Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Go Read


John Chait in New York Magazine, has a thumb sucker balancing between glory and despair about the upcoming Paris conference

For human to wean ourselves off carbon-emitting fossil fuel, we will have to use some combination of edict and invention — there is no other plausible way around it. The task before the world is best envisioned not as a singular event but as two distinct but interrelated revolutions, one in political willpower and the other in technological innovation. It has taken a long time for each to materialize, in part because the absence of one has compounded the difficulty of the other. It is extremely hard to force a shift to clean energy when dirty energy is much cheaper, and it is extremely hard to achieve economies of scale in new energy technologies when the political system has not yet nudged you to do so.
This, and the displacement of harm in space and time of course make climate change the perfect moral storm as Richard Gardiner (echoed by Rabett Run) have been pointing out for many years.  But there is reason for some hope
And yet, if you formed a viewpoint about the cost effectiveness of green energy a generation ago (when, for instance, Ronald Reagan tore the costly solar panels installed by his predecessor off the White House roof), or even just a few years ago, your beliefs are out of date. That technological revolution is well under way.
The falling price of solar and wind have beat Moore's Law as applied to renewables, with the cost of installed solar now below $0.50 US per Watt, and, of course, the coal industry, the savior of the Breakthrough Institute/Lomborgian dystopia, has fallen into the toilet.
For most of the 1.3 billion people globally without access to electricity, building new solar power is already cheaper than fossil-fuel generation. And so, the possibility has come into view that, just as the developing world is skipping landlines and moving straight into cellular communication, it will forgo the dirty-energy path and follow a clean one. The global poor can create a future of economic growth for themselves without burning the world.

That is the achievable — truly achievable! — task now before the world as its leaders gather in Paris. For the first time, countries are negotiating an agreement while both revolutions, political and technological, are under way and mutually reinforcing. The plummeting financial cost of renewable energy has decreased the political cost for leaders of the developing world. 
Of course, Americans have to deal with the dysfunction of the Republican party on climate change.

Eli suggests the bunnies read the article and leave some droppings in the comments.

118 comments:

John said...

It's much less about how "(t)he global poor can create a future of economic growth for themselves without burning the world" and much more about how the global rich have to voluntarily adjust their attitudes, expectations and lifestyles closer to those of the global poor.

Sorry, the world will not "consume itself out" of the grave problem caused by over consumption.

I'd say the thumb is NOT in the mouth.

John Puma

William Connolley said...

Link is broken. It appears to be broken on their site, too.

jrkrideau said...

@ WmC
Link seems okay now 2015-09-07 13:10 Eastern


@Eli
I almost feel a bit of optimism. An excellent article.

William Connolley said...

(yes, works for me too now. Sorry for the noise)

Russell Seitz said...

Somebunnies would like to know just where :

"The falling price of solar and wind have beat Moore's Law as applied to renewables, with the cost of installed solar now below $0.50 US per Watt,"

Invoking Moore's law may be counterproductive, in that it implies that the longer you wait the more money you save, until at the margin, they pretty much give it away.

Blogger profile said...

"Invoking Moore's law may be counterproductive"

It probably won't, though.

Much more likely some will find it ideologically inconvenient.

Blogger profile said...

If it's worth doing now, if you wait for it to be a quarter price, you won't save as much as if you waited half the time. But you won't make any money on the investment either. And inflation reduces the value of your money.

Therefore it's best to buy what you need when you need it.

PG said...

Eli this is a kind of companion piece to Chait's opus, published the day before in Politico.
I advise that it be read out of earshot of the neighbour's children. An open field perhaps.

E. Swanson said...

Quite a long commentary from Chait.

It sounds great that solar costs $0.61 a watt (presumably for PV), but that's probably peak watt and thus not a good indicator of average cost per kWhr over 24/7, which would require storage, such as batteries. Then too, at higher latitudes, there's the seasonal drop off in Winter to consider.

Of course, PV prices, like global steel prices, is a function of market forces and lately, there's an oversupply for commodities, such as steel, copper and coal. There have been claims that the Chinese are selling steel at below cost, a claim which may also apply to their PV production. The decline in their PV cost isn't likely to be the result of Moore's Law (based on the continuing decline in spacing between transistors on a silicon chip), but simple economics. The Chinese acquired the technology from the US company, Evergreen Solar, after they went bust from 2008, having built a new plant in China. The remnants of Evergreen were bought by a shadowy Chinese company with HQ located in the Caiman Islands.

But, Chait's right about the impact of the US Republican Party. Having worked on 4 Presidential Elections in my earlier years, I've long been aware of their anti-environmental stance. (For the record, I gave up in 1992, after Clinton was nominated, given his Southern Strategy.) Global Warming (aka:Climate Change) is just the latest round from the Repubs. They've done a great job of vilifying the environmental community, spreading their poison rhetoric thru the Internet Echo Chamber. The continual pounding from the likes of Rush Limbaugh on talk radio and later from FOX TV first hit me in 1991 when my boss at the time used to listen in every afternoon to Rush and his rants about environmentalist. The impact of the Citizens United case may have sealed our fate, as there's almost no way now to overcome their massive propaganda campaigns in the US. Heck, we even have a self-financed candidate (Trump) who has enough money to buy the election.

The long term problem(s) simmering out there in the real world aren't going to be solved before they become critical. This can't end well.

Blogger profile said...

Well, it's a pretty damn good indicator of it.

It's not like the amount of sunlight you get in a location averaged over a year changes depending on, say, the stock market ticker tape. It's fairly reliable.

And what other figure would you put on it anyway? The cost in Buenos Aires, as long as sited on a flat roof out of the centre of town?

Then again, the price of a coal power station changes per kW too. It's shown up in the price of coal. Which isn't as reliable. We don't give a price for coal power station production per MW based on the price of coal, do we. Or give the same price based on the actual interest rates and discount rates you can get on a loan for building it.

