# The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor

The world's largest green hydrogen plant will be built in Texas
...
According to its website, GHI has seven projects that are under development with a combined output of one terawatt. The largest and the first one to get off the ground is Hydrogen City in Texas. Using onshore wind and solar energy, the project aims to produce 60 gigawatts of green hydrogen every year.

The Piedras Pintas salt dome in Duval County will serve as the hydrogen storage facility for the project which in its initial stages will see a 2-gigawatt production facility being drawn up. Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
Green hydrogen is also an ideal replacement for natural gas in gas-powered power plants as well as the input ingredient for making fertilizers for farmers, who face high price volatility.

"Hydrogen City is a massive, world-class undertaking that will put Texas on the map as a leading green hydrogen producer," GHI's founder and CEO Brian Maxwell said. "Texas has been the world leader in energy innovation for over 100 years and this project is intended to cement that leadership for the next century and beyond."
...

50 years from now in Texas will be very interesting.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
That's almost not a complete lie.

It will tap into:

"64% fossil fuel, 36% green" energy from the Texan grid.

So, mostly it will be generated from burning fossil gas, or coal.

Of course, over time we can expect coal to largely disappear, and be mostly replaced by more fossil gas.

The plant will be making hydrogen, not as a service provided to humanity out of a sense of duty, but as a profitable saleable commodity; It's unlikely that they will shut down or even throttle back production when the wind drops, because the saving from using only the cheapest electricity in that way will be more than offset by the inefficient use of capital equipment when it's not run 24x7.

This is greenwashing at its finest - a nugget of truth used to persuade fools that making profits by burning fossil fuel is "green".

They will even laud you in public without payment, defend you against people who try to reveal your villainy, and vote for politicians who want to give you fat subsidies from the public purse; All because you were able to pretend that using lots of electricity is "green", if a third of that electricity is generated without trashing the atmosphere.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater

The world's largest green hydrogen plant will be built in Texas
...
According to its website, GHI has seven projects that are under development with a combined output of one terawatt. The largest and the first one to get off the ground is Hydrogen City in Texas. Using onshore wind and solar energy, the project aims to produce 60 gigawatts of green hydrogen every year.

The Piedras Pintas salt dome in Duval County will serve as the hydrogen storage facility for the project which in its initial stages will see a 2-gigawatt production facility being drawn up. Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
Green hydrogen is also an ideal replacement for natural gas in gas-powered power plants as well as the input ingredient for making fertilizers for farmers, who face high price volatility.

"Hydrogen City is a massive, world-class undertaking that will put Texas on the map as a leading green hydrogen producer," GHI's founder and CEO Brian Maxwell said. "Texas has been the world leader in energy innovation for over 100 years and this project is intended to cement that leadership for the next century and beyond."
...

50 years from now in Texas will be very interesting.
"produce 60 gigawatts of green hydrogen every year"? Does GW/year even make sense?

The press release says that the facility will have 60GW wind and solar power on site, and that the plant will produce up 2.5 billion kg of hydrogen each year, relying not just on it's on-site generation but also the grid.

And 60GW of wind and solar? Isn't that several times the existing capacity of all wind and solar in Texas?

There are (at least) two things I can't work out:
1 .How much electricity can be generated by 2.5 billion kg of hydrogen, using it as a replacement fuel in gas turbines?
2. How much electricity does this hydrogen plant need to make that much hydrogen in the first place?

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
That's almost not a complete lie.

You can't have it both ways, bilby. You complain that the wind sometimes blows when electricity is unneeded, and doesn't blow when electricity is needed. But when someone has a plan to utilize wind or solar on days or nights when there's an electricity surplus, you switch to an opposite complaint.

Does the GHI plan to run only when there is cheap electricity available? (I.e. when solar and wind are supplying more than normal needs.) I don't know. I assume they'll run the plant when the electricity price at that moment makes it profitable, which is just what we would want, no?

I still don't think you've acknowledged that nuclear power has the OPPOSITE problem of intermittency. While electricity from natural gas can be turned off when solar and wind are supplying cheap power, with the fuel thus saved for windless nights, nuclear plants cannot be turned off.

Yes, you've talked about future plants where stopping and restarting will not be problematic; but so what? You've told us that the fuel cost is irrelevant in these plants. That means that economically one would want to run the plant continuously and rely on some way to store any excess power (e,g, as pumped water or as H2).

Unlike power from carbon fuels or from dams, which can be throttled when not needed, nuclear plants are kept running: throttling would be uneconomic even if feasible.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
Does the GHI plan to run only when there is cheap electricity available? (I.e. when solar and wind are supplying more than normal needs.) I don't know. I assume they'll run the plant when the electricity price at that moment makes it profitable, which is just what we would want, no?

It's been a long time since I did any accounting, but I'm pretty sure these decisions come down to marginal profit.

At any given point in time, the plant operator has two choices, and each has a marginal profit/loss figure attached to it:
1. Put the plant on standby.
2. Make hydrogen.

The first option is guaranteed to produce a loss. For every moment you aren't making hydrogen, you're paying the overhead associated with keeping the plant ready for the moment when the wholesale spot price of electricity comes down. The only costs you're avoiding are the cost of input materials and the electricity required to run your production.

The second option may or may not produce a loss, depending on the spot price of electricity. The only time you would not choose this option is when the cost of that electricity causes you to make a bigger loss than putting the plant on standby.

I suspect that number 2 is going to be the more profitable choice almost all of the time, even when the spot price is relatively high. And once you start to add in batteries to the grid, the spot price tends to stay down more often, even as wind and solar go offline, as batteries can instantly sell as soon as the price starts to spike.

While I agree that the plant will only run when it's profitable, I don't think there's good reason to assume that this will only occur when renewables are running and fossil fuel generators are not. I think it's more likely that the plant will run regardless of the mix of electricity sources at any given moment.

This is Australia, but it illustrates the relationship between spot price and generation source:

Let's assume* that there is some fixed electricity price at which the plant would simply go to standby. If that breakpoint is $100/MWh, then the plant would be stopping just momentarily on most days. If the breakpoint is$300/MWh then the plant will run basically all the time.

