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A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby Simon_R » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 07:18:41

Hi Snowdin

Agreed for Solar, although I was more thinking about the EU and the many mountain ranges (Storage and wind).

Also the larger the area, the less likely you will have no wind at all.

eventually we will need a reliable cheap and compact method of storing grid level power.

thanks

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 07:34:10

According to the report mentioned in this article, it may take more than a century for the transition to take place:

http://www.businessinsider.com/131-year ... il-2010-11

In addition to this, we work in a global, free market capitalist economy. That means it needs higher energy returns and quantity each time to meet the needs of a growing global middle class:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470

It also has to keep propping up incredible levels of credit

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/ ... arket.html

created mostly by the few that essentially control that same economy:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... the-world/
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 07:41:19

Simon_R wrote:Hi Snowdin

Agreed for Solar, although I was more thinking about the EU and the many mountain ranges (Storage and wind).

Also the larger the area, the less likely you will have no wind at all.

eventually we will need a reliable cheap and compact method of storing grid level power.

thanks

Simon
One future prospect is once we have a significant number of plug in EVs on chargers their batteries can be used as a grid storage system with intelligent metering making sure cars are topped off before their owners plan to use them.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kiwichick » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 07:46:10

@ ralfy.......until recently I thought there would be problems transitioning over to RE.....recent reading has changed my mind....just as recent reading is causing me to rethink the future of food production ...

Warren Buffett warns about falling in love with your investments.....sometimes you have to cut them loose
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 08:10:27

kiwichick wrote:..recent reading has changed my mind....just as recent reading is causing me to rethink the future of food production ...


I hope you post your latest thoughts on food production in a appropriate thread here.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby Simon_R » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 08:13:34

Hi Snowdin

I totally agree the latest Renault Zoe has a 300Km useable range (400 on track) we could easily put enough for 3-4 hours of night time use on this.
However
If this is to power the house, you need the relevant inverters
If this is to be sold back to the grid, it needs to be sold retail, not Deminimus Wholesale otherwise the individual loses money, and if sold retail the utility loses
Problem is cars are generally being used at peak and charging off peak, if you had a flat fee to be paid to a driver for ring fencing a certain amount of leccy (leccy paid for by the same utility that uses it), that may work

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 08:24:00

Simon_R wrote:Hi Snowdin

I totally agree the latest Renault Zoe has a 300Km useable range (400 on track) we could easily put enough for 3-4 hours of night time use on this.
However
If this is to power the house, you need the relevant inverters
If this is to be sold back to the grid, it needs to be sold retail, not Deminimus Wholesale otherwise the individual loses money, and if sold retail the utility loses
Problem is cars are generally being used at peak and charging off peak, if you had a flat fee to be paid to a driver for ring fencing a certain amount of leccy (leccy paid for by the same utility that uses it), that may work

Simon

Well any plug in will be plugged in at least 10 hours each night while you dine and sleep plus another eight hours while you are at your desk at work so there will be quite a few plugged in at any given time. Price structures and rates will have to evolve so that both the car owner and the utility benefit from the arraignment which is the standard for a valid contract.
During a charge cycle power drawn from the battery and then replaced before the customer needs it would probably be a wash. There might be times when the utility would compensate people that put off a trip to let the utility use the power in a low production day. The price of that would be set by how high it has to be to get enough volunteers to stay home.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby Simon_R » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 09:31:31

Hi Snowdin

I see only one major problem.

If the grid operator see's there will be a shortfall in the next market day, of say 100Mw then he needs to get this capacity from a supplier, if this will be in the evening, and there is not enough wind forecast (forecasts are down to each Unit and pretty accurate), then let say he calls on Simons Capacity, and due to some clever agreements and S/W I can get him 100Mw then how much will I be able to bill this out for ?
The drivers would need to be paid a fixed amount for capacity, and an amount for selling this, then it would work.

but

Currently each unit has to bid into the market individually, this stops portfolio levels bids (ie bidding for N units)
so to make this work, you would need to either allow portfolio level bids or build a whole new type of market

thanks

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 10:06:16

Simon_R wrote:Hi Snowdin

I see only one major problem.

If the grid operator see's there will be a shortfall in the next market day, of say 100Mw then he needs to get this capacity from a supplier, if this will be in the evening, and there is not enough wind forecast (forecasts are down to each Unit and pretty accurate), then let say he calls on Simons Capacity, and due to some clever agreements and S/W I can get him 100Mw then how much will I be able to bill this out for ?
The drivers would need to be paid a fixed amount for capacity, and an amount for selling this, then it would work.

but

Currently each unit has to bid into the market individually, this stops portfolio levels bids (ie bidding for N units)
so to make this work, you would need to either allow portfolio level bids or build a whole new type of market

thanks

Simon

As I said it will have to evolve and that wont begin to happen until there is a shortage of fossil fuel backup power that can be called up in minutes.
That might not be that far in the future as the Uk is already on a razor thin margin from trying to comply with mandated carbon cuts. Perhaps they will act as the laboratory for the rest of the western world.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby Simon_R » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 10:16:34

The UK is a fascinating case.

Current price is about 40Eur / Mwh that is gas and coal and RE mix

the UK are building a Nuke for 30years of 150Eur / Mwh guaranteed.

