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THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 30 Mar 2016, 18:12:56

Part of the problem has to do with China's incentive structure. The US wind policy incentivizes for actual results(electricity from wind turbines flowing into the grid). China's incentive structure is for throwing up as many turbines as quickly as possible with little regard to having them actually generate electricity for the grid. There's other issues like Chinese produced turbines are lower quality, China lacks accurate wind data and makes poor placement decisions as a result, etc. Another problem is the breakneck speed China is throwing up the turbines does not give enough time for transmission to be built. Faster is not always better. This article is dated but illustrates the problems:

“China now has 42.3 gigawatts of wind power, and has surpassed the US in terms of total installed capacity.” China now occupies the world’s #1 slot in installed wind capacity, with the U.S. in second place. But here is a little known fact: the U.S. produced 64% more wind energy than China in 2011 with the same amount of turbines. There are a number of important reasons for this, but the main reason is that although China’s renewable energy law mandates that the utility purchases all renewable energy that is generated, the utilities often do not follow that mandate.

First off, the pace of China’s growth in the wind sector is so fast that there will always be some lag in getting those wind farms connected until the sector’s growth slows down.

[China's] Renewable Energy Law also stipulates that the utility must purchase all of the renewable energy generated by power producers (such as wind farms). However, the penalties for non-purchase of renewable energy are either not high enough or not well enforced. Many PPAs are either violated outright or end up with escape clauses, whereby the utility does not have to buy the wind power when it is not in its best financial interest to do so (for instance if electricity demand is low at night, but the wind farms are producing at full power). There is anecdotal evidence that many power purchase agreements (PPAs) in China today have escape clauses.

China’s wind resource is concentrated in the north and west, and wind farms with capacity factors much higher than 30% are rare. In the U.S., wind resource is more evenly dispersed with great resources in the Great Plains and Texas, as well as decent resources on both coasts and in the Northeast. It is more common for individual wind farms to have capacity factors higher than 30%, especially in the Great Plains. Second, wind developers in China often make poor siting decisions due to a lack of wind speed data, leading to a waste of investment. Finally, the quality of turbines produced by many Chinese wind turbine manufacturers (who only have a few years of experience in the sector) has not yet approached the quality of companies with longer history, like GE, Vestas, and Gamesa.

Improvements in China’s legal structure, development patterns, and technology will all lead to a wind sector that generates ample wind energy from all of the wind turbines it is installing. Until then, the U.S. remains the world’s #1 wind energy producer.
U.S. PRODUCES 64% MORE WIND ENERGY THAN CHINA
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 31 Mar 2016, 06:34:54

And Texas represents a big piece of that pie: it has an installed capacity 40% higher than the number two states COMBINED. And the critical factor is touched upon in that link: transmission infrastructure. The state spent $6 BILLION to expand the grid: just like China much of the Texas wind power is located in regions with relatively low electricity demand. And wind power is looking better all the time:

“ On December 20, a low-pressure weather system crossed through the Texas panhandle and created sustained wind speeds of 20 to 30 mph. The burst of wind propelled Texas to surpass its all-time record for wind energy production, with wind providing 45 percent of the state’s total electricity needs — or 13.9 gigawatts of electric power — at its peak. The latest record is news not only because wind provided nearly half of Texas’s electricity needs, but also that it did so for so many hours in a row. The sustained winds brought on by the low-pressure front caused wind energy production to exceed 10 gigawatts for essentially the entirety of December 20. The duration of the record is a big deal because it shows that the rest of the Texas grid can handle a whole lot of wind energy for an extended period of time without suffering instability or brownouts that some predicted. “