(*This probably isn't how it works in the real world, because the wholesale price of hydrogen probably moves around as well, constantly changing the plant's margin.)

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Can someone explain H2-making electrolyzers to me? I get that this has industrial purposes where the H2 becomes something they use... but "Green Hydrogen" sounds like a terrible idea.

1) Let's generate green energy via solar or wind
2) Now let's use that energy to enact electrolysis to generate H2 at a loss
3) This is somehow going to help our energy sustainability?

If using H2, great. For energy? It sounds like we are using green energy to produce another energy at significantly lower efficiency, where as we could just pump the green into the grid and full efficiency.
H2 can be used for:
• Energy storage: one gets electricity back by running it into a fuel cell.
• Fuel: burning it.
• Feedstock for:
• Synthetic fuels
• A variety of materials, like fertilizers and plastics
From what I've been reading, it has applicable industrial uses, which is already being done by some. My question more regarded its use to generate electricity. Additionally, storage of the hydrogen is no joke and requires a substantial amount of infrastructure.

#### thebeave

##### Veteran Member
Can someone explain H2-making electrolyzers to me? I get that this has industrial purposes where the H2 becomes something they use... but "Green Hydrogen" sounds like a terrible idea.

1) Let's generate green energy via solar or wind
2) Now let's use that energy to enact electrolysis to generate H2 at a loss
3) This is somehow going to help our energy sustainability?

If using H2, great. For energy? It sounds like we are using green energy to produce another energy at significantly lower efficiency, where as we could just pump the green into the grid and full efficiency.
H2 can be used for:
• Energy storage: one gets electricity back by running it into a fuel cell.
• Fuel: burning it.
• Feedstock for:
• Synthetic fuels
• A variety of materials, like fertilizers and plastics
From what I've been reading, it has applicable industrial uses, which is already being done by some. My question more regarded its use to generate electricity. Additionally, storage of the hydrogen is no joke and requires a substantial amount of infrastructure.
Yep, that's what I was thinking. Lots of people think nuclear energy is a non-starter because of the nuclear waste storage "problem", but seems to me storing hydrogen is far more a concern. Not to mention other energy storage mediums, such as grid scale battery storage.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
That's almost not a complete lie.

You can't have it both ways, bilby. You complain that the wind sometimes blows when electricity is unneeded, and doesn't blow when electricity is needed. But when someone has a plan to utilize wind or solar on days or nights when there's an electricity surplus, you switch to an opposite complaint.
But if I plug in my television into the wall, I can't say I'm utilizing green energy from a wind plant somewhere in Ohio.
Yes, you've talked about future plants where stopping and restarting will not be problematic; but so what? You've told us that the fuel cost is irrelevant in these plants. That means that economically one would want to run the plant continuously and rely on some way to store any excess power (e,g, as pumped water or as H2).
The entire plan sounds fishy. Even their own words sound managerial.

Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.

IE, they are just hooking up to the electric lines. Ignoring the issue that they are using the grid to make "green" hydrogen, in 4 years, they don't even plan to have any wind or solar on site?! Looking into it deeper, their 60GW green energy claim is that they are indeed going to "hijack" other people's green energy. There is nothing green about this plant.

Green hydrogen is also an ideal replacement for natural gas in gas-powered power plants as well as the input ingredient for making fertilizers for farmers, who face high price volatility.

But they are using natural gas to generate the hydrogen! This sounds like energy accounting fraud.

They also note they plan to generate 60 GW of hydrogen every year, but are shipping it for industrial uses. Any hydrogen making ammonia, is not generating electricity. So, they are plugging an electrolysis plant onto the grid and just calling it "green". WTF man?!

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
I still don't think you've acknowledged that nuclear power has the OPPOSITE problem of intermittency.
I haven't. Because it doesn't. Because it's not the 1970s anymore. Load following with nuclear reactors is routine in France; It's just unnecessary in most places because nuclear isn't a sufficient fraction of total generation.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
I still don't think you've acknowledged that nuclear power has the OPPOSITE problem of intermittency.
I haven't. Because it doesn't. Because it's not the 1970s anymore. Load following with nuclear reactors is routine in France; It's just unnecessary in most places because nuclear isn't a sufficient fraction of total generation.

It's not clear that you understand the point.

Load leveling with generation from carbon fuels is trivial and appropriate. But it is uneconomic with nuclear reactors. Instead, if sufficient energy storage (including H2) is available to use the surplus, nuclear reactors should ALWAYS be run near peak output. If they're throttling nuclear reactors on windy nights in France, it means that they have insufficient energy storage to maximize the ROI of their nuclear reactors, and that they have insufficient carbon-based power — which CAN be throttled economically — to avoid throttling the nuclear. (Obviously mentioning ONE benefit of carbon-based power is NOT an endorsement of CO2 emissions.)

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Load leveling is a normal and well understood function of electricity grids. It's generally not difficult - loads vary both predictably and slowly, with a handful of well understood exceptions.

What you are lumping in to 'load leveling' is supply leveling in response to wildly fluctuating input from generation technologies that are externalising the low value of their intermittency onto the grid. This is a similar, but much larger problem; Fluctuations in supply from wind and solar are both far bigger and far faster than fluctuations in demand from consumers.

The easiest and best solution to this is to get the vandalism of fluctuating supply off the grid, either by banning it outright, or by making the generating companies pay the full cost of handling the problem they are causing.

The entire wind and solar industry is utterly dependent on both open and hidden subsidies. The hidden subsidy of externalising the cost of intermittency to the grid is absolutely massive, and frankly criminal.

But Putin adores it, because he not only gets huge amounts of cash from selling gas; He also gets massive international leverage. The Germans can't apply serious sanctions against him, because Energiewende has made them completely dependent on him.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
I still don't think you've acknowledged that nuclear power has the OPPOSITE problem of intermittency.
I haven't. Because it doesn't. Because it's not the 1970s anymore. Load following with nuclear reactors is routine in France; It's just unnecessary in most places because nuclear isn't a sufficient fraction of total generation.

It's not clear that you understand the point.

