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Thread: The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

  1. Top | #611
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    fromderinside, can you summarize what you discovered?

    A decade of renewable energy investment, led by solar, tops USD 2.5 trillion
    • The decade of investment (2010-2019) quadruples renewables capacity from 414 GW to about 1,650 GW
    • Solar capacity alone will have risen to more than 26 times the 2009 level — from 25 GW to an estimated 663 GW
    • 2018 capacity investment reached USD 272.9 billion, triple the investment in fossil fuel generation
    • Renewables generated 12.9 per cent of global electricity in 2018, avoiding 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions

    Global investment in new renewable energy capacity over this decade — 2010 to 2019 inclusive — is on course to hit USD 2.6 trillion, with more gigawatts of solar power capacity installed than any other generation technology, according to new figures published today.
    Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says - Bloomberg
    Natural gas-fired power plants, which have crushed the economics of coal, are on the path to being undercut themselves by renewable power and big batteries, a study found.

    By 2035, it will be more expensive to run 90% of gas plants being proposed in the U.S. than it will be to build new wind and solar farms equipped with storage systems, according to the report Monday from the Rocky Mountain Institute. It will happen so quickly that gas plants now on the drawing boards will become uneconomical before their owners finish paying for them, the study said.
    This is so remarkable to see. So so remarkable to see. Fixes both fossil-fuel depletion and global warming.

    Tomatitos y Chiles Jalapeños ¡Fotovoltaicos! – pv magazine Mexico
    Tomatitos y Chiles Jalapeños ¡Fotovoltaicos!
    Cuando la investigación multidisciplinaria une talentos para potenciar la generación de energía solar y la producción de alimentos

    Tomatitos and Chiles Jalapeños Photovoltaic!
    When multidisciplinary research unites talents to enhance solar energy generation and food production
    The article has a picture of some people with clipboards underneath some solar panels at a vegetable farm.

    Cocaína, marihuana y el factor fotovoltaico – pv magazine Mexico
    Cocaína, marihuana y el factor fotovoltaico
    El trasiego de drogas conoce de la utilidad de la energía solar

    Cocaine, marijuana and the photovoltaic factor
    Drug transfer knows about the usefulness of solar energy
    Drug traffickers who use solar panels to help build tunnels and maintain them, like pumping water out of them.

  2. Top | #612
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    For $2.5 Trillion, you could buy 100 Hinkley Point C nuclear power plants, each with a generating capacity of 3.2GWe, a Capacity Factor above 90%, and a design life of 60 years. Apparently, Hinkley Point exemplifies how expensive, and therefore unaffordable, nuclear power plants are today - it's ten times as expensive per GW as recently built South Korean and Taiwanese nuclear plants.

    But spending $2.5 Trillion on 1200 GWe nameplate capacity of solar power, which with at best a 25% Capacity Factor, will generate a touch less than the same total electricity per annum, but which will do so intermittently, requiring storage (that doesn't currently exist, and won't be free of charge when it does - it would easily cost more for the storage than the cost of the generating equipment), and which will only last twenty years, is apparently a great investment.

    Can anybody spell "double standard"?

    The lifetime cost of the (most expensive) nuclear option is one third the cost of solar without storage; and more likely less than one tenth the cost of solar when storage (or more likely natural gas backup) is included. Of course, if you build a hundred standardised nukes all of the same design, you are likely to see costs fall into the Taiwanese range, making solar about thirty to a hundred times more expensive.

    And unlike Solar+Gas, the nuclear option is low carbon 24x7.

  3. Top | #613
    the baby-eater
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    Today the news trumpeted the fact that South Australia now supplies 50% of its energy from renewables.

    Taken alone, that seems to indicate that renewable energy is making remarkable progress. However, South Australia is part of the National Energy Market, an energy grid supplying Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. The NEM's progress on renewables is not so much remarkable as it is dismal:



    If there wasn't a climate emergency threatening to cause a global catastrophe, this would be good progress and we could feel pretty comfortable. But under the circumstances, this is like watching a ship run into an iceberg in extreme slow-motion while the captain insists he'll got plenty of time to turn invent a better rudder.
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  4. Top | #614
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    JCB Electric Excavator / Mini Digger JCB 19C-1E E-TEC zero emissions electric digger | Fully Charged - YouTube - it worked very well. It was not nearly as loud, and it did the job.

