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Author Topic: Renewable Energy  (Read 690276 times)

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3700 on: July 06, 2019, 05:56:50 PM »
Yep, Alexander. We can't wait for the market to solve this.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3701 on: July 06, 2019, 06:13:44 PM »
I don't want to be a pain in the ass. But if 90 % of electricity consumption is renewable by 2040. And electricity is 10% of total energy consumption. Than even with a small growth rate of 2% a year. The "rest" will still be bigger as what it is today. Or do i see this wrong ?
You are missing the part where Transportation, Industry, Commercial business, and Residential needs turn away from fossil fuels and use (clean) electricity instead.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3702 on: July 06, 2019, 06:26:07 PM »
Renewable electricity will only reduce emissions if that electricity replaces fossil fuel use. So the race between internal combustion and electric / battery transport will decide our fate. That and birth rate declines or increases.
 I wish a back to the land option was a bigger part of the solution. At some point it may be the option of last resort. If you perfect your farming and survival skills you tend to drive a lot less and travel Much less than the standard commuter. So transportation choices of city commuters will decide wether we turn our emissions trajectory around before the carbon sink failures seal our destiny .

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3703 on: July 06, 2019, 07:03:51 PM »

...So transportation choices of city commuters will decide wether we turn our emissions trajectory around before the carbon sink failures seal our destiny.

Or, which transportation options city governments decide to invest in....
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3704 on: July 06, 2019, 07:52:31 PM »
A. I think electricity is something like 20% of total  energy use. But certainly not 10%.
B. Transportation is another 25%, a lot of which could be electrified.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3705 on: July 08, 2019, 09:50:51 PM »
The estimated us energy consumption in 2018 is dense with information making it harder read. All numbers reported in Quads not percentages.
I calculated efficiencies which are in%.                          efficiency %   

101.2     Total energy consumption                                                   
  32.7     Total energy doing useful work                            32.3             
  68.5     Total wasted energy


  38.2     energy consumed to make electricity                                     
  12.9    amount of electricity doing useful work                    33.8 


  14.75   energy consumed to make residential electricity
    5.0     electric energy doing useful residential work            33.9


   21.65  energy consumed in residential                               
     7.72  energy doing useful work in residential                    35.7


   28.3    energy consumed for transportation
     5.95  transportation energy doing useful work                   21.0


Not certain about authors motivation but I think this chart is biased against
electricity and in favor of fossil fuels. I am suspicious of such low efficiency electrical generation. source chart posted above.
   

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3706 on: July 08, 2019, 10:00:21 PM »
Yes the longer I look at it the more suspicious it appears to me.

KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3707 on: July 08, 2019, 11:34:39 PM »
Quote
Last year 18 percent of electrical generation came from renewable energy sources - more than double what they did a decade ago - the report said. Nuclear power plants represent 19.7 percent of the generation on the grid, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, surpassed only by coal and natural gas plants.
https://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Renewable-energy-hits-18-percent-of-U-S-12616543.php

Yes it does seem suspect for such a low efficiency if nuclear and renewable's make up almost 40% of US electricity generation.
This paper by the EIA may hold the answer.
https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec17.pdf
see page 3 Table F1.
If you account for  the amount of sunlight hitting a solar panel and the energy actually produced you get an efficiency figure of 12 percent usable  energy .
in reality that idea has no value as sunlight is free.


Richard Rathbone

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3708 on: July 09, 2019, 10:36:39 AM »
Electricity generation efficiencies in the 30s is pretty typical. Basic 2nd law of thermodynamics limitations for thermal processes. Gas can get hot enough to do better, coal is there or thereabouts, and nuclear is worse, so a mix coming out at 32.3% is to be expected. If it was 40% that would be a sign of gas domination. and 25% would be a sign of nuclear domination, but there's nothing in the least suspicious about 32.3% for a mix.



gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3709 on: July 09, 2019, 11:58:28 AM »
My understanding is that the fact only about one-third of the energy consumed ends up doing "useful" work is the most potent argument against using fossil fuels for anything, electricity generation, transport, whatever. A more efficient method exists.

The wastage in the use of fossil fuels comes from the energy consumed in obtaining the energy source itself, getting it into a useable form (oil refining, gas cleaning, coal pulverisation to powder), transporting it to where it can be used (the gas station, the power plant) then in applying it for a purpose (making electricity, turning the wheels on a vehicle).  I am surprised that as much as one-third is left to do "useful" work.

Solar only converts about 20% of the energy the panel receives into electricity. But that energy comes from the fusion reactor in the sky, i.e. is produced no matter what. Wind is better. But this is irrelevant, because once the solar panel or wind turbine is there the enregy comes for free. Nearly all the wastage from using fossil fuels described above disappears.

Once electrical energy exists it can be used very efficiently. E.g. Very little energy is lost in the process of charging a battery, and in sending that energy from that battery into the electric motor in an EV.  Heating water with electricity is almost 100% efficient.

Using fossil fuels is just dumb.

We are locked into a corrupt form of Capitalism in democracies where too many of those who presume to govern us are for sale to vested interests, a system that cannot even distinguish between wealth and money. Installing solar and wind power systems has to be justified in money terms and defeat those entrenched vested interests as well. Hence growth in energy produced by fossil fuels still exceeds that from renewable sources.

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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3710 on: July 09, 2019, 12:14:03 PM »
Not certain about authors motivation but I think this chart is biased against
electricity and in favor of fossil fuels. I am suspicious of such low efficiency electrical generation. source chart posted above.
 

I mean, an IC engine produces 80% heat and only 20% movement (IIRC). So, what are they even try to prove?

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3711 on: July 09, 2019, 12:32:54 PM »
Not certain about authors motivation but I think this chart is biased against
electricity and in favor of fossil fuels. I am suspicious of such low efficiency electrical generation. source chart posted above.
 

I mean, an IC engine produces 80% heat and only 20% movement (IIRC). So, what are they even try to prove?
One thinks an argument is dead and buried. But in how many films has Dracula had a stake thrust through his heart? And yet one or two years later another film, and there he is, as large as life the undead.

