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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 ROCKMAN » Sun 07 May 2017, 08:35:15

vt - First, to answer your question: "but what happens after they have drilled all the sweet spots out?" Easy answer: you stop drilling until oil/NG prices get high enough to drill what's left.

But here's the better post: The best wind power scam I've ever seen. Saw the story on a CBS TV show Saturday morning. I doubt anyone at the network realized they were participating in fraud. Found the company's website so here are their "facts":

https://www.psfk.com/2016/08/plastic-wi ... homes.html

"Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Things are changing now as a company believes they have the solution to residential wind turbines. A French business called New Wind has developed what they’re calling a ‘wind tree,’ built and conceived by Claudio Colucci Design, that can be placed in the backyard of consumer homes to generate energy at home. The man-made trees are made from plastic and aluminum to mimic the appearance of branches. Plastic leaves (which serve as the turbine blades) are painted green and placed vertically at the ends of each branch. As the wind blows, the ‘leaves’ spin, generating wind power that goes to a transformer to be used in the home."

"There are a total of 54 leaf turbines on the existing model. As the wind blows, it can capture as much as 5.4 kilowatts of energy at a time. If it continually captures that much energy, the wind trees can produce around 2,400 kWh of energy annually. That’s about half the amount of energy used in a typical French household in a year. Getting two of these trees in a single backyard would take care of all the home’s energy needs.".

"These turbines are also incredibly inexpensive when compared to other forms of sustainable energy like solar power. For both delivery and installation, a single wind tree costs about €49,500 (about $56,000), a fraction of the cost for installation and delivery of solar panels."

So there you go: 2,400 kWh/year for the low, low price of $59,000. Step right up!
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 11 May 2017, 21:07:46

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy

We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear


The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.


Matt Ridley and climate change campaigner Leo Murray debate the future of wind power:

Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry.

Such numbers are not hard to find, but they don’t figure prominently in reports on energy derived from the unreliables lobby (solar and wind). Their trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

Even in rich countries playing with subsidised wind and solar, a huge slug of their renewable energy comes from wood and hydro, the reliable renewables. Meanwhile, world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

Do not take refuge in the idea that wind turbines could become more efficient. There is a limit to how much energy you can extract from a moving fluid, the Betz limit, and wind turbines are already close to it. Their effectiveness (the load factor, to use the engineering term) is determined by the wind that is available, and that varies at its own sweet will from second to second, day to day, year to year.

As machines, wind turbines are pretty good already; the problem is the wind resource itself, and we cannot change that. It’s a fluctuating stream of low–density energy. Mankind stopped using it for mission-critical transport and mechanical power long ago, for sound reasons. It’s just not very good.

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

Forgive me if you have heard this before, but I have a commercial interest in coal. Now it appears that the black stuff also gives me a commercial interest in ‘clean’, green wind power.

The point of running through these numbers is to demonstrate that it is utterly futile, on a priori grounds, even to think that wind power can make any significant contribution to world energy supply, let alone to emissions reductions, without ruining the planet. As the late David MacKay pointed out years back, the arithmetic is against such unreliable renewables.

The truth is, if you want to power civilisation with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, then you should focus on shifting power generation, heat and transport to natural gas, the economically recoverable reserves of which — thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — are much more abundant than we dreamed they ever could be. It is also the lowest-emitting of the fossil fuels, so the emissions intensity of our wealth creation can actually fall while our wealth continues to increase. Good.

And let’s put some of that burgeoning wealth in nuclear, fission and fusion, so that it can take over from gas in the second half of this century. That is an engineerable, clean future. Everything else is a political displacement activity, one that is actually counterproductive as a climate policy and, worst of all, shamefully robs the poor to make the rich even richer.


https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/05/win ... al-energy/
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 12 May 2017, 05:43:42

Good article Tanada. But it fails in the final instance. If you want to power civilization then civilization needs to power down. Reduce our per capita energy use drastically. Reducing our population also. We could have a vibrant sustainable civilization, within limits. But you know that. ;)
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 12 May 2017, 10:25:52

Newfie wrote:Good article Tanada. But it fails in the final instance. If you want to power civilization then civilization needs to power down. Reduce our per capita energy use drastically. Reducing our population also. We could have a vibrant sustainable civilization, within limits. But you know that. ;)


