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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.

  7. Top | #697
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Cheap at last
    Cheap at last
    Thank all those who worked on it
    It's cheap at last!

    Inspired by Quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

    Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True | WIRED
    Todd Karin was prepared when California’s largest utility shut off power to millions of people to avoid the risk of wildfires last month. He’s got rooftop solar panels connected to a single Tesla Powerwall in his rural home near Fairfield, California. “We had backup power the whole time,” Karin says. “We ran the fridge and watched movies.”
    Try doing that with nuclear energy.

  8. Top | #698
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Air-rail alliances: Why airlines want you to go by train for some trips | CNN Travel
    Dutch airline KLM recently announced plans to partner with European train companies Thalys and NS to replace one of its five daily flights between Amsterdam and Brussels with a high-speed rail service.

    Elsewhere in Europe, Austrian Airlines is offering "AIRail," another terrestrial service in partnership -- or codeshare, in aviation parlance -- with that country's national rail operator ÖOB. In Germany, Lufthansa has a collaboration with train network, Deutsche Bahn.
    This is a way of avoiding short-distance flights and freeing up space for long-distance ones. It is also nice that many of the trains are powered by electricity, what's easiest to make with renewable energy. Synfuels are possible, and they are being worked on, but they are still not there in mindshare and cost.


    Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says - Bloomberg
    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.
    Rocky Mountain Institute
    About RMI

    Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)’s mission is to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.

    RMI engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables.

    Our Work

    RMI is helping cities, communities, states, and regions meet their energy and climate goals, boost economic growth, and achieve the goals set out in the Paris Accord.

  9. Top | #699
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich
    Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says - Bloomberg
    How can solar/wind crush gas, when you need gas for the night/when the wind isn't blowing?

    And if you don't need gas for then, what would you use instead?

  10. Top | #700
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich
    Gas Plants Will Get Crushed by Wind, Solar by 2035, Study Says - Bloomberg
    How can solar/wind crush gas, when you need gas for the night/when the wind isn't blowing?

    And if you don't need gas for then, what would you use instead?
    The progressives are saying all we have to is just put up a bunvh of windmills and solar cells and all will be well. No detailed quantified plan as to what is feasible and how to make it work.

    In the news electric car demand is growing globally faster than expected.

    All that energy has to come from somewhere.0
    In the 59s-60s in the NYC area I member summer brown outs. As people went home and turned on air conditions line voltages dropped and TV pictures would shrink. Lights would dim.

    People do not want nuclear even if it the best solution environmentally. Coal is dropping and natural gas is ricing. Market forces will likely select natural gas.

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