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Thread: Global Warming - Page 150







Post#3726 at 08-21-2013 03:26 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
The country's "large scale energy needs" are a composite of a great many small-scale energy needs. If one house uses 10,000 kwh per year, and a community has 1,000 houses, then the community uses 10 million kwh. Although there is a place for centralized solar power, a large part of it (and much of the appeal) is decentralized use. If each of those 1,000 houses has a solar array that produces 8,000 kwh per year, the community's power use will be met except for 2 million kwh. Battery systems can be much smaller for such arrays, and there are other possible solutions, too. For example, suppose you have a system of cross-time-zone transfers of power. The home solar arrays let homeowners sell power to the public utilities for credit to buy power from the utility's wind turbines or hydroelectric plants, and the utility resells this electricity to homes in another time zone, or uses it to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells.
I'm not saying that there are no uses for this technology, just that the bulk of the genertion needs of the country need other alternatives. Where this works, it should be used preferentially. We need to replace several Terawatts of capacity to get our carbon footprint down where it needs to be. Solar can contribute ... more as time goes on. It can't solve the problem soon or completely.

Storing heat is easier than storing electrical energy directly, but it's no panacea. Transfer losses wil be high (assume that not more 60% of what you store is retrieved) and suitable locations are not available in most places. Conversion to hydrogen is not all it's cracked up to be either. There is nothing harder to store than the smallest molecule in nature.

And don't count on moving power over the grid as a general solution. It will grow the grid to huge proportions very fast, and high-tension lines are not welcome most places.

This is a big problem needing big and diverse anwers.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#3727 at 08-21-2013 03:40 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
When JFK announced the goal of putting a man on the man, the facilities for doing so did not exist yet. 8 years later, Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon.
The infrastructure didn't exist. But the technology to do it was hardly cutting-edge at the time. Over the project it was, naturally, improved on and refined... but all the necessary fundamental tech to go to the moon and return was already around when JFK made his speech.

Quite unlike the situation now, viz alternative energy sufficient to meet our current needs.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc ętre dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant ŕ moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce ętre dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#3728 at 08-21-2013 03:58 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Quite unlike the situation now, viz alternative energy sufficient to meet our current needs.
No, it's not. Honestly, you guys need to recognize how far things have come in the past few years. Much that was true ten years ago is no longer true. Catch up with the times, folks.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#3729 at 08-21-2013 03:59 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
I'm not saying that there are no uses for this technology, just that the bulk of the genertion needs of the country need other alternatives. Where this works, it should be used preferentially. We need to replace several Terawatts of capacity to get our carbon footprint down where it needs to be. Solar can contribute ... more as time goes on. It can't solve the problem soon or completely.
Along with other forms of renewable energy and some implementation of improved efficiency, yes, it can. You're behind the times, friend.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#3730 at 08-21-2013 04:33 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
No, it's not. Honestly, you guys need to recognize how far things have come in the past few years.
Details? That's quite a claim you make...
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc ętre dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant ŕ moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce ętre dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#3731 at 08-21-2013 04:55 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
Along with other forms of renewable energy and some implementation of improved efficiency, yes, it can. You're behind the times, friend.
The best guess for brining a TeraWatt of solar power on-line is mid-century - and that's worldwide. Only some of that will be used to create electricity. The total need for electricity worldwide is roughly 20 TeraWatts, and will probably plateau at 40 TeraWatts when the world is essentially flat in the economic sense. I will be near that level (or maybe a bit higher) by mid-century.

Solar is certainly important. The sun supplies plenty of energy (173,000 TeraWatts), but we can access and harvest only a very tiny proportion of it. So zero-carbon electricity is not an easy task, and it's less so if the large-scale zero-carbon option of nuclear is taken off the table.

Solar will simply not scale-up to the task in anywhere the necessary time to save us. At that, it may never scale to more than 20% of the world's needs, because it reauires so much land area and much of what's vailable is needed for food ... and everything else.

