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Texas Proud 12-04-2018 05:18 PM

Some truth to people who think we can be 100% renewable
 
I know there are a lot of people who think we can get to 100% renewable... and some of the engineers on here who say the numbers do not work...


Well, here is an article that give a real example that even gas plants cannot keep up with the current infrastructure in place...

At peak winter demand, 5,913 megawatts of natural-gas capacity was simply unavailable due to “supply outages.” And more than 8,000 megawatts of gas-plant capacity was forced to shut down. Overall, more than 23,000 megawatts was unavailable—12.1% of PJM’s total capacity.


Thankfully, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), the nation’s coal plants came to the rescue. Coal-fired power plants ramped up to provide 55% of daily incremental power at the time. The DOE says that, without the sturdy baseload power generation produced by coal, “the Eastern United States would have suffered severe electricity shortages, likely leading to widespread blackouts.”






https://www.marketwatch.com/story/th...of2&yptr=yahoo

Bir48die 12-04-2018 07:26 PM

Lots of opinions on this. We all have our own

NW-Bound 12-04-2018 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Texas Proud (Post 2151962)
... At peak winter demand, 5,913 megawatts of natural-gas capacity was simply unavailable due to “supply outages.” And more than 8,000 megawatts of gas-plant capacity was forced to shut down. Overall, more than 23,000 megawatts was unavailable—12.1% of PJM’s total capacity...

Here in the Southwest, winter heating is something we occasionally need, and not something to worry about. So, I only learned about nat gas shortage just now.

Natural gas is used for more than electricity generation. It is also used for home cooking and heating. If the cold spell continues, there will be hollering, and shrieking, in addition to shivering.

Quote:

... A funny thing began happening in natural gas markets late this summer.

There was less of the gas that heats homes and fuels stoves in storage week by week. Though the market noticed this phenomenon, it didn't really react. There is so much gas production growth in the U.S. that a knee jerk to low storage didn't really kick in until recently, when extensive cold weather hit like a wall...

The guiding purpose of the gas market is that you want to have enough stored underground to ensure people don't freeze during the winter, said Eric Fell, senior natural gas analyst for Genscape, a consulting firm.

That didn't happen this year.

"Now the market is starting to freak out, because we didn't get enough gas in the ground," he told the Casper Star-Tribune.

The amount of gas in storage was the lowest it's been heading into winter since 2005, he said...
See: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-sta...of-natural-gas.

target2019 12-04-2018 08:11 PM

Terry Jarrett - National Mining Association's Count on Coal Program. Not hard to find the author.

I predict the opinions in this thread will mimic the comments under the article in the OP.

ERD50 12-04-2018 08:19 PM

Wow. I'm no fan of coal, it's harmful to burn and harmful to mine, and dangerous. But we need baseload power, and it sounds like we are relying too heavily on NG for that.

Another "wow!" - that graph of NG futures is exactly what blew up that hedge-fund guy that lost all his clients money (and ~ 25% more I think, he was deep into margin).


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bir48die (Post 2152050)
Lots of opinions on this. We all have our own

Ummm, yeah. But almost all of the linked article was fact based. Opinions won't keep the lights on and our homes heated, we need power for that.

-ERD50

ERD50 12-04-2018 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by target2019 (Post 2152094)
Terry Jarrett - National Mining Association's Count on Coal Program. Not hard to find the author.

I predict the opinions in this thread will mimic the comments under the article in the OP.

Well, we should always be skeptical, especially when the writer has a vested interest. But did you see any facts he got wrong? I found this, which at a glance seems to back up what he says:

https://www.energy.gov/fe/articles/n...-power-demands

Quote:

A new analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) indicates that continued retirement of fossil fuel power plants could have an adverse impact on the nation’s ability to meet power generation needs during future severe weather events.

A winter storm, known as a “bomb cyclone,” struck much of the eastern United States between December 27, 2017, and January 8, 2018, plunging the region into a deep freeze and sparking a significant rise in the demand for additional power for heat. Coal provided a majority of the daily power generation required to meet the emergency, according to the study. The report analyzes fossil fleet performance and its contribution to power system reliability and resilience during the bomb cyclone event.
-ERD50

easysurfer 12-04-2018 08:43 PM

I tend to believe in today's world there is no such thing as truth. Just opinions :(.

aja8888 12-04-2018 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2152089)

Natural gas is used for more than electricity generation. It is also used for home cooking and heating. If the cold spell continues, there will be hollering, and shrieking, in addition to shivering.


