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Thread: The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

  1. Top | #1121
    Elder Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    Yeah, nuclear is the best option in Africa or even in Afghanistan.
    And why there are no nuclear plants in ..... Australia?

  2. Top | #1122
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbos View Post
    Yeah, nuclear is the best option in Africa or even in Afghanistan.
    And why there are no nuclear plants in ..... Australia?
    There are no nuclear plants in Australia because of a political deal done by the Liberal/National party coalition with the Green and Democrat parties to make nuclear power illegal, in exchange for passing the hugely unpopular Goods and Services Tax.

  3. Top | #1123
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    There are no nuclear plants in Australia because of a political deal done by the Liberal/National party coalition with the Green and Democrat parties to make nuclear power illegal, in exchange for passing the hugely unpopular Goods and Services Tax.
    Looking at this from the cynical perspective of the American legislative process, I have to wonder if lobbying by the coal industry had anything to do with it...

  4. Top | #1124
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    There are no nuclear plants in Australia because of a political deal done by the Liberal/National party coalition with the Green and Democrat parties to make nuclear power illegal, in exchange for passing the hugely unpopular Goods and Services Tax.
    Looking at this from the cynical perspective of the American legislative process, I have to wonder if lobbying by the coal industry had anything to do with it...
    The coal lobby here is enormously powerful. So it would be shocking if it did not.

  5. Top | #1125
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Physics Girl has this nice series:

    "Thank you to Toyota for lending us the Mirai and for sponsoring this renewable energy roadtrip!"

    Some people were annoyed by how this series seemed like an infomercial, but she's up front about her sponsorship. The car she drove uses pressure tanks and fuel cells, but was otherwise like a typical electric car.


    In the US, wind power is getting bigger and better, report says | Ars Technica - "Longer blades, taller towers among the reasons wind power is growing in the US."
    Wind power isn't the largest part of the United States' energy mix, but it grew over the last year, according to the Wind Technologies Market Report. The renewable energy source grew to more than 8 percent of the country's electricity supply—reaching 10 percent in a growing number of states—and saw a whopping $25 billion in investments in what will translate to 16.8 gigawatts of capacity, according to the report.

    n large part, this increase is due to longer blades, which allow the turbines to generate more power as they're spun around by the wind. According to the report, in 2010 there were no turbines in the US that had rotors at or above 115 meters in diameter. However, last year, 91 percent of new turbines had rotors of this size or larger. The report also notes that this size is likely to increase.

    The towers these rotors are attached to are also getting taller, sometimes along with the increase in blade size. According to Bolinger, this move isn't quite as widespread, but “it is starting to creep up now.”

    In the past, there's been a “soft cap” of 500 feet on the total height of the turbines—from the base of the tower to the tip of the blades—because that triggers greater permitting requirements from the Federal Aviation Administration, he said. But with the size of the rotors increasing recently, the size of the towers themselves also needs to increase to avoid having the blades swing too low to the ground. Developers have gotten more comfortable going over 500 feet, he said, adding that some turbines are reaching 700 feet tall. Even besides the practical reason behind it, taller towers also help the turbines generate more energy.

    “In general, the winds tend to be stronger at higher altitudes, so this is something that will increase the capacity factor,” he said.

    The “wind belt” still sees the vast majority of wind development in the US. However this trend of larger turbines with larger rotors allows wind operators to function quite well in areas that have lower average wind speeds. “That does open up other parts of the country to economical wind development,” he said.

    There are larger up-front costs to build these larger turbines, but at a dollar-per-watt basis they end up cheaper. They may be more expensive, but they produce more energy, Bolinger said.
    The US wind belt: Central Texas - Montana / North Dakota - (Canada) southern Saskatchewan / Manitoba

    In central U.S., a growing 'wind belt' of manufacturing | ZDNet
    wind energy | Institute for Energy Resourcefulness
    Wind map Canada - VORTEX

  6. Top | #1126
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The Future of Green Energy Is Comically Large Wind Turbines
    Eric Lantz, group research manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), also says large turbines are the future of wind energy.

