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Old 12-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #61
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"... large amounts of multiweek and seasonal energy storage will be readily available at low cost..."

What is this guy smoking? Darn, the proliferation of MJ is faster than I thought.

We still are a long way from overnight energy storage, and they already talk multiweek.

We need to get these guys to help solve other problems that California has. Such as "if we have huge amounts of water in numerous reservoirs strategically placed throughout the state, we will not have the problem with the drought and will spray water everywhere to keep vegetation green and lush and will not have devastating wild fires".

Time for some music.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:14 AM   #62
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and yet, when I watch Monday Night Football, the blimp shots of whatever city they are playing in, show every window of every skyscraper in the metropolitan area lit up like a big Christmas Tree.
I wonder if a lot of that is for security reasons.


I keep two lights on in my home whenever it starts to get dark. One at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom. Both are highly efficient bulbs. I figure one fall down the stairs, and the energy and resources that go into the EMTS, hospital and doctor services, physical therapy etc, would vastly exceed the energy and resources of burning these bulbs an extra 12 to 16 hours a day for the rest of my life. And that assumes a quick recovery.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:15 AM   #63
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How many years before your I phone batteries stop holding a charge

Coal & Nuclear are the best energy solution available.

Coal cost something like $0.05 KW to produce, and with the latest in stack scrubbing technology has greatly reduced the smog effect of the 70's. The cost of regulation and security drives the cost of nuclear, so there are ways to cost down that solution.

My last check of solar, several years ago before the Chines dumping, had a 10+ year pay back; at 100% efficiency! Even in Florida and Arizona, there aren't 365 days a year of sun.

We shuttered a rebuilt coal plant near my house a few years ago. Before it was shuttered it was providing 35%+ of the power in the region.

Pull the subsidies for Solar & Wind and it is like a fart in the wind.
Sorry, nuclear & coal are both dying.

Nuclear has proven too expensive to build/operate...nearly all the projects that were in process have been shut down.

Coal is cheap but has proved to be too much of an environmental headache (coal ash disposal is the latest problem) so utilities are converting them to natural gas as rapidly as they can convince state regulators to force customers to cover the cost.

My utility says it will shut down all its coal-fired power plants within 30 years, but I doubt it will be more than 20.
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Nuclear power solutions
Old 12-06-2018, 12:02 PM   #64
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Nuclear power solutions

We will some day return to nuclear power imo but it will be a decade of severe shortages preceding it.

The nukes we use today are 1960-70 tech, huge plants intended to run flat out at a calculated cost less than coal (well, that was the plan before TMI and Cnhernobal ).

Smaller nuke plants <500Mw are supposedly economically feasible with modem design. Doubt I will see during my lifetime
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #65
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We will some day return to nuclear power imo but it will be a decade of severe shortages preceding it.

The nukes we use today are 1960_70 tech, huge plants intended to run flat out at a calculated cost less than coal (well, that was the plan before TMI and Cnhernobal ).

Smaller nuke plants <500Mw are supposedly economically feasible with modem design. Doubt I will during my lifetime
They'll still have to solve the disposal issues no? Or get better with recycling uranium etc.?
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:23 PM   #66
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They'll still have to solve the disposal issues no? ...
IMO there is no disposal issue. The world is a big place with lots of rock. What there is, is a NIMBY issue created by the clueless and ignorant.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:38 PM   #67
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IMO there is no disposal issue. The world is a big place with lots of rock. What there is, is a NIMBY issue created by the clueless and ignorant.
Dry cask storage is easy.

Some newer reactor design use more of the fuel and generate less waste .

A far bigger problem , the earth does not have a limitless amount of uranium to mine.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:41 PM   #68
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Sorry, nuclear & coal are both dying.

Nuclear has proven too expensive to build/operate...nearly all the projects that were in process have been shut down.

Coal is cheap but has proved to be too much of an environmental headache (coal ash disposal is the latest problem) so utilities are converting them to natural gas as rapidly as they can convince state regulators to force customers to cover the cost.

My utility says it will shut down all its coal-fired power plants within 30 years, but I doubt it will be more than 20.
I refer you to the second chart of the UPENN study which shows the operating cost of nuke and coal are on the lower end of the scale.

I would reference our on Department of Energy, but they have gummed up their accounting using a levelized cost mombo jumbo, to obfuscate the fact that they capitalize the cost of a plant over a 20 year life, despite the fact that many are in operation many years beyond that period. Some are even in operation over 100 years.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:48 PM   #69
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Coal is cheap but has proved to be too much of an environmental headache (coal ash disposal is the latest problem) so utilities are converting them to natural gas as rapidly as they can convince state regulators to force customers to cover the cost.

