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THE Alternative Energy (general) Thread pt 3(merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 18 Nov 2014, 05:07:19

Ulenspiegel wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:
tom_s2 wrote: No hydrocarbons are needed to produce ammonia. Although natural gas is used at present, the gas is used as a hydrogen donor. Any source of hydrogen would do, such as water.


Sorry, due the laws of thermodynamics, it takes more energy to make hydrogen than you get from it.


That statement does not make sense for me as chemist. :-(

The hydrogen from partial oxidation of methane is purified and compressed (together with nitrogen), it would not be a real difference with hydrogen from water. The electrolysis of water of course requires much energy.

How does this additional ~500 kJ/mol in comparison to a partial oxidation of methane affect the ammonia price? Is this the end of the world?

Quick and dirty estimate:

1000 kg of ammonia are 60000 mol and require, therefore, 90000 mol hydrogen.
90000 mol * 300 kJ/mol = 27 000 000 kJ = 27 000 MJ = 7. 500 kWh

1kWh = 3.6 MJ cost 0.04 EUR. The price for 1 ton of ammonia would increase by 300 EUR i.e. + 50%.

OTOH we save some methane.

I can't do the chemistry math but a kWh in France retails for 0.126 EUR not 0.04 EUR so unless your fertilizer plant gets one whopper of a discount you need to go back to the drawing board. :-D
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby Ulenspiegel » Tue 18 Nov 2014, 07:11:41

Wholesale price for industrial electricity in Germany is around 0.04 EUR/kWh, yes energy intensive industry gets a discount (no tax, no RE surcharge...).

The prodcution costs for hydro in Scandinavia is around 0.025 EUR/kwh, with written of PV/wind I expect the same.

The other aspect is, that alternatives to the Haber-Bosch process are tested, which offer at least in the lab significant better usage of electricity, and thermal production of H2 from water is in development too.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Tue 18 Nov 2014, 20:06:34

Ulenspiegel wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:Sorry, due the laws of thermodynamics, it takes more energy to make hydrogen than you get from it.


That statement does not make sense for me as chemist. :-(

The hydrogen from partial oxidation of methane is purified and compressed (together with nitrogen), it would not be a real difference with hydrogen from water. The electrolysis of water of course requires much energy.


The electrolysis of the water was what I was referring to.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby dashster » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 02:29:38

MonteQuest wrote:
dashster wrote: Why is renewable energy not producing any new net energy now?


Never said it wasn't. My point is this: if one doesn't have enough energy to meet existing demand and you wish to divert energy to a massive build out of renewables, who is going to do without while that construction takes place taking years to produce any net new energy?


Passenger car and truck commuters.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby dashster » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 07:26:54

MonteQuest wrote:
dashster wrote: Why is renewable energy not producing any new net energy now?


Never said it wasn't. My point is this: if one doesn't have enough energy to meet existing demand and you wish to divert energy to a massive build out of renewables, who is going to do without while that construction takes place taking years to produce any net new energy?


As I have said before, the United States has the option to declare "war on fossil fuels" and use the military budget and employees to work on renewables. People politically on the right wing hate environmentalism, hate renewables and hate most government programs. But they love military spending. So use military spending for renewables and you get everybody on board - left and right. It seems silly at first, but not much more really than declaring "war on terrorism" as a way to retain the massive military budget.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 08:28:31

dashster wrote:As I have said before, the United States has the option to declare "war on fossil fuels" and use the military budget and employees to work on renewables. People politically on the right wing hate environmentalism, hate renewables and hate most government programs. But they love military spending. So use military spending for renewables and you get everybody on board - left and right. It seems silly at first, but not much more really than declaring "war on terrorism" as a way to retain the massive military budget.


The military spending is not a source of energy. What I guess you are implying is "rationing" to the general public, while the military gets whatever fuel they need to wage the war.

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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby dashster » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 08:49:01

MonteQuest wrote:
dashster wrote:As I have said before, the United States has the option to declare "war on fossil fuels" and use the military budget and employees to work on renewables. People politically on the right wing hate environmentalism, hate renewables and hate most government programs. But they love military spending. So use military spending for renewables and you get everybody on board - left and right. It seems silly at first, but not much more really than declaring "war on terrorism" as a way to retain the massive military budget.