Load leveling with generation from carbon fuels is trivial and appropriate. But it is uneconomic with nuclear reactors. Instead, if sufficient energy storage (including H2) is available to use the surplus, nuclear reactors should ALWAYS be run near peak output. If they're throttling nuclear reactors on windy nights in France, it means that they have insufficient energy storage to maximize the ROI of their nuclear reactors, and that they have insufficient carbon-based power — which CAN be throttled economically — to avoid throttling the nuclear. (Obviously mentioning ONE benefit of carbon-based power is NOT an endorsement of CO2 emissions.)

Nope. You still have NOT acknowledged this point. We understand that there are trade-offs, and a wide variety of complicating issues. The fact that nuclear plants CANNOT be throttled economically may be a minor point in the big picture but you still haven't shown that you even understand the point. Just as a grid with more than 30% of power coming from wind and solar will need massive storage capacity to operate efficiently, so will a grid with much power coming from nuclear.

Load leveling is a normal and well understood function of electricity grids. It's generally not difficult - loads vary both predictably and slowly, with a handful of well understood exceptions.

What you are lumping in to 'load leveling' is supply leveling in response to wildly fluctuating input from generation technologies that are externalising the low value of their intermittency onto the grid. This is a similar, but much larger problem; Fluctuations in supply from wind and solar are both far bigger and far faster than fluctuations in demand from consumers.

The easiest and best solution to this is to get the vandalism of fluctuating supply off the grid, either by banning it outright, or by making the generating companies pay the full cost of handling the problem they are causing.

The entire wind and solar industry is utterly dependent on both open and hidden subsidies. The hidden subsidy of externalising the cost of intermittency to the grid is absolutely massive, and frankly criminal.

Whatever the preferred terminology, some leveling must respond over a period of many minutes or hours, and some must respond in seconds. I suppose there are lots of giant capacitors (and batteries) located throughout a grid. (Or flywheels??? A half-century ago when I worked with computers, I recall some mainframes had big motor-generator sets just to cope with outages measured in milliseconds.)

Is the "hidden subsidy" of wind and solar "massive" (how massive? "absolutely" isn't too helpful), and should a way be found to negate that subsidy? Maybe. But hyperbolic phrases like "frankly criminal" do call the messenger's objectivity into question.

In any event, economical energy storage and deliberate usage during off-peak hours are key to efficiency even if nuclear is to be the power of choice rather than intermittent renewables. H2 production is one good way to store energy. Note that there's no inefficiency if the H2 is needed anyway, either for transportation fuels or for fertilizer production.

As yet another example of off-peak usage, consider freezers. These can be super-cooled when electricity is cheap, and allowed to warm slightly during cloudy afternoons and windless evenings.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
I found this dashboard for France's energy grid:

It appears that they rely on a combination of gas and hydroelectric to provide despatchable electricity. Both gas and hydro appear to ramp up around dawn and dusk, where solar output is low and wind output is below its peak, and yet demand is highest.

There is never enough nuclear to supply more than 100% of demand, so it is always on full. Adding more nuclear would instantly squeeze out some of the demand for gas power. It doesn't look like French nuclear plants are doing load following (in the sense that you don't see daily crests and troughs in nuclear output like you do with hydro and gas).

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
but you still haven't shown that you even understand the point.
You're a smart person.

Smart people frequently make the mistake of assuming that when people disagree with them, it's because they don't understand.

That's probably a good bet.

But sometimes, people will disagree with you, not because they don't understand your point, but because you are wrong.

This is one of those times.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
I suppose there are lots of giant capacitors (and batteries) located throughout a grid. (Or flywheels??? A half-century ago when I worked with computers, I recall some mainframes had big motor-generator sets just to cope with outages measured in milliseconds.)
You suppose wrong.

Most grids operate with no storage at all; Or with a small amount of rapid response pumped hydro, typically as insurance against a cascade of failures - without such a plant, designed for black starting, it can take days to get a grid back up once it fails.

The problem here seems to be that you are assuming that it's a simple enough subject that you can make assumptions based on your experience in only slightly related fields.

But you can't, because it's really not as simple as that.

Grid scale electrical engineering is very complex. I am a very long way from qualified to understand all the details; But I do at least know enough to know that I don't know much.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
In any event, economical energy storage and deliberate usage during off-peak hours are key to efficiency even if nuclear is to be the power of choice rather than intermittent renewables. H2 production is one good way to store energy. Note that there's no inefficiency if the H2 is needed anyway, either for transportation fuels or for fertilizer production.

As yet another example of off-peak usage, consider freezers. These can be super-cooled when electricity is cheap, and allowed to warm slightly during cloudy afternoons and windless evenings.

Yeah, this is the real answer to load leveling. Realtime adjustments to the price of power, communicated to the users so devices can optimize. Even at the residential level there is some optimizing that could be done--when do you charge that EV? When do you run that pool pump?

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
In any event, economical energy storage and deliberate usage during off-peak hours are key to efficiency even if nuclear is to be the power of choice rather than intermittent renewables. H2 production is one good way to store energy. Note that there's no inefficiency if the H2 is needed anyway, either for transportation fuels or for fertilizer production.

As yet another example of off-peak usage, consider freezers. These can be super-cooled when electricity is cheap, and allowed to warm slightly during cloudy afternoons and windless evenings.

Yeah, this is the real answer to load leveling. Realtime adjustments to the price of power, communicated to the users so devices can optimize. Even at the residential level there is some optimizing that could be done--when do you charge that EV? When do you run that pool pump?

I mean, a pizza place can offer cheap pizzas whenever their quiet period are, but it's quite something else to tell customers to fuck off if they want pizza during busy periods. In the latter case, you add production capacity, you don't try to lower sales.

If your supply is intermittent, and you are as a result forced to turn away customers, then you are doing it wrong. You need to fix the supply side, not the demand side.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
Whatever the preferred terminology, some leveling must respond over a period of many minutes or hours, and some must respond in seconds. I suppose there are lots of giant capacitors (and batteries) located throughout a grid. (Or flywheels??? A half-century ago when I worked with computers, I recall some mainframes had big motor-generator sets just to cope with outages measured in milliseconds.)
Synchronous Condensers?

