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Ban Household Natural Gas?

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Pops » Thu 31 Dec 2020, 19:05:20

Tanada wrote:Sure the USA has absolutely dropped the ball on building new nuclear fission plants to help fight global warming, but the USA is not the whole world no matter how full of ourselves we may be.

Not sure what our opinion of ourselves has to do with anything but bottom line, nukes net favorability in the US is about minus 20%. Until that opinion changes not much else matters.

I'm not rabid about it. Personally, as long as they build them over by you and don't truck the waste past my house I'm fine. More generally I like the idea of a distributed network, none of the shenanigans of huge bureaucracies. Buy your panels, hook em up and go play video games. Admittedly I like having my own well and septic too.

PV costs a little more carbon than nukes but vastly less than nat gas. Currently grid scale PV is getting really cheap and storage is falling dramatically, all fantastic news in my opinion.

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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 31 Dec 2020, 20:35:28

Pops wrote:But leaving coal plants running, especially if/when federal incentives expire, would cause a glut and crash the wholesale price of electricity. RE may be cheaper over total life but it won't be installed in a surplus market will it? Ditto transmission & storage, which now is the lagging tech and needs higher price to build out. The most important thing for PO and GW is we get as much capacity up as quickly as possible, even if, heaven forbid, some people are inconvenienced.
And your solution to this problem is rolling blackouts? You do realize that as renewables increase their penetration in the grid and CA continues to shut down nukes and fossil fuel plants this problem is going to get worse and worse? People want a grid that functions even with high renewable penetration. They will not want the "minor inconvenience" of blackouts. That means a solution to this problem must be found: storage, backup power(with incentives if necessary), etc.

Last fall, top officials at California’s power grid operator ominously warned that electricity shortages were likely as soon as 2020 during a big Western heat wave. The reason: The state’s historic shift away from fossil fuels such as natural gas, which provide consistent power, toward cleaner sources such as solar and wind energy, which rise and fall with the weather and the sun. With less reliable energy supplies, they say the power grid has become more difficult to operate and more at risk of blackouts, calling it a “most urgent issue” that “really needs timely attention.”

Wolak, of Stanford, said the state should make efforts to keep gas-power plants around until battery storage technology for solar plants can be ramped up. One long-time industry official agreed.

“Some folks in the environmental community want to shut down all the gas plants. That would be a disaster,” said Jan Smutny Jones, CEO of the Independent Energy Producers Association, a trade association representing solar, wind, geothemal and gas power plants. “Last night 60% of the power in the ISO was being produced by those gas plants. They are your insurance policy to get through heat waves.”
Growing shortfall as solar power goes offline in early evenings

Pops wrote:Generally, I'm enthused that RE is so competitive and is going online at such a clip. 10 years ago, not to mention 20, I would never have dreamed, and it made me a doomer.
I always said renewables would get cheaper and be built in much greater numbers. Lower costs is definitely a plus of renewables. Or rather, one of their former drawbacks, high cost, is now going away. But renewables still have one major drawback: lower reliability. They generate electricity only for a portion of the day. This problem is a small one when renewable penetration in the grid is low. However it grows bigger and bigger the larger the share of renewables in the grid are. That means if you want to maintain high grid reliability you have to use some methods to compensate for this weakness: storage, backup, etc. And there are costs associated with this. Storage currently costs more than the renewables themselves. Nonetheless if you want to go the route of 100% renewables this cost must be paid sooner or later.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Pops » Fri 01 Jan 2021, 09:41:58

kublikhan wrote:And your solution to this problem is rolling blackouts?

LOL, don't be so hard on that strawman!
Of course I'd prefer a perfect world, unfortunately that's not this one. What I want is renewables to ramp up absolutely as fast as possible to mitigate PO & GW. Storage solutions will come but the generation needs to get up ASAP. I'm not concerned about a tiny glitch in an historic heat wave. Back in 2010 or whenever they began to mandate storage I kind of think they didn't expect RE generation to ramp up as fast as it did. But oh well, good problem to have. Sounds like this is a good excuse to go all out.