Here's the first of four volumes makng the case for going all-out for renewables. It estimates (using the term generously) that its theoretically feasible that the US can supply 80% of its electricity by these methods (properly combined and fully funded) by 2050. It's a bit of a political sales brochure, so keep the optimism level in mind. Personally, I doubt we can get the massive and widespread cooperatoin to pull it off.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#3732 at 08-21-2013 05:03 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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America's Solar Energy Potential

Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in one whole year.

The technology required to harness the power of the sun is available now. Solar power alone could provide all of the energy Americans consume — there is no shortage of solar energy. The following paragraphs will give you the information you need to prove this to yourself and others. You do not need advanced math skills to follow and perform the arithmetic examples shown below. Anyone who can balance a checkbook or calculate the total square feet of floor space in his or her home, and understand why an area measuring 10 yards by 10 yards equals 100 square yards, can perform the following arithmetic examples and prove that American energy independence could be achieved with solar energy alone.

http://www.americanenergyindependenc...larenergy.aspx
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#3733 at 08-22-2013 02:04 AM by Vandal-72 [at Idaho joined Jul 2012 #posts 1,101]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
America's Solar Energy Potential

Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in one whole year.

The technology required to harness the power of the sun is available now. Solar power alone could provide all of the energy Americans consume — there is no shortage of solar energy. The following paragraphs will give you the information you need to prove this to yourself and others. You do not need advanced math skills to follow and perform the arithmetic examples shown below. Anyone who can balance a checkbook or calculate the total square feet of floor space in his or her home, and understand why an area measuring 10 yards by 10 yards equals 100 square yards, can perform the following arithmetic examples and prove that American energy independence could be achieved with solar energy alone.

http://www.americanenergyindependenc...larenergy.aspx
Your source seems to have been written by someone who knows as little science as you do.

1 - The very next sentence after the paragraph you quoted is: Science tells us that every square meter of the earth's surface, when exposed to direct sunlight, receives about 1000 watts (1 kilowatt) of energy from the sun's light.

Watts are units of power not energy.

2 - Depending on the angle of sunlight, which changes with the time of day, and the geographical location [see map below], the power of the sun's light will be somewhat more or less than 1 kilowatt-hour per hour for every square meter of the earth's surface exposed to the sun.

A kilowatt-hour per hour is just called a kilowatt. They are in essence repeating the previous sentence but have properly used the word power but screwed up in using a nonsensical unit.

3 - After a pathetic attempt at explaining unit conversions, the site repeats the watts/energy mistake with this: Using this conversion, we can say that a square yard of land in direct sunlight receives 1000 x 83.33% = 833 watts of solar energy.

4 - The next paragraph repeats the watts mistake but hilariously includes a hyperlink for the term watts to Wikipedia that has this to say in its first line: The watt (/ˈwɒt/ wot; symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819).

5 - A few paragraphs later: Conversion of one form of energy to another always causes a loss of energy.

The first law of thermodynamics will be shocked to hear that it really isn't inviolate.

6 - The next line: In other words, the new form of energy will be less than the original.

What exactly is this sentence supposed to be saying?

7 - Next line: Efficiency is the word scientists use to describe the difference in power resulting from the conversion of one form of energy to another.

One more time for those playing at home! Power and energy are not the same thing.

8 - Last line of this paragraph: Your car's engine can only convert about twenty-five percent of the energy in gasoline to mechanical energy that turns the wheels.

Mechanical energy does not turn the wheels. Spinning wheels are mechanical energy.

9 - After a few paragraph spiel about the 15% efficiency of photo-voltaics comes this: In the Southwest, if you look at any commercial or industrial park, or any typical mall or supermarket you will see that most of the buildings have flat roofs. Those roofs require insulation to lower the cost of air conditioning on hot days. If those roofs where covered with solar panels the sun would provide electricity for the air conditioning and save businesses millions of dollars per month that would otherwise be paid to the utility companies.

Any thought to how the "missing" 85% of solar energy missed by a near black colored PV cell will interact with cooling costs of the building beneath?

That gets us only to the first page break! Only you, Eric, would think this site is a good tool for learning about solar energy. Anyone with even a high school level understanding of basic Physics would be able to recognize the incessant mistakes as a sign that the source is not really to be trusted.

