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Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4950 on: September 01, 2020, 07:51:31 PM »
The Netherlands will have the world's largest offshore windfarm operational in 2023.

https://constructionreviewonline.com/2020/08/netherlands-plans-to-have-the-worlds-largest-offshore-wind-farm/

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Netherlands plans to have the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
By Cukia M
Aug 31, 2020

The Netherlands has announced plans to construct the world’s largest offshore wind farm that will be located in the country’s Dutch North Sea. The wind farm named the Hollandse Kust Zuid 1-4 offshore wind energy project will be constructed by Vattenfall without any subsidy and will have a capacity of 1.5 GW, making it the largest offshore wind farm both in the Netherlands and on the globe. It is expected to begin operations by 2023  with 140 11 MW wind turbines from manufacturer Siemens Gamesa, which will be the first to be installed offshore.
...

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4951 on: September 01, 2020, 08:24:58 PM »
Solar and wind power were 67% of the new electricity capacity additions globally in 2019.  Fossil fuels were 25%.

https://www.rechargenews.com/transition/solar-outshines-wind-to-become-worlds-biggest-new-power-source-bnef/2-1-867385

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Solar outshines wind to become world's biggest new power source: BNEF

Clean-energy technologies now together account for 2.5TW of installed capacity globally, more than coal or gas, says new report
1 September 2020

Solar energy stormed ahead last year to become the leading new power-generating source in the world, carrying clean-energy technologies including wind and hydro to overtake coal in global installed capacity, according to latest calculations by research consultancy BloombergNEF (BNEF).

PV added 118GW of new plant in 2019 on its way to reaching 651GW of capacity, outpacing wind’s total 644GW, to become the fourth largest power source on the planet, behind coal’s 2.1TW, gas’ 1.8TW and hydro’s 1.2TW.

Solar and wind together accounted for 67% of new capacity added globally in 2019, while fossil fuels slide to 25%, according to BNEF’s new Power Transition Trends 2020 report, which tracks capacity and generation data over the past decade. Taken together with hydro dams, the clean-energy sector has built out some 2.5TW of plant worldwide.

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PV eclipsed all-comes in new-build terms and was the most popular technology deployed in 33% of nations, with 81 countries building at least 1MW of solar during the last calendar year and representing nearly half of all new power generation capacity constructed worldwide.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4952 on: September 02, 2020, 12:40:37 AM »
(US)
Planned capacity changes in GW from end of June 2020 to end of the year.
(some additions may not be built)

additions GW   retirements GW
wind        19.34   coal            3.69
solar         9.38   nuclear    0.60
battery    0.80   nat gas    0.30
nat gas    0.64   petro    0.03
hydro      0.23   wood    0.02
biomas    0.05         
petro       0.01     

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4953 on: September 02, 2020, 06:34:08 AM »
A chart from the EIA report on US battery capacity. Not sure why it's only updated to 2018, but at least it's not confusing between MW and MWh.


Simon

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4954 on: September 02, 2020, 07:45:55 AM »
It is obvious that humanity needs to ensure that atmospheric co2 does not rise and indeed there is a need for it to fall. There has been an explosion of ideas recently about how to achieve this. I find the idea of synthetic manufacture of hydrocarbon fuel intriguing but I have severe doubts about its efficacy. However, at least it may save us from the madness of biofuels which would need very approximately an area three times the size of the US for it to supply our energy needs.

My idea has for a long time, been to consider use of our sunny deserts for a mass coverage of solar PV, combined with half a million perhaps up to a million offshore wind turbines, as our primary source of energy. Intermittency is a huge problem however, but one that is being thoroughly discussed on this thread, but pumped storage and battery storage has its limits IMO.

Back to synthetic hydrocarbons.

A good review is here for you all to read!

https://royalsociety.org/-/media/policy/projects/synthetic-fuels/synthetic-fuels-briefing.pdf




ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4955 on: September 02, 2020, 11:01:05 AM »
If you're trying to prove that 10 billion people cannot live as the average American does, you're preaching to the choir. But some comments about the numbers are justified:
* Assuming the average American as the goal/steady state is a harsh assumption. Americans live a wasteful lifestyle. Typical European energy consumption is about half, at a rather similar level of living.
* The concept of Primary Energy is very misleading, as it includes all the heat not used for any useful work. Since this is the renewables thread, and renewables have very little inefficiencies resulting in waste heat, it would be more appropriate to consider actual energy used. This decreases energy consumption by about 2/3.

So the world would need 15-20 TW of renewable energy production to bring forecast population to a European level of living.

I'm not sure if primary energy can be ignored, i.e., if oil is needed for mining, manufacturing, and shipping of renewable energy components, plus the infrastructure to make energy from that available, and the consumer goods that will use the energy.

Your other point is correct. The U.S. consumes around 3 TW and it has around 4 pct of the world's population. Half of that would be 1.5 TW, which means the world will need around 37.5 TW.

The problem is that the global economy that is expected to produce that energy is based on competitive capitalism, i.e., investors will fund renewable energy projects because they expect higher returns, consumers are expected to consume more energy to fuel more funding, etc.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4956 on: September 02, 2020, 01:59:13 PM »
Investors will fund renewable energy projects because they expect higher returns, consumers are expected to consume more energy to fuel more funding, etc.

An extract from the "public description" of a UK R&D funding bid I submitted just before the deadline of 10Z this morning:

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The SaMDES project will allow domestic "prosumers" and organisations both large and small to reduce their "external" electricity consumption. The incorporation of both "static" and "mobile" battery storage further reduces energy bills by allowing the purchase of energy for both building and mobility needs when electricity prices are low.

We're due to hear UK plc's verdict on our proposal in a month or so!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4957 on: September 03, 2020, 04:07:52 AM »

An extract from the "public description" of a UK R&D funding bid I submitted just before the deadline of 10Z this morning:

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The SaMDES project will allow domestic "prosumers" and organisations both large and small to reduce their "external" electricity consumption. The incorporation of both "static" and "mobile" battery storage further reduces energy bills by allowing the purchase of energy for both building and mobility needs when electricity prices are low.

We're due to hear UK plc's verdict on our proposal in a month or so!

I do not know anything about your project, but in for-profit corporations, there is usually something in the by-laws which state that the main goal of the business is to maximize profits in favor of its owners, the investors. Those are the same investors which approve or or may fire the CEO if that goal is not fulfilled.

In addition, when a business sell shares to the public, the value of those shares generally go up when it is noted that it is profitable, and will be even more profitable when those new investments are poured into expansion.

Put simply, investments become attractive because they offer better returns, and they can only offer better returns when they are more profitable per annum. That means lower costs with the same production, higher production at the same cost, or both. It's usually both when competition is involved, as businesses attempt to gain market share plus meet expanding markets.

