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Noclevername
2017-Oct-30, 10:26 AM
Quite an accomplishment. Taking advantage of what Moms Nature provides for free all the time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-grids-paying-electricity-customers-renewable-energy-power-surplus-wind-solar-generation-a8022576.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-grids-paying-electricity-customers-renewable-energy-power-surplus-wind-solar-generation-a8022576.html?utm_content=buffer1acda&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

WaxRubiks
2017-Oct-30, 12:03 PM
if only there were an easy way to store wind energy.

maybe if there a CO2 recapture system that used electricity, then any surplus electricity could be pumped into that..?

Jens
2017-Oct-30, 03:07 PM
if only there were an easy way to store wind energy.


I know of one. Its not particularly efficient and takes space, but its used in Japan at least. When its windy you use the excess power to pump water up a hill into a top reservoir, and when theres no wind you allow the water to go into a lower reservoir, driving a turbine.

WaxRubiks
2017-Oct-30, 03:43 PM
I know of one. It’s not particularly efficient and takes space, but it’s used in Japan at least. When it’s windy you use the excess power to pump water up a hill into a top reservoir, and when there’s no wind you allow the water to go into a lower reservoir, driving a turbine.

yes, there's one like that in Wales that uses cheaper electricity at night...not a lot of capacity, I guess, though.

Noisy Rhysling
2017-Oct-30, 03:52 PM
If manufacturing plants used towers to store water in the day time and use that water to run turbine generators at night, would that work? They could use the same water over and over again. Wouldn't even need to be potable, just clean enough to not clog or corrode the system.

ShinAce
2017-Oct-30, 10:12 PM
Pumped hydro is surprisingly efficient.

Canada, which has a lot of hydro power, uses pumped hydro somewhat.

kzb
2017-Oct-31, 01:20 PM
The capacity factor for wind power is 25-45% depending on location.

If you depend on wind power (rather than just as a useful add-on), it's tied on you need significant energy storage to go with it.

Someone told me large scale energy storage is about 70% efficient (the large Li-ion batteries are reportedly 98% but the capital cost is currently high).

Anyway, that 70% efficiency factor means you need even more installed wind capacity.

The plan in the UK seems to be electric vehicles, and the charging points will be capable of taking out charge from your car battery at times of need, thus evening out demand.

KaiYeves
2017-Oct-31, 06:22 PM
Finally some good news!

George
2017-Nov-01, 04:11 PM
This story sounds like great PR more than a fiscally responsible program. The power company's rates are based on income less costs. Paying customers adds to their costs, thus rates aren't going to decrease, at best. Shutting down a certain number of wind units should be a lower cost alternative by far, but the PR gain may work better than any advertising, unless the customers are economists, sceintists and engineers.

I like the idea of using surplus energy to pump water up to a mountain lake to allow the pump to later become a motor when winds are low.

SkepticJ
2017-Nov-01, 07:01 PM
If manufacturing plants used towers to store water in the day time and use that water to run turbine generators at night, would that work? They could use the same water over and over again. Wouldn't even need to be potable, just clean enough to not clog or corrode the system.

If the water tower tank held the volume of a municipal water reservoir, sure. That's far bigger than any building ever made, though, billions worth of steel.

BigDon
2017-Nov-02, 12:05 AM
If the water tower tank held the volume of a municipal water reservoir, sure. That's far bigger than any building ever made, though, billions worth of steel.

100,000 tons of steel will get you a Nimitz class carrier. That only cost $6 billion because of all the extras like the nuke plant and making it boat shaped and all.

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-02, 12:14 AM
what about storing the energy as heat, say molten lead?

SkepticJ
2017-Nov-02, 04:13 AM
100,000 tons of steel will get you a Nimitz class carrier. That only cost $6 billion because of all the extras like the nuke plant and making it boat shaped and all.

Can that much steel hold 10^9 liters (like one will find in a small reservoir serving a city of a few tens of thousands) 100 meters in the air? To generate 211.2 MWh (about 8.8 MW for 24 hours) would require about 8.6 x 10^8 liters to fall from 100 meters.

There's a reason that pumped hydro doesn't use giant water towers.

SkepticJ
2017-Nov-02, 04:20 AM
what about storing the energy as heat, say molten lead?

Molten salt is how solar-thermal power is stored, so you're on the right track.

