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Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4500 on: January 13, 2020, 08:11:14 PM »
@rboyd

What is the price of electricity per kWh where you are, and will there be upward pressure if demand increases for EVs

In the UK it's 16p/kWh, 12.3 cents, so worthwhile fitting solar as a DIY project without the feed in tarriff. All self use. A diverter with a current clamp PWMs the surplus to the Hot water cylinder, or any resistive load.

I think it would be easier to fund solar-roof-to-employee-carpark than more centralised generation, also a tax free perk to aid recruitment and retention of staff.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4501 on: January 13, 2020, 09:27:25 PM »
Worldwide solar installations projected to reach 142 GW in 2020, a 14% increase over last year.

https://www.solarnovus.com/strong-growth-trends-in-world-solar-installations_N12178.html

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Strong Growth Trends in World Solar Installations

Published on 13 January 2020

Global solar installations will continue double-digit growth rates into the new decade, according to the new 2020 Global Photovoltaic (PV) Demand Forecast by IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions. New annual installations in 2020 will reach 142 gigawatts (GW), a 14 % rise over the previous year.

The expected 142 gigawatts are seven times that of the entire capacity that had been installed by the start of the prior decade (20 GW in 2010). The growth has been substantial in terms of geographic reach as well. There were 7 countries with more than 1 GW of installed capacity in 2010, most of them confined to Europe. IHS Markit expects more than 43 countries to meet that threshold by the end of 2020.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4502 on: January 13, 2020, 09:40:13 PM »
Wind power supplied only 3% of Britain's electricity in 2010.  In 2019, wind supplied 21%.  Coal supplied less than 2%.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/wind-power-coal-climate-change-renewable-energy-a9273541.html

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2019 saw the rise of wind power and the collapse of coal
Scaling up renewable energy has catapulted Britain through a decade of electrical system change
Grant Wilson, Iain Staffell

In 2010, Britain generated 75 per cent of its electricity from coal and natural gas. But by the end of the decade these fossil fuels accounted for just 40 per cent, with coal generation collapsing from the decade’s peak of 41 per cent in 2012 to under two per cent in 2019.

The near disappearance of coal power – the second most prevalent source in 2010 – underpinned a remarkable transformation of Britain’s electricity generation over the last decade, meaning the country now has the cleanest electrical supply in its history. As it did at the start of the decade, in 2019 natural gas provided the largest share of Britain’s electricity at 38 per cent, compared with 47 per cent in 2010. Second place now belongs to wind power, which supplied almost 21 per cent of electrical demand in 2019, up from three per cent in 2010.

Twenty-nineteen saw the annual total for coal generation drop below solar and into seventh place for the first time. Britain’s renewables also generated more electricity than coal and natural gas combined over a month for the first ever time in August.

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The rise of the renewable generation and the fall in electrical demand allowed coal power to be transitioned off the system. Britain’s electrical grid was coal-free for over 3,700 hours in 2019, something that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

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The next decade will see even more renewable energy deployed, such as the Hornsea Project One, a 1.2 GW offshore wind farm due to be completed in 2020. But what else do the 2020s hold? Here are our energy predictions for the next 10 years:

* Britain will install an additional 30 GW of marine energy generation, including offshore wind, wave, tidal flow and tidal range.

* Over 10,000 “active buildings” will be built. These are highly energy efficient buildings integrating renewable energy technologies for heat, power, and transport with different types of heat and electrical storage.

* Over 80 per cent of new cars sold will be battery electric vehicles.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4503 on: January 13, 2020, 10:28:16 PM »
US Energy Consumption Trends - Million Tons of Oil Equivalent (Mtoe)

Sources; BP, IRENA and SEIA.

Primary Energy Consumption (2018) 2,301
 - Oil 920; NG 703; Coal 317; Nuclear 192; Hydro 65; Other Renewables 104

10 years growth rate: -0.4%/2018 growth rate: 3.5%
 - Oil -0.6%/2%; NG 1.7%/10.5%; Coal -4.9%/-4.3%; Nuclear 0%/0.3%; Hydro 2%/-2.7%; Other Renewables 14%/10%.


In 2019, US coal consumption was down 18% from 2018 (your numbers are from 2018).  Wind and solar are now cheaper than coal.  We're seeing many announcements of utilities closing coal power plants decades earlier than planned and replacing them with renewables.

Wind or solar plus battery storage is now cheaper than natural gas peaker plants (and more responsive, providing better grid reliability and flexibility).  We've seen announcements of utilities cancelling planned natural gas peaker plants and replacing them with wind or solar plus battery storage.

In a few years, wind and solar will be cheaper than baseline natural gas plants.  Soon utilities will start to cancel planned natural gas plants as they realize that the natural gas power plants wont operate long enough to pay off their capital costs.   Utilities will also retire older natural gas power plants when major maintenance is due because it will be cheaper to replace them with renewables.

And since your post is about total energy consumption, keep in mind that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are projected to reach cost parity with gas burning cars in the next few years (probably by 2022).  Automakers are planning to introduce dozens of new BEV models in the next two years.  So transportation will increasingly be decarbonized in the 2020s.

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4504 on: January 13, 2020, 11:01:41 PM »
Ken,

In the UK, offshore wind is down to 3.965 to 4.1611 p/kWh on a "contract for difference" - developers bid for a floor price, though they can sell for more if they can strike a commercial deal.

It's largely because the turbines are getting bigger, so less capital required for the capacity.

Nuclear, by comparison is 9.25p / kWh on a similar cfd and cannot increase output in winter as wind can, so massive inter-seasonal storage would be required.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4505 on: January 13, 2020, 11:08:46 PM »
China is switching the way tariffs and subsidies in the power market work.  There's been a lot of speculation about how that could impact the growth of renewables, but it also impacts the coal market too.

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11759-New-pricing-could-spell-trouble-for-China-s-coal-sector-

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New pricing could spell trouble for China’s coal sector
Feng Hao
08.01.2020

The replacement of benchmark coal tariffs with a ‘base price plus float’ mechanism may hit struggling coal power generators

Benchmark coal tariffs have been the foundation of China’s electricity pricing since 2004 but this mechanism was replaced on January 1 with a more flexible system. Industry insiders say the change may increase pressure on coal power generators, which are already struggling to be profitable.

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Previously, the state determined how much the power grid would pay for coal power. China’s central economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), set on-grid tariffs according to the costs of each type of generation and any pollution-control measures they employed, such as desulphurisation. Firms in the same region, operating to the same environmental standards, received the same price for their power.

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The new mechanism to set tariffs is a step towards a negotiated market that limits this one-sided subsidy. Coal power producers will be able to negotiate with their buyers to raise power prices. On the developed east coast of China, where big users compete for access to reliable generation, coal generators are more likely to succeed in raising prices beyond the base price.