Again, for perspective, millions of people have been cut off for days at a time this summer due to high winds and potential power line sparked fires. As far as I've heard they aren't ripping out their meters. And if they did get really mad, the average home in CA is "worth" $699,000, and a single Powerwall is 1% of that, installed, at <3% interest.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 01 Jan 2021, 11:13:24

Pops wrote:Again, for perspective, millions of people have been cut off for days at a time this summer due to high winds and potential power line sparked fires. As far as I've heard they aren't ripping out their meters. And if they did get really mad, the average home in CA is "worth" $699,000, and a single Powerwall is 1% of that, installed, at <3% interest.

To be fair though, will a single Powerwall do it, for days at a time? For a household using lots of A/C, computers, TV's, doing cooking and all the usual things families do? I don't think so. If you start talking about 3 or more Powerwalls, that cost gets rather significant.

One such battery would work well for me for a few days, but I'm used to conserving (using about 400 KWH a month vs. the 2000+ KWH average I see cited for my area households), and I would be VERY careful with power load during an outage -- just as I am conservative with my Generac generator, just not to work it harder than needed, even though it can handle literally all we could throw at it rather easily, when testing it as the final installation step. (Just as my car will last a lot longer if I don't floor it a lot).

And 3 or more such Powerwall batteries would cost a LOT more than my whole house 20 KW Generac generator, installed, that will run for weeks and weeks on NG, and all it needs is to have the oil level checked (and add a little if needed) once a day during such an extended event. (A 5 minute no-brainer task.) Mine is 8+ years old. I had a part fail the first time a few months back. My maintenance guy assures me that does NOT mean it will become unreliable over all -- that part just is one that tends to fail at some point). Also, my Generac, sitting 30 feet from my house won't potentially burst into flames and burn down my house. Given the way those batteries burn in Teslas, I'm not at all convinced I want one, much less 3 to 5, in my house -- or even mounted on an exterior wall.

That might well become normal in a decade or so as costs, batteries, etc. improve -- I'm just not convinced we're there yet for typical homeowners, given the trade-offs.
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: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Pops » Fri 01 Jan 2021, 11:46:29

Outcast_Searcher wrote:To be fair though, will a single Powerwall do it, for days at a time?

I think that given the name of this site, one should stipulate that essentially unlimited, thoughtless convenience is in question, here at least. Certainly it would be nice to run everything 24/7 with no repercussions forever and ever amen. But...

So yeah, a powerwall isn't a panacea, but it is an option.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby kublikhan » Fri 01 Jan 2021, 19:32:11

Pops wrote:Of course I'd prefer a perfect world, unfortunately that's not this one. What I want is renewables to ramp up absolutely as fast as possible to mitigate PO & GW. Storage solutions will come but the generation needs to get up ASAP. I'm not concerned about a tiny glitch in an historic heat wave. Back in 2010 or whenever they began to mandate storage I kind of think they didn't expect RE generation to ramp up as fast as it did. But oh well, good problem to have. Sounds like this is a good excuse to go all out.
That approach seems similar to the one we used with fossil fuels: Enjoying the benefits of installing them now while punting the consequences to a future date. Renewables are politically popular now so politicians love them. And their costs are not that high so it can be done at a reasonable price. But tackle the more thorny issue of their lower reliability? Install huge banks of batteries? Double our existing transmission lines? Pffft, let the next administration handle that less popular and expensive stuff. However as the grid instability continues to grow, the risk of blackouts grows as well. If that happens, the public and politicians may start to back off on their support of renewables. Is it not the very responsibility of government to tackle these kind of issues? I get your desire to see renewables rapidly spread. Hell I am even updating every bit of their progress year by year in another thread. All I'm saying is if the very guys running the grid are saying things like: "We should not pull the plug on nukes and fossil fuels just yet. The storage is not there to pick up the slack yet," we should listen to them. No need for renewables to shoot themselves in the foot just as their uptake is finally taking off.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Pops » Sat 02 Jan 2021, 08:19:23

kublikhan wrote:All I'm saying is if the very guys running the grid are saying things like: "We should not pull the plug on nukes and fossil fuels just yet. The storage is not there to pick up the slack yet," we should listen to them. No need for renewables to shoot themselves in the foot just as their uptake is finally taking off.

I gotcha.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 13 Feb 2021, 15:06:06

The brainwashing of Americans to LOVE those gas stoves!