We just give a value that we can then see how well we can do out of it, that allows intercomparison.

It's no worse, and mostly better, than any other alternative I can think of.

Blogger profile said...

If you're pissed off at Citizens United, go visit www.wolf-pac.com.

All that's needed to get an amendment is a supermajority of the states to demand a referendum on it, and it HAS to be done.

And the states are more worried about voters voting them in, and removing money from politics is an overwhelming AND MULTI-PARTISAN desire for the voters, it's doing very well indeed in getting the actual state voting required to make this amendment issue a REQUIRED bill to address.

The issue isn't over just because the "Premier division" don't have to give a shit about who you vote for (because SOMEONE has to win the prize, it's not like nobody will get the job).

You can get it changed as a constitutional amendment from the ground up.

PG said...

@Blogger profile
That would take a Krakatoa sized disruption of the Republican Party (nationally). The majority of states are red or purple. The only way a Democratipresident gets elected is because the blue states (by dint of population) tend to have more electoral colleges. Remember, even the Tea Party and its variants were funded by Donors Trust.

There's an easier way to ditch Citizens United. SCOTUS can overturn C.U. through a simple majority decision.

Elect any Democrat as President in '16 and ensure that at least 55 of the 100 US Senators are not Republicans. This should provide an easy confirmation passage for supreme court appointees .

Unfortunately the next retiree will is most likely be a liberal but that still provides an opportunity for a Dem President to appoint a 45 year old Justice as Rove and Bush43 did with Roberts CJ.

Scalia will hit 80 next year so there may be a possibility in the next 4 years of attaining a 5 / 4 liberal majority. That's by far the easiest and most likely route. As the 2018 mid-term elections will likely favour the Republican Senate candidates as there will be more Democrat Senate spots up for grabs it would be good if Scalia departed by whatever means prior to November'18.

Kevin O'Neill said...

I started to read it earlier today before your post was up. I couldn't finish it. Before I was halfway through I was skimming.

It just seemed too cheerleady to me. Juxtaposed with the usual GOP nonsense which is always depressing to read. I'm not particularly swayed by the fact emissions did not climb in 2014. In the US we still haven't reached pre-crisis levels of industrial production. My guess is the world as a whole hasn't yet either. It's not much to cheer about when you have to hope the economy continues to suck so that we don't kickstart CO2 emissions.

I generally like Chait's work. This one just didn't do much for me.

Russell Seitz said...

PG, is Krakatoa left ot=r right of Java?

Please tell Ray Ladbury

John said...

50 cents per kilowatt?

I am putting solar panels on my roof. Full cost #35,348.
Output (DC) 11.34 kW.
cost per watt (DC) $3.12

The photovoltaic panels produce DC, but then the inverter turns DC into AC, but is not 100% efficient. The output in AC Watts is 9.87 kW AC, making the cost per AC watt at a slightly higher $3.34

So where does anybody get a number like 50 cents per watt??

Off by a factor of about 6 or 7 (1!)
possibilities:
Maybe for solar thermal power (not photovoltaic) the price is lower.
OR maybe utility-scale projects are less expensive per kW than rooftop photovoitaic
OR maybe someone is only counting the photocells (single cell silicon whose quantum efficiency is 18%)
while forgetting the cost of the rest of the system
OR maybe forgetting the cost of installation of the system??

And we'll be getting a 30% Federal tax credit (=$10.6 k).
But that is "only" 30%. If my system really cost 50 cents per Watt, I'd be getting a 11,000 W system for $550, not $35,000.

Something just isn't right here.

And by the way, this is in southern Nevada, the Mojave desert, where there is a lot of sunshine and few clouds, so the site is favorable to solar power.

Where did Jonathan Chait and others get the figure of 50 cents/W?

PG said...

@ Russel Seitz

Too obscure

cce said...

He's talking about just the panels.

PG said...

@CC
And you have added to the obfuscation. Specify without trying to imitate Willard.

PG said...

Apologiies cce I thought you were replying to me down thread from Russel.

Blogger profile said...

"That would take a Krakatoa sized disruption of the Republican Party (nationally)."

Yeah, that's what those organising wolf-pac were told time and time again. Yet several red states (and deep red at that) have signed up to get it debated. The (R) senators in several cases have said that this MUST be discussed.

The (R) voters OVERWHELMINGLY support it.

Your "Oh, that would require a miracle" was ignored by wolf-pac, and they ARE winning this. And there doesn't seem to be any more problem in getting deep Red states to get on board.

Hell, the majority of polled politicans want money out of politics, it's just that to overturn Citizens United is beyond their ability as a member. However, if the states get the vote from a referrendum, the people themselves CAN overturn the Supreme Court.

Indeed they must.

If the majority of the people did not agree to the constitution, in what way is the constitution valid? IT STARTS OFF WITH "We, the people". The Supreme Court decide because they decide if the government, who *represent* the people, not vote on their behalf, you have a representative democracy, not a direct one, want something different. But if the people who ARE the constitution's owners vote against them, the Supreme Court DOES NOT get a damn say.

For those religious nuts who hate that they're not allowed to stop these "activist judges" making it legal for gays to marry, THIS is how you do it too. Good luck with that, because you retards only have noise on your side, not numbers. Most of the other christians would disown you if they could. They certainly don't like your stance.

Blogger profile said...

"I am putting solar panels on my roof. Full cost #35,348.
Output (DC) 11.34 kW.
cost per watt (DC) $3.12"

And that full cost is the purchase of those panels, right?

No? Oh, well, then that would be why.

Hey, have you had double glazing? Do you know how they charge you? They charge by the square meter plus extras. Do you know how much it COSTS to make them? It doesn't vary by square meter. Well, until you need to use a larger machine to put them together or more people to handle it.

Do you know how much it costs to make? Around $100 per opener.

