• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.
  • 2021 Internet Infidels Fundraising Drive
    Greetings! Time for the annual fundraiser.Sorry for the late update, we normally start this early in October. Funds are needed to keep II and IIDB online. I was not able to get an IIDB based donations addon implemented for this year, I will make sure to have that done for next year. You can help support II in several ways, please visit the Support Us page for more info. Or just click:

    I will try to track all donations from IIDB. Many thanks to those that have already donated. The current total is $550. If everyone dontated just $5, we would easily hit our goal.

The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

lpetrich

Contributor
The Drive to Replace Summer-Only ‘Peaker’ Power Plants | WIRED - "These power plants run during the hottest months, when energy is in demand. But they are expensive, and they pollute nearby low-income neighborhoods."

Expense?
A new report has found that New Yorkers over the last decade have paid more than $4.5 billion in electricity bills to the private owners of the city’s peaker plants, just to keep those plants online in case they’re needed—even though they only operate between 90 and 500 hours a year. Even at the upper limit, that’s less than three weeks. This all means that the price tag for peak electricity in the Big Apple is 1,300 percent higher than the average cost of electricity in the state.
Air quality?
]In the South Bronx neighborhoods of Hunts Point and Longwood, asthma hospitalization rates are nearly double the city average. Peaker plant emissions during a severe summer heat wave can exacerbate this underlying burden. Dariella Rodriguez, director of community development for The Point CDC, a South Bronx nonprofit that is part of the PEAK Coalition, says that residents being stuck indoors during the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the urgency of finding alternative solutions to existing peaker plants.

“Especially in the South Bronx, in a community like Hunt’s Point, where we know we’re very vulnerable to heat, weak infrastructure, and also air quality, this is a moment to rethink how our city and our state can use the land, build clean infrastructure, and support groups that are engaging in creative ways to change their communities,” Rodriguez said.
What to do about peakers?
The reports argue that renewable energy and battery storage are the best alternatives to replace fossil-fuel-fired peaker plants. In California, for instance, the aging Oakland Power Plant will soon be replaced with a mix of solar and battery storage. In New York City, environmental advocates have been pushing to transform Rikers Island, which houses the city’s most notorious jail complex, into a green infrastructure hub that would replace the peaker plants in the southernmost peninsula of the Bronx.
I note that nuclear-power advocates support nuclear reactors for baseload electricity generation, not peak generation. Who has ever heard of a nuclear-reactor peaker?

Renewable-energy development is stimulating a large amount of research into storage technologies and synfuels. Research that never happened with nuclear energy, as far as I know, even though it would be very useful for that kind of electricity generation.

Wind and solar energy have the problem that they are intermittent, and nuclear energy has the problem that it is too steady. Storage technologies get around both problems.
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Who has ever heard of a nuclear-reactor peaker?

I have. Sort of.
When i was in high school, we toured an experimental reactor site. Primary purpose is research, but they do dump any power they produce onto the grid. They mentioned that they had been scheduled to shut down the plant one summer, to adjust some mechanisms, but Idaho Power had begged them to stay up and operational for the hottest weeks. They were real proud of that. Everyone who delivered any part of the tour mentioned it. We heard the same phrases about seven times that day. I suspect it was part of a PR release.


Also, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. They brought one online for Griswold's Xmas lights. Seems likely.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
‘Nuclear power is now the most expensive form of generation, except for gas peaking plants’ – pv magazine International - "The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report indicates the stagnation of the sector continues. Just 2.4 GW of net new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The world’s operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June." - datelined September 24, 2020

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE):
  • Nuclear: (2015) $117/MWh (2019) $155/MWh
  • Solar: (2015) $65/MWh (2019) $49/MWh
  • Wind: (2015) $55/MWh (2019) $41/MWh
Installed in 2019: nuclear: 2.4 GW, solar: 98 GW, wind: 59.2 GW

Total nuclear-generation capacity fell 2.1% over 2019-2020 to 362 GW.

The number of operation nuclear reactors peaked at 438 in 2002, and in mid-2020, it dropped to 408, the 1988 number.

The average age of these nuclear reactors was 30.7 in mid-2020, with 2/3 operating for more than 31 years.

Under-construction ones (2019) 46, (2020) 52 -- 15 of them, with capacity 14 GW, are in China. "Most of those projects, however, have suffered years-long delays."


Australia sets new wind output record, breaks through 6,000MW for first time | RenewEconomy
The peak wind output in the National Electricity Market set on Saturday was 6,120MW, at 8.25pm, according to energy analysts Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College, and Paul McArdle from Global Roam.

It was then broken a day later, at 5.40pm on Sunday, when it reached a peak of 6,421MW, and then up to 6,428MW at 8.05pm. The average renewable energy output in Australia’s main grid was more than 50 per cent from around 10.30am to 3pm.
How great to see that.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Big auto is commuting to EVs. Seattle id starting to put EV busses into service. Seattle is requiring new apartment buildings to have a percentage of parking spaces with charging capacity,

The electricity will have to come from somewhere.

Nuclear sounds like part of the solution to me.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Five or six orders of magnitude???

