# The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Not an adequate or reasonable answer. We need to start the process of coming up with a solution now. A serious and intelligent solution. Nobody not caring about this is worth paying attention to.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
There are absolutely no plans on where it can be permanently buried safely.
Who cares? Just leave it where it is stored now.
The anti-nuke crowd (that know nothing about the nuclear industry) think that the fact that they don't like something (even though they don't understand it) makes it a dire problem. It is much like the religious evangelicals that argue "I don't understand therefore god", the anti nuke crowd argue "I don't know and refuse to learn about the nuclear industry therefore it is a dire problem".

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
Not an adequate or reasonable answer. We need to start the process of coming up with a solution now. A serious and intelligent solution. Nobody not caring about this is worth paying attention to.
There has been a solution for several decades that has long since been implemented. The fact that you don't know this only speaks to the lack of sincerity in your "argument".

Maybe what we need to work on is a solution for safe disposal of all the retired solar panels. There is a lot of toxic materials in solar panels that we don[t want contaminating our drinking water or getting into the environment. As of now, they are just dumped.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Not an adequate or reasonable answer. We need to start the process of coming up with a solution now. A serious and intelligent solution. Nobody not caring about this is worth paying attention to.
You do know that every technology for generating electricity creates toxic wastes, right?

And that nuclear power is the only such technology that completely stores and manages those wastes?

Nuclear waste is the only toxic waste stream that’s effectively managed. It’s also by far the smallest in size.

If hazardous waste is your big concern, nuclear power should be your favourite way to make electricity.

Assuming rationality on your part, of course. Which is an increasingly poor assumption.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Not an adequate or reasonable answer. We need to start the process of coming up with a solution now. A serious and intelligent solution. Nobody not caring about this is worth paying attention to.
There has been a solution for several decades that has long since been implemented. The fact that you don't know this only speaks to the lack of sincerity in your "argument".

Maybe what we need to work on is a solution for safe disposal of all the retired solar panels. There is a lot of toxic materials in solar panels that we don[t want contaminating our drinking water or getting into the environment. As of now, they are just dumped.
As are the toxic wastes from their manufacturing.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
The U.S. has 90,000 metric tons of nuclear waste.
That sounds like a lot to have built up in just seventy years.

For comparison, how long does it take the wind or solar industries to produce 90,000T of toxic wastes?

I assume that it’s far more than seventy years, given that you clearly think the figure for nuclear waste is relatively large.

Or had you not thought about a comparison, and just blithely assumed that the number for nuclear is large enough to be scary in its own right?

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Not an adequate or reasonable answer. We need to start the process of coming up with a solution now. A serious and intelligent solution. Nobody not caring about this is worth paying attention to.
There has been a solution for several decades that has long since been implemented. The fact that you don't know this only speaks to the lack of sincerity in your "argument".

Maybe what we need to work on is a solution for safe disposal of all the retired solar panels. There is a lot of toxic materials in solar panels that we don[t want contaminating our drinking water or getting into the environment. As of now, they are just dumped.

The U.S. has 90,000 tons of waste sitting in local stockpiles that do not have any workin solution for permament disposal today. You don't know anything about any of this. I am going to ignore you along with Bilby. You ate wasting electrons here.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Not an adequate or reasonable answer. We need to start the process of coming up with a solution now. A serious and intelligent solution. Nobody not caring about this is worth paying attention to.
There has been a solution for several decades that has long since been implemented. The fact that you don't know this only speaks to the lack of sincerity in your "argument".

Maybe what we need to work on is a solution for safe disposal of all the retired solar panels. There is a lot of toxic materials in solar panels that we don[t want contaminating our drinking water or getting into the environment. As of now, they are just dumped.

The U.S. has 90,000 tons of waste sitting in local stockpiles that do not have any workin solution for permament disposal today. You don't know anything about any of this. I am going to ignore you along with Bilby. You ate wasting electrons here.
What’s wrong with continuing the current arrangement indefinitely?

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
The U.S. has 90,000 metric tons of nuclear waste. There are absolutely no plans on where it can be permanently buried safely. Yeah, just kick that can down the road. Let our descendents deal with it. Such a plan. It is not getting done, is it? Maybe we can somehow get right winged politicians to get as excited about America's nuclear waste problem as they are about CRT or Don't Say Gay? Or obstructing Build Back Better.
1) It's not causing problems where it is.

2) It's a political hot potato, not a scientific problem.