So if you have a normal sized window (about 4x5ft) with one opener at the top, that is effectively two windows, and costs $200 to make. Seven Windows is common, or there's a couple of large windows, so that would make something around $1500-$2000 for the windows.

Installation would require two people at least (up to four, more doesn't help speed things up) for one full day to remove and half a day to put up and fit. Scaffolding would cost $200 a day. Hourly rate would be $50 per person per hour, or $600 per person.

Total cost: $3000-4600.

They'll START offering "deals with 60% off" at $15,000. They'll go down to $5000 unless the salesman is near quota and their commission will kick in with this sale or only a few more like it, in which case they'll drop even further.

Why?

BECAUSE PEOPLE FALL FOR IT.

You were charged far too much.

They probably didn't buy recent stock in high volume to get the 50c/w, but 75c/w yes.

A day to set up for four people. Inverter less than a grand.

Assuming your system is rated 12kwp, that's less than $12,000 and they've paid for everything. All above that is profit.

Why did yuo fall for it?

Because you don't work in trade and there's a hell of an imbalance in knowledge, and you assume the reasonable position that they will be asking for profit, but it would be "reasonable".

No way, jose, doing that would leave money on the table.

It's not like any country would do anything to them for asking (without forcing you with, say, a gun to your head, even a metaphorical one) for 3x the cost plus installation and pocket 23 grand in profit.

Caveat emptor.

Blogger profile said...

"But that is "only" 30%. If my system really cost 50 cents per Watt, I'd be getting a 11,000 W system for $550, not $35,000. "

You can.

Buy the panels wholesale. You'd pay for delivery and a low order volume means that the shipping and handling would be relatively large, they're set up for repeat orders and large shipments.

That would get you the panels.

Buy the rails to fit the panels to the roof. Extra. Depends on loading and roof on cost.

You need to buy the inverter, less than a grand.

Hire a scaffold for a few days.

Get a friend.

Spend a couple of days or so installing.

It is VERY easy. If you can build a shed, you can do this too. Hell, erecting the scaffold will take longer than the fitting of the panels once you've put the rails on, and the rails, apart from checking where they go in to the roof, is much easier to put together than the scaffold.

It still wouldn't be $550. But you're not just buying the panels.

PG said...

@ Blogger profile
I believe your confidence in Republicans is unmerited but as an Australian living in Australia I could wrong about that.

Andrew said...

Bp -

So basically, even if the panels themselves are free, Solar PV will still cost money.

Seasonality is, unfortunately, the killer with PV as a major replacement for electricity, because we don't have seasonal-level storage.

Blogger profile said...

"So basically, even if the panels themselves are free, Solar PV will still cost money."

Uh, yes.

Do you get pissy that nobody will give you free installation? Do you want to get a free scaffold too?

If the panels are free, you have your own scaffold, you can gerry rig a frame and have a spare free inverter and fit it all together yourself, it would be free.

What, EXACTLY, is your point?

Blogger profile said...

"Seasonality is, unfortunately, the killer with PV"

Nope. They don't fall down like leaves in the winter.

"because we don't have seasonal-level storage."

Yes you do. It's called the national grid. Which has tidal, geothermal, wind, biomass.

Your *IDIOTIC* claim about seasonality is just as damn stupid as claiming "maintenane is the killer with Nuclear", because we don't have 6month+ storage.

Blogger profile said...

PG, I'm not american either. However, before making a claim on what the politicians in another country I know nothing about other than their TV appearance, I INFORMED myself.

Try it some time.

Go to wolf-pac.com and inform yourself BEFORE telling everyone that it would require a krakatoa level change in republicans in another political system you have BUGGER ALL to base your claims of absolute certainty about to bring about.

It's not like anyone held a gun to your head and demanded to know what you thought of the likelihood of this happening in the USA was. So you really didn't have any reason to try and find a conclusion.

BBD said...

Your *IDIOTIC* claim about seasonality is just as damn stupid as claiming "maintenane is the killer with Nuclear", because we don't have 6month+ storage.

This is neither idiotic nor a 'claim'. It is physics.

Here are some data showing the seasonal drop-off in surface insolation for the US (MJJ vs NDJ).

Seasonal storage - or rather the absence of it - is a major issue for solar except in equatorial installations.

Blogger profile said...

Buddy dumdum, you're a blind idealogue and incapable of coherent thought on this subject. It is not about problems with PV, but their benefits. You've tried that one yourself, so even if I think it bunk, YOU should feel it valid.

Andrew, Cooling is nuclear's killer. A heatwave can leave water too hot in the rivers for an entire season for any nuclear power to be produced, due to lack of coolant from the rivers.

Sea life blooms are nuclear's killer. They already cause the necessary shutdown of nuclear because their sea intakes are blocked with jellyfish.

And, unlike this seasonal variation problem, it's not that the power is just lower than the summer peak, but that there is NO POWER AT ALL. And at a time when the demand is highest, the problems will be most liable to occur. Precisely the opposite of Solar PV, whose output is highest when the demand is highest.

BBD said...
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BBD said...
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Blogger profile said...
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Blogger profile said...
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BBD said...

Accidental posts on wrong thread deleted with apologies to all.

BBD said...

Buddy dumdum, you're a blind idealogue and incapable of coherent thought on this subject.

That is not a substantive response to the extratropical winter insolation problem for solar installations.

Try again. Without the spittle this time.

BBD said...

Precisely the opposite of Solar PV, whose output is highest when the demand is highest.

Not true of NH mid-latitudes and above. Please don't make false claims.

Blogger profile said...

"Not true of NH mid-latitudes and above. Please don't make false claims. "

Where did John say he was again?

Elsewhere, it's easier and a one-time pay-off to insulate your home and reduce your bills in winter.

The USA loves its AC.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10211

Blogger profile said...