On the contrary, if you want to eliminate human suffering and drop the world birthrate to sustainable levels the path is pretty clear to me. It might be power down a bit for people in North America or Europe, but it is a significant power up for Africa, South America and Asia. Americans in the 1950's hit an energy consumption level that started cutting significantly into the birth rate, and statistically speaking as countries around the world hit that same level birthrates have fallen to replacement rate or lower. China is now profligate energy using but small family style life. India is still growing but they are also now transitioning to high energy lifestyle.

https://youtu.be/hVimVzgtD6w
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 12 May 2017, 13:53:36

So wind power doesn't work every where in the world. So what? You can't grow wheat in Antarctica...so growing wheat is a bad proposition? Standard bullsh*t approach: offer a completely ridiculous proposition and then show how f*cking smart you are by shooting it down.

Folks can throw out whatever theoretical numbers they want. As explained many times before: Texans don't give a sh*t about AGW, climate change or going green in any manner whatsoever "for the children". LOL. If wind power wasn't economic there would not be a single turbine spinning in Texas today. And is wind power green? Trust me: if Texas wasn't producing 12% of its electricity from wind we would be burning some fossil fuel (NG and/or coal) to generate the same amount of power. Whatever amount of energy it takes to implement wind power can't begin to compare with the AGW produced by burning those fossil fuels for the next 20+ years.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 12 May 2017, 16:16:27

ROCKMAN wrote:So wind power doesn't work every where in the world. So what? You can't grow wheat in Antarctica...so growing wheat is a bad proposition? Standard bullsh*t approach: offer a completely ridiculous proposition and then show how f*cking smart you are by shooting it down.

Folks can throw out whatever theoretical numbers they want. As explained many times before: Texans don't give a sh*t about AGW, climate change or going green in any manner whatsoever "for the children". LOL. If wind power wasn't economic there would not be a single turbine spinning in Texas today. And is wind power green? Trust me: if Texas wasn't producing 12% of its electricity from wind we would be burning some fossil fuel (NG and/or coal) to generate the same amount of power. Whatever amount of energy it takes to implement wind power can't begin to compare with the AGW produced by burning those fossil fuels for the next 20+ years.


I personally favor renewable's for 15 or even 20 percent of the grid power, but I am not blind to the reality of things either. Wind consumes tons of rare earth metals, steel and concrete and solar PV does the same just counting the foundations/racks/rare earth metals in the panels. Despite three decades of very substantial subsidies for both solar and wind electricity the percentage of total electric power on a global basis they produce has barely budged and remains in the single digits percentage wise. The reason is pretty simple, while some favored locations do very well because they are particularly cloudless or particularly windy those conditions are not as common as certain advocates would lead you to believe. Also during that same 30 years period China, and now India and Indonesia and Turkey have been busily opening up coal burning power stations because pollution spewing or not, they are cheap, and the electric grid in all those large population countries has been rapidly expanding. Even worse the German population panicked over Fukushima and told their government to close all their nuclear power stations ASAP and that caused them to build or reopen a handful of very large coal power plants as well as building lots of renewable's.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Squilliam » Fri 12 May 2017, 18:00:47

@Tanada: The argument about subsidies really also rests on the fact that fossil fuels get implicit/direct subsidies as well. How does coal / natural gas fare for instance when you include a carbon tax? I've seen data that suggest a realistic carbon tax could be north of $50 per metric ton, and as high as $220 if you include all 'social costs/externalities'. In that instance your typical wind farm looks relatively very cheap, and your coal fired power station looks positively outrageous. The issue with renewables isn't so much their particular characteristics as much as it is the economic and societal structure they're shoehorned into. At the present moment the major forms of taxation are on incomes, profit and consumption. Avoiding these costs have a negative social outcome in many ways because it can lead to perverse outcomes. If there was a carbon tax then avoiding the tax would be a net social positive because it would mean homes get replaced/retrofitted and people adjust their lifestyles to minimise their tax burdens.

Edit: Another major important factor about renewables is that you need to consider the utility and costs of what they are replacing. If you see a major shift from kerosene to 100% solar power for internal lighting in the 3rd world for instance that would represent a major productivity increase. It doesn't matter if it is expensive by our standards because you're only comparing what is being replaced with the new source of energy.