I believe these systems are expected to react within six seconds, on the NEM in Australia.

Batteries are virtually non-existent, besides the couple that have been built in the last five years. They don't contribute much to anything.

Last edited:

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
In any event, economical energy storage and deliberate usage during off-peak hours are key to efficiency even if nuclear is to be the power of choice rather than intermittent renewables. H2 production is one good way to store energy. Note that there's no inefficiency if the H2 is needed anyway, either for transportation fuels or for fertilizer production.

As yet another example of off-peak usage, consider freezers. These can be super-cooled when electricity is cheap, and allowed to warm slightly during cloudy afternoons and windless evenings.

Yeah, this is the real answer to load leveling. Realtime adjustments to the price of power, communicated to the users so devices can optimize. Even at the residential level there is some optimizing that could be done--when do you charge that EV? When do you run that pool pump?
That would be very difficult to implement for retail electricity, as each customer is usually contracted to a single retailer who then has the freedom to vary that price in real time, however they want. It would take a very diligent and data-literate customer to figure out whether they are choosing bad times to consume electricity or just getting cheated.

I would rather we just found a way to make the price of electricity less dependent on the weather. Or even better, let's stop creating that problem in the first place.

#### Hermit

##### Cantankerous grump
Batteries are virtually non-existent, besides the couple that have been built in the last five years. They don't contribute much to anything.
Actually, they do.
The Hornsdale battery, along with another Tesla battery at Lake Bonney and the Dalrymple North battery, were asked to play a key role stabilising the South Australia grid during the 17 days that the state was “isolated” from the rest of the main grid, and it reaped a huge bonus in revenue and profits in return.

That key role delivered a one-off profit boost of €16.4 million ($A27 million) in the first half, allowing Neoen to more than treble its total earnings before interest and tax from battery storage to €23.2 million from €6.9 million, and contributed to a 58 per cent boost to overall earnings in the first half to €148.2 million. ... It’s important to remember also that the Hornsdale battery has delivered savings to consumers already estimated at more than$A150 million, and played key roles in keeping the lights on in a number of major network events.
September 2020 figures. They are bound to have increased since then.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
Batteries are virtually non-existent, besides the couple that have been built in the last five years. They don't contribute much to anything.
Actually, they do.
The Hornsdale battery, along with another Tesla battery at Lake Bonney and the Dalrymple North battery, were asked to play a key role stabilising the South Australia grid during the 17 days that the state was “isolated” from the rest of the main grid, and it reaped a huge bonus in revenue and profits in return.

That key role delivered a one-off profit boost of €16.4 million ($A27 million) in the first half, allowing Neoen to more than treble its total earnings before interest and tax from battery storage to €23.2 million from €6.9 million, and contributed to a 58 per cent boost to overall earnings in the first half to €148.2 million. ... It’s important to remember also that the Hornsdale battery has delivered savings to consumers already estimated at more than$A150 million, and played key roles in keeping the lights on in a number of major network events.
September 2020 figures. They are bound to have increased since then.
I was going to mention the HPR's role in FCAS, because I remember how South Australia avoided a blackout a while ago when a QLD coal plant fell over, but it may not have done as good a job as initially reported.

However it does seem to be the case that the battery has driven down the spot price for FCAS services by bidding against other generators.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
This sub-debate is on a topic where my knowledge is very limited. I've no doubt that bilby knows far more on the topic than I do. But that does not mean that he is right and I am wrong
but you still haven't shown that you even understand the point.
.. . But sometimes, people will disagree with you, not because they don't understand your point, but because you are wrong.

This is one of those times.

If I am wrong you should be able to provide some rebuttal, whether short or long. I've made the same point in three posts here. Not only have you NEVER offered a rebuttal, you've never acknowledged it or indicated that you've read it. If you are still unable or unwilling to offer a 20-word rebuttal, then please use the same 20 words to rephrase the point we're debating so I can be sure you even know what we're talking about.

To refresh your memory, here is the central thesis for yet a 4th time:

There are three types of power source.

(1) Throttlable. These sources can be turned on and off economically to match demand. Hydroelectric dams and carbon-fuel engines are obvious examples. I suspect that some renewable sources, e.g. geothermal, will also fit into this category.

(2) and (3). Non-throttlable. These sources can be turned off but, because there is little cost of consumables, they cannot be turned off ECONOMICALLY. One could shutter one's solar panels at high noon, but why would one want to?

To operate a grid ECONOMICALLY when most of the power is non-throttlable, one seeks energy storage, e.g. pumped water or H2 generation.

There are two non-throttleable cases:
(2) Intermittent sources like wind. During periods of low supply, power must come from storage or from throttlable sources.
(3) Constant sources like nuclear. During periods of low demand, power must be diverted to storage. Note that reducing the reactor output is NOT an economic option since most of the cost is non-recurring cost of construction and (eventual) clean-up.

Yeah, this is the real answer to load leveling. Realtime adjustments to the price of power, communicated to the users so devices can optimize. Even at the residential level there is some optimizing that could be done--when do you charge that EV? When do you run that pool pump?

I mean, a pizza place can offer cheap pizzas whenever their quiet period are, but it's quite something else to tell customers to fuck off if they want pizza during busy periods. In the latter case, you add production capacity, you don't try to lower sales.

Where I live, mangoes are much cheaper at some times of the year than at others. Nobody gets confused.
Charging car's electric batteries in the afternoon — when electricity demand is high — even though the car won't be used until tomorrow, is NOT good policy REGARDLESS of the supply source. I happily stipulate that you know more about the power grid than I do. But your position here seems blindered.

And UIAM there are ALREADY systems available for the home that will AUTOMATICALLY charge car batteries when electricity is cheapest. More such systems will come into use.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
To operate a grid ECONOMICALLY when most of the power is non-throttlable, one seeks energy storage, e.g. pumped water or H2 generation.

There are two non-throttleable cases:
(2) Intermittent sources like wind. During periods of low supply, power must come from storage or from throttlable sources.
(3) Constant sources like nuclear. During periods of low demand, power must be diverted to storage. Note that reducing the reactor output is NOT an economic option since most of the cost is non-recurring cost of construction and (eventual) clean-up.
That makes sense.

