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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5150 on: November 20, 2020, 09:21:55 AM »
I am happy with planning for 99% emission-free, rather than 100%, which makes the problem much easier to solve. It's the 80/20 rule but extended to 99/1.

I know that oren but there is a large and growing community who are not so pragmatic.
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NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5151 on: November 20, 2020, 10:26:09 AM »
We can easily use what we have and do not want to use to plug gaps in such emergencies.
How much gas plants would be needed?

Well, recently, the UK was lambasted for planning to build a new 3.6GW gas plant, the largest in Europe.  Interestingly that is also slightly larger nameplate than Hinckley Point C, although the capacity factor is lower.

Reality is that when renewables are low like this, for the UK, to remove Nuclear and with a very large renewable build out, we'd still need some 15GW to 20GW of gas capability with fast ramp characteristics.

Today we generate up to 24GW with gas as well as circa 6GW of Nuclear (potential is higher but they tend to use gas rather than peak nuclear), when renewables are low.  Assuming we triple the renewables (Renewable nameplate is already over 50% in the UK) and remove nuclear, we'll still need some 10GW of gas to be on tap.  This is assuming that the Interconnects in the plan are all delivered and someone else has spare renewable power to send us.

This is the challenge of deciding that we'll just keep "some gas peaker plants", to get around issues with renewables.  I'm not sure it's practical.  My goal has always been CO2 neutral power generation, rather than "green energy".  CO2 will kill us faster than our lack of "greenness".

Note I haven't even gone into the whole "energy independence" bit.  That requires trust and, as we see in a crisis like Covid, when things are hard, trust vanishes like snow on a bright, warm, sunny day.
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BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5152 on: November 20, 2020, 11:37:29 AM »
Today we generate up to 24GW with gas as well as circa 6GW of Nuclear (potential is higher but they tend to use gas rather than peak nuclear), when renewables are low.  Assuming we triple the renewables (Renewable nameplate is already over 50% in the UK) and remove nuclear, we'll still need some 10GW of gas to be on tap.  This is assuming that the Interconnects in the plan are all delivered and someone else has spare renewable power to send us.

Our Nuclear may have 9GW nameplate, but most of it is so old and unreliable it is no longer possible to exceed 6GW .
Hinkley B and Dungeness are both offline for repairs until next spring, Hunterston closes for good next year and Heysham is having to run at reduced capacity to manage fuel temperatures.

It's not a case of choosing to use gas over Nuclear, it's a case of ending up burning coal in the summer because Nuclear was unable to generate more than 4GW.

Renewable nameplate is irrelevant to this discussion, what matters is how much electricity it actually generates which is determined by capacity factor.  50% nameplate of solar would be 5-10% of demand, whilst 50% Wind is 20-30% of demand, so I really think we need to move away from this and talk in terms of actual capability. Especially as the capacity factors of newer wind and solar are far superior to those of what has been built to date and so scaling up historic renewables gives a false figure of how much electricity will be generated.

I agree we need gas or another dispatchable source to be on tap, which is why there is now investment in energy to gas, biodigestors and other longer term storage options that do not rely on burning fossil fuels.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 11:46:28 AM by BeeKnees »

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5153 on: November 20, 2020, 12:10:19 PM »
Renewable nameplate is irrelevant to this discussion, what matters is how much electricity it actually generates which is determined by capacity factor.  50% nameplate of solar would be 5-10% of demand, whilst 50% Wind is 20-30% of demand, so I really think we need to move away from this and talk in terms of actual capability.

But that's not "actual" capacity is it?  That's Average capacity.  Sometimes it is higher and other times it is much, much, lower.

This is the whole question in point for renewables.  Planners have to plan for the lowest possible scenario and how to mitigate it.

As wind and solar ramp up, that lowest point will be much higher.  But as we continue to decommission coal, gas and nuclear, the need for something to fill the gap becomes ever more evident.

BTW, December 2019 nuclear topped out just over 7GW.  This month nuclear topped out just over 6GW.
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BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5154 on: November 20, 2020, 12:53:47 PM »
But that's not "actual" capacity is it?  That's Average capacity.  Sometimes it is higher and other times it is much, much, lower.
It is the electricity generated by the source over a year and is therefore the amount of actual energy that can be utilised, either in real time or by generating storage.  This is not a figure you can obtain from the nameplate alone and so using this gives a false argument.

BTW, December 2019 nuclear topped out just over 7GW.  This month nuclear topped out just over 6GW.

You only need look at historic performance of nuclear to see the tail off in generation as it ages.  Hinkley C will barely cover the loss. 

2012 66TWh  -> 7.5GW average
2019 51TWh  -> 5.8GW average
Down 23% in seven years. 


NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5155 on: November 20, 2020, 01:54:23 PM »
It is the electricity generated by the source over a year and is therefore the amount of actual energy that can be utilised, either in real time or by generating storage.  This is not a figure you can obtain from the nameplate alone and so using this gives a false argument.

Yes it gives a false argument that the energy generated over a year can be used to cover a period of time when that same generating facility is generating only a few % points of it's installed capacity and a few more % points of its average capacity.

That is the point I'm making.

In the case of variable output renewables, the average capacity is irrelevant in planning for low output scenario's.

The Only figure relevant is just how low it goes and for how long.

So if 50% average gives 5% at low output time, then you need to find that power from elsewhere or build ten times the average generating power.

You can't get away from that and you can't argue it away.  It is one of those horrible little facts that completely screws up plans.
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BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5156 on: November 20, 2020, 02:42:06 PM »
Yes it gives a false argument that the energy generated over a year can be used to cover a period of time when that same generating facility is generating only a few % points of it's installed capacity and a few more % points of its average capacity.

