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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 1

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby coffeeguyzz » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 01:57:14

As of this posting, wholesale spot electricity price in South Australia is $14,200/Mwh.
Nearby Victoria it is cheaper at $13,000.

Although Queensland just now jumped to $300, a few minutes ago it was only $80/Mwh. Queensland relies mainly upon coal.

Adelaide temperature is 104F with little wind.
Next 2 hours will be peak consumption just as rooftop solar generation tails off.
Tomorrow looks to be even hotter.

Relying upon wind and solar for major electricity generation places systems under incredible strain when the wind don't blow and the sun don't glow.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 15:36:50

jaw - Actually we did it back in 2016. From http://www.houstonchronicle.com/busines ... 688922.php

"A blustery Sunday last week across Texas broke the record for wind generation, the second time in less than two weeks that November wind gusts produced record-breaking power from the state's wind farms. Just after noon on Nov. 27, gusts along the Gulf Coast, the Texas Panhandle and in West Texas generated 15,033 megawatts of wind energy at once, accounting for nearly half of the state's electricity at the time, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees about 90 percent of the state's electric grid. The burst of clean power easily beat the previous record, set Nov. 17, when strong gusts drove wind turbines to generate 14,100 megawatts. (A megawatt can power about 200 homes during peak demand, and 500 homes during milder weather.)"

And: "In both of the record-breaking cases, the wholesale price of power dropped sharply while wind-generated electricity poured into the power grid. On Nov. 27, wind farms sent so much electricity into wholesale markets that it sold for essentially nothing. In other words, free power. ERCOT, which acts as an electricity clearinghouse, is always looking to take advantage of the cheapest power available, making wind a good resource, said Dan Woodfin, a senior director of system operations at ERCOT."
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 15:59:44

Sold for essentially nothing?

Interesting comment.

Kind of undercuts the economic basis no?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 16:27:41

They sold a lot of "green energy" to California through energy companies such as CALPINE last year. California peaked at 80% of grid electricity from green sources one fine day, and for the year of 2017 - counting hydro energy imported from more Northern states and wind energy from Texas and lots of distributed photovoltaic power, the overall mix was 30% green renewables, 40% FF's, and another 10% carbon-free (mostly nuclear) and 20% imports of unknown green pedigree.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/08/01/california-goes-all-in-100-percent-renewable-energy-by-2045/#7903eacd570f

We would appear to be on track to average 50% renewables by 2025 and 100% by 2045. In fact the curves suggest that we make make both goals a decade early.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 16:31:37

Newfie - If you have a problem with free electricity try getting your head around negative spot whole sale electricity prices. LOL. Too long for me to explain: you need to read this entire link to understand if interested: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/ ... _that.html

And if you want to know why some retail electricity plans in Texas offer free nights and weekends here you go: http://fortune.com/2015/11/09/texas-free-electricity/
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 16:43:35

Newfie - And here's E.ON trying to f*ck us out of our free electricity. LOL.

"CHICAGO, Sept. 5, 2017: E.ON today began construction on its Texas Waves energy storage projects co-located at the existing E.ON Pyron and Inadale wind farms in West Texas. Texas Waves consists of two 9.9 megawatt (MW) short duration energy storage projects using lithium-ion battery technology and will be an integral part of the wind farm facilities near Roscoe, Texas."

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 14081.html
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby jawagord » Fri 16 Feb 2018, 12:53:29

The Dutch are taking Solar to a new level of stupidity. What could possibly go wrong (I should say right) with building a floating Solar farm in the ocean! It's a salty, windy, corrosive environment, full of biologicals. Who's going to clean the dried salt spray and seaweed off the panels. One big storm and bye bye solar array.

The Dutch should stick to making cheese!

AMSTERDAM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - An offshore seaweed farm in the North Sea will be turned into a large solar power farm that aims to pipe energy to the Dutch mainland in roughly three years.

The project comes at a critical time for the Netherlands, which is struggling to curb fossil fuel use and meet greenhouse gas emission targets after years of underinvestment in renewable energy sources.

After an initial pilot next year, a consortium comprising energy producers, scientists and researchers plans to ultimately operate 2,500 square metres of floating solar panels by 2021, said Allard van Hoeken, founder of Oceans of Energy, which devised the project.


http://news.trust.org/item/20180214161711-02n2y/
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 16 Feb 2018, 17:30:55

The Netherlands is overpopulated and depends upon reclaimed sea bottom, below sea level, for both agricultural lands and residential areas. Within this context they too are experiencing an influx of refugees and a growing population, in an era of rising sea levels that exacerbates their struggle for living space and growing food. They have been harvesting the wind since the Middle Ages to support their struggle, using wooden water pumps and wooden wind mill mechanisms.