A good science education is wonderful inoculation against the "dumbs".







Post#3734 at 08-22-2013 10:02 AM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
The best guess for brining a TeraWatt of solar power on-line is mid-century - and that's worldwide.
But why? I don't dispute the projected date, but it has nothing to do with technology. It's all about economics. We could convert to solar and wind 100% right now if we wanted to. We don't want to, because it would cost money, both in up-front capital expense and by increasing the cost of electricity compared to natural gas and coal. That won't always be true. As the price of solar power continues to decline (and this is for Justin: http://io9.com/solar-powers-epic-pri...ized-510448484) and the cost of fossil fuels continues to increase, solar will become the more attractive alternative economically as well as environmentally, and that's when we'll see the wholesale conversion take place.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#3735 at 08-22-2013 12:03 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
But why? I don't dispute the projected date, but it has nothing to do with technology. It's all about economics. We could convert to solar and wind 100% right now if we wanted to. We don't want to, because it would cost money, both in up-front capital expense and by increasing the cost of electricity compared to natural gas and coal. That won't always be true. As the price of solar power continues to decline (and this is for Justin: http://io9.com/solar-powers-epic-pri...ized-510448484) and the cost of fossil fuels continues to increase, solar will become the more attractive alternative economically as well as environmentally, and that's when we'll see the wholesale conversion take place.
There are other issues too. To get the easements needed to site these huge systems, eminent domain is a must. In some states, eminent domain cannot be used for any pupose other than roads and the like. This is not trivial; look at an industrial-scale windfarm They span hundreds to thousands of acres. Solar is the same. Then there are the opponents of each technlogy. For wind, it's the bird lovers. For solar, it might be fire risk, the risk of cancer, and you name it. In both cases, landowners have successfully arued that they lose land value when the visual viewscape is polluted with a bunch <insert the technology-approriate platforms>, and that qualifies as a taking. These systems are no less benign in the public mind than any others.

I haven't even argued against the pie-in-the-sky belief that we have the technology in place to do this. We use in the range of 4 TeraWatts of electic power on average, with the peak somewhat higher in the depths of winter. Do the math, and scale-up wind and solar to meet half that demand. Remember to allow for this as an average, not a peak production requirement. Now, how much land and other resources are needed? How much in $$$? Given the lead time needed to get permiting and eminent domain through the process, how much of this capacity needs to be backloaded into the 2030s and 2040s? And now the big one, can we actually implement this anywhere near the timeline with the production capacity expected to be available?

Compare this effort to bringing 10,000 modular reactors on-line. While that's not fully practical either, modular reactors can be clustered together and cited on a few acres rather than massive tracts of land.