Saying that renewables aren't competitive in an unchanging world doesn't make sense because the fundamental assumption is wrong -- the world is constantly changing. The current rate of technical advancement is at a pace that is over 10* greater than during the industrial revolution. We are currently in a 3rd industrial revolution with respect to AI and robotics finally moving towards competitive replacement of workers rather than augmentation of them. Asking questions like 'how will renewable energy keep the lights on' is non-sequitur if the robots don't actually need lights to operate.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 12 May 2017, 18:35:18

If you can't afford power to keep the lights on you sure can't afford the power to run and maintain the robots, nor the goods those robots manufacture.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Squilliam » Fri 12 May 2017, 19:16:38

This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for
electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight
(WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion
would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of B39.3% with B82.4% of this due to
the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 end-use
U.S. all-purpose load would be met with B30.9% onshore wind, B19.1% offshore wind, B30.7% utility-scale
photovoltaics (PV), B7.2% rooftop PV, B7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, B1.25% geothermal
power, B0.37% wave power, B0.14% tidal power, and B3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid
integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied
by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states,
converting would provide B3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and B2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for
the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the B3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional
energy sector. Converting would also eliminate B62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities
per year today and B46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding B$600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013
dollars) in 2050, equivalent to B3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting
would further eliminate B$3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S.
emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving B$260 (190–320) per year in energy
costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by B$1500 (210–6000) per
year and B$8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be B0.42% of
U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be B1.6% of
U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps
may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies


http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jaco ... tesWWS.pdf

Eminently doable. The point which needs to be stressed above all else is the fact that doing something in a bits and pieces way is fundamentally different compared to going 'all in'. Compromising with respect to dependencies lowers the value of the whole proposition significantly. In other words if you only move 1/4 of the way towards a new paradigm you get less than 1/4 of the benefit. In addition to this, if people are busy saying that for various reasons we must transition off of fossil fuels, but that the alternatives are no good then in essence you're effectively saying 'we can't stop the train, so we may as well enjoy the wind in our hair before it goes off the rails'.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 12 May 2017, 21:09:08

Squilliam wrote:
This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for
electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight
(WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion
would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of B39.3% with B82.4% of this due to
the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements. Year 2050 end-use
U.S. all-purpose load would be met with B30.9% onshore wind, B19.1% offshore wind, B30.7% utility-scale
photovoltaics (PV), B7.2% rooftop PV, B7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, B1.25% geothermal
power, B0.37% wave power, B0.14% tidal power, and B3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid
integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied
by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states,
converting would provide B3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and B2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for
the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the B3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional
energy sector. Converting would also eliminate B62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities
per year today and B46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding B$600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013
dollars) in 2050, equivalent to B3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting
would further eliminate B$3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S.
emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving B$260 (190–320) per year in energy
costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by B$1500 (210–6000) per
year and B$8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be B0.42% of
U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be B1.6% of
U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps
may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies


http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jaco ... tesWWS.pdf

Eminently doable. The point which needs to be stressed above all else is the fact that doing something in a bits and pieces way is fundamentally different compared to going 'all in'. Compromising with respect to dependencies lowers the value of the whole proposition significantly. In other words if you only move 1/4 of the way towards a new paradigm you get less than 1/4 of the benefit. In addition to this, if people are busy saying that for various reasons we must transition off of fossil fuels, but that the alternatives are no good then in essence you're effectively saying 'we can't stop the train, so we may as well enjoy the wind in our hair before it goes off the rails'.



I will put this as politely as I can. The authors of that propaganda piece are full of beans and the emissions that result from them. Do a life cycle cost analysis of putting enough wind turbines in and around Chicago and Detroit to deal with both icy cold winters and hot muggy summers. Compare that life cycle cost of putting two brand new nuclear reactors near each city. Notice that the nuclear power alternative provides all the energy needed 24/7/365 with about a tenth of the money and materials needed, and the number of employees to maintain and operate four nuclear power stations is also about a tenth of the number needed to maintain thousands of individual wind turbines and the grid storage necessary for those days when the wind just ain't blowing hard enough. Pick the solar PV option or heck add it in and you will discover we get this white fluffy stuff a lot in winter that covers up the panels and requires either heating to melt the snow or someone risking their neck to climb up on the roof and clear them. Solar also needs a LOT of grid storage for those long dark winter nights.