I would not bet that they cannot make this work. For one thing, many coastal buildings in Europe are now being built from "self cleaning glass", a building material that exists in two forms, depending upon whether coated with nanoparticles or titanium dioxide. The material has been commercially available in Europe since about 2012 and can be used in windows, solar thermal (i.e. hot water heat), and solar photovoltaic (i.e. electricity producing panels).

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/how-self-cleaning-windows-work.html
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby jawagord » Sat 17 Feb 2018, 09:03:59

KaiserJeep wrote:The Netherlands is overpopulated and depends upon reclaimed sea bottom, below sea level, for both agricultural lands and residential areas. Within this context they too are experiencing an influx of refugees and a growing population, in an era of rising sea levels that exacerbates their struggle for living space and growing food. They have been harvesting the wind since the Middle Ages to support their struggle, using wooden water pumps and wooden wind mill mechanisms.

I would not bet that they cannot make this work. For one thing, many coastal buildings in Europe are now being built from "self cleaning glass", a building material that exists in two forms, depending upon whether coated with nanoparticles or titanium dioxide. The material has been commercially available in Europe since about 2012 and can be used in windows, solar thermal (i.e. hot water heat), and solar photovoltaic (i.e. electricity producing panels).

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/how-self-cleaning-windows-work.html


KJ do you even read through the articles you post?

Photocatalysis only tackles organic (carbon-based) dirt, so it's not effective against things like salt deposits (if you live near the coast)
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 17 Feb 2018, 17:49:31

Never-the-less, this new glass tech is proving extremely popular in Europe, including on the coast and even on boats. The glass does require only a fraction of the cleaning needed by conventional glass, because it sheds organic dirt.

The titanium dioxide products are only the first form of self-cleaning glass to reach the market, and they depend upon photocatalysis and hydrophilia (water sheeting without beading). Titanium dioxide coatings can be applied with either sputtering or partial-vacuum deposition. The other type of glass with self-cleaning properties is hydrophobic, it forms beads of water much more easily than conventional glass. This type is effective against salt spray, not just organic dirt. The photocatalytic action is followed by hydrophobic water beading which carries away both organic and non-organic dirt. The glass surface must be textured via plasma etching until a layer of nanoparticles forms. So far this is much more expensive to manufacture (200% the cost of conventional glass) than the initial hydrophilic products (120% the cost of conventional glass).
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby StarvingLion » Mon 07 May 2018, 20:24:15

The WindMill Scam is collapsing. They won't be driving EV's in Ireland.

http://irishenergyblog.blogspot.ca/2018 ... d.html?m=1

Monday, 23 April 2018
Wind Energy, Diseconomies of Scale and Market Cannibalization
How the Irish Wind Industry is Becoming a Loss Making Industry
by Owen Martin

This blog's recent analysis of the financial statements of wind companies showed that most of the newer wind farms around Ireland were making losses. One possible explanation for this is that the wind industry suffers from the opposite of economies of scale - diseconomies of scale. Economies of scale are defined as the cost advantages that an organization can achieve by expanding it's production in the long run. Diseconomies of scale occur when the long run average costs of the organization increases. It may happen when an organization grows excessively large. In other words, the diseconomies of scale cause larger organizations to produce goods and services at increased costs.

There are a number of causes of this but the most relevant to the wind industry is Market Cannibalization.

Implies a situation when an organization faces competition from its own product. A small organization faces competition from products of other organizations, whereas sometimes large organizations find that their own products are competing with each other.

If we take the wind industry as a whole, each wind farm is competing in the same market and their product is the same (wind energy). Therefore each wind farm unit is competing with each other. This is a particular problem during periods of high wind and low demand, when only a certain percentage of wind can be allowed into the grid. Eirgrid must then decide which wind farms need to shut down or curtail output. It is also a problem at the micro level when turbines are located too close together and each turbine is competing for the same but limited local wind resource (wind wake).