Like the rich, this denier crap will always be with us.
"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)

Simon

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3712 on: July 09, 2019, 12:57:39 PM »
To protect the biosphere and human civilisation, we need to stop increasing atmospheric CO2. This means not using oil, coal or gas from fossil sources to make energy. Electricity produced from solar PV, wind turbines will need to feature on a large scale but are eminently viable. 400 000 km2 of solar PV can provide humanity’s entire energy consumption.

vox_mundi

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3713 on: July 09, 2019, 08:00:32 PM »
Study Shows Pollution Dramatically Reducing Solar Power Generation in China
https://techxplore.com/news/2019-07-pollution-solar-power-china.html

An international team of researchers has found that air pollution in China is dramatically reducing the amount of power that is generated by solar cells in that country. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the group describes studying data from solar observational stations over the past several decades and what they found.

... To find out how much of an impact air pollution has on solar production in China, the researchers obtained data from 119 solar measuring stations across the country going all the way back to 1960. They also collected data on black carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions for the same period as a way to make sure that any reductions in solar radiation they found came from air pollution rather than climate change.

The researchers were able to work out how much less solar radiation was reaching the ground over the years 1960 to 2015. They then compared solar radiation levels with solar energy installations and production. Doing so allowed them to see just how much less power was being produced due to air pollution. They report that in 2016, China produced 14 terawatt hours less than it could have were pollution levels the same as they were in 1960. They further report that because China is planning to triple its solar energy production by 2030, the country could be losing out on 74 TWh a year, if pollution levels hold steady. They note also that at 2016 rates, the country lost out on $1.9 billion worth of electricity that year—and that could rise to $6.7 billion by 2030.



Bart Sweerts et al. Estimation of losses in solar energy production from air pollution in China since 1960 using surface radiation data, Nature Energy (2019).
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3714 on: July 09, 2019, 08:51:10 PM »
Projections for the retirement of coal and the deployment of renewables in the US are increasing.  This article discusses recent changes to the projections made by the FERC.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/07/08/ferc-dramatically-revises-us-electricity-generating-predictions/

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FERC Dramatically Revises US Electricity Generating Predictions

July 8th, 2019 by Joshua S Hill

Quote
According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s most recent “Energy Infrastructure Update” for May — published on July 5, detailing data through May 31 — there has been a sharp movement in favor of renewable energy sources. Specifically, according to FERC’s “Proposed Generation Additions and Retirements by June 2022,” fossil fuel generation will be slashed as the coal industry is expected to see retirements of 17,054 megawatts (MW) by June 2022, with the installation of only 1 coal unit worth a measly 17 MW. Natural gas will continue to grow in strength over the same period, but the country’s nuclear capacity is expected to plummet by 7,286 MW.

Quote
On the other hand, in the last couple of months, expectations for wind capacity additions have blossomed, growing from an expected increase in capacity of 25,105 MW between now and April 2022, to a new expected increase in capacity of 27,128 MW by June 2022 — an added 2 GW. Solar, on the other hand, similarly benefited from an upward revised projection, growing from an expected capacity increase of 12,927 MW between now and April 2022 to a new expected increase in capacity of 16,303 MW — another 2.2 GW.

Overall, between now and the middle of 2022, FERC expects the renewable energy industry to add a total of 45 GW of new generating capacity.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3715 on: July 09, 2019, 09:05:37 PM »
A Danish fund management company is studying the feasibility of a 2.2 GW wind farm off the Victoria coast in Australia.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-first-offshore-wind-project-moves-forward-with-labour-market-study-33139/

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Australia’s first offshore wind project moves forward with labour market study

Michael Mazengarb   
8 July 2019

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The project proposed off the Gippsland coast in the south of Victoria has a planned capacity of up to 2,200MW and would be expected to produce roughly the same amount of energy each year as the now de-commissioned Hazelwood brown-coal power station.

Quote
GE Renewable Energy successfully deployed a new record-setting 12MW offshore wind turbine in the Netherlands last month, with the turbine standing 260 metres tall, and sporting 107 metre-long blades, that is expected to go into commercial production after a period of testing in 2021.

The proposed 250 wind turbine project, with an expected investment value of around $8 billion, would see some of the world’s largest wind turbine designs deployed in Australia for the first time.

With proximity to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, the project would have the ability to tap into the existing transmission infrastructure that exists in the region, with an undersea cable planned for linking the offshore turbines to the mainland.

Progress for the project comes as an AEMO report highlights the “unprecedented change” underway in the Victorian energy system, as the State’s generation base shifts from east to west, as large brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley reach the end of their operating life, and the development of renewable energy projects occurs in the west.

TerryM

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3716 on: July 09, 2019, 09:14:05 PM »
Vox


The solar losses in China seem to be blamed on localized pollution.
Have any studies looked at world wide losses due to increasing noctilucent clouds, or other effects much more difficult to eradicate than pollution and soot?


As temperature deltas between the poles and the equator lower because of global warming will low altitude winds slow down enough to lower the output of wind turbines?


Will the drought/flood cycles we're already experiencing have a marked effect on hydro-electrical installations and maintenance looking forward?


Terry

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3717 on: July 09, 2019, 10:35:50 PM »
Terry,

yes, but nocti-lucent clouds are only producing indirect light after sunset, so hardly a problem for PVs.

Soot and pollution may be a local problem in heavily industrialized parts of the World, but this will most likely dwindle with the disappearance of fossil fuels.

On the other hand, dust - due to more widespread droughts - may become an increasing problem for many PV fields, unless systematic cleaning operations using robots and drones in the sweltering heat is in place.

Agree, that the loss of temperature gradient between the Equator and the Poles may become a significant problem for wind turbines. Only solution is to spread them out to rely on mountain  and coastal wind systems driven by diurnal solar heating and cooling patterns. It will also help to spread them out from East to west and connect the parks with heavy transmission lines in order to keep production up throughot the day and night.

Hydro-electric plants will increasingly be plagued by recurrent droughts and floods. Only sustaniable solution is pumped hydro, which will also help to reduce the need for traditional battery back-up systems.

A complex problem related to PV production has not yet been touched upon. And that is the risk of having winter drizzle from low clouds for months on end, which neither delivers enough water for the hydro-power plants, nor enough wind for the turbines at sea and certainly not enough solar energy for the PV fields. Those days (when the vegetables will not grow either) are the days when the s... really hits the fan.

crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3718 on: July 09, 2019, 11:14:38 PM »
Climate change: Water and green energy produced by a single device

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48910569

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In this experiment, the scientists designed a three stage membrane distillation unit and attached it to the back of the photovoltaic (PV) panel.