Torsten
2017-Nov-02, 06:58 AM
An example of pumped storage system: Carters Dam pumped storage in Georgia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carters_Dam)

Another way to use gravity: Advanced Rail Energy Storage (https://www.aresnorthamerica.com/article/4875-advanced-rail-energy-storage-using-trains-to-store-power)

Compressed air energy storage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_energy_storage)

Flywheel energy storage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage)

Excess power production can be taken up by variable temperature hot water tanks in homes. When excess power is available and your water's temperature is in the lower end of a specified range, your home buys the power cheaply and stores it as hot water that you are likely to use anyway. This won't work for all homes, but then no solution is perfect.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-05, 03:02 AM
Quite an accomplishment. Taking advantage of what Moms Nature provides for free all the time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-grids-paying-electricity-customers-renewable-energy-power-surplus-wind-solar-generation-a8022576.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-grids-paying-electricity-customers-renewable-energy-power-surplus-wind-solar-generation-a8022576.html?utm_content=buffer1acda&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

My bold. That claim is false. Wind does not blow all the time. Wind is intermittent. That intermittency distorts the energy market, making coal uneconomic by undercutting it even while wind cannot provide reliable baseload power. In Australia, this market distortion from subsidised wind power has caused the early closure of coal fired power stations leading to a major statewide blackout in South Australia and price rises for electricity across the whole grid.

swampyankee
2017-Nov-05, 05:24 PM
Quite an accomplishment. Taking advantage of what Moms Nature provides for free all the time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-grids-paying-electricity-customers-renewable-energy-power-surplus-wind-solar-generation-a8022576.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/germany-grids-paying-electricity-customers-renewable-energy-power-surplus-wind-solar-generation-a8022576.html?utm_content=buffer1acda&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Nice story.

Maybe the fuel is free, but wind turbines are not free, their maintenance is not free, and the infrastructure is not free. How are those being paid for?

Noclevername
2017-Nov-05, 07:29 PM
Nice story.

Maybe the fuel is free, but wind turbines are not free, their maintenance is not free, and the infrastructure is not free. How are those being paid for?

Don't know. Possibly selling surplus power to other nations in EU? Just a guess.

geonuc
2017-Nov-05, 11:14 PM
Back in the '80's, I had the opportunity as an I&C technician to help startup a pump storage plant in the Sierra Nevada. Aside from plant startups being a highlight of any tech's career, working a quarter mile underground added another degree of coolness (literally, actually). Although I admit when that turbine first rolled, it got a little scary - like the mountain was going to come down on us.

And as cool as the concept was, I don't think it proved to be much of a benefit to the regional power company (PG&E), probably because of the California drought. In a less drought-afflicted area, I think pump storage is a fine option to complement wind and solar power.

swampyankee
2017-Nov-05, 11:28 PM
I know of one. It’s not particularly efficient and takes space, but it’s used in Japan at least. When it’s windy you use the excess power to pump water up a hill into a top reservoir, and when there’s no wind you allow the water to go into a lower reservoir, driving a turbine.

The Rocky River facility has been in operation in Connecticut since 1929 (http://www.energystorageexchange.org/projects/261). There are broadly similar facilities in other US states, including New York, Massachusetts, and California. Kansas is probably not a good location for one.

As an aside, the efficiency of a pumped storage plant is probably as good as batteries: large turbines and pumps are probably about 90% efficient and large motors and generators are well over 90% efficient.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-06, 04:59 AM
Don't know. Possibly selling surplus power to other nations in EU? Just a guess.

Germany is spending nearly a trillion euros to subsidise renewable energy as part of its "energiewende" but even so will fail to achieve its 2020 emission target. The entire claim that wind power helps fix the climate can be shown to be untrue when the economics and technology and theory of change are analysed in detail. If wind was so great it could do without such subsidies.

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-06, 08:33 AM
Germany is spending nearly a trillion euros to subsidise renewable energy as part of its "energiewende" but even so will fail to achieve its 2020 emission target. The entire claim that wind power helps fix the climate can be shown to be untrue when the economics and technology and theory of change are analysed in detail. If wind was so great it could do without such subsidies.
I gather the nuclear industry has been, and is, also subsidised; well in the UK at least. It seems like a non sequitur, to say if it were so great it wouldn't need subsidising.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-06, 01:02 PM
It seems like a non sequitur, to say if it were so great it wouldn't need subsidising.

No, pointing out the false premise of this whole thread is not a "non sequitur".

The utterly misleading title of this thread is "German power too cheap to meter thanks to Wind".

Thanks to what you wrongly call a "non sequitur", it appears a more accurate title would be "German power occasionally makes coal uneconomic thanks to government subsidies".