"That is not a substantive response to the extratropical winter insolation problem for solar installations. "

Odd. Is your post about mid latitude variation a substantive response to the extratropical insolation problem for solar insolation? Or was it ALSO a fail?

Buddy dumdum, you're a blind idealogue and incapable of coherent thought on this subject.

IS a substantive response to an idealogue who has an intense double standard as to proof that somehow paints renewables in a good light or ones that paint it in a bad one.

YOU ARE NOT A RELIABLE UNBIASED SOURCE. That quote was VERY substantive.

BBD said...

I'm not trying to paint renewables in a good or a bad light.

I'm pointing out that solar doesn't work very well in the winter unless you are in the tropics (fact #1).

Fact #1 leads to fact #2 which is that this is a problem for extratropical solar installations since seasonal storage technology doesn't exist.

You are having an argument with physics, not with me, which is why you end up looking a wee bit crazy.

BBD said...

Where did John say he was again?

With respect to John, this isn't about him, either.

It's about physics.

It's also about telling the truth.

Blogger profile said...

"I'm not trying to paint renewables in a good or a bad light."

Yes, you're not trying to paint them in a good light. No, you ARE trying to paint them in a bad one.

"I'm pointing out that solar doesn't work very well in the winter "

Define "doesn't work very well". Give quantitative values for it. Substantiate your claim. Because otherwise you're trying to paint renewables in a bad light by vague accusations that avoid rebuttal by being so vague as to be malleable to post-hoc reformulations. Like "God". Don't define it before saying it exists and you can retcon any proof against it by declaring some rationale why the proof doesn't work to this new definition of god.

Blogger profile said...

"With respect to John, this isn't about him, either."

Well I'm sorry you don't get to decide.

Either it's about John here or it's about the thread ATL, which is about the third world infrastructure.

However, I will point out that you get to deceide what you want to talk about and then re-decide from post to post.

TO YOU it's about NH mid-latitudes. Then it's supposed to be about physics.

The physics is that solar works wonderfully well. It produces power cheaply because it uses no resources to produce power that is otherwise usefully employed or expired in the exploitation.

Socially solar works wonderfully. We have to adapt to it in just the same way we adapted to the earlier and more crude methods of power generation, and, before that, adapted to life without abundant power. It's no more a problem this time than it was any of the others.

Mechanically, it's a simple proposition.

Logically, it isn't necessary to rely on solar alone, so any issue is open to amelioration with other generation methods.

Financially, if for power production we could get 1,000TWh/y for one price with Solar, and other technologies get 500TWh/y or less for the same price, we should fill our needs with solar first to its fullest capability, then move to the next cheapest solution to fulfill the demands left unsatisfied. If the power can be OVERPRODUCED by renewables cheaper than it can be produced from other sources,they should be used to overproduce, since there is no problems dumping the excess to ground.

To do otherwise would be financially unsound. It makes no sense to produce 1GW from nuclear when for the same 1GW "base load" it could supply you can get it cheaper -or even merely similar price- from more solar panels. Even if it produces an unwanted 2GW excess at times.

Politically, nuclear power is no safe for some countries due to political stability or the power to retain sovereignty, whereas no such problem exists if they produce via renewables.

On an engineering level, nuclear requires infrastructure, and many countries don't have it, or it is in severe disrepair, therefore local generation is feasible, whilst large scale is infeasible. Solar can be scaled down to 100W installtions with no issues of wasted resource.

BBD said...

Define "doesn't work very well". Give quantitative values for it. Substantiate your claim.

See for yourself.

Use the calendar. Go back to Jan 01. 5.1GW peak. Today? 19.4GW.

Arguing against physics is stupid.

Blogger profile said...

"Go back to Jan 01. 5.1GW peak. Today? 19.4GW."

So 5.1GW costs (for todays PV prices) $2.5Bn.

3 large modern nuclear power plants cost (for today's prices) a list of $15Bn, current cost overruns seem to run to over $30Bn.

And you could see 14.3GW as free extra, AND STILL HAVE PAID LESS.

Andrew said...

Bp -

Thanks for the abuse. Yes, if all the components were free, then the electricity would be free. Strange but true.

I wasn't aware that tidal, geothermal, wind and biomass were energy storage. To me, they look like a laundry list, which don't address the actual problem. And biomass is not green.

Still. I live in the UK, where there is about an order of magnitude difference between summer and winter with PV, and maximum electricity demand is on winter nights; if we replace natural gas with electricity then we also have peak heating demand at the same time.

The very worst cases are when we have a winter blocking high - little wind, minimal solar and very high demand. We don't have a solution for that case, and it's something that happens on a reasonably regular basis.


BBD said...

This isn't about cost it's about meeting future demand.

The plan is to switch to electricity for heating, cooking and transport, so demand is likely to *rise* over coming decades.

But it's cold in the winter in the NH and solar plant output drops massively and there's no seasonal storage technology.

Yet you wave this away.

It's not good enough.

This is what I mean when I stress the importance of telling the truth.

Blogger profile said...

"This isn't about cost it's about meeting future demand."

But to meet future demand we need to PAY MONEY to get that demand met. To meed the demand of 5.1GW on 1st Jan, we need $2.5Bn of SPV panels. To meet the same demand via nuclear, it costs $15Bn.

For the same price we can meet a demand of over 30GW in SPV.

"This is what I mean when I stress the importance of telling the truth."

THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.

So help me god, you really don't want to tell the WHOLE truth. Only those bit that ensure nuclear only is the option presented as achievable.

BBD said...

Only those bit that ensure nuclear only is the option presented as achievable.

I am sick and fucking tired of your lies and misrepresentations.

I have *not* made this argument so stop the constant verballing.

Blogger profile said...

" Bp -

Thanks for the abuse. "

No worries, Andrew. If you feel like any more, just post more moronic tirades without qualm.

"Yes, if all the components were free, then the electricity would be free. Strange but true."

