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How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby copious.abundance » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 18:50:19

Abundance aplenty. :)

How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero
A key part of my argument for a new Golden Age to take place during the coming Roaring Twenties is that the price of energy is going to zero.

It may not actually make it to zero. I'll settle for 90%-95% which is good enough for me.

Take a look at the charts below.

The first one shows how the price of a watt of solar generated electricity has plunged by 99.03% since 1977, from $76.67 to $0.74.

Just in the past six years, retail prices for completed solar panels dropped by a staggering 80%.

That is cheaper than electricity supplies generated by new natural gas plants, which now costs 7 cents per kwh.

The potential price declines for natural gas from here are near zero. After all, it's hard to improve on the near 100% burn rates you get with gas, and many producers are already losing money at current price levels of $2.68 per MM btu.

Squeezing efficiencies out of our existing solar technology through improved software, production methods, chemistry, and design are nearly unlimited, and are expected to drive solar costs down by half to 3 cents per kwh by 2035.

[...]


I'm reminded of the mural that used to be on the lobby wall of the Seattle City Light building, captioned, "That man may use it freely .. the air he breathes .. the waters of the rivers ... the winds of heaven." "It," of course, referring to electricity.

Image
Stuff for doomers to contemplate:
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1190117.html#p1190117
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1193930.html#p1193930
http://peakoil.com/forums/post1206767.html#p1206767
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 19:04:43

Haha, let me guess could it be because Demand is falling. Nah in the world of cornes no such thing is possible.
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 19:35:07

Haha, let me guess could it be because Demand is falling. Nah in the world of cornes no such thing is possible.


please demonstrate with some data that "Demand is falling". As you have been schooled numerous times here....that is complete BS.
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby jedrider » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 19:53:02

Just in time: We may have to remain inside air conditioned domiciles all of the time if global warming is real.
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby StarvingLion » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 20:00:29

rockdoc123 wrote:
Haha, let me guess could it be because Demand is falling. Nah in the world of cornes no such thing is possible.


please demonstrate with some data that "Demand is falling". As you have been schooled numerous times here....that is complete BS.


Yeah, the hordes of freeloaders getting bad loans is the same "demand" that is "paying" for all the bad loans to the "supply" of garbage solar cells and shale gas.

But, then again, you and The Sockman believe in the business model of Bankruptcy.

When you awake one day to find that your fake digicurrency has been swapped out for another, you'll get your notice to head straight to the coal/uranium mines for slave labor.
Last edited by StarvingLion on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 20:22:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 20:14:25

It's September 16th, this is quite early for an April fools joke
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 17 Sep 2016, 01:59:29

pstarr - There is something to be gained by pulling this thread apart. It's the often misused logic that since some alt method produces electricity X% cheaper then a ff plant there's no good reason why we aren't 100% alt energy. The X% cheaper might well be true...but typically they are using ONLY the daily OPERATIONS costs. Which would be fine if as many alt plants existed as there are ff plants. Hell, why wouldn't you be 100% alt energy source? But those alt plants need to be built first. And that would take $trillions. OTOH those ff fired plants represent $trillions already invested. At the minimum any fair comparison between existing ff plants and YET TO BE BUILT alt plants should have that additional capex amortized into the cost of the alt electricity.

And that's exactly what investors do in evaluating a potential new alt plant. In addition to recovering the daily ops cost they need to charge enough to recover their capex plus profit margin. And that's where such potential alt projects slam into a brick wall: the required price for NEW alt energy isn't competitive with EXISTING ff energy.
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Re: How The Cost Of Energy Is Going To Zero

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 17 Sep 2016, 14:54:10

The numbers in the article are BS. You can't just count the cost of the solar panel as the cost for solar. You need to use the costs for the entire system, which are 5x higher than just the panel costs. The levelized costs for solar are still more expensive than natural gas. Further, natural gas is dispatchable. Solar is not. That means even if solar costs fell to zero you still need dispatchable energy to cover the times when solar output is insufficient. Or as the EIA puts it:

Load must be balanced on a continuous basis, units whose output can be varied to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (non-dispatchable technologies), or those whose operation is tied to the availability of an intermittent resource. The LCOE values for dispatchable and nondispatchable technologies are listed separately in the tables, because caution should be used when comparing them to one another.
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