Coal power under pressure

But most power market experts don’t see much opportunity for coal generators to raise prices. Except for small pockets of high demand on the east coast, China has a power surplus, meaning generators could be pressured to lower tariffs, reducing revenues even further.

And clean energy competitors – hydro, solar, wind and nuclear – enjoy policies that guarantee the purchase of their output, which reduces the market for coal power.

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Electricity can account for 30% of costs in power-intensive sectors such as concrete manufacturing, so pricing changes have a major impact on company performance. One view is that the new mechanism will allow power generators and power-hungry firms to form mutually beneficial relationships, with the generators gaining reliable customer and the company keeping electricity costs under control.

In market economies, like the US, we've seen the use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) between large corporations and renewable energy providers to lock in lower electricity costs.  It will be interesting to see if Chinese companies start using PPAs to stay competitive with their western competitors.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4506 on: January 13, 2020, 11:21:47 PM »
Ken,

In the UK, offshore wind is down to 3.965 to 4.1611 p/kWh on a "contract for difference" - developers bid for a floor price, though they can sell for more if they can strike a commercial deal.

It's largely because the turbines are getting bigger, so less capital required for the capacity.

Nuclear, by comparison is 9.25p / kWh on a similar cfd and cannot increase output in winter as wind can, so massive inter-seasonal storage would be required.

Offshore wind is just starting to take off.  The new, larger turbines are making it competitive with onshore wind and solar. 

However, the equipment available to install the turbines is in short supply currently.  Hopefully manufacturers will respond to the demand so the new wind farms can come online quickly.

https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/56000511

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     S&P Global Market Intelligence 16 Dec, 2019

Global shortage of installation vessels could trouble waters for offshore wind

Towering 260 meters into the ocean skies and boasting generating capacity of a record 12 MW each, General Electric Co.'s Haliade-X wind turbines are set to enter commercial use in 2021. But the deployment of the world's largest machines — and those that will follow — could be hampered by a global shortage of shipping vessels capable of installing the next era of megaturbines out at sea.

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And according to Frederik Colban-Andersen, divisional director for offshore renewables at ship broker Clarksons Platou AS, only a handful will be able to install the new supersize turbines once they become commercially available. "The way we see it is that there are currently three existing vessels and two under construction at shipyards" capable of installing the Haliade-X worldwide, the director told S&P Global Market Intelligence in an interview.

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The vessels required for installing turbines will usually be booked out for several months. Thanks to improvements in efficiency, vessels can install one turbine in under two days, Colban-Andersen said. Hiring costs can be around €150,000 per day, with some reaching €200,000 per day, and the rates are expected to increase in the future.

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Until recently, the vessel fleet used to install smaller turbines in the 6.5 MW to 8 MW range was sufficient for the wind industry. But as the need for larger vessels intensifies, the smaller vessels will likely be displaced into emerging markets, such as Asia, and will be used for servicing jobs.

Industry body WindEurope anticipates at least 10 new vessels will be needed to deal with the fleet of larger turbines, with each able to install up to 100 turbines or foundations each year. "This may include some new heavy-lift floating vessels for deep water sites," it said.

BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4507 on: January 14, 2020, 09:29:40 AM »
UK had made a great start to 2020 with wind generating more than 30% of electricity.

Sadly the last few days have seen a hiccup.
On Friday the Western HVDC link between Scotland and North Wales tripped.  With no way of transferring excess wind generation south it's meant idling wind turbines at the very time wind is good.
At the same time North Wales has fallen back to using coal.

Just shows how reliant a renewable future is on having reliable connections

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4508 on: January 14, 2020, 02:39:35 PM »
UK had made a great start to 2020 with wind generating more than 30% of electricity.

Sadly the last few days have seen a hiccup.
On Friday the Western HVDC link between Scotland and North Wales tripped.  With no way of transferring excess wind generation south it's meant idling wind turbines at the very time wind is good.
At the same time North Wales has fallen back to using coal.

Just shows how reliant a renewable future is on having reliable connections
A renewable future does require renewable energy. The UK Government 's record on blah-blahing hot air about the environment is second to none, in contrast with recent (lack of) developments in doing something.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/13/just-one-new-onshore-windfarm-started-up-in-uk-in-2019
Just one new onshore windfarm started under current UK policies in 2019
Rollout of new turbines is in decline amid Tory subsidy cuts, jeopardising climate targets

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The sole addition to the UK’s fleet of onshore wind farms under the government’s current energy policy last year – the Withernwick II project, in the East Riding of Yorkshire – has a capacity of 8MW, with just four turbines.

The government’s official climate adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, has suggested that the UK’s onshore wind capacity should increase by almost threefold in the next 15 years to meet climate goals at low cost.

This would require the UK to grow its onshore wind capacity from 13,000 MW now to 35,000 MW by 2035, or an average of more than 1,400MW a year.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4509 on: January 14, 2020, 08:39:20 PM »
This is a hypothetical plan to get the US to 100% renewables by 2050.  It has some interesting information about how much energy is wasted in heat and how much can be avoided when not mining for fossil fuels.

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/01/06/2000-gigawatts-of-solar-power-needed-for-100-renewables/

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2,000 gigawatts of solar power needed for 100% renewables

Stanford researchers have a plan that would balance 2,000 GW of solar capacity and 2,300 GW of wind power with 3,300 GW of battery capacity and a large amount of flexible load. Consumers would save 64% on total energy bills, partly from electrification of transportation and heating.

January 6, 2020 William Driscoll



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The U.S. would need 1,500 GW of utility-scale solar power and 500 GW of rooftop solar to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050, according to a plan developed by Stanford engineering professor Mark Jacobson and seven co-authors. Battery capacity of 3,300 GW would balance solar and wind power — helped by 512 GW of annual average flexible load.

Several states have adopted a policy goal along the lines of 100% renewable electricity by 2050, yet the Stanford plan would go further by electrifying all transportation and heating. Flexible load to help balance variable renewables would include use cases for storing cold, storing heat, demand response, and production of hydrogen for use in trucks powered by fuel cells.

Given current levels of investment, the ramp-up from 2020 to 2022 isn't going to happen.  The best we can hope for is sweeping changes in the Federal Government in early 2021 due to the results of November 2020.  Even with those changes, it's likely that this graph would need to be pushed out by at least two years.

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4510 on: January 14, 2020, 09:34:11 PM »
I do wonder where they get their figures from.

If you took all 268m US vehicles as EV and averaged a 70kwh battery, it would take some 2435gw per hour for 8 hours to charge them all.  Then if you took that power home and used it, for, say, 12 hours, to replace the solar power not being produced, you would get around 1563gw per hour for those 12 hours.  Of course all the cars would be flat too.

The nearest calculation I could get for the US was 10,000 GW hours per day of power usage.  Or 10TW/h.

