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Old 11-03-2015, 05:58 PM
 
512 posts, read 377,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Without getting into the details about peak production and peak demand times let's suppose we replace all the capacity(X) available from fossil fuel plants with solar and wind. During an ideal day you're good for 8 hours.... What about the rest of the time?

Perhaps now you need X+X plus the added expense of storage(Y) for the rest of the day.

If the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing the next day? You capacity needs have now increased to X+X+X+X and your storage is Y+Y+Y. You're good for two days assuming one good day where mother nature is cooperating for 8 hours.

What if you end up with a week of bad weather? There is no guarantees for the weather. Because of this solar and wind can never replace fossil fuels unless you want to see your electric bill go through the stratosphere.

One might suggest you have a dual system and idle the fossil plants unless they are needed but this becomes even more costly. If you want a good analogy if you needed to drive a car 24 hours each day it wouldn't make very much sense to go buy an electric car for part of your trip and a gasoline car for the rest of it when you could just buy the gasoline car and be done with it.

In the end these technologies will be just blips on the screen of history. The future is geothermal, fusion or some other unknown technology that can provide base power.

Natural gas is not as cheap as coal, it certainly has a place in the mix becsue it's ideal for intermediary and peaking plants that are ramped up and down. The problem is it's being pushed as producing less CO2 but this only at the point of electric production. Natural gas can contain a lot of CO2, this removed at the point of extraction and vented into the atmosphere. There is also a great deal of methane released which is much more potent greenhouse gas by many factors. These are not factored into the numbers when considering emissions.

Why Natural Gas May Be as Bad as Coal



....
I noticed that you did nothing to address the flaw in coal in that it is a polluter. That is still one overwhelmingly bad problem that coal produces that renewables don't.

I have noticed this argument go on for awhile about how one side tries to inflate the cost of intermittency while the other the cost to climate change.

Secondly your argument against nat gas is weak. It only covers one of the three negative aspects of pollution - climate change. It does nothing to address the other two which are the health impacts of NOx SOx and other harmful byproducts such as Mercury. Those are human health risks and nat gas does not have those problems. The second negative aspect is the fact that it simply is ugly. The aesthetic damage is noticeable, look at China. Finally because it might be as harmful simply is not as strong as a case as what we know. There are ways to capture methane from leaks while drilling, while the additional CO2 emitted from coal has no real solution.

Seriously once again, why should we continue to use coal. Generation from solar and wind is at parity in places and actually is cheaper in certain areas such as the southwest (sun belt) or midwest (wind belt). There are methods to deal with intermittency. We can introduce a market in energy by injecting prices. This would require a smart grid, however we should do this regardless of whether or not we switch to renewables, it simply is an argument for effective utilization of resources (free market). If we had prices, people would change behavior and intermittency wouldn't be such a huge problem.

Also, just because we can't guarantee with certainty does not mean that we cannot know statistically when the sun will shine. With a large grid we can utilize different resources from different areas mitigating any specific areas intermittency.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsgrahFln0s


So once again, we should use our technology and ingenuity to get a better form of energy rather than staying with coal and its problems.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:15 PM
 
39,495 posts, read 40,814,531 times
Reputation: 16309
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
PJM is summer peaking.

When are you going to learn to not challenge me when I state facts?

Arctic blast brings new all-time record for power demand by PPL Electric Utilities customers

Quote:
A blast of arctic air, the coldest in decades, spurred a new record for peak power demand Tuesday (1/7) from PPL Electric Utilities customers.

Preliminary figures show the demand on the system for the hour ending at 6 p.m. Tuesday was 7,784 megawatt-hours, eclipsing the all-time winter peak of 7,577 megawatt-hours set on Feb. 5, 2007. The new demand record means customers used 7.78 million kilowatt-hours of power in the hour in which the mark was set, enough to power more than 700 homes for a year.

PPL Electric Utilities’ transmission and distribution systems delivered power without any notable problems.

