systems, in which no fluids are introduced to or extracted from the Earth; there’s no fracking. Instead, fluids circulate underground in sealed pipes and boreholes, picking up heat by conduction and carrying it to the surface, where it can be used for a tunable mix of heat and electricity.

Closed-loop geothermal systems have been around for decades, but a few startups have recently amped them up with technologies from the oil and gas industry. One such company, started by investors with experience in oil and gas, is the Alberta-based Eavor.

In Eavor’s planned system, called an “Eavor-Loop,” two vertical wells around 1.5 miles apart will be connected by a horizontally arrayed series of lateral wells, in a kind of radiator design, to maximize surface area and soak up as much heat as possible. (Precise lateral drilling is borrowed from the shale revolution, and from the oil sands.)

Because the loop is closed, cool water on one side sinks while hot water on the other side rises, creating a “thermosiphon” effect that circulates the water naturally, with no need for a pump. Without the parasitic load of a pump, Eavor can make profitable use of relatively low heat, around 150°C, available almost anywhere about a mile and a half down.

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An Eavor-Loop can act as baseload (always-on) power, but it can also act as flexible, dispatchable power — it can ramp up and down almost instantaneously to complement variable wind and solar energy. It does this by restricting or cutting off the flow of fluid. As the fluid remains trapped underground longer, it absorbs more and more heat.

So, unlike with solar, ramping the plant down does not waste (curtail) the energy. The fluid simply charges up, like a battery, so that when it’s turned back on it produces at above nameplate capacity. This allows the plant to “shape” its output to match almost any demand curve.

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One thing that might get more people talking about geothermal is the somewhat serendipitous opportunity it offers to the oil and gas industry, which is reeling from oversupply, persistently low prices, and cratering demand caused by the pandemic. Consequently, it is hemorrhaging jobs.

Geothermal is buzzing with startups that specifically need innovation and expertise in drilling technology, the very skills many oil and gas workers already have. They could put those skills to work making the planet safer for future generations. That skills match is what animates Beard’s geothermal entrepreneurship organization and the $4.65 million contest that DOE launched this year to pair geothermal innovations with partners in the manufacturing industry.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5056 on: October 24, 2020, 12:34:51 AM »
Lazard has published the 2020 updates of their Levelized Cost of Electricity report.  Solar is the cheapest and new solar farms are cheaper than operating coal.  The cost of solar is now comparable to the operating costs of fully depreciated gas fired power plants.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/10/23/its-cheaper-to-build-new-solar-than-it-is-to-operate-coal-plants/

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It’s cheaper to build new solar than it is to operate coal plants

New analysis released by Lazard compares the levelized cost of energy for various generation technologies on a $/MWh basis and shows that renewables, specifically utility-scale solar and wind, are the economic frontrunners.
October 23, 2020 Tim Sylvia

Solar and wind are the most affordable sources of electricity, period, according to the most recent Levelized Cost of Energy comparison, released by Lazard.

The report is comprised of comparative levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis for various generation technologies on a $/MWh basis, including sensitivities for U.S. federal tax subsidies, fuel prices, carbon pricing and costs of capital. The cost isn’t represented by one concrete price, but rather a range of estimated prices given the circumstance applied.



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The really telling figures come from the comparisons between the cost of construction of new renewable energy facilities vs. operating existing fossil and nuclear resources. The only type of new renewable generation asset to have a higher per-MWh LCOE than operating existing coal is unsubsidized onshore wind, which isn’t even telling the whole story. The range of LCOE for unsubsidized onshore wind is higher at its peak than the maximum LCOE for operating existing coal, but the lowest end of the ranges favor wind, which comes in at a lowest-possible LCOE of $26/MWh, as compared to $34/MWh for coal.


crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5057 on: October 24, 2020, 02:52:33 PM »
gas cc going up $59 from $56 !

wind $40 down from $41
solar pv $37 down from $40

$16 diff from $40 to $56 might not pay for many batteries. $22 diff from $37 to $59 looks to be quite a significant % change (37.5%) in just one year and with battery prices falling that will buy a lot more storage.

https://www.lazard.com/media/451419/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-140.pdf

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5058 on: October 24, 2020, 09:04:11 PM »
In a generic sunny place, would a solar-thermal plant be more $$ efficient than Tesla powerpacks or megapacks (batteries) (at today's costs)? 

