Author Topic: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You  (Read 8151 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« on: September 22, 2012, 08:38:21 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--Please read the below article, from the UK Telegraph about how Wind Power is bloody unlikely to achieve any of the goals promised by the nanny state rose colored glasses types. If you believe any of the government claims about wind and solar, I have a badly bent hokey schtick, I can sell you. This stupid evil government interference in the market place has probably held back R&D in "Alternative Energy" more that it has helped it. Meanwhile Frack Gas has reduced the "carbon footprint", which is a red herring anyway, by replacing coal, which releases roughly twice as much CO2 per watt, using total energy analysis, which counts energy costs of obtaining and transporting the fuel sources.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9559656/Germanys-wind-power-chaos-should-be-a-warning-to-the-UK.html

“For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand.”  from Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 1547 - 1616

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Offline tom66

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 08:53:47 pm »
Wind power can provide a lot of energy, exceeding 1 MW per generator with large scale units.

However, it is expensive to install, takes up more m^2 per MW than a traditional power station, and people don't like it (complaints about them being ugly and so on.) Though, when running, it is generally cheaper per kWh than a coal station, the construction cost has to be recouped, which could take 20+ years, meaning prices could be higher at the start.

I'm more of a fan (pun not intended) of it than solar, which TBH, is rubbish compared to wind power. I don't like adding political commentary to the problem, as both sides are in it for the vote, not to actually fix the problem. The Telegraph may complain about the global warming commentary in the latest exams, but global warming is a fact. It is happening. I'm very sorry that people still believe otherwise. This has been known for at least three decades and is accepted by essentially every climate scientist.

I do think wind power will inevitably prove necessary. Even if you disagree on global warming effects, the earth's population is increasing exponentially. It might take 100 or 200 years, but we will run out of fuel.

The part about intermittent supply is very much true and is a hurdle for renewable energies, because they mostly rely on intermittent sources. However, we have for a very long time had a good international trade with other countries and continue to trade electrical power. In addition, I think dynamic demand technology would be a very good thing for the government to introduce, this would improve the stability of the grid. With wind turbines, the frequency of the electricity generated would likely vary with increasing load. Allowing refrigerators, storage heaters, etc. to delay themselves based on grid variation could help stabilise the grid.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 10:01:54 pm »
I don't think the guy who wrote the article is an EE, or has any tech knowledge whatsoever ( tell me if I am wrong) so I will have to regard his article as much weight as if it comes from Fox News.

Quote
In addition, I think dynamic demand technology would be a very good thing for the government to introduce, this would improve the stability of the grid. With wind turbines, the frequency of the electricity generated would likely vary with increasing load. Allowing refrigerators, storage heaters, etc. to delay themselves based on grid variation could help stabilise the grid.

This is the key to it, but as is usual there is cost and effort involved.  Hot Water takes a lot of energy and just managing that can really help with peak load. It is only an extra step to synchronise the demand with the fluctuating  output of the generators on the grid.
The other thing that helps here is having a large electricity grid.  Where local excesses will be diverted to parts of the grid that have no output.

The second way to manage the fluctuating nature of renewable energy is to store it temporarily.
Examples of ways to store large amounts of energy are pumped storage dams(Wivenhoe Dam), as heat in large reservoirs  (solar thermal, or graphite), as pressure or even in Batteries.

Obviously there are major cost and efficiency issues with these solutions but it is ridiculous to say it can't be done or that it doesn't work.

One thing about Fracking is that, as evil as it sounds, Fracking is done in just about every oil and gas reservoir these days anyway. From what I have heard it can be done properly or badly, and there is a big difference between these two outcomes.

 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 10:21:16 pm »
Dear Tom66:

--Thanks for your eminently reasonable response. Please allow me to pick a bone with you on two points.