That is the point I'm making.

In the case of variable output renewables, the average capacity is irrelevant in planning for low output scenario's.

The Only figure relevant is just how low it goes and for how long.


You are now arguing with yourself. 

If you use nameplate(installed capacity) for renewables then you know the maximum figure the renewable can generate is nothing like it and so we should both agree that it is not relevant to the argument, what is relevant is what it can generate.  Arguing that 100MW solar wont meet 100MWh of demand is just pointing out the obvious, whilst highlighting that it will provide an average of 15MWh which varies beween zero and it's maximum is extremely relevant.

Current renewable generation has virtually never exceeded demand in the UK and while this is the case every new renewable added reduces fossil fuel use, that is extremely relevant.  Whether it be at a time when renewables perform well or poorly.

I don't care how many gas power stations are sitting on standby, what I care about is minimising when they are used and what they burn when they are used.  Eventually reaching a point when it is either never or the fuel used is from a renewable source.

So if 50% average gives 5% at low output time, then you need to find that power from elsewhere or build ten times the average generating power.

This is key, the elsewhere is from excess renewables at other times.  You do not build ten times generating power and then have 900% curtailment for large periods of time when renewables perform well.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5157 on: November 20, 2020, 03:12:52 PM »
The argument is getting ahead of itself. The main question is what to do incrementally now, and the answer is obvious. Add solar and/or wind, depending on your country's specific characteristics, until they start being curtailed seriously because of overbuild. Complement them with existing nuclear and hydro where possible, and with existing fossil fuel plants, preferably as dispatchable as possible. Build the grid where it's needed, e.g. transmission lines from desert areas or sea platforms to urban centers.
That's it, so simple, no need to argue.
When the solar and wind enter serious curtailment, or before that if possible, start adding large grid batteries of a few hours worth of energy, to bridge the gap between day and night and between wind highs and lows. This process will keep reducing the total GHG emissions.
All the rest is quite far into the future. There's at least 5 or even 10 years where adding renewables as fast as possible is the correct first step, with batteries as the second step.

BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5158 on: November 20, 2020, 03:26:38 PM »
I would add to this Oren, some countries that are already seeing significant excess and curtailment
need to start transitioning the existing gas power and storage towards hydrogen / biogas mix now.  Not just look at batteries as the solution.

https://www.powermag.com/ge-will-decarbonize-unipers-gas-power-fleet/

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5159 on: November 20, 2020, 09:31:49 PM »
Storing hydrogen created by excess solar/wind for use in an electricity producing facility would just be a form of battery (maybe for the proverbial week of heavy overcast calm in Srinagar).  Using that hydrogen for some process that requires heat (iron ore smelting, lets say) would be applying a different business model.  The 900% curtailment (on occasion) concept would open up a business opportunity to create a great deal of hydrogen for industry or transportation. (etc.)
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sidd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5160 on: November 21, 2020, 07:59:47 AM »
Hydrogen is more difficult than it looks.  For my sins, i dealt with a lot of high pressure hydrogen and that instilled great respect.

Embrittlement has mostly been solved, but high pressure hydrogen requires very tight precautions against static electricity sparks. The flame in air at STP is almost invisible, and very very hot. If it leaks without burning, it forms  explosive concentrations in air between 4% and 94%, one of the the widest range of flammable gases, i cannot recall a larger range. The good part is if allowed, it goes straight up, being the lightest gas. But you really don't want anything above 4% (in fact you dont want any %) anywhere with electric. For example while recharging lead acid cells.

All that said, i knew a Japanese engineer (deceased now, not from Toyota) with whom i had some detailed conversations about a decade ago on the Japanese efforts towards deploying hydrogen as a fuel. They were further along than was generally known, and while he agreed that replacing gas stations in the USA with hydrogen would be a huge engineering effort, he indicated that stationary storage was really a solved problem. So i imagine reading the Japanese literature might be educational if one were to take hydrogen seriously as spill dump for overbuilt wind and solar.

sidd
 

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5161 on: November 21, 2020, 10:51:13 AM »
For me there is no point in discussing 100% v 85% any longer. Let's leave it a decade and we can see how it pans out.

Then we can see if the grids are stronger or weaker, if the political environment moved right or left on climate and whether we just wasted yet another decade or moved with large strides towards our goal.

My view will remain the same, we should move as far and fast as possible to CO2 neutral power. That power will always be heavily renewable.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5162 on: November 21, 2020, 05:29:19 PM »
Although I wrote about "hydrogen", there are certainly numerous ways of storing energy from 'otherwise curtailed' electricity; hydrogen is just so romantic. ::) [Yeah, I know about the Hindenburg. :( ]  I recall someone responding to a 'hydrogen' rant of mine some time ago with something like, "There are much more efficient ways of storing energy that 'started out' as electricity."

I agree with Neil that "too much solar/wind power" cannot possibly be a problem for quite some time.  And when that time comes, industry will figure out how to use the 'excess' and us plebeians will be none the wiser (unless we continue reading this thread...  :o).
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gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5163 on: November 21, 2020, 06:21:50 PM »
Although I wrote about "hydrogen", there are certainly numerous ways of storing energy from 'otherwise curtailed' electricity; hydrogen is just so romantic. ::) [Yeah, I know about the Hindenburg. :( ]  I recall someone responding to a 'hydrogen' rant of mine some time ago with something like, "There are much more efficient ways of storing energy that 'started out' as electricity."
I want to see an Armada of enormous flywheels - bigger than the London Eye stretched across the urban landscape.



No, not that one. Prettier than that with some classy ball bearings on the axle and an electric motor / generator. Should be a much more efficient mechanism for saving electrical energy and converting it back to electricity
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Sebastian Jones

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5164 on: November 22, 2020, 04:58:09 AM »

I want to see an Armada of enormous flywheels - bigger than the London Eye stretched across the urban landscape.


