• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
Goals and plans don’t store electricity.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
Goals and plans don’t store electricity.

Oh, get real! Plans and goals have been part of America's way since the 30's with projects like Hoover dam, TVA and rural electification. The oil industry was and is heavily subsidized. So was nuclear. This hydrogen program is underway, so sorry about that.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
Goals and plans don’t store electricity.

Oh, get real! Plans and goals have been part of America's way since the 30's with projects like Hoover dam, TVA and rural electification. The oil industry was and is heavily subsidized. So was nuclear. This hydrogen program is underway, so sorry about that.
But it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between dreams and reasonable plans.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
Goals and plans don’t store electricity.

Oh, get real! Plans and goals have been part of America's way since the 30's with projects like Hoover dam, TVA and rural electification. The oil industry was and is heavily subsidized. So was nuclear. This hydrogen program is underway, so sorry about that.
But it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between dreams and reasonable plans.

Again. Hydrogen generation and storage is here now. It is a niche industry. It needs encouragement to speed thi gs along as a major player.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
Goals and plans don’t store electricity.

Oh, get real! Plans and goals have been part of America's way since the 30's with projects like Hoover dam, TVA and rural electification. The oil industry was and is heavily subsidized. So was nuclear. This hydrogen program is underway, so sorry about that.
But it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between dreams and reasonable plans.

Again. Hydrogen generation and storage is here now. It is a niche industry. It needs encouragement to speed thi gs along as a major player.
And you really believe that it can replace fossil fuels and/or nuclear power? That is what I mean by dreams vs. reasonable plans. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working on energy storage systems but to dream that they are a panacea is not being rational.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
Don't put words in my mouth.
Then what do you expect the result of reducing the cost of storing hydrogen to be? It will still be fairly expensive as there will still be the cost of generating the hydrogen plus the storage cost plus the transport cost from where it is generated to where it will be used.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
The results would be to make hydrogen generation on site of solar and wind installations economically feasible, off the shelf, instead of increasingly exspensive lithium batteries. Long term projects. These things exist now. What is needed is economies of scale and standardiztion.

Meanwhile, day dreams of large numbers of small nuclear reactors have a problem. Due to the nature of physics, such mini reactors produce far more high level radioactive waste. So that dream may be just that, a dream.

And in decades to come, fracking will start getting more expensive and gas also as low hanging fruit, easy to develop deposits tap out.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
The results would be to make hydrogen generation on site of solar and wind installations economically feasible, off the shelf, instead of increasingly exspensive lithium batteries. Long term projects. These things exist now. What is needed is economies of scale and standardiztion.

Meanwhile, day dreams of large numbers of small nuclear reactors have a problem. Due to the nature of physics, such mini reactors produce far more high level radioactive waste. So that dream may be just that, a dream.
First, my comment of neighborhood fusion power plants was sarcasm as should be obvious since there are no fusion power plants; that is still 30 years away (more sarcasm in case you are unfamiliar with fusion research). But then neighborhood subcritical power stations are absolutely possible today. They were proposed back in the 1970s but rejected out of fear of proliferation of nuclear material. However rather than creating radioactive waste, a subcritical power station would use the spent fuel rods of our current fusion power plants as fuel. Rather than having to store those spent fuel rods, they would be used to generate power for the neighborhood.
And in decades to come, fracking will start getting more expensive and gas also as low hanging fruit, easy to develop deposits tap out.
As the technology of fracking has advanced it has gotten cheaper so far. And the fact that it may get more expensive is not a reason to stop it as long as the reward is greater than the cost. Maybe by the time "deposits tap out" we will finally have cost effective solar power or maybe even fusion reactors on line.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist

Small modular reactors, long touted as the future of nuclear energy, will actually generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants, according to research from Stanford and the University of British Columbia.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)

Small modular reactors, long touted as the future of nuclear energy, will actually generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants, according to research from Stanford and the University of British Columbia.
I mentioned subcritical power plants not small versions of our current nuclear power plants. Our deep space probes, and I think some of our Martian rovers and military satellites, use even smaller versions of the subcritical power plants that was suggested for neighborhood power stations in the 1970s. They were proposed to use the spent fuel rods from our nuclear power plants that we now have to store.
 