Noclevername
2017-Nov-06, 03:39 PM
No, pointing out the false premise of this whole thread is not a "non sequitur".

The utterly misleading title of this thread is "German power too cheap to meter thanks to Wind".

Thanks to what you wrongly call a "non sequitur", it appears a more accurate title would be "German power occasionally makes coal uneconomic thanks to government subsidies".

Numbers to back this up...?

profloater
2017-Nov-06, 07:32 PM
No, pointing out the false premise of this whole thread is not a "non sequitur".

The utterly misleading title of this thread is "German power too cheap to meter thanks to Wind".

Thanks to what you wrongly call a "non sequitur", it appears a more accurate title would be "German power occasionally makes coal uneconomic thanks to government subsidies".
Too cheap to meter might be a sarcastic look back to the first nuclear energy experiments but news in September showed that wind , even expensive offshore wind, is now cheaper than new nuclear. Subsidies in uk got banned while more and deeper offshore are planned. Wind varies but it still seems a valid part of solar energy.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-06, 11:22 PM
Numbers to back this up...?
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/taxpayer-support-for-renewable-energy-simply-cannot-be-justified/news-story/1197160afff32ccfb1bf55ea39129820


Consider what has happened in Germany. In a fit of panicked madness, Chancellor Angela Merkel decided the country’s nuclear power plants should be shut down, to be replaced with renewable energy. The plan is that by 2050, between 80 per cent and 95 per cent of electricity will be generated by renewables. The target for 2030 is 50 per cent.

The last nuclear power plant is due to close in 2022 but Energiewende, the name of the plan to transition electricity generation, has hit serious hurdles, not least the extraordinary cost of the investment in renewables, now totalling about €650bn ($980bn).

And here’s another strange feature: renewable energy producers in Germany are paid more than €1bn a year not to produce because the stability of the system can be imperilled if there is too much renewable energy at certain times. It’s so European to pay an outfit not to do something — just think farmers.

Because the nuclear power plants were largely in the south of the country and the wind farms are in the north (where the wind blows), there is a need for substantial investment in new transmission lines. As a result of public objections to these unsightly new pylons, the decision has been taken to put the lines underground — at eight times the cost of the above-ground versions. It is now estimated the required new infrastructure will take much longer to complete, well beyond the 2022 deadline. The costs to the consumer of the German government’s radical policies are substantial. There is a specific levy paid for green energy, and retail electricity costs in the country are second only to Denmark within the EU.

Cunningly, the government has largely exempted large industrial users from the cost of Energiewende. And the absurdly high and long-lasting feed-in tariffs for households with solar panels — does the sun shine much in Germany, you ask? — has underpinned support for the policy.

But the real kicker is this: Germany will fail to meet its emissions reduction targets of 2020, set at a 40 per cent reduction from 1990. The actual figure is likely to come in at 32 per cent. Note that the decommissioning of highly inefficient, rust-bucket factories in east Germany in the early 1990s was a boon to meeting the target set by the government.

Then there is the issue of intermittency that plagues renewable energy around the world, including in Germany. Late last year, the wind simply didn’t blow for several days and a thick fog surrounded many parts of the country. The output from renewables fell to just 4 per cent of total demand. Battery back-up is of little use in this scenario.

That Germany’s electricity system is connected to neighbouring countries meant demand could still be met. Poland, with its black coal-fired electricity plants, in particular was able to fill the breach. But here’s the thing: Poland is now questioning if it will continue to accept wind-powered electricity from Germany because the profitability of its electricity plants is being undercut. There is talk of a block being imposed.

Of course, it’s not just the Germans who have fallen for this expensive scam. In Britain, the cost of renewable energy is still off the charts, although the cost of wind farms, now virtually all offshore because of local opposition, has fallen recently. But the figures are quite staggering.

In what is the mother of all subsidy schemes, the government holds auctions to award long-term contracts to companies on the basis of megawatt hours produced. There are now contracts in Britain whereby producers are paid 150 a megawatt hour for wind power produced.

The most recent round has still produced figures of more than 100/MWh, which is insane. And note that Britain continues to burn woodchips imported from the US to produce electricity because of the supposed environmental benefits. You know it makes sense.

In 50 years — hopefully sooner — commentators will look back and wonder what the world was doing.

Noclevername
2017-Nov-06, 11:24 PM
OK, article hidden behind a paywall, so no way to find sources. Can you provide them plz?

