renewables as affordable as current electrical systems

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Trakar, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Trakar
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    Trakar VIP Member

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    Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time
    Open Access Article
    Abstract
    We model many combinations of renewable electricity sources (inland wind, offshore wind, and photovoltaics) with electrochemical storage (batteries and fuel cells), incorporated into a large grid system (72 GW). The purpose is twofold: 1) although a single renewable generator at one site produces intermittent power, we seek combinations of diverse renewables at diverse sites, with storage, that are not intermittent and satisfy need a given fraction of hours. And 2) we seek minimal cost, calculating true cost of electricity without subsidies and with inclusion of external costs. Our model evaluated over 28 billion combinations of renewables and storage, each tested over 35,040 h (four years) of load and weather data. We find that the least cost solutions yield seemingly-excessive generation capacity—at times, almost three times the electricity needed to meet electrical load. This is because diverse renewable generation and the excess capacity together meet electric load with less storage, lowering total system cost. At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90%–99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today's—but only if we optimize the mix of generation and storage technologies.
    (full paper freely available through title hyperlink above)
     
  2. Mr. H.
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    Why bother? Plenty of clean cheap natural gas around.
     
  3. Trakar
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    Trakar VIP Member

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    Natural gas may emit less carbon per erg generated than oil or coal, but it isn't "clean" and it still takes sequestered carbon out of fossil stores and pumps it back into the active carbon cycle.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Co2 emissions are at a 20-year low in the U.S. primarily due to the switch from coal to natural gas. And the phenomenon was market-driven.

    Can renewables claim as much?
     
  5. Old Rocks
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    Not yet
     
  6. Trakar
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    Trakar VIP Member

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    I am gratified to see so many accepting regulation and a legitimate and noteworthy positive aspect of market economies.

    Sure, and a carbon tax, along with appropriate and necessary progressive carbon emission restrictions and regulations will insure and guide the efficient functioning of that market transformation. (much as they always have)
     
  7. Mr. H.
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    I hope I live to see the day.
    A carbon tax? Why?

    Why not a renewables tax?

    Oh... we pay those folks for their tinkering.

    Funny thing about "renewables and sustainables"... there's essentially no risk.

    And to be honest, here's my quarrel... my father died while busting his ass drilling oil and gas wells at his own risk. Up and had a heart attack. His own money on the line, no guarantees of finding hydrocarbons (this was the 60's mind you).

    No Sanctus Obamus back then. No one to bail out his failures.

    Sure he had successes, but many more failures.

    But his heart popped. At 54. Leaving behind a 45 year old widow with 7 kids aged 3 to 18.

    Did Uncle Sam give a flying fuck? Fuck no. Oil was $2.00/barrel and gasoline was 30 cents/gallon.

    So today we have "alternatives and renewables" with government guraranteed loans. And when that shit goes south the principals bail with golden parachutes.

    If the alternatives cannot survive in the market without government assistance, then they have no "business" in the market.

    Risk and the potential for failure are great motivators.

    Government "motivation" is a recipe for disaster.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  8. Old Rocks
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    H, I understand your resentment toward the no risk aspect of the present push towards renewable energy. However, if we continue on the present path, and the GHGs in the atmosphere continue to increase, we are risking the whole of our present civilization.
     
  9. Mr. H.
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    Ahh whiskey drama ramblings LOL.

    It'll be a good day. :thup:

    Happy New Year! :)
     
  10. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    Natural gas is a viable alternative until the liberals do to natural gas what they did to coal. The movie Promised Land is supposed to do to fracking what The China Syndrome did to nuclear power.
     

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