Last edited:

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
You may not be trying to add to a climate of fear, but you’re most assuredly a victim of it, if you believe your concerns expressed here to be reasonable or rational concerns that need to be taken into consideration.

I was NOT trying to pander to anti-nuke fears. Just the opposite.

Renewables have their own hard-to-measure and controversial costs. Some concerns are ecological. And for intermittent power to be effective, big advances in battery technology are desired. (And the "Let's Go Brandon" ilk is worried about humans getting "mad cow" disease from wind turbines, or such.)

What I am suggesting is that the pros and cons of both paths be carefully assessed, and expected costs quantified, so that the choice becomes a hard-nosed cold-blooded calculation.

In the left corner we have Mohammed Ali.
In the right corner we have a solar panel and a windmill asleep dreaming of a battery.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Storage issues for solar are reduced to the point of elimination as the global transmission system expands. This system will likely make use of ultra-high voltage transmission for efficient long-distance transmission (1000s of km).

Doubling the voltage halves the losses. You'll need some insane voltages (which mean huge towers and a substantial safety zone) to get intercontinental transmission efficient.

Realistically, it requires a practical superconductor. So far all the reasonably "high" temperature (still cryogenic) superconductors are not robust enough for power wires.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
Storage issues for solar are reduced to the point of elimination as the global transmission system expands. This system will likely make use of ultra-high voltage transmission for efficient long-distance transmission (1000s of km).
That looks damned risky. We have two events that should make you very leery of such a plan. We have the Carrington event of 1859 that took out the only widely distributed electrical system at that time, telegraphs. Then there was the solar event that took out the eastern Canadian grid in 1989. What you are proposing (linking all power grids on Earth) could take out the electrical system for the entire world... a return to the early 1800s.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Is there any scenario in which solving the eco-energy crisis does not involve significant engineering obstacles? Expanding the electrical transmission system doesn't seem overly difficult in comparison with, say, constructing hundreds of nukes or off-worlding to Mars.

This isn't a city-builder where you can push infinite power through a wire.

Current world power consumption = 58 kwh/day/person. Let's be generous and say our solar panels work 8 hours/day, 7.25kw/person * 7.753 billion people * 2/3 (those in darkness) = 37.47 terawatts that must be shipped.

The most powerful lines currently in use can deliver about 2.2 gigawatts. Thus you need 20,000 world-spanning very high tension towers even before counting transmission losses. The minimum safety distance to prevent arcs is I believe 30 meters (5 meters around each wire, 6 wires/tower, they're usually arranged 3 across, 2 high), you're looking at a band of towers 600 kilometers across.

That 2.2 gigawatt line burns up about 10% of the power per 100 miles--good luck overcoming losses on 10,000+ miles.

The thousands of nuke plants are going to be a lot easier to construct.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Storage issues for solar are reduced to the point of elimination as the global transmission system expands. This system will likely make use of ultra-high voltage transmission for efficient long-distance transmission (1000s of km).
That looks damned risky. We have two events that should make you very leery of such a plan. We have the Carrington event of 1859 that took out the only widely distributed electrical system at that time, telegraphs. Then there was the solar event that took out the eastern Canadian grid in 1989. What you are proposing (linking all power grids on Earth) could take out the electrical system for the entire world... a return to the early 1800s.

I expect a Carrington event would be a civilization-ender and it very well might be the answer to the Fermi paradox.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
Storage issues for solar are reduced to the point of elimination as the global transmission system expands. This system will likely make use of ultra-high voltage transmission for efficient long-distance transmission (1000s of km).
That looks damned risky. We have two events that should make you very leery of such a plan. We have the Carrington event of 1859 that took out the only widely distributed electrical system at that time, telegraphs. Then there was the solar event that took out the eastern Canadian grid in 1989. What you are proposing (linking all power grids on Earth) could take out the electrical system for the entire world... a return to the early 1800s.

I expect a Carrington event would be a civilization-ender and it very well might be the answer to the Fermi paradox.
I don't follow. Humanity survived the Carrington event without even noticing that it happened except for the damage to the telegraph system and the "pretty sky displays". Though certainly a massive enough coronal mass ejection could have been disasterous.
 