Great idea! All those weirdo birders would not have anything to complain about because if a bird hits a flywheel rotating at barely subsonic speeds, it simply vanishes!

Wildcatter

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5165 on: November 22, 2020, 06:24:45 AM »
Haha, yeah. We have to have hydrogen, and a lot of it. It's not an "if", it's a "there is no 0-carbon economy without a load of it". Even Spain, likely needs about 20GW, they'll end up with more of course.

Texas alone will see over $100 billion in the hydrogen ecosystem over the next 15 years, it'll come in torrents around 2027-2035. Globally, about $1 trillion.

That's why every major turbine manufacturer is working on turbines that can fire off a variety of mixes with hydrogen/natural gas, up to 100%. I'd bet $10,000 that by 2030, at least 10 turbines around the world are mixes with 5-6 more under construction or in process of refurbishing natural gas generators for it, 2035 we'll see about 10+ that transitioned to 100% hydrogen fired and 25+ mixed. It's going to turn into a flood.

The future of green hydrogen is dirt cheap, it'll be on price parity with natural gas pretty much everywhere in 20 years, and sooner in places that put in place the mechanisms to actually build renewable generation most efficiently. In 15 years in Texas, the oil & gas state, it'll reach price parity, might even be cheaper. We're headed to single digit $/MWh by 2030, green hydrogen producers will buy those off-take contracts. If at any point a breakthrough in catalyst engineering comes through, which it probably will because green hydrogen was always a novelty while competing against maybe the most powerful industry in the world, everyone will reach price parity sooner. Needless to say, good enough.

They're going to go up (or moreso refurbishing of existing natural gas generators) all over the world. Because it's a perfect scenario. Really, it's a gift. You couldn't ask for anything better for a roadmap. Green hydrogen, and its ecosystem, has to scale, there is no other option. To scale, you have to start at home. You have to actually produce and use it, weave its path into industry, like a, I don't know, "transition"  :D

So you're hopefully integrating ever cheaper renewable generation, market adding ever cheaper batteries, flowing green hydrogen from ever cheaper electrolyzers into ever more transitioned industry, mixing it into natural gas networks up to a certain %, and it just so happens you can also scale up hydrogen production and lower emissions + balance grid as needed by firing it off in turbines that would be firing off 100% natural gas instead. Ah yeah, that's the stuff. Electrolyzers will also largely be allowed some flexibility, pulling moreso from grid if renewable generation is leading to really low wholesale, so it also provides an additional mechanism for electricity market price stability (along with batteries), which helps facilitate more renewable generation with better project economics. That could really encourage more entities to install when they might not have otherwise, with renewables getting ever cheaper and obviously electricity demand is going to increase substantially if we're doing our jobs, so then you also have ever cheaper batteries and electrolyzers which leads to better potential project economics for marginal renewable generation.

So, that's how it's going to work, or should work anyway. And no one is even looking at 2019-2020 random days trying to project out 15-20 years. A 0-carbon grid won't look anything like today, aside from the fact every major grid in Europe could easily have 250GWh+ battery grid capacity in 20 years, 40-50GW of electrolyzers, and a whole smorgasboard of hydrogen turbines firing varying mixes, if they actually update their onshore wind turbines in the 2030s they'll also have ~50% capacity factor wind, probably more in areas. No one has any idea what the hell this is going to look like with electricity demand also having to at least double or triple, the point is to build and integrate, as far as wind, you keep raising fleet capacity factors by actually using new industry best practices, every year, you transition and in doing your job you take chunks out of "no wind/low wind" times just by doing what you should do. The UKs average onshore wind capacity factor was 26% in 2019, with some of the most power dense winds in the world on average, and onshore wind is essentially banned entirely across the whole of England for years now (how FF + idiots always crater an industry, insane regulation and delays with 0 help. and not the Scots, although they finally figured out they have to actually implement industry best practices about 12 months ago), whereas new projects today would be about 40% capacity factors if built to spec, repowering too and could probably get even higher than that at those premium sites but no one can even go repower because they have ridiculous requirements with 3-5 year delays. and all the guys I know there when I did some work with BP London are saying their fellow Brits are a bunch of "daft posh prats". Not sure what that means, but yeah.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 06:36:32 AM by Wildcatter »

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5166 on: November 23, 2020, 12:44:55 AM »
It won't be a single technology that fills the renewable gap but a mix of them. Batteries to extend solar through the night. For midterm storage Flow batteries might work. A regeneration fuel for longer term storage (hydrogen, ammonia and Iron(or other metals) are currently competing for this. Gravity storage might also work in some locations. Flywheels originally looked helpful for frequency control but new control circuits for batteries may eliminate the need.  New base storage deep geothermal (uses fracking innovations to drill deeper and more controlled) or some flavor of nuclear (not my favorite option but includes small modular, conventional and thorium eventually maybe fusion). In some locations run of river can provide baseload. While limited by location these tend to have minimal seasonal variations. But most are not even close to a point were much more than a few batteries are sufficient right now.




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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5167 on: November 23, 2020, 01:16:02 AM »
@ wildcatter
Ammonia or Iron powder or another storage fuel may be a far better solution. It may end up being necessary but it is not guaranteed. I don't like hydrogen because it is currently cheaper to produce from fossil fuels than from renewable energy. If instituted it will most likely derail the transition for a decade or more. It is also a safety risk that requires vigilance to mitigate the risk. Since companies will always be under pressure to cut costs if adopted I would expect occasional explosions. Substantial storage requires cooling to -258 C  or geological features that limit possible locations. Obtaining and maintaining those temperatures adds a significant cost on storage.

sidd

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5168 on: November 23, 2020, 05:55:59 AM »
Re: hydrogen cold storage

I didnt really want to get into this but i did mention that hydrogen was tricky.  There is a reason why hydrogen is usually stored at hi pressure as opposed to low temperature.