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-07, 01:47 AM
I quoted the relevant parts of the article by Judith Sloan. If you think Sloan's statements that I quoted are untrue by all means dispute them. The quoted text explains that wind in Germany is a giant taxpayer subsidy, for example with government paying for underground long transmission lines at great expense.

On a very windy day wind will be "too cheap to meter" but only at the cost of disruption of the grid, to the point that Poland is considering not importing German wind power, even while Germany relies on Polish coal when the wind does not blow.

Your statement in the opening post that wind blows "all the time" is blatantly false.

The trouble with this topic is that the debate is highly polarised. People who criticise wind energy often stray into climate denial, but still make valid points about the weak economics of wind, for example at this blog, Climate and energy news from Germany in English - by Pierre L. Gosselin (Have a look at http://notrickszone.com/2016/05/03/unsustainable-folly-cost-of-germanys-energiewende-to-soar-to-e31-billion-in-2016-alone/#sthash.WBZ3HN7k.dpbs).

swampyankee
2017-Nov-07, 01:54 AM
Germany is spending nearly a trillion euros to subsidise renewable energy as part of its "energiewende" but even so will fail to achieve its 2020 emission target. The entire claim that wind power helps fix the climate can be shown to be untrue when the economics and technology and theory of change are analysed in detail. If wind was so great it could do without such subsidies.

Coal is also subsidized, at least in the US.

profloater
2017-Nov-07, 11:21 AM
The UK example is that in the latest round subsidies were cut because wind installation has got much cheaper. The point is that the high subsidies were to encourage development and to meet targets. Just like electric cars. The policy seems to be working, wind and solar are accelerating towards a no subsidy future to reduce carbon emissions. Yes its an expensive process but that's the way with investment, just look at China, recently opening coal stations every week, now closing them and becoming the world leader in solar. There's hope, maybe?

profloater
2017-Nov-07, 11:32 AM
further notes from UK experience. two decades ago wind was hampered by having to show a short term payback, while the life of modern wind turbines is very long, longer than a nuclear plant. The long term view shows that wind is sustainable if the design allows long life. The thing for wind in UK is that strong winds are found offshore while on land you get complaints and less wind. UK and Scandinavia now putting wind in one km depths offshore. These may have 30 or even 100 year lifespans if maintained thanks to generator innovation. By chance rather than design they also protect fish because boats have a big exclusion zone, and that is a very good thing too. studies have shown rapid adoption of the rigs by many species of fish forming a natural reservoir for keeping the oceans stocked. Around me we see acres of solar (PV) farms now, the change is coming rather fast and good thing too.

profloater
2017-Nov-07, 11:34 AM
this is a link to the financal times September about wind
https://www.ft.com/content/77563334-9484-11e7-a9e6-11d2f0ebb7f0
oh sorry there's a new paywall, I forgot. It can be reached, I found, by searching "UK wind subsidies"

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-07, 11:35 AM
The UK example is that in the latest round subsidies were cut because wind installation has got much cheaper. The point is that the high subsidies were to encourage development and to meet targets. Just like electric cars. The policy seems to be working, wind and solar are accelerating towards a no subsidy future to reduce carbon emissions. Yes its an expensive process but that's the way with investment, just look at China, recently opening coal stations every week, now closing them and becoming the world leader in solar. There's hope, maybe?

yes, I think this planet is more robust than a lot of people think. With enough investment in renewable technology, the future could at least be secure for a few more hundred years; thousand even...we might find ways to sequester CO2, so even climate change could be reversed, and mitigate sea-level rises.
Also we make find ways to push recycling closer to 100%, so we don't have to run out of resources.

Helium gas as a finite and dwindling resource may be another matter though.

then all we have to worry about is plague, war and famine....:)

Noclevername
2017-Nov-07, 06:10 PM
If you think Sloan's statements that I quoted are untrue by all means dispute them.


Without sources, how can I? She could be making it up out of whole cloth for all I know.


Your statement in the opening post that wind blows "all the time" is blatantly false.

Germany has wind turbines all over. If it's not blowing in one part of the country, it will be somewhere else.
Total windlessness over their whole grid at once seems unlikely. Especially since they also have Solar.

Why do you seem so dead set against Windpower?

