Solar Dominance Coming....

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,324
SE PA
Consultants Wood Mackenzie have an interesting report on the Solar market over the next 10 and 20 years.


Abstract:
Renewables are the proven zero-carbon technology where much of the capital funding the energy transition will be invested. Over the next 20 years, Wood Mackenzie expects more than 4 terawatts (TW) of wind and solar power to come on stream globally, taking renewables’ share of the world’s power capacity to 30% from 10% today. Of this new capacity, some 2.6 TW will be solar.

That is over 250W of PV for every human on Earth in 2040. I think these kinds of predictions tend to be too conservative on timelines. This would only represent a tripling of solar power capacity relative to today.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Consultants Wood Mackenzie have an interesting report on the Solar market over the next 10 and 20 years.


Abstract:
Renewables are the proven zero-carbon technology where much of the capital funding the energy transition will be invested. Over the next 20 years, Wood Mackenzie expects more than 4 terawatts (TW) of wind and solar power to come on stream globally, taking renewables’ share of the world’s power capacity to 30% from 10% today. Of this new capacity, some 2.6 TW will be solar.

That is over 250W of PV for every human on Earth in 2040. I think these kinds of predictions tend to be too conservative on timelines. This would only represent a tripling of solar power capacity relative to today.
Watch the batteries. That's the last weak link. Once that's sorted out, and it is close, say goodbye to burning dinosaur.
 
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CaptSpiff

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2014
544
Long Island, NY
I think about the business model of near "zero cost of production" for a product. Tough for any legacy production of similar products to survive.

This is the bigger issue local and regional governments will need to workout. The fact that the stinky power plant is employing 62 well paid full time workers, and pays 36% of the annual tax revenues of the county, including 64% of the school budget. The plant will be closing soon and replaced by a field of solar panels and a half dozen wind turbines, with zero full time employees, and a 10 year tax abatement that will produce one twelfth of the total tax revenue, projected over 30 years.

That's the other portion of "human" analysis. I'm 100% "in" on shuttering the fossil production fleet of electric generators. I want the health benefits of less pollution. I'm also looking for solutions for the local impacts that sometimes destroy families or entire communities due to the revenue & tax displacement. It's gonna be a bumpy road.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
I think about the business model of near "zero cost of production" for a product. Tough for any legacy production of similar products to survive.

This is the bigger issue local and regional governments will need to workout. The fact that the stinky power plant is employing 62 well paid full time workers, and pays 36% of the annual tax revenues of the county, including 64% of the school budget. The plant will be closing soon and replaced by a field of solar panels and a half dozen wind turbines, with zero full time employees, and a 10 year tax abatement that will produce one twelfth of the total tax revenue, projected over 30 years.

That's the other portion of "human" analysis. I'm 100% "in" on shuttering the fossil production fleet of electric generators. I want the health benefits of less pollution. I'm also looking for solutions for the local impacts that sometimes destroy families or entire communities due to the revenue & tax displacement. It's gonna be a bumpy road.
Wind turbines do need maintenance, so while there are no full time employees necessarily in the county, there are companies with full time employees, either the mfg, or another if the maintenance is outsourced upon purchase. (My brother works for a wind turbine company.)

Of course this does not solve the issue you raise.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
I also agree a tripling of solar output in the next 20 years is low. I think the US is about to see a nation wide boom on renewables development, driven by lower costs but also in a large part by government subsidies and penalties on the use of fossil fuels. Our Carbon tax increase was announced shortly after our PM's discussion with the (at the time) President-Elect. I doubt ours would have increased so substantially unless the US was planning something similar.

As for jobs, I believe the US must set up a manufacturing facility for the silicon wafers within its borders. Solar PV will be a long-term source of energy, it only makes sense to employ as many Americans as possible in the manufacture of these products. As China continues to gain wealth and wages rise so will costs to manufacture there, making this argument stronger.