    Another massive solar project moves Hawaii closer to its green energy goal
    Combined, the more than 800,000 solar panels will produce up to 110 megawatts of clean energy a day. That power will feed into the Hawaiian Electric grid, and is enough to power about 18,000 Oahu homes each year.

    ...
    The projects will help the state meet its 100 percent clean energy goal by 2045.

    Oshima says by 2022, the state will be home to over 4 million solar panels feeding the Hawaiian Electric grid.
    On a sunny day this German factory runs on solar power | Sustainable Energy - YouTube

    Neoen unveils 2.7GW hybrid giant in Oz - reNews - Renewable Energy News - 1.2 GW wind, 0.6 GW solar, 0.9 GW storage - in South Australia

    Solar-storage combo makes waves in Caribbean - reNews - Renewable Energy News
    The 35.6MW solar plant and 44.2 megawatt hour battery storage facility will serve energy consumers on the twin islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

    ...
    When operational the solar-plus-storage plant will be the first asset of is kind to provide base load power for a utility on a Caribbean island.

    The system will provide between 25-30% of the nation's current power generation needs, while displacing the same amount of diesel-generated capacity.

  5. Top | #615
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Is the Trump Administration blocking the science on a renewable-powered future? – pv magazine USA - "A study on reaching high levels of renewable energy has been removed from the NOAA website, and an energy writer says that the release of another study has been blocked."
    The Trump Administration has also attempted to suppress information on the Climate Crisis, including removing the page on climate science from the EPA website and removal of references to climate change on other parts of the EPA website and documents.

    However, the Trump Administration now appears to have taken this another step further, and removed a study showing that the United States can get the large majority of its electricity from renewable energy from the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
    Seems like Lysenkoism.

    How solar power operations and maintenance costs fell 50% – pv magazine USA - "Robb Wilson of sPower has seen the field evolve along with technology, and shared some of the institutional knowledge he has gained over the years."

    Shows how vigorous the field is -- and how it has become economically viable in the nick of time, when we started getting lots of heatwaves.

    Los Angeles says “Yes” to the cheapest solar plus storage in the USA – pv magazine USA - "Los Angeles’ municipal utility has voted 5-0 to approve a 25-year contract with a 400 MWac solar plus 300 MW / 1.2 GWh energy storage facility, with the aggregate price of the electricity from the project at 3.962¢/kWh." - it's well to the east of LA - the company: 8minute Solar Energy - from how long sunlight takes to get here from the Sun's surface. - the solar panels will be single-axis-tracking, to make them approximately face the Sun with a simple pointing mechanism.

  6. Top | #616
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Can Renewable Energy Power the World? Mapping 10 Years of Progress
    ... This April, for the first time ever, renewable energy supplied more power to America’s grid than coal—the clearest sign yet that solar and wind can now go head-to-head with fossil fuels. In two-thirds of the world, they’ve become the cheapest forms of power.

    Solar and wind will power half the globe by 2050, based on BloombergNEF forecasts. By that time, coal and nuclear will have all but disappeared in the U.S., forced out by cheaper renewables and natural gas.

    The market triumph of renewable energy marks the biggest victory yet in the fight against global warming. Solar and wind are proliferating not because of moral do-gooders but because they’re now the most profitable part of the power business in most of the world. An industry that once relied on heavy subsidies and was propped up by government mandates is now increasingly standing on its own.

    As a recent United Nations report put it: The renewable energy sector is “looking all grown up.”
    That is because those subsidies helped it grow and accumulate experience and economies of scale. Which is what subsidies can be good for -- creating new industries. Or in this case, effectively new industries.

    The main barrier to quicker adoption is now capital costs. It's necessary to go over the initial hump of investment.

  7. Top | #617
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Solar and Wind Power So Cheap They’re Outgrowing Subsidies - Bloomberg - I couldn't read much because of its paywall, but it is very welcome that that is happening. Given the heatwaves that have been happening, it's in the nick of time.

    GSI on Twitter: "Governments spend 💵$526 billion a year to support #fossilfuels while the world is facing a #ClimateEmergency. We asked @AOC @RepAOC what she thinks about it. Here’s what she says 👇 #StopFossilSubsidies https://t.co/K5vp8KPJIx https://t.co/ludMIFnlwA" / Twitter

    IISD | The Knowledge to Act - the International Institute for Sustainable Development
    Global Subsidies Initiative - at the IISD
    Stop Fossil Fuel Subsidies Campaign | GSI
    with videos from:
    • "Invest in our future" -- United States Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    • "We are in a battle for our lives" -- UN Secretary General, António Guterres
    • "End the free ride" -- Actor and Climate Change Activist, Leonardo DiCaprio
    • "Makes no sense" -- Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Rachel Kyte
    • "No more business as usual" -- CEO, Aviva plc, Maurice Tulloch
    • "It has to stop" -- Founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben
    • "The time is now" -- New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

    The videos have short text statements from all of these people.