Any savings thanks to lower costs are re-invested elsewhere, with the same premise.

In short, the very goal of a capitalist economy, especially a global one controlled by a few:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354-500-revealed-the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world/

is continuous growth, which means not only more energy consumed but a higher ecological footprint per capita. And the potential for that is huge:

https://money.cnn.com/2015/07/08/news/economy/global-low-income/

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470

That is, 70 pct of people worldwide are poor, and their main goal is to become richer. More of them are becoming so and they're buying more cars, houses, appliances, etc. That's the booming market of businesses worldwide.

Some say that the equivalent amount of resources needed to support their needs in terms of ecological footprint is one more earth. In order to support a European or U.S. lifestyle, likely more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_ecological_footprint

especially given issues such as lack of roads, electric grids, and other necessary infrastructure in many parts of the world.

This is probably the scenario where one can see the 37.5 TW figure given earlier. It might be a lower range if more people want to have more than just basic needs, such as accessing this and other websites using broadband, traveling by sea or air to other countries, and receiving tertiary education and being employed in white collar jobs (where food production and manufacturing are mechanized or outsourced to poorer countries). Also, if major industrialization, infrastructure development, and so on has to take place for most of the world population to even catch up with Europe, then even more energy will be needed. After that comes additional energy for a growing population due to momentum, to minimize ecological damage, and counter diminishing returns (e.g., increasing amounts of energy needed to extract minerals of lower quantity and quality or that's deeper).


KiwiGriff

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4958 on: September 03, 2020, 08:04:20 AM »
Quote
I'm not sure if primary energy can be ignored, i.e., if oil is needed for mining, manufacturing, and shipping of renewable energy components, plus the infrastructure to make energy from that available, and the consumer goods that will use the energy.
You miss orens point.
Much of the energy from hydro carbon use is waste heat that you have to dispose of .
ie the most efficient fossil fuel generation from a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant coverts only 63% of the energy into a form that is usable the rest is wasted heat that must be disposed of https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/431420-most-efficient-combined-cycle-power-plant
When used In transport only about 20% of the energy contained in fossil fuel is converted to useful work.

This is not a thing with renewable energy 100% of the output is usable energy available to do work. Even when used for  transport  around 80% of renewable energy is converted to  useful work driving you forward.

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kassy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4959 on: September 06, 2020, 09:23:52 PM »
The broader discussion on consumption and renewable energy has been moved to it´s own thread:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,3286.0.html

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4960 on: September 07, 2020, 09:45:24 PM »
Quote
TeslaStraya (@TeslaStraya) 9/6/20, 7:18 PM
Don’t let anyone in Australia tell you that east facing solar panels aren’t worth it. Powerwall’s charged already at 9am so the rest of the day will be exports at 21c/kWh.
https://twitter.com/teslastraya/status/1302748093205471232
Image from the powerflow app at the link.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4961 on: September 15, 2020, 01:04:47 AM »
100% of new electric capacity installed in the USA in June 2020 was renewable!

https://cleantechnica.com/2020/09/11/solar-power-60-of-new-us-power-capacity-in-june/

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Solar Power = 60% of New US Power Capacity in June

September 11th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
100% of New Power Capacity in USA Came from Renewables in June

Solar power keeps growing in the United States. In the month of June, 60.1% of new power capacity added in the country was from solar power plants. Another 37.5% was from wind power plants. And 2.4% was from hydropower. If you’ve done the quick math on that, that means that 100% of new power capacity came from renewable energy sources in June. (Toggle the dropdown button in the interactive chart below to also see charts for January–June 2020, January–June 2019, and total installed capacity in the United States.)



Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4962 on: September 17, 2020, 01:20:12 AM »
Vectran, an electric utility in Southern Indiana, announced plans to retire 730 MW of coal plants by 2023 and replace them with solar and wind power.

https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/09/16/indiana_utility_trading_coal_for_solar_577647.html

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Indiana Utility Trading Coal for Solar
By Emily Folk
September 16, 2020

Throughout the conversations around climate change, companies have been slow to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. One company in Indiana, though, is now making waves as it switches out coal for solar. Though there have been conflicting opinions on this decision, renewable energy is a crucial part of global change. It starts on a company-wide scale.

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According to Vectren's Integrated Resource Plans, the company aims for immediate switches in the coming years. By 2023, the company plans to get rid of 730 MW of coal in favor of renewables. Instead, solar panels up to 1,000 MW will operate with wind as the primary source of energy.

Aet the moment, the company is running on 78% coal. By 2025, though, company leaders hope to reduce this number down to 12%. Doing so may save customers up to a total of $320 million over the next two decades.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4963 on: September 17, 2020, 06:20:34 PM »
Some manufacturers are foregoing PPAs and just installing their own solar farms to power their factories.

https://www.assemblymag.com/articles/95875-solar-project-at-toyota-assembly-plant-to-be-largest-in-west-virginia

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Solar Project at Toyota Assembly Plant to be Largest in West Virginia
September 8, 2020

BUFFALO, WV—Toyota’s engine and transmission assembly plant here will soon be the site of the largest solar panel array in the state.

To be completed by March 2021, the $4.9 million solar project will reduce CO2 emissions at the plant by 1,822 metric tons annually, according to Jacob Plasters, senior engineering manager Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia. “The array will span 6 acres and generate 2.6 megawatts of solar-generated energy,” he says. “This is part of the company’s strategic goals to reduce its reliance on outside energy needed for operations.”

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The automaker is also planning solar projects at its assembly plants in Alabama and Missouri. In Alabama, the company’s Huntsville engine plant will have a 3.3-acre solar array that will generate 1.6 megawatts of solar-generated energy and reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 1,732 metric tons annually. That project is expected to be complete by December. In Missouri, the company’s assembly plant in Troy will will have a 1.5-acre solar panel array that will generate 0.75 megawatt of energy and reduce CO2 emissions 750 metric tons annually. That project is expected to be complete in January 2021.

vox_mundi

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4964 on: September 18, 2020, 09:43:54 PM »
Airborne Wind Energy Company Closes Shop, Opens-Sources Patents
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/exclusive-airborne-wind-energy-company-closes-shop-opens-patents



This week, a 13-year experiment in harnessing wind power using kites and modified gliders finally closes down for good. But the technology behind it is open-sourced and is being passed on to others in the field.

As of 10 September, the airborne wind energy (AWE) company Makani Technologies has officially announced its closure. A key investor, the energy company Shell, also released a statement to the press indicating that “given the current economic environment” it would not be developing any of Makani’s intellectual property either. Meanwhile, Makani’s parent company, X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, has made a non-assertion pledge on Makani’s patent portfolio. That means anyone who wants to use Makani patents, designs, software, and research results can do so without fear of legal reprisal.