The membrane essentially evaporates seawater at relatively low temperatures. The researchers were able to produce three times more water than conventional solar stills while also generating electricity with an efficiency greater than 11%. This meant the device was generating nine times more power than had been achieved in previously published research.

Probably some way off:
Quote
The lead author expects that a commercial device could be available in five years.

Yuha

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3719 on: July 09, 2019, 11:53:48 PM »
A Danish fund management company is studying the feasibility of a 2.2 GW wind farm off the Victoria coast in Australia.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-first-offshore-wind-project-moves-forward-with-labour-market-study-33139/

There seems to be massive renewable energy projects under development all over Australia.
In addition to Victoria we have:

South Australia

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/07/04/south-australia-gives-500-mw-solar-farm-plus-250-mw-battery-plan-the-go-ahead/

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A massive solar-plus-storage project with a $1.17 billion price tag (US$822 million) has been waved through by the South Australian government. The facility will feature 500 MW (AC) of solar PV generation capacity collocated with 250 MW/1,000 MWh of battery storage around five kilometers northeast of Robertstown.

Northern Territory

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/06/26/pre-assembled-concept-proposed-for-10-gw-australian-pv-project/

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Ambitious plans have been announced for a 15,000-hectare solar array near Tennant Creek in Australia’s Northern Territory. If built, the 10 GW solar farm would be the world’s biggest solar park and be coupled with a massive battery with an unspecified capacity.

The project would export electricity to Darwin and overseas to Singapore. According to David Griffin, managing director of Singaporean developer Sun Cable, the mega project’s transmission capacity would stand at 2.5 GW and power would be transported via 3,800km of high voltage direct current submarine cables to meet 20% of the city state’s power demand.

Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia (mentioned at the end of the NT article)

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The Barkley project announcement is not the only gigawatt scale project in Australia’s pipeline. A construction ceremony at a project boasting 1.5 GW of solar and 500 MWh of energy storage 100km north of Brisbane was held in February and another massive project was waved through in Queensland two years ago, when Singapore-based Equis Energy secured approval to begin constructing the 1 GW Wandoan South Solar Projects.

Australia’s other mega renewables projects are awaiting a regulatory nod – a 4 GW renewable energy hub for New South Wales has been proposed by Energy Estate and MirusWind. In Western Australia, the 11 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub is intended to export power to Southeast Asia via subsea cables and supply big miners and green hydrogen projects in the Pilbara region. That project has been put forward by a consortium comprising Vestas, Intercontinental Energy, CWP Energy Asia and Macquarie Group.

TerryM

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3720 on: July 10, 2019, 01:03:20 AM »
Terry,

yes, but nocti-lucent clouds are only producing indirect light after sunset, so hardly a problem for PVs.

I'm more concerned that the water/ice particles that become visible as noctilucent clouds are reflecting some portion of incoming solar radiation away from the globe (and any globally based photo-electric panels) even as they increase global warming because of their GHG blanketing effect.
This I expect occurs whether the clouds are visible or not.

Certain rocket engines/fuels apparently are "dirtier" than others and both the Space Shuttle and Falcon 9 are seen as having contributed to the problem.

Falcon 9 caused "Spectacular noctilucent clouds" after it's Aug 11 2014 launch according to https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/498935052235857921 though why that particular launch was singled out I have no idea.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/0522shuttleshine.html speaks of noctliucent clouds formed by the Space Shuttle after it detached from it's booster.

The Space Shuttle is mothballed, but if Musk's vision of 20 launchings a year becomes a reality, the resulting damage to our mesosphere might be significant.

Noctilucent cloud over Orlando Fl.
visible 90 minutes after Falcon 9
lifting off.
Terry

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3721 on: July 10, 2019, 06:02:36 PM »
An article about the recent BP report on worldwide electricity generation compares the growth rates of renewables to the fossil fuel and nuclear power growth rates.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2019/07/07/wind-and-solar-power-nearly-matched-nuclear-power-in-2018/#2b873e2b39ee

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Renewables Catching Nuclear Power In Global Energy Race
Robert Rapier  July 7, 2019



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Coal is still the dominant source of electricity around the world, although natural gas has taken over the top spot in the U.S. But, renewables have grown rapidly over the past decade, and are on the cusp of overtaking nuclear globally.

In 2018, nuclear power was responsible for 2,701 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity generation, compared to 4,193 TWh for hydropower and 2,480 for renewables. In comparison, coal produced more power than all three categories combined.

However, the growth rates of the different categories of electricity generation tell a different story. Over the past decade, from 2007 to 2017, global electricity generated by coal grew at an annual average of 1.7%. Nuclear generation over that time actually declined annually by 0.4%, a consequence of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. Hydropower generation grew at an average annual rate of 2.8%. These growth rates are indicative of mature power sources.

But contrast those growth rates with those of modern renewables.

From 2007 to 2017, the Renewables category grew at an average annual rate of 16.4%. But within that category, power from geothermal and biomass grew at an annual average of 7.1%. Wind and solar power, by contrast, grew at an annual average of 20.8% and 50.2%, respectively, over the past decade.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3722 on: July 11, 2019, 01:08:23 AM »
New wind and solar are now cheaper than new natural gas plants in the US, even without subsidies.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2019/07/10/utility-regulators-should-avoid-risky-bets-on-new-natural-gas/#506e287f74fa

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Cheap Clean Energy Makes New Natural Gas A Risky Bet Utility Regulators Should Avoid

Mike O'Boyle

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Solar-plus-storage is now competitive with new natural gas-fired power plants on energy, capacity, and other grid services. Investment firm Lazard pegs the cost of new combined cycle natural gas generation at $41-74 per megawatt-hour (MWh). The same report finds unsubsidized solar costs at $36-46/MWh and wind costs at $29-56 (significantly lower with federal tax credits).

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NV Energy’s recent procurement of 1,200 megawatts (MW) solar and 580 MW of four-hour battery storage trounces new natural gas on price. The public tranche of contracts paid $20/MWh for solar and $13/MWh for enough battery storage to shift 25% of daily energy, resulting in a total cost of $33/MWh per MWh delivered (including federal tax credits).

That $13/MWh is now a ceiling on the incremental cost of “reliability” services provided by new natural gas. We can now shift renewable energy to the highest-demand hours for less than the difference between the levelized cost of new natural gas and renewable generation.

