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Solar, Wind Renewable Energy
Old 07-17-2018, 11:54 AM   #1
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Solar, Wind Renewable Energy

From a previous thread, we got off topic and into this one.

Neighborhoods in our area are offered reduced prices for solar installation if a group of homeowners choose to go with it. We went to one of the many presentations. Our energy company is already using renewable wind power to meet our electric needs at .048/KW. We decided to stick with wind/renewables.

Constellation offers these Illinois energy solutions:

Protect your budget with Constellation's fixed-rate electricity plans. You can select your home electricity plan based on our current Illinois electricity rates, services and terms.

Green Wind Turbine
Renewable Electric Plans


Illinois residents can support sustainable energy efforts while locking in a fixed-rate electricity plan. You can use renewable energy certificates to match your electricity usage.

Solar prices declining as well as wind turbine prices. I had to research these options to make sure they were correct. Anyone else doing the same?
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:08 PM   #2
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Right now, I cannot connect to your links.
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Solar, Wind Renewable Energy
Old 07-17-2018, 12:12 PM   #3
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Solar, Wind Renewable Energy

.048 sounds incredibly low, especially for green power. When we looked into solar it was only economically viable with huge incentives. Net metering was already watered down. The community co-op like you are describing has been used around here with limited success for power in general, not necessarily renewable.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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Here's the link

https://www.constellation.com/soluti...is-energy.html
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:43 PM   #5
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Those rates look fantastic. We have Constellation also but we use another provider and pay about .084 and had to do a 3 yr term to get that rate.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:35 PM   #6
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On-shore wind is hitting 3 to 4 cents per kwh at wholesale level, so it seems possible but without subsidies you are at record breaking costs levels.


https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/...Costs_2018.pdf
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:48 PM   #7
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Somewhat off topic, but a few days ago I just read an article on Vox on renewable costs for new sources versus natty gas:


https://www.vox.com/energy-and-envir...newable-energy


So I could see pricing for new renewable as getting pretty cheap.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
From a previous thread, we got off topic and into this one. ...
For ref, here's the thread/post we came from...

Am I alone? Or do others find themselves trying to actively disengage from the news?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
Neighborhoods in our area are offered reduced prices for solar installation if a group of homeowners choose to go with it. We went to one of the many presentations. Our energy company is already using renewable wind power to meet our electric needs at .048/KW. We decided to stick with wind/renewables.

Constellation offers these Illinois energy solutions:


Here's the link

https://www.constellation.com/soluti...is-energy.html


Protect your budget with Constellation's fixed-rate electricity plans. You can select your home electricity plan based on our current Illinois electricity rates, services and terms.

Green Wind Turbine
Renewable Electric Plans


Illinois residents can support sustainable energy efforts while locking in a fixed-rate electricity plan. You can use renewable energy certificates to match your electricity usage.

Solar prices declining as well as wind turbine prices. I had to research these options to make sure they were correct. Anyone else doing the same?
So my comment back in that thread - you aren't really "getting all your electricity from wind". As you say here, you buy renewable energy certificates to match your electricity usage. That's very different. If you really were purchasing energy that was 100% wind powered, your lights would go out on calm days.

Do you think they just would not use the power from that wind turbine if you had not bought the certificate? Of course not, they will still sell it on the market. The sale of these certificates might provide a bit of extra economic incentive for them, so maybe a bit more wind power is installed due to these certificates, but it isn't a 1:1 type of thing.

For the most part, it strikes me as a "feel good" thing - "I get my power from wind - I'm so GREEN!!!". But you get the same power your neighbor does.

Some big companies announce this - "we are 100% renewable" - but often, they are just buying certificates from (mostly) existing solar/wind farms. IOW, they just pay for 'bragging rights', they claim the power instead of everyone else on that grid, because they have a certificate that says so.

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Old 07-17-2018, 09:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RobLJ View Post
Somewhat off topic, but a few days ago I just read an article on Vox on renewable costs for new sources versus natty gas:


https://www.vox.com/energy-and-envir...newable-energy


So I could see pricing for new renewable as getting pretty cheap.
It's only cheap because they rely on the rest of the grid (and all its costs) for backup.