No Robots

Maykkerz
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
323
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Basic Beliefs
Christian.atheist
Advantages and disadvantages of DC

One major advantage of HVDC is its low cost for transmission of very high power over very long distances. A second great advantage is that the losses are quite low. The total losses in the transmission of power over 2,000 km are in the order of five percent. The third major advantage is that fewer lines are needed with less right of way requirement. As mentioned above, transmission of 12,000 MW can be achieved with two lines using 800 kV HVDC. Transmitting the same power with 800 kV AC would require eight lines. –Ultra high voltage transmission
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Hydrogen generation and storage is here already, but it is a niche industry and is expensive. The Biden administration has implemented a program with the goal over 10 years to reduce costs of producing and storing hydrogen by 80%.
Goals and plans don’t store electricity.

Oh, get real! Plans and goals have been part of America's way since the 30's with projects like Hoover dam, TVA and rural electification.
Those things are all physical infrastructure. They may have started out as goals and plans, but they stored and transmitted not one single electron until they were realised.
The oil industry was and is heavily subsidized. So was nuclear. This hydrogen program is underway, so sorry about that.
Goals and plans are to storage as fertilised ova are to adult humans. All of the latter started as the former, but having the former is no reason to assume that it will eventually become the latter.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Meanwhile, day dreams of large numbers of small nuclear reactors have a problem. Due to the nature of physics, such mini reactors produce far more high level radioactive waste.
That’s simply untrue. And if it were true, so what? High level radioactive waste is just unused fuel awaiting recycling. And it’s never hurt a soul. So why would it matter if there were more of this valuable resource?

And nobody here is suggesting small reactors anyway; I am more than happy to see a smaller number of large reactors.

The climate change issue is too urgent to fuck about with R&D. We have functioning Gen III plant designs already generating electricity at full scale; Let’s build a bunch more of them.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Maybe no one here is championing mini-nuclear plants, but TerraPower, a company jointly created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are. They have already started building a pilot plant in Wyoming. They recieved $80 million from the government. Their plant will also feature a large molten salt energy storage unit also. Meanwhile in UK, Rolls Royce is planning their small reactor design projects. And there are others. Here in Texas, no nuclear plants are planned. Lots of solar and wind and grid expansion projects are going forward. That is where the money is here.

Meanwhile, natiowide, nuclear waste is accumulating at nuclear sites with no plans in sight to deal with that little problem of permanent disposal of that waste. The Yucca Flats fiasco demonstrates the inability and unwillingness politically to deal competently with the long term nuclear waste problam in the U.S..
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Maybe no one here is championing mini-nuclear plants, but TerraPower, a company jointly created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are. They have already started building a pilot plant in Wyoming. They recieved $80 million from the government. Their plant will also feature a large molten salt energy storage unit also. Meanwhile in UK, Rolls Royce is planning their small reactor design projects. And there are others. Here in Texas, no nuclear plants are planned. Lots of solar and wind and grid expansion projects are going forward. That is where the money is here.

Meanwhile, natiowide, nuclear waste is accumulating at nuclear sites with no plans in sight to deal with that little problem of permanent disposal of that waste. The Yucca Flats fiasco demonstrates the inability and unwillingness politically to deal competently with the long term nuclear waste problam in the U.S..
The nuclear waste "problem" is a propaganda tool.



Nobody's demanding that chemically toxic heavy metals from other industries (including, incidentally, wind turbine and solar panel manufacturing) be sequestered for geological timescales.



The fact is that we already have a completely safe storage system in place - on site storage in dry casks has been used for sixty years without anyone ever being hurt.



It's already far safer than the waste from any other power generation technology.



It's not 'green goo' - it's a boring grey ceramic solid, heavy and insoluble. Even if a cask was broken open, the materials inside aren't going to go anywhere; as long as everyone stays back a few metres, nobody's going to get hurt.



And these casks are inside the perimeter fence of nuclear power plants. Nobody's casually going to stroll up to them uninvited.



The most dangerous isotopes are the ones that decay quickly. They will be gone in a few centuries. The rest isn't particularly hazardous once it's that old - you wouldn't want to eat it, but that's true of almost any industrial waste, and unlike nuclear waste, chemical wastes remain hazardous FOREVER.