The problem then becomes the storage technology.

1. While hydro has a significant share of some energy markets, the majority of hydro stations can't pump the water back up and therefore would need to be upgraded. Pumped hydro is also constrained by the number of suitable sites and the environmental damage caused by building dams.
2. We don't have an economic means to store energy in batteries. There's talk of non-lithium a batteries but they might as well be fusion reactors at this point.
3. We don't have an economic means to store and generate electricity from hydrogen. Maybe one day gas fired generators will all run on H2 or synfuels, but its theoretical at this point.

Given only technology that actually exists, we've got two choices:
1. Use gas-fired power to fill the gaps left by wind and solar.
2. Build enough nuclear to supply everyone and just ban gas entirely.

Both of those options can make a role for storage once it becomes available, but only one of them actually achieves the emissions reductions necessary to mitigate global warming.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
Given only technology that actually exists, we've got two choices:
1. Use gas-fired power to fill the gaps left by wind and solar.
2. Build enough nuclear to supply everyone and just ban gas entirely.

Both of those options can make a role for storage once it becomes available, but only one of them actually achieves the emissions reductions necessary to mitigate global warming.
This is probably quite correct. (Though better storage methods and non-intermittent renewables like geothermal should still be pursued.)

I am NOT an advocate for carbon-based energy, nor do I advocate against nuclear.

I can only be a learner, not a teacher, in these threads. But it is my quibbling nature to respond when I see pedantic and overly simplistic half-truths.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member

I mean, a pizza place can offer cheap pizzas whenever their quiet period are, but it's quite something else to tell customers to fuck off if they want pizza during busy periods. In the latter case, you add production capacity, you don't try to lower sales.

If your supply is intermittent, and you are as a result forced to turn away customers, then you are doing it wrong. You need to fix the supply side, not the demand side.

From a technological standpoint there will always be a load problem.

And I'm not saying to tell them to fuck off in busy times--there would be a normal rate and then discounts below that when demand dropped below the supply that isn't easily throttleable. That's telling the customers to run their time-insensitive stuff now.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
That would be very difficult to implement for retail electricity, as each customer is usually contracted to a single retailer who then has the freedom to vary that price in real time, however they want. It would take a very diligent and data-literate customer to figure out whether they are choosing bad times to consume electricity or just getting cheated.

I would rather we just found a way to make the price of electricity less dependent on the weather. Or even better, let's stop creating that problem in the first place.

The problem is we can't stop creating the problem. It's inherent.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
There are three types of power source
This is a false dichotomy, despite your attempt to break one half of it into a second false dichotomy.

Any power source can be switched off. The weasel word in your argument is 'economically'. The degree to which switching off costs money varies, but is not an absolute; It's not a choice of lose some money or lose no money, but a choice of lose some money or lose more money - and whether that is worthwhile depends on analysing all the pros and cons.

On a grid with certain types of gas turbines, those get turned off first, because they are quick and easy to turn back on, and because fuel is a significant cost, and can be saved by turning them off.

Next are wind turbines and once-through hydro - easy to turn on and off, but you don't save any money by doing so; There's a capital loss due to having expensive equipment idle.

Next is modern nuclear. You save trivial fuel cost, and have a larger capital loss due to both idle equipment, and possibly an opportunity cost if the curtailment is brief and you need to wait for Xenon; This delay varies between designs and with how long the fuel has been in the reactor.

Then you have older nuclear and coal plants, which are very slow to bring back on line once curtailed. They can still be shut down to respond to load variations, but it's generally not done because it's expensive.

It's a spectrum from less to more expensive; There are no hard divisions between categories of 'despatchible' and 'non-dispatchible', though the two ends of the spectrum are sufficiently far apart that they are often referred to in that way for convenience.

As I said earlier, France has demonstrated load following with nuclear. It's an unusual case, only seen in grids totally dominated by nuclear power, but it's not an engineering nor an economic constraint on such grids. It does, however become more expensive as you introduce sharper and less predictable fluctuations - such as by connecting wind or solar power to your grid. This is a hidden cost of intermittent generating, and is usually externalised on their competitors - hence my description of it as vandalism. I guess you could say that's unfair, as the damage others must pay for isn't entirely without benefit to those doing the damage; Perhaps it would be fairer to describe it as terrorism.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Given only technology that actually exists, we've got two choices:
1. Use gas-fired power to fill the gaps left by wind and solar.
2. Build enough nuclear to supply everyone and just ban gas entirely.

Both of those options can make a role for storage once it becomes available, but only one of them actually achieves the emissions reductions necessary to mitigate global warming.
This is probably quite correct. (Though better storage methods and non-intermittent renewables like geothermal should still be pursued.)
Simple thought experiment. Create a natural gas plant that is 1/10th the size of a current one to generate the same amount of power. Now do it with 1/100th the size.

How do you store a massive power plant in a much smaller box in a set of batteries?
I am NOT an advocate for carbon-based energy, nor do I advocate against nuclear.

I can only be a learner, not a teacher, in these threads. But it is my quibbling nature to respond when I see pedantic and overly simplistic half-truths.
The Physics breaks down after a bit. Power storage doesn't work. You can only store so much energy in the form of hydrogen or electrons in any amount of space. Battery storage is grossfully ungreen! It might be carbon free, but it is ugly and a waste of our resources. The only remaining renewables are Dyson sphering the sun and wires in the Van Allen belts, but we are quite the way from being able to harness that energy. Nuclear is here now, and we needed to get on that bus a while ago. Solar and wind are incapable of providing us the energy we need.

#### barbos

##### Contributor
Battery storage is getting better. they have 450WH/kg lithium ion now.

that's basically twice what they had recently. And there are new materials which allow lithium-ion to last 1500 cycles with only 10 drop in performance. Compare with 300-500 with significant drop at the end of it.

And It's green alright.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Battery storage is getting better. they have 450WH/kg lithium ion now.

that's basically twice what they had recently. And there are new materials which allow lithium-ion to last 1500 cycles with only 10 drop in performance. Compare with 300-500 with significant drop at the end of it.