Not only is the company releasing its patents into the wild, it’s also giving away its code base, flight logs, and a Makani flyer simulation tool called KiteFAST.

https://github.com/rafmudaf/openfast/tree/kitefast

https://console.cloud.google.com/marketplace/product/bigquery-public-datasets/makani-logs

https://github.com/google/makani


Pulling Power from the Sky

Pulling Power recounts Makani’s story from its very earliest days, circa 2006, when kites like the ones kite surfers use were the wind energy harvester of choice. However, using kites also means drawing power out of the tug on the kite’s tether. Which, as revealed by the company’s early experiments, couldn’t compete with propellers on a glider plane.

What became the Makani basic flyer, the M600 Energy Kite, looked like an oversized hobbyist’s glider but with a bank of propellers across the wing. These props would first be used to loft the glider to its energy-harvesting altitude. Then the engine would shut off and the glider would ride the air currents—using the props as mini wind turbines.

Makani is also releasing online a free 1,180-page ebook (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) The Energy Kite

https://storage.googleapis.com/x-prod.appspot.com/files/Makani_TheEnergyKiteReport_Part1.pdf

https://storage.googleapis.com/x-prod.appspot.com/files/Makani_TheEnergyKiteReport_Part2.pdf

https://storage.googleapis.com/x-prod.appspot.com/files/Makani_TheEnergyKiteReport_Part3.pdf

Efficiency: ... Wind turbines (in shallow water) fixed to the seabed might require 200 to 400 tons of metal for every megawatt of power the turbine generated. And floating deep-water turbines, anchored to seabed by cables, typically involve 800 tons or more per megawatt. Meanwhile, a Makani AWE platform—which can be anchored in even deeper water—weighed only 70 tons per rated megawatt of generating capacity.



Yet, according to the ebook, in real-world tests, Makani’s M600 proved difficult to fly at optimum speed. In high winds, it couldn’t fly fast enough to pull as much power out of the wind as the designers had hoped. In low winds, it often flew too fast. In all cases, the report says, the rotors just couldn’t operate at peak capacity through much of the flyer’s maneuvers.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4965 on: September 18, 2020, 09:47:16 PM »

https://www.walleniusmarine.com/blog/ship-design-newbulding/introducing-oceanbird/

Oceanbird Cargo Ship Relies On Wind to Transport Autos
https://techxplore.com/news/2020-09-oceanbird-cargo-ship-autos.html

... A Swedish company, Wallenius Marine, announced last week plans to build a sleek-looking wind-powered car and truck carrier ship that can haul 7,000 vehicles at a time. The ship, named Oceanbird, will sport five 260-foot retractable sails composed of metal and composite materials. The sails can be lowered to 66 feet to pass under bridges or accommodate changing wind conditions. Upon completion, the 650-foot-long, 130-foot-wide ship will hold the distinction of being the world's largest sailing vessel.

The Oceanbird can travel at an average speed of 10 knots. That is a bit slower than conventional vessels, but cruising with the wind means it can eliminate emissions by 90 percent.



... When asked why the company was willing to share so many details about construction of the ship, Tunell replied, "It is not a competition, but rather a direction we all need to take. By being transparent in the process, we want to inspire others to test the limit to what is possible… We need to make a change and it just can't wait anymore."

https://www.walleniusmarine.com/blog/ship-design-newbulding/introducing-oceanbird/
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morganism

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4966 on: September 19, 2020, 09:15:00 PM »
more on electric mud bacteria

Scientists find 'secret molecule' that allows bacteria to exhale electricity

"The team found that, when stimulated by an electric field, Geobacter produce a previously unknown kind of nanowire made of a protein called OmcZ. Made of tiny, metallic building blocks called hemes, this protein created nanowires that conducted electricity 1,000 times more efficiently than the typical nanowires Geobacter create in the soil, allowing the microbes to send electrons across unprecedented distances.

"It was known that bacteria can make electricity, but nobody knew the molecular structure," Malvankar said. "Finally, we have found that molecule."

In previous research, Malvankar and colleagues found that lab-grown Geobacter sulfurreducens microbes display another clever survival trick when exposed to a small electrode, or a disk that conducts electricity. Stimulated by the electric field, the microbes assemble into dense biofilms — interlinked piles of hundreds of individual microbes, moving electrons through a single shared network.

"They stack up like high-rise apartments, hundreds of stories tall," Malvankar said. "And they can all share the same electric grid, constantly dumping electrons."

Researchers have been using Geobacter colonies to power small electronics for more than a decade. A big perk of these so-called microbial fuel cells is their longevity. Bacteria can repair and reproduce themselves nearly indefinitely, creating a small but constant electric charge; in one U.S. Navy experiment, conducted in 2008, researchers used a Geobacter fuel cell to power a small weather buoy in Washington, D.C.'s Potomac River for more than nine months without showing any signs of weakening. However, the charge provided by these fuel cells is extremely small (the Navy buoy ran on about 36 milliwatts, or thousandths of a watt, of power), severely limiting the types of electronics they can power."

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41589-020-0623-9.epdf


Alexander555

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4967 on: September 19, 2020, 09:32:50 PM »
A Belgium company developed an engine that can run on diesel and hydrogen, for trains, ships, generators....They produce 85% less co2. https://www.hln.be/wetenschap-planeet/milieu/-revolutionaire-ontwikkeling-nieuwe-generatie-belgische-dieselmotoren-draait-ook-op-waterstof~a9c2413f/

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4968 on: September 22, 2020, 11:15:02 PM »
Skeptics of the energy transition often point to the recent past to show how little energy is currently being produced by renewables.  That is set to change quickly this decade.  Since renewables have become cheaper than fossil fuels, investments in solar farms and wind turbines has accelerated.

Even more promising is the increase in solar panel manufacturing.  There have been so many new manufacturing plants (or capacity expansions to existing plants) that it's hard to keep up with the announcements.  Here are a couple from China:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/09/22/chinese-pv-industry-brief-more-ingot-and-module-capacity-chinas-largest-rooftop-project-and-a-possible-new-listing/

Quote
Monocrystalline module manufacturer Longi announced last night it had signed an agreement with the government of Lijiang City, in Yunnan province, for the deployment of an additional 10 GW of silicon ingot manufacturing capacity, costing RMB2.5 billion (US$369 million). The Lijiang factory will reach a total production capacity of 21 GW with the expansion, with an initial, 5 GW established in 2016 and another 6 GW operational since 2018.

Fellow module maker Trina Solar yesterday said it had secured sign-off on a new 15 GW, RMB3 billion module fab with the local authorities in Changzhou City, Jiangsu province. Half of that price tag involves the purchase of production equipment.