3) It's actually better that we don't do anything with it for now--eventually we will come to our senses and reprocess it.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
There are absolutely no plans on where it can be permanently buried safely.
Who cares? Just leave it where it is stored now.
As long as it cannot contaminate any water systems then it will be fine where it is.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
Georgia's reactors were projected to cost $15 billion but ended up costing$30 billion. A fellow could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with that extra $15 billion. Where did it all go? (These were two new reactors at an already-existing site — That should have avoided some costs.) Some of the over-run was probably due to proponents low-balling the projected cost to ensure investor interest. But what was the money spent on? How much could have been saved with weaker containment? Does the standard "withstand collision with a fully-fueled 747" seem excessive? And how will the capital cost amortize out to dollars per MWh? What is the appropriate discount rate to use for this calculation? These are all rhetorical questions. Some of the experts here had all the answers while I was still repairing vacuum-tube computers for a living; and I do NOT want to come up to speed. (If anyone has the answer to my financial questions, please put them in a Spoiler box so I won't need to read them. I see my only role as identifying holes in some of the argumentation here. Whatever the scarcity of lithium or U235, these holes are NOT in short supply! ) I notice that Georgia politicians will have the daunting task of allocating the$30 billion cost between electricity rate-payers and Georgia Power shareholders! No wonder it's so expensive to campaign for elected office in Georgia!

Wind and solar are only viable if supported by either fossil gas, or high-grade handwavium.

You have quoted infinity as the cost of energy storage. I know lithium is expensive, but is it really THAT high? I know we're not running out of Lithium because in another thread YOU assured us that Helium was the ONLY material we're running out of!

Batteries are not the only way to store power. For example I previously mentioned Buoyancy energy storage, cheaper than batteries for long-term storage. This answered all the complaints mentioned in-thread, so the anti-storage ilk . . . completely ignored it!

All arguments for anything can be made to seem ridiculous if you strip away the nuances, to leave only the straw.

But ceteris isn't paribas, is it? Has it really not occurred to you that present dams will deliver (more than) eight times their current power per capita, if the population were eight times smaller?
That has nothing to do with carbon dioxide

Just to be clear, I am NOT arguing against nuclear power. But on my soapbox, Conservation should top the list of energy solutions, ahead of nuclear AND renewables.

Still, "renewability" does have a nice ring to it! That's how the Earth managed to get by for billions of years. These days, fanatics of every ilk seem to treat the Earth as disposable. Presumably Elon Musk will rescue our great grandchildren by transporting them to another star system!

I will sit back now and listen to the experts. But I'm afraid I'll pay little heed to someone unable to acknowledge that dams would produce eight times the power per capita with a smaller population.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
But I'm afraid I'll pay little heed to someone unable to acknowledge that dams would produce eight times the power per capita with a smaller population.
I am more than happy to acknowledge that fact.

But your false belief that I don’t, apparently stems from your failure to understand the actual argument I made, from which you inferred that bit of nonsense.

A smaller population will not change the final amount of carbon dioxide emissions, because the population isn’t relevant to determining what that final amount will be.

All that matters is how much fossil fuel resource exists - that is, how much fossil fuel can ever be made available to burn.

That amount of carbon is the only factor in determining how much carbon dioxide ends up in the atmosphere, absent a concerted worldwide effort to stop burning such fuels.

If a population of X billion takes Y years to burn it all, then a population of X/2 will take ~2Y years. The only value for X whereby the fossil fuels don’t all get burned is zero.

Capitalism ensures that the resource will be fully utilised, up to the point where it’s cheaper to use other energy sources, or globally unlawful to do so.

The fact that other sources of power have a very small additional effect in forestalling the inevitable isn’t relevant to the question of whether that endpoint is reached.

Population reductions cannot alter this simple arithmetic, and adding minor nuances (such as a greater proportion of energy coming from other sources) just further delays the inevitable. Unless and until that proportion is 100%, no degree of population reduction will help.

We need a population of zero fossil fuel burning humans. If we can achieve that with one billion non-fossil fuel burning humans, then we can equally well do it with eight, or twelve, billion non-fossil fuel burning humans.

Anything else eventually leads to all of the fossil fuels being burned. Regardless of how many people work on this, or how long they take to achieve it.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
Batteries are not the only way to store power. For example I previously mentioned Buoyancy energy storage, cheaper than batteries for long-term storage. This answered all the complaints mentioned in-thread, so the anti-storage ilk . . . completely ignored it!
IIRC lpetrich provided a link to a paper explaining how this would work, and I skimmed rhrough it. I thought it was an interesting technology, but it doesn't scale.