The PJM Interconnection, which coordinates and directs the operation of the regional transmission grid serving all or part of 13 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, called for conservation Tuesday and Wednesday (1/8) because of the frigid temperatures and high demand. It also reported setting a new power demand record. It ended its conservation request at mid-morning Wednesday.

And again last winter:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/brea...power_dem.html
Quote:
With temperatures below zero Friday morning, customers of PPL Electric Utilities established a new peak power usage record, the utility company said.

Preliminary figures show usage of 7,883 megawatt-hours, which breaks the old mark of 7,816 megawatt-hours set in January 2014.

The Allentown-based utility wasn't alone in power consumption records. The PJM Interconnection, which coordinates and directs the operation of the regional transmission grid serving all or part of 13 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, also reported setting a new power demand record.

Last edited by thecoalman; 11-03-2015 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:29 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,850,787 times
Reputation: 3955
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Yes, for example here in Pennsylvania they had a series of record days of consumption with some brutally cold weather in the winter. This is when the sun would be low on the horizon and peak demand hits after sunset. I don;t remember what the weather was like but snow or cloudy skies adds a whole other dimension especially if it persists.

You can't meet averages, you need to meet worse case. If you can't meet that demand you're playing with peoples lives in the above scenario.
Perhaps, and more likely perhaps not.

When you cross in drama -- "playing with peoples lives . . . " which is pretty much Drama -- in this crowd that is what it will be caught as.

But let's consider -- You are presenting that IF the power were to go out (not even what I am proposing, but rather your Strawman Argument) that "people lives" are at risk?

At risk enough for the local utilities to put all the distribution lines underground? I think we both know that it is Ice, Snow, and Trees that really knocks the power in the middle of Winter, right? And underground lines would vastly reduce that. But no one is rushing to go underground, right? (btw, I think THAT would be a Great Improvement for various reasons).

And using Loop Feeds (where all nodes on the local Grid were fed from Two Directions) -- would also improve reliability quite a bit. Again, no rush there.

So. Let's get Real. Just 100 years ago, practically no one in the US had reliable Electricity. Was not a crisis. Even growing up in rural Michigan -- we would lose the power for a week or more -- in the depth of Winter -- a nuisance, but no crisis.

So in the REAL Here and Now. Regional and Reserve Generation to any area is going to be coming in on Transmission Level (typically 100KV and above) -- has little to nothing to do with local conditions. No one is likely talking about the Capacity to (just) Meet Averages. More likely things would be built to a Much Higher Level than now . . . just because things are due to be rebuilt and we can.

For a full Hydro-Water/Wind/Solar/Geo Grid, we would likely build Capacity at double of Demand without blinking an eye to do so. Gas Turbine Peakers and Back-up would likely be around for Decades. And of course -- We still have about a 40 year run ahead just to get all the Existing Coal and Nukes off line and scrapped.

Big step is that we just Cease Building any NEW Coal and Nukes, and let the Economics take the old ones off-line when it comes time for various outages and folks just decide to leave them off, rather than rebuild.

I follow that you are fan of Coal. It is in your name. But most likely the DoD is correct. Oil (for Aircraft Fuel) from Coal is a MUCH more sensible use than Burning Coal to just boil water to make Electricity.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,797 posts, read 7,712,915 times
Reputation: 15087
We have plenty of fossil fuels. Why would we even need renewables? We have enough NatGas discovered right now to last 100 years. Our coal supply is sufficient to last 500 years. Years and years worth of oil.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:05 PM
 
39,495 posts, read 40,814,531 times
Reputation: 16309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logicist027 View Post
I noticed that you did nothing to address the flaw in coal in that it is a polluter. That is still one overwhelmingly bad problem that coal produces that renewables don't.
How do you measure the health benefits of cheap fossil fuel energy provides?

Quote:
I have noticed this argument go on for awhile about how one side tries to inflate the cost of intermittency
If you can find a flaw in what I have posted I'm listening.