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Recent Vibrant Clean Energy modeling conducted with Energy Innovation showed existing coal can’t compete with new renewables, and those same economic forces are now an existential threat to the natural gas generation business. States and utilities doubling down on natural gas should quickly reassess their strategies because the climate and consumers both have a lot to lose.

Renewable and storage cost trends will keep strengthening

Renewable and storage costs are projected to continue falling in the coming years, more than offsetting the subsidies they now enjoy. Consider NextEra Energy, which owns more natural gas generation than renewables, but forecasts storage and solar costs will fall fast with a combined cost in the $29-39/MWh range by 2023. As a result, the utility predicts wind and solar will provide 39% of its power generation in 2030, while natural gas’ share will fall from 35% to 31%.

vox_mundi

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3723 on: July 11, 2019, 06:48:10 PM »
Fossil Fuels Increasingly Offer a Poor Return on Energy Investment
https://m.techxplore.com/news/2019-07-fossil-fuels-increasingly-poor-energy.html

... An enduring argument for the ongoing use of fossil fuels is their high energy return on energy investment. This refers to the ratio of how much energy a source such as coal or oil will produce compared to how much energy it takes to extract.

Previously, the estimated ratios for energy return on investment (EROI) have favoured fossil fuels over renewable energy sources. Oil, coal and gas are typically calculated to have ratios above 25:1, this means roughly one barrel of oil used yields 25 barrels to put back into the energy economy. Renewable energy sources often have much lower estimated ratios, below 10:1.

However, these fossil fuel ratios are measured at the extraction stage, when oil, coal or gas is removed from the ground. These ratios do not take into account the energy required to transform oil, coal and gas into finished fuels such as petrol used in cars, or electricity used by households.

A new study, co-authored by scientists from the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, has calculated the EROI for fossil fuels over a 16 year period and found that at the finished fuel stage, the ratios are much closer to those of renewable energy sources—roughly 6:1, and potentially as low as 3:1 in the case of electricity.

The study, undertaken as part of the UK Energy Research Centre programme and published today in Nature Energy, warns that the increasing energy costs of extracting fossil fuels will cause the ratios to continue to decline, pushing energy resources towards a "net energy cliff". This is when net energy available to society declines rapidly due to the increasing amounts of "parasitical" energy required in the energy production.

Paul E. Brockway, et.al., Estimation of global final-stage energy-return-on-investment for fossil fuels with comparison to renewable energy sources, Nature Energy (2019)
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rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3724 on: July 11, 2019, 08:18:49 PM »
China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline

6% drop in the US and 4% in Europe. The story shows the multiple factors that inhibit growth in renewables investment. Replacing none fully depreciated fossil fuel plants will always be very problematic without government enforcement/compensation - a big problem in slow electricity demand growth economies like the US and Europe. In China, the pace of investment is finding a more stable level after exponential growth. These numbers also tend to match the industry body forecasts (GWEC, Solar Power Europe, IRENA etc.). Not too optimistic for any serious cuts in fossil fuel usage at the global level.

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BloombergNEF found that global investments in solar, wind, and other clean energy sources added up to $117.6 billion during the first half of 2019, a 14% decline from the same period last year and the lowest six-month figure since 2013.

China saw a 39% drop in investments, as the nation eases up on its aggressive solar subsidies to get costs under control. But spending also declined 6% in the US and 4% in Europe, part because of policies that are being phased out and weak demand for additional energy generation in mature markets

https://www.technologyreview.com/f/613938/clean-energy-investments-are-plummeting-bloomberg-bnef/

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3725 on: July 12, 2019, 12:17:38 AM »
[This is the first of three consecutive posts that address the hugely misleading article linked to by rboyd above.  I'm not going to quote rboyd or repost his link, as that would perpetuate the spread of misinformation.]

rboyd's linked article about the decrease in global investment in renewables failed to take into consideration two huge positive causes for the decrease in investment.

https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/renewable-energy-investment-2018-hit-usd-2889-billion-far-exceeding

Quote
The dip in investment in 2018 can be partly attributed to falling technology costs in solar photovoltaics, which meant that the required capacity could be secured at a lower cost, and a slowdown in solar power deployment in China.

Yes, solar cost less (and so did wind) in 2018 versus previous years, which means that you can also build more of it for lower investment.

Quote
If China is excluded, renewable energy investment in the developing world actually increased 6 per cent to USD 61.6 billion, a record high.

“When overall investment falls, it is easy to think we are moving backwards, but that is not the case,” Angus McCrone, Chief Editor at BloombergNEF, commented: “Renewable energy is getting less expensive and we are seeing a broadening of investment activity in wind and solar to more countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.”

Investment in Europe jumped 39 per cent to USD 61.2 billion, the highest level in two years, driven largely by large on- and off-shore wind investments.

In the United States, investment edged up 1 per cent to USD 48.5 billion, the highest level since 2011, also driven by an increase in wind power financing.

And why did China decrease solar investment?  Probably for the same reason they seriously decreased coal investment, less demand for energy due to slower growth.  Here is a report about coal's decline worldwide:

https://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BoomAndBust_2019_r6.pdf

Here is an excerpt about China's planned investment in coal in 2018.

Quote
Planned new coal capacity has fallen particularly rapidly
in China and India. At the end of 2015, China had
plans to construct 515 GW of new coal power capacity.
That figure now stands at 70 GW, an 86% decline.

Here's a link to the BNEF report on renewables:

http://www.ren21.net/gsr-2019/



« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 12:47:04 AM by Ken Feldman »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3726 on: July 12, 2019, 12:26:04 AM »
[Second of three posts responding to a decrease of investment in renewable energy in early 2019]

The BNEF report on renewable energy released in June 2019, has a great summary of why renewables are going to be replacing fossil fuels, and probably sooner than the remaining useful life of the fossil fuel plants.

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

Quote
Renewable energy has been established globally as a mainstream source of electricity generation for several years.2 The estimated share of renewables in global electricity generation was more than 26% by the end of 2018.3 Net capacity additions for renewable power were higher than for fossil fuels and nuclear combined for a fourth consecutive year, and renewables now make up more than one-third of global installed power capacity.4 This is due in part to stable policy initiatives and targets that send positive signals to the industry, along with decreasing costs and technological advancements.

Renewable power is increasingly cost-competitive compared to conventional fossil fuel-fired power plants. By the end of 2018, electricity generated from new wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) plants had become more economical than power from fossil fuel-fired plants in many places. (→ See Sidebar 4.) In addition, in some locations it was more cost-effective to build new wind and solar PV power plants than to continue to run existing fossil fuel power plants.5 Record-low bids in tenders for renewable power were held in many countries around the world, especially for solar PV and wind power, although this development was not necessarily positive for the industry. (→ See Market and Industry chapter.)

