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sidd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ken Feldman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Yuha

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

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

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

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

[...]

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

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

[...]

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

Ken Feldman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ken Feldman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ken Feldman

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

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

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Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

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

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

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

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

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

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Four basic types of geothermal energy technology

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

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

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1) Conventional hydrothermal resources

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



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2) Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ken Feldman

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


crandles

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

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

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

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

Tor Bejnar

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

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

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

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

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Alexander555

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

KiwiGriff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BeeKnees

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

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

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

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

blu_ice

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

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

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

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

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

gerontocrat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote
September 9, 2020

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

By Ekaterina Kravtsova, Scott DiSavino

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

By Joe Lo

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5073 on: October 30, 2020, 08:47:05 PM »
Interesting report on how to maximise transition to renewables at cheapest cost.

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


The RethinkEnergy report raises some interesting questions about how our society will be changed by super cheap clean energy.

Quote
We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. Like most disruptions, this one is being driven by the convergence of several key technologies whose costs and capabilities have been improving on consistent and predictable trajectories – namely, solar photovoltaic power, wind power, and lithium-ion battery energy storage. Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030. Adoption of SWB is growing exponentially worldwide and disruption is now inevitable because by 2030 they will offer the cheapest electricity option for most regions. Coal, gas, and nuclear power assets will become stranded during the 2020s, and no new investment in these technologies is rational from this point forward. But the replacement of conventional energy technology with SWB is just the beginning. As has been the case for many other disruptions, SWB will transform our energy system in fundamental ways. The new system that emerges will be much larger than the existing one we know today and will have a completely different architecture that operates in unfamiliar ways. One of the most counterintuitive and extraordinary properties of the new system is that it will produce a much larger amount of energy overall, and that this superabundance of clean energy output – which we call super power – will be available at near-zero marginal cost throughout much of the year in nearly all populated locations. The SWB disruption of energy will closely parallel the digital disruption of information technology. Just as computers and the Internet slashed the marginal cost of information and opened the door to hundreds of new business models that collectively have had a transformative impact upon the global economy, so too will SWB slash the marginal cost of electricity and create a plethora of opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. What happened in the world of bits is now poised to happen in the world of electrons.

Quote
Policymakers, investors, civic leaders, and the general public are under the false impression that it is impossible for solar photovoltaics and wind power to supply 100% of the electricity in the United States without weeks’ worth of battery energy storage. This widespread misconception has been created by the failure of conventional models and forecasts to understand that future solar and wind generating capacity will greatly exceed the total electricity generating capacity installed today.

Quote
»  The construction of a 100% SWB system in the continental United States would cost less than $2 trillion over the course of the 2020s – just 1% of GDP – and would support millions of new jobs during that time.
»  The amount of super power produced by 100% SWB systems is so large that it could displace up to half of all fossil fuel energy use outside of the existing electric power sector.
»  100% SWB systems will not only eliminate virtually all greenhouse gas emissions from the existing electric power sector but will also reduce emissions by displacing fossil fuel energy use in other sectors – residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and agriculture – as well.
»  Combined with electric vehicles, a 100% SWB system could eliminate all fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in both the electricity sector and road transportation sector simultaneously, thereby mitigating half of the country’s total carbon footprint.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5074 on: October 31, 2020, 09:56:57 AM »
BBC also has an article on this:

Climate change: You've got cheap data, how about cheap power too?

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54723147
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5075 on: October 31, 2020, 03:46:45 PM »
Interesting report on how to maximise transition to renewables at cheapest cost.

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


Interesting but obvious problem(s) with the analysis doesn't seem to be addressed.

How do you get to their optimum lowest cost generation mix?

Renewables enter purchase agreements with distributors for all the power they produce. So if there is surplus these still get paid. So once you are starting to get lots of surplus power frequently, new investment in more generating capacity will get paid little so the investment won't be worth doing.

It may not be impossible to get around this. eg ban such purchase agreements and all generators get paid according to the country's usage. However the benefit of encouraging investment in the future may have effect of lowering future return of near term investments which may discourage investment in the short term. This doesn't seem ideal.

If there was some easy way around this then they should be making this issue clear, and showing how to get around it in order to encourage the needed changes to be made. Silence on this to me suggests they don't have a viable solution.


