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Old 03-24-2016, 07:33 AM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,429,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
OK, Expert. Please explain to everybody how German Altrnative Energy production is screwing up the European power grid, or were you unaware?
It's not. The coal interests in Germany are just get shut down by new technology like they are in the United States. They are whining and complaining that it isn't fair. Hansen et al just published their new work that shows climate change is moving faster than previously expected. Better no coal than a 10 foot rise in sea level. Ask the Dutch.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:36 AM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,429,279 times
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Coal gasification will normally be coupled to a combined cycle gas turbine not a boiler. A boiler makes no sense, but it also makes little sense to gasify coal. Natural gas is the logical fuel to use in concert with renewable resources. Simple cycle turbines are cheap, reliable, fast starting, and easy to site.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,539 posts, read 5,459,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
What free market?

Electricity is sold in a regulated monopoly? Please, educate yourself.
Rush Limbaugh doesn't count as education?
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:55 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,829,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Coal plants were providing all the power and matching demand. Then the govt insisted alternatives be built, greatly increasing supply. Now there is a surplus.
There was (is) a little more (meaning a LOT more) to it -- There used to be a steady dependable growth Year-on-Year -- on the the Demand side. Recall the most recent Coal plants are from the mid-200x decade. "Back then" estimated annual demand GROWTH rate was at least 1 to 2%. So if you had 100 Central Plants (of whatever flavor) you would need AT LEAST one new Plant every year additional, along with maintaining and/or replacing any of the old, existing ones.

BUT when the Great Recession hit -- Demand Growth went Negative. That had NEVER happened before. And with the advent of Energy Efficiency -- such as LED Lighting, and Variable Speed Drives on Motors . . . Overnight Demand has really been down. So much so, that in some areas Overnight Electricity is Free -- just to have someplace to dump the Surplus from Overnight Coal, Nukes, and even Wind.

Rough part for the Olde School Coal Market folks is even their daytime peak (Premium Priced and Pays the Bills) is being Cherry-Picked by Day Time Solar.

But at any rate -- Coal was over-built in the 200x decade anticipating the steady growth that stopped. Since it takes years to plan ahead, budget, get equipment lined up for New Plants -- once they get started, they are hard to stop. So everyone kept building, until it stopped. Result = Surplus.

I was working that field then. We have BRAND NEW Coal Plants -- still sitting in parts and pieces in "Laydown Yards" that will never (hopefully) be built. Just future Scrap Metal, I suppose.

Quote:
To remain as a viable back-up, the coal plants have to keep the water hot, literally & figuratively. How long does it take to bring one cup of water to a boil for your morning egg? How long would it take to bring millions of gallons to a boil when starting at room temp?
They (Coal Plants) are even worse than that. To deal with the Process Chemistry involved in Electrostatic Precipatators (removes / reduces dust and fly ash), NOx reduction, and SOx Scubbers, they have to run steady-state for at least a couple of days (around the clock) to get all the processes and temperatures to fully stabilize.

Since there is less and less demand for baseload -- those Coal and Nuke plants (base load) are generally more and more worthless.

Quote:
One problem with switching from coal to NG or wood gas is that it works great in our fantasy world, but we'd have to actually do it in the real world. Coal mining areas are often single industry areas. How do we transition those workers? How will they support their families without the mines? What work could be provided in their home area? Why isn't that work available there now if it's that simple and good.?
Sure, no fan of Coal Gas -- especially when everything is still surplus everywhere, anyway. That was just a mention if (IF and only IF) somehow one was obliged for some reason to continue Coal. Which no one, no no where is.

As far as workfare, welfare, and efficiencies -- A much boarder topic that is running all over the place WAY Beyond Coal and Energy . . . . Surplus on Labor Forces -- which like Surplus Energy -- is NOT such a Bad Thing if we played it with some sensibility (Good Luck on THAT. ). If a typical work-week is 40 hours, and there is 10% surplus labor . . . just cutting the work week back to 36 hours (and in-filling with the surplus) fixes things pretty quick.

It costs the overall same, either way, and the free 4 hours a week it clears for the top end of the work force can be better used to help the community in Schools, Mentors, Volunteers, Churches, on and on. These are just things of "Numbers." Numbers can enslave or free us -- depending on how we use them. No point in Humans being servants to Numbers, is there?

But jumping back to Coal in Specific -- probably digging Coal out of the ground and polluting the Air, Water, and Land is NOT the Best "Employment Plan" is it?

Quote:

BTW- those idiots and their free markets lifted humanity from an agrarian society to an industrial society over the course of fifty yrs in the 19th century, increasing life expectancy from 25 yrs to 50 yrs along the way. Now with excessive regs, we haven't really advanced much since the advent of the computer and cell phone 40 yrs ago. Cause & effect or coincidence?
Sorry, but I have to score this one as bs. I understand it has been Highly Marketed since Reaganomics, along with the "Free Markets and Free Men," but by now it can be fairly seen as bs, no?

Tech Transitions take about 40 year or so for Next Step cycles -- e.g. Land Lines to Cell Phones, Horses to Cars, No Personal Computers to Computers Everywhere. All about 40 years. Many more examples, but we will jump to "why" in a second . . .