Of course, spent nuclear fuel is only hazardous because it's energetic. So the best option is to use it as fuel in fast reactors.



For example, the Elysium MCSFR (as well as various other fast reactors currently in development) can use this 'waste' as fuel, leaving a tiny amount of radioactive material with a lifespan of about three centuries before it decays to background - and then you can just landfill it.



How tiny? Well, currently a lifetimes supply of energy for an American can be generated with an amount of fuel the size of a soda can - and produces the same volume of "waste".



To get a lifetimes supply of energy from a MCSFR, you need an amount of fuel with the volume of four chocolate m&m's.



The waste is bit more - about seven m&m's for an American, over his entire life of energy use. But it halves in activity every thirty or so years, and in three hundred, it's barely radioactive at all.



Every generation technology has a toxic waste problem. Only nuclear power has solved that problem.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
...
Maybe no one here is championing mini-nuclear plants, but TerraPower, a company jointly created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are. They have already started building a pilot plant in Wyoming. They recieved $80 million from the government. Their plant will also feature a large molten salt energy storage unit also. Meanwhile in UK, Rolls Royce is planning their small reactor design projects. And there are others. Here in Texas, no nuclear plants are planned. Lots of solar and wind and grid expansion projects are going forward. That is where the money is here.

Meanwhile, natiowide, nuclear waste is accumulating at nuclear sites with no plans in sight to deal with that little problem of permanent disposal of that waste. The Yucca Flats fiasco demonstrates the inability and unwillingness politically to deal competently with the long term nuclear waste problam in the U.S..
I think that a really big problem with envisioning energy production is that it is driven by fads, propaganda, and politicians, not by engineers with an understanding of energy. Solar panels are great but only in areas with plenty sun and then best for isolated areas with no grid like a lone cabin, on a small island, or on a sailboat. Wind power is great for areas where there is lots of reliable wind. Neither is reliable enough to expect to run the power needs of a nation (Germany tried). And even for isolated private use, some form of energy storage in necessary for it to be at all useful. But politicians love them so there is a hell of a lot of propaganda to stir up public demand for them.

There has been so much propaganda against nuclear that the general population will believe almost any "we are all going to die" scenario that is offered to oppose it. However, the French love nuclear power and they don't glow in the dark.

The subcritical nuclear power systems I mentioned (and was proposed in the 1970's) use as fuel the nuclear waste that you are so worked up over having to store. Why store it when it could be "stored" in such a system and be producing power? The Curiosity rover on Mars uses a mini-version of the system for its power and so does the Voyager missions. (No battery, hydrogen, etc. energy storage system needed)

Geothermal is a damned good, clean, reliable power source used in several places around the world where there is easy access to the Earth's heat. There is very little work however on developing the technology for drilling deep holes to reach that heat so geothermal power could be produced almost anywhere. (No battery, hydrogen, etc. energy storage needed)
 
Last edited:

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
"Best in area with no grid"? Last year in Texas solar accouned for 4% of renewable energy. This year 7%. We have some major solar projects being built in West Texas and New Mexico to supply more solar power and more grid projects to acces the energy created. Big solar is here. And big solar is now a player in California and elsewhere.

Never let those who say it can't be done stop those who are doing it.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
"Best in area with no grid"? Last year in Texas solar accouned for 4% of renewable energy. This year 7%. We have some major solar projects being built in West Texas and New Mexico to supply more solar power and more grid projects to acces the energy created. Big solar is here. And big solar is now a player in California and elsewhere.

Never let those who say it can't be done stop those who are doing it.
Who are not even reaching 10% of ‘doing it’.

The only state or national scale grids to achieve Carbon Dioxide emissions routinely below 100gCO2eq/kWh are those that are close to 100% Hydro, nuclear, or a combination of those two.

Propaganda is cheap. Bragging about things you hope to achieve is easy. But actually keeping the lights on for a month, much less a year, with 100gCO2eq/kWh or less, is something no large area or large population has ever done with more than 20% wind + solar, or indeed with less than 80% nuclear + hydro.

And that’s not for want of money, effort or time; Just ask the Germans.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
At peak, Texas now can get up to 25% of electric needs from wind and solar. And more solar and wind projects are under way. Last year in the U.S. 500,000 homes had solar systems installed. There is that also.
 