As more wind farms are built, cannibalization increases at the macro and micro level (among wind farms and individual wind turbines). There must then be an ideal amount of wind capacity, say for example half of average demand which would be around 2,000MW, where cannibalization is very small. At this point, most if not all wind farms are profitable. Cannibalization increases with each additional wind farm built beyond this point. As all the good locations get used, bigger and more expensive wind turbines are deployed in an effort to increase output, as well as increased numbers of turbines resulting in them being placed ever closer together . However, this increases costs per unit as both the local wind resource and electricity demand remains the same while the cost per turbine increases. We are now at around 3,000MW of wind and there is evidence that wind farms built since 2010 are making losses so probably the ideal amount of wind is somewhere around that 2,000MW mark.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 07 May 2018, 21:25:06

StarvingLion wrote:The WindMill Scam is collapsing. They won't be driving EV's in Ireland.

http://irishenergyblog.blogspot.ca/2018 ... d.html?m=1

Monday, 23 April 2018
Wind Energy, Diseconomies of Scale and Market Cannibalization
How the Irish Wind Industry is Becoming a Loss Making Industry
by Owen Martin

This blog's recent analysis of the financial statements of wind companies showed that most of the newer wind farms around Ireland were making losses. One possible explanation for this is that the wind industry suffers from the opposite of economies of scale - diseconomies of scale. Economies of scale are defined as the cost advantages that an organization can achieve by expanding it's production in the long run. Diseconomies of scale occur when the long run average costs of the organization increases. It may happen when an organization grows excessively large. In other words, the diseconomies of scale cause larger organizations to produce goods and services at increased costs.

There are a number of causes of this but the most relevant to the wind industry is Market Cannibalization.

Implies a situation when an organization faces competition from its own product. A small organization faces competition from products of other organizations, whereas sometimes large organizations find that their own products are competing with each other.

If we take the wind industry as a whole, each wind farm is competing in the same market and their product is the same (wind energy). Therefore each wind farm unit is competing with each other. This is a particular problem during periods of high wind and low demand, when only a certain percentage of wind can be allowed into the grid. Eirgrid must then decide which wind farms need to shut down or curtail output. It is also a problem at the micro level when turbines are located too close together and each turbine is competing for the same but limited local wind resource (wind wake).

As more wind farms are built, cannibalization increases at the macro and micro level (among wind farms and individual wind turbines). There must then be an ideal amount of wind capacity, say for example half of average demand which would be around 2,000MW, where cannibalization is very small. At this point, most if not all wind farms are profitable. Cannibalization increases with each additional wind farm built beyond this point. As all the good locations get used, bigger and more expensive wind turbines are deployed in an effort to increase output, as well as increased numbers of turbines resulting in them being placed ever closer together . However, this increases costs per unit as both the local wind resource and electricity demand remains the same while the cost per turbine increases. We are now at around 3,000MW of wind and there is evidence that wind farms built since 2010 are making losses so probably the ideal amount of wind is somewhere around that 2,000MW mark.

They need a million or so plug in electric vehicles to suck up the extra power when the wind blows. It won't help the spacing problem but that is just stupid engineering and you can't fix stupid.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Tue 08 May 2018, 15:28:20

Looks like California may take their own path.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/08/califor ... homes.html

This is the kind of legislation that can make a difference. Solar and batteries, and a goal of net zero energy homes. It will only happen if you push!

You may think it can't be done...I know better :)

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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 08 May 2018, 15:54:23

baha wrote:Looks like California may take their own path.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/08/califor ... homes.html

This is the kind of legislation that can make a difference. Solar and batteries, and a goal of net zero energy homes. It will only happen if you push!

You may think it can't be done...I know better :)

We have 5 more Powerwalls in the warehouse ready to be installed.

It will all happen anyway when supplies get tight enough to raise prices. The state government mandating these expenditures before the market will support them is a recipe for disaster. And on top of that this is supposed to be a free country where you can make your own decisions. If they want complete government control they should move to Cuba.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 08 May 2018, 16:04:43

baha - "...solar will add an extra $10,538 in upfront residential construction costs but would result in $16,251 in energy savings over a 30-year period." Subject to the assumptions made before (which they don't specify) that would represent a negative rate of return. Also, let's wait on the vote before we spend too much time on the subject. All things being equal commercial scale solar still seems more practical. Especially if the E.ON pilot project for commercial battery storage in west Texas proves profitable.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby drwater » Tue 08 May 2018, 16:17:25

Here's the stupidity with California's proposed requirement for solar on all new houses (from the article):

As the costs for solar technology have declined, though, there's been a surge in power generated from solar installations in California and sometimes a glut of energy so large other states essentially get it for free.

Last month, there were periods in the afternoon when California had more than 60 percent of all power demand met by solar power, according to the California Independent System Operator, the entity that runs most of the electricity grid for the state.


