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Thread: The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

  1. Top | #691
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    All nuclear and fossil plnts require periodic maintenance and have equipment failures. Steam turbines do not run forever. All plants have recurring costs.
    Nuclear plants routinely achieve 90% capacity factor (actual power generation divided by nameplate/peak power generation) over their 60-80 year life.

    Wind turbines are lucky to achieve 30%; Solar power plants expect less than 20%, even in ideal conditions. And they have lifespans in the order of 20 years at best.

    And nuclear (or fossil) plants are down mostly at planned intervals, that are scheduled not to coincide with the downtime at other plants nearby, or to coincide with periods of peak demand (for example nuclear plants can shutdown for fuelling in spring or autumn, when demand is low, to ensure that they will be available in winter or summer periods of high demand).

    Wind and solar plants all go down together - a large high pressure system can cause light winds over thousands of square miles, and nightfall affects more than half the planet at once. And they go down unpredictability, with no reference to demand. A cold, calm winters evening, with clear skies and a hard frost, is typically a time of high power demand. And a time of zero renewables availability.

    To dismiss these vital and hugely significant differences in reliability and longevity with "all generation technologies have downtime" or "all plants have recurring costs", is to stretch the truth beyond breaking point.

  2. Top | #692
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    In the news electric vehicles and wind turbines are growing faster that expected. However the demand for fossil fuels i also ricing. .

  3. Top | #693
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    In the news electric vehicles and wind turbines are growing faster that expected. However the demand for fossil fuels i also ricing. .
    The demand for fossil fuels is undergoing useless "improvements"??

  4. Top | #694
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/w...110101589.html

    ...
    (Bloomberg) -- Two decades ago, when coal ruled U.S. power generation, a Florida utility plowed some of its extra cash into a wind farm atop a desolate Oregon plateau.
    It was the start of an unimaginably successful bet.
    This year, that company -- now named NextEra Energy Inc. -- became the world’s first utility with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion, thanks largely to its clean-power business. It’s almost twice as valuable as the oil major ConocoPhillips and has developed enough wind and solar farms across the U.S. and Canada to power the entire nation of Greece. Shares have doubled in four years, outperforming virtually every other stock in the industry.
    “They made a bunch of strategic moves early and aggressively that have paid off very well for them,” said Andrew Weisel, an analyst at Scotia Howard Weil.
    ...
    NextEra, which changed its name in 2009 to reflect its growing focus on alternative energy, now has wind and solar farms in about two dozen U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. They total roughly 18 gigawatts, enough to power almost 13 million homes. Last year, its clean power business -- in addition to some natural gas and nuclear plants -- raked in $4.7 billion in profit, 70% of its net income.
    And the company isn’t done growing. It already has contracts to add another 12 gigawatts of renewables.
    ...



    -----

    Clean energy can be a very profitable business. Meanwhile, coal companies are going bankrupt.
    Cheerful Charlie

  5. Top | #695
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    If solar and wind are so cheap, why are their haters making so much noise – pv magazine USA
    The price of electricity is still going up a small bit, but recently it has been because of power grid upgrades in spite of the wholesale price of electricity going down. One nuclear proponent asked, “If solar and wind are so cheap, why are they making electricity so expensive?” – the answer is: they are cheap, and they aren’t making it more expensive – in fact, the data suggests the more wind and solar there is the lower pricing gets. With recent record low prices from US based solar+storage, and solar alone globally – expect these decreases to continue.
    Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough - CNN
    A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet.

    Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.
    Concentrated solar power is not a new technology, but this system's claim to fame is its high amount of concentration. The article was not very clear about how it was done, but it can be done by making the heliostats curved for improved focusing. Heliostats are the mirrors that reflect the incoming sunlight into the concentration spot.

    Superconducting wind turbine chalks up first test success
    The EcoSwing consortium designed, developed, and manufactured a full-size superconducting generator for a 3.6 megawatt wind turbine, and field-tested it in Thyborøn, Denmark.

    ...
    "Permanent-magnet (PM) based direct-drive (DD) generators offer a solution in state-of-the-art multi-megawatt generators, but the feasibility of 10+ megawatt PM-DD turbines requires significant weight reduction. Pseudo-magnetic direct-drive (PDD) machines, integrating magnetic gearing and generator functions are a possible solution to this, but they can be expensive and highly complex to produce."

    To tackle this challenge, the team employed rare-earth barium copper oxide (ReBCO) high-temperature superconducting generators. These require a smaller amount of rare-earth materials than PM machines, resulting in a lower cost. Superconductors can also carry high current densities, which results in more power-dense coils and a lower weight.
    Could be a good alternative, and it's nice to see that someone has succeeded in putting high-Tc superconductors to work.

  6. Top | #696
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    People object to renewables because everyone else is being forced to subsidize them.

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