This is without the extra needed to change from FF vehicles to electric.  Let us assume that this will increase electricity usage by 30% and we are at 13,000gw/h per day.

Of course this will have to be sized for the worst case winter usage and power gen, where we are looking at as low as 4 hours of max power generation, on average, across the country.

If we assume that we need around one third of that energy for overnight, then we are talking twice the energy storage of the entire car population of the US.  Assuming that we have transitioned.

On the bright side, degraded EV batteries could continue to be used for up to a decade after they are no longer viable for a car/truck.  Meaning that in around 50 years or so we could actually be swimming in power.

Some long term planning required if it only goes solar.

That or the project in Sweden to generate liquid power needs to deliver pdq and over 100C in recovered heat.
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jai mitchell

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4511 on: January 14, 2020, 09:38:36 PM »
 ::)

wind power generation hourly curve
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4512 on: January 14, 2020, 10:29:16 PM »
Speaking of wind, the first 9.5 MW turbines have now been connected to the European grid from a wind farm off the Belgian coast.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/14/offshore-wind-farm-with-big-turbines-sends-electricity-to-belgian-grid.html

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An offshore wind farm using huge turbines has started to send electricity to the Belgian grid
Published Tue, Jan 14 2020

The first turbine at the Northwester 2 offshore wind farm in the North Sea has started sending electricity to the Belgian grid.

Construction on the 219 megawatt (MW) project is still ongoing, although it is slated to be fully up and running before summer. Belgian wind energy firm Parkwind has a 70% share of the project, while Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation holds 30%.

The scheme is using 23 MHI Vestas 164-9.5 MW turbines, which Parkwind described as “the most powerful turbines to enter commercial operation to date.”

Located in waters off the coast of Belgium, Northwester 2 is the first offshore project to deploy the turbine, according to manufacturer MHI Vestas. One turbine can produce enough power to “meet the demand” of 9,500 homes in Belgium, the firm says.

One of the benefits of wind (and solar for that matter) is that the projects can begin sending power to the grid while they're still being built.  And they don't take too long to build, as this project began in 2019.

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Europe is becoming home to a mature offshore wind sector. According to industry body WindEurope, 409 wind turbines were connected to the grid in 2018. The average size of offshore turbines in 2018 was 6.8 MW, which represents a 15% rise compared to 2017.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 10:44:42 PM by Ken Feldman »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4513 on: January 14, 2020, 10:48:45 PM »
I do wonder where they get their figures from.

If you took all 268m US vehicles as EV and averaged a 70kwh battery, it would take some 2435gw per hour for 8 hours to charge them all.  Then if you took that power home and used it, for, say, 12 hours, to replace the solar power not being produced, you would get around 1563gw per hour for those 12 hours.  Of course all the cars would be flat too.

The nearest calculation I could get for the US was 10,000 GW hours per day of power usage.  Or 10TW/h.

This is without the extra needed to change from FF vehicles to electric.  Let us assume that this will increase electricity usage by 30% and we are at 13,000gw/h per day.

Of course this will have to be sized for the worst case winter usage and power gen, where we are looking at as low as 4 hours of max power generation, on average, across the country.

If we assume that we need around one third of that energy for overnight, then we are talking twice the energy storage of the entire car population of the US.  Assuming that we have transitioned.

On the bright side, degraded EV batteries could continue to be used for up to a decade after they are no longer viable for a car/truck.  Meaning that in around 50 years or so we could actually be swimming in power.

Some long term planning required if it only goes solar.

That or the project in Sweden to generate liquid power needs to deliver pdq and over 100C in recovered heat.

Neil,

How much energy are those 268 million cars using today?  How much energy is being used to drill and pump oil, ship it to refineries, convert it to gasoline and then ship the gasoline to filling stations? 

Why do you assume that all of the vehicles will need to be charged 8 hours per day?  Many families have vehicles that they use only occasionally.  Most cars are parked most of the time.

And what if a substantial number of people switch from car ownership to transportation on demand?  In the US cities, we're seeing large numbers of young adults who don't own cars but instead use a combination of transit and transportation network companies (like Lyft and Uber).


NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4514 on: January 15, 2020, 11:20:03 AM »
Hi Ken,

Not arguing the energy used today.  I'm just highlighting the sheer size of the challenge to move to solar and that the calculations may be wholly inadequate with all requirements incorporated.

No good jumping out of the window only to find your inflatable cushion is only 1/4 inflated.

You will note I mentioned the amount of additional energy required to move to EV's and also the downstream benefit of re use on old EV batteries.

What I challenge is that anyone has a workable plan which does not use all CO2 neutral sources.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4515 on: January 15, 2020, 11:56:12 AM »
It seems to me that most of the energy needs in most places can be fixed with the existing technologies of wind+solar+energy storage.

Developments in technology will just make it easier. Trouble is, it is happening too slowly and still in reverse gear in too many countries.

However, anyone that thinks getting that done will fix the Climate Emergency and Environmental degradation, and halt the 6th Mass Extinction is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.
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Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4516 on: January 15, 2020, 03:56:08 PM »
Neil, All

"What I challenge is that anyone has a workable plan which does not use all CO2 neutral sources."

Did you mean

"What I challenge is that anyone has a workable plan which uses only CO2 neutral sources."


I believe the rapid transition to renewables it is do-able - see my post #4499, last one on P90

I didn't get any criticism of it, happy to hear any, you won't hurt my feelings : )

Is there a flaw in that thinking which makes you so pessimistic?
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4517 on: January 15, 2020, 11:54:44 PM »
Wind and solar will make up 76% of new additions to the grid in 2020 according to the US EIA.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Wind-Solar-To-Dominate-New-US-Power-Capacity-This-Year.html

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Wind, Solar To Dominate New U.S. Power Capacity This Year
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Jan 14, 2020

Wind and solar power will dominate the electricity generation additions across the United States in 2020, accounting for an overwhelming 76 percent of all new capacity set to begin commercial operation this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday. 

Wind will be the main source of new capacity additions, followed by solar and natural gas, according to EIA’s latest inventory of electric generators. New wind capacity additions will account for 44 percent of all U.S. electric capacity additions in 2020. Solar power will account for 32 percent of additions and natural gas additions will represent 22 percent of all new U.S. capacity. The remaining 2 percent will come from hydroelectric generators and battery storage, EIA’s estimates show.

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This year, new wind power capacity of 18.5 GW is set to come online, setting a record as it will beat the previous record of 13.2 GW new wind capacity set in 2012.

In solar power, the new additions are also set to break the previous record, as 13.5 GW of solar capacity is expected to come online this year, easily beating the previous record addition of 8 GW in 2016. More than half of the utility-scale electric power sector solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity additions will be in four states—Texas, California, Florida, and South Carolina.

