EIA: Renewable generation beats nuclear for two consecutive month

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georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
878
FWIIW, an article in Nature energy discusses "The underestimated potential of solar energy to mitigate climate change"..

There is also a more readable summary in Vox that notes " In it, they review the reasons why models have traditionally underestimated PV and then try running a popular model updated with better information. The results are instructive, to say the least — if they are right, PV could potentially provide fully half of global electricity by 2050."(There is a no pay link to the nature article on the vox summary)

"The researchers hone in on three phenomena that most models fail to properly account for:

  1. Policy support: For the most part, models can’t or don’t take into account the kinds of tech-specific, country- or state-level policies that have been crucial to PV’s growth .....
  2. Rapid learning: The costs for solar PV modules “have decreased by 22.5% with each doubling of installed capacity,” which is a considerably more rapid learning rate than your average tech.....
  3. Cost increases of competing clean energy sources: Models tend to be wildly optimistic on nuclear power and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), despite the fact that, unlike PV, those technologies fall short of model projections again and again. ....."

We are at 100 GW PV worldwide and counting...

nature_energy_pv_history.jpg




https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/en...16224582/wind-solar-exceed-expectations-again
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
FWIIW, an article in Nature energy discusses "The underestimated potential of solar energy to mitigate climate change"..

The situation is too dire to delay.

I like the map Elon Musk used to show how much land area is needed to supply the entire U.S. electrical demand. The battery park needed to support all that demand occupies a single pixel inside the square:

total-solar-panels-to-fulfill-electricity-demands-of-united-statesjpg.jpe
 

Marshy

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2016
824
NY
The situation is too dire to delay.

I like the map Elon Musk used to show how much land area is needed to supply the entire U.S. electrical demand. The battery park needed to support all that demand occupies a single pixel inside the square:

View attachment 199651
Distribution is the larger challenge.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Distribution is the larger challenge.

That challenge has a solution. The bigger challenge is people who deny AGW. I'm afraid there is no solution to that problem. But it gives me hope that the demographic that denies AGW is becoming older and less relevant each passing year.
 

Marshy

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2016
824
NY
You know what else is solvable? Storage of used nuclear fuel. Through reprocessing it becomes a substantial fuel source that will last hundreds of decades and the subsequent radioactivity is reduced drastically.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,679
South Puget Sound, WA
You know what else is solvable? Storage of used nuclear fuel. Through reprocessing it becomes a substantial fuel source that will last hundreds of decades and the subsequent radioactivity is reduced drastically.
In a molten salt reactor like the thorium reactor?
 
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woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,412
SE PA
Here's the link to the Vox article @georgepds mentions above:

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/8/30/16224582/wind-solar-exceed-expectations-again

Its by the inimical David Roberts. In it he also discusses a recent paper on wind power costs that suggests that they could be cut in half by applying current ideas about best practice.

This amounts to better site surveying, improved turbine design and taller/larger turbines.

This latter point was discussed at length last year by Ramez Naam....

http://rameznaam.com/2015/08/30/how-steady-can-the-wind-blow/

The old conventional wisdom was that wind turbines could only be sited on a rather small fraction of land that had very good wind resources, some US regions (like the southeast) didn't have any of those, and capacity factors might be 0.30 at best, so intermittency is a problem.

An NREL study of larger/taller turbines points out that taller turbines reach higher capacity factor...up to 0.60 for good sites AND makes wind a commercially feasible technology at many sites that were not previously available, increasing its geographic/regional availability massively.

How big a turbine? Turns out the, um, Germans are leaders in this tech. As big as their biggest current machines.

The only technical issue with the larger machines is moving the hardware along the US roadway/railroad system, where the current machines are at the size limit. If that transport issue can be resolved, wind power can also be a super large, super cheap renewable contender.

To get to the high renewable electricity and primary energy penetration that @WoodyIsGoody seems to want, and to avoid the challenge of seasonal RE storage, some regions (like New England) will need either a LOT of such wind power or some very long HVDC wires to some PV not under clouds in December-February.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
878
You know what else is solvable? Storage of used nuclear fuel. Through reprocessing it becomes a substantial fuel source that will last hundreds of decades and the subsequent radioactivity is reduced drastically.

So france, which is 75% nuclear, has reprocessing, and still has a waste problem. Their underground facility for storage is still not used pending fire concerns

Where does this solution that you refer to actually work? My guess is it's in the same category as too cheap to meter

Re france reprocessing

"A 2001 report by the French Commission on Sustainable Development -- a former advisory committee to the prime minister -- found that spent MOX fuel would have to cool for 150 years, compared to 50 years for other spent fuel, saying such a long surface storage period was "not an equitable one for future generations."


I.e. Reprocessing makes the problem worse..you have to wait 5 generations before you can even think about burying it. Hello great great great grandchildren.. guess what poppy left you

The place they're thinking about storing what's leftover , Bure, is called by some the underground Chernobyl.. and the locals are fighting it
 
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georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
878
Fwiiw. An old article describing the reprocessing in France


http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/0...-nuclear-waste-prob-12208.html?pagewanted=all


"Areva officials admit that their solution is not perfect. It includes trucking plutonium and waste 700 miles between the reprocessing and recycling facilities. Plutonium is one of the explosive metals used for nuclear weapons and must be carefully guarded en route. If terrorists were somehow able to acquire and handle the highly radioactive wastes, they could be made into a so-called "dirty bomb" using conventional explosives."

Opps...


""When France built the La Hague facility in 1966, the United States had a fledgling reprocessing program under way, but President Ford froze the program in 1976, concluding that the proliferation risks from reprocessing were too great. The next year, President Carter announced that the United States would "defer indefinitely" the commercialization of reprocessing and recycling. President Reagan lifted the ban in 1981, but no company chose to pursue reprocessing on a completely private basis."
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Where does this solution that you refer to actually work? My guess is it's in the same category as too cheap to meter

The solution is to simply believe the seductive story told by the nuclear lobby industry. You know, the guys that don't tell it like it is because it's more profitable to tell you what you want to hear.

And, yes, I remember the "too cheap to meter" promise. Look where that got us.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
878
.....and to avoid the challenge of seasonal RE storage, some regions (like New England) will need either a LOT of such wind power or some very long HVDC wires to some PV not under clouds in December-February.

I agree on the need for HVDC lines, several are planned into Massachusetts. The source is not PV, but Quebec Hydro . Not PV but still renewable

There is also a RFP for lots of windpower offshore ( 1.6 GW) by 2027


http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/07/massachusetts_utilities_releas.html
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
All of it a good argument for small decentralized energy production ,free from worries of terrorism ,hazardous waste, pollution. The vast majority of small energy production is clean. Either sun or wind with a small amount of some clean burning biomass. So utilities should be "encouraged" to work with homeowners and small business to make it cost effective for both.
 
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Marshy

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2016
824
NY
I wish I had more time to entertain this discussion but I'm very busy. Maybe this winter I will have the time. Until then, cheers.