It's hard to take seriously claims like that when they are grossly contrary to reality. Grid scale Battery costs are declining faster than Wind and Solar - Katy for Coos County for instance. Still about 2 to 4 times more expensive than bare renewables, but not 10^5 - 10^6.
It's only possible to sustain a full scale industrial economy with nuclear power. Or with some hypothetical alternative that currently doesn't exist, or seem likely to be discovered, invented, or magicked into existence any time soon.
We are starting to find out otherwise. I note that we are starting to see a lot of technologies being developed for renewable energy that could have been developed for nuclear energy, but that weren't. High-capacity batteries, for instance. Or synfuels.
Right now, the only thing standing between renewables and blackouts is burning gas.
In fill-in-the-gaps fashion. Just like with nuclear energy.

I think he's overstating it but getting all our power from renewables is completely unrealistic at current tech levels. There's simply nothing good enough to provide the amount of storage needed.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yeah, but it handles dips in production measured in minutes or hours. To handle seasonality, you need storage that's both sufficient in size, and cost effective, when deployed on scales of months or years.

Nobody's saving solar power from June to use in February. In fact, nobody's storing electricity generated at 3pm for use at 3am. To make the leap to months rather than minutes of storage will need cost reductions at least on the scale I am suggesting.

But people are storing power at 3pm for use at 3am. The guys using it off grid.

Things have gotten a lot better than they used to be but of any modern technologies the best you'll get is about 20 cents per kWh just for the battery. For higher up-front costs you can get that down to 9 cents per kWh by going with the ancient tech of a Nickel-Iron battery--but they do need periodic watering and proper enclosures as they vent hydrogen during charging.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
The Drive to Replace Summer-Only ‘Peaker’ Power Plants | WIRED - "These power plants run during the hottest months, when energy is in demand. But they are expensive, and they pollute nearby low-income neighborhoods."

Expense?

Air quality?

What to do about peakers?
The reports argue that renewable energy and battery storage are the best alternatives to replace fossil-fuel-fired peaker plants. In California, for instance, the aging Oakland Power Plant will soon be replaced with a mix of solar and battery storage. In New York City, environmental advocates have been pushing to transform Rikers Island, which houses the city’s most notorious jail complex, into a green infrastructure hub that would replace the peaker plants in the southernmost peninsula of the Bronx.
I note that nuclear-power advocates support nuclear reactors for baseload electricity generation, not peak generation. Who has ever heard of a nuclear-reactor peaker?
France does some load following with nuclear. It's not technically difficult, it's just not necessary unless your grid is almost entirely powered by fission.

Wind and solar, on the other hand, can't even produce baseload power. They require demand to follow their production, which is insane.

Without these crazy and pointless swings in production, all this talk of peakers and storage would be practically irrelevant.
Renewable-energy development is stimulating a large amount of research into storage technologies and synfuels. Research that never happened with nuclear energy, as far as I know, even though it would be very useful for that kind of electricity generation.

Wind and solar energy have the problem that they are intermittent, and nuclear energy has the problem that it is too steady. Storage technologies get around both problems.

Storage technology gets around the small peak problem in nuclear heavy grids, like France and Ontario, where Hydro (particularly pumped storage) can fill the gaps. As mentioned above, France also load-follows with some of her nuclear plants - they're not just monolithic baseload producers, that just happens to be the most profitable option for them in grids with fossil fuel generation that can load-follow more profitably.

It's not up to the job in wind and/or solar heavy grids though, because intermittent generators massively exacerbate the size and duration of peaks.

Storage simply cannot be made adequate to deal with the supply troughs inherent in grids with high intermittent renewables components. Particularly when those troughs in supply align with peaks in demand - such as the late afternoon summer peaks, that coincide with the collapse of solar generation at dusk.

Renewables make this problem FAR worse. Storage (basically pumped hydro) could solve the problem, but not when people persist in adding wind and solar that make it worse.

The recent rise in profitability and therefore capacity for fossil gas powered generation is a direct and very obvious consequence of the rise of intermittent renewables. To suggest them as a solution to this problem is perverse.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
‘Nuclear power is now the most expensive form of generation, except for gas peaking plants’ – pv magazine International - "The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report indicates the stagnation of the sector continues. Just 2.4 GW of net new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The world’s operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June." - datelined September 24, 2020

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE):
  • Nuclear: (2015) $117/MWh (2019) $155/MWh
  • Solar: (2015) $65/MWh (2019) $49/MWh
  • Wind: (2015) $55/MWh (2019) $41/MWh
Installed in 2019: nuclear: 2.4 GW, solar: 98 GW, wind: 59.2 GW

Total nuclear-generation capacity fell 2.1% over 2019-2020 to 362 GW.

The number of operation nuclear reactors peaked at 438 in 2002, and in mid-2020, it dropped to 408, the 1988 number.

The average age of these nuclear reactors was 30.7 in mid-2020, with 2/3 operating for more than 31 years.

Under-construction ones (2019) 46, (2020) 52 -- 15 of them, with capacity 14 GW, are in China. "Most of those projects, however, have suffered years-long delays."