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In 2020, a total of 51 percent of scheduled capacity retirements will be coal-fired, followed by natural gas with 33 percent and nuclear with 14 percent, EIA’s data shows.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4518 on: January 16, 2020, 12:22:34 AM »
Hi Ken,

Not arguing the energy used today.  I'm just highlighting the sheer size of the challenge to move to solar and that the calculations may be wholly inadequate with all requirements incorporated.

No good jumping out of the window only to find your inflatable cushion is only 1/4 inflated.

You will note I mentioned the amount of additional energy required to move to EV's and also the downstream benefit of re use on old EV batteries.

What I challenge is that anyone has a workable plan which does not use all CO2 neutral sources.

US electricity demand has been flat over the last decade while over 1 million EVs have gone into operation.

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/01/15/us-demand-for-electricity-declined-in-2019-stagnated-for-a-decade-but-2020-capacity-additions-are-wild/

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US Demand for Electricity Declined in 2019 & Stagnated for a Decade, but 2020 Capacity Additions Are Wild
Jan 15, 2020

Where the heck are the EVs when you need them?
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Electricity sales in the US isn’t exactly a high-growth business. In 2019, total electricity sales (in gigawatt hours) to ultimate customers are estimated to have fallen; through the first 10 months, according to the EIA’s latest Electricity Monthly, total electricity sales declined 2.9% from the same period in 2018. The only sector to which electricity sales increased – and just by 0.6% – was transportation, a tiny sector covering subways and other electric mass-transit systems. Sales to the other sectors fell, in order of magnitude of the sector: residential (-2.4%), commercial (-2.0%), and industrial (-4.8%).

In terms of annual sales of electricity to ultimate customers from 2008 through 2019, an image of stagnation emerges. Based on the full-year 2019 estimate, electricity sales in gigawatt hours over the 11 years from 2008 through 2019 ticked up only 0.6%, interrupted by some bigger increases and declines in between.



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Stagnating electricity sales over the span of a decade, despite population growth and economic growth, is a function of many factors, ranging from higher efficiencies – for example, in the residential sector, LED light bulbs and more efficient HVAC equipment and appliances – to sending more manufacturing offshore, such as auto production. For example, new-vehicle imports from Mexico have nearly doubled since 2011.

The article notes that peak electricity demand occurs during the day and that a lot of generating capacity is idle at night when it could charge EVs.

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The grid is designed so that its capacity can handle the largest loads during peak times. In Texas, that peak load period might be mid-afternoon on some day in early August. But in the middle of the night in late fall, most of that capacity – the huge amount of capital investment – sits idle, not generating revenues. Balancing out the energy portfolio and getting it ready for future demand for each region is a constant effort by the industry, including developers and owners of power plants. So here is what’s cooking for 2020.

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Given the long-term stagnation of electricity sales, and the continued increase in capacity and capital expenditures, utilities have been hoping for years that the mass-arrival of EVs would boost electricity sales in the residential segment, as EV owners would begin utilizing the enormous and costly idle capacity in the middle of the night to charge up their EVs in their garages. But this hoped-for growth in revenues from the arrival of EVs, and the increased capacity utilization at night they’d bring, has been, for utilities, frustratingly slow in coming.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4519 on: January 16, 2020, 12:54:57 AM »
While some renewable energy skeptics claim there's not enough land for all of the solar panels we need, the truth is that solar can increase the productivity of agricultural land.  And now there are efforts to combine solar with regenerative ranching to take carbon dioxide out of the air and sequester it in the soil.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/solar-farms-capture-greenhouse-gases-110000173.html

Quote
Solar 'Farms' Will Capture Greenhouse Gases to Store in the Soil
PR Newswire January 15, 2020

Partnership with regenerative agriculture enlists grassfed livestock to turn the dirt under solar panels and the surrounding land into a carbon sink

BLUFFTON, Ga., Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- What if renewable energy was not just sustainable but was also regenerative? This is the goal of a partnership between White Oak Pastures and Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the nation's largest independent solar power producers and the U.S. solar platform for Shell. In 2020 alone, this partnership will bring holistic planned livestock grazing and regenerative land management practices to nearly 2,400 solar farm acres in Southwest Georgia to create carbon sinks, restore biodiversity and soil health, and add to the environmental, social, and economic benefits of these clean energy projects.

Quote
When White Oak Pastures learned that their 'radically traditional farming' practices were sequestering more carbon than grassfed cows emit in their lifetimes, they knew the results were repeatable. Through the use of planned livestock grazing, which moves animals daily and restricts grazing to model how herds of ruminants behave in the wild, White Oak Pastures has increased organic matter in their soil from 0.5% to over 5%. That is the equivalent to approximately 919 tons of CO2 taken out of the atmosphere per year.

Solar power plants are projected to occupy over six million acres of land globally by 2030 and the solar industry will be responsible for the stewardship of this land. In recognition of this responsibility, in 2018, Silicon Ranch established Regenerative Energy™, a holistic approach to the design, construction, and operation of solar farms that pairs regenerative agriculture with solar power generation and sets a new standard of excellence for the industry. Under this outcome-driven model, Silicon Ranch is partnering with White Oak Pastures and employing their flock of sheep and holistic grazing methods to manage vegetation, remove carbon and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them long-term in the soil, restore overall ecosystem function, and strengthen the rural economy.

Quote
One issue that remains to be solved nationwide is to minimize agricultural tillage, which releases stored soil carbon back into the atmosphere. This is not a problem at Silicon Ranch properties, where the above-ground infrastructure and solar panels, which have at least a 40-year useful life, prevent tillage and the related release of carbon stored in the soils.

blumenkraft

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4520 on: January 16, 2020, 06:45:40 AM »
The first time i read about that was like 20 years ago or so.

But, farmers never did it like this in the past, so they will not do it in the future either.

Narrow-minded you say?

I know, right?
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sidd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4521 on: January 16, 2020, 08:18:13 AM »
I must tell my Amish buddies about the study on grazing animals in solar fields. I know one Amish guy who put in 3 acres of solar and has been running sheep under them to control vegetation since 2009. He solemnly warned me "Sheep, not goats." Apparently his goat experiments backfired ... now he just uses goats for the usual multiflora control along creeks.

sidd

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4522 on: January 16, 2020, 10:59:48 AM »

Is there a flaw in that thinking which makes you so pessimistic?

Not at all.

First it was that if you just bought low energy light bulbs you would do your bit.  Seen any CFL bulbs recently? They were awful and didn't save much.

Now we have "if you just switch to wind/solar it will fix it", even though we know that many countries have night time (and daytime) wind droughts for up to a week. Sailing ships were well aware of this, it was a risk of any long sailing voyage. This is why they had routes where they named the constant winds the trades. Unfortunately you cannot move your country when the wind goes away.