"BEST is easily scalable to specific applications ranging from kilowatts to megawatts, hence finding applications in multiple ancillary services from frequency regulation to spinning reserves and load shifting."

We don't need ancillary services that supply megawatts, we need solutions that can deliver gigawatts of electricity and are capable of sustained discharge for weeks at a time.

You have to wonder why the engineers behind BEST systems haven't yet produced a larger scale version. It's not like there isn't a market opportunity.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
But I'm afraid I'll pay little heed to someone unable to acknowledge that dams would produce eight times the power per capita with a smaller population.
I am more than happy to acknowledge that fact.

But your false belief that I don’t, apparently stems from your failure to understand the actual argument I made, from which you inferred that bit of nonsense.

A smaller population will not change the final amount of carbon dioxide emissions, because the population isn’t relevant to determining what that final amount will be.
. . .
If a population of X billion takes Y years to burn it all, then a population of X/2 will take ~2Y years. The only value for X whereby the fossil fuels don’t all get burned is zero.

Let's see if I understand. If 8 billion would burn all viable fossil fuels in 125 years, then 1 billion would burn it all in 1000 years.
Fuel all gone. Same disastrous effect on climate change either way.

Meanwhile, if policy makers would just listen to bilby, the 8 billion will NOT burn all fossil fuel; they'll switch to nuclear. Problem solved. World saved. Is this correct so far?

So ONE billion will destroy the climate; it will just take them 1000 years. Eight billion will NOT destroy the climate.

Do I have to make my question specific from here? Does nuclear plant construction take eight times as long in the hypothetical? Is the reason why 1 billion fail that bilby would be missing from that subset?

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Again. Solar and wind. From planning, to building to profit is short. From planning to building to profit for nuclear is 15 to 20 years, debending on the usual delays and over budget issues that often accompany nuclear projects. Operating nuclear is exspensive. Nobody is eager to build under these circumstances.
We got to the moon use slide rulers, we developed multiple Covid-19 vaccines in record time... via large buckets of ensured Government dollars. We could make nuclear a priority. The largest thing holding nuclear back is the general American take on nuclear and NIMBY-ism.

Those fuckwads with the 'no wind mill" signs wouldn't want a nuclear plant either. The trouble in America is, few give a damn about climate change.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Batteries are not the only way to store power. For example I previously mentioned Buoyancy energy storage, cheaper than batteries for long-term storage. This answered all the complaints mentioned in-thread, so the anti-storage ilk . . . completely ignored it!
IIRC lpetrich provided a link to a paper explaining how this would work, and I skimmed rhrough it. I thought it was an interesting technology, but it doesn't scale.

"BEST is easily scalable to specific applications ranging from kilowatts to megawatts, hence finding applications in multiple ancillary services from frequency regulation to spinning reserves and load shifting."

We don't need ancillary services that supply megawatts, we need solutions that can deliver gigawatts of electricity and are capable of sustained discharge for weeks at a time.

You have to wonder why the engineers behind BEST systems haven't yet produced a larger scale version. It's not like there isn't a market opportunity.
Indeed, the issue is some of the 'solutions' provide help for relatively small supplemental applications. Yes, they can help powers thousands or tens of thousands of homes... for a bit.

However, we need solutions that provide power (a few magnitudes more of it) all the time. There is only a couple batteries the size large enough to get there, and they are already charged up, the trouble is getting the power from the Van Allen belts or deep in the Earth's crust into our power lines. Everything else is relatively small and simply too limited in magnitude to provide long-term and sustainable power. Batteries and power storage don't work.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Texas is working on wind to hydrogen. Supposedly first phases to start by 2026. Meanwhile, proposed smal reactors will save excess power in vast hot salt storage systems. Nuclear also has a storage problem. Demand is variable. At low demand times, they have wasted power, and thus income.

#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Batteries are not the only way to store power. For example I previously mentioned Buoyancy energy storage, cheaper than batteries for long-term storage. This answered all the complaints mentioned in-thread, so the anti-storage ilk . . . completely ignored it!
Buoyancy is simply a variant on gravity storage--it suffers from very low energy density and while buoyancy gets rid of the heavy masses it replaces them with the floats and it means the cables are underwater--much harder to keep them from corroding.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
But I'm afraid I'll pay little heed to someone unable to acknowledge that dams would produce eight times the power per capita with a smaller population.
I am more than happy to acknowledge that fact.

But your false belief that I don’t, apparently stems from your failure to understand the actual argument I made, from which you inferred that bit of nonsense.