Coal isn't cheap. It's actually being outcompeted by renewables and gas. Roughly half the world's coal plants are already operating a loss today.


If we want coal to survive we need to subsidize it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:56 PM   #70
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The problem with nuclear is purely political.
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It’s not only waste, but nuclear waste.
It’s like a politician’s wet dream.
Political careers have been made scaring people about nuclear energy. That's not going to change. Capital markets just aren't going to go up against that headwind.

New coal generation is not on any forward-thinking power company's radar.

The smart utility companies are making investments in renewables and storage. No-one knows for sure where the technological winners will be, but everyone wants to have a horse in those races.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:19 PM   #71
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Wish not granted.
Try again?
http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/j...ntegration.pdf

https://physicsworld.com/a/jacobsons...rebut-critics/

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This reminds me of much of the work done by the guy at Rocky Mountain Institute ( Hunter Lovins), basically, if we just claim that any/all problems and objections are solved, it's easy!
Basically, if we just claim that any/all problems and objections cannot be solved, it's impossible!
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:10 PM   #72
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I remember watching a documentary on PBS where they did a auto-shutdown test by shutting off the coolant on a nuclear reactor that was using metal fuel rods instead of ore pellets stacked in a tube.
As the reactor heated up, the metal rods expanded which physically separated the fissile materials and stopped the chain reactions.
During the test, techs and cameras were "breathlessly" staring at the coolant temp gauge. There was a loud BANG that made the whole room jump, it was the steam turbine (non-nuclear side of the operation) tripping off.
The fuel cycle was brilliant. 4-5 reactors in a complex. "Spent" fuel rods (fuel rods are "spent" when only 3ish% of the fuel is consumed) from reactor 1 were re-processed to recycle the rods back into reactor 1 and the byproducts used as fuel in reactor2. Spent fuel from reactor 2 was reprocessed and byproducts used to fuel reactor 3. And so on. What came out of the back of reactor 5(?) was a much smaller amount of waste with a dramatically shorter half-lifes because the various fuel cycles consumed so much more of the nasty stuff. You could feed today's fuel waste and decommissioned weapons into the fuel cycle.

Reactor 1 was also a breeder reactor. It could convert otherwise unusable isotopes into its fuel.
The project was canceled 3 years early in 1994 when a new administration took office.
So we don't need to look to miracles in the future, we can dust off and update 25 year old projects. (I'm not saying the tech was "shovel ready" 25 years ago, but I'm pretty confident it would have been by now)

Google EBR-II and the IFR project if you want to see where we could be
Instead we're passing laws to put solar panels with a 20 year expected live and 25 year payback on peoples houses and depending on rare earth metals from China and Afghanistan (you wondered why we've been at war there for 16 years?) to make batteries.

(I won't touch on the connections between the admin that canceled IFR and then later sold 20% of US uranium mines to another country).
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:29 PM   #73
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Regarding nukes:

About 20 years ago I was in South Africa looking at local vendors. One day we ended up in a research facility (that had fabrication units). After the discussion of our issue, they asked if we wanted to see what else they were up to.

We were treated to a very detailed intro to their nuclear energy program, with a detailed description of what they called "pebble reactors". Very standardized, with units about 100 to 500 MW, that could be added to later.

I think PP&L had an agreement with them for a demo unit. Don't know if it ever got built.

My only point is, there is technology out there to get us from fossil fuel to the future (not sure what that will be).
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:44 PM   #74
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I'm going to buck the trend and be an optimist here.

Sure, we are using coal today and will continue to for some time. Ditto oil and gas.

But not forever. There are huge advances being made in all sorts of great technologies. Solar and wind are now about at parity with other sources, and new plants are being built as fast as the solar panels and wind generator blades can be produced. Battery technology continues to incrementally improve, and the more forward-thinking power companies are dabbling with storage technologies. I just read an article today about advances in fusion technology.

We WILL get to a renewable world. I think it's as short-sighted to argue that we shouldn't support moving to renewable sources, as it is to argue that it has to happen over night. Maybe we should all just agree to doing the best we can with the technology we have today, while supporting new options as they become available.
In the long run, the world will have to use only RE, even if that means everybody will live in tiny houses. There's no other choice when the earth resources run out. The world population will probably be a lot smaller than it is now. I think this is very likely, no matter what technologies we will develop.