In the other thread, I posted several announcements of new solar panel manufacturing plants being built in the USA, India, Turkey, Iran and elsewhere.  With these new plants producing panels in the next couple of years, the number of new solar farms is set to increase rapidly.  And it takes very little time to build a solar farm (1 to 2 years), compared to a new gas power plant (5 to 6 years) or nuclear power plant (6 years to several decades).

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4969 on: September 24, 2020, 10:58:14 PM »
Very little happened in July fossil fuels had a net gain 132 MW and renewable had a net gain of 732 MW. These are capacity additions.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4970 on: September 25, 2020, 02:25:48 PM »
Monthly update from US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/

Solar + Wind - in my view the ones that matter most as the low-cost growth potential is huge.

June 2020 energy produced from solar+wind 26% higher than June 2019, at 406 trillion Solar+wind 12 month trailing average up 15%. This indicates energy production rate of increase is accelerating.

However, still, a way to go before wind+solar > coal, and a long way to go before natural gas pushed off its perch.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4971 on: September 26, 2020, 01:11:19 AM »
Monthly update from US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/

Solar + Wind - in my view the ones that matter most as the low-cost growth potential is huge.

June 2020 energy produced from solar+wind 26% higher than June 2019, at 406 trillion Solar+wind 12 month trailing average up 15%. This indicates energy production rate of increase is accelerating.

However, still, a way to go before wind+solar > coal, and a long way to go before natural gas pushed off its perch.

You have fallen into thier trap!
They use BTU to make it look like fossil fuels are more important then they are. Depending on the technology anywhere 1/3 to 2/3 of BTU from fossil fuels are wasted in making electricity. None is wasted from solar and wind. Their is no reason to use BTU for electricity it should be KWH. For primary energy it is more complicated.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4972 on: September 26, 2020, 02:17:08 AM »
This should be more accurate. 12 month moving average.
TWH Tera Watt Hour
« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 02:23:55 AM by interstitial »

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4973 on: September 26, 2020, 02:47:31 AM »
Maybe some will like this.

BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4974 on: September 26, 2020, 10:37:28 AM »
Maybe some will like this.
I would if it said low carbon instead of carbon free

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4975 on: September 26, 2020, 07:58:46 PM »
Maybe some will like this.
I would if it said low carbon instead of carbon free
You are correct.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4976 on: September 26, 2020, 08:03:10 PM »
You have fallen into thier trap!

They use BTU to make it look like fossil fuels are more important then they are. Depending on the technology anywhere 1/3 to 2/3 of BTU from fossil fuels are wasted in making electricity. None is wasted from solar and wind. Their is no reason to use BTU for electricity it should be KWH. For primary energy it is more complicated.
1 KWH = 3412.14 BTU

It doesn't matter what unit you use to measure energy. 1 BTU = 1055.06 Joules. That's the energy unit used to measure increased ocean heat (x 10^22).

What does matter is your 2nd point, that vast amounts of fossil fuel energy is wasted in the making of electricity. However, the US EIA does produce an electricity table in KWH - Table 7.2a Electricity Net Generation: Total (All Sectors) with each column entitled - Electricity Net Generation From xxxx, All Sectors

I attach a summary graph (also 12 month trailing average). I have shown NUCLEAR separately. Nuclear for electricity is, in my opinion a redundant technology that is going to cost a lot of money to decommission and keep safe for hundreds to thousands of years. They will be shut down over the next 10?, 20? 50? years so it's just another energy gap for wind + solar + batteries to fill.

I have dumped biomass in with "the rest" as growing loblolly monoculture plantations for wood pellets is a travesty of the original idea to use waste wood as a marginal contribution to CO2 emission reduction. Land use change is still the major contribution to the 6th Mass Extinction.

And we end up with a graph that still says that as at June 2020 Natural gas is the major beneficiary of the collapse of coal. That will change - but how quickly will politicians blah blah be transformed into action?
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gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4977 on: September 27, 2020, 06:51:36 PM »
Meanwhile - on the main energy player, i.e. China.

Is Xi Jinping yet another world leader making nice noises at the UN with little correspondence to reality?
Will the 14th 5 year plan be a first step towards carbon neutral by 2060 ?
Will we even be able to see any real detail of those plans ?

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-chinas-covid-stimulus-plans-for-fossil-fuels-three-times-larger-than-low-carbon
China’s main energy-consuming and producing provinces are directing the equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars into fossil fuel projects, analysis of spending plans reveals.

Quote
If the investments go ahead, they would exceed spending plans for low-carbon energy threefold.

The findings are from our new analysis of the “major project lists” for eight Chinese provinces, which account for half the country’s CO2 emissions. The lists reveal the priorities of provincial authorities looking to recover from Covid-19 and prepare for the 14th “five-year plan”, due early next year.

Our analysis of the lists has identified 4,348 projects, with a combined reported price tag of RMB19.9tn ($2.95tn). Some RMB6,200bn ($920bn) is earmarked for investment in energy or transport, of which fossil fuel projects and railways each account for around a third, or RMB2,100bn of the total.

In contrast, relatively little of the energy or transport spending plans are directed towards low-carbon sources, with RMB340bln for renewables ($49bn, 5.6%), RMB120bn for nuclear ($18bn, 2.0%) and RMB80bn ($11bn, 1.3%) for electric vehicles, batteries and energy storage.

Our findings suggest China is focusing its post-Covid recovery on high-carbon energy and infrastructure, as it did after the 2008-9 global financial crisis. But a repeat of its emissions surge in 2010 is unlikely, because the current scale of its Covid stimulus is far smaller than in 2008-9.

Nevertheless, continued spending on fossil fuel infrastructure is poorly aligned with the country’s pledge to strive to peak CO2 emissions as soon as possible. It also poses questions for the surprise pledge, made this week by president Xi Jinping, to achieve “carbon neutrality” before 2060.
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ralfy

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4978 on: September 29, 2020, 07:50:05 AM »
The price is deceptive because it can be low for a variety of reasons: increased efficiency in production, low demand for components, market speculation, etc. The same can be seen for oil, where prices have also gone down but production cost is still the same.

Next, prices eventually go up because the prices of minerals and fossil fuels needed to manufacture components for renewable energy also go up. And they go up because of gravity (the minerals and oil are deeper) and/or physical limits (what's extracted is of lower quality, as seen in grades for copper and sulfur levels in oil). What that means is that more energy is needed to extract what is deeper and/or process what is of lower quality or grade.

The same, BTW, applies to materials needed for mechanized agriculture (from heavy machines to diesel needed for those and petrochemicals needed for artificial fertilizer) and almost everything that is processed and/or manufactured.

