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100% Renewable Electricity is Viable

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by mspohr, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    100% renewable electricity is viable – Physics World

    The latest in this debate features a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies to address concerns raised in the "Burden of proof" paper
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117304495?via%3Dihub

    Lead author Tom Brown of the Karlsruhe Institute, said: “While several of the issues raised by the Heard paper are important, you have to realize that there are technical solutions to all the points they raised, using today’s technology.” Christian Breyer of Lappeenranta University of Technology added “furthermore, these solutions are absolutely affordable, especially given the sinking costs of wind and solar power”. Brian Vad Mathiesen of Aalborg University commented: “There are some persistent myths that 100% renewable systems are not possible. Our contribution deals with these myths one by one, using all the latest research. Now let’s get back to the business of modelling low-cost scenarios to eliminate fossil fuels from our energy system, so we can tackle the climate and health challenges they pose.”
     
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  2. EinSV

    EinSV Active Member

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  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    OP, this cannot be right. I clearly remember a mountain of articles declaring that public grids cannot support more than 10%, maybe 20% clean energy.

    :: trolling the morons::
     
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  4. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, a lot of people are convinced that since the sun doesn't shine all the time and the wind doesn't blow all the time that 100% renewable energy is not possible. Batteries are dismissed as too small and too expensive to matter.
    This article systematically addresses all of the concerns that have been raised.
    Time to start planning for 100% renewable electricity!
     
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  5. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Have Solar, Wind and Storage Become the ‘Default Choice’?

    Documents recent advances in wind and solar plus storage as a viable energy source.
    This is putting pressure on energy markets to adapt to this new paradigm. Of course, fossil fuels are fighting back but it looks like the economics favor renewables.
     
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  6. Unpilot

    Unpilot Sell order in at $3999.99

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    It is pretty exciting to be watching history play out in front of us.

    There is little doubt that we are in a transitional phase. Also no doubt that clean renewable energy will be the winner both from a cost and "better for us" standpoint.

    The opportunity for us as investors is amazing.
    I'm glad I'm along for the ride.
     
  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    I think that both sides should agree on two points.

    • 'Base-Load' is pure non-sense. It's essentially a marketing ploy for nuclear zealots to fall back on when their other arguments fail. There is absolutely no difference so far as the grid is concerned between a 500MW turbine driven by steam from a magic hot rock and a 500MW turbine driven by natural gas. One is just WAAAY more expensive to build and the other is just WAAAY more expensive to pull a MWh out of. 'Base-load' is about economics NOT reliability.
    • The energy for 100% renewables is there. I don't know how anyone can even argue this. The problem is storage. How do we handle the 1:5 year event where there isn't enough wind-solar and the batteries are drained? Overbuild or accept that 1:5 years we'll have to ration power for a couple weeks...
    What is rather amusing about this debate is the fact that there are homes that operate off-grid with ~100% solar alone. In terms of $/kWh this gets cheaper with scale. Geographic dispersion improves the availability of wind and solar. It's rarely cloudy everywhere. The biggest challenge is the rare week that's cloudy, still and cold. IMO power to gas needs to be the long-term solution.

    Also... people get too hung up on capacity, especially nuclear zealots. Who cares if we add 50GW of gas capacity if the generation from gas drops by 500GWh.... focus on the fuel use, not the plant.
     
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  8. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Base load is a myth. Every power company gives away power at night to get rid of their base load.
    That is the Achilles's heel of nuclear and most coal plants. They can only operate at 100%. No load following.
     
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  9. Lozza12

    Lozza12 Member

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    Even worse than that - many people think the sun doesn’t shine “enough” to be viable at all!

    The simple fact is that we haven’t tried very hard yet to capture all those photons that power the entire ecosystem.
     
  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    Ahh .. nostalgia. I loved the following crapola, heard for years:

    "PV is doomed because there is only sunshine during the day, at best"
    and
    "Wind is doomed because it is wasted at night."
     
  11. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Here's an interesting study. It's cheaper to "overbuild" solar than install storage.

    Overbuilding solar cheaper than seasonal storage and natural gas in Minnesota
    As can be clearly seen, Additional Solar Capacity produces a dramatic reduction in the required storage capacity – roughly a ten-fold reduction in storage capacity is achieved with 100% Additional Solar Capacity.
    [​IMG]

    The report’s five key findings were:

    1. Solar and wind can serve 70 percent of Minnesota’s electrical load in 2050.
    2. Additional capacity coupled with energy curtailment is considerably less expensive than, and a viable alternative to, long-term or seasonal storage in a high renewables future.
    3. Using other flexible generation resources in limited amounts support a high renewables future.
    4. Storage is an important part of a high renewables future; it expands the dispatch capabilities of wind and solar assets.
    5. Shifting of key flexible loads may further decrease generation costs.
     
  12. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    There are limits. We'd need to overbuild something like ~500%... which is why I think power to gas is the best long-term solution. At some point the low efficiency of converting electrons+CO2+H2O => CH4 won't matter. And our ability to store CH4 is effectively unlimited.
     
  13. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    The Minnesota study showed that 100% overbuild dramatically reduced the need for storage.
    Of course, if you overbuild then for much of the year you have excess electricity which you could use to make CH4... just don't let it leak out.
     
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  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    One persons overbuilding is another persons fully charged EV
     
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  15. rays427

    rays427 Member

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    • Informative x 1
  16. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Two Words; Heat. Pump.
     
  17. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    Two words: minus thirty. . Heat pumps are great, but they do have limits in northerly climes, and auxilliary heat is needed. Your electricity-to-gas plan would be ideal for providing something to burn to keep the house and water warm for the seven months of winter here in the Great White North.
     
  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    -30C is Still ~243K.... lots of thermal energy to be had even at -30. That's why I specifically linked to a R-744 system. Even better if it's geothermal but air source works fine if you're using the right refrigerant.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. TLej

    TLej Little-Known Member

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    Sorry, the water heater you linked to said it was useable down to -15F (-26C). I haven’t run across anything that is still providing heat at -30. -26 is pretty good though.
     
  20. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    3rd Gen says -20F (-29C) and R-744 is capable of operating even lower. Then there's always ground source. If it's -31C 4' underground we have bigger problems...

    Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 11.25.05 PM.png
     

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