Australia sets new wind output record, breaks through 6,000MW for first time | RenewEconomy
The peak wind output in the National Electricity Market set on Saturday was 6,120MW, at 8.25pm, according to energy analysts Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College, and Paul McArdle from Global Roam.

It was then broken a day later, at 5.40pm on Sunday, when it reached a peak of 6,421MW, and then up to 6,428MW at 8.05pm. The average renewable energy output in Australia’s main grid was more than 50 per cent from around 10.30am to 3pm.
How great to see that.

So, which is it?

Are huge peaks in supply to be celebrated; Or is load-following a major problem whose current solution (gas peaker plants) is highly undesirable?

You can't have it both ways.


Oh, and talking about having it both ways, how is the newly elevated cost of low carbon electricity a good thing?

And what has made nuclear power so expensive? It wasn't expensive in the 1970s, and the technology hasn't become more difficult - quite the reverse.

The only reason nuclear power costs have increased is that regulatory and compliance costs have increased. Which is purely political vandalism - an economic attack, led by the same gas producers who are advocating intermittent renewables, who see nuclear power as a significant threat to their fossil fuel business (and see wind and solar as a boon to those same businesses).

There's no technical reason for nuclear power to be so expensive as it is in the US and Europe. Indeed, in Korea and China, it isn't.

Protesters cause expensive and unnecessary delays, and then turn around and say "See! It's too expensive and takes too long to build!"

Fuck. Off.

IMG_6145.JPG

What's so special about Chinese and Korean engineers, that makes them far better at building power plants than American engineers?

Nothing. The difference in the US is purely political, and is inherent to opposition to nuclear power, not to its construction.

Note also the median construction days per MWh is 2.519. That's better than most wind or solar farms. And a nuclear plant gets ~900kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered on demand. A solar farm gets maybe 200kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered when the sun shines regardless of demand, and more importantly NEVER delivered when the sun isn't shining, regardless of demand.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Yeah, but it handles dips in production measured in minutes or hours. To handle seasonality, you need storage that's both sufficient in size, and cost effective, when deployed on scales of months or years.

Nobody's saving solar power from June to use in February. In fact, nobody's storing electricity generated at 3pm for use at 3am. To make the leap to months rather than minutes of storage will need cost reductions at least on the scale I am suggesting.

But people are storing power at 3pm for use at 3am. The guys using it off grid.
And I am sure both of them are very happy. :rolleyes:

Domestic use is a trivial fraction of demand. The ability of individual households to go off grid (at great expense and with a concomitant reduction in comfort and labour-saving) says fuck all about the ability of society to do so.
Things have gotten a lot better than they used to be but of any modern technologies the best you'll get is about 20 cents per kWh just for the battery. For higher up-front costs you can get that down to 9 cents per kWh by going with the ancient tech of a Nickel-Iron battery--but they do need periodic watering and proper enclosures as they vent hydrogen during charging.

I bet they're terrific for running aluminium smelters and steelworks too. :rolleyes:
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
‘Nuclear power is now the most expensive form of generation, except for gas peaking plants’ – pv magazine International - "The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report indicates the stagnation of the sector continues. Just 2.4 GW of net new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The world’s operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June." - datelined September 24, 2020

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE):
  • Nuclear: (2015) $117/MWh (2019) $155/MWh
  • Solar: (2015) $65/MWh (2019) $49/MWh
  • Wind: (2015) $55/MWh (2019) $41/MWh
Installed in 2019: nuclear: 2.4 GW, solar: 98 GW, wind: 59.2 GW

Total nuclear-generation capacity fell 2.1% over 2019-2020 to 362 GW.

The number of operation nuclear reactors peaked at 438 in 2002, and in mid-2020, it dropped to 408, the 1988 number.

The average age of these nuclear reactors was 30.7 in mid-2020, with 2/3 operating for more than 31 years.

Under-construction ones (2019) 46, (2020) 52 -- 15 of them, with capacity 14 GW, are in China. "Most of those projects, however, have suffered years-long delays."


Australia sets new wind output record, breaks through 6,000MW for first time | RenewEconomy
The peak wind output in the National Electricity Market set on Saturday was 6,120MW, at 8.25pm, according to energy analysts Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College, and Paul McArdle from Global Roam.

It was then broken a day later, at 5.40pm on Sunday, when it reached a peak of 6,421MW, and then up to 6,428MW at 8.05pm. The average renewable energy output in Australia’s main grid was more than 50 per cent from around 10.30am to 3pm.
How great to see that.

Wind and solar look cheap when you compare nameplate capacity. But nameplate capacity isn't electricity. When you look at the cost per actual MWh delivered, rather than the cost per MW installed, Nuclear power is cheaper.

Between 1965 and 2018 the world spent $2.1 trillion to get 31% more electricity from nuclear than it got for the $2.6 trillion it spent on solar and wind.

And that solar and wind power was overwhelmingly delivered when wholesale prices were low. So those facilities were only profitable because of guaranteed sale prices (above the wholesale price); and/or the provision of subsidies.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
Renewable-energy development is stimulating a large amount of research into storage technologies and synfuels. Research that never happened with nuclear energy, as far as I know, even though it would be very useful for that kind of electricity generation.