A smaller population will not change the final amount of carbon dioxide emissions, because the population isn’t relevant to determining what that final amount will be.
. . .
If a population of X billion takes Y years to burn it all, then a population of X/2 will take ~2Y years. The only value for X whereby the fossil fuels don’t all get burned is zero.

Let's see if I understand. If 8 billion would burn all viable fossil fuels in 125 years, then 1 billion would burn it all in 1000 years.
Fuel all gone. Same disastrous effect on climate change either way.

Meanwhile, if policy makers would just listen to bilby, the 8 billion will NOT burn all fossil fuel; they'll switch to nuclear. Problem solved. World saved. Is this correct so far?

So ONE billion will destroy the climate; it will just take them 1000 years. Eight billion will NOT destroy the climate.

Do I have to make my question specific from here? Does nuclear plant construction take eight times as long in the hypothetical? Is the reason why 1 billion fail that bilby would be missing from that subset?
ANY NUMBER will destroy the climate if we don’t see a massive policy shift.

NO NUMBER will do so if we do see a massive policy shift.

THEREFORE knowing the number adds nothing whatsoever to our knowledge about whether or not the climate will be destroyed.

Therefore population is not a factor at all; It is an irrelevant distraction from the actual issue, which is whether (and if so, how) we are going to stop burning all the fossil fuel.

You appear to be do desperate for me to be saying something absurd, that you are prepared to invent hugely complex arguments to assign to me, rather than to think about my incredibly simple and easy to follow logic.

A large population isn’t something I think is better for the environment; It’s just something I can demonstrate arithmetically to not be worse (despite your intuition that it must be worse, because bilby must be a moron, because he doesn’t agree with your beliefs), in the long run. Therefore massive population reductions are pointless; They just kick the can down the toad without solving anything.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Texas is working on wind to hydrogen. Supposedly first phases to start by 2026. Meanwhile, proposed smal reactors will save excess power in vast hot salt storage systems. Nuclear also has a storage problem. Demand is variable. At low demand times, they have wasted power, and thus income.
I still don't buy the green hydrogen. It just makes the Con red flags pop up. Making hydrogen at a loss with green energy, that could otherwise be used directly for the grid. The math just seems suspect to me. Kind of like the math a solar contractor uses to make it seem like a homeowner is saving a lot of money with solar panels, when in reality, they aren't, by a long shot, at least where I live.

Regarding nuclear, couldn't that excess low demand time power just go to really green hydrogen?

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Texas is working on wind to hydrogen. Supposedly first phases to start by 2026. Meanwhile, proposed smal reactors will save excess power in vast hot salt storage systems. Nuclear also has a storage problem. Demand is variable. At low demand times, they have wasted power, and thus income.
I still don't buy the green hydrogen. It just makes the Con red flags pop up. Making hydrogen at a loss with green energy, that could otherwise be used directly for the grid. The math just seems suspect to me. Kind of like the math a solar contractor uses to make it seem like a homeowner is saving a lot of money with solar panels, when in reality, they aren't, by a long shot, at least where I live.

Regarding nuclear, couldn't that excess low demand time power just go to really green hydrogen?
Nuclear doesn’t imply anywhere close to the demand for storage that intermittent renewables do. Existing pumped hydro is sufficient in most cases, and modern nuke designs can load follow as well - the lack of load following for nuclear is largely a feature of Generation I and II designs, which nobody has built since the 1970s.

The French use both, and do just fine.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
I just report what the people who want to build their mini-reactors are saying about their projects. They foresee times their reactors will be creating excess electricity. Go argue with them. Go do your homework.

Of course we all remember claims nuclear power would create so much electricity so cheaply we would not bother to meter it. Nuclear big promises. Now plant operators are demanding operating subsidies because that bad old renewable and gas are making nuculear power unprofitable.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
...
I just report what the people who want to build their mini-reactors are saying about their projects. They foresee times their reactors will be creating excess electricity. Go argue with them. Go do your homework.

Of course we all remember claims nuclear power would create so much electricity so cheaply we would not bother to meter it. Nuclear big promises. Now plant operators are demanding operating subsidies because that bad old renewable and gas are making nuculear power unprofitable.
That is a baseless and incorrect assertion. Again look to the difference between the cost of electrical energy in France and Germany. France's energy that relies heavily on nuclear is much cheaper than Germany's energy that tried its best to rely heavily on wind and solar.

The problem with nuclear power in the U.S. is politicians (not scientists that understand energy) in control of government that are trying their best to shut down the industry using the power of government control.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
The article had the following line "The project in Duval County — a sparsely populated Democratic stronghold about 145km (90 miles) west of Corpus Christi".
Is it important to the project that it be located in a Democratic stronghold?