Quote
Renewable energy targets are in place in nearly all countries, and several jurisdictions made their existing targets more ambitious in 2018. The number of renewable energy support policies increased again during the year, mostly for renewable electricity.

Quote
The private sector is playing a key role in driving renewable energy deployment through its procurement and investment decisions. By early 2019, 175 companies had joined RE100 – committing to 100% renewable electricity targets – up from 130 companies the year before.16 These and other private sector targets have supported the expansion of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs), which are spreading to new countries and regions but remain concentrated in the United States and Europe.

Quote
Shareholder pressure and the rising competitiveness of the renewables sector have resulted in increased investment by the fossil fuel industry – including some large oil corporations – in both renewable energy projects and companies.18 An increasing number of companies that own, develop or operate fossil fuel power plants shifted away from the coal business during 2018.19 Some firms are investing more in renewable energy – although still in relatively small amounts – in order to economically and reliably meet their own energy needs, to spread their risk or to become players in the rapidly growing renewables sector.


Quote
Global investment in renewable power and fuels in 2018 totalled USD 288.9 billion (USD 304.9 billion including hydropower plants larger than 50 megawatts, MW); this was an 11% decrease from the previous year (largely as a result of a significant fall in China) but the fifth year in a row that investment exceeded the USD 230 billion mark.21 With more or less stable growth in renewable power capacity, the decline in investment reflects to some extent the falling costs of renewables – essentially, more capacity can be installed for less money.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 12:50:03 AM by Ken Feldman »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3727 on: July 12, 2019, 12:44:50 AM »
[Third of three posts addressing a decrease of investment in renewable energy in 2019]

The above articles, showing differences in investment from 2017 to 2018, explain how the fact that renewables keep getting cheaper means you have to look behind the amount of money invested and see how much capacity was actually funded. 

rboyd's linked article was about a drop in investment in China in the first half of 2019 compared to other recent six-month periods in Chinese investment in renewables.  It's very interesting in another fact it left out, as the following article explains.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/07/10/renewable-energy-investment-falls/#626ec8384fb7

Quote
According to BloombergNEF (BNEF), which compiled the figures, the fall in investment is largely due to a change in approach by the Chinese government, which is in the middle of a move away from government-set tariffs to holding competitive auctions for new wind and solar capacity – an approach increasingly favoured by governments around the world as it leads to lower costs.

Given that solar and wind, even with battery storage costs, are now cheaper than coal, natural gas and nuclear, the move from feed-in-tariffs to competitive auctions is probably the end of new coal plants in China.

The article continues:

Quote
“The slowdown in investment in China is real, but the figures for first-half 2019 probably overstate its severity,” said Justin Wu, head of Asia-Pacific for BNEF. “We expect a nationwide solar auction happening now to lead to a rush of new [solar photovoltaic] PV project financings. We could also see several big deals in offshore wind in the second half.”
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 12:51:11 AM by Ken Feldman »

bligh8

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3728 on: July 12, 2019, 04:29:54 PM »
Giant batteries and cheap solar power are shoving fossil fuels off the grid

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/giant-batteries-and-cheap-solar-power-are-shoving-fossil-fuels-grid?utm_campaign=news_daily_2019-07-11&et_rid=54875624&et_cid=2901887


A large-scale solar farm in Southern California. 8MINUTE SOLAR ENERGY
Giant batteries and cheap solar power are shoving fossil fuels off the grid
By Robert F. ServiceJul. 11, 2019 , 1:40 PM
This month, officials in Los Angeles, California, are expected to approve a deal that would make solar power cheaper than ever while also addressing its chief flaw: It works only when the sun shines. The deal calls for a huge solar farm backed up by one of the world's largest batteries. It would provide 7% of the city's electricity beginning in 2023 at a cost of 1.997 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the solar power and 1.3 cents per kWh for the battery. That's cheaper than any power generated with fossil fuel.

"Goodnight #naturalgas, goodnight #coal, goodnight #nuclear," Mark Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, tweeted after news of the deal surfaced late last month. "Because of growing economies of scale, prices for renewables and batteries keep coming down," adds Jacobson, who has advised countries around the world on how to shift to 100% renewable electricity. As if on cue, last week a major U.S. coal company—West Virginia–based Revelation Energy LLC—filed for bankruptcy, the second in as many weeks.

"Local commitments to switch to 100% renewables are also propelling the rush toward grid-scale batteries. By Jacobson's count, 54 countries and eight U.S. states have required a transition to 100% renewable electricity. In 2010, California passed a mandate that the state's utilities install electricity storage equivalent to 2% of their peak electricity demand by 2024.
Although the Los Angeles project may seem cheap, the costs of a fully renewable–powered grid would add up. Last month, the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie estimated the cost to decarbonize the U.S. grid alone would be $4.5 trillion, about half of which would go to installing 900 billion watts, or 900 gigawatts (GW), of batteries and other energy storage technologies. (Today, the world's battery storage capacity is just 5.5 GW.) But as other cities follow the example of Los Angeles, that figure is sure to fall."

More within the article


rboyd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3729 on: July 12, 2019, 05:22:51 PM »
Ken,

What is needed is a rapidly accelerating level of annual capacity installations for renewables to be able to make a meaningful dent in fossil fuel usage, and thus GHG emissions. Instead, we have a relatively stable level of annual additions (with industry groups forecasting the same for a good few years out). This is failure, as it will not reduce GHG emissions. Increases in renewable energy are not offsetting increases in overall energy usage at the global level, the first hurdle that must be crossed.We have the odd country spurt from a low level (China being the last) and then as Bloomberg points out, growth rates rapidly flatten and stabilize.

Short of a major global recession, GHG emissions will not fall for many years without some fundamental policy changes to trigger a much faster shift. We can celebrate that solar and wind are getting cheaper every year, but the inertia in the energy system seems to be more of a match for that for the time being.Getting the same renewable bang for less bucks is failure when we need a lot more bang.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3730 on: July 12, 2019, 11:40:51 PM »
Ken,

What is needed is a rapidly accelerating level of annual capacity installations for renewables to be able to make a meaningful dent in fossil fuel usage, and thus GHG emissions. Instead, we have a relatively stable level of annual additions (with industry groups forecasting the same for a good few years out). This is failure, as it will not reduce GHG emissions. Increases in renewable energy are not offsetting increases in overall energy usage at the global level, the first hurdle that must be crossed.We have the odd country spurt from a low level (China being the last) and then as Bloomberg points out, growth rates rapidly flatten and stabilize.