Nominal liquefaction point at 1 atmosphere is around 20K and freezing point is 14K. Thats a window of just 6K and those numbers change drastically with pressure. So, you have to maintain both temperature and pressure within strict bounds. It's very easy to suddenly wind up with solid hydrogen which has horrid thermal conductivity and equilibration times compared with liquid. I been in that movie ...

To get to those temperatures with good control, you will need a liquid helium refrigerator. And very good cryogenic tankage. And very very good temp/pressure control. Yes i know, you can make liquid H2 with a jet engine compressor and store it in insulated tanks, but every design i have seen has several percent loss per day in boiloff without  active refrigeration, which means a helium refrigerator. And without active refrigeration, you must maintain tankage fill, cant let it get too low, or else it will very easily flash to vapor and you will have what is delicately termed a "vent incident." So your maintenance on the liquefier better be top notch or you better have two, they are custom builds with delivery time on the order of six months to a year.

Then you got all the safety precautions.  Where is the vent going, you are going to have boiloff in the best designs. Non sparking electric. Non sparking wrenches and fittings. Detectors and thermal cameras all over the place. Pumping hydrogen around in any phase another fun thing, check out prices and delivery times for hydrogen rated pumps. To add to the fun, at those temperatures any insulation breach will lead to frost bumps of frozen air, 20% oxygen frost. After you isolate the plumbing and warm it up, you must watch carefully because as it melts you may have liquid oxygen drips falling on inflammables, and everything is inflammable with oxygen.

In short, cryostorage is expensive. Judging by the Japanese literature, hi pressure seems to be winning especially for cars. BMW tried a liquid H2 car, dunno what happened, they dont seem to talk about it any more. But for stationary storage, yes it might be possible. But i wouldnt go with cryostorage, i'd go with hi pressure for stationary storage too. Cryogenics just adds more failure points and doesnt seem to justify the cost.

Best of all would be to combine it with CO2 capture and just make methanol or butanol or what the hell, diesel.

This has got far too long. Sorry, but this brings back memories ....


sidd
 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 06:49:07 AM by sidd »

Simon

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5169 on: November 23, 2020, 08:36:02 AM »
Excellent review article by BMW on fcev cars and the relative advantages or otherwise of hydrogen as a fuel

https://www.bmw.com/en/innovation/how-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cars-work.html


BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5170 on: November 23, 2020, 09:26:05 AM »
The talk seems to be that to use existing infrastructure then storing Hydrogen at pressure is the best\safest way, the downside is the amount of energy stored is a third of conventional FF gas and therefore the flow into a gas turbine needs to be three times higher.

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5171 on: November 23, 2020, 11:17:03 AM »
The abstract from an article I found on H2 states.

Quote
In our reference scenario, the RHFC system has an ESOIe ratio of 59, more favorable than the best battery technology available today (Li-ion, ESOIe = 35). (In the reference scenario RHFC, the alkaline electrolyzer is 70% efficient and has a stack lifetime of 100 000 h; the PEM fuel cell is 47% efficient and has a stack lifetime of 10 000 h; and the round-trip efficiency is 30%.)


https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2015/ee/c4ee04041d#!divAbstract


On the other hand, liquid cryogenic Air, is.

Quote
between 60 and 70 percent efficient


https://futurism.com/the-byte/facility-will-stores-wind-power-compressed-air

If cryo air has a vent event, it's venting air, which has no particular environmental issue other than rebalancing the atmospheric temperature as it changes state.

At 30% round trip, H2 is not exactly very efficient.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5172 on: November 23, 2020, 04:41:29 PM »
Ammonia on route to fuel ships and planes
Carbon-neutral ammonia could be a drop-in replacement for fossil fuels
by Alex Scott
August 12, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 31 - Chemical and Engineer News

Quote
So-called green ammonia is made by reacting nitrogen separated from air with hydrogen made by wind- or solar-powered water electrolysis. It could be an environmentally friendly fertilizer or, backers say, a safe, low-emissions fuel for ships and planes.
...
Green ammonia would be a cheaper fuel for the shipping industry than hydrogen made from renewable energy because it is easier to store and can be burned in standard internal combustion engines. Nitrogen oxides—the only greenhouse gases emitted by the combustion of ammonia—could be eliminated by installing catalytic systems ...
...
Conventionally made ammonia is already stored and handled in 120 ports around the world, meaning it can easily be made available for shipping, the report concludes.

Green ammonia is also being lined up as a fuel for airplanes. The British aircraft-engine manufacturer Reaction Engines says it is working on a fuel system in which ammonia is exposed to a catalyst that splits it into nitrogen and hydrogen, with the latter burned in the aircraft engine.

Ammonia has the advantage over hydrogen in that it can be stored in an aircraft’s wing, as kerosene is today. Ammonia is, however, less energy dense than kerosene, so its use would be limited to short-haul flights.
...
Article mentions some cost projections - about 2-3x FF costs 'now' and parity in 20 years.  Because ammonia is "a major global commodity" now, expanding its use will not strain 'the system' as some technologies would.

I never knew hardly any of this!