Wind and solar energy have the problem that they are intermittent, and nuclear energy has the problem that it is too steady. Storage technologies get around both problems.
Wind and solar (hydro) can't get us to sustainability alone, forget using excess production for battery storage to see to peak demand, as excess only exists where there is fossil or nuclear. I also ponder just how viable a battery storage system could possibly manage peak demand, seeing peak demand, especially these days, can be a bit difficult to anticipate. How much do you overbuild it?
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
What's so special about Chinese and Korean engineers, that makes them far better at building power plants than American engineers?

Nothing. The difference in the US is purely political, and is inherent to opposition to nuclear power, not to its construction.

Note also the median construction days per MWh is 2.519. That's better than most wind or solar farms. And a nuclear plant gets ~900kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered on demand. A solar farm gets maybe 200kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered when the sun shines regardless of demand, and more importantly NEVER delivered when the sun isn't shining, regardless of demand.

Chinese it's clear--cut corners on safety.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
What's so special about Chinese and Korean engineers, that makes them far better at building power plants than American engineers?

Nothing. The difference in the US is purely political, and is inherent to opposition to nuclear power, not to its construction.

Note also the median construction days per MWh is 2.519. That's better than most wind or solar farms. And a nuclear plant gets ~900kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered on demand. A solar farm gets maybe 200kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered when the sun shines regardless of demand, and more importantly NEVER delivered when the sun isn't shining, regardless of demand.

Chinese it's clear--cut corners on safety.

I have seen no evidence of that, in the nuclear power industry.

And even if it were true, it wouldn't explain South Korea's success.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
What's so special about Chinese and Korean engineers, that makes them far better at building power plants than American engineers?

Nothing. The difference in the US is purely political, and is inherent to opposition to nuclear power, not to its construction.

Note also the median construction days per MWh is 2.519. That's better than most wind or solar farms. And a nuclear plant gets ~900kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered on demand. A solar farm gets maybe 200kWh/MWh of capacity, delivered when the sun shines regardless of demand, and more importantly NEVER delivered when the sun isn't shining, regardless of demand.

Chinese it's clear--cut corners on safety.

I have seen no evidence of that, in the nuclear power industry.

And even if it were true, it wouldn't explain South Korea's success.

China cuts corners on everything. The surprise would be if they didn't with their reactors.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Clean, green, environmentally friendly battery storage.

Oh, wait.

Shit.

https://www.bay939.com.au/news/local-news/128264-big-battery-on-fire-toxic-smoke-impacting-northern-suburbs

A warning has been issued for toxic air quality for Batesford, Bell Post Hill, Lovely Banks, Moorabool and Geelong's northern suburbs.

Anyone located in Batesford, Bell Post Hill, Lovely Banks, Moorabool should move indoors. Close all exterior doors, windows and vents and turn off heating and cooling systems.
...
A 13-tonne lithium-ion battery, part of the Victorian Big Battery is fully alight in Moorabool
 

barbos

Contributor
Speaking of progress or rather lack of it.
Decided to measure efficiency of ordinary floor fan. Guess the number?

22% which is horrible. Did the same with small ventilation type which you embed into the wall about 4-5%

These asynchronous motors suck.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
In the news fire departments are having to deal with EV car crashes and batteries, so what?

Just a reminder that battery technology is not all unicorns and fairy dust.

Yes. My comment is about making a case against renewables and EV on the basis that it has its on set of issues.

The conservative approach. Gas cars and EVs have downsides, therefore there is no need to get rid of gas cars.

The news report showed firefighters dealing with an RV crash fire.

The short circuit capacity and hazard of any battery is high, extreme with EV batteries.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
In the news fire departments are having to deal with EV car crashes and batteries, so what?

Just a reminder that battery technology is not all unicorns and fairy dust.

Yes. My comment is about making a case against renewables and EV on the basis that it has its on set of issues.

The conservative approach. Gas cars and EVs have downsides, therefore there is no need to get rid of gas cars.

The news report showed firefighters dealing with an RV crash fire.

The short circuit capacity and hazard of any battery is high, extreme with EV batteries.

If minimising risk in electricity generation is the priority, then nuclear is the best option.

However if reliability is the priority, nuclear is the best option.

And if minimising carbon emissions is the priority, nuclear is the best option.

Which makes the whole thing seem like a 'no brainer'. Until you consider hazardous waste.

If minimising the hazard from waste is the priority, the best option is nuclear.

So there's that.
 

barbos

Contributor
Yeah, nuclear is the best option in Africa or even in Afghanistan.
And why there are no nuclear plants in ..... Australia?
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Yeah, nuclear is the best option in Africa or even in Afghanistan.
And why there are no nuclear plants in ..... Australia?