The Nextdoor incident is just one of many examples of the newest front in the gas industry’s war to garner public support for their fuel. As more municipalities have moved to phase gas lines out of new buildings to cut down on methane emissions, gas utilities have gone on the defensive, launching anti-electrification campaigns across the country.
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whales are a perfect example as to why evolution is wrong. Nothing can evolve into something that enormous. There is no explanation for it getting that big. end of discussion
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby jedrider » Sat 13 Feb 2021, 15:10:23

AdamB wrote:The brainwashing of Americans to LOVE those gas stoves!

The Nextdoor incident is just one of many examples of the newest front in the gas industry’s war to garner public support for their fuel. As more municipalities have moved to phase gas lines out of new buildings to cut down on methane emissions, gas utilities have gone on the defensive, launching anti-electrification campaigns across the country.


I got an electric tea kettle recently and a portable induction single stovetop. They work so efficiently and so fast that I think it is no contest.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby NovaVeles » Sat 13 Feb 2021, 20:05:09

jedrider wrote:I got an electric tea kettle recently and a portable induction single stovetop. They work so efficiently and so fast that I think it is no contest.


I have never had anything but an electric kettle, they are pretty neat.

Also you don't have to go induction, even those older heated coil stoves can be really neat. Yes there is latency between control and output but once you get used to it, you can actively work it into your cooking process for even better results.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 21 Feb 2021, 22:44:06

AdamB wrote:The brainwashing of Americans to LOVE those gas stoves!

The Nextdoor incident is just one of many examples of the newest front in the gas industry’s war to garner public support for their fuel. As more municipalities have moved to phase gas lines out of new buildings to cut down on methane emissions, gas utilities have gone on the defensive, launching anti-electrification campaigns across the country.


Natural gas stoves, water heaters and laundry driers can all go electric easily enough, but what about your central forced air heating system? Using electric resistance heat is very energy wasteful when a 96% efficient Natural gas furnace would substantially reduce the quantity of gas actually burned. For other appliances that are conveniences fine, but central heating is very important in cities like Toledo where we spend 3-4 months with temperatures below freezing. Without central heating is is very easy to end up with frozen and cracked plumbing, which is a real world expensive mess when it happens.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sun 11 Sep 2022, 02:45:36

The current EU gas price is 256 Euro per 1 MW. I did a quick conversion and that's twice the price we pay up here in Oz for electricity. Well it seems nature takes the reins again and makes the decision for us. The power of Depletion. Many, TV addicts all, blame Russia for the energy crises now playing out in the EU. But the EU did start it with sanctions, and stealing Russian offshore accounts. What do they expect the Russians to do, give them gas gratis?

20 years ago when the US had mountains of cheap natural gas (Not expensive fracked gas), when the North sea had tons of it, it was not a problem. Depletion. Personally I think the EU nations were happy to see Russia invade, it gave them a cover story to begin the process of powering down their nations. I'm sure they had discussed Sri Lankas dilemma, where their foreign accounts got out of control importing fertilizer and fuels, and decided they had better get ahead of the curve. They would be in the exact same corner with energy in 5 or 10 years anyway.

Gas is most economical for the BBQ I find and that's what I use it for. Nothing else.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 11 Sep 2022, 08:22:44

kublikhan wrote:
Pops wrote:But leaving coal plants running, especially if/when federal incentives expire, would cause a glut and crash the wholesale price of electricity. RE may be cheaper over total life but it won't be installed in a surplus market will it? Ditto transmission & storage, which now is the lagging tech and needs higher price to build out. The most important thing for PO and GW is we get as much capacity up as quickly as possible, even if, heaven forbid, some people are inconvenienced.
And your solution to this problem is rolling blackouts? You do realize that as renewables increase their penetration in the grid and CA continues to shut down nukes and fossil fuel plants this problem is going to get worse and worse? People want a grid that functions even with high renewable penetration. They will not want the "minor inconvenience" of blackouts. That means a solution to this problem must be found: storage, backup power(with incentives if necessary), etc.

Last fall, top officials at California’s power grid operator ominously warned that electricity shortages were likely as soon as 2020 during a big Western heat wave. The reason: The state’s historic shift away from fossil fuels such as natural gas, which provide consistent power, toward cleaner sources such as solar and wind energy, which rise and fall with the weather and the sun. With less reliable energy supplies, they say the power grid has become more difficult to operate and more at risk of blackouts, calling it a “most urgent issue” that “really needs timely attention.”

Wolak, of Stanford, said the state should make efforts to keep gas-power plants around until battery storage technology for solar plants can be ramped up. One long-time industry official agreed.