With current tech, storing even one day of energy for a developed economy is prohibitive.  Although I am very realistic that older vehicle batteries will help a lot.

So I mean All, not Only, because every Only plan is a fairy story of wind and solar, ignores Nuclear, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

Pesimism comes with experiencing what our governments do over decades and what those who are responsible for planning the future come up with as ideas.

The government's would be better mandating a full solar roof and 500kwh of power storage for every new home. No avoidance and mandatory grid support in times of fluctuation.

See anything like that?

Then you can start talking wind and solar.  If you don't, then you need to include other sources in the mix.
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crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4523 on: January 16, 2020, 03:29:47 PM »

Is there a flaw in that thinking which makes you so pessimistic?

Not at all.

One week is just 2% of a year. Sounds like you are saying because the cup is 2% empty we should be pessimistic rather than seeing a 98% full cup as reason to be optimistic.

Perhaps as much as the last 10% is more difficult. However, we are a long way from that and don't yet need to plan exactly how we do this last 10%* as we will gain more experience along the way from solar and wind making up a couple of percent to becoming a majority. Then we will be better placed to see how to plan how to do the last few percent.

You are seeing the plans as deficient as if we need all the details you want in order to be able to start a single building project. The reality is, I think, rather different: They are more like outline considerations that show there are no major problems to increasing wind and solar from small percentages to a majority.

Including new nuclear in the plan would increase the investment amounts needed and the average cost of electricity. It doesn't make sense to include that if it isn't needed for a purpose of showing there is no roadblock to getting to 90% renewables.

I do agree with you that there should be realism and they shouldn't claim 100% wind and solar is possible if they haven't shown it is possible and cost effective to have sufficient storage for a couple of weeks of cloudy but not much wind weather. Instead they should be aiming to show 90%* is easya lot of work but doable and cheap enough that the savings are sufficiently large to give plenty of scope to tackle the last 10%* even with today's overbuild costs and storage options. It probably should admit that FF might do this 10%* cheaper at present but by the time we get there lots of improved new methods are under development that can be expected to make that last 10% without FF cheaper.

In my opinion, this call for realism needn't sound as pessimistic as you seem make it.

'A lot of work but doable' might take too much time, and we should want to speed up the transition.

Re "experiencing what our governments do over decades": Advocate a ramping up carbon tax and let market forces decide how best to minimize those taxes? Or is more intervention appropriate and useful?

* I have just plucked this 10% out of thin air. I think a report should show:
There is no problem going from 2% wind and solar to 10%.
There is no problem going from 10% wind and solar to 30%.
There is no problem going from 30% wind and solar to 50%.
There is no problem going from 50% wind and solar to 70%.
There is no problem going from 70% wind and solar to 80%.
There is no problem going from 80% wind and solar to 85%.
... until they can't

to roughly estimate what this x% figure is. This x% figure might be like 30% or more with current costs of overbuilding and storage but with further cost reductions expected as volumes increase, it is likely to fall considerably. How accurately that could be estimated, I am not sure.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4524 on: January 16, 2020, 04:01:48 PM »
Too many of the cowards, idiots, and assorted scumbags who currently presume to govern us will not do even what can be easily done now, let alone pushing the use of solar+wind+energy storage to the limits.

Patience is a virtue until....
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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4525 on: January 16, 2020, 04:58:21 PM »
Crandles,

You cannot use 2% of a year for day to day figures.

When we had that cascade failure, we lost 4.4% of our power.  This forced segments of the grid to disconnect.

Today, when we hit a wind drought, FF and Nuclear fills the gap.

Follow any of these plans and you are tying yourself into admitting that you will simply disconnect homes for days, with the catastrophic consequences to fridges and freezers.

Unless we have a viable store and forward mechanism for full baseload power for a full week, we must retain around 85% of our current generating capacity for FF.

Wind and solar will never be more than add on until we solve the renewable gap problem.

I am not being that pessimistic.  I am being a realist.  Yes our governments can do more.  Yes we can build out solar and wind to the entire capacity of the grid.

No we cannot retire the FF systems until we resolve the availability gap.

No amount of averaging or smart calculating will change the fact that if the wind doesn't blow in winter, then homes are going to be switched off. For days.

Then what are you going to do with all those heat pump homes that have no heating.

A plan has to be exactly that, a PLAN.

Right now the vast najority of these so called plans are a fairy story.

Yes we should go forward with wind and, especially, solar.  Yes we should put our gas and coal stations into low usage mode.

But, No, we cannot follow any of these plans to 98%.

Because it is not 98% in winter without wind.  It is more like 45% during the day and 15% at night and only because of our Nuclear.  Lose even 15% below demand and the whole country goes down.

That is not pessimism, that is Fact.
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nanning

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4526 on: January 16, 2020, 05:28:04 PM »
Thanks gerontocrat for that important aspect.


People easily seem to forget the greatest bottleneck of all these theoretical transition plans: Our neo-liberalist governments and the gargantuan fossil fuel lobby and influence. Blind and steerless 'leaders'.

And the massive resources aspect with all its evils (on poor humans and ecosystems) seems to be overlooked as well.

And people who don't own a house to put panels on will be left behind. Mainly the poor. But their taxes will be used for subsidies of course.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4527 on: January 16, 2020, 05:41:05 PM »
Right, nanning.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4528 on: January 16, 2020, 06:56:59 PM »
As I see it the problem of reaching 100% solves itself as and when we get to that point.

Today our renewables never exceed 100% so the game has yet to begin. 
What happens when it does is twofold.
1. The electricity price collapses making short term battery storage viable and this storage reduces gas/biomass use at other times in addition to opening the path to longer term hydrogen storage.
2. Part of the gas not burnt due to this reduced usage is biogas (currently about 1% of the total).  Therefore as gas usage reduces the proportion of biogas increases, the reduction in biomass allows you to be more picky ( local existing managed forests instead of imports).

Eventually you can get to the point where the gap in demand is filled by existing gas/biomass generators using sustainable and renewable sources instead of fossil fuels. 

We just need to pull our finger out to reach the point where we worry about how to cover the relatively rare periods of low wind and shortage of import availability from our neighbours.

crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4529 on: January 16, 2020, 08:23:48 PM »

You cannot use 2% of a year for day to day figures.
...
But, No, we cannot follow any of these plans to 98%.

Did I claim you could get to 98%? Did I use 98% or 90% while noting that at current prices it might only be 70% or something like that?

Unless we have a viable store and forward mechanism for full baseload power for a full week, we must retain around 85% of our current generating capacity for FF.

Without any storage this might be about right but wind and solar with enough storage for daily cycling is getting to the point of being cheaper than other sources.

Without much storage, current FF generating capacity may be needed but with storage for daily cycling we have way more FF capacity than we need (the difference between peak use and average use). So 85% is way more than we need to keep and that is without even counting the renewables generation.