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
The article had the following line "The project in Duval County — a sparsely populated Democratic stronghold about 145km (90 miles) west of Corpus Christi".
Is it important to the project that it be located in a Democratic stronghold?
Well if they are putting up wind turbines on site then it probably means they'll get get fewer complains about Wind Turbine Syndrome.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
It would be interesting to see a list of other brutally overpriced drugs that could likewise be produced by state run plants to keep needed drug prices sane.

It would be interesting if brutally overpriced nuclear power could instead be produced by state run plants to keep needed electricity prices sane.

But apparently that’s unthinkable and completely impossible.

It’s odd how having the government do unprofitable things is always a terrible idea, until those things are things you want to have happen, at which point it suddenly doesn’t matter whether anyone is making a profit.

I would note that the proportion of taxpayers who use insulin is dramatically lower than the proportion who use both electricity and a stable climate.

Of course, I could be an arsehole, and tell you that nobody’s ever going to make cheap insulin that doesn’t earn profits, so you should just forget about it. But fortunately, there’s a smart guy quoted above who understands that that’s not a real argument against it at all.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Good idea. I hereby delegate you to write Governor Newsome and explain it all to him. Let us know how it all turns out.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
The problem with that approach is that it requires centralised control with which every demand component (or at least, a sizeable subset of demand components) cooperates.

People are shit at that. Everyone wants somebody else to switch off their factories, while they themselves keep going at the most profitable rate.

Our current system expects everyone to pretty much do their own thing, as profitably as possible, with regards to demand, and just manages supply to meet the fluctuations in demand that inevitably occur.

Which is why attaching uncontrollably variable sources of supply to the system is vandalism. It does exponentially increasing harm to system stability as more of it is added; Our systems can cope with about 20% or so of supply from such sources, and at much lower percentages, the harm is barely noticeable (while the profits, particularly when large subsidies and wholesale price guarantees are in place, are huge). But as the Germans have proven, you simply cannot keep the lights on if you go much past that 20% mark, and as you try to do so, the costs and instabilities explode in your face - leaving you going cap in hand to the Russian gas oligarchs.

Socialism would be one possible way out of this, but it has other problems.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Germany announced today it would restart some coal fired power plants.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Germany announced today it would restart some coal fired power plants.
That’s the result of using ideology instead of engineering in your decision making process.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
...
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
That sounds as reasonable as having McDonalds decide and regulate when and how much their customers are allowed (and required) to eat.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
...
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
That sounds as reasonable as having McDonalds decide and regulate when and how much their customers are allowed (and required) to eat.
We need to be using way more energy than we are even producing at all right now to start capturing excess carbon.

There is no shortage of things we need to use energy for, least of all the environment, and energy being cheap benefits pretty much everyone. In addition, we need to divorce ourself from oil and it's global supply chain.

We only get that if we can manage a fixed base load with excess production and variable alternative load.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
...
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
That sounds as reasonable as having McDonalds decide and regulate when and how much their customers are allowed (and required) to eat.
We need to be using way more energy than we are even producing at all right now to start capturing excess carbon.

There is no shortage of things we need to use energy for, least of all the environment, and energy being cheap benefits pretty much everyone. In addition, we need to divorce ourself from oil and it's global supply chain.

We only get that if we can manage a fixed base load with excess production and variable alternative load.
Yeah, there are people in the world that are malnourished so McDonalds should make more of everything on their menu and require their customers to eat larger orders and more often than they currently do.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
...
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
That sounds as reasonable as having McDonalds decide and regulate when and how much their customers are allowed (and required) to eat.
We need to be using way more energy than we are even producing at all right now to start capturing excess carbon.

There is no shortage of things we need to use energy for, least of all the environment, and energy being cheap benefits pretty much everyone. In addition, we need to divorce ourself from oil and it's global supply chain.

We only get that if we can manage a fixed base load with excess production and variable alternative load.
Yeah, there are people in the world that are malnourished so McDonalds should make more of everything on their menu and require their customers to eat larger orders and more often than they currently do.
So, you don't think we should produce as much energy as we possibly can on a renewable basis and throw the surplus behind unfucking our atmosphere, feeding our population, and ending foreign energy reliance.

We have the technology, the surplus resources and the manpower to make it happen.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
...
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
That sounds as reasonable as having McDonalds decide and regulate when and how much their customers are allowed (and required) to eat.
We need to be using way more energy than we are even producing at all right now to start capturing excess carbon.