Tigers!

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Messages
3,060
Location
On the wing waiting for a kick.
Basic Beliefs
Bible believing revelational redemptionist (Baptist)
At peak, Texas now can get up to 25% of electric needs from wind and solar. And more solar and wind projects are under way. Last year in the U.S. 500,000 homes had solar systems installed. There is that also.
Great whilst the sun shines. You will always get 0% of electricity from solar at night. Guaranteed.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
"Best in area with no grid"? Last year in Texas solar accouned for 4% of renewable energy. This year 7%. We have some major solar projects being built in West Texas and New Mexico to supply more solar power and more grid projects to acces the energy created. Big solar is here. And big solar is now a player in California and elsewhere.

Never let those who say it can't be done stop those who are doing it.
Who said it can't be done? Throw enough money at almost anything and it can be done and politicians are throwing a hell of a lot of money at solar and wind power. The question is what is the best, most reliable way. On a private sailboat or in a cabin in the wilderness solar cells plus batteries works fine as long as there isn't a long stretch of heavy overcast skies. But if someone on a sailboat was willing to throw enough money to use nuclear power then nuclear would work for them, it works for the navy.

Solar cells alone can't solve our energy demands unless you only want to use light bulbs or anything electronic during the day on sunny days.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
At peak, Texas now can get up to 25% of electric needs from wind and solar. And more solar and wind projects are under way. Last year in the U.S. 500,000 homes had solar systems installed. There is that also.
Great whilst the sun shines. You will always get 0% of electricity from solar at night. Guaranteed.

Summertime in Texas is hot during the day. Solar works best during the day. To keep air conditioners working. It is better than rolling brown outs. Over time, as solar grows and energy storage gets going it will become less of a problem. And we have the solution of large commercial buildings. Using cheap off peak energy to chill water for AC when appropriate.

That we do not have a perfect solution today is no excuse to stop and givi g up, is it? Think long term and keep building.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
"Best in area with no grid"? Last year in Texas solar accouned for 4% of renewable energy. This year 7%. We have some major solar projects being built in West Texas and New Mexico to supply more solar power and more grid projects to acces the energy created. Big solar is here. And big solar is now a player in California and elsewhere.

Never let those who say it can't be done stop those who are doing it.
Who are not even reaching 10% of ‘doing it’.

The only state or national scale grids to achieve Carbon Dioxide emissions routinely below 100gCO2eq/kWh are those that are close to 100% Hydro, nuclear, or a combination of those two.

Propaganda is cheap. Bragging about things you hope to achieve is easy. But actually keeping the lights on for a month, much less a year, with 100gCO2eq/kWh or less, is something no large area or large population has ever done with more than 20% wind + solar, or indeed with less than 80% nuclear + hydro.

And that’s not for want of money, effort or time; Just ask the Germans.

Bragging? Just stating the facts. Texas has the sunlight and wind and is rapidly developing these opportunities. It works and it makes profits for those companies who are doing it. This isn't going to stop because the Bilbys of the world don't like it.

Meanwhile the problem of energy storage is now being intensely worked on. Check back with Texas in 25 years.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
So many strawmen, so little time. Renewables are killing off coal in Texas, and will phase out oil over time. It will not phase out gas any time soon. But long term we cannot go on the way we are. We all know that.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
36,961
Basic Beliefs
Calvinistic Atheist
...
Maybe no one here is championing mini-nuclear plants, but TerraPower, a company jointly created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are. They have already started building a pilot plant in Wyoming. They recieved $80 million from the government. Their plant will also feature a large molten salt energy storage unit also. Meanwhile in UK, Rolls Royce is planning their small reactor design projects. And there are others. Here in Texas, no nuclear plants are planned. Lots of solar and wind and grid expansion projects are going forward. That is where the money is here.