BUT that is a NOT a "free market" thing. Keep in mind that the Free Market folks are generally a bit of dim-witted braggarts who like to claim credit for what is considered Good, and try to blame shift for things that are considered Bad. They are generally Business / Marketing folks in the Real World.

Real driver on Technology Shifts seem to be People. Real Human People, and our Real Human Brains. It is our Hardware.

As the saying goes "Hard to teach an old dog new tricks" -- Human Brains -- once "programmed" into THIS IS WHAT WE DO -- like the Coal Miners and Regions you cited above -- tend to stay on that track, if left undisturbed. It is actually Real Work to un-learn Old Things and replace them with New Things. Estimates are that it takes about 9 times Mental Energy and Work to unlearn something and replace it with something new. (we can do the Neuro-Anatomy issues, but this is getting WAY off Coal Plants . . . )

So back to the 40 year cycle -- THAT is the career die-off period of the Prior Folks to allow the New Folks to rise up with the New Thing(s) . . . which at some future time become the Old Things. Major Wars tend to rapidly advance that cycle, by the way. But after the 40 years, it does not seem a shift because for the New (now Old) Folks -- the New Thing is the way things are.

But for a VERY INTERESTING (at least to me) study of Technology Shifts this link below is pretty good. About the Transition from Horses to Automobiles. Since it is 100 years back -- we do not tend to be so Mind-Locked about it as things which may be transition around us in our own lifetime.

Driven by . . . . Manure. About the same as trying to get away from the Pollution (Manure) of Coal.

Likely some day folks will look back and say . . . . they (us) once burned Coal for Electricity?

http://www.uctc.net/access/30/Access...se%20Power.pdf
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,489 posts, read 8,698,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Actually renewables are almost never curtailed. Normal dispatch is based upon incremental production costs. wind and sunlight aren't big expenses for the producers.

DSM has very little impact on total consumption. It changes the time of use.
Zero fuel costs = high relative fixed costs. When this is the case, you don't shut down, because however low the price is that you get, it's greater than zero. With variable costs a small percent of total costs, you operate as much as you can to cover fixed costs.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:05 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,829,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post

I once did a "Fermi Solution" calculation showing that we could supply the automotive energy demand in the US by using all our lumber potential (not counting limbs, brush or garden waste) in engines set up to run on wood gas and it would last for 100 yrs-- without replanting! ....two problems: all that tar produced from inefficient oxidation really gums up engines, and it's pretty difficult to get the burning process going, so if you're gunna rob a bank, you better leave the engine running on your getaway car while you're inside.

http://www.mdpub.com/gasifier/index.html
Sure -- we are becoming experts on what Not to Do.

Ever do the math on 100% Solar for all the Ground Transportation Energy in the US?
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:09 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,829,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
Zero fuel costs = high relative fixed costs. When this is the case, you don't shut down, because however low the price is that you get, it's greater than zero. With variable costs a small percent of total costs, you operate as much as you can to cover fixed costs.
Even further out with Big Wind.

Many of those sites (especially West Texas) have the set up (not intended, just worked out) to run and operate into NEGATIVE Prices -- where the Wind Site Operator has to pay the Grid just to take the Surplus Power Generated.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,578 posts, read 8,497,595 times
Reputation: 5147
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Actually renewables are almost never curtailed. Normal dispatch is based upon incremental production costs. wind and sunlight aren't big expenses for the producers.

DSM has very little impact on total consumption. It changes the time of use.
REALLY?
Renewables Curtailment: What We Can Learn From Grid Operations in California and the Midwest | Greentech Media
AbstractóHigh penetrations of wind and solar generation on power systems are resulting in increasing curtailment. Wind and solar integration studies predict increased curtailment as penetration levels grow. This paper examines experiences with curtailment on bulk power systems internationally. It discusses how much curtailment is occurring, how it is occurring, why it is occurring, and what is being done to reduce curtailment. This summary is produced as part of the International Energy Agency Wind Task 25 on Design and Operation of Power Systems with Large Amounts of Wind P

Wind and Solar Curtailment (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ar_Curtailment [accessed Mar 24, 2016].
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,635 posts, read 49,287,779 times
Reputation: 19019
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Summary of the article: German govt mandated more wind & PV power production, thus increasing supply without changing demand---> lower prices for the consumer but high production costs for the conventional producers unchanged.

They're going broke while the govt insists they keep online as backup for the unreliable "alternative energy sources." That's what happens when govt interferes with the free market.
German subsidized Photo-Voltaic panels caused there to be a short-term glut on the market when the government was in bankruptcy. I benefited from that glut by purchasing really cheap panels. So it helped me.

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Old 03-24-2016, 10:15 AM
 
39,194 posts, read 40,587,898 times
Reputation: 16081
Quote:
While consumers are being forced to pay rising prices for electricity because of constantly higher taxes, fees and levies, the quoted rates on the wholesale market for electricity from coal, gas and nuclear power plants have been heading in the other direction for years.
Where is it you think those fees and taxes are going?

/end discusssion
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