    Leonardo DiCaprio has been ridiculed for flying to lots of places, but he has put his money where his mouth is about his residential electricity and installed solar panels on his mansion.

    That would be much harder for AOC since she lives in apartment buildings in NYC and DC. However, she has gone on road trips to upstate NY, Maine, and California.

  8. Top | #618
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    In addition to upstate NY, ME, and CA, AOC also did a road trip to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, near Bismarck. That was to visit the DAPL protesters.

    I checked on energy efficiencies, and cars, airplanes, and diesel trains (most of Amtrak's) are roughly the same. Intercity buses are something like 3 times better, at least with similar load fractions.


    Logic supports renewables, not nuclear – pv magazine International
    The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report gives the energy source little hope in the race against fast, widespread, job-friendly, popular renewables. The report reiterates clean power is taking the lead in the world’s energy system and nuclear is not only too costly a remedy for carbon emissions but too slow to deploy. Nuclear output grew only 2.4% last year while solar and wind power volumes grew 18% and 29%, respectively.

    ...
    One of the biggest hurdles facing new nuclear is the time it takes to deploy the technology, according to the report. New plants take 5-17 years, much longer than the timescale for deploying utility scale solar or onshore wind. That means fossil-fuel plants continue to emit far more CO2 while awaiting nuclear replacements.

    “Nuclear new-build thus costs many times more per kilowatt-hour so it buys many times less climate solution per dollar, than these major low-carbon competitors,” states this year’s WNISR. Renewables have a lower carbon cost per dollar and per year, the report concludes.
    They state what I have long suspected -- nuclear reactors take much longer to build compared to wind and solar farms.

    Live fast, die young: MIT study proposes use of 10-year panels – pv magazine International - not much value unless they are cheaper per year than long-lived ones and are easy to replace and recycle.

    The rise of solar power
    The industry has been growing exponentially thanks to plain old solar panels. You can see the evidence both on people’s rooftops and in the desert, where utility-scale solar plants are increasingly popping up. Here in the U.S., of all new power capacity added to the grid in 2018, about 30% was from solar.
    That's very good.
    In Squamish, British Columbia, there’s a company that wants to stop climate change by sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

    It’s called Carbon Engineering, and it uses a combination of giant fans and complex chemical processes to remove carbon dioxide from the air in a procedure known as Direct Air Capture.
    That's also very good, because this captured CO2 can be used as a feedstock for synthetic fuels. That's a gap in renewable-energy development, and it's nice to see it getting filled.

  9. Top | #619
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Of course, the meme makes the common error of taking a Reserve and calling it the entire world supply - actually it's just the stuff that's been thoroughly assayed and surveyed. The total resource is far larger - but nevertheless, these figures demonstrate the huge scale of environmentally disastrous mining required to make even a tiny fraction of the storage demanded by 100% renewables - and that's just for the OECD nations.

    The fact that the wind turbines and solar panels to feed this impossible volume of storage would also require insane amounts of materials and land is further illustrative of the insanity of attempting this pointless, polluting, and dangerous non-alternative to clean, reliable and safe nuclear power plants.
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  10. Top | #620
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post


    Of course, the meme makes the common error of taking a Reserve and calling it the entire world supply - actually it's just the stuff that's been thoroughly assayed and surveyed. The total resource is far larger - but nevertheless, these figures demonstrate the huge scale of environmentally disastrous mining required to make even a tiny fraction of the storage demanded by 100% renewables - and that's just for the OECD nations.

    The fact that the wind turbines and solar panels to feed this impossible volume of storage would also require insane amounts of materials and land is further illustrative of the insanity of attempting this pointless, polluting, and dangerous non-alternative to clean, reliable and safe nuclear power plants.
    Anything to be able to cling to the illusion of economic growth to infinity. And we can always keep dumping the uranium tailings upon the indigenous and unsubstantial people of our internal colonies. The entitled predator class must concentrate and redistribute more wealth.

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