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Powering EVs: How Green is Grid?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Norbert, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    Robert, I used some of these numbers, and the source reference, to comment on this generally pro-EV article, which compares hybrids to EVs. The numbers for EVs don't seem to come out as well as they could with the latest percentages for coal.

    Should I buy an electric car? | MNN - Mother Nature Network
     
  2. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    I'm not too worried about my use of coal to power the model S. We've got 90 solar panels at the office, 28 panels at home and have excess capacity. It will be nice to plug the car into the roof. Mark
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I have the "wind power" option. While that's kind of a lie, at least someone will get electricity from wind at some future date.
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    That's what I have as well. The 100% wind option to indirectly fund wind power. Would be nice to verify the money is going for it's intended use though.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    What I recall from the "fine print" is that your electricity use is added to a "wind power" total and sometime in the next six months that much extra wind power will be purchased. I have no idea how to verify if that actually occurs.
     
  6. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    You can find official utility reported data here:
    http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/data.html

    Unfortunately for renewables, there are no monthly reports (just annual ones). The annual reports are delayed about a year or two (right now the latest data is from 2010).

    You can find the data for installed/proposed powerplant (including renewables) capacity for your specific utility in the:
    Annual Electric Generator Report (EIA-860) > Downloads 2010 zip file (f860y10.zip) > GeneratorsY2010.xls

    There's one sheet for existing capacity and another one sheet for proposed capacity (you would probably be most interested in this). You can look at the "EIA-860 Survey (2010).pdf" file included in the zip file for how to decode the data (starting on page 4).
    Things to look out for is the Prime Mover code (for example WT stands for on-shore wind, WS stands for off-shore wind) and STATUS (OP stands for operational, SB means standby/backup, etc). I would first filter by your utility then by the others.

    Annual Electric Power Industry Data Files (EIA-861) also has data on renewable capacity in terms of net-metering customers (means capacity owned by customers) in File5, and installed distributed/dispersed renewable capacity (means small generation, not the large powerplants in the EIA-860) in File6. Once again you can look at the pdf form in the zip file for how to decode the data.

    File5 also has data on the amount of "green power" customers and the amount of revenue your power company got from it.
     
  7. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    One year delay sucks. In the European Energy Exchange AG, located in Leipzig, you can find near-online electricity production data for Germany and Austria: Transparency in Energy Markets.
    Below is a screenshot from Saturday, March 31st where nearly half of Germany was powered by renewable sources. Note that hydro power is included in the gray "conventional" bars.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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  9. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    4.1% for wind of all electricity net generation, is a surprisingly large number.
     
  10. drees

    drees Active Member

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  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I should have made it a bit more clear. Like Norbert points out, there is monthly data if you want to look at generation data (like the mix of power for your state or for the whole country).

    But for what jerry33 wants (installed/proposed wind generation capacity for his specific utility company, not just the amount of wind energy generated by state or the whole country or utility), that data is only released publicly with about 1 year of delay. I'm not sure if other countries even have publicly available data at that kind of granularity.

    Actually a small correction I have to make is that it is actually possible to browse the monthly generation (in MWh) of a specific power plant (including renewable ones) from the data here (just choose plant level data here):
    http://www.eia.gov/beta/enerdat/

    But in terms of installed/proposed capacity (in Megawatts, a unit of power), that's only available/reported per year.
     
  12. drees

    drees Active Member

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    That site is pretty cool.

    I looked up a well known local power plant (Encina Power Station in Carlsbad) and Googled to find a CCGT plant in California and found the Inland Empire Energy Center.

    The Inland Empire Energy Center is twice as efficient as the Encina Power Station.

    Encina (965 MW capacity) produced 474,000 MWh and consumed 6,464,000 MMBtu of natural gas.
    Inland Empire (800MW capacity) produced 3,044,000 MHw and consumed 21,327,000 MMBtu of natural gas.

    1 MWh = 3.413 MMBtu

    Thus thermal efficiency of Encina is around 25% and Inland Empire is 48%.

    FWIW - The Inland Empire plant has a peak efficiency of ~60%. The Encina plant has been running at full capacity since San Onofre went off line not long ago.

    There must be a map somewhere that shows power plants so one can find power plants near them?
     
  13. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that site is very useful to get up-to-date data on your own specific power plants.

    I don't know about a map, but from my original post about EIA data, the page here has the addresses of all the powerplants, plus you can also filter by utility (so you can find all the powerplants owned by your utility):
    http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/eia860.html
    Annual Electric Generator Report (EIA-860) > Downloads 2010 zip file (f860y10.zip) > GeneratorsY2010.xls

    NPR has a powerplant map (click powerplants in the below link), but it doesn't let you zoom and doesn't include all powerplants:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=110997398
     

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