I wonder how the 'experts' (the ones paid to figure these things out) decide on what energy storage system would work best for them.  A scan of Wikipedia's Energy Storage page suggests the options are extensive. 

Decades ago I did energy audits of government buildings.  In one fire department, we wanted to say, "Put back the system you just concreted up."  Being in a cold climate, their engine repair shop needed the means of running gas guzzlers (fire engines) in an enclosed building.  Their old system required attaching hoses to the exhaust pipes which pumped the exhaust outdoors, but exhaust systems leak and the air quality in the garage would get bad.  The new system was a giant heat exchanger that replaced the garage's air every few minutes (or something) with outside air.  The new system was prohibitively expensive to run (therefore our audit), but very effective.  What they should have done was add the heat exchanger to augment their old system, running it 5 minutes every half hour or something.  But because they poured concrete into all the pipes that went into the floor, that was no longer an option.  (They were very glad to get rid of the several holes in the floor, because they controlled where you could put a vehicle and where you could walk, etc., and the old system did need upgrading.) Sigh.  :'(

All this to say, I bet most experts don't think too deeply about what would be the best solutions to their energy issues, being overly influenced by their professors in university, peers and salespersons.

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Alexander555

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5059 on: October 24, 2020, 09:20:25 PM »
How is that Tesla project in Australia doing ? That large scale energy storage project. (batteries)

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5060 on: October 24, 2020, 09:33:28 PM »
The Tesla big battery more correctly called Hornsdale power reserve was so successful it has  been expanded.
https://hornsdalepowerreserve.com.au/
OVERVIEW
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At 100MW/129MWh, the Hornsdale Power Reserve is the largest lithium-ion battery in the world, and is providing essential grid-support services.
The 50MW/ 64.5MWh expansion, currently under construction, will further showcase the complete benefits that grid-scale batteries can provide to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and Australian consumers.

In its first two years of operation, the project saved South Australia consumers over $150 million.
https://hornsdalepowerreserve.com.au/
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The expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR), a 50MW addition making it the world’s first big battery to have an upgraded capacity of 150MW, is now complete.
https://www.energymagazine.com.au/hornsdale-power-reserve-expansion-complete/
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5061 on: October 24, 2020, 11:51:59 PM »
Torque News from Sept. 20:
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The Tesla big battery in South Australia, which is officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, delivered a windfall profit to its Paris-based owner Neoen in the first half of 2020. Tesla's battery paid [for] itself in 2.5 years.
...
That's impressive!  The first mega-battery in a region is worth a great deal for its power stabilizing capabilities (beyond its mere storage ability).  I doubt subsequent installations in a region would pay for themselves quite so quickly, even if needed for storage.  (Correct me if I'm wrong...)
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KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5062 on: October 25, 2020, 12:29:00 AM »
Having destroyed the rorts that drove spot power pricing to astronomical levels the super normal profits they formally gained have evaporated for new entrants.
Yes .
Future storage investment  will still make a worthwhile return on arbitrage, buying  renewable energy when it is abundant and selling it when it is restricted.
Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.
Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
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Yuha

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5063 on: October 25, 2020, 02:24:13 AM »
The Hornsdale Power Reserve upgrade not only increased capacity but is adding a new type of grid support service, virtual inertial response.

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Action
Tesla has developed a ‘rotating machine model’ that provides a ‘virtual inertial response’ to changes of frequency allowing the system to directly mimic synchronous machines. This feature has been implemented on numerous microgrid sites, and it is now available for grid-connected current-source generation.

Neoen (in conjunction with Tesla, AEMO and ElectraNet) will implement a series of detailed testing plans to demonstrate the capability of the expanded facility to provide an inertial response. The testing plans will also further support the interconnector with Victoria, reduce curtailment and facilitate a future update of the Market Ancillary Services Specification and related registration requirements.

Outcome
Alongside additional power system reliability and continued cost savings to consumers, the expansion will provide an Australian-first large-scale demonstration of the potential for battery storage to provide inertia to the network, which is critical to grid stability and the future integration of renewable energy. This will enable South Australia (SA) to continue to harvest wind and solar resources and support the transition to net 100% renewable energy generation and further drive down electricity prices for all consumers.