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5173 on: November 23, 2020, 11:20:06 PM »
Long term storage does not need to be very efficient. Although more efficient is better. high pressure air seems more like a short term energy storage due to the need for a high pressure tank. Longer term storage can be achieved with sealed cavern but that severely restricts where it can be used. It may replace short term grid batteries. I think this makes more sense then large caverns with hydrogen storage.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5174 on: November 24, 2020, 06:43:35 PM »
African countries are installing a lot of renewable capacity.  Installed capacity will increase from 12.6 GW in 2019 to 51.2 GW by 2025.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/How-Africa-Became-A-Hotspot-For-Renewable-Energy.html

Quote
How Africa Became A Hotspot For Renewable Energy
By Rystad Energy - Nov 23, 2020

Africa’s installed capacity of renewable energy, which stood at 12.6 gigawatt (GW) in 2019, is set for consecutive years of growth, a Rystad Energy analysis shows. The continent’s capacity is forecast to reach 16.8 GW in 2020, add another 5.5 GW in 2021, and further climb to 51.2 GW in 2025, led by growth in solar and wind projects in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Ethiopia.

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Nearly 40 out of 50 African countries have installed – or plan to install – wind or solar projects. And although the learning curve may be steep for first-time market entrants with sizable development pipelines, inexperienced players will be able to leverage the lessons learned in Egypt, South Africa and Morocco and implement this knowledge into development plans.

Algeria will see the most renewable growth in Africa towards 2025, increasing capacity from just 500 megawatt (MW) in 2020 to almost 2.9 GW in 2025. The increase will come primarily from one mega-project, the 4 GW Tafouk 1 Mega Solar Project, which will be developed in five phases of 800 MW capacity each, to be tendered between 2020 and 2024. Rystad Energy expects three of the tendered projects with 2.4 GW of capacity will be commissioned by 2025.

Tunisia will also see formidable growth, skyrocketing from 350 MW of renewable capacity in 2020 to 4.5 GW in 2025. The additions will come from larger solar plants such as the 2 GW TuNur Mega Project, which is currently in the early stages of development and is expected to come on line by 2025.

Quote
The cost of renewables is at an all-time low now, and as larger markets such as China, India and Europe are on track to reach installation targets, wind and solar components will become ever cheaper and more easily accessed, creating a conducive environment for investment also in Africa.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5175 on: November 25, 2020, 06:35:50 PM »
Enel, a large utility in Italy, plans to invest $190 billion in renewables and grid upgrades by 2030.  A Spanish utility is also investing $89 billion in renewables and grid upgrades.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/European-Utility-Giant-To-Invest-190-Million-In-Renewable-Infrastructure.html

Quote
European Utility Giant To Invest $190 Billion In Renewable Infrastructure
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Nov 24, 2020

Italy’s Enel plans to invest as much as US$190 billion (160 billion euro) by 2030 in boosting renewable power generation, decarbonization, and grid infrastructure as part of a new plan to become a “Super Major” in renewables, Europe’s largest utility said on Tuesday. 

Quote
Of all planned investments, Enel will invest US$83 billion (70 billion euro) in renewables, expecting its total installed capacity in renewables to reach 120 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. This would be 2.7 times higher than its currently installed renewable capacity of around 45 GW.

The utility also targets to reach an 80-percent reduction in direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions versus 2017.

Quote
The Italian company is the latest utility pledging significantly increased investments in renewables. Most recently, Spain’s Iberdrola said it would invest US$89 billion (75 billion), with more than half of the investment increase, or 51 percent, going to renewables and 40 percent to networks. This is the largest investment program of a Spanish company in history, the firm said earlier this month.

NeilT

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5176 on: November 26, 2020, 12:33:04 PM »
Most of the EU is signed up to be carbon neutral by 2050.  The earlier they get started, the less rush there will be at the end.

Of course large public spend is in vogue right now to try and fight Covid.  So it's a win/win for renewables.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5177 on: November 26, 2020, 03:49:40 PM »
USA Energy data from the EIA to August 2020

I attach 2 graphs -

- USA wind + solar power generation since 2000,
- USA primary energy consumption by source since the year 2000.

I guess if this decade was not regarded as the last chance saloon, one might say "satisfacory progress".
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5178 on: November 26, 2020, 03:55:27 PM »
Electricity consumed in trillion BTU. Why not kWh? These folks are weird.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5179 on: November 26, 2020, 04:23:29 PM »
Electricity consumed in trillion BTU. Why not kWh? These folks are weird.
I prefer that, as I can see what the different sources contribute to the total.
Different measures would make it hard to see how they compare.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5180 on: November 26, 2020, 04:46:52 PM »
Electricity consumed in trillion BTU. Why not kWh? These folks are weird.
I prefer that, as I can see what the different sources contribute to the total.
Different measures would make it hard to see how they compare.
Electricity consumed in trillion BTU. Why not kWh? These folks are weird.
Most of the EIA tables are in BTU, so that is what I've used as my standard.
The main table for coal is in '000 short tons. Not very helpful, but the EIA site has the conversion factors to heat content.

The EIA also does a table of electricity production in KwH (attached)
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5181 on: November 26, 2020, 05:07:37 PM »
The EIA also does a table of electricity production in KwH (attached)
Thanks, I think this is the only useful chart. BTU and primary energy are not applicable on an apples-to-apples comparison for wind and solar, and tend to minimize their contribution.

BeeKnees

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5182 on: November 26, 2020, 06:52:11 PM »
World's largest offshore wind farm has now had financing approved.

Dogger bank is going to be an interesting one to watch as the CfD is very close to wholesale prices and so the development could end up paying the government instead of recieving a subsidy.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5183 on: November 26, 2020, 07:06:50 PM »
The EIA also does a table of electricity production in KwH (attached)
Thanks, I think this is the only useful chart. BTU and primary energy are not applicable on an apples-to-apples comparison for wind and solar, and tend to minimize their contribution.
I completely disagree.