Quote:
It does nothing to address the other two which are the health impacts of NOx SOx and other harmful byproducts such as Mercury.
Since 1980 here is the changes in emissions as percentage:

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) -81%
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) -55

Here is the six most common air pollutants as an aggregate:





As far as the mercury emissions go this is global issue, US coal plants account for about 1% of the global pool. Based on EPA studies very little of that is actually deposited inside the US. Removing all of this is going to have negligible affect on both deposition rates here in the US and world wide. Estimates are the new mercury regulations that have closed many coal plants will reduce deposition rates here in the US 1 to 10 percent and resulting in the average IQ increasing 2/1000 of one point.

Regulations need to be be reasonable, practical and most importantly actual provide a benefit. They accomplish nothing here and if enough manufacturing moves overseas you could in fact see an increase in deposition rates here in the US becsue of increased emissions from the primary source which is China and other Asian countries.

While on the topic there is unknown amount of emissions from gold mining in third countries. Some estimates suggest it could dwarf the emissions form coal plants worldwide. Keep that in mind when you buy your girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother or whoever some gold this Christmas.


Quote:
The second negative aspect is the fact that it simply is ugly. The aesthetic damage is noticeable, look at China.
A very large amount of that pollution in China is from residential heating, they are using a low quality soft coal. How they are going to keep more than a billion people warm is a huge dilemma. You can find the same issue occurred in European cities in the 50's and 60's before they banned coal as residential fuel.

Pittsburgh aside which is special case becsue of the steel industry this was never really a problem here in the US for east coast cities. In northeastern Pennsylvania we have a supply of anthracite, this produces no soot when burned. The primary use back then as it is now is residential heating. It's a niche and still used as home heating fuel throughout the Northeast. Other uses include coking material and for water filtration<gasp>. It's used in place of sand, it fractures into odd shapes and the filters last longer.






Quote:
Seriously once again, why should we continue to use coal. Generation from solar and wind is at parity in places and actually is cheaper in certain areas such as the southwest (sun belt) or midwest (wind belt).
The only place I'm aware of it's actually competitive is Hawaii where the average electric rate is 35 cents per kWh.

Quote:
There are methods to deal with intermittency. We can introduce a market in energy by injecting prices. This would require a smart grid, however we should do this regardless of whether or not we switch to renewables, it simply is an argument for effective utilization of resources (free market). If we had prices, people would change behavior and intermittency wouldn't be such a huge problem.
When it's 0 degrees out for days on end and they are hitting peak demand this no longer a luxury but a requirement. You either meet those demands or people start dying.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:38 PM
 
39,495 posts, read 40,814,531 times
Reputation: 16309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
Perhaps, and more likely perhaps not.

When you cross in drama -- "playing with peoples lives . . . " which is pretty much Drama -- in this crowd that is what it will be caught as.

But let's consider -- You are presenting that IF the power were to go out (not even what I am proposing, but rather your Strawman Argument) that "people lives" are at risk?
You either meet that demand or people will die, it's as simple as that.


Quote:
So. Let's get Real. Just 100 years ago, practically no one in the US had reliable Electricity. Was not a crisis. Even growing up in rural Michigan -- we would lose the power for a week or more -- in the depth of Winter -- a nuisance, but no crisis.
And they also had a coal or wood stove heating their home with the fuel nicely stacked somewhere. People were prepared for it. today we have people that aren't even smart enough to store a little water to get them through a few days when they know a hurricane is approaching, you expect them to be prepared for no electric in the middle of the winter?

As far as power outages go there certainly could be a disaster of major proportions but that would affect any source. When those occur it's regional and they quickly restore power to most of the people. People like myself who are at the end of the list are prepared for this. I have a generator with about 80 gallons of gas on hand if a major storm is approaching, two fireplaces(acres of trees), a chainsaw and soon I'll have hand fired coal stove with hot water jacket so I can utilize the tons of coal I have for my coal boiler which requires electric.



Quote:
Oil (for Aircraft Fuel) from Coal is a MUCH more sensible use than Burning Coal to just boil water to make Electricity.
That requires a huge amount of heat energy, using it to make electric is actually more efficient.*

Obama canceled that and I've heard nothing of it since. It's not just jet fuel, it can be used for any diesel or kerosene application. The problem there is same issue US oil producers are having. OPEC has a gun to their head, it's a very risky investment. Without a guarantee from the US government that they are going to get X amount per equivalent barrel oil you won't see private investment in it.