Additional inertia within SA should allow for a greatly increased limit on asynchronous generators (i.e. traditional wind and solar) in the state providing immediate benefits to consumers and wind generators through increased supply of cheap renewable energy.
https://arena.gov.au/projects/hornsdale-power-reserve-upgrade/

BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5064 on: October 28, 2020, 11:28:10 AM »
Interesting report on how to maximise transition to renewables at cheapest cost.

https://www.rethinkx.com/energy#energy-download

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Long stretches of cloudy winter days when available sunshine is at its minimum
present the greatest challenge to SWB systems. On the one hand, a 100%
SWB system could meet demand by having a very large amount of solar and
wind generating capacity paired with a comparatively modest battery energy
storage capacity. Solar and wind could then still meet demand during the day,
even with meager winter sunshine, while at the same time charge the batteries
so that electricity could continue to be supplied throughout the night.e
 Although
effective, this capacity mix would be expensive (top right of Figure 7).
On the other hand, a 100% SWB system could instead meet demand by having
a comparatively small amount of solar PV and wind generating capacity paired
with an extremely large and expensive battery capable of storing weeks’ worth
of average hourly electricity demand. The battery could be charged in advance
during sunnier and windier periods, and then drawn upon day after day during
times of overcast winter weather. This too would be expensive (top left of Figure 7).
In order to minimize overall system capital expenditure (capex), an optimal
balance between the two must be identified. Very importantly, this tradeoff
relationship is not linear. Rather, the capital cost tradeoff relationship between
generation and storage capacity is characterized by convex (U-shaped)
curve.

What I first notice is how much costs reduce by reaching 200% generating capacity with wind and solar and how little the benefit there is for building more than 250%.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 11:37:03 AM by BeeKnees »

blu_ice

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5065 on: October 28, 2020, 12:25:54 PM »
Attached picture is production data for a utility scale solar power plant in Helsinki, Finland. "Tammi" means January and "joulu" is December.

A tooltip on the site shows the actual figure. https://www.helen.fi/aurinkopaneelit/aurinkosahko/suvilahti

Lowest is January with 643 kWh and highest is June with 54744 kWh. 

I don't have monthly electricity consumption data but you can expect it to be inverse to solar production, with smaller variance of course.

PV is amazing technology and I have panels installed on my own roof also, but one must not underestimate the difficulties caused by intermittent production. It needs backup and backup costs money.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5066 on: October 28, 2020, 12:44:43 PM »
US data from the EIA.

Solar + Wind continue to increase. Still a question as to which energy source gets the biggest benefit from the demise of coal - solar+wind or natural gas.

"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5067 on: October 28, 2020, 07:01:28 PM »
US data from the EIA.

Solar + Wind continue to increase. Still a question as to which energy source gets the biggest benefit from the demise of coal - solar+wind or natural gas.
(US)
Capacity is a leading indicator generation is a lagging indicator.
For August net change in capacity
renewable plus 1.1 GW (+1.1 - 0)
fossil fuel  minus 0.48 GW (+0.04 - 0.519).

For the past 12 months from the end of august
renewables plus 17.9 GW
fossil fuel minus 7.8 GW.

Percentage of total capacity change last 12 months from end of august
Renewable plus 1.62%
Fossil Fuels minus 0.70%

While the addition of renewables is not happening fast enough. Renewables are displacing natural gas.

At the current rate of displacement it will take about 62 years to replace all capacity.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5068 on: October 28, 2020, 07:07:04 PM »
Or it might take 143 years to replace all fossil fuels it depends on how you figure it. One thing is clear nothing beyond replacement is happening currently.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5069 on: October 28, 2020, 09:27:01 PM »
Or it might take 143 years to replace all fossil fuels it depends on how you figure it. One thing is clear nothing beyond replacement is happening currently.

The average fossil fuel power plant has a useful life of less than 50 years and most cant go more than 20 years without needing major repairs, which cost a lot of money. And now that new wind and solar power plants are cheaper than operating fossil fuels plants, it's unlikely that utilities will spend the money to renovate fossil fuel power plants instead of building new solar or wind.  Therefore, it's unlikely that there will many fossil-fuel powered plants running more than 20 years from now.

