Discussion in 'Energy' started by Shrimpbox, Mar 2, 2019.
Hmmmm….sounds pretty safe.
"Solar is magic"?
Ummm...no. I have experience in power generation and distribution. There is no magic. Save your condescension.
Home electricity producers have a ready solution to keeping excess power off the grid -- transfer switches. If the homeowner's means of production has the capacity to generate more power than the household needs, the transfer switch can be thrown to isolate the household from the grid. Or a switch can be used for peak shaving, transferring the household load to the homeowner's source when utility power is most expensive.
Germany may have to pay someone to take power off the grid, but it isn't necessarily the homeowner.
That means consumers are being paid to use the power, rather than the other way around.
This isn’t even the first time this has happened. According to one of Europe’s largest electricity trading exchanges (the EPEX Spot), it has happened more than 100 times in 2017.
All of this would seem to bode well for German households, long regarded as operating under the highest energy prices on the continent.
Well, not quite.
But someone else is getting paid.
And the whole matter has crucial implications for where the energy industry is going next…
Given the heavy amount of taxes and fees charged for power, the wholesale cost factors in only about 20% of the real price charged to the average residence.
That means that, while the period of negative costs helps, prices are still going up for German households.
That means government is making more money on power than the utilities are.
In the US, utilities are required by law to purchase power homeowners generate. But the homeowner doesn't have to sell it; not feeding into the grid greatly simplifies installation. Paralleling with an infinite bus is a tricky thing.
"Germany has a horrible problem shedding load on sunny, windy days--they have to pay someone to take the electricity off their grid to keep it from melting down."
I know what you meant to say, but you said it wrong. Load shedding is turning off devices that use electricity so the grid isn't damaged by too much current...like not running your clothes dryer on summer afternoons because air conditioners are running the grid at near capacity. Since many means of power generation can't be turned off immediately, any power generated in excess of grid demand must be load banked...something has to be turned on to use the power. Otherwise a generator running with no load is in danger of motorizing...it draws power instead of generating it, a situation called "reverse power". Safety circuits sense which direction current is going, into or out of the generator, and open its breaker when a reverse power situation is sensed. The prime mover -- the (usually) turbine spinning the alternator -- doesn't like to be unloaded all at once.
And while solar installation costs are falling every year, they're still prohibitively expensive. Average cost of solar install: $11,214 to $14,406 after solar tax credits. Call it $12,810.
What's the average household pay for electricity from a utility? $65.33 – $88.10. Call it $76.72.
How long would it take to be off the grid to pay for the solar system? 13 years, 27 days. What's the life expectancy of home solar panels? 20-30 years.
Not real attractive. It's a huge up-front investment, with not much return...and then you'll have to do it all again once the panels' efficiency drops down. And that doesn't include the cost of replacing the storage batteries, which have a life expectancy of 5-15 years.
Nope. Solar's not attractive at all.
That's why small modular reactors are so attractive.
I would prefer a reactor, sized for the city. Give or take. We certainly do not need a 100 reactors to supply southern california.
Okay. They come in different sizes, y'know.
None I think. Why?
Zero deaths doesn't sound incredibly unsafe.
Happy to help you with the facts.
It is cheaper to build nice big ap1000's. Economy of size and standardization.
We have what we need, now.
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