Yup. So why the surprise when you find out that making ONE COMPONENT free but not the others makes the entire system NOT free?

Are you wanting more abuse heaped on you? There's some help you can get for that peccadillo. Look into it.

"I wasn't aware that tidal, geothermal, wind and biomass were energy storage."

They are not. Where did you get the idea they were? From the invisible man sitting next to you and making you type out this silly garbage? Should we be blaming them, not you?

They are generation and are backup just as much as coal backs up nuclear, wind backs up nuclear, geothermal backs up tide and tide backs up solar. And every combination thereof. And even between two of the same type.

Backup generation. Which, if there is no resource used up, means you can keep the backup running all the time. Not so good to run a gas power station when there's no demand for the power.

You see, this is all part of the current power generation systems. And a shortfall in one is countered by the increased generation of another.

"Still. I live in the UK, where there is about an order of magnitude difference between summer and winter with PV"

Apparently not. Apparently it's not even 4x.

And we have more wind here in the UK in winter. Very windy here. Big waves too with them, and a lot of coastline. Look at a map of the UK sometime and look for yourself. Or go to the seaside and check yourself we have coasts.

Take your invisible friend too, and tell him off for making all these silly mistakes.

"The very worst cases are when we have a winter blocking high - little wind, minimal solar and very high demand."

Blocking highs generally are much clearer skies. Tell that naughty invisible man to stop kidding you.

And in such a low-wind situation, the heating demand reduces. Especially when the sun is up.

Of course, a couple of winters ago, Sizewell B which had been down for over a year by then and still wasn't up, was producing no power from that generator, then Didcot failed, taking a large chunk of power generation with it too.

Despite all that, we managed for the weeks it took to get Didcot back up.

A few winters ago, Russia closed their gas pipelines and we were in a severe gas shortage. Despite, as you say, gas being a major component of our heating of our homes, we managed to survive the winter.

We also have biomass gas generation.

And in the warming world, we have seen warmer and warmer winters. Short periods arrive that are colder than the recent average, but they don't last as long and have been beaten in both depth and length before. So winter heating will become less and less of a problem until after we've fixed the problem with AGW. At which point we will have time to see if we still have a problem and have time to properly investigate the options and ensure we don't rush into a white, glowing, elephant.

Oh, and just a reminder: this ATL comment was about the developing world. If you include your home UK in that, please let me know which hellhole to avoid for my holidays, if it's underdeveloped-nation in its infrastructure and finances.

Blogger profile said...

"I have *not* made this argument so stop the constant verballing."

http://blueprintlsat.com/lsatblog/logical-reasoning-advice/exclusivity-fallacies-either-you-read-this-post-or-you-flunk-the-lsat/

1) We have to move off CO2 power production
2) We have renewables. They won't work.
3) I'm not saying we HAVE to have nuclear. Just saying its one of the options. Totally free to choose.
4) But choosing 2 is choosing something that won't work in reality, But it's not that it cant be done, it just doesn't produce enough. They underproduce their capacity in winter. Just stating the fact that they produce less in winter than summer.

BBD said...

2) We have renewables. They won't work.

Another verballing from you BP.

Did I mention that I was sick and fucking tired of you doing this?

Andrew said...

Bp -

Well, the reason I said that your laundry list was storage was because the comment you were replying to specifically mentioned storage. Perhaps a bit more reading comprehension would help here.

You've now decided that it's backup instead. Which isn't much better - you are going to need a lot of it. Which will stand idle most of the time. Oh, and the order-of magnitude thing is based on direct measurements from my due-south facing 2.76kW array. Still, we shouldn't let real-world numbers come into this, should we?

So, in the UK winter, blocking highs are associated with light winds and very low temperatures; you may get some solar power, but due to the angle of the sun, 4 hours if that. This is not the case of just losing, for instance, 20% of normal generation - which can be dealt with with backups and in extreme cases, load shedding - we are talking about losing 100% of PV and 90-95% of wind. This is not some made-up extreme case, it's what will happen with very high likelihood.



Blogger profile said...

" 2) We have renewables. They won't work.

Another verballing from you BP."

See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_stacking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framing_%28social_sciences%29#Frame-manipulation_research
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word#Forms

You are refusing to accept what you're saying as having any point at all. Either stop saying it or own up to it.

Blogger profile said...

"Well, the reason I said that your laundry list was storage was because the comment you were replying to specifically mentioned storage."

Well if you meant literally and ONLY storage, then your comment was still bunk because we don't need seasonal storage. Just the generating capacity.

Which is the case of every power generation system. The only one we don't have to worry about that with is reductions.

Blogger profile said...

"You've now decided that it's backup instead. Which isn't much better - you are going to need a lot of it"

Define "A lot of it".

We need about 35% extra capacity for nuclear and coal for their outages. We need ACTUAL backup too. Hydrostorage was built SOLELY for the purpose of making nuclear power possible on the UK grid.

We need AND HAVE a lot of it already.

So that point is, likewise, bunk.

BBD said...

You are refusing to accept what you're saying as having any point at all. Either stop saying it or own up to it.

No, I'm refusing to let you lie about what I am saying.

Blogger profile said...


"we are talking about losing 100% of PV and 90-95% of wind. "

No we aren't. Unless you live above the Arctic circle (and nowhere in the UK does that), we won't get anything of the sort of seasonal loss of 100% PV except overnight, nor 90-95% of wind.

Those numbers are COMPLETE AND UTTER FICTION.

The chances of it amount to something of the order of our nuclear power stations all being taken offline due risk of explosion.

PS on "Which will stand idle most of the time. " why is this a problem? It doesn't cost to run. You could use the remainder to desalinate water or create sythfuel. Or just let it go to waste. It is 100% wasted now, since we don't collect it.

BBD said...

We need AND HAVE a lot of it already.

So that point is, likewise, bunk.