--1)The reason I mentioned the hokey schtick, I.E. Michael Mann's, now completely discredited Hockey Stick, is because Professor Mann used it to make both the Little Ice Age, and the Medieval Warming Period disappear. The reason the existence of both of these voluminously documented historical occurrences is important is because, if the climate can show that kind of variability well before the Industrial Revolution, then the exact cause of the current warming trend is open to question. Why is it the the Warmers always try to pretend that they are not cognizant that the opposition is arguing about the cause of the current warming trend, and not taking the stupid asinine position that it does not exist? I would guess that is is much easier to trash the stupid asinine straw man argument, without having to account for any inconvenient facts. "We know it is happening" is not quite the same thing as "We know exactly why". Hence the repeated attempt by the Warmers to sweep historical evidence under the rug, I.E. "Hide the [earlier] warming", and Al Gore's famous attempt to claim that CO2 level increases in the historical record preceded global temperature rises repeatedly, when in fact we know that exactly the reverse is true. Given that we have already heard you cite the experts, could you possibly tell us how the experts explain the above inconvenient facts.

--2) You stated "Though, when running, it is generally cheaper per kWh than a coal station, the construction cost has to be recouped, which could take 20+ years, meaning prices could be higher at the start."

--Assuming arguendo that this is true, if fails to account for the necessity, right now and not in the future of building back up supply, which the article mentions Germany is doing massively right now with new gas and coal plants, and throwing in an exemption to the carbon tax for them as well.

--You also stated "However, we have for a very long time had a good international trade with other countries and continue to trade electrical power. In addition, I think dynamic demand technology would be a very good thing for the government to introduce, this would improve the stability of the grid. With wind turbines, the frequency of the electricity generated would likely vary with increasing load. Allowing refrigerators, storage heaters, etc. to delay themselves based on grid variation could help stabilize the grid.

--This seem to me to be so much hand waving, and fails to account for the very real problems outlined in the below quote. In the absence of thousand mile long high amperage superconducting cables, shifting load around, as a practical matter can only go so far. And, we already knew that turning off refrigerators and heaters etc. by rotating partial brownout lowers instantaneous demand. Kind of like in Cowflop Burkastan, only your TV and lights work. "Sorry Honey, we are out of hot water and nanny has cut the power, so don't try to shower up before you go to work, try not to use the Fridge and if you do just leave the dishes in the sink for later."

"The more a country depends on such sources of energy, the more there will arise – as Germany is discovering – two massive technical problems. One is that it becomes incredibly difficult to maintain a consistent supply of power to the grid, when that wildly fluctuating renewable output has to be balanced by input from conventional power stations. The other is that, to keep that back-up constantly available can require fossil-fuel power plants to run much of the time very inefficiently and expensively (incidentally chucking out so much more “carbon” than normal that it negates any supposed CO2 savings from the wind)."

"Measure twice. Cut once"
Norm Abram 1950 -

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Clear Ether
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 10:38:52 pm »
HackedFridgeMidget:

--Your post came in while I was posting my last post. You have said "I don't think the guy who wrote the article is an EE, or has any tech knowledge whatsoever ( tell me if I am wrong) so I will have to regard his article as much weight as if it comes from Fox News."

--So I guess then, it cannot be true that Wind Power requires backup, and that Germany has not set about building 16 new coal-fired and 15 new gas-fired power stations by 2020, with a combined output equivalent to some 38 per cent of Germany’s electricity needs, with carbon tax exemptions for this very reason, merely because the reporter is probably not an EE. Oh well your policy, no doubt, saves you the trouble of responding to any facts that seem troublesome, and it must make reading articles on energy policy easy as there are so few that qualify, yes? Or do you make an exception for articles you tend to like?

"He was born ignorant, and has been losing ground ever since."
Fred Allen 1894 1956

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Clear Ether
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 10:56:46 pm by SgtRock »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 11:14:21 pm »
Dear Tom66:

--Thanks for your eminently reasonable response. Please allow me to pick a bone with you on two points.

--1)The reason I mentioned the hokey schtick, I.E. Michael Mann's, now completely discredited Hockey Stick, is because Professor Mann used it to make both the Little Ice Age, and the Medieval Warming Period disappear. The reason the existence of both of these voluminously documented historical occurrences is important is because, if the climate can show that kind of variability well before the Industrial Revolution, then the exact cause of the current warming trend is open to question. Why is it the the Warmers always try to pretend that they are not cognizant that the opposition is arguing about the cause of the current warming trend, and not taking the stupid asinine position that it does not exist? I would guess that is is much easier to trash the stupid asinine straw man argument, without having to account for any inconvenient facts. "We know it is happening" is not quite the same thing as "We know exactly why". Hence the repeated attempt by the Warmers to sweep historical evidence under the rug, I.E. "Hide the [earlier] warming", and Al Gore's famous attempt to claim that CO2 level increases in the historical record preceded global temperature rises repeatedly, when in fact we know that exactly the reverse is true. Given that we have already heard you cite the experts, could you possibly tell us how the experts explain the above inconvenient facts.