Energy for electricity production is less than half the total use of energy in the USA. If the object of the exercise is zero carbon energy, then only showing electricity production exaggerates, i.e. more than doubles, the contribution of renewable energy and the progress made so far to zero-carbon energy.

BTU is a unit of energy. KwH is a unit of energy. As long as the tables are consistent, the choice of unit does not matter.

EDIT - as can be demonstrated by the attached graph
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 07:37:43 PM by gerontocrat »
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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5184 on: November 26, 2020, 07:46:02 PM »
I agree about electricity being far from the whole story. And yet, primary energy includes waste heat. To replace gasoline with renewable electricity, one would use far less primary energy. To replace a coal plant with solar, one would use far less primary energy.
This should have been useful primary energy, or amount of "work" done by type of energy source. As it is, it artificially inflates inefficient sources and puts down efficient sources.

BTW, should primary energy from solar include all the sun's energy that passes through the PV panel? If not, one should not include waste heat released during coal electricity generation.

gerontocrat

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5185 on: November 26, 2020, 08:14:59 PM »
I agree about electricity being far from the whole story. And yet, primary energy includes waste heat. To replace gasoline with renewable electricity, one would use far less primary energy. To replace a coal plant with solar, one would use far less primary energy.
This should have been useful primary energy, or amount of "work" done by type of energy source. As it is, it artificially inflates inefficient sources and puts down efficient sources.

BTW, should primary energy from solar include all the sun's energy that passes through the PV panel? If not, one should not include waste heat released during coal electricity generation.
A main reason I use primary energy consumed is because so much is wasted. These postings could be seen as Stage 1 - simply posting the sources of energy consumed. The main purpose is to show that solar+wind in the USA is still a minor, though growing, player in the market while coal is quickly dying.

Stage 2 would logically be an analysis of energy consumed analysed between waste and useful(?) output.
But you tell me where I can find a generally accepted calculation of the wasted energy from the average US coal plant, and natural gas plant?

Stage 3 is then the calculation and demonstration of that an increase of n gwh from renewable energy can lead to probably at least a reduction of 2n gwh consumption of primary energy from fossil fuels.

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oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5186 on: November 26, 2020, 10:44:05 PM »
Indeed my beef is with the EIA that insists on a metric that boosts inefficient energy sources and penalizes renewables. I don't have a qualified source for the required numbers.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5187 on: November 29, 2020, 06:06:37 AM »
I agree Oren kwh is apples to apples Where coal only converts about 40% of heat to electricity natural gas 60% and oil 20%. renewables approach 100%. there are also losses on the consumption side but  they are the same for all sources. If fossil fuel is used directly for heat 80 to 90 something percent is used. If a heat pump is used for  heat new heat pumps are between 250% to 367% efficient. Ground sourced heat pumps are even better. eia gathers all this info but they do not present it in a way that fairly compares renewables to fossil fuels. The most recent estimates of 20 40 and 60% or 80 to 96% if used should be applied to adjust the primary energy of fossil fuels downward. renewables dont have that adjustment. the point is a fair primary energy comparison should be more like usable energy. primary energy substantialy downplays those factors.


numbers given in this post are aproximations from memory and may be a bit off.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5188 on: November 29, 2020, 11:53:05 AM »
I present two charts the traditional one by eia is primary energy. The problem with this chart is all of the values except renewable energy need adjustment for heat capacity. Those production side losses make a huge difference in usable energy. The careful observer will note that I did not apply a heat capacity factor to renewable energy. There is a reason for this when renewable energy is reported the value of pre-production energy is not the metric recorded. For Hydro this would be the potential energy of water due to gravity.  The efficiency of this conversion from potential energy to electrical energy is useful for engineering purposes but is rarely determined outside of plant design. Most renewable energy is recorded in a similar fashion.
Sidebar: I can think of one exception biomass. In the US it does not represent a major source of energy and I don’t really consider it renewable. Technically it could be but that would require a more natural use of biomass than is employed in industrial farming. Besides it negates the years of carbon storage potential of vegetation.
One may also note that heat factor does not consider consumption side losses however those loses are use specific and not related to which energy source is used.
 
Note to Gerontocrat: I used table 1.3 primary energy consumption by source for primary generation this is produced monthly. I also used table_a6_approximate_heat rates… this is produced annually. I did the multiplication of the two numbers and graphed it. Both tables come from the monthly energy report and not the electricity report. Use or don’t use this information as you see fit. 
 

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5189 on: November 29, 2020, 09:00:57 PM »
Where coal only converts about 40% of heat to electricity natural gas 60% and oil 20%. renewables approach 100%.

This is true but still not a complete picture. There is another side of the coin. Although renewable energy doesn't have much heat loss, it is not reliable or dispatchable at will. Renewables can add capacity to a grid, and remove a lot of the need for FF burning, but the base capacity has to be FF, nuclear, or hydro.

In my mind, that more or less balances out the heat loss dimension.
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GoSouthYoungins

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5190 on: November 29, 2020, 09:11:32 PM »
People seem to think that exponential growth of wind and solar indicate a coming change in global energy consumption. Y'all are incorrect.

Unfortunately, renewables are just a tiny derivative of an enormous fossil fuel driven industrial global economy. Never has renewable growth supplanted fossil fuel growth. Reality shows that at least ten fossil fuel units of energy need to be added to see a single renewable unit added.

Countries can try domestic policies to pretend to be moving away from fossil fuels, but they are honestly just outsourcing the burning. The atmosphere is global. Emissions matter globally. From this perspective, there is no good news.
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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5191 on: November 29, 2020, 09:24:12 PM »
From October.  I don’t find that this has been posted:

South Australia Got 100% Of Its Electricity From Solar For 1 Hour
October 28th, 2020
Quote
Once upon a time, it was “common knowledge” in the energy industry that solar energy couldn’t contribute more than 5% share of electricity supply. For a long time, this was claimed to be an upper limit that utilities could handle. My, how things have changed!