I'm not sure what others are seeing in their area for battery storage, but we just had our first 2 units go online (Lithium Ion) in the province in the last year, with at least 2 more planned for this year. The footprint these things take up is tiny, I would think an old coal powerplant site could house in the GWh's of capacity.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
I also agree a tripling of solar output in the next 20 years is low. I think the US is about to see a nation wide boom on renewables development, driven by lower costs but also in a large part by government subsidies and penalties on the use of fossil fuels. Our Carbon tax increase was announced shortly after our PM's discussion with the (at the time) President-Elect. I doubt ours would have increased so substantially unless the US was planning something similar.

As for jobs, I believe the US must set up a manufacturing facility for the silicon wafers within its borders. Solar PV will be a long-term source of energy, it only makes sense to employ as many Americans as possible in the manufacture of these products. As China continues to gain wealth and wages rise so will costs to manufacture there, making this argument stronger.

I'm not sure what others are seeing in their area for battery storage, but we just had our first 2 units go online (Lithium Ion) in the province in the last year, with at least 2 more planned for this year. The footprint these things take up is tiny, I would think an old coal powerplant site could house in the GWh's of capacity.
I'm not sure Li ion is the go to technology for large scale storage; cheaper alternatives are around for when space and weight is not an issue. Li ion is good for portable, high energy density needs.

On a small scale (household), storage here on Long Island is not really a thing. My solar system was installed by a company trying to expand from Hawaii, and was pushing for storage as well. However, with our next metering, the grid is our "storage", so they did not succeed and left LI... Poor business landscape planning.

I do have a polluting fossil fuel generator that will run my fridge, a light, a fan in case it's needed....
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
I'm not sure Li ion is the go to technology for large scale storage; cheaper alternatives are around for when space and weight is not an issue. Li ion is good for portable, high energy density needs.

On a small scale (household), storage here on Long Island is not really a thing. My solar system was installed by a company trying to expand from Hawaii, and was pushing for storage as well. However, with our next metering, the grid is our "storage", so they did not succeed and left LI... Poor business landscape planning.

I do have a polluting fossil fuel generator that will run my fridge, a light, a fan in case it's needed....
Li-Ion very well may not be the best, but at the present time is the most developed and commercially available.

There is a price where battery storage makes sense in my house, I pay transmission and distribution fees on all power bought, but don't receive these back when I sell to the grid. A small battery would minimize this. Now if I could actually get my hands on these $100/kwh Li-Ion batteries everyone talks about I'd be set. Right now for me a Tesla Powerwall 2 is about $850/kwh, plus install.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
But on the site of an old powerplant (your example) lead acid is far, far more economical. And proven. And reliable. As compared to many, many other battery chemistries, Li ion is by far not the most developed...

In your home it's a different story; I'd not need Li ion as I have enough space (and the transmission fee thing is non-existent as my meter simply runs backwards). But that does not hold for everybody.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,136
Northern NH
The US has built multiple Silicon wafer plants over the years and few if any remain. The plants are potentially environmentally polluting and the cost to do that clean up is big part of the plant cost. Most production went to the third world as those countries just skip the environmental equipment. As long as there is one country that is willing to take long term damage for short term dollars the production will go to that place. Evergreen in Massachuseets had their string ribbon technology that had far less environmental impact, they basically lost money on every panel they sold as the chinese just dropped their wafer prices down until they were cheaper.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
But on the site of an old powerplant (your example) lead acid is far, far more economical. And proven. And reliable. As compared to many, many other battery chemistries, Li ion is by far not the most developed...

In your home it's a different story; I'd not need Li ion as I have enough space (and the transmission fee thing is non-existent as my meter simply runs backwards). But that does not hold for everybody.
In terms of complete turn key systems for grid scale use it sure appears Li-Ion is the most developed and available at the present time.

