Author Topic: OMG! They really did it!  (Read 4643 times)

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Offline The Electrician

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Offline janoc

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 05:34:35 am »
Yeah and it is universally being panned in France as a PR gimmick by both Colas and the minister of environment Ms. Royal.
 

Offline riyadh144

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 05:46:37 am »
Just a scam, and the scientifically illiterate politicians like it as it gives them a good image for the public around them, no body would notice that it doesn't generate anything. |O
 

Offline DavidD345

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 06:01:41 am »
Is it true that solar and wind combined cannot put a dent in today's (let alone the future's) energy needs?  Won't they put a strain on conventionally fueled power plants in that it takes just enough business away from them that it slices into their bottom line, while at the same time increasing costs for consumers and actually doing little to "save the environment" since the manufacturing process for solar cells and wind turbines uses up a lot of energy while polluting the air?

I am extremely skeptical about so-called renewable energy sources.  :P
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 10:50:05 am »
Is it true that solar and wind combined cannot put a dent in today's (let alone the future's) energy needs?  Won't they put a strain on conventionally fueled power plants in that it takes just enough business away from them that it slices into their bottom line, while at the same time increasing costs for consumers and actually doing little to "save the environment" since the manufacturing process for solar cells and wind turbines uses up a lot of energy while polluting the air?

I am extremely skeptical about so-called renewable energy sources.  :P

So what do you plan to do instead? Gas, oil and coal are finite resources, they will eventually run out. When they do run out, what will you do in a world that doesn't have developed renewable energy sources, sit in the cold and dark?

Sometime earlier this year I had cause to check what Britain's energy mix looked like that day. To my surprise it was 14% renewable at that precise moment in time - much higher than I expected even if by happenstance I had picked the peak moment in the year. As I type (23:42 i.e. it's dark outside so no solar) wind is providing 11.99% of the UK Grid's electricity, hydroelectric 2.55% and biomass 7.29%; so that's 21.83% of the UK's current demand that's being supplied from renewable resources.  I think that counts as a 'dent' - if that was in my car it wouldn't be a dent, it would be a write-off.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline rollatorwieltje

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 11:13:18 am »
Is it true that solar and wind combined cannot put a dent in today's (let alone the future's) energy needs?  Won't they put a strain on conventionally fueled power plants in that it takes just enough business away from them that it slices into their bottom line, while at the same time increasing costs for consumers and actually doing little to "save the environment" since the manufacturing process for solar cells and wind turbines uses up a lot of energy while polluting the air?

I am extremely skeptical about so-called renewable energy sources.  :P
Really depends on the country. The total in the EU is about 8% wind and 4% solar currently. In Denmark about 40% of their electricity is produced by wind. Solar percentages remain low, but the price is also dropping like a brick. Large scale wind and solar plants are on par with natural gas. I think coal is still somewhat cheaper, but quite unsurprisingly nobody wants a coal power plant in their back yard.
Nuclear has become impossible to make a profit on, the cost of nuclear energy went up massively after Fukushima. That new nuclear plant the UK is building is an absolute joke, the contract price per kWh is already higher than pretty much all other sources, and it's a long term fixed price...
 

Online Marco

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 11:39:27 am »
Is it true that solar and wind combined cannot put a dent in today's (let alone the future's) energy needs?

There's more than enough space and raw materials, just not always in the best location.

Quote
Won't they put a strain on conventionally fueled power plants in that it takes just enough business away from them that it slices into their bottom line, while at the same time increasing costs for consumers and actually doing little to "save the environment" since the manufacturing process for solar cells and wind turbines uses up a lot of energy while polluting the air?

I think odds are that in good conditions (cheap land, lots of sun, not Europe) PV will become cheaper than fueling coal plants. Once it's cheaper than fueling it's simply an economic win period.

PS. ignoring nuclear for a moment.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 11:43:22 am by Marco »
 

Offline b_force

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 11:55:52 am »
More than 10 years back I did an intern on sustainable energy (mostly wind turbines).
With every cell in my body I would wish that it would be the the best solution, but it's simply isn't.
I really have to dig deep into my memory, but I have seen a lecture about a guy who calculated on a practical way (so not with best figures) how to sustain ONLY the Netherlands with enough energy.
In the end you would need a country as big as the UK or NZ completely full of these noisy (!!!) rotating bastards.
If I recall well, solar power is even worse.

It makes me sad, because I would wish the laws of physic would be different at some particular moments.
Unfortunately, it's not, and the same is for these solar roads again (the idea is awesome  8)).
Maybe a bit depressing, but I always come to the same conclusion, just put a limit on the population.
Or otherwise it will conflict in some way with the any law/rule of physics I can come up with.

"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Online Marco

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 01:10:36 pm »
In the end you would need a country as big as the UK or NZ completely full of these noisy (!!!) rotating bastards.
If I recall well, solar power is even worse.

Assuming we could achieve the same nameplate capacity as Horns Rev 2, not really. Would take a substantial part of our EEZ though. Would become a bit hard to fish.

Solar power is even worse for us. Not say Australia, Marocco or even the US. With plenty of high sunday desert available. From a technological point of view the Sahara could power Europe, when the sun shines, from a geopolitical point of view not so much.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 01:14:31 pm by Marco »
 

Offline kalleboo

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 01:23:24 pm »
In Denmark about 40% of their electricity is produced by wind.
Renewables like wind and solar can scale pretty far, but the real problem is figuring out grid-scale storage, to smooth out those spikes and supply power on windless nights.