And: “Did you know that Texas, a state known for its lucrative oil and gas industry, is actually the largest wind power producer in the country? It now appears that wind farms are cranking out so much excess energy, that utilities are giving this renewable energy source to customers for free. The New York Times reports that thousands of customers in the state are paying zero for their electricity needs between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., saving $40 or $50 a month during the peak summer season. “TXU’s free overnight plan, which is coupled with slightly higher daytime rates, is one of dozens that have been offered by more than 50 retail electricity companies in Texas over the last three years with a simple goal: for customers to turn down the dials when wholesale prices are highest and turn them back up when prices are lowest.” The newspaper describes, for instance, that Dallas residents are waiting until after 9 p.m. to run the washing machine and dishwasher so it costs them nothing. One resident even unplugs her appliances when she goes to work in the morning then plugs them back in at 9 p.m.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Wed 29 Jun 2016, 15:40:33

The landbased wind turbines are obsolete. There is not enough wind near the earths surface. The marginal cost of wind turbines is less than coal but the wind turbines generate very little revenue. It was all A MASSIVE SCAM. The trick is you have to fly the wind harvester on a kite way up in the sky tethered to a generator on land. I don't think even the greatest genius could have ever thought of this brilliant energy device.

The Italians have done it again! They just bankrupted Rockscams Texas and the UK and Germany...Wind Turbine BAGHOLDERS!!! Huge monstrous money losers that they dumped on SUCKERS! to be replace by 100's of thousands of KITES in the skies above....

EROEI of Kitegen: 305
Useless Windmills: 16

Google is buying the technology along with Bill GATES...

The crowning achievement of democracy is the KITE!


Holy chit, how depressing is that.

We'll all be sewing kites for 0.05 cents/hr. People, paradise is NOT possible on this earth.

From Star Trek to Flying Kites...Spock: "Live long and prosper"...Yeah right.

Europe is saved...NOT

When the advancing eastern fossil fueled armies arive, we will be flying kites to power our pea shooters. Start sniffing the glue, this nightmare can't be for real.

http://www.kitegen.com/en/

Eugenio Saraceno says:
June 29, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Some old calculations of mine match with the results reported by Euan even if the calculation logic is a bit different:

Comparision between windmills and KiteGen stem: approximatively the emergy of the two struttuctures is calculated from their weight , assuming they are made of steel. Moreover it is to be considered the concrete foundation, needed only for the windmill
3 MW Kitegen is about 30 tons (mainly steel and plastics) + say 10 tons for supports (micropiles to fix on ground, auxiliary buildings and so on). 3 MW windmill is about 250 tons of steel and 1500-2000 tons of concrete.
One ton of concrete costs 1,76 MWh one ton of steel costs 4,4 MWh. If both materials are produced using petcoke fuel with a 5% overhead due to transport and refination we must consider 4,62 MWh for steel and 1,85 MWh for concrete. Energy intensity of labour is inferred by the per capita energy consumption (3 toe per capita per year in Italy and similar in Europe). 1 toe =11,6 MWh so every maintenance labourer enbeds 35 MWh or 700MWh throughout 20 years. Assuming 8 hours per day of maintenance and operations for both and neglecting the labour energetic cost for construction (by the way windmill construction needs much more labour than a Kitegen):
Emergy windmill
250*4,62+1500*1,85+700=4630 MWh

Emergy kitegen stem
40*4,62+700=885 MWh

Assuming:

* lifetime: 20 years for both
* productivity: 5000 MWh/MW for KiteGen and 2000 MWh/MW for windmill
* nominal power 3MW for both
* availability KiteGen: 95%
* energy needed for plant services KiteGen 5%

Thus:

20 y cumulative kitegen net production= 20*5000*3*0,95*0,95=270750 MWh

Energy Input = 885 MWh

KG EROEI=305

Windmill EROEI =16
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 05:47:26

Interesting article in the WSJ about the conflict between the rural folks who benefit from the massive wind power subsidy schemes and the politicians who have to agree to put forward those systems. Instead of evaluating the systems based on both local needs and real world costs the subsidies massively distort the power delivery system in favor of wind over other sources.

How the federal government subsidizes wind farms

Wind-farm developers are able to tap one of two federal tax programs for new projects.

The Production Tax Credit, established in 1992, offers wind farms tax credits in proportion to the electricity they generate in their first 10 years of operation.

