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Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 19 Oct 2022, 12:57:17

VT,

The USA HV distribution system has been in trouble, under funded maintenance and upgrades for a long time.

The USA rail transit (heavy rail) was a dismal mess due various RR bankruptcies and mergers. It took the federal government to nationalize Amtrak and then later to force the commuter lines onto the states in order to save the system. I lived through a bit of that and saw first hand how the systems were stripped if anything of value, right down to the hands off the clock in 30th Street Station, Philly.

I could go on for some time with first hand stories. Unfortunately I could support or condemn either side.

No one size fits all solutions.
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 19 Oct 2022, 13:12:11

Newfie wrote:VT,

The USA HV distribution system has been in trouble, under funded maintenance and upgrades for a long time.

The USA rail transit (heavy rail) was a dismal mess due various RR bankruptcies and mergers. It took the federal government to nationalize Amtrak and then later to force the commuter lines onto the states in order to save the system. I lived through a bit of that and saw first hand how the systems were stripped if anything of value, right down to the hands off the clock in 30th Street Station, Philly.

I could go on for some time with first hand stories. Unfortunately I could support or condemn either side.

No one size fits all solutions.

By HV I assume you mean high voltage DC main transmission lines? They have a lot of trouble from NIMBYs fighting right of way procurement and line construction.
As to the railroads the interstate highway system and airline industries drove a stake through the heart of passenger interstate rail service profitability. No amount of regulation or Nationalization will ever overcome that. As to freight rail service when it comes to ton miles delivered the railroads still beat the truckers but you do have to have enough regulation to keep some robber baron from using a choke point he controls from ripping customers off.
I certainly don't think it has been well managed in the past by either Government or private interest with private interest often manipulating government regulators against public interest.
Plenty of room for improvement.
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Wed 19 Oct 2022, 22:40:52

Victoria sets target of 95% of its electricity sourced from renewable energy by 2035

“One power station is closing, many smaller power stations will take its place,” Andrews said. “Those power stations won’t be for profit, they’ll be for people. They’ll be not owned by a private company. They’ll be owned by everyone. Everyone will benefit from that.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... gy-by-2035
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 20 Oct 2022, 04:22:29

Shaved Monkey wrote:Victoria sets target of 95% of its electricity sourced from renewable energy by 2035

“One power station is closing, many smaller power stations will take its place,” Andrews said. “Those power stations won’t be for profit, they’ll be for people. They’ll be not owned by a private company. They’ll be owned by everyone. Everyone will benefit from that.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... gy-by-2035

Well that is fine but I do doubt you will have cheaper energy or a more reliable supply. Hopefully they will have all those small plants up and running before they close the big bad old one.
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 29 Oct 2022, 08:56:12

It's very interesting how NIMBYism is so powerful. It acts in favor of the status quo. You find it even among those people whom you would assume would be backers of things, except that whatever the issue is hits a little too close.

It's going on right now, in a community, Vail, that is close by where I live. The company was going to build employee housing on a piece of property that wasn't much good for anything else. It sounded like a good idea, until the locals realized it could bring down their property values.

That's when somebody brought up the Big Horn sheep herd that likes to lick the salt off of the highway. They say that the herd needs that spot, or they will all die. There is no way to tell if the herd was always there before the road was built. There is only the anecdotal evidence of some sheep ranchers. All sorts of other developments, like a school, that wouldn't bring down property values went in close by without any problems. Nobody complained about the herd then, or it would have been an understood issue that probably would have kept the ski company from making the offer in the first place.

Now, the town is going to condemn the property, and protect the herd. The NIMBY's win! It's a good example for NIMBY's too because while the opposition is probably about 80% against because of property value dangers they get to hold up the shield of environmentalism. They come away looking all shiny, even though they are quite tarnished. Make no mistake, though, they don't want the riffraff living next door. We pay a lot for the idea of what we think we need a community to be in order for it to work. But life is marketing. The town is a brand.

You see, no one is talking about the correct response. That being that the herd was cut off from easy access to the wetlands that are on the other side of the highway. It would be too costly to expect the company to rectify the situation, by paying for a way for the sheep to access those wetlands by going under or over the highway. It was the collective decisions of the town that made it that way. It was what they needed in order for their young venture to succeed. If they wanted to rectify it, everybody would have to pay. It still might be too expensive, compared to the return that housing for a few hundred employees would provide. The town desperately needs that housing, but maybe not that desperately?

Just ask people to pay for something, if you want to know how much they really support it rather than if they are just blowing smoke. If the issue was a mine rather than an environmental thing, the owners would have to assess whether the mine would produce enough to pay for the sheep, and still make a profit beyond that. We do expect those who try such things to pay for everything themselves, even if they are correcting a problem that was brought on in the name of the people. That's just how hard it is to move from the status quo. That's how hard it can be to move on from the ideas that marketers have laid down, also, in our minds.
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 29 Oct 2022, 17:50:58

vtsnowedin wrote:
Shaved Monkey wrote:Victoria sets target of 95% of its electricity sourced from renewable energy by 2035

“One power station is closing, many smaller power stations will take its place,” Andrews said. “Those power stations won’t be for profit, they’ll be for people. They’ll be not owned by a private company. They’ll be owned by everyone. Everyone will benefit from that.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... gy-by-2035

Well that is fine but I do doubt you will have cheaper energy or a more reliable supply. Hopefully they will have all those small plants up and running before they close the big bad old one.