If the UK installs the planned 33GW of wind capacity to produce an average 10GW then we'd need 1200GWh of storage to cope with a five day lull. That's about 130 Dinorwigs. We'd best get hollowing out mountains by the dozen, right away.

Blogger profile said...

BBD, you're an ass. Your statements mean nothing. You can't manage to work out what they're for, but you say them anyway.

They are therefore MEANINGLESS DRIBBLE.

Blogger profile said...

"We'd best get hollowing out mountains by the dozen, right away. "

We'd have to do that for nuclear. Not renewables.

Not that the developing world needs or is allowed nuclear.

Blogger profile said...

"This is not some made-up extreme case, it's what will happen with very high likelihood."

Proof please!

Blogger profile said...

If the UK installs 100GW of nuclear power then it will need 100GW x 3600s x 24h x30d x6m of backup power in case they have to be shut down.

And it may have to be shut down longer.

BBD said...

BBD, you're an ass. Your statements mean nothing. You can't manage to work out what they're for, but you say them anyway.

They are therefore MEANINGLESS DRIBBLE.


This is not a substantive response to what I posted. It's just a rabid barking noise.

We'd have to do that for nuclear. Not renewables.

Is just plain wrong and you've had this explained to you several times now so you are being resistant to correction.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

"We'd best get hollowing out mountains by the dozen, right away."

What's wrong with a little fossil fuel infrastructure backup while we get the ball rolling on full alternative conversion and intercontinental and international superconducting cables?

Are you really that daft?

Blogger profile said...

So, anyone else NOT insane, feel free to talk about the subject of the topic, rather than the UK or what buddy thinks he isn't saying and what he thinks he has said.

I think that 99% of the urban population will manage fine with a simple system of a short outhouse with a SPV panel on top, closed (so no goat can piss on the wires) with a battery storage (what,100Wh? Honestly, not sure what would serve as local store. It could be 100Wh is too big for one home, but too small for a village, even at 100Wh per house), but with that size, a 100W equivalent panel would, I think, be enough for 90% of the rural population of Africa, even if they all have electric ovens and a fridge.

On that, I feel one thing needed is some electric oven equivalent of the pot-bellied stove. Cheap, robust, efficient and (at least relatively) safe, so it can be left around kids that are mostly unattended and livestock and dogs who aren't housetrained able to be left safely with the stove in the home.

Just a night light changes the lives of children in rural Africa.They can do homework after it's too dark to help the parents, as long as they have light to read the books by. And educated workers are more productive and earn better.

Bugger power, the LIGHT gives the biggest boost to the future of a poor country, solely from being able to work on learning when the other work is done.

Blogger profile said...

"Are you really that daft?"

Yes. Though buddy WILL say "I've never said you couldn't!". See "Weasel Words" and ally that to "Cherry pick" and an unstated false dichotomy (exclusionary fallacy).

Andrew said...

Bp -

An example would be:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_2010%E2%80%9311_in_Great_Britain_and_Ireland

You are now claiming that we don't need storage. So, you need to be getting something like 60GW of power. From what?

Another link:

http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

You will note that wind - averaged over the country - does indeed drop to negligible amounts on a routine basis. So whatever your magic backup is, it has to be able to deliver enough to cover all the wind and solar capacity. You'll also note that the nuclear generation is extremely consistent.

Again, sorry for dragging real world data into this. It must be hard for you.

As far as the third world goes - yes solar is great for lighting and can just about handle refrigeration and consumer electronics. But I suspect that cooking and heating/aircon may be a bit too much. In the real world, of course, your world may differ.

Blogger profile said...

Sorry, Andrew, your whines are not only incorrect (no proof of your claim that we lost or could lose 100% PV and 90-95% wind), they've got bugger all to do with the topic of this blogposting.

Which is about the developing world and the effect on the massive drop in SPV prices.

(ps Ask Japan how much backup and how long they needed it for nuclear. And how they coped. But really, take it to a relevant thread)

Blogger profile said...

"But I suspect that cooking and heating/aircon may be a bit too much. In the real world"

Here in the real world, rural Africa doesn't HAVE Air con. Or even a way to seal a home with it.

They definitely don't need HEATING.

So quite what "real world" you are imagining is anyone's guess. The one we have here those two things are irrelevant. Go to Africa and help out and see for yourself.

Seriously, it's an eye opener. Especially when they bring out their chicken that they cooked for you specially. You realise how monstrously distorted the chickens we get from the supermarket are when that happens. And NEVER try that "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" thing.

Blogger profile said...

A slow cooker will work on 100-200W.

A camping electric stove as for caravans use a lot less than the 2000W our big home ovens use, and there is possibly no need for it.

Boil water. Slow roasting or grilling, and a slowcooker would remove the need for so much firewood, reduce pollution in the home, and may be possible with a small outhouse and a large battery storage.

If it were *easy* to design, it wouldn't be worth a patent.

John Hughes said...

Blogger profile:

"Ask Japan how much backup and how long they needed it for nuclear."

They needed backup for Fukashima daiichi. They didn't need backup for any of the other plants because they kept working. Shutting them down was a (stupid) political decision.

Much of your argument about nuclear seems to be based on the premise that France doesn't exist.

Blogger profile said...

"They needed backup for Fukashima daiichi."

And the rest of the stuff was shut down

And they didn't need backup?? According to Andrew here, that's unpossible!

However, lets leave this thread for things about the topic of the thread, hmm? Feel free to join the love-fest that is over on the "Dear Bishop Hill" thread if you want to continue.

Fernando Leanme said...

Ok, so this means the poorhouse holds in Congo get to power a TV, a refrigerator, two electric fans and two light bulbs with solar panels? What do they do at night or when it rains? Can these panels be mounted so they can't be stolen?

Barton Paul Levenson said...

BBD: If the UK installs the planned 33GW of wind capacity to produce an average 10GW then we'd need 1200GWh of storage to cope with a five day lull.