And It's green alright.
So, get it to 1.1 KWhr/kg. What have we accomplished? We've reduced the size of the needed battery by less than a magnitude. And at that point, aren't we bumping into the physical storage capacity of Li ion? Sure, this is great for all the legitimate uses of rechargeable batteries. But reducing the mass by half isn't particularly useful when trying to create a massive energy bank to supplement nighttime or low wind power in lieu of major energy sources, and this presumes we are creating surplus green energy without fossil fuels.

We need a vacuum tube to transistor like Eureka to make power storage viable. And that doesn't exist. You can't shrink a gas plant into a battery.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Battery storage is getting better. they have 450WH/kg lithium ion now.

that's basically twice what they had recently. And there are new materials which allow lithium-ion to last 1500 cycles with only 10 drop in performance. Compare with 300-500 with significant drop at the end of it.

And It's green alright.

For grid-scale use the size of the battery is irrelevant. It's pretty much irrelevant even for residential-scale use. What really counts is the cost per kWh-cycle.

#### barbos

##### Contributor
Battery storage is getting better. they have 450WH/kg lithium ion now.

that's basically twice what they had recently. And there are new materials which allow lithium-ion to last 1500 cycles with only 10 drop in performance. Compare with 300-500 with significant drop at the end of it.

And It's green alright.
So, get it to 1.1 KWhr/kg. What have we accomplished? We've reduced the size of the needed battery by less than a magnitude. And at that point, aren't we bumping into the physical storage capacity of Li ion? Sure, this is great for all the legitimate uses of rechargeable batteries. But reducing the mass by half isn't particularly useful when trying to create a massive energy bank to supplement nighttime or low wind power in lieu of major energy sources, and this presumes we are creating surplus green energy without fossil fuels.

We need a vacuum tube to transistor like Eureka to make power storage viable. And that doesn't exist. You can't shrink a gas plant into a battery.
Smaller weight means less material and less cost. And increased durability directly translates into lower cost. Imagine a battery with 50,000 cycles. That practically immortal battery. All you need to do is to add capacity and eventually you will get there. And there are 20,000 cycles batteries now. They are not yer economical yet but there are no laws of physics which prevent batteries to last 50-100 years.

#### barbos

##### Contributor
Battery storage is getting better. they have 450WH/kg lithium ion now.

that's basically twice what they had recently. And there are new materials which allow lithium-ion to last 1500 cycles with only 10 drop in performance. Compare with 300-500 with significant drop at the end of it.

And It's green alright.

For grid-scale use the size of the battery is irrelevant. It's pretty much irrelevant even for residential-scale use. What really counts is the cost per kWh-cycle.
cost per kWh-cycle of a immortal battery is zero.
And even if it is mortal, it would still be close to zero because you pay cost of the materials (lithium, nickel, etc) only once, after that it gets recycled.
And cost of recycling old battery into a new one can be essentially zero, becasue it's essentially manufacturing cost.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
I have no idea when or whether cost-effective batteries will be available. Perhaps other technologies, e.g. the newish idea of Buoyancy Energy Storage with 85%+ round-trip efficiency, will provide grid storage and obviate the need for giant batteries.

(I'm not going to predict the future. Back in the 1970's I nodded my head when reading that Moore's Law was over, that stray gamma rays would interfere with sub-micron circuits. But now every kid carries around a supercomputer thousands of times more powerful than the awe-inspiring supercomputers of the 1970's!)

But one thing makes a big gong sound on the Irony Meter. In another thread we learn that tens of billions of humans do not overload the Earth's ecosystem. The future promises unlimited power (fusion? dilithium crystals?); smart humans will develop technology to produce artificial meat, to produce fertilizers economically, to pump water from Lake Michigan to the California desert, etc. In just two decades the weight of plastics in the oceans will exceed the total weight of fish? No problem! Man is very very smart and will find a technological solution! Honeybees might go extinct? Don't worry! Man will build nanobots to do the pollination!

Yet the same people telling us in the other thread how smart man is and how rapidly technology advances, consider energy storage to be an insurmountable problem in this thread!

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
I have no idea when or whether cost-effective batteries will be available. Perhaps other technologies, e.g. the newish idea of Buoyancy Energy Storage with 85%+ round-trip efficiency, will provide grid storage and obviate the need for giant batteries.

(I'm not going to predict the future. Back in the 1970's I nodded my head when reading that Moore's Law was over, that stray gamma rays would interfere with sub-micron circuits. But now every kid carries around a supercomputer thousands of times more powerful than the awe-inspiring supercomputers of the 1970's!)

But one thing makes a big gong sound on the Irony Meter. In another thread we learn that tens of billions of humans do not overload the Earth's ecosystem. The future promises unlimited power (fusion? dilithium crystals?); smart humans will develop technology to produce artificial meat, to produce fertilizers economically, to pump water from Lake Michigan to the California desert, etc. In just two decades the weight of plastics in the oceans will exceed the total weight of fish? No problem! Man is very very smart and will find a technological solution! Honeybees might go extinct? Don't worry! Man will build nanobots to do the pollination!

Yet the same people telling us in the other thread how smart man is and how rapidly technology advances, consider energy storage to be an insurmountable problem in this thread!
I checked the other thread to see what this is apparently referring to:
The high population is unsustainable. Levels of water tables are plummeting in India and elsewhere. Feeding the many billions relies on huge consumption of phosphate fertilizer; but easily recoverable phosphate is fast being exhausted. An increasing portion of the Earth's fertile surface is now used to grow food for humans (or the beef they like to eat); this impacts biodiversity — in fact scientists are already calling out time The Sixth Great Extinction.

The ocean is being degraded horribly; there are giant piles of plastic in the middle of oceans; coral reefs are being destroyed. Parts of the ocean once dominated by fish are now dominated by jellyfish.

IMO, climate change is just one of several problems that can be directly attributed to human over-population.

People have different aspirations. There are posters on this board that honestly think 30 billion humans is perfectly okay. Maybe it is okay if all you want are humans, air conditioners and sidewalks and roads and nothing else. I can't imagine being content in such a vast wasteland. It would be like everyone living in a nursing home.