The often repeated a little extra investment yields a big increase in the super power seems to ignore that the marginal extra cost is substantial while the extra "super power" is of very little value. If you can sell it for 10% of normal rate then perhaps new businesses will pop up to use it but note that either they have to be prepared to stop all use at problem times or they have to pay highly increased rates so the extra charges can be used to persuade others to curtail demand. Anyway if all costs fall 50% from current levels and prices are only 10% that isn't going to make a good investment. Furthermore 10% price to new businesses may not even cover distributors extra costs let alone pay enough to generators to make the investment worthwhile. If you charge the distributors normal amounts (50% ish) plus 50% for the generator so ~75% normal electric price (without it being available all the time) then you won't sell very much of the "super power".


These issues seem to point towards investment stopping well short of their minimum cost optimum rather than possibly going beyond. This means more of the expensive battery storage is needed and that increases the average cost.

Interesting try and analysis but the problems are obvious.

In short, difference between average and marginal considerations can be important and this report just completely fails to address the marginal considerations.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5076 on: October 31, 2020, 05:03:38 PM »
Very good points crandles. When e.g. solar produces, all other solar does so as well, and marginal rate is low or even negative. One solution could be central planning/ownerahip of generating assets, storage and the grid. Another could be a minimum rate paid to producers regardless of supply (avoidance of negative prices). Another could be suppliers get paid for curtailment. Another could be that each new generator must come with some storage. But this  certainly must be addressed.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5077 on: November 01, 2020, 10:02:57 PM »
InsideClimate News: Advocates of the offshore wind farm proposed for Lake Erie say it will demonstrate the potential of the fledgling offshore wind industry. Opponents argue that the technology is too new, the project’s costs too high and the risks unclear.

https://t.co/l3J9bfcwB6
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5078 on: November 01, 2020, 10:41:18 PM »
Quote
In short, difference between average and marginal considerations can be important and this report just completely fails to address the marginal considerations.


The same funding options exist for renewables as for fossil fuels so this is really a non-issue. The last MW always costs the most irrespective of generation type.
[/color]How this is handled varies but is already being addressed. Whoever is the balancing authority for the grid pays for it or brownouts/rolling blackouts happen. 
[/color][/size]I think this is looking for a problem that does not exist.[/font]

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5079 on: November 01, 2020, 10:50:02 PM »
Naysayers always seem to expect that one must have a plan to solve all issues before starting anything. Replacing all fossil fuel generation in 15 years is pretty aggressive. With wartime like mobilization 10 years might be doable for the whole world. Individual countries could do it in 10 years.
[/color]
[/color]Step one build enough solar wind and batteries to get through most days. This involves some curtailment of generation and enough batteries to get through the night. Then use some fossil fuel generation to get through the rest of days. The ideal ratio here is market specific based on available resources. Many studies suggest 80-90% easily achievable and would be cheaper than current infrastructure. This should be easy to do quickly and profitably. Most grids are not even close to this number. This could reasonably done almost everywhere by 2030. 40% by 2025.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5080 on: November 01, 2020, 11:02:14 PM »
My local grid for 2019 was 95% carbon free. With 5% unknown generation purchased on the market and renewable energy credits purchased. That is up from 2018 which only had 1.8% unknown generation. The difference is how well generation matches demand during the year. Replacing the last bit is the most expensive.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5081 on: November 02, 2020, 12:26:35 AM »
Quote
In short, difference between average and marginal considerations can be important and this report just completely fails to address the marginal considerations.


The same funding options exist for renewables as for fossil fuels so this is really a non-issue. The last MW always costs the most irrespective of generation type.
[/color]How this is handled varies but is already being addressed. Whoever is the balancing authority for the grid pays for it or brownouts/rolling blackouts happen. 
[/color][/size]I think this is looking for a problem that does not exist.[/font]

The problem doesn't exist now when all the energy generated by wind and solar can be used by curtailing ff generation.

It will be a huge issue when/if we get lots more potential generation from wind and solar in a year than is actually used in a year (say twice). The generation will occur at the wrong time. Adding more wind and solar will mainly produce at times when it isn't needed.

