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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 12 May 2020, 14:18:40

In today's news. A 690 MW solar project.
(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration on Monday approved the largest solar installation in U.S. history, giving its blessing to a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary’s 690-megawatt project just north of Las Vegas.

When finished, NV Energy’s estimated $1 billion Gemini Solar Project is set to become the eighth-largest solar power facility in the world, spanning some 7,100 acres (2873 hectares) of federal land and generating enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the region. The current record for a solar plant is 579 megawatts.

........
In addition to generating electricity from photovoltaic solar panels, the project, about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, also is slated to include a large, 380 megawatt battery storage system capable of holding solar power generated during the day for deployment in early evenings, when demand peaks.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/buffett- ... 42669.html
I wonder how the wildlife will respond to 7100 acres of shade?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby REAL Green » Tue 12 May 2020, 14:39:15

vtsnowedin wrote:I wonder how the wildlife will respond to 7100 acres of shade?


What amazes me about renewables today is the obsession with massive. Bigger seems always to be better for the renewable energy world. If it is a race where are we racing to? Do we even know where we are going? I have seen the numbers and big projects are the best bang for the buck and the most efficient but that is not the whole story.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 12 May 2020, 14:56:47

It doesn't make the news if it isn't a new record. If you want to collect enough energy to run all the AC in a city the size of Las Vegas then you have to go big.I can't think of a better location for a solar farm this side of the Shara.
It would take about ten of these projects to supply all of Las Vegas's electric demand during heat waves with temps over 100 deg.F but there is plenty of Federal desert land out there to expand on if needed.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby MonteQuest » Tue 12 May 2020, 15:13:48

vtsnowedin wrote: I wonder how the wildlife will respond to 7100 acres of shade?


That's the thing most people don't seem to grasp. There are no free lunches. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics tells us that. We can only transform energy from one form to another--at a loss of net energy known as entropy. Whether it be energy derived from wind, solar PV or flowing water, it comes with not only with a net energy loss, but at a loss to the systems that were already using it to create the stable biosphere in which we live. Some of the solar flux we receive is reradiated back into space, the rest is absorbed by earth systems from plants to animals and thermal balance systems. We already appropriate 40% of the NPP to human use. Solar and wind just appropriate more of the sun's energy away from current users. On the scale required to replace fossil fuels, it will have ecological consequences not unlike climate change. You can't "pave paradise and put up a parking lot."
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 12 May 2020, 15:33:24

Well you would not want to build solar panels where they shaded your vegetable garden but the Nevada desert has more then enough sun and a bit of shade should be welcome. A lot of desert plants compete for shade so it will be interesting to see what grows under and around those panels.
They have sheep and goats grazing in fenced in solar farms here in Vermont and they do a nice job of mowing around the posts the panels are supported on. That land used to support dairy cattle but with the decline in milk consumption was lying fallow and would soon revert to woodland if not kept mowed at least once a year.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby MonteQuest » Tue 12 May 2020, 16:09:39

vtsnowedin wrote: the Nevada desert has more than enough sun


The Nevada desert has zero extra sun. That's my point. It is already being used. On a small scale, it is incidental, but on a 28TW scale it is impactful. Look what 14TW did to climate change. Man cannot improve upon Nature. The Indian never trusted the "White Man," as he appeared to the Indian as quite presumptuous; a quality they never quite fathomed. How could anyone presume to improve upon Nature, much less, out live it?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Tue 12 May 2020, 17:29:28

I certainly remember the scenes of machinery destroying the desert vegetation in "Planet of Humans" to make way for the mirrors for a concentrated solar plant. The diffuse nature of solar means that generating large amounts of power will degrade large areas of land.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 13 May 2020, 07:43:27

Here’s the point.

All these things are impossible for 7,500,000,000 people. For 750,000,000 people the problems is 1/10 the the size. You don’t have to air condition Las Vegas, you abandon it. Problem solved. You don’t have to gut are refit all those row houses and apartments. You abandon them.

These sites become the mines of the future. Resource depots.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 13 May 2020, 07:52:29

Newfie wrote:Here’s the point.

All these things are impossible for 7,500,000,000 people. For 750,000,000 people the problems is 1/10 the the size. You don’t have to air condition Las Vegas, you abandon it. Problem solved. You don’t have to gut are refit all those row houses and apartments. You abandon them.

These sites become the mines of the future. Resource depots.
OK sure that will work. Now how are you going to remove those pesky 6.75 billion extra people?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby mousepad » Wed 13 May 2020, 08:10:46

MonteQuest wrote:it comes with not only with a net energy loss, but at a loss to the systems that were already using it to create the stable biosphere in which we live.