South Australia is one of the best examples. The Australian state gets more than 20% of its electricity from rooftop solar power alone, and nearly 70% from all types of wind and solar together.

South Australia also broke an interesting milestone earlier this month. For one hour on October 11, South Australia got 100% of its electricity from solar power. It is reportedly the largest jurisdiction in the world to do so.

“This is truly a phenomenon in the global energy landscape,” Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Audrey Zibelman said.
Indeed.
“Never before has a jurisdiction the size of South Australia been completely run by solar power.”

A whopping 77% of that electricity came from rooftop solar panels. The other 23% came from large-scale solar projects.
Even hitting this big milestone, AEMO expects 36,000 more rooftop solar power systems will be installed in South Australia in the next 14 months.

➡️http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8WHS2n4Iq0  [90 sec on Tesla Virtual Power Plant]

Naturally, solar power didn’t provide precisely 100% of electricity demand in that one hour on October 11. Excess electricity from those solar power sources went into batteries or got sent to Victoria, a neighboring state, via a transmission connector.

Approximately one-third of households in South Australia, 288,000 of them, now have rooftop solar panels.

Naturally, there’s one great way that South Australians can soak up that tremendous amount of solar energy — buy an electric car and charge it while the sun is out and shining.
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/10/28/south-australia-got-100-of-its-electricity-from-solar-for-1-hour/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

oren

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5192 on: November 29, 2020, 11:21:04 PM »
Quote
I present two charts
Thank you for this interstitial.
I think in fairness as renewables grow their intermittency will matter more. Storage has some inefficiencies in charging/discharging, and other uses of peak production energy might be even less efficient and only enabled by extremely cheap or free rates. So there should be some unknown factor to address this. Maybe for now the factor is 100% but later it could drop to 95% or even 90%.
Still the relative contribution of each energy source seems much different in the "useful" chart compared to the original chart.

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5193 on: November 30, 2020, 11:35:16 AM »
Quote
I present two charts
Thank you for this interstitial.
I think in fairness as renewables grow their intermittency will matter more. Storage has some inefficiencies in charging/discharging, and other uses of peak production energy might be even less efficient and only enabled by extremely cheap or free rates. So there should be some unknown factor to address this. Maybe for now the factor is 100% but later it could drop to 95% or even 90%.
Still the relative contribution of each energy source seems much different in the "useful" chart compared to the original chart.
I think we mostly agree.
Their is no unit which perfectly reflects all the pros and cons of each source of power. Fossil fuels will eventually kill all humans and most other forms of life on earth if we don't stop using them so that more than compensates for dealing with intermittency. From a short sighted economic evaluation the listed costs making renewables cheaper includes costs associated with intermittency. Every utility or power provider has different resources incentives and regulations so exact calculations are done for each project. For now most renewable projects are more profitable than fossil fuel projects. In many cases they are more profitable than operating some existing assets. The costs for intermittency increase at increasing concentrations of intermittent sources. (not all renewables are inflexible geothermal and hydro come to mind. Solar in the desert is very reliable with short term storage. At some concentration of renewables that increased cost must be dealt with for decarbonization of energy to continue. People are working on it but it is not currently the hold up. Mostly new technologies are not needed as much as engineering experience to scale projects up and decide which are the most cost effective.

Washington is one of the few regions where this is already an issue. The Columbia river provides about 70% of the power for the Washington state. Less than 5% of my power comes from fossil fuels. Bonneville power operates all of the hydro on the Columbia and the only nuclear plant I am aware of in the US designed to ramp up and down with demand. They provide most of the power for local utilities. Seeing that demand response will be more valuable in the future than straight megawatts they are pivoting their operations to focus more on providing balancing power than raw megawatts. They adjusted operations at their nuclear plant to respond quicker to changing conditions from a day to an hour response time. They are encouraging local utilities to get more renewables elsewhere so they can provide peak demand power to most of the western US. That will allow renewable concentrations in the region to get very high.
In general the last 2 to 5% of peak demand is very expensive no matter what energy source is used because these assets are rarely used. Some are only used for a few hours a year and some don't get used in a typical year. The annual depreciation and maintenance adds up for an asset used a few hours a decade. Often these are old inefficient diesel generators since they are already paid for.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5194 on: November 30, 2020, 08:18:35 PM »
Wind and solar made up 45.9% of new electrical capacity additions to the US Grid from January through September 2019.

They made up 63.6% of new large electrical capacity additions in the same period in 2020 (70% when rooftop solar included).

They are projected to be 75% of new capacity additions from October 2020 through September 2023.

https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/30/renewables-70-of-new-us-power-capacity-in-2020-solar-43/

Quote
Renewables = 70% of New US Power Capacity in 2020, Solar = 43%

November 30th, 2020

The renewable energy revolution continues, with renewable energy accounting for a greater and greater share of new US power capacity year after year.



Quote
Whereas wind and utility-scale solar power accounted for 63.6% of new large-scale power plants in 2020, they accounted for 45.9% in the first three quarters of 2019.


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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5195 on: December 01, 2020, 10:29:05 PM »
Canada is producing geothermal energy from sedimentary rock formations using techniques developed for the oil and gas industry.

https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/saskatchewan-driller-hits-gusher-with-ground-breaking-geothermal-well-that-offers-hope-for-oil-workers

Quote
Saskatchewan driller hits 'gusher' with ground-breaking geothermal well that offers hope for oil workers

A first for Canada and the world, the well can produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes
Author of the article:
Geoffrey Morgan
Publishing date:
Nov 27, 2020

CALGARY — A small, Saskatoon-based company has drilled and fracked the world’s first 90-degree horizontal well for geothermal power in a potentially landmark move that signals the arrival of a new energy source in Canada and provides fresh opportunities for oil and gas workers to apply their skills in renewable power.