“Some folks in the environmental community want to shut down all the gas plants. That would be a disaster,” said Jan Smutny Jones, CEO of the Independent Energy Producers Association, a trade association representing solar, wind, geothemal and gas power plants. “Last night 60% of the power in the ISO was being produced by those gas plants. They are your insurance policy to get through heat waves.”
Growing shortfall as solar power goes offline in early evenings

Pops wrote:Generally, I'm enthused that RE is so competitive and is going online at such a clip. 10 years ago, not to mention 20, I would never have dreamed, and it made me a doomer.
I always said renewables would get cheaper and be built in much greater numbers. Lower costs is definitely a plus of renewables. Or rather, one of their former drawbacks, high cost, is now going away. But renewables still have one major drawback: lower reliability. They generate electricity only for a portion of the day. This problem is a small one when renewable penetration in the grid is low. However it grows bigger and bigger the larger the share of renewables in the grid are. That means if you want to maintain high grid reliability you have to use some methods to compensate for this weakness: storage, backup, etc. And there are costs associated with this. Storage currently costs more than the renewables themselves. Nonetheless if you want to go the route of 100% renewables this cost must be paid sooner or later.

I've often wondered about the time thing with backup batteries. How long do you reasonably need them to last? How much over-engineering should you do above that? What sort of thing do you revert to if that period lasts longer than you thought?

How much normalcy do you miss out on because of how bad it can get? Does it get that bad often enough that it makes it worth paying those costs? Because those costs can be society wide. You know, total restructuring of one thing or another. Chips falling where they may, and all that. You can hide some of it by making power plants like defibrillators, able to store away and go to work just like that. You know, modularized. The world is, after all, going all AI and automatic, unless it isn't.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 11 Sep 2022, 08:26:10

Pops wrote:
Tanada wrote:Sure the USA has absolutely dropped the ball on building new nuclear fission plants to help fight global warming, but the USA is not the whole world no matter how full of ourselves we may be.

Not sure what our opinion of ourselves has to do with anything but bottom line, nukes net favorability in the US is about minus 20%. Until that opinion changes not much else matters.

I'm not rabid about it. Personally, as long as they build them over by you and don't truck the waste past my house I'm fine. More generally I like the idea of a distributed network, none of the shenanigans of huge bureaucracies. Buy your panels, hook em up and go play video games. Admittedly I like having my own well and septic too.

PV costs a little more carbon than nukes but vastly less than nat gas. Currently grid scale PV is getting really cheap and storage is falling dramatically, all fantastic news in my opinion.

Image


I hope the nuclear that is in our future is fusion. That doesn't have any waste. Plus, we can maybe do something about shortages of this and that. If we can do fusion, we may be able to make just about any element we need.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 11 Sep 2022, 23:36:25

evilgenius wrote:
Pops wrote:
Tanada wrote:Sure the USA has absolutely dropped the ball on building new nuclear fission plants to help fight global warming, but the USA is not the whole world no matter how full of ourselves we may be.

Not sure what our opinion of ourselves has to do with anything but bottom line, nukes net favorability in the US is about minus 20%. Until that opinion changes not much else matters.

I'm not rabid about it. Personally, as long as they build them over by you and don't truck the waste past my house I'm fine. More generally I like the idea of a distributed network, none of the shenanigans of huge bureaucracies. Buy your panels, hook em up and go play video games. Admittedly I like having my own well and septic too.

PV costs a little more carbon than nukes but vastly less than nat gas. Currently grid scale PV is getting really cheap and storage is falling dramatically, all fantastic news in my opinion.

Image


I hope the nuclear that is in our future is fusion. That doesn't have any waste. Plus, we can maybe do something about shortages of this and that. If we can do fusion, we may be able to make just about any element we need.


Unfortunately the whole "fusion has no waste" claims nothing but a sales pitch with no relation with reality.

In truth fusion releases very intense neutron radiation which is not contained by the magnetic confinement system. These neutron are moving at thousands of meters a second and have a half life of about 15 minutes it can quite easily travel through the entire fusion power facility. As it bumps it was through it causes large ionising radiation effects, then as it becomes thermalized with each of its collisions it becomes much higher probability of being absorbed by air, water or structural materials that are induced into becoming secondary radiation sources. IOW the entire facility becomes a radiation emitting zone where you really do not want anyone alive.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby jedrider » Mon 12 Sep 2022, 16:31:33

Tanada wrote:Unfortunately the whole "fusion has no waste" claims nothing but a sales pitch with no relation with reality.