Like I said earlier, Renewables are a fine supplement to the grid for 15% to 20% of the power consumed. Beyond that you are way better off building a nuclear plant for your carbon free energy. Just an observation but Australia is mostly desert or tropical and both Australia and New Zealand have very small populations per square kilometer, which makes it a lot easier to put up enough renewable to satisfy demand. The state of Ohio (11,610,000) where I live has twice the population of the country of New Zealand (4,596,000) and we are not a particularly high population state. In fact you can also compare Australia (23,780,000) with the three states of Ohio (11,610,000), Indiana (6,620,000) and Illinois (12,860,000) and you get 31,090,000 just in the three states that lie north of the Ohio River and south of the state Michigan and the Great Lakes of Erie and Michigan. The major cities in the set are [Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo,] Ohio, [Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Gary] Indiana, [Chicago, Aurora, Rockford] Illinois and at least a dozen more population centers with 100,000 plus population.

Rounding off Illinois is 58,000 square miles, Indiana is 36,000 and Ohio is 45,000 = 139,000 square miles combined 31,000,000/139,000=223 people per square mile population density.
Australia 23,780,000/2,970,000=8 people per square mile.
New Zealand 4,596,000/103,483=44.4 people per square mile.

New Zealand and Australia both have lots of coastlines where wind turbines do best because of the temperature coefficient of land vs water which causes wind fairly constantly. Australia also has a great deal of very sparsely populated desert where Solar PV and heck even Solar Thermal work just fine. Those same conditions do not apply to my region, we have a lot of cloudy rainy days in spring and fall and lots of snow in winter and we go from 16 hours of daylight per day in June to 8 hours of daylight in December. Solar and Wind are fine supplements, but they will never ever suffice for continuous grid power at a price we can afford to pay, especially when Nuclear is so much more cost efficient in materials and manpower and produces even less CO2 if you take into account all those concrete foundations needed by the renewable options.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Squilliam » Fri 12 May 2017, 22:43:27

Tanada wrote:

I will put this as politely as I can. The authors of that propaganda piece are full of beans and the emissions that result from them. Do a life cycle cost analysis of putting enough wind turbines in and around Chicago and Detroit to deal with both icy cold winters and hot muggy summers. Compare that life cycle cost of putting two brand new nuclear reactors near each city. Notice that the nuclear power alternative provides all the energy needed 24/7/365 with about a tenth of the money and materials needed, and the number of employees to maintain and operate four nuclear power stations is also about a tenth of the number needed to maintain thousands of individual wind turbines and the grid storage necessary for those days when the wind just ain't blowing hard enough. Pick the solar PV option or heck add it in and you will discover we get this white fluffy stuff a lot in winter that covers up the panels and requires either heating to melt the snow or someone risking their neck to climb up on the roof and clear them. Solar also needs a LOT of grid storage for those long dark winter nights.

Like I said earlier, Renewables are a fine supplement to the grid for 15% to 20% of the power consumed. Beyond that you are way better off building a nuclear plant for your carbon free energy. Just an observation but Australia is mostly desert or tropical and both Australia and New Zealand have very small populations per square kilometer, which makes it a lot easier to put up enough renewable to satisfy demand. The state of Ohio (11,610,000) where I live has twice the population of the country of New Zealand (4,596,000) and we are not a particularly high population state. In fact you can also compare Australia (23,780,000) with the three states of Ohio (11,610,000), Indiana (6,620,000) and Illinois (12,860,000) and you get 31,090,000 just in the three states that lie north of the Ohio River and south of the state Michigan and the Great Lakes of Erie and Michigan. The major cities in the set are [Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo,] Ohio, [Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Gary] Indiana, [Chicago, Aurora, Rockford] Illinois and at least a dozen more population centers with 100,000 plus population.

Rounding off Illinois is 58,000 square miles, Indiana is 36,000 and Ohio is 45,000 = 139,000 square miles combined 31,000,000/139,000=223 people per square mile population density.
Australia 23,780,000/2,970,000=8 people per square mile.
New Zealand 4,596,000/103,483=44.4 people per square mile.