Finally, businesses may adjust to these issues by becoming more efficient and finding new technologies that provide more energy or require less materials and energy to manufacture, but that does not lead to lower use of energy and materials overall because the same businesses invest in productivity to become more productive, which in turn allows them to increase profits. That, of course, means more consumption. In short, the purpose of becoming more efficient or productive is not to conserve but to find ways to consume more.

And that in turn bolsters demand, which leads to higher prices, which brings us back to attempt to lower those prices through more innovations which are funded in order to increase production and consumption from which more profits are made (and which is the reason why investments are made in the first place), which again is based on the assumption of increasing demand, which brings us back to the start of this paragraph.

blu_ice

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4979 on: September 29, 2020, 09:39:04 AM »
No Ralfy, that's not how any of this works.

Commodity prices don't "eventually go up". The real cost of raw materials, minerals or fossil fuels have gone down, not up. The same applies to virtually every commodity people have ever had any use for, from salt and pepper to cotton, timber or coal. Geophysical limitations have been overcome by technology and innovation time and time again.

In fact we've become so efficient in exploiting the material resources of the planet that we are about to destroy it's biosphere while doing so.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4980 on: September 29, 2020, 12:33:09 PM »
Can someone refute this?
The Real Cost of Wind and Solar
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/09/the_real_cost_of_wind_and_solar.html
Quote
The biggest and most important subsidy is not an explicit subsidy but a mandate. Thirty states have renewable portfolio standards. These are laws that require the utilities to supply a certain percentage of renewable power. For example, California has a law that 60% of its power must be renewable by 2030. The consequence of the mandate is that the utility has to grant whatever terms are required to convince investors to build the renewable power plants. In practice this results in the utility promising to purchase all the power generated for 25 years at a fixed rate. The contract is signed before a shovel of dirt is moved. Forcing utilities to buy renewable power puts the suppliers of renewable power in an advantageous position. The subsidy that reduces the cost from $80 to $25 are federal explicit subsidies, better financing, and lower required rate of return that results from having a 25-year contract in hand from a credit worthy utility. There is a federal tax credit that pays up to 30% of the plants cost. Additionally, there is a tax subsidy called tax equity financing that allows a highly taxed partner to the investor to divert money from the federal treasury to the project. This subsidy depends on special depreciation rules enacted by congress to subsidize renewable energy.
My background in economics is a Econ 101 class in 1976 and an accounting class in 1980. So go savage your favorite :-J news site.
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blu_ice

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4981 on: September 29, 2020, 12:44:05 PM »
Can someone refute this?
The Real Cost of Wind and Solar
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/09/the_real_cost_of_wind_and_solar.html
Quote
The biggest and most important subsidy is not an explicit subsidy but a mandate. Thirty states have renewable portfolio standards. These are laws that require the utilities to supply a certain percentage of renewable power. For example, California has a law that 60% of its power must be renewable by 2030. The consequence of the mandate is that the utility has to grant whatever terms are required to convince investors to build the renewable power plants. In practice this results in the utility promising to purchase all the power generated for 25 years at a fixed rate. The contract is signed before a shovel of dirt is moved. Forcing utilities to buy renewable power puts the suppliers of renewable power in an advantageous position. The subsidy that reduces the cost from $80 to $25 are federal explicit subsidies, better financing, and lower required rate of return that results from having a 25-year contract in hand from a credit worthy utility. There is a federal tax credit that pays up to 30% of the plants cost. Additionally, there is a tax subsidy called tax equity financing that allows a highly taxed partner to the investor to divert money from the federal treasury to the project. This subsidy depends on special depreciation rules enacted by congress to subsidize renewable energy.
My background in economics is a Econ 101 class in 1976 and an accounting class in 1980. So go savage your favorite :-J news site.
I don't know the situation in the US, but we can see all around the world how utilities are building wind and solar without any subsidies, simply because they are cheapest form of new electricity generation. A lot has changed on that front in the last couple of years.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4982 on: September 29, 2020, 01:23:03 PM »
blu_ice:
So they are using obsolete data?
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4983 on: September 29, 2020, 01:33:04 PM »
The price is deceptive because it can be low for a variety of reasons: increased efficiency in production, low demand for components, market speculation, etc. The same can be seen for oil, where prices have also gone down but production cost is still the same.

No. The price dynamics of petroleum are notoriously volatile, unlike the vast majority of goods.  Solar and wind devices are much more like ordinary manufactured goods.  The prices aren't particularly volatile.  A progressive fall in prices over many years means exactly what it would seem to imply--fewer resources are required for production over time.  Economies of scale and advances in technology will do that.  There's no "diminishing returns" with renewables.  We're seeing the opposite of diminishing returns.

Quote
Next, prices eventually go up because the prices of minerals and fossil fuels needed to manufacture components for renewable energy also go up. And they go up because of gravity (the minerals and oil are deeper) and/or physical limits (what's extracted is of lower quality, as seen in grades for copper and sulfur levels in oil). What that means is that more energy is needed to extract what is deeper and/or process what is of lower quality or grade.
No.  Nice theory.  But real-world data is demonstrating the opposite of what you claim.
Quote
The same, BTW, applies to materials needed for mechanized agriculture (from heavy machines to diesel needed for those and petrochemicals needed for artificial fertilizer) and almost everything that is processed and/or manufactured.
No.  Specific industries have specific challenges for electrification.  Given proper policies and incentives, there are essentially no use cases where petroleum is essential.  Just as renewable for the grid and electrification of transport seemed implausible a decade ago, so too are changes more than feasible for these use cases.  There's nothing magic about petroleum.
Quote
Finally, businesses may adjust to these issues by becoming more efficient and finding new technologies that provide more energy or require less materials and energy to manufacture, but that does not lead to lower use of energy and materials overall because the same businesses invest in productivity to become more productive, which in turn allows them to increase profits. That, of course, means more consumption. In short, the purpose of becoming more efficient or productive is not to conserve but to find ways to consume more.

And that in turn bolsters demand, which leads to higher prices, which brings us back to attempt to lower those prices through more innovations which are funded in order to increase production and consumption from which more profits are made (and which is the reason why investments are made in the first place), which again is based on the assumption of increasing demand, which brings us back to the start of this paragraph.