The alternatives are coal and natural gas, or a hybrid of every non-carbon-emitting thing that works. Limiting any option at this point is an act of futility.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#3736 at 08-22-2013 12:29 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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As I pointed out earlier, the right way to use solar technology is in many, many small installations rather than trying to do everything in a few big ones. Every rooftop is a potential solar power station, especially in sunny areas. The number of big solar installations that would be needed is a lot smaller than you are projecting. Think outside the box. I've been studying this a lot. I know what I'm saying here. We do have the technology. As soon as it makes economic sense, we'll do it.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#3737 at 08-22-2013 12:58 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
As I pointed out earlier, the right way to use solar technology is in many, many small installations rather than trying to do everything in a few big ones. Every rooftop is a potential solar power station, especially in sunny areas. The number of big solar installations that would be needed is a lot smaller than you are projecting. Think outside the box. I've been studying this a lot. I know what I'm saying here. We do have the technology. As soon as it makes economic sense, we'll do it.
I'm not arguing, and never have argued, that these are poor ideas. In fact, we should pursue solar and wind as much as feasible, and press to expand the feasibility window. But regardless, they just won't get us where we need to go by themselves. Mid-century will see a convergence of solutions and the will to implement them. Between then and now, we need to move in every beneficial direction possible, and leave the sorting to those in charge then.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#3738 at 08-22-2013 02:22 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
But regardless, they just won't get us where we need to go by themselves.
Yes, actually, they will. Especially combined with other types of renewable energy such as hydroelectric, geothermal, and tidal power. You keep repeating that we don't have the technology. I have been studying this extensively for the past year. You are incorrect. We have the technology. We don't have the will.
Mid-century will see a convergence of solutions and the will to implement them.
Right, but at present it's the will that's lacking, not the solutions. Since implementing the solutions would entail short-term sacrifice, given current price points between renewable energy and the cheapest fossil-fuel energy, that's understandable. Whether or not it's wise is another question, but it probably can't be helped. In any case, all I'm saying here is that the technology to do this DOES exist, and it does not serve any purpose to state that it doesn't.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#3739 at 08-22-2013 02:28 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Here:
Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.
Source: http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/re_futures/
Renewable energy could account for almost 80% of the world's energy supply within four decades - but only if governments pursue the policies needed to promote green power, according to a landmark report published on Monday.
Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environme...gy-power-world
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#3740 at 08-24-2013 04:44 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#3741 at 08-24-2013 12:53 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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We need to do what the skeptics say is impossible. We need to end the mining and use of fossil fuels that cause global warming and other pollution, as soon as possible. We need to switch to renewable resources that won't run out or pollute. We need to rely a lot more on recycling, conservation and energy efficiency. We need to switch to electric cars, or at least plug-in hybrids, that run on sources from solar energy and other renewables. We need to end reliance on conventional nuclear power, and investigate (and perhaps act on) the possibility of thorium-using plants. We need to reverse deforestation, and rely less on meat-eating. We need to get on about this now, and do it as fast as is safe and workable, with government direction and encouragement, beyond what the market alone can deliver.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#3742 at 08-24-2013 11:00 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
We need to do what the skeptics say is impossible. We need to end the mining and use of fossil fuels that cause global warming and other pollution, as soon as possible. We need to switch to renewable resources that won't run out or pollute. We need to rely a lot more on recycling, conservation and energy efficiency. We need to switch to electric cars, or at least plug-in hybrids, that run on sources from solar energy and other renewables. We need to end reliance on conventional nuclear power, and investigate (and perhaps act on) the possibility of thorium-using plants. We need to reverse deforestation, and rely less on meat-eating. We need to get on about this now, and do it as fast as is safe and workable, with government direction and encouragement, beyond what the market alone can deliver.
It is simple, isn't it? We give up our wasteful extraction and disposal of carbon-based fuels lest our bad habits destroy us.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#3743 at 08-25-2013 12:12 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Germany’s renewable energy industry has again shown its strength, shattering through another solar power record, as utility company RWE announces it will close fossil fuel power plants as they are no longer competitive.



RWE said 3.1 GW of generating capacity would be taken offline, as it suspends or shuts down some of its gas and coal-fired power stations. This represents 6% of RWE’s total capacity.

It said a boom in solar energy meant many of its power stations were no longer profitable.

RWE’s statement read:

Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate. During the first half of 2013, the conventional power generation division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds.

German rival E.On has also said it has shut down or left idle 6.5 GW of generating capacity.

And as fossil fuels show signs of decline in Germany, the country’s record-breaking renewables sector continues to show its strength.

July saw the country clock 5.1 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity from solar panel systems, breaking its own monthly record, according to the latest data from the EEX Transparency Platform.

This all-time high for energy generation comes as the country experienced an especially sunny weather, and saw a continued increase in capacity – although slower than experienced in previous years.

The 5.1 GW record was 42% higher than the same month in 2012.

This is an impressive result for a country that gets less than half the sun available in some of the sunnier parts of the world.

The latest record also beats the 5 TWh of electricity the country produced from wind turbines this January.

Much of Germany’s massive solar power capacity comes from roofs of homes and businesses – around 51% of the country’s renewable energy is owned by citizens and this massive uptake of solar installations in the country has also helped bring down the price of solar considerably in recent years.