As you add more and more (intermittent) renewable energy on a grid, you run into problems. If you have enough to make a significant % on average, that usually means you have some big peaks at times it isn't needed. There is no economic, environmental storage solution on the horizon. So that energy will often be wasted. Which means you need to charge more on average for what you can sell, or your ROI on new installs keeps getting worse and worse.

Costs start going up when reality hits. I saw some charts from some countries that were pushing RE big time, and they all cap out at fairly low average % of total power, and they stop installing more because they can't recoup much of the added marginal production. Too much of it hits when there isn't enough demand.

It's a good thing as far as it goes, but it only goes so far.

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Old 07-17-2018, 09:32 PM   #10
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It's only cheap because they rely on the rest of the grid (and all its costs) for backup.

As you add more and more (intermittent) renewable energy on a grid, you run into problems. If you have enough to make a significant % on average, that usually means you have some big peaks at times it isn't needed. There is no economic, environmental storage solution on the horizon. So that energy will often be wasted. Which means you need to charge more on average for what you can sell, or your ROI on new installs keeps getting worse and worse.

Costs start going up when reality hits. I saw some charts from some countries that were pushing RE big time, and they all cap out at fairly low average % of total power, and they stop installing more because they can't recoup much of the added marginal production. Too much of it hits when there isn't enough demand.

It's a good thing as far as it goes, but it only goes so far.

-ERD50

Don't know if you are talking total cost to the system or the individual....


But here there are two parts to our electric bill... the cost of transmission and the cost of electric... the cost of transmission is the same for every provider... I think it is about $5 per month plus 4 something cents per KWH... now, some combine this cost and give a flat rate...


My mom now had 100% wind and is paying 5.3 cents per KWH for electricity plus her transmission charges...
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:35 PM   #11
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Also from that other thread:

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The more semiconductors they make the cheaper they get. Cost decreases.
As I mentioned, the cause/effect is backwards. They make more because the demand increased as the price dropped. The price drops due to advances over time.

The first semiconductors were very expensive, so the only customers were military and some niche, expensive products.

As the industry learned how to make them cheaper, the market opened up to a few more applications. And this kept going - refine the process, lower costs, and there is more and more demand, as it makes sense not just for a very few $1M products, but for a few more $1000 products, then a large number of $100 products, then lots and lots of $10 products, and now even a gazillion $1 products.

So I can buy a calculator for $5 now with more power than a $100,000 computer some decades ago. If demand was all it took to lower prices, we could have just lined up a million customers with $10 in hand, and someone would have produced a modern calculator and made a killing. But there was no way to make them that small and cheap back then. No way. Demand follows price, not the other way around.

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Old 07-17-2018, 09:41 PM   #12
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Cars are more expensive, houses are more expensive, food is more expensive computers are dirt cheap and getting even cheaper.

TV's are a give away, you can get 65 inches for $500. And they'll be cheaper next year.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:50 PM   #13
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Actually, the interesting (and new) part of the article was the piece on battery backup + renewables challenging natty or below it. (At least it was surprising to me).
And like others say, most pay for transmission as part of the bill, no matter the source.

The article focused primarily on new sources and addressed stranded costs. Utilities are ignoring you by going to renewables--to be sure part of this is state mandates more however is...... new renewables are cheaper and it looks like the lifespan of peakers is is limited, if cost trends continue. I suspect they will.



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It's only cheap because they rely on the rest of the grid (and all its costs) for backup.

As you add more and more (intermittent) renewable energy on a grid, you run into problems. If you have enough to make a significant % on average, that usually means you have some big peaks at times it isn't needed. There is no economic, environmental storage solution on the horizon. So that energy will often be wasted. Which means you need to charge more on average for what you can sell, or your ROI on new installs keeps getting worse and worse.

Costs start going up when reality hits. I saw some charts from some countries that were pushing RE big time, and they all cap out at fairly low average % of total power, and they stop installing more because they can't recoup much of the added marginal production. Too much of it hits when there isn't enough demand.

It's a good thing as far as it goes, but it only goes so far.