Wind projects that started construction by Dec. 31, 2016, can obtain credits of 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of power each turbine generates. For farms built after that, the amount of the tax credit drops by 20% each year until it expires at the end of 2019.

There is also the renewable-energy Investment Tax Credit, which is equal to 30% of the value of a project that started construction by Dec. 31, 2016. The credit steps down gradually each year to 12% in 2019, after which it expires.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/wind-farm- ... 1?mod=e2fb
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 11:46:07

I like wind power, but the fact it needs so many subsidies is rather worrying. If it is really price competitive it should have broken through and be popular without subsidies.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 12:09:19

T - "...the rural folks who benefit from the massive wind power subsidy schemes..." That's very confusing as far as Texas wind power goes. The urban Texas electricity consumers are the primary beneficiaries of rural wind farms. Which is why the state was justified spending $7 BILLION of tax payer's money to upgrade the grid to get rural power to urban areas since the bulk of it came from urban citizens.

"Instead of evaluating the systems based on both local needs and real world costs the subsidies massively distort the power delivery system in favor of wind over other sources." And that's a bad thing? LOL. Isn't that the primary reason for the subs in the first place? Not sure to what degree subs aided Texas in developing world class wind power. But had wind farms not been built we would have added the equivalent capacity with NG and COAL fired plants to meet our growing demand. And that would not have been a good thing, right? LOL.

And let's not forget whatever the short term economics might be the motivation, at least in Texas, is the long term. Such as the folks in Georgetown, Texas, willing to INITIALLY pay above the current market rate to provide financial incentive to the builders of new wind and solar farms. In the long term the plan for the entire town to go 100% alt energy makes economic sense.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 12:23:14

I have a different view of renewables. Both wind and solar are affordable and can be installed by rural and suburban customers, and now there are batteries like the Tesla Powerwall that can make these credible alternatives to grid power. Renewables need to be distributed, not large central power plants, and most of the power grid materials can eventually be recycled, saving even more energy.

Most people absolutely DON'T need to be locked into a business model where they spend money every month for power. A new home should be NZE (Net Zero Energy) or even NEP (Net Energy Plus) that can also charge your EV.

It makes more sense to go off the grid than to spend money on an extra bedroom, more conditioned space, or a swimming pool. You need to pay that home off as rapidly as possible, then after it's paid for, enhance it as you wish.

Get out of the habit of paying energy companies for something you can gather for zero fuel cost. Pay for the energy upgrade with your mortgage, it's all gravy from there on, and you will be ahead from the first year in terms of cash flow.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 13:27:48

KJ - I can see the obvious advantage of individuals going off grid. But it has not and will not happen to a significant degree anytime soon IMHO. Today 15% of Texas electricity comes from the alts daily and up to 40% during catastrophic short term ff sourced outages.

There are 27 million folks in Texas so it would have taken 4 million to individually go off grid to have the same net effect as our commercial wind growth. But would be no help to the grid when we run short of ff power in emergency situations. That growth would not have happened in the same time span as our wind power developed. And how do I know that? According to a big solar advocate, the Solar Energy Industry Association, in Texas the number of homes powered (including those just partially provided) by solar is 136,000. That's 1.5% of our total number of homes. And the % of the state’s total electricity from all solar installations: 0.24%.

Yes, IF there were a massive surge in individually deployed alternative energy. IF, IF, IF. In the meantime Texas has more the 35,000 GWh of installed alt energy capacity.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 14:52:00

Yes, Texas is second only to California in alternative energy. (Texas is #1 in Wind, California is #1 in solar PV.) But read this:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601221/texas-and-california-have-too-much-renewable-energy/

....and both Texas and California are embarrassed by Washington state, which uses hydropower for 60% of its total energy. Granted, the totals are lower than either large state, but 60% is an impressive number.