- See more at: http://tcktcktck.org/2013/08/germany....xXwCRBKP.dpuf
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#3744 at 08-25-2013 12:20 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Separating Fact from Fiction In Accounts of Germany’s Renewables Revolution

http://blog.rmi.org/separating_fact_...les_revolution
August 15, 2013



I recently wrote about—and debunked—the renewables “disinformation campaign” that spreads misinformed and falsely negative stories about the growth of renewable energy. A special focus of such disinformation has been reportage on Germany’s efficiency-and-renewables revolution. The impressive success so far of the German Energiewende (energy turnaround) is an important existence proof for the world, because Germany is cloudy, high-latitude, heavily industrialized, highly competitive (it rivals America’s merchandise exports with one-fourth its population), and the world’s fourth-biggest economy.

Perhaps because German success would therefore belie the supposed necessity of fossil-fuel and nuclear energy, some media regularly report the Energiewende’s failure or supposed impossibility. As I highlighted, Germany’s renewables revolution is in fact highly successful and strong as ever, but that hasn’t stopped three myths from gaining traction in the media: 1) Germany’s supposed turn back to coal, 2) how renewables undermine grid reliability, and 3) how renewables subsidies are cratering the German economy. None of those are true, and here’s why.

MYTH #1: GERMANY’S TURN BACK TO COAL
An efficient new German coal plant begun in 2006, with fast ramp rates to complement variable renewables, was widely but wrongly heralded on its commissioning in 2012 (Europe’s only new coal plant that year) as signaling Germany’s post-Fukushima turn back to coal—not mentioning that it replaced a larger amount of dirtier and far less efficient coal capacity that was shut down. Moreover, replacing old 35-to-38-percent-efficient coal units with modern 46-percent-efficient ones, like some of the 5.3 GW likely to come online this year, would save a fifth of their coal even if net capacity didn’t change. And though capacity may fluctuate for a few years, the German Energy Agency expects 11.3 GW of coal capacity to be added and 18.5 GW closed by 2020—a net decrease of at least 7.2 GW.

In fact, as explained here and here, Germany has begun no new coal plants since Fukushima, coal-fired generation will decline even more than capacity, lignite has no future, and any of the coal plants planned long ago that are completed—offsetting retiring units—are likely to lose money, just as existing ones do now. Another instance in Hamburg reinforces these points. Yet claims continue to propagate that “Germany alone is building 25 coal-fired plants” (20 of 29 originally proposed have already been stopped, 5–6 more shelved) and that “it has now become very, very cheap to burn coal and as a result, there’s a new coal boom in Europe” (nearly all in Britain and Spain), while renewables are “helping to continue the economic collapse of Germany” (Europe’s strongest economy).

German coal-fired generation did rise modestly in 2011–12, substituting for pricier natural gas, about half of which in Europe is price-linked to oil. Very low prices in Europe’s oversupplied carbon emissions market further reduced the price of burning coal. Similarly in the first seven months of 2013 compared with a year earlier, three-fourths of the rise in coal-fired generation was due to substitution for gas, the rest to lighter winds—though electricity demand probably declined too.

This temporary coal-burning uptick is often used to claim that German CO2 emissions are rising, even though emissions have trended down since 1990. In fact, despite economic growth, German renewables helped make CO2 emissions fall in 2011, hold steady for power plants and industry in 2012, and probably fall in total in 2012 after adjustment for more oil-fired heating in the exceptionally cold winter. The reason is simple: Germany’s renewable growth has more than offset nuclear shutdowns while efficiency has flattened or decreased electricity demand. It’s not even possible for German power plants to emit more CO2 because of their national emissions cap under EU law.

Flatly contradicting the official data, anti-renewables reports often claim that Germany is going back to coal because renewables didn’t work and are proving unaffordable. Actually, they work just fine, supplying 23 percent of German electricity in 2012 (more than any other source except lignite) and driving dramatically lower wholesale power prices that are attracting energy-intensive industry, making German industrial power highly competitive, and enabling record 2012 power exports that rose another 62 percent in the first half of 2013. (Germany is the only country that consistently exports power to France; its industrial power is cheaper than the EU average, and the gap is widening.) American media, rerunning many of these false stories, are awkwardly having to shift their tune from “renewables are too costly to compete” to “renewables are walloping our favorite old technologies.” Indeed, German photovoltaics today have achieved the price that the European Union in 2011 projected for 2050.