-ERD50
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:53 PM   #14
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This will play out for 20 years, however.
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:57 AM   #15
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Here is a story about a smaller town that is now 100% wind-powered.
https://www.ecmag.com/section/green-...-united-states

On a larger scale, CT has a wind farm. NJ has a few turbines, with larger off-shore plans.
State Takes Another Small Step Toward Cranking Up Offshore Wind Industry - NJ Spotlight

This article describes the 5 turbines in Atlantic City, NJ.
ACUA Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:55 AM   #16
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Here is a story about a smaller town that is now 100% wind-powered.
https://www.ecmag.com/section/green-...-united-states ...
No, they are not 100% wind-powered. There is a simple test for this - did they disconnect from the grid? No? Why not, they say they are 100% wind-powered? Why do they need the grid then?

Like I said before, these are cases where they generate enough RE to offset the amount they consume. They need the grid to get power from their neighbors to cover their intermittent power. That's fine as far as it goes, but "if everyone did that", there would be no power available from any neighbors for the gaps. And if only a small number do it, it only has a small benefit. And that's fine, but it should not be made out to be something it isn't. The general public thinks "Hey, if they did it, everyone can do it". Nope.

I've seen reports that some days Denmark ran their grid 100% from renewables - but again, their grid is interconnected with other countries. Without that extended grid, that much RE would not work. So the number is phony math - they should use the entire interconnected grid as the denominator, and they would be far less than 100% by that correct measure.

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Old 07-18-2018, 07:11 AM   #17
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Actually, the interesting (and new) part of the article was the piece on battery backup + renewables challenging natty or below it. (At least it was surprising to me).
And like others say, most pay for transmission as part of the bill, no matter the source.

The article focused primarily on new sources and addressed stranded costs. Utilities are ignoring you by going to renewables--to be sure part of this is state mandates more however is...... new renewables are cheaper and it looks like the lifespan of peakers is is limited, if cost trends continue. I suspect they will.
Their comments on batteries were a hand-wave.

On a large scale, batteries will be used to provide some leveling of the grid. We are talking seconds or minutes of supplying a fairly small % of the grid, to keep things stable w/o needing to ramp peaker plants up/down so very fast.

Do some math on what it would take to power an entire several-state-size grid if wind/solar made up 50% on average, and there was several days of low power from each. Don't forget to keep your MW and MW-hrs straight.

As I said before, utilities will go to RE to a point. But that point is much lower than many people think, and it certainly isn't 100%.

To get some idea how hard storage is, I was following a plan (now canceled) to install a large hydro storage system in CA (SMUD utility). They were fortunate to have a place where they could build two large reservoirs, nearby, but at different heights. There are not many places where this is available at this scale. I forget the details, but this was a BIG, BIG project. And even at this size and cost, all it did was pump up during lower demand times, and use the day's accumulation to help partially fill in a gap of a few hours in late afternoon/evening.

Their problem was that they needed to start throttling up their coal plants in time to anticipate this demand as solar was dropping, but then the demand drops, and they couldn't get the coal plants throttled down quickly enough either. See "duck curve".

But they couldn't even make this storage plan work out when we are talking hours of partial supply.


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Old 07-18-2018, 07:12 AM   #18
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Plenty of islands run on renewables only, no grid connection.

That 100% renewables for everyone wouldn't work is a outdated narrative.

Just wind & solar together can cover up to 80% in many areas worldwide. Add in some grid level short-term batteries (for minute and hour variation), and pumped hydro for longer term and you're there.

Not to mention other technologies that have started to become cost competitive with fossil or nuclear based solutions.

Since we're a long way off of needing that kind of storage though it's not being built massively yet, but it will take off shortly.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:12 AM   #19
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Cars are more expensive, houses are more expensive, food is more expensive computers are dirt cheap and getting even cheaper.

TV's are a give away, you can get 65 inches for $500. And they'll be cheaper next year.
I'm not following what point you are trying to make?

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Old 07-18-2018, 07:15 AM   #20
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Plenty of islands run on renewables only, no grid connection. ...
The United States is not an island, and I'd bet those islands don't have the per capita consumption or living standard of the US.

Let me know when all the Hawaiian islands are 100% renewable, including jet fuel to get supplies in.

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