Jevon's paradox is well-understood on this forum.  No need to lecture the forum as if the readers were simpletons.  Yes, in unregulated systems higher efficiency/lower price will often cause an increase in total usage.  But this isn't a law of physics.  The only real question is what policies and incentives need to be in place to manage the phenomenon.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4984 on: September 29, 2020, 02:15:38 PM »
blu_ice:
So they are using obsolete data?
Tom, when you read deniers and shills, this is what you get.
Norman Rogers does nothing but attack renewables, always coming up with nonsense numbers and wrong reasoning.
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/08/nuclear_to_replace_wind_and_solar.html
Quote
Nuclear electricity is a young industry with a big future. That future is materializing in Asia given the successful propaganda campaign to make people afraid of nuclear in the U.S. and in much of Europe. Nuclear fuel is extremely cheap, around four times cheaper than gas or coal. Nuclear reactors don’t have smokestacks and they don’t emit CO2. New designs will dramatically lower costs, increase safety and effectively remove most of the objections to nuclear. It is an incredible contradiction that most environmental organizations advocate wind and solar and demonize nuclear. In the future nuclear may be cost competitive with natural gas.
The above is simply funny.
The below, not so much.
Quote
The global warming hysteria movement is surely one of the most successful junk science campaigns ever launched. Predicting a catastrophe is a great way for a science establishment to gain fame and money. The many responsible scientists that object are attacked, if not fired.  Money trumps ethics every time. The environmental movement needs looming catastrophes too, so they act as PR men for the science establishment. The tragedy is that our legislators swallow these lies and waste billions on boondoggles like wind and solar. It is ironic that increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere has a bountiful effect on plant growth, greening the Earth and increasing agricultural production. Rather than a threat, CO2 is a boon.

If you still believe in the global warming hysteria movement, you should face reality and dump wind and solar for nuclear.  Wind and solar are not appropriate for the problem they are assigned to solve. Nuclear is.

Please don`t post crap from deniers, and please avoid reading them.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4985 on: September 29, 2020, 02:30:32 PM »
I don’t believe in sticking my head in the sand. I will post arguments against renewables for rebuttal.
Edit: whether renewables are economic is not cut and dried, unlike whether AGW exists.
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4986 on: September 29, 2020, 02:39:11 PM »
I don’t believe in sticking my head in the sand. I will post arguments against renewables for rebuttal.
Edit: whether renewables are economic is not cut and dried, unlike whether AGW exists.

There aren't really worthwhile arguments against renewables, though there are challenges worthy of discussion.

What I read of the American Thinker piece was odious.  Complaining about subsidies for renewables when fossil fuels are intensely subsidized.  And that's before bringing in the granddaddy of all subsidies...

Every gallon of gasoline carries a very large subsidy consisting of the ability to produce CO2 and other pollutants while paying none of the cost of damage to our world.  Put this cost rationally on those responsible, and fossil fuel use will plummet.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4987 on: September 29, 2020, 03:25:26 PM »
blu_ice:
So they are using obsolete data?
Below is what the US EIA say about these subsidies. They exist and will reduce over time.
The 80 USD cost per MWH figure is from years ago.

Meanwhile...
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/06/15/united-states-spend-ten-times-more-on-fossil-fuel-subsidies-than-education/#17d3ad9d4473
United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education


______________________________________________________________
https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/pdf/electricity_generation.pdf
Quote
AEO2020 representation of tax incentives for renewable generation
Federal tax credits for certain renewable generation facilities can substantially reduce the realized cost of these facilities.

Production Tax Credit (PTC):
New wind, geothermal, and closed-loop biomass plants receive $24 per megawatthour (MWh) of generation; other PTC-eligible technologies receive $12/MWh. The PTC values are adjusted for inflation and applied during the plant’s first 10 years of service. Plants that were under construction before the end of 2016 received the full PTC. After 2016, wind continues to be eligible for the PTC but at a $/MWh rate that declines by 20% in 2017, 40% in 2018, 60% in 2019, and expires completely in 2020. Based on documentation released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), EIA assumes that wind plants have four years after beginning construction to come online and claim the PTC. As a result, wind plants entering service in 2021 will receive $19.20/MWh, and those plants entering service in 2023 will receive $9.60/MWh (inflation adjusted).

Investment Tax Credit (ITC):
In June 2018, the IRS issued Notice 2018-59, a beginning of construction guidance for the ITC. Based on the guideline, EIA assumes all solar projects coming online before January 1, 2024 will receive the full 30% ITC. Solar projects include both utility-scale solar plants—those with capacity rating of 1 megawatt (MW) or greater—and small-scale systems—those systems with a capacity
rating of less than 1 MW. All commercial and utility-scale plants with a construction start date on or after January 1, 2022, or those plants placed in service after December 31, 2023, receive a 10% ITC. The ITC, however, expires completely for residential-owned systems starting in 2022. Results in this levelized cost report only include utility-scale solar facilities and do not include small-scale solar facilities.

Both onshore and offshore wind projects are eligible to claim the ITC in lieu of the PTC. Although EIA expects that onshore wind projects will choose the PTC, EIA assumes offshore wind projects will claim the ITC in lieu of the PTC because of the relatively higher capital costs for those projects.
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crandles

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4988 on: September 29, 2020, 06:53:31 PM »
Can someone refute this?
The Real Cost of Wind and Solar
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/09/the_real_cost_of_wind_and_solar.html
Quote
The biggest and most important subsidy is not an explicit subsidy but a mandate. Thirty states have renewable portfolio standards. These are laws that require the utilities to supply a certain percentage of renewable power. For example, California has a law that 60% of its power must be renewable by 2030. The consequence of the mandate is that the utility has to grant whatever terms are required to convince investors to build the renewable power plants. In practice this results in the utility promising to purchase all the power generated for 25 years at a fixed rate. The contract is signed before a shovel of dirt is moved. Forcing utilities to buy renewable power puts the suppliers of renewable power in an advantageous position. The subsidy that reduces the cost from $80 to $25 are federal explicit subsidies, better financing, and lower required rate of return that results from having a 25-year contract in hand from a credit worthy utility. There is a federal tax credit that pays up to 30% of the plants cost. Additionally, there is a tax subsidy called tax equity financing that allows a highly taxed partner to the investor to divert money from the federal treasury to the project. This subsidy depends on special depreciation rules enacted by congress to subsidize renewable energy.
My background in economics is a Econ 101 class in 1976 and an accounting class in 1980. So go savage your favorite :-J news site.

If the prices being submitted by renewables was higher than by ff companies and the energy companies were accepting the higher prices then that would indicate this is an issue. But that isn't whats happening.

Survey after survey are showing renewables are cheaper and record low price follows record low price from renewables each time. eg
https://www.lazard.com/perspective/lcoe2019

so much so we are getting things like
"Almost 90% of new power in Europe from renewable sources in 2016"
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/09/new-energy-europe-renewable-sources-2016
for years.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4989 on: September 29, 2020, 10:06:52 PM »
All forms of energy are subsidized to some extent.  In the USA, this is usually done in the tax code (I'm not counting nuclear here, which is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers picking up the tab for insurance, that it wouldn't exist without that subsidy). 