There are also a load of CCGT plants being built, which can supply at wayyy less, this is the interim plan.
Too late, they knew about this ages ago.

however what happens in the future when the Nuke is commissioned and wants 150Eur and an independent CCGT bids in at 50 or wind coming in for even less.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kiwichick » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 12:17:41

@ simon r..........or if there is a cable connecting the UK to geothermal power from Iceland......or Wave power from Ireland.....or Solar from Portugal or Spain
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby Simon_R » Mon 19 Dec 2016, 13:37:57

Hi Kiwichick

They are called 'interconnectors'

there are two from france to the UK (normally selling French Nuke Power)

One from Norway (Planned I think) this is to allow the UK to buy ROC credits (Renewable Energy Credits) so they can say they are green.

Two from IReland to the UK and one big one planned from France to IReland

Thanks

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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kiwichick » Tue 20 Dec 2016, 11:50:17

@ simon r....isn't the connection to Norway for their Hydro power?
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby Simon_R » Tue 20 Dec 2016, 12:57:40

what I heard was that the UK wants the Renewables but not the actual leccy, so the interconnector allows them to buy Renewable credits, without the bother of the actual products, they could not do this without the interconnector.
I am happy to be proved wrong though :)
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kiwichick » Tue 20 Dec 2016, 17:24:28

@ simon r ......no wonder there isn't a British Empire any more!!
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 21 Dec 2016, 11:46:37

Great article by Gail Tverberg, on the limitations of Renewable especially solar and wind as it applies to traditional EROEI measurements. I will simply note 3 key limitations that Gail identified with respect to Solar:
(1) Prospective EROEI calculations tend to have a bias toward what is “hoped for,” rather than serving as a direct calculation of what has been achieved
(2) All energy is given the same “weight,”
3. There is no charge for the use of capital.
And other limitations revolve around the fact that certain inputs or expenses are left out when doing a EROEI analysis as Indirect costs, and costs that are hard to measure, tend to get left out
So, in summary if we look at many of the studies pertaining to the Cost/Benefit analysis of Solar/Wind they tend to be overly optimistic because the method of analysis usually employed is the EROEI and so in the words of Gail " these evaluations tend to make the addition of solar PV to the electric grid look more worthwhile than it really is. In fact, the same arguments hold regarding wind energy." Link below
https://ourfiniteworld.com/2016/12/21/e ... isleading/
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby kiwichick » Wed 21 Dec 2016, 12:17:30

@ onlooker....not that I don't appreciate the effort that gail puts in .....but I do find her to be quite negative at times

It's almost as if she expects technology to stand still

Her article seems to try to wipe the fact of the huge investment in the infrastructure that runs our current FF based system from taxpayers over decades from our memory.... most transport and power networks have had at least a proportion of the cost underwritten by governments

and she also tends to fail to add in the potential of renewable energy from the more stable sources ; geothermal , tidal and wave

her argument is only valid if we fail to continue addressing the problems she raises
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 21 Dec 2016, 13:20:06

kiwichick wrote:@ onlooker....not that I don't appreciate the effort that gail puts in .....but I do find her to be quite negative at times


If she is dealing in hard facts that measure the true depth of our problems going forward is that negative or just being accurate and therefor more useful?
I don't know of any problem that got better by underestimating it or pretending it wasn't there.
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 21 Dec 2016, 13:43:40

Yes, I agree with V. I am not an expert in this field of energy analysis and fully appreciate the input of those more knowledgeable as well as links to expert analysis. I do feel that I have adequate grasp of some basic elements. Perhaps the main point is that fossil fuels especially Oil have unique properties that have enabled our current civilization and its support structures. And that no other energy sources can fully replace the beneficial properties that Oil/FF are endowed with
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Re: A Critical Discussion the Limits to Renewable Energy Pt

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 21 Dec 2016, 13:57:27

Looker - Since you brought it up I'll repeat what I just posted elsewhere:

"Gail may be right on point...or off by 180°. But is that important? As I've repeatedly pointed out not one drilling decision ever has or ever will be made based on EROEI. So can anyone point to a single alt project that failed on economic analysis but was built based on a great EROEI estimate? IOW alt A may have an EROEI of 100 but if the project has a poor ROR let alone built at a loss would it ever get the green light?"

And chick: exactly right about govt infrastructure support for ff. But also how Texas was able to build a world class wind power industry: $7 BILLION of tax payer financed grid infrastructure improvement. An expense the turbine installers werer never going to be able to pay. Just as the utilities wouldn't pull the trigger for swinging towards the alts without the consumers, like those in the state capital at Austin, VOTING for higher initial rates with lower costs coming down the road. And now Georgetown, Texas, is the first major US city (50,000+) going 100% green because the citizens APPROVED a 20 year fixed price contract starting above the current rate base which will allow a combination of a wind and solar build out. And the Georgetown politicians were very blunt (as most Texas politicians are. LOL): the decision was purely economic and not motivated by environmental concerns. IOW EROEI never entered the dfiscussion. To be honest I serious doubt anyone involved in Georgetown is even aware of that acronym. But they did understand the potential volatility of electricity rates from a system with a major NG dependency. NG prices might be low now but not that many years ago they were 400% higher.
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