Noclevername
2017-Nov-07, 06:14 PM
Wind is everywhere there's air, and wind generators can be made from an old bicycle...
A good "starter set" for energy.
https://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind

profloater
2017-Nov-07, 07:18 PM
at a local level wind also takes out energy reducing the wind! Not yet significant globally but measurable locally. It is also harvesting from a wider area than a PV station and can be used locally as well as a grid connection. When we also add a good storage system the whole picture looks rather promising as the demand will also drop as we improve our built environment and transport energy needs. I also am surprised at Robert Tulip's antipathy to wind. They are so beautiful too!

danscope
2017-Nov-07, 08:55 PM
We ' Should ' appreciate the good, clean, technical jobs that wind power generates , and the dollars that remain on our own shores and the internal wealth generated for our economy.
THAT is a very good thing indeed.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-08, 01:25 AM
Without sources, how can I? She could be making it up out of whole cloth for all I know.



Germany has wind turbines all over. If it's not blowing in one part of the country, it will be somewhere else.
Total windlessness over their whole grid at once seems unlikely. Especially since they also have Solar.

Why do you seem so dead set against Windpower?

I linked to a blog that presents a contrast to the ideological fervour in favour of wind, which you could review if you were genuinely interested in whether Judith Sloan is lying. I am not at all dead set against wind power, I just reject the false and dangerous argument that subsidising wind helps at all to stabilise the climate. All emission reduction planned at Paris would only remove 1% of added carbon, meaning emission reduction is a completely pointless gesture as far as the real security risks such as ocean stratification from global warming are concerned. The only way to stabilise the climate is to remove carbon from the air, but carbon removal investment is crowded out by the fervent ideological support for wind and solar and the demonising of coal.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-08, 01:28 AM
We ' Should ' appreciate the good, clean, technical jobs that wind power generates , and the dollars that remain on our own shores and the internal wealth generated for our economy.
THAT is a very good thing indeed.

Yes, innovation is good to reduce pollution and provide cheap electricity, but we should stop pretending that wind power has any connection to stopping global warming. It doesn't.

VQkr
2017-Nov-08, 05:21 AM
Molten salt is how solar-thermal power is stored, so you're on the right track.

You run into that pesky 2nd law of thermodynamics when turning work into heat and back into work. Storing solar heat in molten salt is fine because it was heat anyways, but photovoltaics or wind energy that are stored as heat can only get the Carnot efficiency back. A heat reservoir at 550C and 25C cold sink equates to a 64% ideal efficiency.

Moving the heat with a heat pump rather than a resistance heater could work, but might not scale as well as hydro storage does.

profloater
2017-Nov-08, 09:16 AM
Yes, innovation is good to reduce pollution and provide cheap electricity, but we should stop pretending that wind power has any connection to stopping global warming. It doesn't.

that is a strange attitude! switching energy production from carbon to solar is kind of central to the lowering CO2 argument. Are you against PV and wave power too? Or is your point that wind is a small sector?

profloater
2017-Nov-08, 09:19 AM
You run into that pesky 2nd law of thermodynamics when turning work into heat and back into work. Storing solar heat in molten salt is fine because it was heat anyways, but photovoltaics or wind energy that are stored as heat can only get the Carnot efficiency back. A heat reservoir at 550C and 25C cold sink equates to a 64% ideal efficiency.

Moving the heat with a heat pump rather than a resistance heater could work, but might not scale as well as hydro storage does.

yes but a major use of heat storage is in coping with the heat cycle of the seasons for houses. That does not need the work conversion.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-08, 11:20 AM
that is a strange attitude! switching energy production from carbon to solar is kind of central to the lowering CO2 argument. Are you against PV and wave power too? Or is your point that wind is a small sector?

I am not against wind or solar or wave power. They are excellent technologies for economic and social benefits, but the perverse situation in world policy today is that these technologies actually harm the climate. The harm is how the focus on decarbonisation crowds out research and development of feasible climate protection technology based on carbon removal.

Consider what your phrase "lowering CO2" means. Humans add ten cubic kilometres of carbon to the air every year. Wind and solar do almost nothing to remove that added carbon, except by stoking an unwinnable conflict with the fossil fuel industry. The Paris prognosis is a reduction of emissions by 2030 of between 1-10% as shown in this graph (http://www.bitsofscience.org/wordpress-3.0.1/wordpress/images/2015/09/emission-targets-2030-paris.png).

Business as usual is 60-62 gigatonnes of CO2e by 2030, and the Paris pledges only reduce that to 55-59 gigatonnes. Considering the megastorms and extinctions now happening with around 50 GT, we should forget the whole decarbonisation line and instead opt for direct carbon removal.

The net requirement to prevent catastrophe is an immediate Manhattan Project type of focus on carbon removal at mega scale, double total emissions. Not only is the Paris prognosis not good enough, it is largely spin and lies anyway, and it is the central security problem facing the world.

