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Thread: The Remarkable Progress of Renewable Energy

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Canada’s Li-Cycle says 100% recycling commercially achievable for Li-ion batteries, including cobalt | Energy Storage News -- it works by shredding used batteries and sorting out the fragments.

    Global news, analysis and opinion on energy storage innovation and technologies | Energy Storage News -- a site dedicated to energy-storage news. Remarkable how much the field has come to be able to provide a lot of business to a site like that.

    Large-scale battery prevents Dutch wind farm’s power from being wasted | Energy Storage News -- 10 MW of batteries for a 24-MW wind farm
    ScottishPower's 50MW battery project approval a 'significant step' towards renewables as baseload | Energy Storage News
    1,000 tonnes of volcanic rock store energy at 130MWh pilot plant | Energy Storage News -- as heat. The rocks are heated by electrically-heated air, and their heat is extracted by blowing air past them and driving steam turbines with that heat. That does not strike me as very efficient, but it's likely a lot simpler than a battery.


    Solar Power Installation | Development | Technology News and Features -- less surprising than that energy-storage site
    Support for solar across the country is growing increasingly bipartisan in the US

    GE lost billions by 'misjudging' renewables: report - "Investors in General Electric, once one of the world's most valuable companies, lost tens of billions of dollars after the Paris climate deal as it failed to adapt to the pace of the green energy transition, new analysis showed Thursday."
    GE's management expected increased demand for coal and natural-gas electricity generation.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    When Will Renewable Energy Prices Stop Dropping? | CleanTechnica - the article does not attempt to estimate that, but it does have some helpful links to similar effects in other industries:
    Experience curve effects Wright's Law Edges Out Moore's Law in Predicting Technology Development - IEEE Spectrum Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress | Santa Fe Institute

    Moore's law: (price) = (price 0)*10^(-m*t) ... (number produced) = 10^(g*t)
    Wright's law: (price) = (price 0)*(number produced)^(-w)

    Wright's law is a better predictor than Moore's law, though not by a wide margin. Exponential growth in production and fall in prices were both common, though the rates had a *lot* of variation.

    A photovoltaic-cell dataset for 1977 - 2009 (33 data points) yielded g = 0.092, m = 0.045, w = 0.48, doubling time = 3.3 yrs, halving time = 6.7 years, progress ratio = 0.71

    Their predicted cost for 2020 is 6 US cents/kWh with a range (3, 12), and for 2030, 2 cents/kWh with a range of (0.4, 11).
    However, they don't give an assumed amortization time or capacity factor, so I can't compare these numbers with what I can find -- cost per watt.

    The Problem With AOC’s Green New Deal: It Ignores Fusion Power
    The Green New Deal Ignores Fusion Power | RealClearScience
    That second one had this comment: "I wrote a term paper about fusion power for my freshman physics class in 1971. People have been saying it is just 20 years away for at least 60 years. Remember cold fusion? It would be great if fusion could become a practical energy source, but it makes sense to be very skeptical."

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    PV development will also need energy storage and coordinated demand response -- meaning consuming lots of electricity only when a lot of it is being generated, like at local midday. For energy storage, one will need improved batteries, like flow batteries, and electrodes free of rare metals like platinum.
    Yeah, this is the real sticking point.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    We do have evidence we have adapted to external conditions such as temperature and resource availability Consider siesta in the heat of the day and hunter gatherer histories.

    I find it not unreasonable that man will adapt to availability of resource when means to do things like store energy are not going to be available.

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    Veteran Member Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
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    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/17...torage-system/


    Spanish renewable energy giant and offshore wind energy leader Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy last week inaugurated operations of its electrothermal energy storage system which can store up to 130 megawatt-hours of electricity for a week in volcanic rock. Siemens Gamesa, a company known more famously for its offshore wind turbines, is nevertheless a large-scale renewable energy technology manufacturer, with its hands in various renewable technology pots. One of these pots is energy storage, and last week the company announced the beginning of operations of its electric thermal energy storage system (ETES), claimed by the company as a world first. The opening ceremony for the pilot plant in Hamburg-Altenwerder was held last week to celebrate the beginning of operations.
    Cheerful Charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    PV development will also need energy storage and coordinated demand response -- meaning consuming lots of electricity only when a lot of it is being generated, like at local midday. For energy storage, one will need improved batteries, like flow batteries, and electrodes free of rare metals like platinum.
    Coordinated demand fairly easy for some use cases, e. g. seawater desalination, where the output - sweet water - can be cheaply stored in tanks, or to some extent where the demand intrinsically correlates with supply - like air conditioning and solar power. It is not going to be acceptable for many other consumers. Show me the industrialist who's willing to only operate his state-of-the-art machinery around local midday on sunny days, while it keeps devaluating at by the day regardless the weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    PV development will also need energy storage and coordinated demand response -- meaning consuming lots of electricity only when a lot of it is being generated, like at local midday. For energy storage, one will need improved batteries, like flow batteries, and electrodes free of rare metals like platinum.
    Coordinated demand fairly easy for some use cases, e. g. seawater desalination, where the output - sweet water - can be cheaply stored in tanks, or to some extent where the demand intrinsically correlates with supply - like air conditioning and solar power. It is not going to be acceptable for many other consumers. Show me the industrialist who's willing to only operate his state-of-the-art machinery around local midday on sunny days, while it keeps devaluating at by the day regardless the weather.
    I think desalinization is the perfect example of where coordination is useful. I don't agree with your approach, though--the desalinator is expensive. However, desalinators don't actually run on electricity, but on pressure. Thus a cheaper approach is to store pressure--pump the seawater up to a high enough place to run the desalinator, the desalinator runs fine without any power. (Same as the normal home reverse osmosis units--it's basically the same tech.)

