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Old 04-30-2017, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
12,776 posts, read 4,830,944 times
Reputation: 5675

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
KS Referee claims the exact same credentials, and says the exact opposite of you.

So who should I believe? You or him/her?

It doesn't take an EE to realize that solar and wind resources have very low energy densities and need massive amounts of storage to be practical because of their intermittency. Until you can convince me that
1) low energy density, and
2) intermittency
are not huge barriers to economical wind and solar power, I will side with KS Referee.
That is because you and KS Referee are trying to support a preconceived postilion.

Power Density is an interesting global argument. It is not a US issue. We have relatively simple access to more than sufficient land particularly for solar. The Mojave desert alone can do maybe 2 tetrawatts of power. That is roughly twice the US peak demand. Not suggesting that is rational but it can take care of a large portion of the west. And it is actually a small part of the land available.

Intermittency is an eventual problem to be solved. It is however not likely the initial problem. The way it looks now we simply implement renewables at prices below the ongoing costs of fossil. Appears doable by the middle of the next decade. And as we replace plants we build those good at back up.

And over 30 or 40 years we basically cycle out most coal and maybe even the natural gas as we get good on storage or figure an efficient way to electrolysis of hydrogen.

The real question is how cheap can solar PV and wind get? Can they do $0.01 per kwh? Twice that?

And when can they do it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:40 AM
 
Location: DC
6,520 posts, read 6,451,895 times
Reputation: 3127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak80 View Post
KS Referee claims the exact same credentials, and says the exact opposite of you.

So who should I believe? You or him/her?

It doesn't take an EE to realize that solar and wind resources have very low energy densities and need massive amounts of storage to be practical because of their intermittency. Until you can convince me that
1) low energy density, and
2) intermittency
are not huge barriers to economical wind and solar power, I will side with KS Referee.
I just pointed out that a utility in the midwest is running fine with 20% wind. Believe the reality. no one is proposing 100% wind.


BTW as an engineer I don't even know what low energy density is or why it would matter. We are siting multi hundred MW wind farms which seems fairly large and in my mind probably larfer than we need.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,619 posts, read 8,525,111 times
Reputation: 5175
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
That is because you and KS Referee are trying to support a preconceived postilion.

Power Density is an interesting global argument. It is not a US issue. We have relatively simple access to more than sufficient land particularly for solar. The Mojave desert alone can do maybe 2 tetrawatts of power. That is roughly twice the US peak demand. Not suggesting that is rational but it can take care of a large portion of the west. And it is actually a small part of the land available.

Intermittency is an eventual problem to be solved. It is however not likely the initial problem. The way it looks now we simply implement renewables at prices below the ongoing costs of fossil. Appears doable by the middle of the next decade. And as we replace plants we build those good at back up.

And over 30 or 40 years we basically cycle out most coal and maybe even the natural gas as we get good on storage or figure an efficient way to electrolysis of hydrogen.

The real question is how cheap can solar PV and wind get? Can they do $0.01 per kwh? Twice that?

And when can they do it.
Not an US Issue How can you say that when people in the upper Midwest are taking large amounts of FOOD producing ground out of production in order to build solar farms? I'm doing it right now, Two real life projects....5 acres to make 40 Mws of Gas and 40 acres to make 5Mws (maybe..in the Summer on a clear day)
This one takes up @800 Acres of farm ground and wildlife habitat...

https://communityenergysolar.com/wp-...Eric_small.jpg
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,619 posts, read 8,525,111 times
Reputation: 5175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
There are utilities in the midwest with 20% wind and doing fine.
And we are building Fossil fuel plants as fast as we can.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: UNMC Area
749 posts, read 432,802 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by my54ford View Post
Not an US Issue How can you say that when people in the upper Midwest are taking large amounts of FOOD producing ground out of production in order to build solar farms? I'm doing it right now, Two real life projects....5 acres to make 40 Mws of Gas and 40 acres to make 5Mws (maybe..in the Summer on a clear day)
This one takes up @800 Acres of farm ground and wildlife habitat...

https://communityenergysolar.com/wp-...Eric_small.jpg
This is yet another issue with "renewable" energy.

