Skip to comments.Renewable Energy Hits the Wall
Posted on 08/17/2019 7:13:58 AM PDT by george76
If the official definitions of renewable energy were logical, renewable energy would be defined as energy that does not emit CO2 and that is not using a resource in danger of running out anytime soon. But the definitions written into the laws of many states are not logical. Hydroelectric energy is mostly banned because the environmental movement hates dams. Nuclear is banned ... Both nuclear and hydro don't emit CO2. Hydro doesn't need fuel. Nuclear fuel is cheap and plentiful. A large number of prominent global warming activists, such as James Hansen, Michael Shellenberger, and Stewart Brand have declared that nuclear is the only solution for the crisis that they imagine is approaching.
For those of us who don't take global warming seriously, there is nothing wrong with using coal and natural gas to generate electricity. The CO2 emitted helps plants to grow better with less water, a great help to agriculture.
Wind and solar are erratic sources of energy. The output depends on the weather. Solar doesn't work at night. Because they are erratic, there have to be backup plants
For a natural gas plant, the gas to generate a megawatt-hour of electricity costs about $20. That $20 is the economic value of each megawatt-hour generated by wind or solar. Unsubsidized, wind or solar electricity, either one, costs about $80 a megawatt-hour to generate. The difference between $80 and $20 is the subsidy that has to be paid in order to use wind or solar.
batteries are very costly for moving electricity. A megawatt-hour of solar electricity that costs, unsubsidized, $80 during the day ends up costing $270 when moved to the early evening via a battery... The $270 includes the cost of replacing the battery every five years. The batteries have to be air-conditioned
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Wholesale gas power costs about $30 per MWh depending on demand: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/wholesale/xls/ice_electric-2019.xlsx It varies from worthless $3 to very expensive > $100 depending on demand.
Unsubsidized, wind or solar electricity, either one, costs about $80 a megawatt-hour to generate.
That's wrong. Texas wind without subsidies is as low as $30. However because wind is inflexible the spot price for an incremental MWh of energy can be as high as $1000. That price doesn't last long since gas can be spun up pretty quickly. The latest offshore wind price was $50 in England although that has hidden subsidies built into the contract (assumptions of future price increases).
As for solar it costs at most $1/Watt fully installed and panels will last 30 years. Here in Virginia we get about 1.6 kWh per Watt of solar panel per year (that takes into account sun angle, clouds, etc). With zero percent financing (possible with net metering subsidies) that's 625 Watts of panel needed or $625 or $21 if the panels last 30 years with zero percent financing.
The prices in the piece are wrong. Solar is $20 not $80 but see my previous post for assumptions.
Mechanical power generation wears out (gas, coal, etc). Solar is solid state. If you mean degrade, yes. But the newest panels only degrade about 1% per year.
Land fill trash for these panels and components ? No this will be some expensive garbage even after dismantling expenses.
Yes, that will be large cost. If they decide to go all out with solar, then it will be a huge cost. The worst thing we could do right now is convert everything to solar with today's panels. I believe in solar and have lots of panels myself mostly for hobby purposes. If people want to put their own money into it, then fine. They get a subsidy, net metering, here in Virginia, that makes it pretty economical.
Big energy and big government will never allow that energy independence any time soon.
GW happens naturally, and there is nothing we can do to either cause nor prevent it. AGW is a big lie.
The CO2 emitted helps plants to grow better with less water, a great help to agriculture.
There is virtually no CO2 in the atmosphere.
78% = Nitrogen
21% = Oxygen
.04% = CO2
.96% = All other trace gases
Sorry, but unless it's plutonium....4/100ths of a percent is essentially nothing.
In low concentrations, CO2 is neither a toxin nor a pollutant.
New Mexico is the nation’s #3 producer of oil and natural gas and contributes well over one billion dollars to the state treasury each year which provides 33+ percent of all state income. The newly elected radical enviro Dem governor elected last fall together with an all Dem legislature passed bills that outlaw fossil fuel use to generate electricity by 2045.
As a poverty-ridden state where families regularly have to decide whether to buy food or pay the electric bill, that cost will increase yearly as the grid moves to all renewables in coming years. And that cost doesn’t include the damage to the environment with windmills slicing and dicing protected predator birds like hawks and eagles. Already the eastern New Mexico landscape is littered with windmills everywhere and more being built.