All energy taken from the system by solar and wind is returned to the system in form of heat at the location of electricity use.
No harm done.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby REAL Green » Wed 13 May 2020, 08:22:25

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:Here’s the point.

All these things are impossible for 7,500,000,000 people. For 750,000,000 people the problems is 1/10 the the size. You don’t have to air condition Las Vegas, you abandon it. Problem solved. You don’t have to gut are refit all those row houses and apartments. You abandon them.

These sites become the mines of the future. Resource depots.
OK sure that will work. Now how are you going to remove those pesky 6.75 billion extra people?


Nature will work on that part so what our part is then is adapting and mitigating this population decline problem. Las Vegas can adapt better or worse depending on behavior but even with good behavior can only do so much. There are consequences all species live with and one of those is succession with those unsustainable being wiped out. That is the harsh reality of life of eat or be eaten.

If you are in Vegas leave if you can. If you can't adapt the best you can. It is as simple as that. Some traps are very simple but also deceptively complicated. The deceptively complicated is often of our own making. In the case of the modern world it is a complex and complicated trap but with simple solutions. The simplicity of it is acceptance no different than an alcoholic and then there are the steps to change. This is a very simple process it is the complex and complicated part that is the problem itself which is the denial of the problem. The solutions are so simple they are hard so it is a kind of paradox that comes with acceptance of what seems so right is actually so wrong.

Once honest science is embraced of BOTH the problem and the non-solutions then the rest falls in place to recovery. A real alcoholic is never recovered but instead constantly in recovery and hence the need for meetings and strategies to deal with the temptations of that old way of life. This is the similar situation of the surreal of embracing decline and general degrowth. The dopamine is there to get back into the status quo so constant efforts must be made to resist this plus only so much can be done becuase the world requires growth to survive. This means degrowth strategies will have to adapt to a world of growth that is not going to change except by collpase enforced by a finite planet. Degrowth at the top will only come from a reactive nature to being externally forced. Very little proactive degrowth can occur at the top. It is the individual who can adapt to a dysfunctional civilization. Knowledge and tech are the problems but part of the solution once behavior changes are embraced.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 13 May 2020, 08:34:05

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:Here’s the point.

All these things are impossible for 7,500,000,000 people. For 750,000,000 people the problems is 1/10 the the size. You don’t have to air condition Las Vegas, you abandon it. Problem solved. You don’t have to gut are refit all those row houses and apartments. You abandon them.

These sites become the mines of the future. Resource depots.
OK sure that will work. Now how are you going to remove those pesky 6.75 billion extra people?


This was the same question back in the 70's when we had roughly half the population around 4 billion.

Back then it was an ideological struggle. There were no imminent threats. Predictions were that consequences of not controlling human overshoot were decades into the future.

Probably worth mentioning as a reminder that for many of us peak oil was supposed to be this king pin consequence, this external constraint that would put in motion a forced cultural adaptation away from un sustainable consumption and breeding. It's been over 20 years and still no clear game changing external physical consequence is in sight to restrain Kudzu Apes voracious appetite.

This pandemic is only now resulting in the number of deaths that match how many humans are born in a single day.

The ground does not feel as solid as it did back in the 70's, the consequences do now feel more imminent but there is no blue print, no instruction manual either from the hand of man or in which way nature will decide to bat last.

We are left at the mercy of an unknown future in how our population and consumption will decline and by whose hand and by what time line.

There is no guidance. Get used to it.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby MonteQuest » Wed 13 May 2020, 08:37:48

mousepad wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:it comes with not only with a net energy loss, but at a loss to the systems that were already using it to create the stable biosphere in which we live.


All energy taken from the system by solar and wind is returned to the system in form of heat at the location of electricity use.
No harm done.


But that isn't where it is being currently used by plants, animals, and local energy systems. It's like saying that burning 14TW of fossil fuels will do no harm to the biospshere. An old axiom in ecology is that "you can't do just one thing." It's all connected. There are no free lunches and there are always environmental consequences of changing the natural energy flows. Look at the loss of biodiversity and habitat loss that appropriating 40% of NPP to human use has caused. Look at climate change. Your comment also denies 2nd law. All energy can never be returned.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 13 May 2020, 08:53:46

Ibon wrote:This pandemic is only now resulting in the number of deaths that match how many humans are born in a single day.

.