There is no shortage of things we need to use energy for, least of all the environment, and energy being cheap benefits pretty much everyone. In addition, we need to divorce ourself from oil and it's global supply chain.

We only get that if we can manage a fixed base load with excess production and variable alternative load.
Yeah, there are people in the world that are malnourished so McDonalds should make more of everything on their menu and require their customers to eat larger orders and more often than they currently do.
So, you don't think we should produce as much energy as we possibly can on a renewable basis and throw the surplus behind unfucking our atmosphere, feeding our population, and ending foreign energy reliance.

We have the technology, the surplus resources and the manpower to make it happen.
So you don't think that McDonalds should produce as much food as they possibly can?

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
...
So, I can't help but think of the way LEDs work, particularly for laser diodes.

Laser diodes, like controllers of large scale electric grids, have to very carefully balance current in the network.

If they don't, overloads or equipment damage can occur: if the turbine is pushing too hard on an axle or coil, so as to produce voltage, and that voltage has an insufficiently open path across the network through the "capillaries" of end user use, it puts strain on those parts, and increases system "pressure", at least for the grid.

This means that production needs to go up and down on the basis of what is and is not being used.

So here's a thought...

Like the way a laser diodes balances current based on supply, with a number of smaller systems that maintain the voltage with a ladder...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".
That sounds as reasonable as having McDonalds decide and regulate when and how much their customers are allowed (and required) to eat.
We need to be using way more energy than we are even producing at all right now to start capturing excess carbon.

There is no shortage of things we need to use energy for, least of all the environment, and energy being cheap benefits pretty much everyone. In addition, we need to divorce ourself from oil and it's global supply chain.

We only get that if we can manage a fixed base load with excess production and variable alternative load.
Yeah, there are people in the world that are malnourished so McDonalds should make more of everything on their menu and require their customers to eat larger orders and more often than they currently do.
So, you don't think we should produce as much energy as we possibly can on a renewable basis and throw the surplus behind unfucking our atmosphere, feeding our population, and ending foreign energy reliance.

We have the technology, the surplus resources and the manpower to make it happen.
So you don't think that McDonalds should produce as much food as they possibly can?
I think that your question does not answer the situation. Producing renewable energy energy to be stored long term in liquid format is not in any way equivalent to producing spoilable food that must be consumed immediately, nor does it contribute to a accelerated velocity of technology development, energy development, or improved standard of living.

The first thing we need is enough energy to "waste" on pulling all the excess hydrocarbons we burned back out of the atmosphere, and that isn't going to happen without a massive energy surplus

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".

Battery charging, desalination, chemical production, refrigeration, and many other pumpings are just some more examples of electricity use which can be performed at off-peak times.

The important first step is to charge different prices for electricity at different times, reflecting supply and demand.

How many countries implement such variable metering? How expensive is such metering?

So you don't think that McDonalds should produce as much food as they possibly can?

The system that I (and presumably Jarhyn) envision would not involve forceful coercion of McDonald's or anyone else. I am proposing that the free market does what it does best, by making proper pricings available.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
...

There are a number of technologies that require electricity, and don't always need to run. They are nice to have but not necessarily immediately useful.

Such technology would include carbon capture to petrochem, a variety of scalable Indoor farming, much automatic manufacturing, and the like.

While our systems can be unmanned and efficient when they run, they simply don't always need to be running if we make them efficient enough.

So I would think that we should scale renewable energy up...

And then also scale nuclear up...

Scale them both up as much as possible, in fact...

And then scale it up with a load balancer that operates a variety of on-demand manufacturing, capture storage, and indoor farming that will rotate load for accommodating off-peak use.

Instead of asking "how do we handle base load with nuclear and weird-hours peak on solar" with "let's figure out a way to soak the load on shit we need and GO BIG".

Battery charging, desalination, chemical production, refrigeration, and many other pumpings are just some more examples of electricity use which can be performed at off-peak times.

The important first step is to charge different prices for electricity at different times, reflecting supply and demand.

How many countries implement such variable metering? How expensive is such metering?

So you don't think that McDonalds should produce as much food as they possibly can?

The system that I (and presumably Jarhyn) envision would not involve forceful coercion of McDonald's or anyone else. I am proposing that the free market does what it does best, by making proper pricings available.
I think our biggest problem is in fact our inability to scale demand to peak production, because scaling supply just isn't an option with the renewable and future-resistant power generation technologies we have.