30 billion humans is about three times the plausible maximum number that will ever simultaneously inhabit the planet, so it's completely irrelevant to reality whether or not that population is OK.

Overpopulation is a stupid idea. It was a reasonable fear in the mid to late twentieth century, but it's long since been resolved.

There are no resource issues we cannot solve that would prevent us sustaining the ~10 billion humans that represent our likely peak population. Of course, we might not be smart enough to actually implement those solutions - look at the reluctance we have to completely replace the burning of fossil fuels with nuclear fission - but the problems are political and ideological, they're not resource, technology, or population driven.

Population is just people. "Overpopulation" is a fundamentally anti-human concept, and belongs in the same ideological dustbin as other anti-humanitarian ideas such as apartheid, slavery, and fascism.
Where Bilby says that the world's population will cap out around ten billion, but you represent it as "tens of billions of humans do not overload the Earth's ecosystem."

I count myself as someone who believes humans will find technological solutions to environmental problems, and that overpopulation is a red herring.

In the case of carbon emissions, we have had the technology to solve, or at least massively reduce, that problem since before James Hansen predicted the dangerous rate of global warming caused by carbon emissions. We just aren't using it.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
Yet the same people telling us in the other thread how smart man is and how rapidly technology advances, consider energy storage to be an insurmountable problem in this thread!
Is anyone actually claiming that?

It's certain that humans will develop a variety of storage technologies. and probably relatively soon, as in the next few decades. And when it is available, I'll be in favour of using it.

Until then, nuclear is preferable to renewables + storage for one overriding reason: it exists.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
to pump water from Lake Michigan to the California desert
So they can fuck up our Great Lakes like they've fucked up the Colorado river? NO!

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
As a rule of thumb, for any engineering problem, there are a million crackpot ideas that don't and can't work. If a genuine and workable solution exists, these get little attention. People just go with the optimum solution for their application - typically no more than a few such solutions are required to cover the vast majority of situations.

So a good indication of an unsolved problem is the large amount of attention given to a bewildering array of different proposals to solve it.

Every newspaper article about a new energy storage concept represents further evidence that this is an intractible problem whose solution will be a long time coming - if it can be solved at all.

The truly insane thing is that this 'search for storage' is an attempt to solve a wider problem using a non-viable and unnecessary approach that is popular only due to the wide adherence to the appeal to nature fallacy.

The brief is to find a way to make enough electricity constantly available to run our technologically developed society, without causing severe damage to our environment in the process.

Only one currently available technology can meet that brief.

That people are currently engaged in trashing the environment in pursuit of another option is insane. That they put vast effort into blocking the implementation of the solution we have, and even successfully lobby to have instances of that solution closed down, is madness beyond words.

There is nothing so useless as striving to do efficiently that which need not be done at all. The solution to the grid scale energy storage problem is to only use, at grid scale, generating technologies that are reliable and controllable - then storage is suddenly a minimal and easily managed issue requiring no new solutions.

Engineering is based on physics, not magic. Not everything we can imagine is possible or practical. Really really wanting something to work, and wishing as hard as possible for it, isn't effective or sensible.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I have no idea when or whether cost-effective batteries will be available. Perhaps other technologies, e.g. the newish idea of Buoyancy Energy Storage with 85%+ round-trip efficiency, will provide grid storage and obviate the need for giant batteries.

Buoyancy storage is just another version of the same old gravity storage. It suffers from extremely low energy density.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
It's rather easy to calculate how much energy density gravity gives. For 100 meters, that's about 1 joule/gram, so I concede the low density. But one can use materials and mechanisms that are very cheap per unit mass, so the two may cancel out.

Gravel costs about $10 -$50 per ton, giving $10 -$50 per megajoule over 100 meters. By comparison, a lithium-ion battery may cost about $36 per megajoule. But the cost of gravity storage is not just that of the lifted material. To get an idea of the cost of the lifting mechanism, I checked out CraneTrader.com | New & Used Crane And Lifting Equipment For Sale - I found several thousand dollars per ton per hundred meters. For gravity energy storage, one may be able to take some shortcuts, since all but the lifting will be fixed, but I doubt that it would be possible to go very far with those. #### bilby ##### Fair dinkum thinkum It's rather easy to calculate how much energy density gravity gives. For 100 meters, that's about 1 joule/gram, so I concede the low density. But one can use materials and mechanisms that are very cheap per unit mass, so the two may cancel out. Gravel costs about$10 - $50 per ton, giving$10 - $50 per megajoule over 100 meters. By comparison, a lithium-ion battery may cost about$36 per megajoule.

But the cost of gravity storage is not just that of the lifted material. To get an idea of the cost of the lifting mechanism, I checked out CraneTrader.com | New & Used Crane And Lifting Equipment For Sale - I found several thousand dollars per ton per hundred meters.

For gravity energy storage, one may be able to take some shortcuts, since all but the lifting will be fixed, but I doubt that it would be possible to go very far with those.
There's pretty much no material that can compete with water for this. It's cheap, fairly dense, and easy to pump. Storing large volumes of it is also relatively easy, where terrain permits.

The problem is that while pumped hydro is pretty good for following load, you need orders of magnitude more to handle intermittent generating from wind and/or solar, while keeping the lights on; And there's very little remaining un-used terrain that's suitable for this.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
It's rather easy to calculate how much energy density gravity gives. For 100 meters, that's about 1 joule/gram, so I concede the low density. But one can use materials and mechanisms that are very cheap per unit mass, so the two may cancel out.

Gravel costs about $10 -$50 per ton, giving $10 -$50 per megajoule over 100 meters. By comparison, a lithium-ion battery may cost about \$36 per megajoule.

But the cost of gravity storage is not just that of the lifted material. To get an idea of the cost of the lifting mechanism, I checked out CraneTrader.com | New & Used Crane And Lifting Equipment For Sale - I found several thousand dollars per ton per hundred meters.

For gravity energy storage, one may be able to take some shortcuts, since all but the lifting will be fixed, but I doubt that it would be possible to go very far with those.