Right now Denmark has Swedish/Norwegian hydro power as a storage solution, which is something that obviously only works for them. Germany is currently pissing off it's neighbors by dumping the load onto their grids.

Stuff like electric cars and Teslas's PowerWall can help, but will need massive investments in smarter and beefier power grids. Then there are lots of ideas like pumped-water, molten salt, etc that would probably work haven't been proven to scale.
 

Offline forrestc

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 01:35:18 pm »
Is it true that solar and wind combined cannot put a dent in today's (let alone the future's) energy needs?  Won't they put a strain on conventionally fueled power plants in that it takes just enough business away from them that it slices into their bottom line, while at the same time increasing costs for consumers and actually doing little to "save the environment" since the manufacturing process for solar cells and wind turbines uses up a lot of energy while polluting the air?

I'm going to address one specific point you danced around.

In the US, the utilities generally whine about how solar is wrong for all sorts of reasons in the context of customer-owned solar, yet seem to have no problem putting up large utility-scale installations to supplement their own generation.

Right now, there are a lot of states which have 'net metering' statutes.   The problem with these is that the utility companies are expected to take excess energy from consumers when the consumer has excess and return it to them whenever the customer wants.  Because the 'buy' and 'sell' rates are identical they are doing this for free.  In this context, customers with grid-tied net metered solar are effectively driving up rates for all of their neighbors since the neighbors are now paying for the infrastructure maintenance that the grid-tied solar customer is using for free.   Even worse, the solar is often generated when the wholesale rates are the lowest, and the customer wants it back when they're highest so this adds more injury.

On the other hand, the utilities are arguing that the excess solar energy is worth either zero (i.e. they should be able to take the energy and not pay for it), or give credit at wholesale rates.   Somehow this doesn't seem fair either.

Hopefully there will be some sort of compromise in the middle.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 02:09:51 pm »
I absolutely loved the Foundation series. When I ran out of those I had to read the Rama series, and of course the Robot books too. It's been 25 years since I read Asimov and I think I've forgotten enough to make re-reading them enjoyable again.
 
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Offline kalleboo

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 02:22:44 pm »
In the end Darwin will be shown to be correct. Even when applied to selecting the most suitable energy mix. All the millions of self interested consumers will ultimately create
a market for the mix of energy that meets their needs in terms of cheap and clean. 
Politics are just as important as "the market". Politics will decide if Nuclear's insurance costs keep getting socialized. Politics decide if fossil fuel providers will ever had to price in their externalities (climate change, wars)

Self interested consumers are extremely short-sighted.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 08:11:02 pm »
Then there are lots of ideas like pumped-water, molten salt, etc that would probably work haven't been proven to scale.

Water pumping stations are quite common and well proven solution for storing excess energy and covering peak needs already. There are several in Europe alone:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity

Two just in my home country and at the neighbors next door:
https://www.seas.sk/cierny-vah-hpp

https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/101940170938291155624/place/ChIJDSuaoXL1EUcRZtaBTm565-g/@50.0854244,17.1794653,17z/data=!4m6!1m5!8m4!1e2!2s101940170938291155624!3m1!1e1

It is not a cheap solution to build, though - you need a space for a conventional hydroelectric station + the elevated reservoir.
 

Offline Barny

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2017, 07:22:47 pm »
I live here in Austria.
Here the Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is called "Speicherkraftwerk" -> storage power plant.

We do have many of them because Austria heavily relay on hydroelectricity.
Austria do have a nuclear power plant like the one exploded in Fukushima.
(But we never switched it on.)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_%C3%B6sterreichischer_Kraftwerke

As far I knew, the first austrian Pumped-storage hydroelectricity was build in 1923 / 1924
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraftwerk_Erlaufboden

Sorry, the links are all german.
But if someone interested, google translate will help to guess the text.
 

Offline IanMac

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2017, 04:47:19 am »
In the end Darwin will be shown to be correct. Even when applied to selecting the most suitable energy mix. All the millions of self interested consumers will ultimately create a market for the mix of energy that meets their needs in terms of cheap and clean. 

If you look carefully you can see the guiding hand of Darwin all around you wherever there are conflicting and competing interests. It is as pervasive as the second law of thermodynamics. And just as inescapable.

An issue that has distorted the picture in the UK and Europe, is the emergence of NGO campaign groups who claim to represent public opinion on environmental matters, but who are actually being funded by energy sector businesses to campaign for the uptake of their products. Fortunately the governments seem to have wised-up to this tactic and are giving these NGOs less credibility. The principle of natural selection will apply so long as there are no distorting factors such as this.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: OMG! They really did it!
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2017, 11:52:34 pm »
Well, the problem is that this tactics works both ways.

There are "NGO"s which are in reality lobbyist/pressure groups promoting certain agendas (energy related, anti-abortion stuff, anti LGBT, religious agendas, you name it) and then there are also the campaigns to smear all NGOs as only being paid shills, providing a convenient excuse for governments to ignore/discredit the inconvenient facts which often go contrary to the interests of the governing party sponsors.

We don't have to go countries like Russia that are doing witch hunts on "foreign agents", requiring all NGOs receiving funding from abroad to register with the government (and to be shut down later) for examples of this. Just look at anything dealing with global warming and so called "climate skeptics". Or attacks on Transparency International. Or many other such examples.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 12:03:00 am by janoc »
 


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