There are no nuclear plants in Australia because of a political deal done by the Liberal/National party coalition with the Green and Democrat parties to make nuclear power illegal, in exchange for passing the hugely unpopular Goods and Services Tax.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
There are no nuclear plants in Australia because of a political deal done by the Liberal/National party coalition with the Green and Democrat parties to make nuclear power illegal, in exchange for passing the hugely unpopular Goods and Services Tax.
Looking at this from the cynical perspective of the American legislative process, I have to wonder if lobbying by the coal industry had anything to do with it...
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
There are no nuclear plants in Australia because of a political deal done by the Liberal/National party coalition with the Green and Democrat parties to make nuclear power illegal, in exchange for passing the hugely unpopular Goods and Services Tax.
Looking at this from the cynical perspective of the American legislative process, I have to wonder if lobbying by the coal industry had anything to do with it...
The coal lobby here is enormously powerful. So it would be shocking if it did not.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
Physics Girl has this nice series:
"Thank you to Toyota for lending us the Mirai and for sponsoring this renewable energy roadtrip!"

Some people were annoyed by how this series seemed like an infomercial, but she's up front about her sponsorship. The car she drove uses pressure tanks and fuel cells, but was otherwise like a typical electric car.


In the US, wind power is getting bigger and better, report says | Ars Technica - "Longer blades, taller towers among the reasons wind power is growing in the US."
Wind power isn't the largest part of the United States' energy mix, but it grew over the last year, according to the Wind Technologies Market Report. The renewable energy source grew to more than 8 percent of the country's electricity supply—reaching 10 percent in a growing number of states—and saw a whopping $25 billion in investments in what will translate to 16.8 gigawatts of capacity, according to the report.

n large part, this increase is due to longer blades, which allow the turbines to generate more power as they're spun around by the wind. According to the report, in 2010 there were no turbines in the US that had rotors at or above 115 meters in diameter. However, last year, 91 percent of new turbines had rotors of this size or larger. The report also notes that this size is likely to increase.

The towers these rotors are attached to are also getting taller, sometimes along with the increase in blade size. According to Bolinger, this move isn't quite as widespread, but “it is starting to creep up now.”

In the past, there's been a “soft cap” of 500 feet on the total height of the turbines—from the base of the tower to the tip of the blades—because that triggers greater permitting requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration, he said. But with the size of the rotors increasing recently, the size of the towers themselves also needs to increase to avoid having the blades swing too low to the ground. Developers have gotten more comfortable going over 500 feet, he said, adding that some turbines are reaching 700 feet tall. Even besides the practical reason behind it, taller towers also help the turbines generate more energy.

“In general, the winds tend to be stronger at higher altitudes, so this is something that will increase the capacity factor,” he said.

The “wind belt” still sees the vast majority of wind development in the US. However this trend of larger turbines with larger rotors allows wind operators to function quite well in areas that have lower average wind speeds. “That does open up other parts of the country to economical wind development,” he said.

There are larger up-front costs to build these larger turbines, but at a dollar-per-watt basis they end up cheaper. They may be more expensive, but they produce more energy, Bolinger said.
The US wind belt: Central Texas - Montana / North Dakota - (Canada) southern Saskatchewan / Manitoba

In central U.S., a growing 'wind belt' of manufacturing | ZDNet
wind energy | Institute for Energy Resourcefulness
Wind map Canada - VORTEX
 

lpetrich

Contributor
The Future of Green Energy Is Comically Large Wind Turbines
Eric Lantz, group research manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), also says large turbines are the future of wind energy.

“The fewer turbines you put up per unit of energy in general results in a lower cost of energy,” Lantz said.

...
“As you get higher above ground, you get into better resource quality,” Lantz said. “Surface obstructions that slow the wind down, the higher you get above those, the more you get into free-flowing wind.”

Wind speeds also increase substantially with altitude: Lantz’s own research found that moving from 80 to 160 meters sees wind speeds increase from 1 to 1.5 meters per second. Faster winds generate more energy, so taller turbines are generally more efficient than shorter ones.

The MySE 16.0-242 boasts 16 megawatts of power, nearly 10 times the mean capacity of U.S. turbines, and is capable of powering 20,000 homes on its own over its 25-year service life. That’s 45 percent more than MingYang’s now second-largest turbine, the MySE 11.0-203, and enough to eliminate more than 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from energy generation, the company claims.

Noting
Mingyang Smart Energy Group Co., Ltd. - "Leading innovation: MingYang Smart Energy launches MySE 16.0-242, the world’s largest offshore Hybrid Drive wind turbine"
 

lpetrich

Contributor
What a year for wind | Renewable Energy World
The U.S. added 16.8 gigawatts of new wind power capacity in 2020, while project costs declined and performance improved, according to the Dept. of Energy’s annual report on the industry.

The 2021 Land-based Wind Market Report, prepared by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, found that wind increased its share of the U.S. electricity supply last year to 8%, fueled by $25 billion of investment and the federal production tax credit.
So great to see.

Cleantech News — #1 In EV, Solar, Wind, Tesla News

Geothermal Energy Wallflower No More, Is West Virginia - "After hanging around on the renewable energy sidelines all these years, West Virginia readies itself to leap into the US geothermal energy revolution."
The University of West Virginia is angling to have its campus become the proving ground for the first large scale geothermal heating and cooling system in the northeast region. The school’s campus in Morgantown has already replaced a coal power plant with natural gas and switching to geothermal is the next step, with an assist from the US Department of Energy.