    “The fewer turbines you put up per unit of energy in general results in a lower cost of energy,” Lantz said.

    ...
    “As you get higher above ground, you get into better resource quality,” Lantz said. “Surface obstructions that slow the wind down, the higher you get above those, the more you get into free-flowing wind.”

    Wind speeds also increase substantially with altitude: Lantz’s own research found that moving from 80 to 160 meters sees wind speeds increase from 1 to 1.5 meters per second. Faster winds generate more energy, so taller turbines are generally more efficient than shorter ones.

    The MySE 16.0-242 boasts 16 megawatts of power, nearly 10 times the mean capacity of U.S. turbines, and is capable of powering 20,000 homes on its own over its 25-year service life. That’s 45 percent more than MingYang’s now second-largest turbine, the MySE 11.0-203, and enough to eliminate more than 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from energy generation, the company claims.
    Noting
    Mingyang Smart Energy Group Co., Ltd. - "Leading innovation: MingYang Smart Energy launches MySE 16.0-242, the world’s largest offshore Hybrid Drive wind turbine"

  7. Top | #1127
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    What a year for wind | Renewable Energy World
    The U.S. added 16.8 gigawatts of new wind power capacity in 2020, while project costs declined and performance improved, according to the Dept. of Energy’s annual report on the industry.

    The 2021 Land-based Wind Market Report, prepared by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, found that wind increased its share of the U.S. electricity supply last year to 8%, fueled by $25 billion of investment and the federal production tax credit.
    So great to see.

    Cleantech News — #1 In EV, Solar, Wind, Tesla News

    Geothermal Energy Wallflower No More, Is West Virginia - "After hanging around on the renewable energy sidelines all these years, West Virginia readies itself to leap into the US geothermal energy revolution."
    The University of West Virginia is angling to have its campus become the proving ground for the first large scale geothermal heating and cooling system in the northeast region. The school’s campus in Morgantown has already replaced a coal power plant with natural gas and switching to geothermal is the next step, with an assist from the US Department of Energy.

    “With an abundance of natural resources literally at our feet, the time is now to reap the benefits of the value beneath the ground. This [Energy Department] funding is a great step forward in having WVU in our hometown of Morgantown be the first to combine the technologies developed by the oil and gas industry in our region to extract geothermal energy for heating and cooling,” enthuses said Brian Anderson, who now is the director of NETL

    Giant CA Energy Storage Facility Hoovers Up Excess Wind And Solar
    Located in Moss Landing near Monterey, California, the facility got under way in 2020 and it just completed an expansion, bringing its capacity to 400 megawatts or 1,600 megawatt-hours, depending on who’s counting and why. According to Vistra, the expansion kicked Moss Landing into world’s record territory.

    That’s nothing. So far, work on the first two phases has progressed ahead of schedule, and Vistra is looking forward to another expansion that will bring the plant up to 1,500 megawatts, which translates into 6,000 megawatt-hours.

    ...
    That figure of 22,500 homes sounds impressive, but the big question is for how long. Battery-type energy storage systems typically only last just a few hours. That is enough to power a grid past peak demand periods without having to dial up additional fossil energy capacity, typically in the form of natural gas. However, four hours is not nearly long enough to replace all existing “peaker” plants.

    Our friends over at Power Magazine recently cited a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which indicates that about 150 gigawatts in fossil energy peaker plant capacity is on track to retire within the next 20 years in the US. Battery-type energy storage facilities could only replace about 28 of those gigawatts under a four-hour scenario.

    To replace the rest, something that lasts longer than four hours or so is needed. The US Department of Energy has been hammering away at the problem under its DAYS “Duration Added to ElectricitY Storage” program. The acronym is a bit of a stretch, and so is the endeavor. DAYS is looking for a minimum of 10 hours of energy storage, preferably reaching 100 hours or more.
    Like flow batteries, compressed air, and raising and lowering solid objects.