Short of a major global recession, GHG emissions will not fall for many years without some fundamental policy changes to trigger a much faster shift. We can celebrate that solar and wind are getting cheaper every year, but the inertia in the energy system seems to be more of a match for that for the time being.Getting the same renewable bang for less bucks is failure when we need a lot more bang.

r, if I may call you r,

Yes.  And given that it takes years to plan, finance and permit new power plants, the infrastructure we're seeing installed today was planned and built before the costs of renewables became cheaper than fossil fuels.

Now that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuel plants, the tremendous increases in the installation of renewable power plants are possible.  China is even switching from feed-in-tariffs, which are an inadequate Government solution, to competitive auctions, where renewables compete quite well on prices.  Expect to see the actual installation of renewables exceed the Paris commitments within a few years.

In fact, in the US, we're already seeing utility companies plan to shut down coal fired power plants before the end of their useful lives.  And they're being replaced by renewable power plants, not natural gas.  Because it saves them billions of dollars, not because of an international treaty.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=post;quote=212948;topic=256.3700

Quote
Renewables are so cheap, said Mike Hooper, the senior vice president of the Northern Indiana Service Company (NIPSCO), that the utility can close its coal plants early and return $4 billion to its customers over the next 30 years.

"It ends up being a really big number, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion for our customers, and clearly a lot of that comes from the fact that there’s hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel every year from a marginal standpoint that you're not spending, that the customer gets the advantage of through the check they write us every month."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3731 on: July 14, 2019, 02:31:31 PM »
I’m sure renewables and batteries were part of this story somehow ;) but the biggest lesson appears to be:  “Always carry a burrito.”  ;D

Power Back On After Blackout Strikes Manhattan
Quote
A blackout hit Manhattan on Saturday night, leaving large swaths of the city in darkness. The power outage struck at 6:47 p.m., affecting most of Manhattan’s west side from 32nd Street all the way to 72nd Street. About 73,000 Con Edison customers lost power in all after some kind of mechanical failure at the West 49th Street substation.

Around 10 p.m., Con Edison was able to start restoring power to some of the affected area. Six power networks were knocked out, according to the utility. Two were back on by 10:30, and the remaining four followed until all power had been restored just before midnight. No injuries had been reported by that time either.

The partial blackout, which coincidentally struck on the 42nd anniversary of the infamous 1977 outage which left millions without power, shut down subway lines and elevators, stranding thousands. It also shut down most of theater district, stopped J-Lo’s Madison Square Garden concert mid-song, and led many stores and restaurants to close. Landmarks like Rockefeller Center and much of Times Square went dark, while pedestrians helped police direct traffic at some busy intersections.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/manhattan-power-outage.html

Article has lots of embedded tweets from folks in the blackout.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3732 on: July 14, 2019, 05:57:40 PM »
Quote
Morten Grove (@mortenlund89)
7/13/19, 1:37 PM
Just drove by the PS20 Solar Power Plant near Seville, Spain.
It was a otherworldly sight
The lights aimed at the tower seemed alien
https://twitter.com/mortenlund89/status/1150096895823568898
Image below.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3733 on: July 15, 2019, 12:32:03 AM »
Sig,
That image brought this stanza to mind:
Quote
The Walrus and the Carpenter
      Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
      Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
      And waited in a row.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Maybe it was our connection to the next stanza:
Quote
The time has come,' the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.'
See, Lewis Carrol knew the oceans would get hotter ... :o ::) :P :-X :-\
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3734 on: July 15, 2019, 10:38:00 PM »
Scotland generates enough energy from wind turbines to power all of it's homes and export some to northern England.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/07/15/scotland-wind-power-twice-as-needed/

Quote
It's no secret Scotland has a lot of wind farms, but it's now clear just how much electricity those turbines can produce. Data from WeatherEnergy shows that Scottish wind turbines generated just over 9.8 million megawatt-hours of electricity between January and June, or enough to power roughly 4.47 million homes -- nearly twice as many homes as there are in Scotland. The operators theoretically have enough excess wind energy to power a large chunk of northern England.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3735 on: July 16, 2019, 12:10:15 AM »
After pausing in 2018 and early 2019, China is rapidly building solar power plants again.

https://www.nasdaq.com/article/3-solar-stocks-set-to-benefit-from-chinas-247m-subsidies-cm1176454

Quote
The government of China recently announced its decision to offer subsidies worth $247.4 million to the nation's centralized solar power projects in 2019, per the National Energy Administration (NEA). This marks a dramatic reversal from China's stance in 2018 when it had dramatically cut down subsidies offered to solar projects.

Quote
Per the latest announcement, 3,921 large-scale Chinese solar projects with a total installed capacity of 22.79 gigawatts (GW) will be eligible for these subsidies. The new subsidy is part of a fixed subsidy amount that the government has allocated this year for solar projects.

China also expects to bring online 40-45 GW of solar PV in 2019. The government plans to allocate approximately $109 million worth of subsidies for rooftop power projects.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3736 on: July 16, 2019, 12:48:09 AM »
6 months old but gives the idea that China is increasing the percentage of renewables in new capacity. But this just slows the growth in CO2 emissions. Still a long way to go.
 
https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL3N1ZU20A
Quote
China power capacity seen rising 110 GW in 2019 - industry group

* Total capacity set to exceed 2,000 GW by end of 2019

* 120 GW of new power went into operation in 2018

* Coal-fired capacity now accounts for 53 pct of total

SHANGHAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China is expected to put another 110 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation into operation in 2019, more than the entire capacity of the United Kingdom, with over half consisting of clean energy sources like solar, an industry group said late on Tuesday.

Despite promises to “decouple” economic growth and energy consumption, China’s total power capacity has continued to surge. The country put 120 GW into operation last year after connecting a record 133.7 GW of new capacity in 2017, according to data from the China Electricity Council (CEC).