Far better to cooperate with the fossil fuel industry on ways to remove the excess carbon from the air and sea directly, and abandon the unfeasible strategy of ending fossil fuel use. Pretending that wind and solar help the climate is like saying how much you like the emperor's new clothes.

Sanitation was implemented by removing the emitted waste, not by reducing waste emission. The same simple logic applies to climate.

profloater
2017-Nov-08, 01:18 PM
OK and you were earlier hoping to use algal mass carbon capture? I remember the scheme you proposed.
On the percentage point, the CO2 stands at 404ppm I believe up from 400, that's 1%, in round numbers anyway, so actually 1% is not insignificant.
I do agree with you that ocean acidification is probably the most urgent problem we have right now. It does not get enough attention.
so the natural raining out of CO2 is already a problem.
Is your proposed solution still algae in some form?

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-08, 01:33 PM
the CO2 stands at 404ppm I believe up from 400, that's 1%, in round numbers anyway,

The 1% of CO2 affected by emission reduction plans is a rounded fraction of the 60 GT of expected CO2e human emissions, ie around one gigatonne, and is not a fraction of the total stock of carbon in the air. Cutting the carbon stock from 404 to 400 ppm would require removal of 200% of emissions, not the 1% Paris could give. Actually cutting the carbon stock would only be possible if the world invested in research and development of suitable technology. Certainly wind and solar do nothing for that objective, despite the massive public investment in them.

profloater
2017-Nov-08, 02:16 PM
The 1% of CO2 affected by emission reduction plans is a rounded fraction of the 60 GT of expected CO2e human emissions, ie around one gigatonne, and is not a fraction of the total stock of carbon in the air. Cutting the carbon stock from 404 to 400 ppm would require removal of 200% of emissions, not the 1% Paris could give. Actually cutting the carbon stock would only be possible if the world invested in research and development of suitable technology. Certainly wind and solar do nothing for that objective, despite the massive public investment in them.

Well then we are in trouble if you are right because even the Paris accord with a few good USA states is as good as we will get for a while. My view for a long time has been that we should start to adapt, even moving cities is going to be a cheaper alternative than hoping for a CO2 scrubber or doing nothing. Rebuilding cities is actually very good for GDP, a rather strange statistic, but hurricanes and floods will support my view. Pity about the fish, I guess everybody watched "the end of the line" by now?

VQkr
2017-Nov-09, 08:02 PM
yes but a major use of heat storage is in coping with the heat cycle of the seasons for houses. That does not need the work conversion.

We were talking about power production. Agreed that thermal storage has many good applications unrelated to power.

Noclevername
2017-Nov-10, 08:53 AM
I linked to a blog that presents a contrast to the ideological fervour in favour of wind, which you could review if you were genuinely interested in whether Judith Sloan is lying. I am not at all dead set against wind power, I just reject the false and dangerous argument that subsidising wind helps at all to stabilise the climate. All emission reduction planned at Paris would only remove 1% of added carbon, meaning emission reduction is a completely pointless gesture as far as the real security risks such as ocean stratification from global warming are concerned. The only way to stabilise the climate is to remove carbon from the air, but carbon removal investment is crowded out by the fervent ideological support for wind and solar and the demonising of coal.

I said nothing about the climate. Why drag it into this discussion?

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-10, 09:21 AM
any carbon re-capture system will need power, and wind or solar seem like they might be able to do it. It will need doing on a massive scale.

danscope
2017-Nov-10, 09:04 PM
And then.....there are trees. Plant some trees. Honour them, protect them. Plant walnut trees and get a lovely bonus in beautiful wood . This is carbon sequestering at it's best. And you get oxygen as a bonus. These are good things. And it isn't rocket science.

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-11, 12:59 AM
And then.....there are trees. Plant some trees. Honour them, protect them. Plant walnut trees and get a lovely bonus in beautiful wood . This is carbon sequestering at it's best. And you get oxygen as a bonus. These are good things. And it isn't rocket science.

yes, but we need land to grow food for animals apparently...I'm not sure but I would assume that deforestation outstrips the replanting of trees, at present.

Solfe
2017-Nov-11, 04:04 AM
Downtown Buffalo has Steel Winds, a series of 14 wind turbines that generate 35MW. There are two things that are interesting about it. First, was built on top of brown space from the old Bethlehem Steel plant. This used existing roads and equipment to reduce the cost.