Extrapolating lines from historical data on charts only works if the factors that influenced the data is the same.  For energy, it isn't.  Renewables (solar and wind) became cheaper than fossil fuel power plants in 2018 in some areas and renewables are now cheaper in more than 75% of the areas of the world.

This is already showing up in capacity additions to the grid.  Renewables are expected to be 76% of the new capacity added to the US electrical grid this year.  That share will increase in each year as the cost advantage of renewables continues to grow as the costs of wind and solar (and battery storage) continue to decrease.






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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5070 on: October 28, 2020, 10:23:18 PM »
While the US situation may very well be as you describe, new coal plants are still being built around the world, and the same is true for gas. I doubt all these plants will miraculously stop operating 20 years from now. The transition is happening and will accelerate, but is waaay to slow.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5071 on: October 28, 2020, 11:05:53 PM »
While the US situation may very well be as you describe, new coal plants are still being built around the world, and the same is true for gas. I doubt all these plants will miraculously stop operating 20 years from now. The transition is happening and will accelerate, but is waaay to slow.

The transition is happening much faster than is commonly believed.  This year, more coal-fired power was retired than was added to the grid, globally.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/03/more-coal-power-generation-closed-than-opened-around-the-world-this-year-research-finds

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More coal power generation closed than opened around the world this year, research finds
Adam Morton
2 Aug 2020

The size of the global coal power fleet fell for the first time on record over the first six months of the year, with more generation capacity shutting than starting operation.

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Across the globe, 18.3GWs of coal power was commissioned in the first half of the year, and 21.2GWs shut. About 8.3GWs of the closures were in the European Union and – despite US president Donald Trump’s vow to save the coal sector – 5.4GWs were in the US. Spain retired half its fleet. Britain shut a third of its coal capacity and went coal-free for two months.

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About 72GWs of planned new coal was cancelled in the first half of the year, the bulk of it in India and China, but 190GW remains under construction.

Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) invesment has dried up in 2020.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lng-exports-investment-analysis/lng-investments-vanish-in-2020-as-coronavirus-slashes-oil-and-gas-prices-idUSKBN2602PY

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September 9, 2020

LNG investments vanish in 2020 as coronavirus slashes oil and gas prices

By Ekaterina Kravtsova, Scott DiSavino

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - No new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects could be approved this year for the first time in at least two decades, banking and industry sources said, after the COVID-19 pandemic drove down energy demand and knocked prices to all-time lows.

In a stark contrast to last year’s record level of approvals for LNG production plants, 2020’s dramatic oil and gas price drop has forced companies to delay decisions on new projects and write down investments in existing plants.

The last year in which no new LNG exports plants were approved was 1998, consultancy Wood Mackenzie told Reuters, while the International Energy Agency estimated it was at least two decades ago.



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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5072 on: October 29, 2020, 12:17:17 AM »
The number of new coal plants in development has plummeted and China has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060.  So many of the coal plants being built today will be retired early.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/10/28/will-build-worlds-last-coal-plant/

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Who will build the world’s last coal plant?
Published on 28/10/2020

Banks, companies and governments are axing support for coal, driven by climate concerns and competition from renewables, but hundreds of plants are still in planning

By Joe Lo

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China’s pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2060 implies no unabated coal burning in 40 years – the typical life expectancy of a power station. Coal-reliant countries including South Korea, South Africa and Japan are aiming for net zero by 2050.

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A few years ago, India was vigorously pursing coal but now it only has plants in pre-construction in 28 locations. This is one less than Turkey, a fact Global Energy Monitor calls “unthinkable just a few years ago when China and India together dominated development”. In 2019, India’s coal power generation fell by 3% and its pre-construction pipeline fell by half, largely because of financing problems.

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Turkey has the world’s third largest pre-construction pipeline with plants in 29 locations planned. On the other hand, it has a track record of cancellations, scrapping 80 projects this decade.

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Vietnam has recently indicated that it will postpone the building of six coal power projects until 2030. If these were to be built, they could well be the last in the world. According to Ieefa’s Minh Thu Vu though, the chances are decreasing.

Provincial authorities and communities are becoming increasingly loud in opposition to coal, while solar and wind are becoming cheaper and more attractive to foreign investors.