New Zealand and Australia both have lots of coastlines where wind turbines do best because of the temperature coefficient of land vs water which causes wind fairly constantly. Australia also has a great deal of very sparsely populated desert where Solar PV and heck even Solar Thermal work just fine. Those same conditions do not apply to my region, we have a lot of cloudy rainy days in spring and fall and lots of snow in winter and we go from 16 hours of daylight per day in June to 8 hours of daylight in December. Solar and Wind are fine supplements, but they will never ever suffice for continuous grid power at a price we can afford to pay, especially when Nuclear is so much more cost efficient in materials and manpower and produces even less CO2 if you take into account all those concrete foundations needed by the renewable options.


There is a significant difference between thinking of the U.S.A. on a state by state basis, and comparing it as an integrated North American whole. Renewables have the same kind of dilemma that nuclear has, but for different reasons. So when you take the country as a whole, and you make significant investment in order to shift production away from the current fossil fuel paradigm it is better to consider the system holistically rather than in a piecemeal fashion. It is the supporting investment that makes or breaks the case for these technologies. With respect to nuclear you need to build a lot of it, and with renewables you need to load balance across a wide region. That is how they did the analysis with respect to renewables because you need to consider a whole basket of changes rather than the concept of plugging X amount of Y type of energy into one local grid. When you consider a smart grid that is capable of load balancing demand as well as supply then you get to the point where you can suck off excess power generation by producing medium value high energy products such as fertilizer, or balance heating/cooling demand with respect to predictable generation patterns. You can also move power from where it is abundant to where it is not.

Renewables and nuclear are both long term investments. It doesn't make sense to point to the short term, and then say it only makes sense without considering the externalities of the current path. There are long term supporting metrics that alter the cost equations substantially for any society that looks beyond a short term life-cycle. Your new nuclear power plant is still going to be there in 40 years time, and your supporting renewable infrastructure like transmission lines and support towers have service lives of over half a century if built well enough. On the other hand it is expected that if there actually is some real action on climate change towards the rear end of the fossil fuel plants service lives then you will face a considerable unforecasted costs that could completely alter the cost/benefit ratio of current generation development.

What are we arguing here? Are we arguing that people are stupid/short sighted? Or are we arguing about the relative cost/benefit ratios of different generation types?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby kiwichick » Sat 13 May 2017, 06:45:39

re Germany .....they just hit 85 % of their electricity supply from renewables .....obviously with favourable conditions .....and over a short period of time

the wind/solar intermittency argument neglects the fact that there are baseload renewables ......geothermal and wave/tidal are both effectively baseload
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 13 May 2017, 09:54:45

kiwichick wrote:re Germany .....they just hit 85 % of their electricity supply from renewables .....obviously with favourable conditions .....and over a short period of time

the wind/solar intermittency argument neglects the fact that there are baseload renewables ......geothermal and wave/tidal are both effectively baseload


So is hydroelectric and on a small local scale biomass burning. That is not the issue, my issue is building out to 20% of the grid is entirely doable and I encourage that level of investment. Building beyond 20 or maybe 25% runs into copious headaches that can be avoided by building a set of carbon free nuclear baseload power stations to fill in the other 75 percent of the grid. My goal is to have a carbon fuel free future, not some renewable solar/wind only utopia that is purely theory and totally impractical in the real world.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 13 May 2017, 10:03:28

Squilliam wrote:
Tanada wrote:

I will put this as politely as I can. The authors of that propaganda piece are full of beans and the emissions that result from them. Do a life cycle cost analysis of putting enough wind turbines in and around Chicago and Detroit to deal with both icy cold winters and hot muggy summers. Compare that life cycle cost of putting two brand new nuclear reactors near each city. Notice that the nuclear power alternative provides all the energy needed 24/7/365 with about a tenth of the money and materials needed, and the number of employees to maintain and operate four nuclear power stations is also about a tenth of the number needed to maintain thousands of individual wind turbines and the grid storage necessary for those days when the wind just ain't blowing hard enough. Pick the solar PV option or heck add it in and you will discover we get this white fluffy stuff a lot in winter that covers up the panels and requires either heating to melt the snow or someone risking their neck to climb up on the roof and clear them. Solar also needs a LOT of grid storage for those long dark winter nights.