If the existing facilities all have contracts for sale of their electric to the distributors, then the distributors won't agree to pay much for extra generation which is mainly useless. The distributors are likely to be much keener to pay gas peaker plants that produce only at times when generation is needed.

The report being talked about wants to not only get to ~3-5 time the electric generation than is needed to minimise storage costs but to perhaps even go further than that.

If current way of doing things continue then well before we get to double the wind and solar generation as is used, the investment money for further wind and solar generation will dry up because it doesn't make a profit.

 
>"Replacing the last bit is the most expensive."

Indeed it is yes. But what is more expensive, going from double the electric used being generatable by wind and solar facilities to triple the electric used (with 98% wasted the useful 2% costs 50 time more) or running gas peaker plants for the 5% of time needed (even if it is 10 times as expensive per MWh generation by then for energy generated but it all occurs at the right time)?

90% is easy the last 5% is hard.

I am not saying don't try to get there, we should try. I am just saying the report doesn't adequately address this problem which is likely to happen well before we reach 3-5 * usage generatable that they think is optimal. 

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5082 on: November 02, 2020, 01:23:44 AM »
My understanding of the UK is the CfD on renewables last 10-15 years and then a solar/wind farm is at the mercy of the market.  They cannot bid in the capacity market as that is for dispatchable sources only.

I believe this will result in older farms installing batteries so they can step into this market whilst also aim to profit from the prices at peak times.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5083 on: November 02, 2020, 02:18:09 PM »
@Ken. Edited repost, relevant to the marginal issue:

Grid demand is demand-right-now at the moment, but 30 to 50% will be demand-anytime-next-few-days in the future, for car battery charging.

Also worth looking at how much storage there will be in car batteries in the future
Say UK’s 40m cars have 90kWh each, 10 kWh used for daily commute, range useful for weekend trips.

Check my numbers:
40E6 x 80E3 = 3.2E12 Wh
Winter demand is c. 32E9 W
So there is 100 h or 4+ days’ winter demand available in the cars, in control of the owners, not reliant on the grid.

So not too hard to soak up excess production not needed for demand-right-now


Also how much dispatchable (hydro, biomas, H2, interconnector) is needed to cover 32GW if there was a renewables outage?

Not 32 GW.

If the 24h outage was known about 24h in advance, which is credible, only half.
16GW during the period of the outage, 16GW for the 24hs prior to charge up.

Even less if the forecast was 2 or 3 days in advance which is reasonable with the weather forecasts available these days.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5084 on: November 02, 2020, 09:28:05 PM »

The problem doesn't exist now when all the energy generated by wind and solar can be used by curtailing ff generation.

It will be a huge issue when/if we get lots more potential generation from wind and solar in a year than is actually used in a year (say twice). The generation will occur at the wrong time. Adding more wind and solar will mainly produce at times when it isn't needed.

If the existing facilities all have contracts for sale of their electric to the distributors, then the distributors won't agree to pay much for extra generation which is mainly useless. The distributors are likely to be much keener to pay gas peaker plants that produce only at times when generation is needed.

The report being talked about wants to not only get to ~3-5 time the electric generation than is needed to minimise storage costs but to perhaps even go further than that.

If current way of doing things continue then well before we get to double the wind and solar generation as is used, the investment money for further wind and solar generation will dry up because it doesn't make a profit.

 
>"Replacing the last bit is the most expensive."

Indeed it is yes. But what is more expensive, going from double the electric used being generatable by wind and solar facilities to triple the electric used (with 98% wasted the useful 2% costs 50 time more) or running gas peaker plants for the 5% of time needed (even if it is 10 times as expensive per MWh generation by then for energy generated but it all occurs at the right time)?

90% is easy the last 5% is hard.

I am not saying don't try to get there, we should try. I am just saying the report doesn't adequately address this problem which is likely to happen well before we reach 3-5 * usage generatable that they think is optimal. 
I see your point. I did not mean to imply you would resist increasing renewables. When considering the transistion based only on economics the last bit would only happen if costs (primarily capitol but O&M has some impact) for renewables become the same as or less than fossil fuels. Renewable capitol costs are much higher than ff capitol costs at this time. Renewables have much lower O&M costs and do not need fuel. FF assets that rarely run do not use much fuel. I was thinking  renewable costs are cheaper than ff. As utilization goes down fossil fuels get much cheaper because there is no fuel to buy. At the same time renewables cost about the same no matter how much they are used. 