It’s hardly a surprise for the threatened coal industry to claim “many large industrial corporations are migrating out of [Germany].” But for The Economist to make a similar claim, also without a single example, is unusual: Germany’s top energy economist sees no sign of industrial flight, nor has a request for examples elicited any. Yet the canard persists. Perhaps such confusion is due to U.S. expansion of gas-intensive chemical giants like BASF, which naturally pivot toward fourfold-cheaper U.S. natural gas because it’s both a fuel and a feedstock; BASF in Germany also makes 70 percent of its electricity internally from natural gas. But as Craig Morris of Renewables International notes, chemical firms’ U.S. expansions are driven by U.S. gas prices, not German electricity prices. Giant German firms enjoy Germany’s low and falling wholesale electricity prices, getting the benefit of renewables’ near-zero operating cost but exempted from paying for them, as I’ll describe below.

The truth about German industrial electricity prices (such as the wholesale spot and futures market quotations) is easily determined from official statistics, which are far more transparent and thorough than America’s. Even as GE’s Chairman griped that a German steel mill pays four times the typical U.S. industrial power price (perhaps reflecting a confusion between U.S. and Euro cents), the average German wholesale price for June 2013—essentially the price such big industries pay—fell to a record low of 2.8 Euro cents or 3.7 U.S. cents per kWh, well below his 5-cent U.S. benchmark. To be sure, the average retail kWh bought by the entire German industrial sector, much of it small and midsized, cost 8.6 U.S. cents for energy plus 8.0 for taxes, vs. 6.5 cents in the largely tax-free U.S., so smaller firms’ total tariff, typical in Europe, is about twice the U.S. level. But renewables don’t account for that gap; German industry is thriving anyhow because it’s efficient; and U.S. electricity prices rose 4.8 during 2007–12 and 44 percent during 1995–2012—faster than the German increases of 3.7 and 16 percent.

Thus Germany is building the renewable foundation for declining long-term electricity prices. Sure enough, German wholesale power prices have fallen about 30 percent in the past two years to near eight-year lows, putting utilities that underinvested in renewables under severe profit pressure. This success in using modern renewables to reduce and stabilize electric generating costs is sometimes misdescribed as a failure because it creates losers—those who bet against it—as well as the winners who bet on its success.



MYTH #2: RENEWABLES UNDERMINE GRID RELIABILITY
Another common misreportage theme is that renewables are degrading the reliability of Germany’s power supply, driving industry abroad. The president of Germany’s network agency has confirmed this is not true. Hearsay anecdotes alleging renewable-caused power glitches are often traceable to Der Spiegel, a frequent source of anti-renewable stories, but evaporate on scrutiny. Charles Mann in The Atlantic cites five references to bolster such claims, but his sources (cited in my response) don’t support his case. One, from a Koch-allied anti-renewable front group (whose political arm, the American Energy Alliance, lobbies for fossil fuels and against renewables), claims renewables are “causing havoc” in the German grid, the other four sources don’t, and none of the five offers any evidence this is happening, because it’s not—as I confirmed with German experts in May 2013, when I was co-keynoting the Chancellor’s electromobility conference in Berlin.

But Der Spiegel is not alone in such misreporting. Die Zeit and others have described local electricity problems caused by a failed coal plant and by restricted Russian gas deliveries as if they proved the unreliability of renewables, which had nothing to do with them. Focus likewise blamed a Munich power outage on renewables, then reported the actual, unrelated cause (a transformer blew up) without a correction.

To be sure, Germany’s grid, built for central stations, was scarcely expanded as renewable generation soared from 3 percent to 23 percent in 20 years. Grid modernization and debottlenecking are therefore needed and are vigorously underway—though the network agency recently slashed plans for new transmission corridors by nearly half because many projects proved unnecessary, and grid investments apparently needn’t rise. But fear of what might happen if those future grid improvements weren’t made doesn’t justify the lie that blackouts and brownouts are rife today.