I unfortunately don't believe lead-acid is superior. When considering that they must not be discharged below 50% DoD to attain any appreciable lifespan. For a large battery bank in a house or cottage where a couple days storage is needed and power draw per hour is below 10% of total capacity maybe. For a fast reacting high output grid scale battery absolutely not, a lead acid battery cannot efficiently discharge in an hour or two like a Li-Ion can, which is a must for grid stability and maximizing profits for the owner of the battery. Efficiency comes into concern, lead acid tops out at about 85% round trip efficiency, Li-Ion is >90%.
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
The US has built multiple Silicon wafer plants over the years and few if any remain. The plants are potentially environmentally polluting and the cost to do that clean up is big part of the plant cost. Most production went to the third world as those countries just skip the environmental equipment. As long as there is one country that is willing to take long term damage for short term dollars the production will go to that place. Evergreen in Massachuseets had their string ribbon technology that had far less environmental impact, they basically lost money on every panel they sold as the chinese just dropped their wafer prices down until they were cheaper.
I get that. At some point though there needs to be a discussion, what's better? To worry only about product cost and continually ship jobs offshore, or either restrict the import of these products, or subsidize the local production of the product? With the understanding that the extra revenue generated from various taxes makes back the subsidy, while also removing some workers from social assistance by providing gainful employment.

I don't think solar PV or battery storage is going be replaced any time soon by another superior technology. IMO it makes sense to cost the tax-payer a few bucks today to invest in it's future prosperity. To me it's also a factor in energy security, what happens in the event of a trade war or worse with China?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
696
Eastern Long Island NY
In terms of complete turn key systems for grid scale use it sure appears Li-Ion is the most developed and available at the present time.

I unfortunately don't believe lead-acid is superior. When considering that they must not be discharged below 50% DoD to attain any appreciable lifespan. For a large battery bank in a house or cottage where a couple days storage is needed and power draw per hour is below 10% of total capacity maybe. For a fast reacting high output grid scale battery absolutely not, a lead acid battery cannot efficiently discharge in an hour or two like a Li-Ion can, which is a must for grid stability and maximizing profits for the owner of the battery. Efficiency comes into concern, lead acid tops out at about 85% round trip efficiency, Li-Ion is >90%.
You are correct; my ideas were based on outdated info. I found a good summary (for dummies like me) here:
https://www.nrel.gov › docsPDF
Grid-Scale Battery Storage: Frequently Asked Questions - NREL

(If that link copy paste works).

Lead acid can discharge fast though, but at lower capacity. Cars need a lot of juice to start. But given the decreased cost, the other aspects (which used to be mitigated by simply installing more capacity) of Li ion make them be better now.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,136
Northern NH
I had two projects that got big grants for Zinc flow batteries, by the time we got to the next stage, the company was effectively out of business. There is new zinc technology Eos that just went public through a SPAC. Lithium is not the future for fixed storage most bets are on batteries that use more common material.
 
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Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,213
Eastern Central PA
That's the other portion of "human" analysis. I'm 100% "in" on shuttering the fossil production fleet of electric generators. I want the health benefits of less pollution. I'm also looking for solutions for the local impacts that sometimes destroy families or entire communities due to the revenue & tax displacement. It's gonna be a bumpy road.
Expect your property tax to go up to make up the diff. Ours goes up at least 4-5% a year, every year.
 

ben94122

Burning Hunk
Sep 4, 2017
132
California
Do you guys know anything about capacitors being developed to store large amounts of energy with newer dielectric materials? I can't google anything at the moment.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,136
Northern NH
Supercapacitors and ultracapacitors are a great short term way of storing and discharging lots of power for short periods. There is at least one firm whose name I can not remember that was developing this for oil and gas drilling. Oil and gas drilling outfits usually run off lots of diesels idling so that when they do need to power that the power is available. This puts out a lot of emissions and costs money. The supercapacitors are charged up when the demand is not there and then can rapidly discharge to deal with surges in power demand instead of a row of idling diesels. They are designed for minutes of storage not hours or days. They are better compared to as flywheels then as a battery replacement. They do wear out and degrade.