It seems pointless for me to debate climate science; I'm not a climate scientist. If you wish to debate global warming - ask someone else. I myself accept it due to the mountain of evidence, and that's how science works. It doesn't look at one potentially flawed piece of data. It looks at -everything- and conclusions are drawn both on evidence and theory. However, the second point...

--2) You stated "Though, when running, it is generally cheaper per kWh than a coal station, the construction cost has to be recouped, which could take 20+ years, meaning prices could be higher at the start."

--Assuming arguendo that this is true, if fails to account for the necessity, right now and not in the future of building back up supply, which the article mentions Germany is doing massively right now with new gas and coal plants, and throwing in an exemption to the carbon tax for them as well.

Yes, this is a necessity for now. However, such stations do not have to run forever. It is quite possible to switch most -- if not all of them -- off when we are able to support our electrical infrastructure fully. Of course there's a big investment but it's by private companies. They don't throw money willy-nilly at things they don't think will be a good investment. Tax breaks are an incentive that may be necessary in this case, though I doubt it.

--You also stated "However, we have for a very long time had a good international trade with other countries and continue to trade electrical power. In addition, I think dynamic demand technology would be a very good thing for the government to introduce, this would improve the stability of the grid. With wind turbines, the frequency of the electricity generated would likely vary with increasing load. Allowing refrigerators, storage heaters, etc. to delay themselves based on grid variation could help stabilize the grid.

--This seem to me to be so much hand waving, and fails to account for the very real problems outlined in the below quote. In the absence of thousand mile long high amperage superconducting cables, shifting load around, as a practical matter can only go so far. And, we already knew that turning off refrigerators and heaters etc. by rotating partial brownout lowers instantaneous demand. Kind of like in Cowflop Burkastan, only your TV and lights work. "Sorry Honey, we are out of hot water and nanny has cut the power, so don't try to shower up before you go to work, try not to use the Fridge and if you do just leave the dishes in the sink for later."

You misunderstand dynamic demand. The principle is to simply take advantage of the line frequency variations to measure grid demand. Measure the line frequency one day with a scope. You'll find that on periods of high demand - such as a football match or on a particularly hot day when lots of air con is switched on - the line frequency will be a little lower, maybe 49.95 Hz instead of 50 Hz. This variation is measurable and proportional to grid imbalance: the lower the frequency, the greater the demand compared to the grid supply (if provided at 50 Hz exactly.) Currently, in order to maintain the grid at 50 Hz ± 0.1Hz (legal requirement IIRC) takes considerable effort in the form of "spinning reserve" - essentially continuously running diesel gensets, coal power stations and so on, which feed energy into the grid on times of sudden demand. These waste a great deal of energy as they are always ready, continuously burning fuel.

The idea is devices running on a thermostat, such as a hot water heater, fridge/freezer, or even something like an electric oven, could instead a tiny delay, of maybe a few minutes into their thermostat cycle if the demand is low, and maybe run a little earlier if it is high. This would essentially be unnoticeable, but would create an invisible giant control loop, reducing the need for spinning reserve. Most fridges already have microcontrollers and many electric ovens and hot water systems do too, so it would barely cost anything to add in the form of software changes, yet would greatly improve grid stability.
 