The military spending is not a source of energy.


No, primarily a source of funding, but a source of energy to the extent that they use what they would have used in war maneuvers and the like, in building renewables. But eliminating commuting to work by car or truck is a source of energy...
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 17:51:35

dashster wrote: No, primarily a source of funding, but a source of energy to the extent that they use what they would have used in war maneuvers and the like, in building renewables.


And you think this is more likely than securing more oil by force? You forget about our history?
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby dashster » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 20:47:07

MonteQuest wrote:
dashster wrote: No, primarily a source of funding, but a source of energy to the extent that they use what they would have used in war maneuvers and the like, in building renewables.


And you think this is more likely than securing more oil by force? You forget about our history?


If the United States takes over an oil producing country for the purpose of getting their oil output, what do you think the world's response will be? The CIA could do their dirty work and ferment some situation where the world would stand idle as the US invaded, but I don't see the world just letting the US then get all of the oil output of that country. Even if they didn't want to fight the US militarily, I see an embargo on the US. Although at that point, the US may decide to become Nazi Germany, with maybe Australia and Britain as their Japan/Italy.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Wed 19 Nov 2014, 21:56:51

dashster wrote: If the United States takes over an oil producing country for the purpose of getting their oil output, what do you think the world's response will be?


Insufficient.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby isgota » Thu 20 Nov 2014, 09:05:28

MonteQuest wrote:As to my positing that I think the majority of large scale renewables have already been built is based upon the current world debt levels and investment shortfalls.

Image

Image


Really? Trends say otherwise.

While talking about RE investment figures is important to not forget about this.

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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 20 Nov 2014, 20:36:37

isgota wrote: Really? Trends say otherwise.


Yet, investment is declining almost 11%/yr. I don't see that changing for "large scale" projects as RE costs drop. Too much debt.

Solar PV is mostly small scale installations on buildings, right? I am talking about large scale installations.

Solar Prices Drop 80 Percent Since 2008, Onshore Wind Also Falls

And RE investment soared until 2011, then it declined. Ask yourself, why?

Bloomberg writes: "The reduced volume of investment in 2013 reflected two main influences – a continued sharp reduction in the cost of photovoltaic systems, and the impact on investor confidence of shifts in policy towards renewable power in Europe and the US."

People spent less when buying solar PV and a perceived weak market in the US and Europe. Declines in Europe dragged down the whole market. China's slowing growth cut investment 4%. The drop from Europe's nearly $100 billion investment in 2012 was due to Germany, Italy and France pulling back subsidy payments for new projects, due to the ongoing depression.

Headline: Falling Renewable Energy Investments Actually Signal Progress

It's kind of disingenuous for pundits to spin that investment is down because costs are down. When we get to zero investment, will that mean renewables are now free?

We need to be spending $1 trillion a year.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 20 Nov 2014, 21:19:21

So far this year. Third quarter of 2014.

Australia's investment in renewable energy slumps 70% in one year

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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 20 Nov 2014, 21:33:16

Report: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy

It is widely known that among all the sources of alternative energy, the one with the greatest potential is solar. How could it be otherwise? Staggering amounts of solar radiation strike the Earth each day; the only trick is capturing more of it.

In a new report, the Environment America Research and Policy Center seeks to visualize and quantify this potential as it pertains to the United States. The report argues that the U.S. "has the potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations as the nation consumes each year." It adds that every single state could generate more solar electricity than its residents currently consume.

Here's a visualization, showing states that can get 1 to 5 times their current energy needs from solar, states that can get 5 to 25 times their energy, states that can get 25 to 100 times what they're using, and states that can get over 100 times their current needs:



The map above, notes the report, was created by comparing technical estimates of solar potential from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with state level electricity sales data from the Energy Information Administration.

The report also suggests that 35 million homes and businesses could potentially install solar on their roofs:


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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Thu 20 Nov 2014, 23:41:21

Graeme wrote:Report: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy


Could is the operative word.