A plan has to be exactly that, a PLAN.

There are different type of plans. There are detailed plans whoever is building the infrastructure needs in advance to follow. Then there are other more outline plans to tell us more generally where we are heading. An individual investment needs the detailed plans and will produce them; outline plans don't get down to the level needed to actually build the infrastructure because they are not aimed at that and don't need to.

It is more like 45% during the day and 15% at night and only because of our Nuclear.  Lose even 15% below demand and the whole country goes down.

That is not pessimism, that is Fact.

Nobody wants the whole country to go down, so you suitable pay to keep sufficient gas plants on standby rather than being closed down (capacity contracts/autions at level that seems appropriate to make chances of such instances very small). As renewables generation and storage goes up to higher minimum levels so such contracts can be reduced. Electricity users are paying for these now so why would paying for a little less capacity in future be a problem?

Above those levels, you are likely to need some overbuilding, and more and more reliable interconnections, and storage and .... Yes this affects the economics so if it is close in cost to this level then you are going to prefer gas above these levels for the flexibility. But if the electric from renewables is half the cost per KWh of gas then this makes a big difference and then we should prefer to do some overbuilding and some storage and some better interconnections and so on. Once we have done some overbuilding then the incentives for storage businesses to buy when the price is low and sell when the price is high will reward such storage activities so encouraging investment in such activities and making demand more similar to the supply.

So the renewables investment does not stop at these low levels you are talking about, it will continue beyond that.  Wind and solar are generally not yet at the levels you are talking about. If we are at circa 76% of new capacity being wind and solar, and remember that when these were at the planning stage, the prices weren't as favourable as they are now and that is not as favourable as they soon will be.....then there is a pretty strong signal that price per KWh is no longer close and renewables are cheaper and soon will be much cheaper than gas.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4530 on: January 16, 2020, 09:15:12 PM »
Islands leading the transition to 100% renewable energy
francesco cara - Nov 8, 2017

Quote
There are more and more inspiring cases of islands switching from 100% diesel generators to 100% renewable powered energy grids.

This morning I came across the case of Flinders Island in Tasmania, Australia that will fulfill most of its 6.7 GWh annual demand with a hybrid energy hub comprising one wind turbine (900kW), solar system (200kW), battery storage (300kWh)m, flywheel (850kVA), dynamic resistor (1.5MW). The Flinders Island hybrid energy hub is an evolution of the system already deployed on King Island, Tasmania, that supplies an average of 60% renewable energy to the local grid (source: One step off the grid, Nov 8th, 2017) .
...
Kauai utility hits mark of supplying island with 100% renewable energy
Nina Wu -  Dec. 19, 2019
Quote
While the state is moving towards a goal of 100% renewables by 2045, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative [KIUC] is already accomplishing that on a smaller scale.

KIUC claims that for five hours last Tuesday, all electricity on Kauai — which provides power to a population of about 100,000, including visitors — was generated 100% by renewable resources.

It was not the first time that has happened, according to KIUC in a news release. It was actually one of 11 days in the last five weeks, or since Nov. 22, that KIUC successfully supplied all of the grid’s electric needs with 100% renewables for an extended period lasting several hours.

KIUC’s grid serves the entire island of Kauai without any tie-in to other utilities.

“We didn’t use a drop of fossil fuel for a cumulative total of more than 32 hours during that time frame,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell, in a news release. “We believe this is a unique accomplishment for a standalone electrical grid relying on small-scale renewable generation.”

The cooperative’s renewable portfolio is made up of a combination of distributed, which includes solar on rooftops or mounted on the ground, and utility-scale solar, one biomass plant and a number of small hydroelectric generation facilities.

For the past two years, KIUC says it has routinely achieved 90% or more renewable generation during the middle of the day on sunny days.
...
“We want to provide the cleanest electricity possible, but we have to be mindful that our primary obligation is to provide safe, reliable power to our members at all times,” Bissell said. “Our operations personnel needed ample time to put all the necessary pieces into place before pushing the envelope to 100% renewable. Now we’re doing it routinely.”

Bissell credits current and past KIUC Board members for establishing aggressive targets for renewable production as far back as 2008.
...
I'm curious the difference between "5 hours" and "32 hours" [no, not the arithmetic 'problem', the references in 2nd and 5th paragraphs] reported in the article.  I note that they've achieved their current degree of success due to 'aggressive' intentions that 'started' twelve years ago.  It doesn't happen overnight.

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Shared Humanity

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4531 on: January 16, 2020, 09:22:52 PM »
Windmills are sprouting up in farm fields across Indiana. The land is leased long term and the income generated supports family farms.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4532 on: January 16, 2020, 09:29:03 PM »
Examining Raimondo’s goal: Can [Rhode Island] R.I. reach 100% renewable power by 2030?
By Alex Kuffner, Journal Staff Writer - 2020-01-16
Quote
When Gov. Gina Raimondo announced in her State of the State address on Tuesday that she aims to get all of Rhode Island’s energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade, she set a goal that she and others in her administration say is more aggressive than any other state’s.

But her proclamation also raised a series of questions: Was she talking only about electricity ... ? And, most importantly, is the target even achievable?

The simple answers to those questions are: electricity only; ... and yes, it can be done.

So says Nicholas Ucci, acting commissioner of the state Office of Energy Resources, who barely three days into the job as Rhode Island’s top energy official is set to head up the effort to create a plan to meet the governor’s goal.
...
Hawaii, Maine and other states have set 100% renewable-power goals, but none have placed the target as early as 2030. The closest is Washington, D.C., which is aiming for 2032, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.
...
Now for Florida to join in the effort!

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kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4533 on: January 16, 2020, 10:08:27 PM »
Quote
KIUC claims that for five hours last Tuesday, all electricity on Kauai — which provides power to a population of about 100,000, including visitors — was generated 100% by renewable resources.

. It was actually one of 11 days in the last five weeks, or since Nov. 22, that KIUC successfully supplied all of the grid’s electric needs with 100% renewables for an extended period lasting several hours.

“We didn’t use a drop of fossil fuel for a cumulative total of more than 32 hours during that time frame,”

So 5 hours were 100% clean.
They did that for a number of hours of every day in an 11 day period.

My interpretation is the 5 hours is the longest run so far where they did not use old FF stuff as a back up. And how long that period is depends on the expected inputs vs power use.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4534 on: January 16, 2020, 10:08:36 PM »
Quote
And people who don't own a house to put panels on will be left behind. Mainly the poor.

Right, nanning.
I am on the first of three floors, so no roof for me.