“With an abundance of natural resources literally at our feet, the time is now to reap the benefits of the value beneath the ground. This [Energy Department] funding is a great step forward in having WVU in our hometown of Morgantown be the first to combine the technologies developed by the oil and gas industry in our region to extract geothermal energy for heating and cooling,” enthuses said Brian Anderson, who now is the director of NETL


Giant CA Energy Storage Facility Hoovers Up Excess Wind And Solar
Located in Moss Landing near Monterey, California, the facility got under way in 2020 and it just completed an expansion, bringing its capacity to 400 megawatts or 1,600 megawatt-hours, depending on who’s counting and why. According to Vistra, the expansion kicked Moss Landing into world’s record territory.

That’s nothing. So far, work on the first two phases has progressed ahead of schedule, and Vistra is looking forward to another expansion that will bring the plant up to 1,500 megawatts, which translates into 6,000 megawatt-hours.

...
That figure of 22,500 homes sounds impressive, but the big question is for how long. Battery-type energy storage systems typically only last just a few hours. That is enough to power a grid past peak demand periods without having to dial up additional fossil energy capacity, typically in the form of natural gas. However, four hours is not nearly long enough to replace all existing “peaker” plants.

Our friends over at Power Magazine recently cited a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which indicates that about 150 gigawatts in fossil energy peaker plant capacity is on track to retire within the next 20 years in the US. Battery-type energy storage facilities could only replace about 28 of those gigawatts under a four-hour scenario.

To replace the rest, something that lasts longer than four hours or so is needed. The US Department of Energy has been hammering away at the problem under its DAYS “Duration Added to ElectricitY Storage” program. The acronym is a bit of a stretch, and so is the endeavor. DAYS is looking for a minimum of 10 hours of energy storage, preferably reaching 100 hours or more.
Like flow batteries, compressed air, and raising and lowering solid objects.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
New Magnesium EV Batteries For The Zero Emission Ride Of The Future
But they will need a lot of R&D work.

Nevertheless, magnesium is MUCH more common than lithium, meaning much less of a raw-materials problem.

Agora CO2 Redox Battery Wins Global Deeptech Competitions & Has 1 Year ROI | CleanTechnica
noting
The carbon dioxide redox flow battery: Bifunctional CO2 reduction/formate oxidation electrocatalysis on binary and ternary catalysts - ScienceDirect
Herein, we introduce a novel class of non-metal flow batteries, the CO2 redox flow battery (CRB). In the present variant, the CRB utilizes the CO2/HCOO− redox couple at the negative electrode and Br−/Br2 at the positive electrode with a battery open-circuit cell potential of 1.5 V.

Grid Storage Winners Part 1: Assessing The Major Technologies | CleanTechnica
Grid Storage Winners Part 2: How Much Of Which Storage By When? | CleanTechnica
Flow Batteries Are An Area Of Strong Innovation & Opportunity | CleanTechnica
F
Flow batteries can use a variety of electrochemistries. If flow batteries become widely used, it will be interesting to see which ones win. Vanadium? Iron? Formate?
 

lpetrich

Contributor
Chinese firm claims 'world's first' cobalt-free EV battery | Renewable Energy World

Montana's renewable energy city coalition grows Renewable Energy World[/url

[url=https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/hydrogen/volvo-receives-worlds-first-fossil-free-steel/]Volvo receives world's first fossil-free steel | Renewable Energy World

Volvo has received the world’s first shipment of fossil-free steel from Swedish manufacturer SSAB.

The steel was reduced using 100% fossil-free hydrogen, instead of coal and coke. SSAB said the trial delivery is an important step to developing a completely fossil-free value chain for iron and steelmaking.
Swedish Steelmaker Uses Hydrogen Instead Of Coal To Make Fossil-Free Steel
The steel industry accounts for some 5-8% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, as well as around 10-15% of its total coal demand.

So far, however, the steel-making process has withstood engineers’ best efforts to clean it up: there are simply too few low-cost replacements of key inputs such as coking coal and coke.

“With HYBRIT technology, we will eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in steel production,” said Martin Lindqvist, President and C.E.O. of SSAB. “We have the opportunity to revolutionize an entire industry and show that net zero emissions are possible. We must take that chance.”
SSAB is taking the lead in decarbonizing the steel industry - SSAB

Good to see that they are trying that out.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
Big Oil’s interest in hydrogen: boon or bane? | Renewable Energy World
Consultants and oil company executives argue that an interim step to reaching large-scale green hydrogen production is to capture and store carbon generated by making hydrogen from natural gas to reduce emissions—making what is known as blue hydrogen.

Critics contend that the fossil fuel giants have been heavily talking up hydrogen as most of the world’s hydrogen supply is currently produced from natural gas. Blue hydrogen may offer an intermediate step towards green hydrogen. However, it may also end up like coal power with CCS: previously hailed as a promising way of reducing emissions but now seen as a costly dead-end that provided cover for the last burst of coal investments in Asia.

Others argue that oil and gas companies are pouring money into lobbying efforts to direct public investment towards building a hydrogen economy (with considerable success notable in Canada, Germany, and the UK) to delay the transition to electrification. These companies will be key players embedded in the hydrogen value chain if the fuel “works”, and will have slowed the shift to electricity if it does not.