Offline lewis

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Offline poptones

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2012, 03:53:42 am »
I guess they don't have much wind in the UK. Texas has huge wind farms that generate power so cheaply there's plans to end subsidies for wind farms. Others are calling foul because the subsidies may slow development of more farms, but what happens when Obama talks of ending natural gas and oil exploration subsidies to oil companies?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/us/politics/obama-calls-for-an-end-to-subsidies-for-oil-and-gas-companies.html

It's easy to dismiss new technologies because of the development costs. Inventing new shit takes effort and money and is harder than staying the same. Whoopee.

http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2012-09-20/texas-wind-boom-threatened-expiring-tax-credit

Get rid of the subsidies, and demand goes down because prices go up. So energy producers are more reluctant to invest in new plants because the demand may not be there. So what happens then? Fewer jobs are created in power production and distribution and every other business gradually raises rates to meet the higher energy costs. There's more incentive for end users to invest in their own power generation schemes and power saving features, so perhaps new markets open up there.

End subsidies for one, or for neither. Let's see how it shakes out. Because right now there are subsidies for natural gas and subsidies for wind, and in Texas many on both sides are making the argument that wind energy is so cheap that, with the subsidies, energy can be produced "cheaper than free." There's still variability issues, but maybe that's just another problem waiting to be addressed by a few more jobs.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 05:39:07 am »
Subsidies are a very bad thing for all, as they are basically a tax on all. My electricity bill has gone up by 50% in the last year as a direct result of subsidies, would you like the same? As a response to higher power prices I have changed to more energy efficient use, making LED lighting for my room, changing to lower power fluorescent lamps and insulating the hot water cylinder till it and the piping are a big green ball.Looking at local storage off grid solar for some uses as well, but hard to put panels up on  a flat.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 06:01:08 am »
I will add that wind power can be very useful. Farmers use it a lot to power water pumps to feed a storage tank for stock water. The tank does have to be large, and you need to have a simple mechanical switch to disconnect the pump when the tank is full. Simple, and a backup of a tractor PTO driven pump is also used if there is a week without wind.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2012, 06:22:47 am »
Those of us who live in detached houses in countries with a substantial number of sunny days during the year,shouldn't be using Electric Hot Water systems at all.

Solar HWS are a mature technology which produces the water heating where it is needed,without any silly Solar to Electrical energy conversions.
OK,sometimes,the Electrical booster in the Solar tank comes on,but that is rarely.
As a test,we turned off the booster,& went through the winter with hot water available all the time.

Another widely available alternative is Natural Gas,which isn't free like a Solar HWS*,but is cheaper than Electricity,& again,is burned at the point at which it is used.
*OK,the  Solar HWS itself isn't free,just the heating,but the first cost is not much more than other HWS types.

The reason why the Germans are building Coal & Gas power stations,is that Nuclear is politically "on the nose" in that country,so they are stuck with supplying all that power which was budgeted to be supplied by the Nuclear stations they are now not building.

As far as the opposition to Windpower sites is concerned,the "it kills birds",& "it makes a funny noise & makes people sick" stuff is the same nonsense that has been trotted out about Radio & TV towers for years!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 07:01:58 am by vk6zgo »
 

Offline poptones

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2012, 07:01:56 am »
I live in a 400 sq ft mobile home with no central heat. Of course I lie in Arizona, but don't think for a minute it doesn't get cold here in January. But my electric  water heater lives under the floor of my bedroom closet and occupies about 2 sq ft. The tank probably holds 5 gal and I have never run out of hot water. What I really want to do is figure out how to attach a solar closet to my trailer to provide heat through the winter. I think it won't take much, all I really need is enough capacity to make it through the night as we have plenty of sun here during the day to heat things up.

http://www.ece.vill.edu/~nick/solar/solar.html
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2012, 07:10:52 am »
Dear Vky6go:

--Let us assume, arguendo, for the moment, that you are correct in the notion that Windmills do not make noise and that they do not kill birds. Would you care to have a go at some of the points that were actually put forward about problems with German wind power, mentioned in the article with which I started this thread. The fact that the new coal and gas plants are scheduled to provide the backup power, instead of nuclear, is way beside the point. The increasing reliance on Wind and Solar have still caused Germany to start construction of backup capacity equal to 38% of the total grid. This negates the cost savings and eliminates most of the savings in CO2 output. By the way I agree with you about Passive Solar Water Heat, it is a mature technology. Payback time here in Florida is about two years, and that is without subsidies. Natural gas is a real bonus in the cost of energy equation, that is why the left is hell bent on stopping it. Lower energy prices mean more freedom and less government control, and it make it harder to blame the evil energy companies for "guzzling obscene profits" to quote Elizabeth Pocahontas Warren. Better to limit the supply of oil and gas at every opportunity and then blame price increases on the profit motive.