The other fascinating thing is, they are hard to pick out the skyline. I took this picture (below) because I could see the blades turning in the distance. But when I got home, I realized I couldn't see the towers in the image. I thought it was cool anyway a put some digital blur and effects on it. Sorry, I didn't save the original, but the mills on on the left side, at the edge of the river and I believe there are 3 or 4 in this shot. I can't even begin to guess where they are myself.

22758

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-11, 08:19 AM
I said nothing about the climate. Why drag it into this discussion?

My apologies, when you said the headline "renewable energy generation creates huge power surplus" is "quite an accomplishment. Taking advantage of what Moms Nature provides for free all the time", I thought arguments that wind power is a key to economic decarbonisation (https://windeurope.org/newsroom/press-releases/electrification-and-clean-hydrogen-key-to-decarbonising-economies/) were somehow relevant.

Noclevername
2017-Nov-15, 08:06 AM
My apologies, when you said the headline "renewable energy generation creates huge power surplus" is "quite an accomplishment. Taking advantage of what Moms Nature provides for free all the time", I thought arguments that wind power is a key to economic decarbonisation (https://windeurope.org/newsroom/press-releases/electrification-and-clean-hydrogen-key-to-decarbonising-economies/) were somehow relevant.

Nope. I meant what I said & nothing else.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-15, 12:32 PM
Nope. I meant what I said & nothing else.

Now I am perplexed. You state this high level of wind power provided on one windy day is "quite an accomplishment", even though Germany's massive wind subsidies disrupt Europe's grid stability, divert investment from more effective methods to achieve climate stability and are solely justified by unfeasible arguments for economic decarbonisation.

The fact that wind may blow all the time at the South Pole does not justify your 'all the time' claim about Germany. As I pointed out, sometimes Germany's extensive wind power assets deliver no power. The intermittency problem for wind is a serious constraint to its economic viability since it means backup must sit idle to ensure reliable power.

Climate science is entirely relevant to whether or not wind power is "quite an accomplishment". Such nonsense about wind is precisely why the Paris 1.5 aspiration faces such dangerous head winds.

BigDon
2017-Nov-17, 06:37 PM
And then.....there are trees. Plant some trees. Honour them, protect them. Plant walnut trees and get a lovely bonus in beautiful wood . This is carbon sequestering at it's best. And you get oxygen as a bonus. These are good things. And it isn't rocket science.

It also isn't carbon sequestering...

Didn't somebody point out recently that two coal miners produce as much energy as 80 wind farmers?

(And that some moron had to be smacked down for trying to spin that as a win for wind farming?)

Ara Pacis
2017-Nov-17, 10:26 PM
If you dig deep enough, you'll find subsidies for all forms of energy, either direct or indirect. You'll also find burdens put in place that limit other technology, directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, people - knowledgeable and otherwise - get hung up on unrelated comparisons, false equivalencies, groupthink, and sunk cost.

Solfe
2017-Nov-17, 10:54 PM
I used to work at power company in Western New York. The subsidies appear everywhere and are done to an extent that even a company employee can't really categorize/qualify it. At the top levels, I am sure there is someone that can, but down in the ranks it is too messy to even begin to approach.

What is interesting in Western New York is that some of the fees collected by power companies are used to subsidize school districts and city/town activities, programs or projects. These fees are based on rate. So subsidized rates are subject to a percentage based fee to subsidized non-energy related activities. That gets very weird. This is from the distribution point, so your supplier doesn't really factor into end user cost.

ShinAce
2017-Nov-18, 04:58 AM
Without sources, how can I?

I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but this is what libraries are for. I chose to compare the state of affairs concerning the dependency of water and energy in Texas vs California as a paper in Uni. Another paper for the same course was concerning energy storage. Long story short, the problem with wind is that it relies on having the ability to dump large amounts of intermittent surplus power precisely because energy storage isn't economical. Wind is NOT baseline power.

If wind was so amazing, why wouldn't some savvy entrepreneur implement it and make a fortune? Why is it nearly always implemented by heavy government subsidies and tinkerers?