I wouldn't use a crane--you don't need free-form lifting, just lifting in a given situation.

Thus you have a platform 100m up with a cable running over it going to the motor/generator.

I would be amazed if the platform doesn't cost far more than the gravel. Whatever is containing the gravel probably costs more than the gravel.

Bouyant storage somewhat simplifies this as you don't need any platform. Instead, you need something that floats and a sufficiently heavy anchor to counter it. However, it's underwater, that introduces a whole new set of maintenance headaches.

The only remotely sane version of gravity storage I've seen involves exploiting existing abandoned mineshafts.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
It's rather easy to calculate how much energy density gravity gives. ...

But the cost of gravity storage is not just that of the lifted material. To get an idea of the cost of the lifting mechanism, I checked out CraneTrader.com | New & Used Crane And Lifting Equipment For Sale - I found several thousand dollars per ton per hundred meters.
I wouldn't use a crane--you don't need free-form lifting, just lifting in a given situation.

Thus you have a platform 100m up with a cable running over it going to the motor/generator.
Yes, one can do shortcuts if one does not want the sort of motions that a crane does. It's like how photovoltaic cells can use materials like amorphous silicon rather than crystalline silicon, since one does not require the sort of quality that one needs for making computer chips.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
That's almost not a complete lie.

It will tap into:

View attachment 37598

"64% fossil fuel, 36% green" energy from the Texan grid.

So, mostly it will be generated from burning fossil gas, or coal.

Of course, over time we can expect coal to largely disappear, and be mostly replaced by more fossil gas.

The plant will be making hydrogen, not as a service provided to humanity out of a sense of duty, but as a profitable saleable commodity; It's unlikely that they will shut down or even throttle back production when the wind drops, because the saving from using only the cheapest electricity in that way will be more than offset by the inefficient use of capital equipment when it's not run 24x7.

This is greenwashing at its finest - a nugget of truth used to persuade fools that making profits by burning fossil fuel is "green".

They will even laud you in public without payment, defend you against people who try to reveal your villainy, and vote for politicians who want to give you fat subsidies from the public purse; All because you were able to pretend that using lots of electricity is "green", if a third of that electricity is generated without trashing the atmosphere.

..
According to its website, GHI has seven projects that are under development with a combined output of one terawatt. The largest and the first one to get off the ground is Hydrogen City in Texas. <b>Using onshore wind and solar energy</b>, the project aims to produce 60 gigawatts of green hydrogen every year.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
That's almost not a complete lie.

It will tap into:

View attachment 37598

"64% fossil fuel, 36% green" energy from the Texan grid.

So, mostly it will be generated from burning fossil gas, or coal.

Of course, over time we can expect coal to largely disappear, and be mostly replaced by more fossil gas.

The plant will be making hydrogen, not as a service provided to humanity out of a sense of duty, but as a profitable saleable commodity; It's unlikely that they will shut down or even throttle back production when the wind drops, because the saving from using only the cheapest electricity in that way will be more than offset by the inefficient use of capital equipment when it's not run 24x7.

This is greenwashing at its finest - a nugget of truth used to persuade fools that making profits by burning fossil fuel is "green".

They will even laud you in public without payment, defend you against people who try to reveal your villainy, and vote for politicians who want to give you fat subsidies from the public purse; All because you were able to pretend that using lots of electricity is "green", if a third of that electricity is generated without trashing the atmosphere.

..
According to its website, GHI has seven projects that are under development with a combined output of one terawatt. The largest and the first one to get off the ground is Hydrogen City in Texas. <b>Using onshore wind and solar energy</b>, the project aims to produce 60 gigawatts of green hydrogen every year.
No, it doesn't do any of that.

They are building an electrolysis plant and say explicitly they are connecting to the electric grid. Then they say they are taking advantage of all that green energy production by others (usurping it without actually doing so), ie "accounting gimmick." That hydrogen is then going into industrial purposes (including ammonia production), not energy production. So either this plant is running on Natural Gas or the energy production in Texas gets a whole less greener. Can't have it both ways. This plant is a "green" fraud.

To follow up on another post, Texas current generates 33 GW of wind and about 10 GW of solar. So currently, this "Green" Hydrogen plant wants to use ALL of Texas' green renewable energy... and still require 50% more capacity being added to just get to their 60 GW!

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Note the "H2 Production Load balancing" etc. This is just one project.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Note the "H2 Production Load balancing" etc. This is just one project.
The world is full of projects.

Few of them have a significant net beneficial impact on our wider environment; This one clearly isn't amongst those few, despite the company trying to market it as "green".

If you want to see a genuinely green project - one that will significantly decrease carbon dioxide emissions, while having only a tiny environmental impact in other respects - there's one in Georgia you would do much better to get behind: https://www.southerncompany.com/innovation/vogtle-3-and-4.html

Oddly, many people who describe themselves as 'environmentalists' oppose this project, on equally spurious and irrational grounds to those they use to support making Hydrogen from fossil fuels in Texas.

It's almost as though people were ignorant dupes who are easily swayed away from hard facts by emotion driven marketing campaigns.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
And yet, the project is moving forwards.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Green hydrogen production is expected to begin by 2026 and it will tap into renewable energy from the Texan electricity grid.
...
That's almost not a complete lie.

It will tap into:

View attachment 37598

"64% fossil fuel, 36% green" energy from the Texan grid.

So, mostly it will be generated from burning fossil gas, or coal.

Of course, over time we can expect coal to largely disappear, and be mostly replaced by more fossil gas.

The plant will be making hydrogen, not as a service provided to humanity out of a sense of duty, but as a profitable saleable commodity; It's unlikely that they will shut down or even throttle back production when the wind drops, because the saving from using only the cheapest electricity in that way will be more than offset by the inefficient use of capital equipment when it's not run 24x7.

This is greenwashing at its finest - a nugget of truth used to persuade fools that making profits by burning fossil fuel is "green".

They will even laud you in public without payment, defend you against people who try to reveal your villainy, and vote for politicians who want to give you fat subsidies from the public purse; All because you were able to pretend that using lots of electricity is "green", if a third of that electricity is generated without trashing the atmosphere.