My power company PG&E buys alternative energy from Texas via a company called CALPINE. They also buy from me, because we have mandated net metering. But with taxes and fees I still owe a few bucks per month for electricity, and about $600 in natural gas every Winter.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 19:06:08

"...and both Texas and California are embarrassed by Washington state" Doesn't embarrass Texans at all. They built out the hydro for the same reason we built out our lignite burning plants: the cheapest way to go at the time. It sure as hell wasn't done to save the environment. That proof lies in the fact that Washington state is major supplier of fossil fuel products. Fossil fuel products made from oil shipped in from frac'd Bakken wells and from Alaska shipped by ships like the Exxon Valdez.

Nope, no embarrassment in Texas. LOL.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Synapsid » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 20:15:48

ROCKMAN,

You're just not giving Washington state credit.

Yes, the state produces products refined from fossil fuels; that's what all those world-class refineries are for in a state that produces no oil. And yes, some of the crude used is brought in from the Bakken by rail and barge--I don't know how much from Alaska these days, that's just my ignorance. But what you're missing is this:

Washington steals oil-sands crude and refines that as well! We tap TransMountain's pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, near Vancouver (the pipeline that TM wants to double); the deed is done at Sumas.

Credit where credit is due, please.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 22:15:33

Syn - I figured that post would flush you from the bushes. LOL.

Alaska and Canada provided the majority of crude supply to Washington State refineries, at 58 and 21.5 percent respectively. From the latest numbers from the EIA it looks like 130 million bbls of oil per year is shipped from Alaska thru those pristine waters to Washington and 50 million bbls per year of the "dirtiest oil on the planet" arrives in the state from Canada.

Thank goodness the state has so much hydro. If it didn't it would consume some of those climate destroying fossil fuels instead of letting the rest of us do it.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Synapsid » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 00:45:32

ROCKMAN,

"I figured that post would flush you from the bushes"

And I didn't want you to be disappointed.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 12:39:30

the problem with the idea that 'everyone should go off the grid' is everyone or at least the vast majority still want grid service when their home system is offline for any reason. The more people who depart the grid the less incentive the grid owners have to maintain a large stable system with excess capacity. At some point it tips over into the grid producers and distributors losing money by staying in business.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 12:48:50

No one really foes off-grid except a few remote marijuana farmers. And a few very very wealthy yuppies. It would be a difficult life style for most of us. Especially the storage component. Maintaining micro-hydro reservoirs, windmills and batteries can be very difficult and time consuming even for experts. Simple solar-panel glass needs to be kept clean of sticky pollen. It's way up there . . . high on the roof. Far away. Ropes, harness, and cojones are de rigeur for the tast lol
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 13:03:58

Tanada wrote:the problem with the idea that 'everyone should go off the grid' is everyone or at least the vast majority still want grid service when their home system is offline for any reason. The more people who depart the grid the less incentive the grid owners have to maintain a large stable system with excess capacity. At some point it tips over into the grid producers and distributors losing money by staying in business.


Tanada, the grid only deserves to exist in areas where distributed alternative energies can't be gathered and used. The whole idea with NZE and NEP is to abandon the least efficient part of the grid, which is the last mile to the consumer. People would of course be free to live in a neighborhood served by the grid, in urban or select high-density suburban areas, or in multi-family dwellings. But having a single farm with a single transformer at the end of two miles of wires never made any sense. We should salvage the wire and the transformer, or let that single consumer pay the actual cost of his electrical service.

The "public utilities" scam should never have included the energy suppliers IMHO, as it has never made sense. Nobody should own their own water purification and sewage treatment, or build and maintain the public street adjacent to their property. But those that CAN generate power and heat without spewing carbon SHOULD do so, given our current solar/wind tech. We should then recycle all the grid materials, the copper and steel and transformers that serve such consumers - else we can never wean ourselves off FF's.

Maintenance is no longer an issue either. Lithium batteries require only monitoring and intelligent charging. Elon Musk does that for you - the Powerwall has a microprocessor charger, it "phones home" and Tesla manages and updates the charger firmware for you. Modern alternative energy systems are not DIY designs, and are not maintenance intensive.

As for who WANTS this sort of power, everybody should - as it frees them from monthly power charges, frees the atmosphere from carbon-spewing power plants, and will give gainful employment to many.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 13:15:19

Are you are marijuana growner KJ? I don't see how anyone else can justifiy a lithium-ion storage.