In fact, German power, like 22-percent-solar-and-windpowered Spanish and 30-percent-windpowered Danish power (both for all of 2012), remains far more reliable than U.S. power and is getting even more reliable. Germany ranks #1 in European grid reliability, Denmark just behind, both about tenfold better than the U.S. Likewise, as Spain’s solar and windpower soared in the past few years, Spain’s reliability index rose too. Across Europe, renewable expansion correlates with more reliable power. Now a German company has even assembled a 570-MW virtual power plant of dispatchable renewables, available nationwide to firm (guarantee steady output from) the varying wind and solar output. Dispatching variable resources is more complex, but the grid’s skilled operators do it well.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 08-25-2013 at 12:49 PM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

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Post#3745 at 08-25-2013 06:12 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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08-25-2013, 06:12 PM #3745
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As a society, we assume that we can use as much energy as we want. Considering we only live on this one planet, we best figure out how to do with less and pressure our government to put as much money into alternative energies as they do into weapons of mass destruction. Apparently, we are better at developing killing machines, than we are at producing systems of energy that will ultimately save lives.
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#3746 at 08-27-2013 01:04 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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14 U.S. Cities That Could Disappear Over The Next Century, Thanks To Global Warming

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...usaolp00000009
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#3747 at 08-27-2013 09:08 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
14 U.S. Cities That Could Disappear Over The Next Century, Thanks To Global Warming

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...ear.html?_r=2&
It's even an issue of national security, in view of naval installations in southeastern Virginia inundated into oblivion. But short-sighted greed overwhelms the wisdom of the Hard Right. Grab and use resources now because such is prosperity! It's like saying sell off some income-generating property to buy an expensive car and jewels, both wasting assets.
Last edited by pbrower2a; 08-27-2013 at 10:48 AM.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#3748 at 08-27-2013 09:33 AM by B Butler [at joined Nov 2011 #posts 2,329]
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Left Arrow Values

Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
As a society, we assume that we can use as much energy as we want. Considering we only live on this one planet, we best figure out how to do with less and pressure our government to put as much money into alternative energies as they do into weapons of mass destruction. Apparently, we are better at developing killing machines, than we are at producing systems of energy that will ultimately save lives.
It's the assumption that we can abuse the environment that is more problematic than learning how to manage it. Off the coast of Alaska they have a reasonably effective fishery management system that assures the fishermen that there will be fish out there to catch. Here off New England, the fishermen are used to the assumption that they can take as much as they like this year and to heck with the future. The stocks have collapsed badly.

The problem is at the values level. Logic, reason and science don't apply. If grandfather did it, why can't I? I have a right!

Not.

Of course we have to build weapons of mass destruction. Grandfather did.







Post#3749 at 08-28-2013 03:41 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Really cool idea!
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-2...eniers/4917206

Environmental activists in the US have launched an online campaign urging the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to name hurricanes after politicians who are dismissive of climate change.

The WMO usually attributes first names to the storms in alphabetical order from the beginning of the season, and alternates between male and female names each year.

But the campaigners have drawn up a list of American politicians they say deny climate change and obstruct climate policy.

They want the destructive storms to be named after them instead.

Names on the list include Texas governor Rick Perry and speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner.

Daniel Kessler is with the campaign group 350 Action, which is behind the tongue-in-cheek idea.

But he is not hopeful it will be successful in altering the naming convention.

"There are a number of people who refuse to accept the basic science of climate change which is now understood by every scientific academy in the world to be occurring and to be caused by man," he said.

"We wanted to highlight in somewhat of a satirical way their intransigence and make sure that people know that they're obstructing progress."

The United States has been hit by powerful hurricanes in recent years.

Last year Hurricane Sandy brought New York to a standstill and killed more than 100 people, while in 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and left almost 2,000 people dead.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#3750 at 08-29-2013 09:57 AM by Bad Dog [at joined Dec 2012 #posts 2,156]
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08-29-2013, 09:57 AM #3750
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PopPop! Two more disturbances off Africa.
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