"Math is hard."
Barbie Doll - 1959

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Offline SeanB

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 10:17:30 am »
Bobby has installed about 4000 solar water heaters last year in low cost housing ( and is still waiting for payment for them from the originating parastatal) and this alone probably took 4MW off the peak grid demand alone. Not insignificant, though if I want to install I do not get the unit for free like the Jondolo's do, I have to pay around $2000 ( price has risen from original $1000 because there is a subsidy amount that was offered) and then jump through hoops and paperwork to get $500 back in a year. Still worth it if you have a house and want to cut the electric bill a little. Gas though for a cooker and a heater is still popular, as you do have a saving due to faster heating and instant hot water and shorter cooking times. No piped gas here, all in cylinders, no tanks.
 

Offline madires

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 12:31:32 pm »
The story is much more complex! Actually we can't use the full power generated by wind or solar power because of finger pointing :-( The reality is that some wind parks are switched off because the grid provider told the wind park that there's not enough transport capacity left at the moment. Sometimes the grid provider even tries to deny a connection to the grid at all. The wind parks complain about that and politcians are demanding an extension/upgrade of the grid. The grid needs to be upgraded anyway to be able to transport also non-local power, i.e. from Norway to Italy. The grid providers complain that it's hard to get approvals for new lines and that new lines are very expensive. Some local groups are trying to block new lines. Our four big power providers want to sell their classic power first before reselling power from alternative sources, because that way they make more money. And at the same time we are trying to get rid of nuclear power. I won't explain taxes, subsidies, regulation and so on. Otherwise you would end up not knowing if you are male or female :-)
 

Offline madires

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2012, 12:50:57 pm »
I live in a 400 sq ft mobile home with no central heat. Of course I lie in Arizona, but don't think for a minute it doesn't get cold here in January. But my electric  water heater lives under the floor of my bedroom closet and occupies about 2 sq ft. The tank probably holds 5 gal and I have never run out of hot water. What I really want to do is figure out how to attach a solar closet to my trailer to provide heat through the winter. I think it won't take much, all I really need is enough capacity to make it through the night as we have plenty of sun here during the day to heat things up.

A solar geyser at the roof, a pump, a heat exchanger and a larger tank would do the job also. The house I live in got a solar geyser installed and it delivers hot water from spring to fall and even supports the central heating.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2012, 01:15:42 pm »
Here vety simple. You have ESKOM, who is the monopoly. No feed in tariff, no competition and no spare capacity due to certain circumstances. That and contracts signed with big users like aluminium smelters that let them get electricity at below generation cost ( more circumstances not mentionable in polite company) and priority for supply. Add to that supply to other countries ( again with the polite ..... reasons) for either no cost or for low cost and a high voltage Cahora Bassa line to bring in a little power when it works and you have a little shortage.

Thus a lot of demand side management, rolling blackouts that were hugely unpopular, and the rollout of solar subsidies and a lamp change initiative ( money went to China to make them, and the fund is dry, plus most power goes to heating loads as against lighting) to try to extend until additional plants and mothballed units are on line.

Wind power is variable, there is no way that you are going to be able to make a stable supply if there is a lot of it, with it coming in and out rapidly over a region. Grid regulators are both not fast acting ( they wear out and you have to shut down that part to service them, so you want that to be as long as possible) and are one way, they do not work well if the power is being fed back up without a redesign and rebuild. Solar is a little more reliable, in that you can predict the output reasonably with a weather forecast, and changes are slow in most cases.

If you have a plant that is both variable in the minute range, and has a low utilisation ( 14% for Germany says that they are not working most of the time) along with a demand for load that will not handle short term interruptions then you are either going to have to reject generation or drop load at some point.