#### skepticalbip

##### Contributor
The system that I (and presumably Jarhyn) envision would not involve forceful coercion of McDonald's or anyone else. I am proposing that the free market does what it does best, by making proper pricings available.
There are areas that do that. For example Santee Power in South Carolina offers a menu of options of how to buy their power from a flat rate to several other options including time of day pricing based on fluctuating total system demand.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
The important first step is to charge different prices for electricity at different times, reflecting supply and demand.
Actually, the first step is to pay different prices at different times, and to pay the same price to any and all suppliers, at any specific moment.

Much of the huge profit in wind and solar is caused by wholesale price guarantees, a hidden subsidy whereby grid operators are required to buy all the power generation from those sources at a pre-determined price, and only then to set the wholesale spot price.

This results in negative wholesale prices on breezy afternoons, when demand is low. Negative prices are a strong signal that something is very wrong in any market.

Once the wholesale price is universal for all suppliers, then you can look at floating the retail prices, in accordance with that variable wholesale price, if you want to go ‘free market’ in the electricity business.

But retail electricity is a monopoly, or rather, a series of local monopolies, so floating retail prices probably isn’t a good idea. Monopolies need regulated prices, or they will bleed their customers dry.

This is one of the reasons why infrastructure needs to be controlled by governments. Roads, water, electricity, all are very poor choices for a free market paradigm. That’s a major reason why a mixed economy, in which capitalistic elements are used to allocate luxuries, and socialistic elements are used to allocate necessities, works vastly better than a purer form of either system.

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
After Going Solar, I Felt the Bliss of Sudden Abundance | WIRED - "My rooftop panels showed me that a world powered by renewables would be an overflowing horn of plenty, with fast, sporty cars and comfy homes."
I used to worry about using too much electricity.

If one of my family members left their bedroom and forgot to turn off the air conditioning? I’d snap at them: “What, you want the planet to cook extra fast?” If I found lights left on overnight, I’d fume.

Reader, I was insufferable. In my defense, I’d been worrying about climate change ever since Jim Hansen’s 1988 landmark congressional testimony about it. With every cool blast of AC, I knew more carbon was being dumped into the atmosphere. So I turned into an energy miser. I’d go around the house turning lights off; if no one else were home, I’d leave the AC off entirely, even on blazingly hot days.
But 3 1/2 years ago, author Clive Thompson bought some solar panels for his house.

The panels were predicted to supply 100% of the house's electricity consumption, but on hot summer days, they supplied 25% more, and on sunny spring and fall days, 50% more. He saved $2,000/year, enough to amortize the cost of the panels over 7 years. no longer walk around finger-wagging at my family members. Want to blast the AC? Crank away. It’s coming from the sun, and I can’t use all that electricity even if I try. And I’ve tried! I’ve charged an electric bike, run multiple loads of laundry, had many computers and a game system and a TV going, and still those panels were kicking out a net surplus. I’ve idly thought of running a power strip out to the sidewalk with a sign saying “FREE ELECTRICITY,” just to be the Johnny Appleseed of solar. In essence, I went from a feeling of scarcity to a sense of abundance. After noting that many people feel that using renewable energy means depriving oneself of a lot, he noted that many people who got solar panels came to feel what he feels: a lot less inhibited about the use of electricity. #### bilby ##### Fair dinkum thinkum After Going Solar, I Felt the Bliss of Sudden Abundance | WIRED - "My rooftop panels showed me that a world powered by renewables would be an overflowing horn of plenty, with fast, sporty cars and comfy homes." I used to worry about using too much electricity. If one of my family members left their bedroom and forgot to turn off the air conditioning? I’d snap at them: “What, you want the planet to cook extra fast?” If I found lights left on overnight, I’d fume. Reader, I was insufferable. In my defense, I’d been worrying about climate change ever since Jim Hansen’s 1988 landmark congressional testimony about it. With every cool blast of AC, I knew more carbon was being dumped into the atmosphere. So I turned into an energy miser. I’d go around the house turning lights off; if no one else were home, I’d leave the AC off entirely, even on blazingly hot days. But 3 1/2 years ago, author Clive Thompson bought some solar panels for his house. The panels were predicted to supply 100% of the house's electricity consumption, but on hot summer days, they supplied 25% more, and on sunny spring and fall days, 50% more. He saved$2,000/year, enough to amortize the cost of the panels over 7 years.
no longer walk around finger-wagging at my family members. Want to blast the AC? Crank away. It’s coming from the sun, and I can’t use all that electricity even if I try. And I’ve tried! I’ve charged an electric bike, run multiple loads of laundry, had many computers and a game system and a TV going, and still those panels were kicking out a net surplus. I’ve idly thought of running a power strip out to the sidewalk with a sign saying “FREE ELECTRICITY,” just to be the Johnny Appleseed of solar.