Meanwhile, natiowide, nuclear waste is accumulating at nuclear sites with no plans in sight to deal with that little problem of permanent disposal of that waste. The Yucca Flats fiasco demonstrates the inability and unwillingness politically to deal competently with the long term nuclear waste problam in the U.S..
I think that a really big problem with envisioning energy production is that it is driven by fads, propaganda, and politicians, not by engineers with an understanding of energy. Solar panels are great but only in areas with plenty sun and then best for isolated areas with no grid like a lone cabin, on a small island, or on a sailboat. Wind power is great for areas where there is lots of reliable wind.
When I think of wind, I think of islands. When I think of Islands, I think of PEI in Canada. Wind power capacity in PEI has skyrocketed (~1500% since 2005). It still imports about 60% of its electricity from News Brunswick. Occasionally it is a net exporter, but it usually isn't. The trouble with wind can be too much wind means zero power!
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
...
...
Maybe no one here is championing mini-nuclear plants, but TerraPower, a company jointly created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are. They have already started building a pilot plant in Wyoming. They recieved $80 million from the government. Their plant will also feature a large molten salt energy storage unit also. Meanwhile in UK, Rolls Royce is planning their small reactor design projects. And there are others. Here in Texas, no nuclear plants are planned. Lots of solar and wind and grid expansion projects are going forward. That is where the money is here.

Meanwhile, natiowide, nuclear waste is accumulating at nuclear sites with no plans in sight to deal with that little problem of permanent disposal of that waste. The Yucca Flats fiasco demonstrates the inability and unwillingness politically to deal competently with the long term nuclear waste problam in the U.S..
I think that a really big problem with envisioning energy production is that it is driven by fads, propaganda, and politicians, not by engineers with an understanding of energy. Solar panels are great but only in areas with plenty sun and then best for isolated areas with no grid like a lone cabin, on a small island, or on a sailboat. Wind power is great for areas where there is lots of reliable wind.
When I think of wind, I think of islands. When I think of Islands, I think of PEI in Canada. Wind power capacity in PEI has skyrocketed (~1500% since 2005). It still imports about 60% of its electricity from News Brunswick. Occasionally it is a net exporter, but it usually isn't. The trouble with wind can be too much wind means zero power!
Right. Renewables have to solve the problem of reliability. A functional industrial society has to have a power system that insures that the light comes on when the the switch is flicked. Without storage and/or backup, solar can only provide that during sunny days, not so much during storms or at night. Wind can work at night or day but not so much during heavy storms or during a calm.

Interestingly, the Voyager and Pioneer probes have used reliable uninterrupted power for over 45 years now. The problem of providing reliable clean power was solved before the 1970s.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
At peak, Texas now can get up to 25% of electric needs from wind and solar. And more solar and wind projects are under way. Last year in the U.S. 500,000 homes had solar systems installed. There is that also.
And at trough, they can get “down to” 0%.

And they get no choice whatsoever about when the peaks or troughs will be.

At peak, Ontario gets 100% of electric needs from nuclear and hydro; And at trough, well over 80%.

Installed solar panels generate zero power at night, no matter how many of them there are.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
That we do not have a perfect solution today is no excuse to stop and givi g up, is it?
But we DO HAVE a perfect solution. You just don’t like it, for no good reasons.

Nuclear power is the safest way of generating electricity yet developed. It’s the most reliable. It’s the lowest in carbon dioxide emissions (onshore wind is the only technology that is comparable on that score). It’s the cheapest low emissions option, when all costs are included (though wind and solar advocates ignore the cost of storage, and fossil fuel advocates ignore the cost of environmental damage, making nuclear look comparatively expensive).

What other attributes would an ideal solution have? What’s wrong with you, that you are rejecting the safe, reliable, environmentally friendly and cheap option we have available today, in favour of a future possibility that we might get a fundamentally less effective solution, to not suck quite as badly as it does now?
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Who said anything about 0%? Not anytime soon. The problem with commodities like gas and oil is wild price swings like we had with the disasterous Texas big freeze last year and we are seeing today with oil. Gas killed off expensive coal and renewables are finishing the job. The heat dome Texas is now sufering from has increased electrical prices by great amounts. Gas increases in such cases. Price and demand.

Long term, renewables are going to prove attractive.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
"Best in area with no grid"? Last year in Texas solar accouned for 4% of renewable energy. This year 7%. We have some major solar projects being built in West Texas and New Mexico to supply more solar power and more grid projects to acces the energy created. Big solar is here. And big solar is now a player in California and elsewhere.