A solution is to use smart meters and connect the green party members to one, and switch them off unless a wind plant is able to supply the load they represent. No wind no power. Too much wind no power as well ( overspeed protection). All happy then.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2012, 01:22:14 pm »
Dear Vky6go:

--Let us assume, arguendo, for the moment, that you are correct in the notion that Windmills do not make noise and that they do not kill birds. Would you care to have a go at some of the points that were actually put forward about problems with German wind power, mentioned in the article with which I started this thread. The fact that the new coal and gas plants are scheduled to provide the backup power, instead of nuclear, is way beside the point. The increasing reliance on Wind and Solar have still caused Germany to start construction of backup capacity equal to 38% of the total grid. This negates the cost savings and eliminates most of the savings in CO2 output. By the way I agree with you about Passive Solar Water Heat, it is a mature technology. Payback time here in Florida is about two years, and that is without subsidies. Natural gas is a real bonus in the cost of energy equation, that is why the left is hell bent on stopping it. Lower energy prices mean more freedom and less government control, and it make it harder to blame the evil energy companies for "guzzling obscene profits" to quote Elizabeth Pocahontas Warren. Better to limit the supply of oil and gas at every opportunity and then blame price increases on the profit motive.

"Math is hard."
Barbie Doll - 1959


Best Regards
Clear Ether

Yes,Sarge,I'm definitely losing it! ;D
I could have sworn there was something about the birdies in there--I've got "birdies in my head"!

Wind power is not going to replace conventional power,simply because of the reasons you enumerated.
It will,however replace some of the capacity needed,so that conventional stations do not have to upgrade to cover increases in usage due to demographic changes.

Steam type power stations suffer by being used at reduced power,but gas turbine stations are much more versatile,& can be brought on line quickly to replace the Wind Power site's contribution if the wind stops,but,as you say,the conventional stations will continue  to provide most of the load.
It doesn't have to be "all or nothing",maybe we need a lot of sources,----Fusion reactors would be nice,but don't hold your breath!

Wind Power & Solar will definitely have a big future in "boutique"situations in countries like Australia,where fairly small communities may supply most of their power from such sources,with a backup diesel,or gas turbine.(if close to a Natural gas pipeline).
It is any many cases cheaper to do this than to build & maintain thousands of kilometres of  power lines from a major site.

Tidal power has been mooted for many years,& has great potential,but in Australia,at least,the best sites are a long way from major centres.
Germany has some big tides,so I wonder why they haven't gone for that.

Of course,we don't care if you stop looking for gas in the USA,we'll just sell you more!

 

Offline SeanB

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2012, 01:43:22 pm »
If you have to have a set of power stations to back up the wind power you can just run them and lose the turbines. Otherwise all you are doing is driving your car and towing a hummer behind you in case you run out of fuel or it breaks down. Same capex for the power plant but now the utilisation is lower, and most 100 ton rotating plant does not like running from zero to full power fast. If you have it as spinning reserve you will spend a lot on fuel anyway, as it takes 20 minutes or more to come on line from cold. Would you like to be the patient in an OR and have the ventilator stop for 20 minutes while you are being operated on? Would you like to be in a lift for this time with 15 other people? Will you work unpaid overtime at work for an hour or two each day because the power is cut frequently?
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2012, 02:56:59 pm »
Gas turbines are quite fast,so have a quicker time into service,& you can have more smaller ones,rather than one big one.

As far as the Operating Room is concerned,the standby diesels at hospitals usually take less than a minute to come on line for the Essential services. 
We have power failures now,so why would that be any different?
People get stuck in lifts now,& have to wait,or have to work late.
It's not as if we are comparing a perfect  system with a lousy one.
We are comparing an imperfect one with one which may be more imperfect.
 

Offline madires

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2012, 05:26:06 pm »
Wind power is variable, there is no way that you are going to be able to make a stable supply if there is a lot of it, with it coming in and out rapidly over a region. Grid regulators are both not fast acting ( they wear out and you have to shut down that part to service them, so you want that to be as long as possible) and are one way, they do not work well if the power is being fed back up without a redesign and rebuild. Solar is a little more reliable, in that you can predict the output reasonably with a weather forecast, and changes are slow in most cases.

Wind isn't as unpredictable as one might think. A local university developed a quite accurate model for wind forecasts (24h) based on weather data especially for wind parks. The power predictions are so accurate that the model is used commercially.