Like I said earlier, Renewables are a fine supplement to the grid for 15% to 20% of the power consumed. Beyond that you are way better off building a nuclear plant for your carbon free energy. Just an observation but Australia is mostly desert or tropical and both Australia and New Zealand have very small populations per square kilometer, which makes it a lot easier to put up enough renewable to satisfy demand. The state of Ohio (11,610,000) where I live has twice the population of the country of New Zealand (4,596,000) and we are not a particularly high population state. In fact you can also compare Australia (23,780,000) with the three states of Ohio (11,610,000), Indiana (6,620,000) and Illinois (12,860,000) and you get 31,090,000 just in the three states that lie north of the Ohio River and south of the state Michigan and the Great Lakes of Erie and Michigan. The major cities in the set are [Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo,] Ohio, [Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Gary] Indiana, [Chicago, Aurora, Rockford] Illinois and at least a dozen more population centers with 100,000 plus population.

Rounding off Illinois is 58,000 square miles, Indiana is 36,000 and Ohio is 45,000 = 139,000 square miles combined 31,000,000/139,000=223 people per square mile population density.
Australia 23,780,000/2,970,000=8 people per square mile.
New Zealand 4,596,000/103,483=44.4 people per square mile.

New Zealand and Australia both have lots of coastlines where wind turbines do best because of the temperature coefficient of land vs water which causes wind fairly constantly. Australia also has a great deal of very sparsely populated desert where Solar PV and heck even Solar Thermal work just fine. Those same conditions do not apply to my region, we have a lot of cloudy rainy days in spring and fall and lots of snow in winter and we go from 16 hours of daylight per day in June to 8 hours of daylight in December. Solar and Wind are fine supplements, but they will never ever suffice for continuous grid power at a price we can afford to pay, especially when Nuclear is so much more cost efficient in materials and manpower and produces even less CO2 if you take into account all those concrete foundations needed by the renewable options.


There is a significant difference between thinking of the U.S.A. on a state by state basis, and comparing it as an integrated North American whole. Renewables have the same kind of dilemma that nuclear has, but for different reasons. So when you take the country as a whole, and you make significant investment in order to shift production away from the current fossil fuel paradigm it is better to consider the system holistically rather than in a piecemeal fashion. It is the supporting investment that makes or breaks the case for these technologies. With respect to nuclear you need to build a lot of it, and with renewables you need to load balance across a wide region. That is how they did the analysis with respect to renewables because you need to consider a whole basket of changes rather than the concept of plugging X amount of Y type of energy into one local grid. When you consider a smart grid that is capable of load balancing demand as well as supply then you get to the point where you can suck off excess power generation by producing medium value high energy products such as fertilizer, or balance heating/cooling demand with respect to predictable generation patterns. You can also move power from where it is abundant to where it is not.

Renewables and nuclear are both long term investments. It doesn't make sense to point to the short term, and then say it only makes sense without considering the externalities of the current path. There are long term supporting metrics that alter the cost equations substantially for any society that looks beyond a short term life-cycle. Your new nuclear power plant is still going to be there in 40 years time, and your supporting renewable infrastructure like transmission lines and support towers have service lives of over half a century if built well enough. On the other hand it is expected that if there actually is some real action on climate change towards the rear end of the fossil fuel plants service lives then you will face a considerable unforecasted costs that could completely alter the cost/benefit ratio of current generation development.

What are we arguing here? Are we arguing that people are stupid/short sighted? Or are we arguing about the relative cost/benefit ratios of different generation types?


The further away the intermittent abundance is from the end user the greater the line losses that result from moving that power around. You are also under an illusion about how the USA grid works. there are three grids, each with dozens or scores of large generators with their own sub grids cross connected into the feed network so if the power station down the road from me has a problem the neighboring stations can fill in the gaps from all sides. They are building a few MWe 'solar PV field' about 5 miles from me by taking good productive farmland out of service permanently. The farm was owned by the city and leased out to farmers up until 2 years ago when they decided to cash in on the subsidies by putting the solar field in that location. The power it generates on clear sunny days is great for offsetting summer peak demand, but as I pointed out earlier in winter it output will be very small. The costs however will be there for as long as they want to maintain it which is IIRC 20 years of tax subsidies for the city. If they looked at it strictly on a cost per kWe installed it would be a very expensive source, but it is effectively a tax write off green washing scheme for the college town that built it.