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-18, 09:05 AM
The world's biggest lithium battery farm The plant in the US state of California stores enough energy to power 20,000 homes for four hours.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-42021353/the-world-s-biggest-lithium-battery-farm?ocid=socialflow_twitter

that's a lot of battery for just 20,000 homes, for just four hours.

profloater
2017-Nov-18, 05:55 PM
I believe no wind enthusiast would claim wind as a total solution to solar energy capture but at the present level of technology it is part of the solution and as has been said it does not take CO2 out. As it happens solar PV has advanced in strides becoming cheaper and has at least predictable cyclic performance. Wind however can be placed in locations where panels are inconvenient. The technology is maturing and has the potential to greatly reduce fossil fuel burning. I hope we also see modern sail power ships too, the technology there has been demonstrated also. A rapid adoption of these solar technologies will make a difference to the long term future and is not really diverting funds from carbon capture. It's a different issue for sure. Battery storage is going to be the key technology for solar and I see a great future for pumped electrolyte systems where the energy is stored in bulk as liquids. Vanadium has been used but there are no doubt other valency switching elements that can be exploited. Solar has been the promised source all my career but only now can we say that has become technically true. The technology is surely unstoppable now.

SkepticJ
2017-Nov-19, 03:20 AM
Didn't somebody point out recently that two coal miners produce as much energy as 80 wind farmers?

(And that some moron had to be smacked down for trying to spin that as a win for wind farming?)

If they did, they were engaging in some completely specious comparative analysis. What, do the two coal miners eat the coal and supply electricity directly to the grid? Coal is transported by freight train (people run, fuel* and maintain trains and the rail network) to coal-fired power plants (staffed by numerous people who run and maintain the plant). *Diesel, which adds yet more people to transport and make it from crude oil.

Plus, of course, fossil fuels are finite resources; even if burning them didn't have deleterious effects, we'd have to transition to solar, nuclear, wind, etc. within a century or two.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-19, 06:35 AM
If they did, they were engaging in some completely specious comparative analysis. What, do the two coal miners eat the coal and supply electricity directly to the grid?

It might help, SkepticJ, if you wish to call something "completely specious", that you employ a more relevant critique than asking about eating coal.

WaxRubiks
2017-Nov-19, 07:22 AM
some people do eat coal, I think it is called pica, they also eat other non-food stuff, like paper......don't think they generate electricity....

I think a comparison would only be specious if it were deployed with the expectation of being believed...

Ara Pacis
2017-Nov-20, 04:32 AM
Once we have automation problems solved, zero people will produce more energy than everybody.

Of course, shortly after that achievement, the need for energy will plummet since everybody won't be able to afford it as they no longer have jobs. Because psychology of earning.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-20, 05:00 AM
a comparison would only be specious if it were deployed with the expectation of being believed...Yes, and explaining facts was the point of the comment comparing coal and wind that was wrongly called specious. I have noticed that many advocates of renewable energy seem to think that mockery is a good substitute for reasoned debate.

profloater
2017-Nov-20, 12:08 PM
Yes, and explaining facts was the point of the comment comparing coal and wind that was wrongly called specious. I have noticed that many advocates of renewable energy seem to think that mockery is a good substitute for reasoned debate.

I find there is the opposite too, renewables get a lot of mockery and fake news. But that is changing now, the climate of debate is swinging. There is an article in the current BBC Focus magazine about the risk psychology of people living in potential hazard. It suggests a 20 year period i.e. a generation. Big but rare risks like earthquakes, meteors, volcanos, fade in 20 years. Much lower dangers that occur often stay in mind. From that point of view the current dangers long term, like end of this century, do not excite people nor their politicians. So I do think we have a problem. But we will pass it on to the next generation, probably.

Solfe
2017-Nov-23, 03:38 AM
My dad used to work at a coal fired plant. His take on it was rather unusual. He felt that coal got a bad rap because it requires either dangerous underground mining or yanking to the top off a mountain, it can spew things into the air that cause horrible problems hundreds of miles downwind AND it hardly impacts the environment in the place that it is used.

I honestly don't think he was commenting on coal at all. I think he was commenting on people.

He also has a skit about how much his back hurt because we kids left the lights on when they weren't needed. "You think electricity makes itself?" He'd bike 10 miles to work instead of driving. The dissonance was almost too much to process...

Noclevername
2017-Nov-24, 01:00 AM
I started this thread because I saw a story that I had no reason to think was a lie, that seemed to tell of something good happening in the world.

Obviously I was too optimistic. Sorry, won't happen again.

Robert Tulip
2017-Nov-24, 02:53 AM
I started this thread because I saw a story that I had no reason to think was a lie, that seemed to tell of something good happening in the world.

Obviously I was too optimistic. Sorry, won't happen again.

I haven't seen anyone suggest the story was a lie. My criticism of it was rather that the thinking about climate change and economics that underpins the story involves some scientific errors. I hope that is a constructive and useful point to make. I welcomed you raising this, especially seeing as there is so little real debate about solutions to climate change.