Let's not forget everything made out of plastic and even some medicines. Oh, glues, resins, fertilizer, etc. It would be a much different world without these compounds.

NW-Bound 12-04-2018 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aja8888 (Post 2152128)
Let's not forget everything made out of plastic and even some medicines. Oh, glues, resins, fertilizer, etc. It would be a much different world without these compounds.

Yes, you and I and others know. It would be like the illustration below.

But, I shudder to think of what happens when the world runs out. And run out we will, as it is just a matter of time. I hope our grand or great-grand-children figure out the technology to make something out of thin air or seawater.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...e_Moustier.jpg

Lewis Clark 12-04-2018 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easysurfer (Post 2152112)
I tend to believe in today's world there is no such thing as truth. Just opinions :(.

Truth still exists today, as it always has. But the truth is getting much harder to identify.

travelover 12-04-2018 10:19 PM

Yep, coal, energy source of the future.

NW-Bound 12-04-2018 10:48 PM

Burn, coal, burn...

Even Germany, despite all the talks about solar and wind energy, still burns lignite dug out of a 33-square-mile open pit. Lignite, a brown low-grade coal, is the dirtiest coal found on earth. Compared to that, the US is lucky to have black coal.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia's environment minister, Johannes Remmel, a member of the Green party, was quoted to say "We happen to have these power plants and they will remain a major part of the energy mix through 2050".

Last year, 37 percent of Germany's electricity was powered by coal, and 23 percent of it by brown coal, according to the Economy Ministry.

Burn, baby, burn... The energy problem is not as easy to solve as some people think.


https://www.dw.com/image/16334701_303.jpg



https://media.pri.org/s3fs-public/st...366%20trim.jpg



https://europeangreens.eu/sites/euro..._105873740.png

NW-Bound 12-04-2018 10:55 PM

For contrast with Germany,

Quote:

The electricity sector in France is dominated by nuclear power, which accounted for 72.3% of total production in 2016, while renewables and fossil fuels accounted for 17.8% and 8.6%.
Note the 8.6% of fossil for France, against the 37% for Germany.

Amethyst 12-05-2018 07:41 AM

When I first read your thread title, I thought you were referring to humans and being able to renew our bodies!

Midpack 12-05-2018 08:07 AM

It's pretty clear we can't have electricity on demand 24/7 with "100% renewables" with any technology known today. There will have to be goal, gas, nuclear, hydro or some conventional base power generation. It would take a quantum leap in battery or other storage to make renewables viable - that remains to be seen, batteries are a mature technology so further cost effective innovation won't come easy.

There are already examples out west (and in Europe) of temporary excesses of solar and wind power, that utilities have had to literally give to other areas. As a result, utilities are already challenging buybacks from homeowners, as they should. It was fine when alternative energy was a cottage industry, but buybacks pose a serious problem as they scale up. https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-...tricity-solar/

ERD50 12-05-2018 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Midpack (Post 2152299)
It's pretty clear we can't have electricity on demand 24/7 with "100% renewables" with any technology known today. There will have to be coal, gas, nuclear, hydro or some conventional base power generation. It would take a quantum leap in battery or other storage to make renewables viable - that remains to be seen, batteries are a mature technology so further cost effective innovation won't come easy. ...

100% agree. Even though we may not like it, it is reality. Reality bites. I hope we can find ways to get off dirty coal, but if wishes were fishes....

Though your post did inspire me! I think I just discovered that "quantum leap" towards achieving 100% renewables!

We put "smart switches" on the homes, businesses and EVs of anyone who supports legislating 100% re-newables. Then we start shutting down coal plants, and nukes if they are anti-nuke. As brown-outs threaten, we use those "smart switches" to shut off power to their homes, businesses, and EVs, so that other people are not harmed by their not-so-well-thought-out (I'm trying to be kind) 'idea'.

If that doesn't make them wake up and smell the (cold) coffee, we start taxing them heavily for storage so we can make further cuts in coal and nukes and use that storage to keep the other homes powered during low wind nights. But I'm pretty sure they will cry 'Uncle' at the first cut.


Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 2152159)
Yep, coal, energy source of the future.

I think we have our first "smart switch" customer! Unless he has a better (reality-based) idea? Hint: more nukes!