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5085 on: November 03, 2020, 12:34:32 PM »
Hello,

I don't read regularly this  topic, so maybe I'm repeating something already discussed.

Did you already hear of vertical PV panels, East-West oriented, in order to produce electricity for the evening and the morning ?
https://www.next2sun.de/unser-konzept/
or in English
https://www.next2sun.de/en/homepage/

I find it a good idea.

Regards,

Etienne
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 04:50:49 PM by etienne »

Iain

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5086 on: November 03, 2020, 02:37:33 PM »
Yes, I have E/W panels on the house as well as South facing

The other advantage is that the E/W panels can share the same inverter, as they are never both producing at once.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5087 on: November 05, 2020, 03:38:27 PM »
World first: Dutch brewery burns iron as a clean, recyclable fuel

Many industries use heat-intensive processes that generally require the burning of fossil fuels, but a surprising green fuel alternative is emerging in the form of metal powders. Ground very fine, cheap iron powder burns readily at high temperatures, releasing energy as it oxidises in a process that emits no carbon and produces easily collectable rust, or iron oxide, as its only emission.

If burning metal powder as fuel sounds strange, the next part of the process will be even more surprising. That rust can be regenerated straight back into iron powder with the application of electricity, and if you do this using solar, wind or other zero-carbon power generation systems, you end up with a totally carbon-free cycle. The iron acts as a kind of clean battery for combustion processes, charging up via one of a number of means including electrolysis, and discharging in flames and heat.

more on:
https://newatlas.com/energy/bavarian-brewery-carbon-free-renewable-iron-fuel/

This is also a way to use (a part of) the excess energy. Maybe we could use this for peaker plants too?
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5088 on: November 06, 2020, 12:02:04 AM »
World first: Dutch brewery burns iron as a clean, recyclable fuel

Many industries use heat-intensive processes that generally require the burning of fossil fuels, but a surprising green fuel alternative is emerging in the form of metal powders. Ground very fine, cheap iron powder burns readily at high temperatures, releasing energy as it oxidises in a process that emits no carbon and produces easily collectable rust, or iron oxide, as its only emission.

If burning metal powder as fuel sounds strange, the next part of the process will be even more surprising. That rust can be regenerated straight back into iron powder with the application of electricity, and if you do this using solar, wind or other zero-carbon power generation systems, you end up with a totally carbon-free cycle. The iron acts as a kind of clean battery for combustion processes, charging up via one of a number of means including electrolysis, and discharging in flames and heat.

more on:
https://newatlas.com/energy/bavarian-brewery-carbon-free-renewable-iron-fuel/

This is also a way to use (a part of) the excess energy. Maybe we could use this for peaker plants too?
I love this idea. I used to work with titanium and one of the problems when machining it is spontaneous combustion. My first thought was I wonder if you could convert a coal plant. When I read the article they are working toward that goal. I think batteries make the best peaker plants because they can respond in fractions of a second. They can provide other generation services that make them more valuable then just energy storage.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5089 on: November 06, 2020, 08:19:27 PM »
Renewables are cutting emissions in Australia by displacing coal use.  For the 12 months ending in September, renewables generated more than 25% of the electricity in the National Energy Market.  Coal use is down more than 40%.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/05/renewables-cut-australias-emissions-more-than-covid-energy-analysis-finds

Quote
Renewables cut Australia's emissions more than Covid, energy analysis finds

Wind and solar displacing coal in the five states of the national energy market
Graham Readfearn
4 Nov 2020

Wind and solar power pushing out fossil fuel generation has cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions more than the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new analysis.

Renewable energy’s share of electricity generation also hit a record 26.5% across the five states forming the national energy market in the 12 months to the end of September.

Quote
Emissions from electricity generation, gas use and transport in the 12 months ending in July 2020 fell by almost 14 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents – a drop of 4.6% on the previous 12 months, the analysis shows.

Quote
The record share for renewables also meant a record low share for fossil fuel generation. Electricity from burning black coal also reached a record low of 40.5% of generation across the national market.