Renewables made up 92% of new generating capacity in the U.S. in the first half of 2021 | Renewable Energy World
Great.

Microgrids must be a part of the decentralization of electricity | Renewable Energy World
 

lpetrich

Contributor
The EU’s New Plastics Economy is Breaking Ground | Energy Transition

Why hydrogen needs to take centre stage at COP26 | Wood Mackenzie
With this argument:
Hydrogen is a versatile, safe and clean form of energy. It is used as a fuel for power and in industry for feedstock. With the potential for zero emissions at the point of use, its only by-product can be water and it can be stored and transported in liquid or gas form.

Many take the view that hydrogen could be a key solution to many of the challenges that need to be overcome to make a low carbon environment a reality. Indeed, hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry and heavy-duty transport and chemicals which together are responsible for over one third of global CO2 emissions.
But surely, we already knew this?

The use of hydrogen in industry is nothing new. The reason why hydrogen is so much in focus today is because it is now needed, along with electrification, in significantly greater quantities to drive energy transition across all sectors. But with that comes various challenges, which often tend to stem from the manufacturing process.
That's HOME - UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the SEC – Glasgow 2021
1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach ...
2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats ...
3. Mobilise finance ...
4. Work together to deliver ...
 

lpetrich

Contributor
Vanadium-manganese redox dual-flow battery to store power, generate hydrogen – pv magazine International
The LEPA system combines a conventional redox flow battery (RFB) with two catalytic reactors that are able to produce green hydrogen by utilizing the fluid that runs through the battery. Unlike conventional redox flow batteries, the dual-flow battery, once it is fully charged, can discharge its fluid into the catalytic reactors, thus creating more storage space. “The dual-circuit RFB has the advantage of offering two discharging modes, and to store energy beyond the energy capacity of the electrolytes in the form of renewable hydrogen energy storage,” the Swiss group stated.
A flow battery and electrolyzer together? Looks great.

Noting:
Combined hydrogen production and electricity storage using a vanadium-manganese redox dual-flow battery - ScienceDirect

The Hydrogen Stream: new plans in the Nordics, China, Canada and Australia – pv magazine International - "H2 Energy Europe is building a power-to-gas project in Denmark and Everfuel wants to put hydrogen refueling stations in Sweden. Chinese energy giant Sinopec said it wants to invest massively in hydrogen and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has said hydrogen will be the main driver for “very quick” growth in electricity demand."

Gravity-based renewable energy storage tower for grid-scale operations – pv magazine International - raising and lowering blocks of composite material.

"Energy Vault said the composite blocks are made of local soils, as well as materials otherwise destined for landfills or incinerators, including recycled coal ash, waste tailings from mining operations, and wind turbine blades."


Global news, analysis and opinion on energy storage innovation and technologies - Energy Storage News - yes, it's a real site

Mostly the ordinary sort of batteries, but some flow batteries and some weightlifting storage, for lack of a better term.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
'Self-evident advantages': US mulls funding for gigascale New York offshore wind hub | Recharge

Feds kick off environmental check of gigascale Sunrise wind giant in US Atlantic | Recharge

France plans new gigawatt-plus offshore wind round amid $30bn renewables spree | Recharge

European offshore wind build swells but action needed to 'keep progress on track' | Recharge

Hydrogen now firmly at the heart of the global race to net zero — for better or worse | Recharge - "New policy announcements by the US, EU, UK, India and Russia show that major economies are getting serious about H2, but are they getting it right? asks Leigh Collins"

I like all the interest in renewable-energy production of hydrogen. It's remarkable to see how much renewable energy has emerged as a viable option.

Wind, Solar, Storage, Hydrogen, ...

I haven't seen much on synfuels other than ammonia, however.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
With the emergence of hydrogen as a seriously-considered possibility, we have seen lots of references to different colors of H2, even though it is, strictly speaking, colorless.
The colors have these meanings:
  • Black - produced by steam reforming from bituminous (black) coal: C
  • Brown - produced by steam reforming from lignite (brown coal): C
  • Gray - produced by steam reforming from natural gas (methane): CH4
  • Blue - like the previous three, but with capture of resulting CO2
  • Turquoise - pyrolysis of CH4: heating it until it disintegrates
  • Green - production by electrolysis from renewable-energy electricity and H2O
  • Pink - like green, but using nuclear-energy electricity
  • Purple - like pink, but with assistance from nuclear-reactor heat
  • Red - from cracking of H2O using nuclear-reactor heat
  • Yellow - various sources (solar, nuclear, mixed)
  • White - naturally-occurring hydrogen in the Earth's interior
The chemistry:
  • Steam reforming of coal: C + 2H2O -> CO2 + 2H2
  • Steam reforming of methane: CH4 + 2H2O -> CO2 + 4H2
  • Pyrolysis: CH4 + heat -> C + 2H2
  • Electrolysis: 2H2O + electricity -> O2 + 2H2
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
With the emergence of hydrogen as a seriously-considered possibility
Possibility of doing what?

What does Hydrogen achieve that couldn't already be done?