Maybe if you assume an under count of thirty percent. (daily world births 383,000). But that is five months deaths against a single days births.
It will take something much more deadly to balance birth and death rates.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Wed 13 May 2020, 09:05:43

MonteQuest wrote:
But that isn't where it is being currently used by plants, animals, and local energy systems. ........


Not really. It goes all over the place in nature, transported by convection and radiation, converted to O2 and blown away by winds that may have originated thousands of miles away; All those entropic systems you mentioned above, on a planetary scale. And the energy that hits my roof cares not at all if it is converted directly into heat or into electrons for my inverters, nor does the little rabbit in my yard which is eating the tender grass growing under my solar water heater.
Fact is, these things occur within systems that are so massive and chaotic, we can only guess at the long-term large-scale effects. But we can be sure that there are other things that we need to worry about more than producing a small percentage of our energy from solar or wind, or even most of it.
Me? I refuse to be the enemy of the better in search of the perfect. I haven't paid a grid-weenie power bill in over 20 years and can assure you that my solar installations have had little, if any, effect on the plants and animals that surround me. Just building the home to which they are attached had a far greater effect.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby MonteQuest » Wed 13 May 2020, 09:18:43

GHung wrote:Fact is, these things occur within systems that are so massive and chaotic, we can only guess at the long-term large-scale effects. But we can be sure that there are other things that we need to worry about more than producing a small percentage of our energy from solar or wind, or even most of it.


That's what they said about burning fossil fuels. Yet, here we are. :roll:
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby GHung » Wed 13 May 2020, 10:24:00

MonteQuest wrote:
GHung wrote:Fact is, these things occur within systems that are so massive and chaotic, we can only guess at the long-term large-scale effects. But we can be sure that there are other things that we need to worry about more than producing a small percentage of our energy from solar or wind, or even most of it.


That's what they said about burning fossil fuels. Yet, here we are. :roll:


Yes, here we you are being the enemy of the better rather than proposing something that'll whip your willy. Do you have any better ideas? What's your plan? Have you become a wandering hunter/gatherer who only uses what can be found lying dead on the ground? Whatever it is, don't burn it. That was the beginning of the end.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby MonteQuest » Wed 13 May 2020, 11:02:32

GHung wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:That's what they said about burning fossil fuels. Yet, here we are. :roll:


Yes, here we you are being the enemy of the better rather than proposing something that'll whip your willy. Do you have any better ideas? What's your plan? Have you become a wandering hunter/gatherer who only uses what can be found lying dead on the ground? Whatever it is, don't burn it. That was the beginning of the end.


Degrowth, powerdown, and population reduction. There are no technofixes, only ecological ones. We are in Overshoot. The EROEI of renewables is too low to support the complex industrial society necessary to produce and maintain them--without fossil fuels. And even if they were, it would merely perpetuate our overshoot condition resulting in an even more resounding correction. That is not "better." Have you ever read Catton? We face a bottleneck. I have powerdowned a great deal, built an energy-efficient small home, and have no children. Mitigation for the individual is somewhat possible.

Overshoot: "The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change" A Review

The burning of combustibles wasn't the beginning of the end. Overshooting the sustainable carrying capacity of the earth was. By the most recent estimates, that occurred when we passed 2 to 3 billion.

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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 13 May 2020, 15:03:33

Reading the linked article I don't see that chart there or an explanation of the methodology used to draw it. The weight of the human population appears to be reasonably correct which would give you about 265 pounds of livestock per person. Also a reasonable estimate. Perhaps a quarter of a cow, or a pig and two dozen chickens or some other combination. What I doubt is their carrying capacity line as the earth has been carrying us it would seem to be far from correct.
I do wonder how they estimated the deer and elk population in North America and their combined weight but I,m sure they are quite confident in their figures. :roll:
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 13 May 2020, 17:30:27

VT,

I’m not sure who put that graph together but I can tell you this. I’ve listened to Reese and Wackenfugle (spelling not even close) the two guys behind the global corroding methodology. They have been very open about their methods. Both these gentlemen note that that methodology has limits, principally they have modeled Eath’s capacity as a steady state. What the can not do well is to measure how much we have degraded Earth’s capacity. The downward slope on Monte’s line. They note it is being negatively impacted in a sever way. Wackenwhatever says aerable land is being degraded at 10 to 40 times its regeneration rate. Which according to him means that fields should be allowed to lay fallow 10 to 40 years for every year they are farmed.

A crude but logical extrapolation, based on just that degradation, would indicate that humans impact on Earth needs to be reduced by 10 times to 40 times. OR our population should be reduced to between 10% and 2.5% of existing. Effie dies could likely mitigate that but the simple output of this logic is...

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