X amount might be like $60. The likely scenario is OPEC would just back off, the price would go up but with the increased supply not anywhere near the highs we have seen. It's unlikely they would ever collect a dime from the government.

*To do this efficiently would require a cogen plant where you would use the "waste" heat for heating residential structures or whatever. It would have to be sited near an urban area or industrial area. It would also require a fairly large investment in infrastructure.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:44 PM
 
39,495 posts, read 40,814,531 times
Reputation: 16309
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
Our coal supply is sufficient to last 500 years.
That would only be true if you included known deposits that may not be recoverable using today's technology. Here is the estimates from the EIA, the very tip of the pyramid labeled active mines is good for about 20 years.

The next section is the important one, adjusted for increased usage it's good for about 175 years. That is coal that is know to exist and can be feasibly mined. The next section would include coal that they may not be able to mine, it's under a town for example. The rest of the pyramid is based on assumptions.

Whatever the case it's enormous quantity.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:55 PM
 
39,495 posts, read 40,814,531 times
Reputation: 16309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logicist027 View Post
The aesthetic damage is noticeable, look at China.
One other thing. They are required to either have in escrow or bond equal to the cost of reclaiming the land they are mining.

In addition to that every ton of coal has fee applied. That is used to reclaim abandoned properties that might have been around for a hundred years and there is no one to hold responsible. This is not just used for coal mines, it's used for any type of abandoned mine. That debacle with EPA and that gold mine in Colorado? That was funded by active coal mining. In this sense active coal mining is beneficial to the environment.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:30 AM
 
512 posts, read 377,378 times
Reputation: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
How do you measure the health benefits of cheap fossil fuel energy provides?



If you can find a flaw in what I have posted I'm listening.





Since 1980 here is the changes in emissions as percentage:

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) -81%
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) -55

Here is the six most common air pollutants as an aggregate:





As far as the mercury emissions go this is global issue, US coal plants account for about 1% of the global pool. Based on EPA studies very little of that is actually deposited inside the US. Removing all of this is going to have negligible affect on both deposition rates here in the US and world wide. Estimates are the new mercury regulations that have closed many coal plants will reduce deposition rates here in the US 1 to 10 percent and resulting in the average IQ increasing 2/1000 of one point.

Regulations need to be be reasonable, practical and most importantly actual provide a benefit. They accomplish nothing here and if enough manufacturing moves overseas you could in fact see an increase in deposition rates here in the US becsue of increased emissions from the primary source which is China and other Asian countries.

While on the topic there is unknown amount of emissions from gold mining in third countries. Some estimates suggest it could dwarf the emissions form coal plants worldwide. Keep that in mind when you buy your girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother or whoever some gold this Christmas.




A very large amount of that pollution in China is from residential heating, they are using a low quality soft coal. How they are going to keep more than a billion people warm is a huge dilemma. You can find the same issue occurred in European cities in the 50's and 60's before they banned coal as residential fuel.

Pittsburgh aside which is special case becsue of the steel industry this was never really a problem here in the US for east coast cities. In northeastern Pennsylvania we have a supply of anthracite, this produces no soot when burned. The primary use back then as it is now is residential heating. It's a niche and still used as home heating fuel throughout the Northeast. Other uses include coking material and for water filtration<gasp>. It's used in place of sand, it fractures into odd shapes and the filters last longer.








The only place I'm aware of it's actually competitive is Hawaii where the average electric rate is 35 cents per kWh.



When it's 0 degrees out for days on end and they are hitting peak demand this no longer a luxury but a requirement. You either meet those demands or people start dying.
Easy the flaw is the fact that you are overestimating the cost of intermittency. That was my point with my last post. You keep saying that 0 degrees days on end doesn't mean that it is zero degrees everywhere. Insurance companies depend on statistics as well. Everyone could get in a car crash on the same day, but it simply isn't likely. All of the farms could close down, but we don't start growing our own food. The same is true with an energy grid. We have a unique benefit that America is so large that if we were to connect regions together, we would take advantage of statistical energy loads/generation resources. Along with prices, we could deal with energy. Nobody is going to die, stop using that argument. We would not be isolated and we could transfer load from different areas.