High Voltage DC lines first need to be built to move sufficient power long distances so that excess solar from California can be used other places and so that wind, etc. can be brought from the Midwest back to California in the early evening.
Making it easy for market forces to work rather than mandating feel-good measures would make more sense. Shutting down California's Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor (which is also zero carbon) is one more stupid thing the state is trying to accomplish.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 08 May 2018, 16:26:59

ROCKMAN wrote:All things being equal commercial scale solar still seems more practical.

With pure finances, perhaps. However, for those who want to minimize the chance of electric outages longer term, having one's own solar roof and a decent amount of battery storage removes things like downed power lines from storms from the equation for outages.

In 2003, my city of 300,000ish experienced a nasty early Feb. ice storm resulting in a good 200,000 people without power. And depending on where you lived, it wasn't restored for weeks, in temps. often in the teens or 20's at night.

The house I'm living in now had a good foot of water in the basement, no power for over two weeks, all the food in the fridges gone, 45 year old wallpaper coming unglued from the walls due to all the dampness from the basement and the cold, etc.

My mother was ready to have a nervous breakdown, even though I managed to get them into a hotel after a few days. (My parents living in my tiny apartment was going to give ME a nervous breakdown).

Having never been without power in the winter for more than about 6 hours, and in the summer for perhaps 24ish hours before -- that experience changed my perspective and made having backup power a high priority.

Generators wear out and break, just like cars, and are far from cheap to have whole house fully automated systems installed and maintained. Having a decent solar array and batteries, with a bit of conservation, my parents would have had the gas furnace, sump pumps, fridge, a coffee pot, a light bulb or two, etc. that would have made ALL the difference re comfort and being able to stay in the house, since most of the days were partly cloudy allowing a decent amount of battery recharging. Likely even some limited microwave cooking.

...

So peoples' priorities will vary depending on their situation, but considering the reliability angle, "all things being equal" doesn't work -- because with power they often aren't.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 08 May 2018, 16:42:18

Outcast - And all things being equal if someone wants to lose money for that energy security it should be their choice and not mandated IMHO. I also suspect that upfront cost doesn't included the battery storage. And also maybe the finance cost of that installation over a 30 year mortgage.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby baha » Tue 08 May 2018, 17:35:20

ROCKMAN wrote: "...solar will add an extra $10,538 in upfront residential construction costs but would result in $16,251 in energy savings over a 30-year period."


10k added cost on an avg home price of $440k in CA is 2%. Those numbers won't hold true in 5 years much less 30.

ROCKMAN wrote:All things being equal commercial scale solar still seems more practical. Especially if the E.ON pilot project for commercial battery storage in west Texas proves profitable.


Practical and profitable for the rich folks. Not for me. I like the distributed model for several reasons. I get the benefits of my own investment without supporting a bunch of leach 'financiers'. I don't depend on the grid and all the wires. And I know where my power comes from and goes to. That is a big step toward reducing waste.

vtsnowedin wrote: And on top of that this is supposed to be a free country where you can make your own decisions.


Of course not :) You are not allowed to live in a shack with no electricity or water. Makes sense to me to require you to make your own power and pump your own water when possible.

drwater wrote:been a surge in power generated from solar installations in California and sometimes a glut of energy so large other states essentially get it for free.


I guess that blows the shit out of the theory that solar can't make a difference. What's wrong with free clean power? The Nuclear folks never quite got there...but solar is doing it today. I vote we all get free power from CA :) and a little from NC.

drwater wrote:Last month, there were periods in the afternoon when California had more than 60 percent of all power demand met by solar power, according to the California Independent System Operator, the entity that runs most of the electricity grid for the state.


So exactly why is that a problem? Oh, I know, those independent operator dudes aren't making enough money. Those leach investors that need to skim off the top or they wouldn't have a job.

I say make and store your own power and let the leaches do a career shift :)

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Having never been without power in the winter for more than about 6 hours, and in the summer for perhaps 24ish hours before -- that experience changed my perspective and made having backup power a high priority.


Thank you OS, just a little push is all it takes. And then you realize there is value in independence. A FF'd generator just makes you dependent on a pipeline instead of a wireline. In a power down event, a little power is LOTs better than no power at all. And the rest of the time your making free power!
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby GHung » Tue 08 May 2018, 17:48:06

To carry Baha's points a bit farther, every independent kWh I produce and use gets a 30% - 40% bonus because it's untaxed income. If we were writing a check every month to a utility, we would have paid income tax on that money at some point, along with taxes and fees to the utility. That money-not-spent goes into tax-deferred savings which has added up nicely over the years. And if folks have taken state and federal tax credits to install their systems, the deal gets sweeter. The math works out quite well over time, all things considered, especially for those who stay put and don't move every few years.
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