Never let those who say it can't be done stop those who are doing it.
Who are not even reaching 10% of ‘doing it’.

The only state or national scale grids to achieve Carbon Dioxide emissions routinely below 100gCO2eq/kWh are those that are close to 100% Hydro, nuclear, or a combination of those two.

Propaganda is cheap. Bragging about things you hope to achieve is easy. But actually keeping the lights on for a month, much less a year, with 100gCO2eq/kWh or less, is something no large area or large population has ever done with more than 20% wind + solar, or indeed with less than 80% nuclear + hydro.

And that’s not for want of money, effort or time; Just ask the Germans.

Bragging? Just stating the facts. Texas has the sunlight and wind and is rapidly developing these opportunities. It works and it makes profits for those companies who are doing it. This isn't going to stop because the Bilbys of the world don't like it.
What you or I like has fuck-all to do with it. My question is ‘why are you trying to get a second rate solution to do things it’s fundamentally incapable of, when we already have a first rate solution that is better in pretty much every regard?’.
Meanwhile the problem of energy storage is now being intensely worked on. Check back with Texas in 25 years.
We don’t have 25 years. And in 25 years, we will have fusion, as well as storage, both being predicted to become available in 25 years time…
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
It will not phase out gas any time soon. But long term we cannot go on the way we are. We all know that.
Long term, we cannot keep burning fossil fuels. Gas is a fossil fuel. And Wind + Solar is ALWAYS Wind + Solar + Gas.

I can understand why the frackers and fossil fuel merchants of Texas love wind and solar power; I cannot understand why anyone else, in Texas or anywhere, who gives a shit about climate change, would support their desire to profit from destroying our environment.

You are being used as a patsy in a battle for cash between coal barons and gas barons. Neither give a crap about our environment, but one side has found an expensive propaganda weapon, and a way to get idiots to insist that taxpayers fund it. It’s genius, albeit evil genius.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
In case you have not noticed, here in Texas, there are no plans for more nuclear plants. There are plans for a lot more renewable projects. Being a realist, dreaming nuclear will save us lacks one little element. Actually building more nuclear plants in Texas.

It is not happening. It is not going to happen anytime soon. If somebody started today, it would be 15 years or more befoe any plant came on line. Meanwhile renewable projects are just chugging along.

Meanwhile, nuclear waste is piling up at existing nuclear plants with no solution in sight. Nobody wants the burden of solving this little problem. Uncle Sam doesn't want the nuclear industry to build plants and stick the government with the nuclear waste problem. And the nuclear industry doesn't want to be saddled with that problem as a condition for be allowed to build.

Perhaps you can write President Biden with the grand solution.
 

skepticalbip

Contributor
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Messages
7,304
Location
Searching for reality along the long and winding r
Basic Beliefs
Everything we know is wrong (to some degree)
...
In case you have not noticed, here in Texas, there are no plans for more nuclear plants. There are plans for a lot more renewable projects. Being a realist, dreaming nuclear will save us lacks one little element. Actually building more nuclear plants in Texas.

It is not happening. It is not going to happen anytime soon. If somebody started today, it would be 15 years or more befoe any plant came on line. Meanwhile renewable projects are just chugging along.

Meanwhile, nuclear waste is piling up at existing nuclear plants with no solution in sight. Nobody wants the burden of solving this little problem. Uncle Sam doesn't want the nuclear industry to build plants and stick the government with the nuclear waste problem. And the nuclear industry doesn't want to be saddled with that problem as a condition for be allowed to build.

Perhaps you can write President Biden with the grand solution.
You are confusing political reality for physics reality. Politicians pandering to the gas lobby, solar, and wind lobbies does not mean that solar and wind are not dumb solutions compared to nuclear. Personally, I don't look to politicians for an understanding of physics.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
In case you have not noticed, here in Texas, there are no plans for more nuclear plants.
Why would I notice, or care much about, Texas? I don’t live in Texas. I don’t live in the same country as Texas. I don’t live in the same hemisphere as Texas. Texas is utterly unimportant to me.
There are plans for a lot more renewable projects. Being a realist, dreaming nuclear will save us lacks one little element. Actually building more nuclear plants in Texas.
Texas isn’t the world. It’s not even a significant fraction of the world.
It is not happening. It is not going to happen anytime soon. If somebody started today, it would be 15 years or more befoe any plant came on line. Meanwhile renewable projects are just chugging along.
Though none will solve the intermittency problem in the next fifteen years.