Integrating thousands of intermittent sources is not a cheap or easy solution and for those sub grids where they can make it work more power too them. Again I am in favor of a blended system, but the current paradigm is a goal of 10% renewable and 90% gas fired combined cycle turbines. That is better than coal, but not nearly good enough to fight CO2 emissions.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 13 May 2017, 15:24:53

T - "Scores" of generating units? Try 500+ in the Texas grid:

"ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 570+ generation units

But as I've pointed out before having ERCOT makes the alts work well in Texas and the lack of a grid czar for either the eastern or western US grids makes it difficult to match what we've done. And while we have a density of 105 folks per sq mile we are very bi-model: concentrated big cities and sparsely populated lands both west and south. And a booming growth in electricity demand that requires expanding generation as opposed to justifying replacing existing generators in the other two grids. Oh, and did I mention we are also f*cking rich which allowed us to spend $7 billion of tax payer monies to upgrade the grid (still leaving us about $10 BILLION in our "rainy day fund")? Oh, almost forgot our huge fossil fuel generators to back up the alts when needed.

Yeah, I talk a lot about Texas alt energy. But not really a harsh criticism of the other two grids. We are just the confluence of several significant factors the rest of the country lacks. Like not having NIMBY assholes that don't like the looks of wind turbines. LOL.

"ERCOT: the independent system operator for the region, schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 570+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 7 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities."
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Squilliam » Sat 13 May 2017, 17:12:09

Image

There is a very good spine of high potential wind sites running right through the middle of your country.

Image

As well as decent soar sites on the west that would more than compensate for the line losses with increased productivity.

[img]http://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/geothermal_resource2009-final.jpg
[/img]

Some good baseload geothermal sites.

In addition to this you could always trade for some hydro with those funny people North of you too with the flappy heads.

Just because some people decided to pay for some indulgences with Gaia down the road does not mean that renewable energy is not worthwhile. The whole point of connecting a wide range of geographically dislocated sources is that if the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining in one place then it'll be shining or blowing in another. Gas simply isn't good enough to power a country large scale for three simple reasons: 1. It still emits carbon. 2. No matter what you do you'll have a reasonable quantity leaking out of the network. 3. Eggs/basket issue.

Depending on voltage level and construction details, HVDC transmission losses are quoted as about 3.5% per 1,000 km, which are 30 – 40% less than with AC lines, at the same voltage levels


So if you draw a 1500km radius around Ohio then you could draw solar power from the commies in Texas, and the wind power from the selectively bred Nebraskans, and nuclear/hydro from where-ever. 6% is the current average losses on the U.S. power grid through transmission lines, so what I'm talking about is about par with the existing network.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 13 May 2017, 17:22:28

Kind of presumptuos to assume the grid will just be converted over from AC to DC isn't it? Changing the system over would or will cost a boatload of money, in a country that doesn't even fix bridges or potholes in roads that are not interstate highways because it is too expensive or not politically expedient enough.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Squilliam » Sat 13 May 2017, 18:19:42

DC is good to connect separate local grids because it doesn't matter what phase or alignment the power is on separate sides of the network. It is also good to transmit power over long distances with little in the way of losses. Given the fact that there are billions of dollars every year in the U.S.A. being injected into bubbles like housing or the stock market then giving it a home where it can make real returns on investment would be good, wouldn't it?
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 13 May 2017, 20:09:00

Squilliam wrote:DC is good to connect separate local grids because it doesn't matter what phase or alignment the power is on separate sides of the network. It is also good to transmit power over long distances with little in the way of losses. Given the fact that there are billions of dollars every year in the U.S.A. being injected into bubbles like housing or the stock market then giving it a home where it can make real returns on investment would be good, wouldn't it?


The theory sounds great, but housing bubbles are blown from millions of individual consumers getting individual loans. Restructuring the grid would be hudreds of major loans to major companies which is very different thing entirely.
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Re: THE Wind Power Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby kiwichick » Sun 14 May 2017, 03:15:24

glad I live in a little country in the South pacific , where we already get 70 - 80 % of our electricity from renewable power, from a mix of Hydro, Geothermal and Wind, with a small amount of solar.

We can easily go 100+ % renewable

The US was far from being the greatest country on the planet , even before the last Presidential Election!
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