The EIA updated their calculations for Levelized Cost of Electricity in February 2020 and included the subsidies for solar (wind subsidies phase out) entering service in 2025.  They didn't count any other subsidies, which are substantial, for depreciation, failure to pay for pollution costs or adequate bonding for capping leaky abandoned wells when the oil and gas companies go bankrupt.

If you removed the tax credit for solar, estimated at $2.41 per megawatthour, solar would still have the lowest LCOE.

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/pdf/electricity_generation.pdf

There are tables on page 6 (weighted averages by regions with proposed builds) and page 7 (unweighted averages).  It doesn't format properly when copied, so I'll just list the final results from the first table (the second is similiar and includes a few more higher cost types such as ultra-supercritical coal and advanced nuclear that are unlikely to be built due to thier high costs).

Numbers are $/MWHr

Plant Type        Levelized Tax Credit   LCOE including tax credit
Combined Cycle     N/A                                      $36.61
Geothermal            -$2.04                                   $35.44
Wind, onshore          N/A                                    $34.10
Wind, offshore          N/A                                    $115.04
Solar PV                 -$2.41                                  $30.39

So if you take away the tax credit for solar, the LCOE is still cheapest at $32.80.  And onshore wind is next cheapest with geothermal taking third.  Most types of fossil fuels aren't represented on this chart, because there are no proposed builds for those types of plants.

The State mandates were nice to have when renewables cost more than fossil fuels, but now they're irrelevant.  However, they do make it look like the politicians are doing something when they enact the mandates.  It would be far more effective to change the tax code to remove the subsidies or to require all industries, including renewable energy, to pay for their pollution.  Since renewables pollute far less than fossil fuels, the fossil fuels would complain that this would be a subsidy for renewables!

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4990 on: September 29, 2020, 11:17:54 PM »
In Maine, the northernmost of the mainland United States, solar is now comptitive with natural gas.

https://www.pressherald.com/2020/09/22/solar-wins-big-in-project-selection-to-advance-maines-clean-energy-goals/

Quote
September 22
Solar wins big in project selection to advance Maine’s clean energy goals

The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved contracts Tuesday for 17 renewable power projects as part of the state's effort to reduce fossil fuel consumption and advance climate goals.

Maine’s ambitious clean-energy and climate-fighting goals reached an important milestone Tuesday when the state Public Utilities Commission approved contracts for 17 renewable power projects – largely solar, but also wind, biomass and hydroelectric.

Taken together, the projects have a generating capacity of 492 megawatts. That represents the largest procurement of clean-energy initiated by the state at least since the 1980s and 1990s, when laws designed to reduce dependence on imported oil spawned a fleet of wood-fired, hydroelectric and waste-to-energy projects.

The process also highlighted how large-scale solar power has emerged as a cost-competitive alternative to fossil fuel generation. The average contract rate for the winning bidders was 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s near the historic market price for energy on New England’s grid, a rate typically set by natural gas-fired power plants.

Quote
The process provided further evidence of market interest in Maine, with projects representing hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment. Several developers had in recent months signaled their intent to build large-scale solar farms in Maine in the run-up to the PUC decision.

Quote
Noting new strategies to reduce climate change emissions by shifting home heating and transportation from petroleum to cleaner electricity, Payne said the projects approved by the PUC were essential to what advocates call the electrification of Maine’s economy.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4991 on: September 30, 2020, 07:31:59 PM »
In Europe, solar power is on track to be the largest power source in five years.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Solar-Could-Be-Europes-Top-Power-Source-In-5-Years.html

Quote
Solar Could Be Europe’s Top Power Source In 5 Years
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Sep 29, 2020

Solar power could be Europe’s biggest energy source in terms of installed capacity by 2025 if the European Union (EU) stays on track for its net-zero targets, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on SolarPower Europe’s Solar Power Summit on Tuesday.

Quote
According to SolarPower Europe, last year was the strongest year of solar capacity growth in the EU since 2010, with 16.7 gigawatts (GW) of installations added in the region—a 104-percent surge compared to the 8.2 GW capacity that the EU added in 2018. Spain was Europe’s largest solar market in 2019 in terms of capacity additions with 4.7 GW, followed by Germany with 4 GW, the Netherlands with 2.5 GW, France with 1.1 GW, and Poland, which nearly quadrupled its installed capacities to 784 MW.

Quote
Most recently, the European Commission laid out plans to increase the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target from the current 32 percent up to 38–40 percent.

“Solar has seen the largest cost reductions of any renewable technology, major efficiency gains and new innovations, such as floating solar and Agri-PV. This makes it a strategic technology that not only contributes to the objectives of the European Green Deal but creates jobs and development opportunities across all of Europe,” Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said, commenting on the planned new targets and the possibility of a more robust industrial strategy for advanced solar technologies.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4992 on: September 30, 2020, 08:03:34 PM »
Currently, three of the 50 United States have installed solar panels on unused highway land.  Up to 36 TWh of energy could be generated annually if this land was used for solar panel and the revenues could help fund transportation projects as gas tax revenues decline.

https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/bold-shoulders-how-america-could-boost-solar-power/



Quote
Bold shoulders: How America could boost solar power by 56% using idle highway land
29 September 2020 | By Rod Sweet

The US could harvest 36TWh of clean energy a year, worth some $4bn in revenue, if states put solar panels on the highway interchange rights-of-way (ROW) they own, a study has concluded.
Most states have more than 200 miles (322km) of ROW at interchanges, around 127,500 acres in area, that is suitable for solar development, finds a new, nationwide mapping tool developed by solar transport innovation group, “The Ray”, and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas, Austin.

Most states have more than 200 miles (322km) of ROW at interchanges, around 127,500 acres in area, that is suitable for solar development, finds a new nationwide mapping tool developed by solar transport innovation group “The Ray” and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Putting solar arrays on these patches of unused land would boost America’s total solar power output, currently standing at 69TWh, by 56.5%.

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The idea has already caught on, as three states are using highway property for renewable energy.

In February this year, Georgia became the third when the Georgia Power Company commercialised a one-megawatt solar array on the ROW at Exit 14 off Interstate 85 (pictured), which is known as “The Ray Highway”.

It has also piloted the use of native, flowering plants as ground cover within the array, making Georgia the first state in the nation to install pollinator-friendly ROW solar.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4993 on: September 30, 2020, 09:26:34 PM »
Ken, please try to avoid this confusion which is common and I suspect possibly intentional to give a good feeling about renewables:
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Europe’s biggest energy source in terms of installed capacity
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In Europe, solar power is on track to be the largest power source in five years.