In truth fusion releases very intense neutron radiation which is not contained by the magnetic confinement system. These neutron are moving at thousands of meters a second and have a half life of about 15 minutes it can quite easily travel through the entire fusion power facility. As it bumps it was through it causes large ionising radiation effects, then as it becomes thermalized with each of its collisions it becomes much higher probability of being absorbed by air, water or structural materials that are induced into becoming secondary radiation sources. IOW the entire facility becomes a radiation emitting zone where you really do not want anyone alive.


So, carbon capture and fusion are just diversions?

I guess if fusion is so efficient (energy per unit investment) maybe we could have just a couple of large fusion reactors powering a entire nation and being largely automated to avoid radiation exposure. Then, when abandoned, would they be any safer than an abandoned fission reactor with all it's spent fuel?
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Doly » Mon 12 Sep 2022, 17:23:23

Personally I think the EU nations were happy to see Russia invade, it gave them a cover story to begin the process of powering down their nations.


It looks like a rather risky bet, knowing it could snowball into WWIII. If I had a guess of why they left it till so late, it's because nobody had the slightest idea of how to run Western economies through the energy transition (maybe the global economy, but I don't understand much about the Chinese economy, so I'm putting a question mark on whether they know how to run their economy through the energy transition). Which doesn't surprise me, because after reading Frederick Soddy I'm thinking that modern Western economies essentially take growth for granted and are almost purely credit-based, but to run an economy that doesn't grow or de-grows, you have to run it on commodity (positive) money. And Western economies seem to have almost completely lost the ability to function on commodity money. I think that the Chinese economy still can function a lot on commodity money, because they often warehouse lots of metals, and that seems to be to use them as commodity money.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 12 Sep 2022, 20:48:48

jedrider wrote:
Tanada wrote:Unfortunately the whole "fusion has no waste" claims nothing but a sales pitch with no relation with reality.

In truth fusion releases very intense neutron radiation which is not contained by the magnetic confinement system. These neutron are moving at thousands of meters a second and have a half life of about 15 minutes it can quite easily travel through the entire fusion power facility. As it bumps it was through it causes large ionising radiation effects, then as it becomes thermalized with each of its collisions it becomes much higher probability of being absorbed by air, water or structural materials that are induced into becoming secondary radiation sources. IOW the entire facility becomes a radiation emitting zone where you really do not want anyone alive.


So, carbon capture and fusion are just diversions?

I guess if fusion is so efficient (energy per unit investment) maybe we could have just a couple of large fusion reactors powering a entire nation and being largely automated to avoid radiation exposure. Then, when abandoned, would they be any safer than an abandoned fission reactor with all it's spent fuel?


The problem with automation is ionizing radiation absolutely fries integrated circuit chips. You can use large manipulator arms like the Space Station has because those are simple switch relays to power different actions on and off. But a robot with a brain good enough to navigate hallways and do maintenance is a whole different level of complexity and even with radio relay for remote control it gets quickly killed off.

Spent nuclear fuel has never killed a single person the fear of it is 99% media hype, not reality. That being said if I were going to build fusion power plants I would put them in deep mines. Then when they reach the end of useful life I would pour in wet Borax salt slurry to absorb any free neutrons being emitted from activated materials and plug the mine shaft down to the plant with mine spoils mixed with quicklime which will set into artificial sedimentary rock pretty rapidly entombing the unit deep below ground away from life forms permanently.

The real issue is after 70 years the best ever power production from a fusion reactor has produced 30% as much energy as it consumed for less than one second. That is the insurmountable problem, it takes tremendous energy input to create fusion and a good quarter of the kinetic energy produced escapes as free neutron radiation. That is why many of the early proposals placed fission fuel around the reaction chamber, to absorb the high speed neutrons fissioning Uranium-238 or Thorium-232 that only fission with fast neutrons. This would make the fissile blanket get very hot and you get half your energy from fission in your fusion hybrid reactor system. Of course that leads to fission products as well as the many tons of activated materials so most designs dropped that idea quickly, but that leaves them with not much chance of producing more energy than they consume.
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