  8. Top | #1128
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    New Magnesium EV Batteries For The Zero Emission Ride Of The Future
    But they will need a lot of R&D work.

    Nevertheless, magnesium is MUCH more common than lithium, meaning much less of a raw-materials problem.

    Agora CO2 Redox Battery Wins Global Deeptech Competitions & Has 1 Year ROI | CleanTechnica
    noting
    The carbon dioxide redox flow battery: Bifunctional CO2 reduction/formate oxidation electrocatalysis on binary and ternary catalysts - ScienceDirect
    Herein, we introduce a novel class of non-metal flow batteries, the CO2 redox flow battery (CRB). In the present variant, the CRB utilizes the CO2/HCOO− redox couple at the negative electrode and Br−/Br2 at the positive electrode with a battery open-circuit cell potential of 1.5 V.
    Grid Storage Winners Part 1: Assessing The Major Technologies | CleanTechnica
    Grid Storage Winners Part 2: How Much Of Which Storage By When? | CleanTechnica
    Flow Batteries Are An Area Of Strong Innovation & Opportunity | CleanTechnica
    F
    Flow batteries can use a variety of electrochemistries. If flow batteries become widely used, it will be interesting to see which ones win. Vanadium? Iron? Formate?

  9. Top | #1129
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Chinese firm claims 'world's first' cobalt-free EV battery | Renewable Energy World

    [url=https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/policy-regulation/montanas-renewable-energy-city-coalition/]Montana's renewable energy city coalition grows Renewable Energy World[/url

    Volvo receives world's first fossil-free steel | Renewable Energy World
    Volvo has received the world’s first shipment of fossil-free steel from Swedish manufacturer SSAB.

    The steel was reduced using 100% fossil-free hydrogen, instead of coal and coke. SSAB said the trial delivery is an important step to developing a completely fossil-free value chain for iron and steelmaking.
    Swedish Steelmaker Uses Hydrogen Instead Of Coal To Make Fossil-Free Steel
    The steel industry accounts for some 5-8% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, as well as around 10-15% of its total coal demand.

    So far, however, the steel-making process has withstood engineers’ best efforts to clean it up: there are simply too few low-cost replacements of key inputs such as coking coal and coke.

    “With HYBRIT technology, we will eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in steel production,” said Martin Lindqvist, President and C.E.O. of SSAB. “We have the opportunity to revolutionize an entire industry and show that net zero emissions are possible. We must take that chance.”
    SSAB is taking the lead in decarbonizing the steel industry - SSAB

    Good to see that they are trying that out.

  10. Top | #1130
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Big Oil’s interest in hydrogen: boon or bane? | Renewable Energy World
    Consultants and oil company executives argue that an interim step to reaching large-scale green hydrogen production is to capture and store carbon generated by making hydrogen from natural gas to reduce emissions—making what is known as blue hydrogen.

    Critics contend that the fossil fuel giants have been heavily talking up hydrogen as most of the world’s hydrogen supply is currently produced from natural gas. Blue hydrogen may offer an intermediate step towards green hydrogen. However, it may also end up like coal power with CCS: previously hailed as a promising way of reducing emissions but now seen as a costly dead-end that provided cover for the last burst of coal investments in Asia.

    Others argue that oil and gas companies are pouring money into lobbying efforts to direct public investment towards building a hydrogen economy (with considerable success notable in Canada, Germany, and the UK) to delay the transition to electrification. These companies will be key players embedded in the hydrogen value chain if the fuel “works”, and will have slowed the shift to electricity if it does not.
    Renewables made up 92% of new generating capacity in the U.S. in the first half of 2021 | Renewable Energy World
    Great.

    Microgrids must be a part of the decentralization of electricity | Renewable Energy World

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