In essence, I went from a feeling of scarcity to a sense of abundance.
After noting that many people feel that using renewable energy means depriving oneself of a lot, he noted that many people who got solar panels came to feel what he feels: a lot less inhibited about the use of electricity.
Just wait until he finds out that at least three quarters of every watt he uses, for sixteen of every twenty four hours, is still coming from burning fossil fuels.

The idea that you are carbon neutral because you generate more power than you use is similar to the belief that your food bills are zero, because you work as a chef. That is to say, it's utter nonsense.

If the fossil fuel burning generating stations were to vanish without warning, this guy would find himself without electricity for about two thirds of every day. Yet he genuinely believes that all the electricity he uses "can be thought of as" coming from solar power.

Good news: You can "think of" your electricity as coming from solar or wind power, and nobody can stop you from "thinking of" this.

Bad news: It's complete bollocks, and your contribution to protecting the environment is less than a third of what you blissfully imagine it to be.

In other news, I am teetotal, because I brew and give away more beer than I drink myself.

If he feels sufficiently relaxed about his electricity consumption today as to increase it by more than 30% over his pre-solar power days, then he is almost certainly doing more to harm the environment now, than he was before he bought his solar panels.

But he feels good about it, so that's nice.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
After Going Solar, I Felt the Bliss of Sudden Abundance | WIRED - "My rooftop panels showed me that a world powered by renewables would be an overflowing horn of plenty, with fast, sporty cars and comfy homes."
I used to worry about using too much electricity.

If one of my family members left their bedroom and forgot to turn off the air conditioning? I’d snap at them: “What, you want the planet to cook extra fast?” If I found lights left on overnight, I’d fume.

Reader, I was insufferable. In my defense, I’d been worrying about climate change ever since Jim Hansen’s 1988 landmark congressional testimony about it. With every cool blast of AC, I knew more carbon was being dumped into the atmosphere. So I turned into an energy miser. I’d go around the house turning lights off; if no one else were home, I’d leave the AC off entirely, even on blazingly hot days.
But 3 1/2 years ago, author Clive Thompson bought some solar panels for his house.

The panels were predicted to supply 100% of the house's electricity consumption, but on hot summer days, they supplied 25% more, and on sunny spring and fall days, 50% more. He saved \$2,000/year, enough to amortize the cost of the panels over 7 years.
I'm thinking the phrase "results not typical" is in order, if not "this is complete and utter bullshit". Solar Panels often break even around the time they need to be replaced 15 to 25 years.

You don't buy solar panels to save money. You buy them to go green... or at least 20 years ago that was the idea. Today you should buy solar panels because there is no widely distributed electrical grid to connect to by your home.

That article is rife with claims and backed up with absolutely nothing.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
My brother is getting twelve solar panels installed on his house. I'll report back his result.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
My brother is getting twelve solar panels installed on his house. I'll report back his result.
It might save him money, or cost him money, depending on where he lives, what subsidies he gets, and how the panels are sited (amongst other factors). But money isn't the issue here.

The effect on his carbon footprint will be a reduction of between zero and about 25%, depending on where his grid operators get their power, how much power he uses in the daytime vs at night, and whether he uses more electricity (particularly outside the hours of peak insolation) than before the panels were installed. And it will be very difficult for him to know that figure.

So if, like the fool in Lpetrich's article above, he feels justified in discarding his attempts to use less electricity because now he's using solar power, he may well increase his carbon footprint, even if he saves oodles of dollars.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
In the news coal stocks are rising after a decline. Overall demand is going up. Germany is reconsidering nuclear.

Given a choice between being cold and climate hchamge people will choose whatever keeps them warm in winter.
We remain catastrophically unable to ave the national political unity for a national long term energy strategy.

In this case the 'let the markets decide' mantra is killing us.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
We don't need to choose; Nuclear fission can keep us warm at home without changing the climate.

It's the only current technology that can achieve this.

It's also by far the safest industry in human history (not just for generating electricity, but overall) - the nuclear industry makes the commercial aviation industry look like a bunch of cowboys with a cavalier disregard for life and limb.

It's one of the cheapest ways to generate electricity, even after six decades of morons lobbying to make it as expensive as possible.

It's the most reliable way to make electricity too, with less downtime than any other generating technology.

And it's the least damaging industry to the environment, and the only industry in history that contains and manages its entire waste stream, other than a little waste heat.

It's a total no-brainer.

Sadly, our society is run by people with no fucking brains.