But I do not want to see us spending our resources now on things that are not economically sound. Who knows, there might be something in the future better than the current lithium ion battery, which is good but not quite enough for the job, so why spend all our money on that?

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Try again?
http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/j...ntegration.pdf

https://physicsworld.com/a/jacobsons...rebut-critics/

Basically, if we just claim that any/all problems and objections cannot be solved, it's impossible!
Well, before you make big plans, you've got to show that the things you have on hand look promising enough. You build a small house for a demo, before you try to sell the plan for a skyscraper.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:47 PM   #75
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Sorry, nuclear & coal are both dying.

Nuclear has proven too expensive to build/operate...nearly all the projects that were in process have been shut down.
It's basically the inverse of renewable energy today. Renewables are cheap if society pretends they are cheap. Nukes are expensive if we pretend it is expensive. Both are driven by politics. Sad.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:51 PM   #76
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I wrote earlier about Arizona voters, by a 2-to-1 majority, recently rejected a measure that would have made us follow in the footsteps of California. That proposition came from a group of Californians. I have not made some research to see which Californian businesses would profit if that proposition passed.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:35 PM   #77
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I refer you to the second chart of the UPENN study which shows the operating cost of nuke and coal are on the lower end of the scale.

I would reference our on Department of Energy, but they have gummed up their accounting using a levelized cost mombo jumbo, to obfuscate the fact that they capitalize the cost of a plant over a 20 year life, despite the fact that many are in operation many years beyond that period. Some are even in operation over 100 years.
Couldn't find a link here to whatever study you're referencing.

Did the coal cost estimate include the cost of externalities such as coal ash?

Currently our utility is wrangling with state regulators about how much the company vs. the ratepayers are going to bear the cost to cleanup leaking coal ash disposal sites.

And nuclear is dead for new plant construction.

One big limitation here in the USA is we're stuck with PWR variants, which frankly aren't the most efficient.

Sure, there are more efficient, modular designs, but given politics they'll never get approval to be built here in the U.S.

Nuclear remains too expensive for new plants the U.S., at least the way we have to build it here.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:16 PM   #78
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Sure. But if you want to be taken seriously, do some work, don't just throw me some links, exclaim "win!", and expect me to do all the analysis.

Give me a summary, point me to the the relevant sections, show me you've actually done some critical analysis of the contents, and that it points the way towards near 100% renewables in 30 years.

Then I'll review it.

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.... Basically, if we just claim that any/all problems and objections cannot be solved, it's impossible!
Now you are being silly. I've given analysis, I have not just thrown out "can't do it".

Storage for extended weather conditions is hard, that can be a week of low wind/solar. If it happens during the seasonal low, it's way harder. It takes storage on massive scales.

Even a bit of "duck curve" shifting - just storing a portion of the day's solar to extend into the evening peak for a few hours so they can more effectively ramp their coal plants up/down requires massive storage. The SMUD utility in CA shut down their plan for pumped hydro due to expense, and they had the rare opportunity with good geology for it.

It's not easy. Overnight is not easy. Days and weeks is extremely difficult and costly. And nothing on the horizon makes it much easier.

I wish it wern't so, but pretending it is so is the worst thing we could do. It leads us down the wrong path, then there may be no time to correct.

-ERD50
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:19 PM   #79
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RE solutions are being sought world-wide. There's a lot of money to be made by someone who is succesful, and that's the best motive. I don't think the government throwing more money into it will speed things up. The know-hows take time to develop.

I don't know if people realize that oil companies such as Shell and BP have been involved in making solar panels for at least a couple of decades, back when I got interested and looked into this more than 20 years ago. I think they were afraid of missing out, so kept a foot in the door to learn the rope along with everybody else. It's the same with electric utilities. But utility companies have to guarantee 24/7 electricity availability to the public, and know how hard that is.

Just look at the Germany problem I described earlier. Does anyone not believe that they really do not want to burn that dirty lignite? 37% of their power comes from coal. Awful, despite all the solar and wind energy that they have. They could not help it. There are days when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. It's that simple.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:18 PM   #80
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The January 2008 and November 2009 issues of Scientific American illustrate the challenges of using solar and wind with storage as the primary electricity source for the US. We are not even considering the 80% and growing daily fossil fuel use by rest of the world.


Some of the complex energy storage concepts : hydro pumping , compressed air in abandoned oil wells, massive battery and thermal storage. This would take a " "Manhattan Project" effort to achieve .
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