Quote:

Originally Posted by Midpack (Post 2152299)
.... There are already examples out west (and in Europe) of temporary excesses of solar and wind power, that utilities have had to literally give to other areas. As a result, utilities are already challenging buybacks from homeowners, as they should. It was fine when alternative energy was a cottage industry, but buybacks pose a serious problem as they scale up. https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-...tricity-solar/

Yes, and the excesses are still fairly uncommon (or they would not make the news). I'll read your link in more detail later (it looks very good at a first skim), but keep in mind, that when CA or some Euro country exports excess to a neighboring country/state, that if those countries/states raise their renewable levels, they will likely have an excess at the same time. It is not sustainable. I've seen graphs that all these high % renewable countries level off at (IIRC) 20% ~ 30%, because they start to see excess at that point, and it just becomes economically unfeasible. Every incremental kW gets used less and less, you just can't recoup the investment.

-ERD50

NW-Bound 12-05-2018 09:21 AM

I love solar energy and lithium battery, but have tried to point out in the past that we are still a long way from being 100% RE. Solar electricity is so easily produced and cheap, but there's still no way to stockpile it for nightly use, let alone several days without the sun.

Here's an example again.

The Tesla Model 3 car has a 75 kWh battery. The energy it stores is, well, 75 kWh, or 270 MJ (mega Joules). A gallon of propane has the energy of 96.5 MJ. So, the Tesla battery is equivalent to 2.8 gal. That's less than what is stored inside a common BBQ propane tank.

Now, how much does the Tesla 3 battery cost? Remember that this is a $49K car. How much does a BBQ tank cost? $30 at Home Depot.

And still, they have not managed to store enough natural gas for the winter, and now face a shortage (link posted earlier in the thread). When will we be able to have a gigantic battery to match all the propane tanks currently in use?

And that's why Germany still burns dirty coal, although on peak days it manages to be 100% RE. The sun does not shine 24 hours/day. This effect is called sunrise/sunset. There's winter. This is called "season". And there's random variation for the same day of the year. This effect is called "weather".

NW-Bound 12-05-2018 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 2152343)
... the excesses are still fairly uncommon (or they would not make the news). I'll read your link in more detail later (it looks very good at a first skim), but keep in mind, that when CA or some Euro country exports excess to a neighboring country/state, that if those countries/states raise their renewable levels, they will likely have an excess at the same time. It is not sustainable...

In the recent election, Arizona voters defeated a proposition on clean energy by a ratio of 2 to 1. This proposition came from a group in California, and it would amend AZ Constitution to demand 50% RE by 2030.

I should note that AZ already has a plan to have 15% RE by 2025, but this group said it was not aggressive enough.

OldShooter 12-05-2018 10:02 AM

There was a good Economist article a few months ago on the subject of peaking plants. As renewables come on line, the need for the coal and nat gas peaking plants will diminish but absent some technical breakthroughs it will not go away.

So the yet-to-be-solved problem becomes how to recover the huge fixed costs of these plants over a diminishing number of kilowatt hours sold. Raising the price of the KWH may be an option to a certain point, but that will also make the renewables look even more cost-effective and cause the number of KWHs to further diminish. So, to some extent, the diminishing recovery of the peaking plants' cost is a negative externality of renewable energy.

ERD50 12-05-2018 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldShooter (Post 2152383)
There was a good Economist article a few months ago on the subject of peaking plants. As renewables come on line, the need for the coal and nat gas peaking plants will diminish but absent some technical breakthroughs it will not go away. ...

I assume you mean "coal plants, and nat gas peaking plants"? AFAIK, there are no coal peaking plants.

But it still makes no sense to me. As we move to renewables, which mostly are intermittent, and as we drop baseload power, the need for peaking increases, doesn't it?


Quote:

Originally Posted by OldShooter (Post 2152383)
.... So the yet-to-be-solved problem becomes how to recover the huge fixed costs of these plants over a diminishing number of kilowatt hours sold. Raising the price of the KWH may be an option to a certain point, but that will also make the renewables look even more cost-effective and cause the number of KWHs to further diminish. So, to some extent, the diminishing recovery of the peaking plants' cost is a negative externality of renewable energy.

I think raising the kWh price is the only way to recover the costs. Am I missing something?

The eco-sites will point out the lifetime cost of renewables (LCOE) is getting cheaper than the lifetimes cost of fossil fuel. While this may be true, it is a number taken out of context. You can't have a high % of renewables w/o also having some peaking back-up, and/or storage. So you really need to add that cost to the cost of RE. Which could double the cost. Oooops!

But of course, that is not the message they want you to hear, so they don't tell that part of it.

For ref: The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), also known as Levelized Energy Cost (LEC), is the net present value of the unit-cost of electricity over the lifetime of a generating asset.


-ERD50


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