It's not a source of energy, as it requires energy to make it. So how does adding the Hydrogen step between source and use help with, well, anything?
 

lpetrich

Contributor
Hydrogen, like other combustible fuels, has a much higher density of usable energy than any battery.  Energy density has some tables, though the combustion-energy table leaves out the mass of oxygen consumed.

WhatSpecific Energy (MJ/kg)
Hydrogen142
Methane55.6
Liquid hydrocarbons43 - 46
Coal, anthracite26 - 33
Coal, bituminous24 - 35
Methanol19.7
Ammonia18.6
Lithium-ion battery0.36 - 0.875
Alkaline battery0.48
Nickel-metal-hydride battery0.41
Lead-acid battery0.17

Hydrogen is good as a fuel, but its boiling point is 20 K or -253 C -- very low. However, one can produce a variety of synthetic fuels with it, like ammonia (mp -78 C, bp -33 C), methanol (mp -67 C, bp 65 C), and hydrocarbons. Some of them can also serve as plastics feedstocks, and ammonia is well-known as a fertilizer feedstock.

Hydrogen can also help solve the storage problem. One makes hydrogen with electrolysis, then gets electricity from it with fuel cells.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Hydrogen, like other combustible fuels, has a much higher density of usable energy than any battery.  Energy density has some tables, though the combustion-energy table leaves out the mass of oxygen consumed.

WhatSpecific Energy (MJ/kg)
Hydrogen142
Methane55.6
Liquid hydrocarbons43 - 46
Coal, anthracite26 - 33
Coal, bituminous24 - 35
Methanol19.7
Ammonia18.6
Lithium-ion battery0.36 - 0.875
Alkaline battery0.48
Nickel-metal-hydride battery0.41
Lead-acid battery0.17

Hydrogen is good as a fuel, but its boiling point is 20 K or -253 C -- very low. However, one can produce a variety of synthetic fuels with it, like ammonia (mp -78 C, bp -33 C), methanol (mp -67 C, bp 65 C), and hydrocarbons. Some of them can also serve as plastics feedstocks, and ammonia is well-known as a fertilizer feedstock.

Hydrogen can also help solve the storage problem. One makes hydrogen with electrolysis, then gets electricity from it with fuel cells.
Essentially Hydrogen is like hydrocarbons, only trendier, harder to store and handle, more dangerous to use in vehicles, and without an existing infrastructure to distribute it worldwide.

For those keeping score, that's hydrocarbons 4, hydrogen nil. Unless 'trendier' is supposed to be a useful attribute.

Synthetic hydrocarbons, or (as you mention) ammonia, are far superior.

Hydrogen is just the latest buzzword for politicians to bandy about.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
But one needs hydrogen to make such fuels, so one should have large-scale hydrogen-making capability independent of fossil fuels, so it won't be an economic bottleneck.

The chemistry:
  • N2 + 3H2 -> 2NH3 -- Haber-Bosch
  • CO2 (H2,-) HCOOH (H2,H2O) CH2O (H2,-) CH3OH (H2,H2O) CH4
  • CO2 + (2+x)H2 -> [CH(2x)] + 2H2O -- Fischer-Tropsch
using nuclear-physics notation for the second one: (input,output) at each stage.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
Hydrogen can also help solve the storage problem. One makes hydrogen with electrolysis, then gets electricity from it with fuel cells.
I was under the impression that hydrogen brings its own storage problems which need to be solved before it becomes a viable fuel.

It seems to me that hydrogen works best when you don't try to move it around. Use surplus energy from wind and solar to produce hydrogen, put it straight into tanks and then consume it at night time, all on the same site. Keep the water on site, too, and reuse it to remake hydrogen.

However, I'm quite ignorant of how much space is required to store enough H2 to power a city, or how many fuel cells would need to be installed.
 

lpetrich

Contributor
 Electric energy consumption - the consumption per capita in the US is around 1.5 kilowatts. That's 36 kWh/day. A reserve of liquid hydrogen for 1 day with energy extracted at 100% efficiency will have a volume of 13 liters, or 3 gallons.

Scaling that up to a million people will require a volume of 13 megaliters or 13 * a cube (10 m)^3.

Fuel-cell efficiency is about 50%, so one must multiply these numbers by 2 -- 26 liters per person or 26 megaliters are 1 M people.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
 Electric energy consumption - the consumption per capita in the US is around 1.5 kilowatts. That's 36 kWh/day. A reserve of liquid hydrogen for 1 day with energy extracted at 100% efficiency will have a volume of 13 liters, or 3 gallons.

Scaling that up to a million people will require a volume of 13 megaliters or 13 * a cube (10 m)^3.

Fuel-cell efficiency is about 50%, so one must multiply these numbers by 2 -- 26 liters per person or 26 megaliters are 1 M people.
I'd guess that some parts of the world (like the US) would probably need to be able to store a couple of months' worth of fuel during winter.

To manage that in the US you'd need maybe 550GL across the country. That's about the same capacity as 1,700 supertankers or 6,000,000 gas stations. (The US currently has fewer than 200,000.)

Maybe I'm being too conservative by choosing two months, or maybe I'm not being conservative enough? Maybe they need four months?
 
Top Bottom