BPL: Isn't the UK grid going to connect to the continent at all?

Blogger profile said...

Well, fern. What a ... fertile ... imagination you've got.

I'm a little surprised you didn't put a XBox One and Thighmaster powered gym bike.

When you're ready, feel free to join the rest of us in normality.

It really IS quite nice.

When it rains? They have a battery. Didn't you see that bit?

And it's Africa. They're generally quite happy when it rains there. It's not like Bognor Regis at all.

I dare say that they can manage on the few days they would have to get an early night rather than their normal current day where they have to have an early night whether it's raining or not.

Everett F Sargent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barton Paul Levenson said...

BPL: My drought paper has been accepted. “Accuracy Check on Predictions of Near-Term Collapse” will appear in the British Journal of Science. This will be my third article in a peer-reviewed science journal, and the first dealing directly with climate science.

EFS:

BPL: Worst possible news: I just learned “British Journal of Science” is a scam journal. Boy, do I feel stupid.

EFS:

BPL: And you're posting this why? You think the other posters here missed it? You think it means my research is unreliable or that I'm an unqualified source? Something other than blanks would be a better explanation for your actions here. BTW, you might want to Google "ad hominem argument."

If you think my global warming research is wrong, please demonstrate why. Show your work.

BBD said...

BPL

BPL: Isn't the UK grid going to connect to the continent at all?

When there's a guarantee that there will always be enough surplus an interconnector away, you will have a valid point.

Not until.

As I have now said at least twice before.

Remember?

Blogger profile said...

"When there's a guarantee that there will always be enough surplus an interconnector away, you will have a valid point."

Ah, well. Problem there, old boy.

It's proven that we didn't have enough interconnects between us and France when we lost a large nuclear power station and a coal fired power station at the same time.

So given that this brownout was the result of the unreliability of nuclear and coal and not at all the result of renewables, this indicates that the problem is neither new not with renewables.

Yet despite the problem happening, we STILL pretend that coal and nuclear are "reliable" and somehow renewables aren't.

Your "point" requirement points to nuclear being unsuitable.

The idiocy of the pro-nuclear lobby here is rather pungent.

Blogger profile said...

By the way, I've told you about this failure of the HVDC interconnect with France twice now.

It seems like this abhorrent behaviour that has you so pantie-wedged with BPL is something you have mastered yourself long before...

I BET you're not going to upbraid yourself for your terrible lapse of memory, though. After all, it's only OTHER people who are bad.

BBD said...

My point is that you cannot run a national grid on wishful thinking and bullshit, dear BP.

BBD said...

By the way, I've told you about this failure of the HVDC interconnect with France twice now.

Thank you for making my point for me.

I have told you that we'd best get to hollowing out some mountains, sharpish.

Seems I was right.

Oddly, you blared out that we had PLENTY of pumped hydro already.

Clearly not, eh?

Blogger profile said...

Your point indicates that we cannot run the the grid with nuclear. Since it has ALREADY failed by the method you use to describe impossibility of application.

Now, stop being a dumdum and keep on the topic, and take your idiotic reality denial and blowhard rhetorical pissyfit off this thread where ADULTS are talking (with some regrettable outliers).

This is about SPV getting cheaper and being a better stepping stone for the developing world, NOT the clunk brokenass system of the first world where we have ungainly and ineffective white elephants that have to be propped up by government handout but loved by those who love big business. IOW our fossil and nuclear fueled monstrosity of incompetent power delivery.

They don't HAVE this useless crap. They can just go straight to the USEFUL stuff, stuff that has a FUTURE. Renewables.

Blogger profile said...

"I have told you that we'd best get to hollowing out some mountains, sharpish. "

Alternatively, we could do like the third world and NOT use nuclear and obsolete it. Remember, the failure was NOT because of the renewable network, it was due to the nuclear and coal one.

It is an object lesson for anyone wondering whether to get saddled with this dead-end technology and go for something with a future that hasn't shown signs of being unpredictably unreliable, otherwise they may find themselves having to fork out for massive backup for this "reliable" power production.

Better go for something that actually WORKS rather than what has shown it doesn't.

Blogger profile said...

Remember, buddy dumdum, AFRICA, dear. Africa.

They can use renewables. They don't have the massively expensive and crappy "national grid" to hold them back like blighty does.

And good on them, I say. Try something that has a chance to serve them, rather than hold them back!

Everett F Sargent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BBD said...

Your point indicates that we cannot run the the grid with nuclear.

No, oh Clueless One, it indicates that we cannot run the grid without adequate backup.

The Clued understand that adding intermittent renewables requires an increase in the amount of backup. The Clueless bark rabidly just beyond the light of reason.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

BPL: Isn't the UK grid going to connect to the continent at all?

BBD: When there's a guarantee that there will always be enough surplus an interconnector away, you will have a valid point. -- Not until. -- As I have now said at least twice before. -- Remember?

BPL: I take your point but fail to see its relevance. Obviously, when infrastructure breaks down, you get a shortage. You never have 100% guarantee of enough power under any system, including the system we have now. But the bigger the grid, the less likely complete blackout is. You understand that, right?

Barton Paul Levenson said...

BPL: And you're posting this why? You think the other posters here missed it? You think it means my research is unreliable or that I'm an unqualified source? Something other than blanks would be a better explanation for your actions here. BTW, you might want to Google "ad hominem argument."

EFS:

BPL: If you think my global warming research is wrong, please demonstrate why. Show your work.

EFS:

BPL: So you're just being a jerk for the sheer enjoyment of it? You're still in junior high school, I take it?

Blogger profile said...

AFRICA, dearie. THIRD WORLD. Developing world. That sort of thing.

Not blighty, dear. That's in a different place.

DO try to keep up, Buddy DumDum.

It shouldn't be hard. However, it still appears too difficult for you.

Developing world, not Britain.

Got it?

Everett F Sargent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogger profile said...