No company in Canada has produced electricity from geothermal heat, but Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. chief executive officer Kirsten Marcia told the Financial Post that there’s a “big, big future for geothermal power in Western Canada,” as demonstrated by the results of the first ever horizontal geothermal well, which is also the deepest horizontal well ever drilled in Saskatchewan.

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In Canada’s nascent geothermal power industry, Deep’s “gusher” can produce steaming-hot water and brine with a temperature of 127 degrees centigrade at a rate of 100 litres per second. Marcia said those flow rates mean the well will actually be limited by the hardware, such as pump capacity, that are connected to the wellhead. She said the well, called the Border-5HZ well, is capable of producing 3 megawatts of renewable, reliable electricity, enough to power 3,000 homes.

The well will form part of a larger 20MW geothermal power project, which is expected to commence construction in 2023 in southern Saskatchewan close to the U.S. border.

The well is also a first for the global geothermal industry.

Quote
“This is a sedimentary geothermal project. There aren’t a lot of them in the world,” Marcia said, noting that most geothermal power projects, including those in world-leading Iceland, drill vertically into volcanic rock formations. “In terms of drilling into a sedimentary basin, you’re drilling into sedimentary units that are like a stack of pancakes.”

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This week, Alberta MLAs passed legislation that will allow the province’s energy regulator to develop a new framework for geothermal wells to be licensed and drilled in the province. The bill is considered a way to keep oilfield services workers, such as drillers, working as investment in renewable energy is projected to rise in the coming years.

Quote
In Alberta, Calgary-based oil and gas producer Razor Energy Corp. is working on a geothermal project north of Edmonton that would retrofit existing wells to produce 3MW to 5MW of geothermal power.

morganism

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5196 on: December 02, 2020, 05:17:54 AM »
Scientists stuff graphene with light

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Scientists_stuff_graphene_with_light_999.html

capturing photons as surface plasmons for storage, and like solar cells.

 The calculated conversion efficiency of the newly proposed scheme is as high as 90%-95%. Even accounting for all the potential negative factors that might affect this figure of merit, it will remain above 50% - several times higher than any other competing system.

"A large part of such research focuses on creating ultracompact devices that would be capable of converting light energy into surface plasmon-polaritons with a high efficiency and on a very small scale in space, thereby recording light energy into some structure," said the director of the MIPT Center for Photonics and 2D Materials, Valentyn Volkov, who co-authored the study.

"Moreover, you can accumulate polaritons, potentially designing an ultrathin battery composed of several atomic layers. It is possible to use the effect in light energy converters similar to solar cells, but with a several times higher efficiency

Ken Feldman

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5197 on: December 07, 2020, 10:33:31 PM »
Most of the fossil fuel power plants in the US are so old that only 15% of them would have to be retired early to fully decarbonize the US power grid by 2035.

https://www.mining.com/decarbonizing-electricity-production-in-the-us-by-2035-less-costly-than-expected/

Quote
Decarbonizing electricity production in the US by 2035 less costly than expected
MINING.COM Staff Writer | December 7, 2020

Meeting the 2035 deadline for decarbonizing electricity production in the United States – as proposed by the incoming Biden administration – would eliminate just 15% of the capacity-years left in plants powered by fossil fuels.

This, according to a generator-level model published in the journal Science which suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives.
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The article states that plant retirements are already underway, with 126 gigawatts of fossil generator capacity taken out of production between 2009 and 2018, including 33 gigawatts in 2017 and 2018 alone.


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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5198 on: December 11, 2020, 04:26:45 AM »
Big hydrogen push in the media lately can be traced to fossil fuel lobby.
https://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/hydrogen-report-web-final_0.pdf
Less than 1% of hydrogen is made from renewable energy. The remainder is made from fossil fuels.

Until renewable energy gets close to providing most of the electricity it is more efficient and lower emissions to use fossil fuels to create electricity directly. A power plant with its waste heat recovery will always be more efficient than a vehicle. Green hydrogen, making hydrogen from water and renewable energy is not the goal. Blue hydrogen is a joke it relies on carbon capture. Just like coal after a token project here or there it will not be used. In the US I think only a handful of carbon capture projects were even attempted. They don't capture 100% of CO2 and I think we are down to one or none operating. Its an added expense which will be avoided. That leaves the bulk of hydrogen being grey. They reform methane with water into hydrogen and CO2. Might as well just burn natural gas. No need to spend massive amounts on new infrastructure and the results are the same. Well not exactly the same Hydrogen is explosive between 4% and 74% with air. Gasoline by comparison is only explosive from 1.4% to 7.6%. Hydrogen interacts with metals in a unique way referred to as hydrogen embrittlement. That means most pipelines for other things won't work for hydrogen. Hydrogen pipelines of a length greater than around the plant should be banned outright. Even companies who use hydrogen have occasional accidents. I wouldn't trust the general public to be near as vigilant. Any government support should be limited to industrial projects that are directly tied to enough new renewable energy sources to keep the plant busy and no accommodations for introducing external hydrogen or reforming fossil fuels. It should be a closed system. Insisting on enough new renewables, a closed system and a contract and license that forbid importing hydrogen or getting hydrogen from anything but water should be required.


<Fixed size. kassy>
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 01:23:31 PM by kassy »

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Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #5199 on: December 11, 2020, 04:31:44 AM »
The report largely tracks the lobbying efforts and money back to fossil fuels.