But natural gas is what is projected to be used.

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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby Ulenspiegel » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 05:51:41

Monte,

your graph is 100% nonsense.

We see already a shift from NG back coal in electricity generation in the USA at a large scale due to economic constraints (low price for coal, higher price for NG), WTF should an investor finance much new NG capacity?

Add the fact that even in the USA new wind capacity is already competitiev with cal/NG, the extrapolation to 2030 is a pipedream after inhalation of too much NG.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby isgota » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 06:49:19

MonteQuest wrote:
Yet, investment is declining almost 11%/yr. I don't see that changing for "large scale" projects as RE costs drop. Too much debt.

Solar PV is mostly small scale installations on buildings, right? I am talking about large scale installations.



Wrong.

http://wiki-solar.org/region/continents/index.html

Image

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-13/china-to-promote-utility-scale-solar-power-projects.html

MonteQuest wrote:
Headline: Falling Renewable Energy Investments Actually Signal Progress

It's kind of disingenuous for pundits to spin that investment is down because costs are down. When we get to zero investment, will that mean renewables are now free?

We need to be spending $1 trillion a year.


And what guarantees you will get zero investment in RE? In fact, smaller costs tend to boost that investment in the long term, Economics 101.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby misterno » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 11:28:46

Am I going crazy here or this is correct?

53% of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 1H 2014 came from solar.

For the first time ever, more than 100 MWdc of residential PV came on-line in a single quarter without any state incentive.

http://www.seia.org/research-resources/ ... rt-2014-q2

Yeah I love solar too, but this is way too much to absorb..

Any comments?
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby kublikhan » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 12:20:49

It's not that unusual anymore misterno. I've been tracking changes like this over the past few years:

2012 was a strong year for all renewables, as together they accounted for over 55 % of all new U.S. generating capacity.
AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2012 Market Report

renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) accounted for 82 percent of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in the first three months of 2013
It’s Official: More Wind than Natural Gas Installs in 2012

* For the first time worldwide Solar PV capacity additions exceeded wind.

* In the EU, renewables were 72% of new electric generating capacity in 2013. 10 years ago, fossil fuels represented 80% of additions in the EU.
Global Status Report

Although looking at generating capacity alone can be misleading because renewables like wind and solar only generate electricity for a small fraction of the day. However renewables are growing in terms of TWh as well. Also, Solar seems highly concentrated in the California market. It would be better if we could get a more even distribution of solar.

growth remains increasingly reliant on California, which accounted for a record 57% of national installations in Q2 2014.
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Re: Is solar energy the solution?

Unread postby kublikhan » Fri 21 Nov 2014, 12:29:00

MonteQuest wrote:Yet, investment is declining almost 11%/yr. I don't see that changing for "large scale" projects as RE costs drop. Too much debt.

Solar PV is mostly small scale installations on buildings, right? I am talking about large scale installations.
Wrong on both counts. Renewable investments are trending up this year. And small scale Solar PV installations are declining. Large scale is up.

Renewable energy investment totalled $175 billion (£108.9bn) in the first three quarters of 2014, as the sector shows signs of a worldwide recovery after a two-year slump. Figures released on Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reveal that clean energy investment is up 16% from the same period last year. "It is heartening to see investment heading for an up-year in 2014 after two down-years, thanks in large part to the greatly enhanced competitiveness of solar, and to some extent wind."
Global renewable energy investment on the rise

It has remained exceedingly difficult to finance and develop small commercial solar projects. These difficulties have often led developers to focus their attention on larger commercial projects, particularly those larger than 1 MWdc. This dynamic has only become exacerbated over time. In 2010, 70% of all non-residential systems installed were less than 1 MW, whereas this category accounted for only 44% in the first half of 2014. The decline has been particularly stark for projects less than 100 kWdc in size, whose market share has been cut in half over the same period.

Growth remains driven primarily by the utility solar PV market, which installed 625 MWdc in Q2 2014, up from 543 MWdc in Q2 2013.
Solar Market Insight Report 2014 Q2
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