The above statements are not the same. Solar has a lower capacity factor than natural gas power plants.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 02:43:23 AM by oren »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4994 on: October 01, 2020, 01:22:55 AM »
Oren,

It's not intentional, I quoted from the article which was discussing installed capacity.  We won't know how much power is generated until it's actually used. 

As we've been seeing this year with lower energy demand due to the pandemic shut-ins, fossil fuel power plants have been curtailed more than renewables because the "fuel" cost of renewables is free.  That decreases the capacity factor of the fossil fuel power plants.

In China, they build coal-fired power plants willy-nilly to keep workers employed.  Then those power plants are idled due to the energy surplus and higher cost to operate them.  Although the capacity factors of the power plants could be much higher in theory, they are often run less than 50% of the time.

Installed capacity is very important, it ultimately leads to power generation.  As fossil fuel plants age out they become more expensive to operate, so they are likely to be shut down rather than refurbished if there is enough installed capacity of a cheaper alternative, such as solar power, to replace them.

New investments in renewables have been outpacing fossil fuels for the past few years.  This is showing up now in installed capacity and will eventually show up in the electricity generation data too.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4995 on: October 01, 2020, 01:31:46 AM »
The linked article explains why efficiency and capacity factors are not very useful in comparing renewable energy sources to their more expensive fossil fuel competitors. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/11/08/is-solar-energy-less-efficient-than-non-renewables/#1954fc664d4a

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Nov 8, 2017,02:56pm EST
Is Solar Energy Less Efficient Than Non-Renewables?

Answer by Michael Barnard, low-carbon innovation analyst, on Quora:

Efficiency is an interesting concept when you talk about renewable energy. Mostly, it’s meaningless except as input to a more useful economic discussion.

Efficiency is a much greater factor for non-renewable energy sources because they have to pay for their fuel. Renewable sources don’t. The wind blows and the sun shines regardless of whether anyone puts up a solar or wind farm to capture it. The wind and sun are free resources.

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Solar and wind have another factor which is important for economics. While the wind and sun are free, they don’t blow all the time and aren’t always blowing or shining hard enough to make the wind farms and solar panels generate electricity at maximum potential. Over the course of a year, the ratio of actually generated electricity to potential maximum electricity is called the capacity factor.

For solar, the capacity factor ranges from 15% to 25% depending on where you are located and whether the panels follow the sun on (more expensive) trackers or not. For modern wind farms, capacity factors range from 40% onshore to 77% one year for the best offshore site. And now the very flexible wind and solar farms are sometimes curtailed because the much less flexible nuclear and other baseload forms of generation can’t be turned down quickly even though they often have much worse economics in many cases.

But even there, lots of legacy forms of generation have lower capacity factors. Nuclear is high at 90% because it can’t actually run at less than that capacity factor and pay for itself. Coal in the USA was at 60% or so a decade ago, but now it’s at 50% for the country because wind, solar and gas are cheaper so it can’t compete. Many gas plants are at 10% simply because they only turn them on to provide peak power at highest profit.

So wind and solar don’t have to be efficient, they just have to run enough over the course of time to pay for their capital costs. Their marginal operating costs are dirt cheap, much cheaper than coal and gas plants.

Efficiency being a problem is overrated.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4996 on: October 01, 2020, 01:43:57 AM »
In the US, renewables are reducing the capacity factors of coal fired power plants.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/coal-plants-increasingly-operate-as-cyclical-load-following-power-leading/571245/

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Coal plants increasingly operate as cyclical, load-following power, leading to inefficiencies, costs: NARUC

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Coal plants are increasingly operating as cyclical or load-following generation units, as the power market becomes more saturated with intermittent resources, according to a Jan. 24 whitepaper from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

Particularly in states with a high renewables penetration, such as wind-heavy Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, coal-fired power plant operations have changed dramatically, which poses physical and financial risks to the facilities, according to the paper. Overall coal capacity factors, or how much actual power the plants generate versus how much they're capable of generating, dropped to 54% in 2018, down from 74% in 2008.


oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4997 on: October 01, 2020, 03:12:41 AM »
Ken, to be clear I meant intentional at the source. But as an avid reporter of renewable energy news and developments, I think it would be best if you were to stress, when reporting, that something is meant by maximum capacity or by average energy generated.
While I'm at it, thank you for said reporting.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4998 on: October 02, 2020, 06:46:35 PM »
Physicists Build Circuit that Generates Clean, Limitless Power from Graphene
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-physicists-circuit-limitless-power-graphene.html
https://news.uark.edu/articles/54830/physicists-build-circuit-that-generates-clean-limitless-power-from-graphene



A team of University of Arkansas physicists has successfully developed a circuit capable of capturing graphene's thermal motion and converting it into an electrical current.

"An energy-harvesting circuit based on graphene could be incorporated into a chip to provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power for small devices or sensors," said Paul Thibado, professor of physics and lead researcher in the discovery.

The findings, published in the journal Physical Review E, are proof of a theory the physicists developed at the U of A three years ago that freestanding graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms—ripples and buckles in a way that holds promise for energy harvesting.

The idea of harvesting energy from graphene is controversial because it refutes physicist Richard Feynman's well-known assertion that the thermal motion of atoms, known as Brownian motion, cannot do work. Thibado's team found that at room temperature the thermal motion of graphene does in fact induce an alternating current (AC) in a circuit, an achievement thought to be impossible.

In the 1950s, physicist Léon Brillouin published a landmark paper refuting the idea that adding a single diode, a one-way electrical gate, to a circuit is the solution to harvesting energy from Brownian motion. Knowing this, Thibado's group built their circuit with two diodes for converting AC into a direct current (DC). With the diodes in opposition allowing the current to flow both ways, they provide separate paths through the circuit, producing a pulsing DC current that performs work on a load resistor.



Additionally, they discovered that their design increased the amount of power delivered. "We also found that the on-off, switch-like behavior of the diodes actually amplifies the power delivered, rather than reducing it, as previously thought," said Thibado. "The rate of change in resistance provided by the diodes adds an extra factor to the power." ...  "In proving this power enhancement, we drew from the emergent field of stochastic thermodynamics and extended the nearly century-old, celebrated theory of Nyquist," said coauthor Pradeep Kumar, associate professor of physics and coauthor.

The team's next objective is to determine if the DC current can be stored in a capacitor for later use, a goal that requires miniaturizing the circuit and patterning it on a silicon wafer, or chip. If millions of these tiny circuits could be built on a 1-millimeter by 1-millimeter chip, they could serve as a low-power battery replacement.

P. M. Thibado, et.al, Fluctuation-induced current from freestanding graphene, Physical Review E, (2020)
https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.102.042101
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4999 on: October 02, 2020, 09:32:11 PM »
Ever hear of 'perpetual motion machines'?
Just wow!
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