But it has steadily raised the share of clean energy sources in the total, and is expected to put another 62 GW of non-fossil fuel power into operation during 2019, CEC said in its annual report.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3737 on: July 16, 2019, 08:40:39 PM »
More details on China's solar installations in 2019.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/07/15/china-approves-22-8-gigawatts-of-solar-pv-for-2019-subsidies/

Quote
As has already been covered extensively, China’s solar industry had a slow start to 2019, installing only 5.2 gigawatts due to a lack of certainty about the future of the government’s solar policy. However, with its Feed-in Tariff policy for 2019 finally announced in late-April, and 21 GW of grid-parity wind and solar projects announced in late May, the second half of 2019 is expected to outshine its sluggish start. In July, China’s National Renewable Energy Centre (CNREC) announced that a total of 7.61 GW of new solar capacity was installed between January and May 2019, a decrease of 44% year-over-year.

Unsurprisingly, this meant that Chinese renewable energy investment plummetted 39% over the first half of the year, dragging global renewable energy investment down 14%.

However, the second half of the year looks like it will see an explosion of solar PV activity, with China’s National Energy Administration announcing last week approval for 3,921 projects worth 22.78 GW to receive Feed-in Tariffs (FiT). According to the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA) group, a total of 4,338 projects worth 24.55 GW were submitted for approval, but 417 projects worth 1.77 GW were not approved.

More specifically, out of the approved 22.78 GW, 366 ground-mounted utility-scale projects worth 18.12 GW made up the lion’s share, accounting for 79.5% of the whole. 473 distributed projects worth 0.56 GW and 3,082 self-generation/self-consumption/excess capacity projects amounting 4.10 GW were also approved accounting for 2.5% and 18% respectively.

Quote
All awarded projects must be completed and grid-connected by December 31, 2019. Projects which fail to complete by this date will see their approved tariffs reduced by RMB 0.01 each quarter for the first two quarters of 2020, and if not connected by June 30, 2020, the approved FiT will be revoked and projects eventually cancelled altogether.

With all of this in mind, the AECEA has increased its full-year installation guidance for 2019 from between 32 to 34 GW, up to a relatively impressive 38 GW to 42 GW — though this will still represent a decline of between 5% to 14%, year-over-year.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3738 on: July 17, 2019, 07:20:25 PM »
Yet another US state, Georgia, plans to shutdown coal plants and replace them with renewables plus battery storage.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/georgia-power-ups-plan-for-renewables-and-storage

Quote
Georgia's utility regulators approved a long-term plan that will see Georgia Power drastically expand renewable generation and develop, own and operate up to 80 megawatts of energy storage.

The final 2019 integrated resource plan calls for 2,260 megawatts of new capacity from wind, solar and biomass, which will bring those resources up to 22 percent of the utility's overall fleet capacity. Separately, the Southern Company-owned utility will invest in five hydropower projects while shutting five coal-powered units and all 29 coal ash ponds.

"We are positioning Georgia as a leader in the Southeast in battery energy storage, which is critical to growing and maximizing the value of renewable energy for customers as we increase our renewable generation by 72 percent by 2024," said Allen Reaves, Georgia Power's senior vice president and senior production officer, in a statement.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3739 on: July 17, 2019, 07:25:40 PM »
Even though the amount of money invested in solar energy isn't increasing, the number of solar panels being manufactured is still increasing.  This is because the cost of solar panels continues to decrease while the demand for solar power continues to increase.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/07/17/solar-panel-demand-expected-to-reach-125-5-gw-in-2019-trendforce-says/

Quote
EnergyTrend, a division of Taiwanese market reseach company TrendForce, forecasts solar module demand to reach approximately 125.5 GW this year. If realised this would represent 16% year-on-year (YoY) global market expansion. The analysts believe that this level of growth is likely to continue through 2020.

With the number of gigawatt-scale markets set to increase YoY from last year’s 16 countries to 21 in 2019, module demand is expected to become more geographically diversified, the Taiwanese analysts added. This diversification is a prime reason that the global market expanded in 2019. “Markets are popping up all over the world,” EnergyTrend said.

Quote
European PV module demand is expected to almost from 11.9 GW in 2018 to a whopping 21.8 GW in this year. “The removal of European Minimum Import Price (MIP)trade barriers opened up a new export channel for Chinese suppliers impacted by China’s 531 New Policy,” TrendForce noted. The analysts also attribute this year’s projected European increasing demand to the Paris Agreement. As a result of these two factors combined, PV demand is expected to grow by a further 10% to 24 GW in 2020.

South America, the Middle East, and Africa, along with other unspecified emerging regions, are looking to have at least 2-3 countries with GW-scale markets this year.

In early report, released in January, Trendforce said that the effects of the 5/31 policy shift in China were less severe than expected, and that global installed PV capacity for 2019 would reach around 111 GW. In these figures, the EU was highlighted as one of the fast growing markets for 2019, projecting a year-over-year growth rate of more than 50%. China and the United States will remain the first and second largest markets this year, followed by India and Japan.


Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3740 on: July 17, 2019, 07:36:26 PM »
I live in an apartment style condo, so no solar panels for me  :(
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3741 on: July 17, 2019, 08:15:57 PM »
I live in an apartment style condo, so no solar panels for me  :(

Get your condo owners group together and look into putting solar on the building! Or at least directing your grid electricity to be sourced from renewables.  :)
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3742 on: July 17, 2019, 09:01:21 PM »
I live in an apartment style condo, so no solar panels for me  :(

Get your condo owners group together and look into putting solar on the building! Or at least directing your grid electricity to be sourced from renewables.  :)

We should have a picnic in a few weeks and I will bring it up to the residents.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3743 on: July 17, 2019, 09:18:06 PM »
Indonesia's President announced plans to transition the country from coal to renewables.

https://news.mongabay.com/2019/07/indonesias-president-signals-a-transition-away-from-coal-power/

Quote
With President Widodo recently winning an election that keeps him in office through 2024, an easing of Indonesia’s reliance on coal will help with the country’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals, said Siti, the environment minister.

“I welcome that statement with joy because this truly empowers our work,” she said.

Indonesia is currently one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters, most of it from deforestation and land-use change. However, emissions from the energy sector are poised to dominate in the near future as Indonesia’s demand for electricity continues to rise.

The country’s energy consumption growth is among the fastest in the world, with coal accounting for nearly 60 percent of the energy mix in 2018. Its energy policy therefore has important implications not just for the country’s climate future, but also for global efforts to achieve cuts under the Paris Agreement.