For the first time, Saddler says black coal’s contribution to electricity generation had dropped below 50% for four months in a row.

Renewable energy’s share of the demand for electricity continues to break records. During the middle of the day on 10 October, renewable generation, including rooftop solar, reached a record-high maximum of 53.6% of total demand for electricity.


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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5090 on: November 10, 2020, 06:56:09 PM »
The IEA is projecting that renewable electricity generation capacity will grow by 7 percent this year while energy demand decreases.  They project a 10% increase in installed renewable capacity next year.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/IEA-Renewables-To-Grow-7-In-2020.html

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IEA: Renewables To Grow 7% In 2020
By Charles Kennedy - Nov 10, 2020

Renewable power generation capacity will increase by 7 percent this year despite a 5-percent forecast decline in global energy demand, the International Energy Agency said in its Renewables 2020 report.

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Net installed capacity for renewable power generation will this year grow by 4 percent, according to the IEA, with China and the United States accounting for the biggest jumps, at 30 percent for each of the two countries. The global total at the end of this year, then, is expected to reach 200 GW.

Next year, however, the scales of most additions will tip to Europe and India, the IEA noted. As a result, total renewable capacity additions next year could rise by a record-breaking 10 percent.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5091 on: November 11, 2020, 12:15:23 AM »
The IEA is projecting that renewable electricity generation capacity will grow by 7 percent this year while energy demand decreases.  They project a 10% increase in installed renewable capacity next year.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/IEA-Renewables-To-Grow-7-In-2020.html


IEA prediction record for renewables has been dire
 
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/09/06/iea-gets-hilariously-slammed-continuously-pessimistic-renewable-energy-forecasts/

https://climatecrocks.com/2020/10/29/iea-cant-keep-up-with-falling-clean-energy-prices/

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5092 on: November 11, 2020, 05:07:25 AM »
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Moreover, it shows both onshore wind & solar PV were cheaper in 2019 than the IEA had projected a year ago for 2040. In other words, renewables costs reductions are now already beating previous forecasts for 2040… an outrageous 21 years ahead of expectations! That speaks for itself…
https://climatecrocks.com/2020/10/29/iea-cant-keep-up-with-falling-clean-energy-prices/
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5093 on: November 11, 2020, 09:45:34 AM »
IEA’s numbers are skewed but eia’s are about the same or worse. Not only are eia’s estimates overly optimistic for fossil fuels they have removed several things they used to make available on their website. What is available is harder to find. For the last few years they always estimate coal stabilizes at current levels and natural gas grows quickly for the next two decades. Also renewable energy growth slows down to slightly above stable.
Renewable power represents almost 90% of total global power capacity added in 2020  Techcrunch.com
In 2020 US renewable energy was up 9.7 GW while fossil fuels lost 2.4 GW Total US infrastructure is 1.1 TW. These are nameplate power so capacity factors are important. Because of capacity factors 2 watts of nameplate renewable produces roughly the same amount of power as 1 watt of fossil fuels.
I made a plot of running changes to net electric grid nameplate capacity since January 2015. The graph is a bit busy but I wanted to include all the details. Numbers above each line in the legend are total nameplate capacity on January 2015. Net losses in coal capacity cause the fossil fuel total to slowly shrink. At 35 GWH loss per 5 years it would take about 110 years though this number does not really tell the whole story. This is nameplate capacity so capacity factor plays a large role in actual generation. Total power consumption was flat from January 2013 to January 2016. Around January 2015 coal takes a downturn and renewables and natural gas pick up. It looks like natural gas growth is slowing down and may be stalling since about March 2019. While I may be seeing what I want to see that would be consistent with renewables becoming cheaper than fossil fuels around that time.
When looking at this graph another thing sticks out to me. Despite the narrative being pushed about natural gas replacing coal it appears to only be replacing half of coal. With capacity factors natural gas is replacing ¾ of coal generation. The other ¼ of generation replacing coal is coming from renewable energy.   It would be better if only renewable energy was used to replace coal generation.
 