While the rest of the state stagnates and bureaucrats in Santa Fe try to encourage high tech companies to locate here but can’t find any educated and skilled workers, in southeast New Mexico the oil and gas communities are overflowing with workers and have crowded roads, insufficient housing, new businesses, etc. associated with good paying diversified jobs. And the idiots in Santa Fe want to eliminate these and raise taxes (as they just did) on the poor in the rest of the state.
Education is lacking and the governor just fired a well-regarded and newly appointed head of the education department in favor of a man who was in charge of the Philadelphia schools. We all know how that is going to work out. Unfortunately we are stuck with her for the next four years and unless the legislature can elect members to stand up to her, we will lose additional freedom, including gun rights.
“Clearly, wind and solar will be a viable replacement for fossil fueled generation after energy storage gets less expensive and the total cost per Mwh comes down.”
Well, if you crank the math it ain’t that clear - ultimately, the viability of alternatives as primary energy sources comes down to considerations of energy density / power density, which for wind and solar is pretty darn poor. In simpler terms, if you’ve got lots of people in a small area (say the Boston / New York / Washington corridor), you’ve got highly concentrated energy requirements, and to pull that energy out of the wind and the sun, you need lots of physical area to do so, since the energy in those sources is so diffuse (especially compared to the chemical energy of a carbon-hydrogen bond or the nuclear energy of a disintegrating uranium atom). Yeah, you can port over some electrons from distant sources, but that will only get you so far, given transmission losses and other logistical considerations.
But most of us won’t have to worry about finding out the result of the reality of physics colliding with the fantasy of environmentalists - that’s what we’ve got California for.
Here's an even cheaper solution; use nuclear and eliminate the nonsense of CO2 hysteria and carbon offsets.
The Entropy is strong with this one.
Agreed—we will get the technology issue solved.
The toughest challenge will be political—the elites do not want homeowners to have the independence of being off the grid.
Degrade is the better word. It will be interesting to see how these panels hold up. Im not optimistic about whats installed so far but know better tech is following
And OK I have quite a few panels on one of my barns. Helps run the refrigeration units.
Point of use generation types of tech are the future but they need to keep politicians out of the business
Ive hobbied with pelton wheels, steam generators, small turbines myself.
Currently building very simple bread box heaters to heat water for the seed beds in some of our green houses to extend Spring into the Winter.
So why are we arguing about the details? It doesn't matter. The Left won't accept arguments against it and since saving the planet is not really their goal, it is a waste of everybody's time.
This whole democRATic Socialist Green New Deal, is nothing more than a road map for a socialist revolution. Designed to convert our economy from capitalism, which relies heavily on fossil fuels into socialism/communism, which relies on big government, pixie dust and unicorn farts.
Time to stop arguing the finer details of the climate change claims with the Leftists and start ignoring their demands that we do "something" right now or the earth will end and we will all die in 11.5 years.
Just for reference to put this in perspective:
A megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts, the standard unit of measure for your home bill.
1. $20 a MW is about $0.02/kW to produce coal fired electricity
2. In my coop this is delivered to our meter for about $0.12/kW, a pretty high rate and I burn about 1,700 kW/mo in hot weather or very cold for a bill of about $200.00
3. With unsubsidized wind or solar this bill would be $306.00.
4. With batteries supplying poweer from wind or solar it would be $629.00 and of questionable reliability.
No thank you to this codswallop of renewable energy mandated on the basis of very questionable needs grounds.
Quick, while ‘Renewable Energy’ has its back against the wall: A new E.O. - Coal For Industry removing all carbon and emission restrictions on coal and banning the leasing of US territorial coal mines to foreign nations.
Only the West is drinking the AGW coolaide.
Developing countries are snatching up as much fossil fuel as they can get their hands on -namely China.
Cheap energy is the lifeblood of all economies.
We’re being RIPPED OFF!
The article starts off some outlandish premises:
Run out soon? Which energy-source? Define soon? We’ve been hearing ‘peak oil’ for 40yrs+ already.
And CO2? When’s THAT been a ‘bad’ thing? Maybe ozone, CO, any free radicals...but not CO2. S*, WATER vapor is a worse green-house enabler.
I’m gonna just chalk it up to bad writing a/o govt indoctrination.
Here's an even cheaper "cheaper solution":
Never mind what kind of power it is. Start telling the truth about CO2 and debunking the AGW lie....
Most rational people already don't believe it. (which leaves out RATs and other socialist control freaks)
Well, they've been lying for a lot longer than 11 years, and we're all still here. Plus there's no noticible significant "climate change".
Sinking land masses do not equal a rising sea level.
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