It seems to me that keeping the overall grid (at a national or wide regional) scale would be critical for long term reliability. It's great if many well funded local power plants become MASSIVELY more reliable than a single one, especially if they can back each other up if one has a problem. But they won't be looking out for the overall grid maintenance, unless some consortium plans for that, charges for that, and DOES THE WORK to ensure that is done well.

And sure, it might cost more. But the alternative of ignoring AGW is going to cost FAR FAR more than somewhat higher power bills (if that happens), over time. It's important to consider the big picture.

It might have been CHEAPER to keep using traditional Freon in AC units, but that was horrible for the environment, so they compromised and sunset that over time. Gradualism is needed for making huge transitions without significant chaos.
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: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby kublikhan » Sun 30 Oct 2022, 14:57:22

Renewables experienced yet another year of record growth in power capacity, despite aftershocks from the pandemic and a rise in global commodity prices that upset renewable energy supply chains and delayed projects. The role of renewables in improving energy security and sovereignty by replacing fossil fuels became central to discussions, as energy prices increased sharply in late 2021 and as the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine unfolded in early 2022.

Investment in renewable power and fuels rose for the fourth consecutive year, reaching USD 366 billion, and a record increase in global electricity generation led to solar and wind power providing more than 10% of the world’s electricity for the first time ever.

At the same time, diverse factors continued to slow the global shift to renewable-based energy systems. A rebound in worldwide energy demand, which increased an estimated 4% in 2021, was met largely with coal and natural gas and led to record carbon dioxide emissions (up 6%, adding more than 2 billion tonnes). Large sums also continued to be invested in and to subsidise fossil fuels, with the USD 5.9 trillion in subsidies spent in 2020 equivalent to roughly 7% of global gross domestic product. The slow progress in energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewables prevents the transition away from fossil fuels that is necessary to meet global energy demand and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A structural shift in the energy system is increasingly urgent. An energy-efficient and renewable-based economy is a game changer for a more secure, resilient, low-cost – and sustainable – energy future.

Despite supply chain disruptions, shipping delays, and surging prices for wind and solar energy components, renewable power capacity additions grew 17% in 2021 to reach a new high of more than 314 gigawatts (GW) of added capacity. The total installed renewable power capacity grew 11% to reach around 3,146 GW, although this is far from the deployment needed to keep the world on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

During 2021, China became the first country to exceed 1 terawatt of installed renewable energy capacity. Its total installed capacity of renewables increased 136 GW during the year, accounting for around 43% of global additions.

Renewables generated 28.3% of global electricity in 2021, similar to 2020 levels (28.5%) and up from 20.4% in 2011. Despite the progress of renewables in the power sector, the surge in global energy demand was met mostly with fossil fuels.

TRANSPORT
Transport remains the sector with the lowest share of renewable energy use, with the overwhelming contribution coming from biofuels.

In 2021, electric car sales totalled 6.6 million worldwide, more than doubling from 2020, while sales of other electric vehicles such as two- and threewheelers and buses also saw significant increases.
RENEWABLES 2022 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT

* Renewable energy installations broke new records in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency.
* And despite rising raw material costs, installations are expected to rise by 8% in 2022.
* Solar is expected to account for 60% of the increase in global renewable capacity this year.

Now the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that record to be beaten again in 2022. The IEA says 2021’s 6% growth will be followed by an 8% rise in installed capacity in 2022, led by a surge in solar power. However, progress has been uneven, with a 17% decline in new wind installations in 2021 offset by the rise in solar and hydropower.

Even if current high energy prices are maintained, the IEA says solar will retain and even increase its cost advantage over the next two years. This is despite the rising cost of raw materials used to construct renewable energy installations. In the past 12 months, the cost of polysilicon used in solar panels has more than quadrupled, says the IEA, while the price of steel rose by 50% and copper by 70%. Overall, raw material costs for all types of renewable energy were 15% to 25% higher.
These 4 charts show the state of renewable energy in 2022
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 30 Oct 2022, 17:00:29

A doubling of almost nothing is still almost nothing.
It will take decades at current installation rates for a significant amount of our energy requirements to be supplied by renewable sources.
Until that level is reached we need to keep all available fossil fuel sources of energy on line at full capacity with as much domestic production as possible.
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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 30 Oct 2022, 17:23:53

vtsnowedin wrote:A doubling of almost nothing is still almost nothing.
It will take decades at current installation rates for a significant amount of our energy requirements to be supplied by renewable sources.
Until that level is reached we need to keep all available fossil fuel sources of energy on line at full capacity with as much domestic production as possible.


Its even worse then that.

While the growth of solar and other renewable energy is impressive, albeit from a low starting base, its often overlooked that the total amount of energy being consumed is still growing slowly as well.

This means that the total amount of fossil fuels being consumed is also still slowly growing.

Image
the total amount of fossil fuels being consumed is also still slowly growing[

This is not what we want.

IMHO its been a mistake to put so much governmental policy emphasis on growing alternative energy rather then emphasizing policies that would result in cut in the use of fossil fuel in order to lower CO2 emissions.

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Re: Energy Infrastructure Progress Report

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 30 Oct 2022, 17:48:16

Plantagenet wrote:
IMHO its been a mistake to put so much governmental policy emphasis on growing alternative energy rather then emphasizing policies that would result in cut in the use of fossil fuel in order to lower CO2 emissions.

Cheers!

Just what policy would cut fossil fuel use to cut CO2 emissions are you considering that would not also result in a decline it total energy consumption and depress the world's economy?
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