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The myth of base load

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Festerfeet

    Festerfeet Member

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    This is interesting, a lot of people have been saying China just would have the will or capability to cope without burning ever increasing amounts of coal may well need to rethink.

    thanks for the post.
     
  2. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    If you were building an efficient(cheap) energy infrastructure from scratch today it would look considerably different than what we have in the US. So that's what's happening.
     
  3. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    Also interesting is the discussion pertaining to Australia, a country that politically seems to be very closely tied to coal. But if China is making moves in this way, we had better sit up and take notice. I would not consider that country as being the champion of doing what's right at any cost... so it must make sense!

    It's funny how discussions around coal-fired power always gives me a mental image of the old turn of the century black and white photos of Welsh coal miners with faces black from their work... and comments about wind/solar pop up an image of civilization on earth from a Star Trek movie, with citizens walking about in white or silver Teflon suits, looking very clean and fit in their Utopian society. Strange how just the choice of power source equates to 'primitive' or 'futuristic'.
     
  4. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Yeah... for starters using IGBTs to convert DC=>AC is now cheaper than using transformers to step voltage AC=>AC. The entire transmission grid... if not the entire grid would likely be DC instead of AC. Even just 40 years ago stepping DC up and down was nearly impossible.
     
  5. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I've been thinking that "base load" is a myth for some time now. When you consider that utilities have to essentially give away electricity at night, they really don't have a base load. Some places in Texas literally have free electricity at night. How much generation capacity does it take to keep a few street lights on?
    Nuclear and coal plants have a fatal flaw in that they can't be easily throttled. It takes them days or weeks to adjust output, certainly they can't respond to daily fluctuations in demand.
    Utilities have a problem in load management but it's not base load, it's tailoring load to demand and storage is the solution.
    (BTW, somewhat off topic, I read a piece today where an economist argues that Saudi pumping maximum oil at $30 a barrel is rational because they want to sell as much oil now as possible since they think the price will only go down and they don't want stranded assets.)
     
  6. renim

    renim Member

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    In the short time, I've watched China electricity, their coal power station MW has zoomed up, and their capacity factors have dropped from 70% to 50%. So it was obvious to me that Chinese treat coal as a higher value peaking energy than as a base energy. Very un western.

    How can the Chinese treat coal power plants as a peaking energy source? The ability and finance to replace what Westerners consider permanent components as consumables, its also a feature of soviet engineering. Again not even within the western engineering mindset.

    Every 100MW of Chinese intermittent renewable power requires an additional new 90MW of coal power peaking.
    Every 100MWh of Chinese renewable energy displaces 100MWh of coal energy.

    Very unwestern
    Very Chinese
    The Chinese have an agenda to have the cheapest electricity in the world, to achieve that requires 2 inputs

    free energy (ie wind)
    cheap power (ie coal)

    so its both wind and coal.


    it won't be long and the Chinese will get coal down to 30% capacity factors.

    long term I could see the Chinese have more MW in coal than Rest of World combined, but at 10% capacity factor
     
  7. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Isn't that Edisonist sacrilege on a Tesla forum.
     
  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Tesla was a pragmatist... pretty sure he's be all for DC transmission today... AC motors still rule though :wink:
     
  9. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    Using baseload in that context these days is a red herring. With the forecasting and DSM we have now, losing one large FF powerplant is more difficult to handle than variability in renewable generation. And if we really need to, we can count on some fraction of generation from interconnected renewables as "baseload".

    Blowing away myths: Study says wind energy could be even more reliable than baseload power | Midwest Energy News

    http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/File%20Library/Our%20People/Profiles/carcher/My_Papers/Archer_Jacobson_JAMC_2007.pdf
     

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