And the gas companies are loving all that sweet cash.
Meanwhile, nuclear waste is piling up at existing nuclear plants with no solution in sight.
Solution? Solution to what problem?
Nobody wants the burden of solving this little problem.
You haven’t identified a problem.
Uncle Sam doesn't want the nuclear industry to build plants and stick the government with the nuclear waste problem. And the nuclear industry doesn't want to be saddled with that problem as a condition for be allowed to build.
WHAT PROBLEM???

Are people getting hurt, or being placed at risk of injury or death? Is our environment being degraded in some way? Are plants running out of space to store this spent fuel? What, exactly, is this “problem”?
Perhaps you can write President Biden with the grand solution.
Biden is not my President.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Who said anything about 0%
Reality said that on a windless night, renewables generate 0% of your energy requirements.

If you don’t like that, take it up with reality.

Did I not point out one can buy hydrogen plants now to solve that problem? Did i not point out there are many projects being pursued to solve that issue. Did I not point out that the Biden Adminstration started a 10 year plan to cut costs of hydrogenstorage 80%? $100 Million to prime that pump.

Long term, this is an issue that is solvable and will be solved. Stop trolling!
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
27,684
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
Who said anything about 0%
Reality said that on a windless night, renewables generate 0% of your energy requirements.

If you don’t like that, take it up with reality.

Did I not point out one can buy hydrogen plants now to solve that problem?
If you did, you were wrong. You cannot buy such plants. You may be able to buy a very expensive plant that addresses a minuscule fraction of that problem; But that’s not a solution.
Did i not point out there are many projects being pursued to solve that issue.
Did I not point out that plans, ideas, and research don’t store electricity?
Did I not point out that the Biden Adminstration started a 10 year plan to cut costs of hydrogenstorage 80%? $100 Million to prime that pump.
That seems wasteful. Betting $100M on a chance at a partial solution to climate change, when that money could have been invested in the existing nuclear industry that is known to be effective.

But you didn’t need to tell me that politicians are often ignorant and wasteful.
Long term, this is an issue that is solvable and will be solved.
You hope.

Hope doesn’t store electricity.
Stop trolling!
I am arguing in good faith here. Your failure to find any good counterarguments is not an indication that I am trying to annoy you, it is just an indication that you are mistaken in your position.

If that annoys you, it’s a you problem, and one that could be easily solved by simply opening your mind to the possibility that reality might disagree with your beliefs.
 

Cheerful Charlie

Contributor
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,418
Location
Houston, Texas
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
...
In case you have not noticed, here in Texas, there are no plans for more nuclear plants. There are plans for a lot more renewable projects. Being a realist, dreaming nuclear will save us lacks one little element. Actually building more nuclear plants in Texas.

It is not happening. It is not going to happen anytime soon. If somebody started today, it would be 15 years or more befoe any plant came on line. Meanwhile renewable projects are just chugging along.

Meanwhile, nuclear waste is piling up at existing nuclear plants with no solution in sight. Nobody wants the burden of solving this little problem. Uncle Sam doesn't want the nuclear industry to build plants and stick the government with the nuclear waste problem. And the nuclear industry doesn't want to be saddled with that problem as a condition for be allowed to build.

Perhaps you can write President Biden with the grand solution.
You are confusing political reality for physics reality. Politicians pandering to the gas lobby, solar, and wind lobbies does not mean that solar and wind are not dumb solutions compared to nuclear. Personally, I don't look to politicians for an understanding of physics.

The fact here in Texas, California, New Mexico etc is renewables are being implemented on a large scale. Nuclear is not. We take what we get. Nuclear plants are expensive. Typically, constuction runs over budget and behind schedule. And sometimes fails such as the two projects Westinghouse botched. Nuclear is exspnsive to operate.

Everybody as a result is gun shy about starting new reactor projects. Nobody wants to buy a white elephant. Nobody wants the nuclear waste disposal problem.
 
Top Bottom