- Solar panels don’t have to be put on roofs. 
- Solar panels can be put on the roof of a multi-tenant building. Get those multi-tenants together and persuade the building’s owner to add some!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4535 on: January 16, 2020, 10:17:38 PM »
Quote
Prof. Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe) 1/12/20, 5:44 PM
People worry about how much land we'd need to supply the US with clean energy. Well, @elonmusk and I have independently calculated it and we both come up with something roughly comparable to the area we currently use for maple syrup or golf. A square about 100-120 miles per side.
https://twitter.com/khayhoe/status/1216491161566707712
[Image below.]
- As a Canadian let me hasten to clarify that I'm not advocating for removing maple syrup production but rather for co-production of energy on land that is also used for farming or pollinator ecosystems  :) For example, @FreshEnergy runs this amazing clearinghouse: fresh-energy.org/beeslovesolar/
- And here in West Texas, wind energy is typically located on private land that is simultaneously used for cotton farming or ranching.

Ramez Naam (@ramez) 1/12/20, 5:47 PM
 I also published the math on how much land it would take to power the US entirely with solar. It's here, with references: https://t.co/4memTd3GYf

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/13/20, 1:47 PM
@ramez @KHayhoe Good analysis, although a bit conservative imo. However, using a high upper bound for land area that’s *still* a tiny % of the US prob helps convert some naysayers. That giant fusion reactor in the sky called the sun outputs a truly staggering amount of energy!
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kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4536 on: January 16, 2020, 10:22:24 PM »
It should just be general non controversial policy to promote good local grids.

We are retrofitting a highrise from probably the 70ies to be so efficient that it should be energy positive. It´s only one in Utrecht but if that works we have plenty of others  to do the same with.

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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4537 on: January 17, 2020, 08:06:57 AM »

Nobody wants the whole country to go down, so you suitable pay to keep sufficient gas plants on standby rather than being closed down (capacity contracts/autions at level that seems appropriate to make chances of such instances very small). As renewables generation and storage goes up to higher minimum levels so such contracts can be reduced.

I agree but all these proposals for a Renewable world don't even pay lip service this reality. They ignore it totally.  Because of that, anyone who knows the reality simply dismisses them.

Then the climate lobby complains that they are being ignored.
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4538 on: January 17, 2020, 09:03:58 AM »
Nobody is ignoring this reality, almost everybody realizes renewables don't provide a 100% solution yet, and almost everybody realizes the best backup for their intermittency (besides the various forms of storage) is dispatchable natural gas plants with their low capital costs . Not baseload coal, and not baseload nuclear which is much too expensive. Most of the time - when renewables are installed in higher percentages - these baseload plants will be churning out useless electricity, since the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4539 on: January 17, 2020, 02:09:41 PM »
I wonder if you can make peaker loops with hydrogen in some places.

We have a nice gasnet in the Netherlands which we will not need at some point.

When still using gas you can already add in H2 (10 or 20%....will edit to add link to that story later) to save on emissions provided you make that with solar.

So if you do not need the whole net you can make loops in some places with excess energy. So in the Netherlands all the energy made in the Randstad (the heavily populated area of the west coast to centre) will be used locally but somewhere east or south you can use part of the old gasnet to produce H2 with solar and transport that to the plant where it is stored and used.

The plant can be a refurbished old style plant. Better to burn H2 then wood pellets...

The mixing in is limited by possible damage to the pipes. More research on this is needs to be done (and could easily be done on redundant dutch gas pipes at some point in the near future, just break a couple).

Then you can work out if you need to retrofit immediately (which would be a pity) or maybe you can use them for 5-10 years so you can opt to replace them then if you still need it by that time.
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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4540 on: January 17, 2020, 03:01:15 PM »
Oren, every article I see which is written about renewables ignores this reality.  They focus on the fact that they think they can replace the entire grid with renewables and some level of storage.

If you drill down the links from Sig's post, you get to here.

https://www.energycentral.com/c/ec/look-wind-and-solar-part-2-there-upper-limit-variable-renewables

This is a hard headed assessment of cost and viability of ramping up renewables.  It covers just about every thing I have said above.

Here is the headline statement.

Quote
it is increasingly difficult for the market share of variable renewable energy sources at the system-wide level to exceed the capacity factor of the energy source.

And capacity factor is stated as.

Quote
Capacity factor is the ratio of the average output of a wind or solar plant to its maximum rated capacity. For wind power, this typically ranges between 20 and 40 percent, while for solar it runs between 10 and 25 percent, depending on the quality of the renewable resource.

I assume this means over a 24 hour period.  It only makes sense with Solar that way.

There are a lot of statements in there but, in a nutshell, the financial side is covered with this.

Quote
In other words, wind and solar depress the market price at exactly the times of day these VREs are generating the most power. The revenues earned by wind and solar for each unit of generation thus falls as the share of renewables rises.

They go on to say that the more renewables you put in, the less money there is to install new renewables.

I got through to the link from Sig's linked

https://rameznaam.com/2015/04/08/how-much-land-would-it-take-to-power-the-us-via-solar/

and at the bottom of that page

https://rameznaam.com/2016/01/31/how-far-can-renewables-go-pretty-darn-far/

That pretty darn far challenges where the upper limit to renewables is, but not that there is one.

Personally my take is that all "solutions" which promote renewables as the end game recognise the realities in these studies and make allowances for them.



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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4541 on: January 17, 2020, 04:27:36 PM »
https://www.energycentral.com/c/ec/look-wind-and-solar-part-2-there-upper-limit-variable-renewables

I think that makes a good case that as wind and solar get up towards their capacity factor share, they will have to have storage for daily cycling so that they can sell as much as possible at times of high demand relative to supply and recharge batteries at times of high supply relative to demand.

The article is written in 2015. Cost of storage is falling rapidly making enough storage for daily cycling viable and it and renewable electricity costs will fall further.

If the cost of renewable electricity falls to half that of gas then you can have twice as much for the same cost. Some of that will be lost through storage efficiency and price obtainable will be less so it isn't good enough to be able to get to double the capacity factors but it would get to somewhere between the capacity factors and double the capacity factors.

By the time we get anywhere close to that then the cost of renewable electricity will have fallen fallen to a third of that of gas or even less ....

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4542 on: January 17, 2020, 06:13:47 PM »
It has to play out.  There is a lot of work going on right now with storage.  Given that we can store enough energy, then it will work. That's the crux.

In the UK we generate about 1TWh per day.  So a useful store of 7TWh of energy would give us a really good reservoir of energy.

Remember I was talking about second life EV batteries and how we could be flooded with storage eventually?  There is a study in Germany on what that could look like.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2016/04/07/study-second-life-ev-batteries-to-offer-1-twh-capacity-by-2030_100024056/

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“Germany is planning to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020. So, if we consider the battery size to be 40 kWh in average, a secondary life rate of 80%, and a battery upgrade after 7 years, a million cars means 25 GWh of “second-life” storage capacity for the country

So we only need to sell 40 million cars, wait 7 years and then re-use every single battery and then provide enough overcapacity to charge them and we're set....