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Bees, Butterflies, & Solar Panels Learn To Share The Land In Minnesota | CleanTechnica
    Borrowing an idea that is popular in the UK, Connexus is planting prairie grasses and flowers under and around the solar panels at one of its solar and storage facilities.

    Pollinator-friendly plantings at large solar energy sites have become common in Minnesota in recent years, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Not only do they provide a habitat where bees and butterflies can thrive, they also promote soil health and may increase the solar panels’ electricity output on warm days.
    Contrary to what some renewable-energy haters seem to think, one can put to use the land underneath a solar panel, and this is yet more evidence of that.

    Ørsted Set To Build New Jersey's First Offshore Wind Farm | CleanTechnica - 1.1 gigawatts, near Atlantic City. Ørsted (or Oersted) is a Danish wind-energy company

    Indian Railways Issues 140 Megawatt Solar-Wind Hybrid Tender | CleanTechnica

    Norway Announces Plan To Cut Emissions From Ships 50% By 2030 | CleanTechnica
    It focuses on four carbon reduction strategies: electrification/batteries, hybrid solutions, LNG, and biogas. Hydrogen is a component of the electrification strategy. Despite the fire and explosion at a hydrogen refueling station near Oslo this month, it is still considered an important part of the emissions reduction.

    “I have been working with hydrogen for 17 years. We must find out what has happened and learn from it. But hydrogen is absolutely necessary to cope with emissions cuts in the transport sector, that is ships, trucks and trains,” says climate and environment minister Ola Elvestuen. He goes on to say the plan to cut shipping emissions by 50% in just 11 years is “difficult, but possible.
    Despite Cold Shoulder From Federal Government, Many Australian Resource Companies Embrace Renewable Energy | CleanTechnica
    According to Reuters, Rio Tinto is planning to convert the trains it uses to haul iron ore to hybrid power with renewable energy playing a role. Santos is installing a solar power plant to supply electricity to its oil and gas operations in South Australia. ConocoPhillips is adding battery storage to its LNG facility in Darwin. A host of other industrial companies are adopting renewable energy to power their operations as well, says Reuters.
    Australian resource companies are becoming renewable energy believers: Russell - Reuters
    Not just to seem environmentally virtuous, but also because it can be expensive to get diesel fuel to distant mines.

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    So might we see lots of oil wells powered by solar panels and wind turbines?

    Red State Vs. Blue State: Climate Action Splits America | CleanTechnica
    In the 2016 election, the 14 US states with the least carbon-intensive economies voted for Hillary Clinton, while 26 of the 27 most carbon-intensive states voted for Donald Trump, reports the New York Times. Of the 15 state governors who now support 100% zero emissions electricity, only one is a Republican — Larry Hogan of Maryland. Last month he allowed a new, more aggressive renewable energy mandate approved by the Democratic legislature to become law.

    In the 2016 election, the 14 US states with the least carbon-intensive economies voted for Hillary Clinton, while 26 of the 27 most carbon-intensive states voted for Donald Trump, reports the New York Times. Of the 15 state governors who now support 100% zero emissions electricity, only one is a Republican — Larry Hogan of Maryland. Last month he allowed a new, more aggressive renewable energy mandate approved by the Democratic legislature to become law.

    Yet the political divide does not always determine where each state gets its electrical power from. Texas, Ohio, North Dakota, and Montana are solidly red on the political map but have strongly embraced wind power — not because of its low carbon impact but because it blows away the competition when it comes to the cost of electricity. Even conservatives can do basic mathematical calculations and figure out that lower costs mean higher profits.
    Then about how some Oregon Republicans have fled to Idaho to keep the Oregon Legislature from having a quorum to vote on California-inspired environmental measures. One of them has stated that the Oregon government should only “send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    PV development will also need energy storage and coordinated demand response -- meaning consuming lots of electricity only when a lot of it is being generated, like at local midday. For energy storage, one will need improved batteries, like flow batteries, and electrodes free of rare metals like platinum.
    Coordinated demand fairly easy for some use cases, e. g. seawater desalination, where the output - sweet water - can be cheaply stored in tanks, or to some extent where the demand intrinsically correlates with supply - like air conditioning and solar power. It is not going to be acceptable for many other consumers. Show me the industrialist who's willing to only operate his state-of-the-art machinery around local midday on sunny days, while it keeps devaluating at by the day regardless the weather.
    I think desalinization is the perfect example of where coordination is useful. I don't agree with your approach, though--the desalinator is expensive. However, desalinators don't actually run on electricity, but on pressure. Thus a cheaper approach is to store pressure--pump the seawater up to a high enough place to run the desalinator, the desalinator runs fine without any power. (Same as the normal home reverse osmosis units--it's basically the same tech.)
    And the pump is going to run on?

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