But wind and solar share the same problem: storage. Since most power is used during the day the classic power plants could reduce their output based on solar and wind forecasts to optimize solar power usage. Of course some stand-by power plants are needed as with the old grid concept. And shutting down nuclear power plants even helps because they are slow in regulation. We need a more flexible power grid supporting a lot of smaller power plants instead of just some XXL ones.
 

Offline poptones

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2012, 06:16:22 pm »
Lower energy prices mean more freedom and less government control, and it make it harder to blame the evil energy companies for "guzzling obscene profits"

Except when it doesn't. Because the energy providers are subsidized by that government.
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2012, 07:17:27 pm »
Dear Pop:

--I think you might have been listening to Elizabeth Pocahontas Warren. Energy Companies do get tax credits for for doing things that the goverment wants, and these tax credits, in the form of 6% depreciation write offs, (most companies get 9%) are a deliberate government policy, and usually have been supported by a large number of Democrats as well as Republicans. These Energy Company Tax Credit bills have to go through the House of Representatives, which in the great majority of years has either been held by the Democrats or held narrowly by the Republicans. The same sort of situation is true for the Senate, except the Republican have held it even less frequently. So these tax credit bills did not pass themselves, it took a lot of work by Democrats and some by Republicans to get them passed. Even with tax credits the 5 largest Energy Companies have, in the last 25 years, sent more money to Washington than they have kept as profits. More like a case of the Energy Companies supporting Washington than the reverse, no?

--You will note, I hope, that a tax credit (depreciation write off) which is given for certain behaviors the Government deems desirable, reduces the tax a company pays on profits, and is offered because the company engaged in behavior the Government wants, I.E. investment in equipment. No investments and no profits, means no tax credits. A subsidy, however, can be given (and in the energy field usually is) given to a company that makes no profits at all. This is the case for virtually all of the current administration's subsidized PV, Wind, and Electric Vehicle projects, I.E. Tesla, Fisker, General Motors Volt Division, and include Solar and Wind Companies that, either have gone bankrupt or are about to, after absorbing taxpayer dollars; Solyndra, Amonix, Solar Trust of America, Bright Source, LSP Energy, Energy Conversion Devices, SunPower, Beacon Power, Ecotality, A123 Solar, UniSolar, Azure Dynamics, Evergreen Solar, and Ener1, to name a few. None of these companies have made any money or paid any federal taxes on income.

--Apple, is larger than any of the Energy Companies, makes a great deal larger percentage of profit on assets, and employs many fewer Americans, yet no Democrats are going after Apple, go figure.

--I would like to hear more about your plans for solar heating, and the general solar situation in Arizona. I am all in favor of small Solar and Wind, I just very, very leery of large Goverment projects, because of the historical record. They have a history of being sold as one thing and turning out to be quite another, indeed.

"He didn't know where he was going. But he knew where he was wasn't it."
Lord Buckley 1906 - 1960
 
Best Regards
Clear Ether
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 07:23:51 pm by SgtRock »
 

Offline poptones

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2012, 08:29:20 pm »
You're kidding, right? Surely someone from the military can appreciate the thousands of men and women we have lost in the decades fighting for oil resources in the mideast. How many Billion a day did we spend in Iraq? I want my money back.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 08:31:04 pm by poptones »
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: German Warning For UK Wind Power or Don Quixote Where Are You
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2012, 09:18:10 pm »
Dear Pop:

--I introduced the article at the beginning of this thread to engender a discussion of National Energy Policies regarding Wind and Solar. I assume by your sudden change of topic, that you agree with my statements about Energy Company Subsidies. If you want to have a debate about the Iraq Wars I and II, you would be welcome, Sir, to start your own thread on that topic. I would be glad to join in, but I am not sure everyone wants this particular thread to go down that line. I am sure that everyone on this blog already knows which side they come down on and would be very familiar with any facts I could cite.

--Similarly, if you want to start a discussion about whether or not we should use fossil fuels, please feel free. The main point of the Telegraph article was its contention that fossil fuel savings due to these huge Government Wind and (to a lesser degree) Solar Projects will be few and very far between.

"If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice."
George Gobel 1919 1991
 
Best Regards
Clear Ether
 


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