I did set a target date of 2050 before we would be flooded by storage.

It is all possible.  But it needs a plan and it needs more time.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4543 on: January 17, 2020, 06:53:12 PM »
Global investment in wind power reached record levels last year.

https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1671093/offshore-wind-spending-reaches-record-high-2019

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Offshore wind spending reaches record high in 2019

16 January 2020 by Craig Richard

A late surge of offshore wind farm financings in the fourth quarter helped make 2019 a record year for the sector, while total investments in wind power capacity rose 6% year on year, according to new figures.



Note:  This graphic doesn't account for the massive decrease in cost of wind and solar power over the time period shown.  It simply shows the money invested.  With the big cost decreases, there was a large increase in the amount of power capacity installed.

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The $138.2 billion spent on wind power in 2019 — $108.3 billion on onshore, $29.9 billion on offshore — marked a 6% increase from the previous year.

It's interesting to note that China, where the Government has a great deal of control over investment, and the US, which is mostly a market driven economy, had different investment trends last year.

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Renewable energy investment in the world’s biggest-spending market slipped 8% in 2019, BNEF noted, with $83.4 billion spent in China.

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Meanwhile, in the US a record-high $55.5 billion was spent on renewables in 2019, as wind and solar developers rushed to qualify for the tax credits scheme, which was due to be scaled back in 2020.

BNEF’s head of Americas, Ethan Zindler, said wind and solar being “more cost competitive than ever” also helped drive investment despite the Trump presidency being “not particularly supportive of renewables”.

European countries have lead the way on decarbonizing their economies, but investment was down last year.

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In Europe, the total renewables spend of $54.3 billion was down 7% from 2018, despite investments increasing 25% in Spain to $8.4 billion, its highest spend since 2011.

The Netherlands also saw a 25% increase to $5.5 billion.

Investment was up 3% to $4.4 billion France, while the $3.4 billion spent in Ukraine was 56% more than the previous year.

However, renewable energy investment of $5.3 billion in the UK was down 40% its lowest spend since 2007.

Germany saw spending fall 30% to $4.4 billion, its lowest since 2004, and a 19% decrease in Sweden meant just $3.7 billion was invested there.

Germany and the UK already have a large installed base of renewables, but this is still disappointing news.

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4544 on: January 17, 2020, 07:33:16 PM »



Good news. This means that investments in wind energy are growing steadily, and solar energy is experiencing a slight decline.

It is bad that in general 2017 remains the year with the most investments in green energy.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4545 on: January 17, 2020, 08:13:45 PM »
Good news. This means that investments in wind energy are growing steadily, and solar energy is experiencing a slight decline.

It is bad that in general 2017 remains the year with the most investments in green energy.
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Good news?  Methinks not.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4546 on: January 17, 2020, 08:27:01 PM »
We are far, far away from nondispatchable renewables reaching penetration with systemwide impact. By the time we get to even 50% penetration, storage prices will have dropped much further. And i see no problem keeping a few pet gas peakers or rampable nukes around to cover the times when intermittent renewable is insufficient. Or of course we can overbuild wind/solar by a factor of three or so and dump excess into carbon capture or fuel
synthesis.

Positing that a situation that may arise several decades in the future is a insuperable barrier to building renewables at full speed today is a lazy argument.

sidd

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4547 on: January 17, 2020, 08:58:57 PM »



Good news. This means that investments in wind energy are growing steadily, and solar energy is experiencing a slight decline.

It is bad that in general 2017 remains the year with the most investments in green energy.

Note that this is investment.  With the costs of renewables decreasing every year, the capacity installed has increased.  Here's the info through 2018 (2019 isn't available yet).

https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2019/Mar/RE_capacity_highlights_2019.pdf?la=en&hash=BA9D38354390B001DC0CC9BE03EEE559C280013F

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Since  2000,  non-renewable  generation  capacity  has expanded by about 115 GW per year (on average), with no discernible trend upwards or downwards.   In contrast, renewable generation capacity has expanded by increasing amounts, from less than 20 GW per year in 2001 to about 160 GW per year or more in the last four years.

Consequently, the share of renewables in the growth of electricity generation capacity has  increased from about 25% in 2001, passing 50% in 2012 to reach 63% in  2018. The share of  renewables in total generation capacity has also increased from 22% to 33% over the same period.

Due to formatting issues, I can't copy the figures that accompany that report.

Here's the chart through 2017 from another website.

https://cetesb.sp.gov.br/proclima/2018/04/05/global-renewable-generation-continues-its-strong-growth-new-irena-capacity-data-shows/



From the 2019 report (first link above):

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At the end of 2018, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 2351 GW.

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Renewable generation capacity increased by about the same amount as last year (171GW or +7.9%). Solar energy continued to dominate, with a capacity increase of 94GW (+24%), followed by wind energy with an increase of 49GW (+10%). Hydropower capacity increased by 21GW (+2%) and bioenergy by 6GW (+5%). Geothermal energy increased by just over 500MW.

And keep in mind, prior to 2018, wind and solar were more expensive to install than coal and natural gas, so investment decisions favored the fossil fuels.  Since then, wind and solar have become cheaper than coal and are almost on par with natural gas in more than 75% of the world.  So expect investments to increasingly favor wind and solar instead of coal and natural gas.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4548 on: January 17, 2020, 09:09:34 PM »
Here's another graphic showing additions of renewable power capacity from 2012 to 2018.



Source:

https://www.ren21.net/gsr-2019/chapters/chapter_01/chapter_01/

This source claims that 181 GW or renewable energy was added in 2018.

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Renewable energy in power generation continued its strong pace in 2018. An estimated 181 GW was installed worldwide, slightly above 2017 additions, and total installed capacity grew more than 8%.183 (→ See Figure 6.) After years of steady growth, the rate of new capacity additions levelled off during the year, and the overall global renewable power capacity totalled some 2,378 GW by the end of 2018.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4549 on: January 17, 2020, 09:12:51 PM »
And the IEA, which consistently underestimates the growth of renewable energy, is predicting 50% growth in renewables from 2019 through 2024.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/21/renewable-capacity-set-for-50percent-growth-over-next-few-years-iea-says.html

Quote
Renewable capacity set for 50% growth over next few years, IEA says
Published Mon, Oct 21 2019

Renewable power capacity is forecast to increase by 50% between 2019 and 2024, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Monday.

According to its “Renewables 2019” market report, the increase will amount to 1,200 gigawatts (GW) and be driven by drops in cost and what the IEA described as “concerted government policy efforts.” In 2018, renewable capacity hit just over 2,500 GW. If the IEA’s forecast plays out, it would bring total renewable capacity to approximately 3,700 GW by 2024.