Under current plans, the committed emissions from coal-fired power plants would peak only around 2035, with an eventual phase-out only by 2069; to have a shot at meeting the Paris goals, meanwhile, the Southeast Asian region will need to phase out coal by 2040, analysts agree.

Quote
That a transition away from coal is even being discussed at the highest levels of government marks a major change in tone from longstanding energy policies that have relied on an abundance of cheap and available coal. In fact, Indonesia’s coal reserves have made it one of the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity over the course of the last 15 years.

Policies by successive governments have helped; coal-fired power plants receive hefty subsidies, and there are no carbon disincentives to encourage investment in renewable energy. The reliance on coal hasn’t shown any sign of easing in recent years. Thirty-nine coal-fired power plants are under construction, and 68 have been announced, which will maintain coal’s dominance of the energy mix at nearly 55 percent by 2025. Three of the six new plants expected to go online this year will be fired by coal; the other three are small-capacity facilities powered by gas, hydro and solar, respectively.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3744 on: July 17, 2019, 11:19:17 PM »
Indonesia is the 4th most populous country, after China, India and USA, so their energy use going up (per capita) really matters.
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TerryM

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3745 on: July 18, 2019, 09:57:22 PM »
Indonesia's President announced plans to transition the country from coal to renewables.

https://news.mongabay.com/2019/07/indonesias-president-signals-a-transition-away-from-coal-power/


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That a transition away from coal is even being discussed at the highest levels of government marks a major change in tone from longstanding energy policies that have relied on an abundance of cheap and available coal. In fact, Indonesia’s coal reserves have made it one of the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity over the course of the last 15 years.




Exporting coal is even "dirtier" than burning it.
The same GHGs are emitted when it's mined and finally burned with the addition of the environmental costs of shipping.

Energy derived from imported/exported coal is probably the dirtiest energy available. We rail against burning coal, yet are strangely mum about the larger problem of importing or exporting coal.


Bulk transportation of coal isn't just dirty, it's so dangerous that it can ignite wars!
Remember The Maine!!


Terry

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3746 on: July 18, 2019, 11:22:13 PM »
In Germany, renewables produced more electricity than fossil fuels during the first half of 2019.

https://www.dw.com/en/german-renewables-deliver-more-electricity-than-coal-and-nuclear-power-for-the-first-time/a-49606644-0

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In Lippendorf, Saxony, the energy supplier EnBW is temporarily taking part of a coal-fired power plant offline. Not because someone ordered it — it simply wasn't paying off. Gas prices are low, CO2 prices are high, and with many hours of sunshine and wind, renewable methods are producing a great deal of electricity. And in the first half of the year there was plenty of sun and wind.

The result was a six-month period in which renewable energy sources produced more electricity than coal and nuclear power plants together. For the first time 47.3% of the electricity consumers used came from renewable sources, while 43.4% came from coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

In addition to solar and wind power, renewable sources also include hydropower and biomass. Gas supplied 9.3% while the remaining 0.4% came from other sources, such as oil, according to figures published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in July.

I'm not sure why they combined the coal and nuclear numbers.  If you look at it as carbon free vs fossil fuels, it was 60.1% for renewables plus nuclear vs. 39.2% for coal plus gas.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3747 on: July 18, 2019, 11:23:12 PM »
The UK is on track to generate more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels this year.

https://www.edie.net/news/6/UK-to-use-more-electricity-from-renewables-than-coal-for-first-time-in-2019/

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Published today (21 June), the data reveals that clean energy sources - wind, solar, nuclear and hydropower – generated 47.9% of Britain’s electricity between January and May, compared to 46.7% for coal and gas-fired sources.

National Grid predicts that this trend will continue until the end of 2019 and that the latter half of the year is likely to see renewables take an even bigger share of the electricity mix, partly due to new North Sea Link’s upcoming connection to Norway’s hydropower network. Moreover, next year will see one of the UK’s six remaining coal power stations, SSE’s Fiddler’s Ferry in Cheshire, decommissioned.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3748 on: July 19, 2019, 08:05:10 PM »
This is an interesting new research study about a battery that recharges using low-temperature geothermal energy.  It will be interesting to see if this can be made widely available.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190717230347.htm

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Generating electricity from geothermal energy requires devices that can somehow make use of the heat within the Earth's crust. Recently, a team of scientists at Tokyo Tech, led by Dr. Sachiko Matsushita, have made great progress in the understanding and development of sensitized thermal cells (STCs), a kind of battery that can generate electric power at 100 °C or less.

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Dr. Matsushita's team have previously reported the use of STCs as a new method for converting heat directly into electric power using dye-sensitized solar cells. They also replaced the dye with a semiconductor to allow the system to operate using heat instead of light. The STC, a battery consists of three layers sandwiched between electrodes: an electron transport layer (ETM), a semiconductor layer (germanium), and a solid electrolyte layer (copper ions). In short, electrons go from a low-energy state to a high-energy state in the semiconductor by becoming thermally excited and then get transferred naturally to the ETM. Afterwards, they leave through the electrode, go through an external circuit, pass through the counter electrode, and then reach the electrolyte. Oxidation and reduction reactions involving copper ions take place at both interfaces of the electrolyte, resulting in low-energy electrons being transferred to the semiconductor layer so that the process can begin anew, thus completing an electric circuit.

However, it was not clear at that time whether such a battery could be used as a perpetual engine or if the current would stop at some point. After testing, the team observed that electricity indeed stopped flowing after a certain time and proposed a mechanism explaining this phenomenon. Basically, current stops because the redox reactions at the electrolyte layer stop owing to the relocation of the different types of copper ions. Most importantly, and also surprisingly, they found out that the battery can revert this situation itself in the presence of heat by simply opening the external circuit for some time; in other words, by using a simple switch. "With such a design, heat, usually regarded as low-quality energy, would become a great renewable energy source," states Matsushita.

The team is very excited about their discovery because of its applicability, eco-friendliness, and potential for helping solve the global energy crisis. "There is no fear of radiation, no fear of expensive oil, no instability of power generation like when relying on the sun or the wind," remarks Matsushita. Further refinements to this type of battery will be the aim of future research, with the hope of one day solving humanity's energy needs without harming our planet.

etienne

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #3749 on: July 19, 2019, 08:23:26 PM »
100°C is not easy geothermy, but is is a temperature that is easy to reach with solar thermal or in industrial or home cooling processes. When the pizza is cooked, you could get some electricity back.