Second you didn't even address the pollution again. The primary problem is that the price mechanism doesn't work because pollution is externalized while intermittency is internalized. The price of coal should be higher on people's bills to show the added costs that people bear when paying for such.

Third, You just said that energy has its benefits. But you are ignoring the point, all types of generation are competing and by ignoring the downsides you downplay the cost-benefit analysis. That graph can be based on any other type of cheap energy and there is no reason why coal has to be the only option. you are giving coal way too much competitive advantage in terms of cheap energy. Wind seems to be doing just fine out there in Texas & Iowa. Natural gas is also cheap and it doesn't have the health or aesthetic downfalls. Essentially the existence of cheap nat gas should at the very least displace coal since coal's only upside is that it is cheap. Natural gas is simply a better fuel than coal. Now that it is cheap, what other cards can you play?

Fourth renewable energy has additional benefits besides pollution reduction - privatization. The ability for an average person to own their own energy generation is a huge benefit. People seem to like the idea of buying their own house, but for some reason we are trying to convince people that owning their own energy generation source is a good idea. I don't know why. You could also argue that people should rent for their entire life, but most people seem to not want to be subject to sellers for their entire life. I think the same should go for energy. Solar is one of the easiest and most secure forms of investment that you can enjoy. The chances of it faltering are low, so the benefits are almost guaranteed. People will buy a house for 200,000 in which the payback period is 30 years but be resistant of a solar investment on that house. Seems crazy to me.

Finally by kicking the can to the China issue you simply are pandering. The daily experience of the average American in terms of health and aesthetic impact is not influenced to any significant degree by what China does across the Pacific ocean. China's pollution main contribution felt over here is really only a climate change issue; you are ignoring the other two pollution aspects. Even on the climate change issue, this is just an excuse. Richer countries like here in the US are simply better candidates for innovating when it comes to solving this problem. Developing countries are going to have better choices in how they advance their societies by looking and seeing what works in other countries. That is how China changed anyway by looking to Singapore to model some of its market reforms. If we here in the US had a smarter grid that allowed for dynamic pricing we could show the world how to implement cheap, efficient energy solutions that don't pollute.

All possible if we don't just accept this, "We can't do anything let's just keep using coal" mentality.


Man this issue makes everyone act backwards. The progressives are like, "We can try something out, don't worry we can do it. We can innovate, let's be efficient. Let's use the price system!" The conservatives are all, "We need the govt. to keep us safe! We can't have prices go up, what about the poor. What if we all die!"

The long term benefits to switching to renewables are brighter than coal fired power plants. Think about the long term. You don't want the country to go financially bankrupt, why should we want the country or planet for that matter to go resource bankrupt. We need to move to fire 3.0.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:37 AM
 
Location: DC
6,530 posts, read 6,464,732 times
Reputation: 3137
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Why don't I take your word for it? Becuase you are profoundly ignorant and get your understanding from poor sources.

Top 10 Summer Peak Days

Rank Date Load MWh
1 7/21/2011 158,043
2 7/18/2013 157,509
3 7/19/2013 156,077
4 7/17/2012 154,339
5 7/17/2013 154,044
6 7/18/2012 152,758
7 7/6/2012 151,966
8 7/16/2013 151,421
9 7/22/2011 151,366
10 7/15/2013 150,315
*Load MWh do not include coincident load or Demand Response

Top 10 Winter Peak Days

Rank Date Load MWh
1 2/20/2015 143,086
2 1/7/2014 140,510
3 2/19/2015 140,344
4 1/28/2014 137,336
5 1/24/2014 136,982
6 1/30/2014 136,215
7 1/8/2015 136,185
8 1/29/2014 136,020
9 1/7/2015 135,649
10 1/22/2014 135,061
*Load MWh do not include coincident load or Demand Response

Source: PJM
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