The average US homes uses 30 kWh per day, would require 3) 10 kWh Powerwall units. They cost $3,500 each, and would have to be replaced every two-three years. (expected life of a lithium ion battery, even if they are sitting on a shelf unused.) $11,000 every two years is excessive. More than the grid.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 13:31:48

No, I'm somebody planning an all-electric and very energy-efficient off-grid rural home. Nor am I advocating that we "pass a law", invade the ME and take their oil, or anything else dramatic.

The PassivHaus or even LEED Platinum would require 3kWh per day, not 30. The Lithium batteries in the Powerwall are not the same as in your cell phone, and are managed by an intelligent charger. They are warrantied for 10 years, and expected to last 20 years before replacement. Nor will they be $3500 each after the GigaFactory gets going, they are $3500 using imported Panasonic Lithium cells.

The power grid in it's present form is obsolete, as are our energy-hog residences. We need to quit sheltering people from bad decisions, such as buying Building Code compliant homes, which when you think about it, are the very worst lowest quality homes that can legally be sold. Then we need to require that every existing structure meet the energy consumption goal every 50 years, or be torn down.

But the most obsolete thing of all is those who believe things never change. The power grid was a good thing in 1930, but it's a bloated and very bad idea in 2017.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 15:19:09

KJ, you must remember the Last Great Housing Boom. We used the last of our inexpensive petroleum to build out the idiotic American Suburban Nightmare. Houses sited to the street rather than solar south, so-called Great Rooms (that's where you heat the roof instead of the room lol), granite countertops, forced air heating, and other idiocies.

It's no coincidence that the Dumb Bubble ended in 2005, just when inexpensive conventional oil peaked/plateaued. The last chance for a sustainable US infrastructure. No money now to build out a suburban replacement. Your pretty LEEDS home will stand as a Castle among slums.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 16:10:02

It's not like cheap houses last forever. Here in trendy Silly Valley, homes get refurbed about every 16 years, and even in economically depressed Wisconsin, about every 27 years between remodels.

Frankly, we can't afford not to. Do you think those "bubble" homes you mention should be preserved, or bulldozed? Do you think anybody would even want to live in one when the rent is $500 per month and the heating bill is $2500 per month? Gas and grid electricity will eventually get expensive and never get cheap again - the NZE or NEP home will soon be the only kind a thinking person would even want. Think about living in your home without any HVAC you can afford, and no wood to burn either.

The newly constructed PassivHaus will cost 30% more to build than simple code compliance, and the energy bill will be 10% of the average if you make the effort to conserve. The Passivhaus standards for retrofits are a bit more lax, call it 15% of the energy budget of the average home. The proposal that every existing home comply with the energy consumption standard every 50 years is a modest one, that's about as long as cheap houses last anyway. A contractor should not be able to "flip" a property with cosmetic changes alone, he must bring it up to the then-current energy consumption standard or flatten the structure and start over.

We have serious problems to solve and we need to get serious about solving them. The biggest problem is that we consume too much energy. But if I build (or refurb) a 3000 square foot NZE or NEP home, and I'm completely off grid, I have met the standard, haven't I? I'm not taking power from the grid or the gas main, and I'm allowed to set my own thermostat and if I'm 95 years old and want it at 75 degrees in my 3000 sq ft home, I can do that. Also I don't want anyone telling me I "must" live in 300 sq ft or 500 sq ft - I will decide, and I will live where I want to live, and how I want to live. If YOU want to live in town and pay for the power grid, I'll not oppose you - as long as you also have a home that only consumes 10% to 15% of the energy we use today.

I told you that I believed that we could keep very similar lifestyles to what we have while consuming 15% of the energy we consume today. I meant that. The PO.com members are fixated on energy sources, when their attention should be focussed on energy conservation, even when that means that they have to bring their home into code compliance once every 50 years. It's not intrusive and it's not extreme, and it is necessary that infrastructure - even personal residences, get renewed for the sake of energy efficiency.
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