It makes sense to cover arid non-productive land with solar panels. Parts of Arizona, Nevada & California are ideal. But it's foolish to take productive farm ground out of production - especially farm ground that's farther north.

But hey, why be smart when you're dealing with government money?
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:00 AM
 
Location: UNMC Area
749 posts, read 432,802 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by my54ford View Post
And we are building Fossil fuel plants as fast as we can.
We would have been, had Warren Buffett owned the companies building them. It's amazing what you can get if you contribute a couple million dollars to a President's campaigns.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:47 AM
 
Location: DC
6,520 posts, read 6,451,895 times
Reputation: 3127
Quote:
Originally Posted by my54ford View Post
And we are building Fossil fuel plants as fast as we can.
You might be, the industry isn't and certainly not coal. We are adding wind and solar at about twice the rate of gas.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
12,776 posts, read 4,830,944 times
Reputation: 5675
Quote:
Originally Posted by my54ford View Post
Not an US Issue How can you say that when people in the upper Midwest are taking large amounts of FOOD producing ground out of production in order to build solar farms? I'm doing it right now, Two real life projects....5 acres to make 40 Mws of Gas and 40 acres to make 5Mws (maybe..in the Summer on a clear day)
This one takes up @800 Acres of farm ground and wildlife habitat...

https://communityenergysolar.com/wp-...Eric_small.jpg

You prove the point. A couple of percent of the agricultural land would meet all US electrical needs. That is why it is not a US issue. No we are not going to locally supply the eastern seaboard. But the Midwest can easily cover it. A few percent increase in agricultural efficiency and we are even.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
13,669 posts, read 5,509,971 times
Reputation: 5358
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
BTW as an engineer I don't even know what low energy density is or why it would matter. We are siting multi hundred MW wind farms which seems fairly large and in my mind probably larfer than we need.
Energy density is the amount of energy per unit area or volume. It's hugely important when it comes to the economics of energy.

One of the big problems with wind and solar is their relatively low energy density. For a given amount of land area, there's just not very much energy in the form of solar radiation or moving air. That means we need huge solar arrays and huge wind farms to generate the amounts of electricity necessary for powering whole cities and countries.

David MacKay, the late British physicist, did some basic calculations related to renewable energy:

https://www.withouthotair.com

The lack of land is a bigger problem in the U.K. than in the U.S., but we still have the problem of cost. Low energy density means large installations to capture meaningful amounts of power, and "large" usually equals "expensive."
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,354,718 times
Reputation: 24612
Early in this thread someone mentioned a lack of electrical storage needed for "intermittent" sources of electrical energy such as wind and solar collectors is not available. That is incorrect.


The technology of electrical storage called Pumped Storage consisting of an upper water reservoir connected to a lower reservoir through reversible water pump/turbines mechanically connected to electrical motor/generators. This technology is scalable and can work from the megawatt-hour to the multi gigawatt-hour size. Fundamentally all that is needed is an elevation difference, some plumbing, the motor/generator and a source of water sufficient to make up for evaporative losses from the reservoirs.


While I cannot argue against the financial, regulatory and emotional (not to mention decades of fossil fuel organization propaganda) problems plaguing the nuclear industry I would not agree that they are not going to be built and used in the future using a completely different fuel cycle. I speak of the reactors that can, using the proves of nuclear transformation, create more fissionable fuel than they consume. A couple of these breeder reactors currently exist and have provided enough information to design and build future plants. The primary advantage is some of these power cycles can use unenriched Uranium to create nuclear fission and to transform thorium into nuclear fuel. Yes the process and the facilities are expensive to build but once built they can run forever on their own waste products. No other generation method can do that.


Maybe we can write off Nuclear for this generation in North America but it will have a future somewhere else where fossil fuels are scarce and expensive and that have not been propagandized into fearing Nuclear Power.
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