Almost every solar power inverter used large capacitors to convert DC to AC but the large capacitors have been replaced with rapid switching electronics. It makes the units smaller, more reliable and able to handle more power in less space.

Fuel cell cars use super capacitors to deal with surges in power demand. A fuel cell has crappy "throttle response" its really designed to put out steady load, so it charges a supercapacitor to deal with increases in demand and discharges the power quickly while the fuel cell catches up.

They could factor into the future power grid to deal with rapid load changes on the grid but they will not replace batteries unless there is major technological jump in storage density and storage duration. They also can be integrated into microgrids although lithium batteries seem to have fast enough response function without them. If flow batteries become more popular, supercapacitors may reappear as flow batteries has similar response issues to fuel cells.
 
Dec 14, 2020
141
Lisburn, PA
Color me skeptical. I do not see the evidence that CO2 generated by man is causing harm now or will cause harm in the future.
I find solar and wind fascinating technologies, but do not see the evidence that they can provide the world's power needs in 10, 20 or 100 years. We have since the industrial revolution learned how to harness coal, oil and natural gas to enrich the lives of 7+ billion people and in modern democratically run countries we have learned to do this with minimal impact on the environment.
Building solar and wind generating facilities requires quantities of materials that are orders of magnitude greater than continuing to refine our use of coal, oil and gas to provide safe reliable energy. Many of these rare earth materials come from countries using child labor and have little to no environmental controls. The land area required to site these facilities is staggering. And you can only cost effectively capture so much energy from the sun or wind regardless of advancements in technology. Chemically storing that energy runs into the same issues - materials, space and cost.
CO2 is a life giving gas. At levels around 150, plants can't function. We were at 180 at the beginning of the industrial revolution.
At over 400, the planet is greening and agricultural output is increasing.
IMHO Climate Change will go down in history as one of the biggest hoaxes perpetuated on mankind.
 

CaptSpiff

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2014
544
Long Island, NY
Yeah, nobody is going to suggest cutting the school budget by 64%! Though arguably it could be done......
I'll keep it short cause I don't like crosstalk on a thread: In NYS we do it thru Pilots (payments in lieu of taxes), voted in place in the State Capital as a 10-15yr reducing revenue stream. The school district goes hat in hand and now has to manage only a max 6.4% reduction a yr. All paid by other state residents. Thank you.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
This report released yesterday from the US Department of Energy states that not only is a zero-emissions objective achievable, it is also surprisingly affordable. It provides a detailed roadmap of how the U.S. energy and industrial system can become a source of negative CO2 emissions by 2050. What is important is that it sets commonsense goals for 2030 that do not call for replacing everything, all at once. Instead, it relies on end-of-life replacements with low carbon alternatives.

"The next 10 years
An important finding of this study is that the actions required in the next 10 years are similar regardless of long-term differences between pathways. In the near term, we need to increase generation and transmission of renewable energy, make sure all new infrastructure, such as cars and buildings, are low carbon, and maintain current natural gas capacity for now for reliability.

“This is a very important finding. We don’t need to have a big battle now over questions like the near-term construction of nuclear power plants, because new nuclear is not required in the next ten years to be on a net-zero emissions path. Instead we should make policy to drive the steps that we know are required now, while accelerating R&D and further developing our options for the choices we must make starting in the 2030s,” said study lead author Jim Williams, associate professor of Energy Systems Management at USF and a Berkeley Lab affiliate scientist."

 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
CO2 is a life giving gas. At levels around 150, plants can't function. We were at 180 at the beginning of the industrial revolution.
At over 400, the planet is greening and agricultural output is increasing.
Tired old strawman argument. Agricultural production is increasing because there are billions of more mouths to feed. It completely sidesteps the effects of high CO2 levels, like ocean acidification and glacial melt.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
Homebrew websites like this abound. That particular one seems to lack any bonafide.
Here's another that states clearly who is behind it.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
Yeah, nobody is going to suggest cutting the school budget by 64%! Though arguably it could be done......
I think there are plenty of educators that would disagree.