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5094 on: November 14, 2020, 03:57:58 PM »
Iron Powder Passes First Industrial Test as Renewable, Carbon Dioxide-Free Fuel
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/iron-powder-passes-first-industrial-test-as-renewable-co2free-fuel



While setting fire to an iron ingot is probably more trouble than it’s worth, fine iron powder mixed with air is highly combustible. When you burn this mixture, you’re oxidizing the iron. Whereas a carbon fuel oxidizes into CO2, an iron fuel oxidizes into Fe2O3, which is just rust. The nice thing about rust is that it’s a solid which can be captured post-combustion. And that’s the only byproduct of the entire business—in goes the iron powder, and out comes energy in the form of heat and rust powder. Iron has an energy density of about 11.3 kWh/L, which is better than gasoline. Although its specific energy is a relatively poor 1.4 kWh/kg, meaning that for a given amount of energy, iron powder will take up a little bit less space than gasoline but it’ll be almost ten times heavier.

It might not be suitable for powering your car, in other words. It probably won’t heat your house either. But it could be ideal for industry, which is where it’s being tested right now.

Researchers from TU Eindhoven have been developing iron powder as a practical fuel for the past several years, and last month they installed an iron powder heating system at a brewery in the Netherlands, which is turning all that stored up energy into beer. Since electricity can’t efficiently produce the kind of heat required for many industrial applications (brewing included), iron powder is a viable zero-carbon option, with only rust left over.

https://teamsolid.org/

So what happens to all that rust? This is where things get clever, because the iron isn’t just a fuel that’s consumed— it’s energy storage that can be recharged. And to recharge it, you take all that Fe2O3, strip out the oxygen, and turn it back into Fe, ready to be burned again. It’s not easy to do this, but much of the energy and work that it takes to pry those O's away from the Fe's get returned to you when you burn the Fe the next time. The idea is that you can use the same iron over and over again, discharging it and recharging it just like you would a battery.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5095 on: November 14, 2020, 05:40:44 PM »
Meanwhile,

https://www.iea.org/reports/monthly-electricity-statistics to August 2020.

Still waiting for all this solar, wind, batteries, iron filings etc etc to show as electricity production pushing the use of coal and natural gas down. Looks like the US still burning excess coal stocks, should show up in the EIA data later this month.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5096 on: November 14, 2020, 09:18:02 PM »
Iron Powder Passes First Industrial Test as Renewable, Carbon Dioxide-Free Fuel
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/iron-powder-passes-first-industrial-test-as-renewable-co2free-fuel



So what happens to all that rust? This is where things get clever, because the iron isn’t just a fuel that’s consumed— it’s energy storage that can be recharged. And to recharge it, you take all that Fe2O3, strip out the oxygen, and turn it back into Fe, ready to be burned again. It’s not easy to do this, but much of the energy and work that it takes to pry those O's away from the Fe's get returned to you when you burn the Fe the next time. The idea is that you can use the same iron over and over again, discharging it and recharging it just like you would a battery.
Looks good, but I wonder if right now this is  not just a solution to get cheap energy from recycled iron. I'm surprised that the way back from rust to iron would not require much more energy than the other way. Perpetual movements don't exist.

For sure, it is a great solution for long term storage or to move energy around. An Exxon Valdez of iron powder wouldn't have been such an issue.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5097 on: November 14, 2020, 10:00:52 PM »
From 5087 above:
If burning metal powder as fuel sounds strange, the next part of the process will be even more surprising. That rust can be regenerated straight back into iron powder with the application of electricity, and if you do this using solar, wind or other zero-carbon power generation systems, you end up with a totally carbon-free cycle.

This is one of the ways we can leverage the excess power.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5098 on: November 14, 2020, 10:18:56 PM »
Maybe any waste iron that got into the atmosphere might be a good thing in some Southern Hemisphere locations ? Ocean productivity is sometimes iron limited so maybe iron pollution might help sink carbon by enhancing the biological pump.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2019JD030926

Wouldn’t it be almost perfect if an energy source that didn’t produce CO2 would enhance natural carbon sinks?

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5099 on: November 14, 2020, 10:23:05 PM »
In order to use all these solutions, humanity must first replace all electricity from fossil sources with renewable production by solar, wind and geothermal. It's nice that the technology is there but until energy is sustainable all these solutions will just be theoretical. So Gero's chart has a very long way to go.