No, "Serge", put DOWN the farley's and STOP beating the rattle on your food tray.

Now, remember. This is about the opportunities in the third world. NOT about your temper tantrums.

BPL, you really should know better than to rile the brat up with all your "Being right" and "having an actual academic career". You KNOW how he HATES intelligence. Gets in his way something chronic.

You should remember: it is not nice to mock the afflicted. Especially when they're as afflicted as "Serge".
;)

BBD said...

But the bigger the grid, the less likely complete blackout is. You understand that, right?

Only if there's enough capacity and backup to go around.

You and others *assume* that this will be the case as an argument for not building sufficient backup eg. in the UK to compensate for wind intermittency.

What if other regions also decided to play at free-riders? After all, hollowing out mountains is very, very expensive.

In fact the only way I can see to guarantee that there *will* be enough surplus is for all regions to build very substantial backup capacity, which does rather bring us back to the assertion that renewables will be cheap.




BBD said...

DO try to keep up, Buddy DumDum.

As I have already had to remind you, my screen name is BBD.

Since there appears to be no moderation keeping your vile behaviour in check and since I had several hundred comments more than enough:

Fuck off, you cretin.

Everett F Sargent said...

DP,

The only person, to date, that you HAVE NOT insulted on RR is BPL.

BPL is your only appeaser. I thought that was worth pointing out.

Because, the time will come when BPL says something that YOU don't like, and then ...

BOOM GOES THE DP DYNAMITE!

What a moran!

Blogger profile said...

"Serge", remember. NO throwing your rattle about!

THIS is about
John Chait in New York Magazine, has a thumb sucker balancing between glory and despair about the upcoming Paris conference

NOT about your thumb sucking petulance.

Please also note that BPL and I disagree about his faith in such a manner that he can barely stand to acknowledge my existence. He insists it is both real and necessary. I know it's a load of old cod. HOWEVER, this is irrelevant to your childish attempts to troll merely for your own sexual deviancy's release.

If you CAN'T be an adult and you can't stand people who actually LEARNT something at school, then kindly do the ADULT thing and keep your petulance under control ADULTS can control their childish impulses. Only pouting adolescents and the mendally incapable find this impossible.

So, remember:


John Chait in New York Magazine, has a thumb sucker balancing between glory and despair about the upcoming Paris conference
...

Eli suggests the bunnies read the article and leave some droppings in the comments.

Hissy fits driven by your shame and feelings of inadequacy should be left to the appropriate thread.

Everett F Sargent said...

DP,

Yo crack pimp dadda and yo heroin ho mamma have posted billboards nationwide stating ...

Someone, anyone, God even, please abort --> image of Dlogger profile who just happens to look exactly like Ted Kaczynski <--

What a moran!

Blogger profile said...

I'll leave Eli to police this personal vendetta you have against BPL.

It's obvious you have no control over yourself, so me trying to buck your ideas up are evidently going to remain wasted.

Everett F Sargent said...

DP.

Yo crack pimp dadda and yo heroin ho mamma, that scumbag they tried to use failed, had a hole in it from a reused heroin needle, infested with AIDS and STD"s and Ebola ...

And thus was born ... you ...

Son of Scumbag.

What a moran!

Tom said...

Mr. Sargent I am surprised at your tone and language.

It's 'maroon', not 'moran.' Please update your spell-checker.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Regarding the grid. The grid exists because of power companies. If everyone went to residential solar, and commercial bldgs did the same, why would power companies maintain a grid?

People treat the grid as if it's a god given right and as if it just exists. It doesn't.

This is especially important to consider with irregular sources of energy (wind, solar) while we lack necessary storage (days, weeks, months).

I rarely see anyone mention who picks up the tab for maintaining the grid, how much *that* will cost, and who will be in charge of it.

More fun :)

Blogger profile said...

"Regarding the grid."

Yes, regarding this, the topic of discussion says this about it:

...

That's right. Nothing. Why? Because these places don't HAVE a national grid. Making one FIRST is a cost that produces NO POWER AT ALL.

Local generation doesn't need it.

"This is especially important to consider with irregular sources of energy "

(nuclear, coal, gas)

And with those, because of the complex moving parts and, in some cases, no User Service Access, they require a massive trained workforce that specialise in their maintenance and repair. Both of which are large costs and need to be found first before you can use them.

We don't want some township having an electrical engineer come along and open up the reactor to check that the leads are all still in place, do we. They have to get (and pay for) a specialist team to handle it.

"I rarely see anyone mention who picks up the tab for maintaining the grid, how much *that* will cost, and who will be in charge of it. "

Why make a grid? It makes no power. It's a cost. And a fragile one that even first world countries cannot make work.

BBD said...

And a fragile one that even first world countries cannot make work.

Oooh yes. Power's down all the time. Don't know how we get the computers, routers, servers, international telecoms cabling etc working evah.

So obviously sustained exchanges in blog comments are an impossibility because - even first world countries cannot make their grids work.

Who knew?

Blogger profile said...

"Oooh yes. Power's down all the time"

So unreliability is fine as long as it generally works. Like renewables and a EU connection.

Or is this only applied to fossil fuels and nuclear power? Because... reasons.

BBD said...

So unreliability is fine as long as it generally works.

Oh dear. Failure to recognise sarcasm.

You are pretty much beyond the reach of normal modes of discourse, aren't you?

Blogger profile said...

" So unreliability is fine as long as it generally works.

Oh dear. Failure to recognise sarcasm."

Ah. Right.

So our national grid IS unreliable. You were just being sarcastic.

EliRabett said...

If the bunnies locate their burrow far enough out at the end of the line, esp where the weather is, variable, then everyhutch has a diesel generator or two for the days when the line power goes down. If out at the ends of the earth, where the grid is figurative, then the generators work almost every day. Diesel generators are the most costly and carbon intensive sources of electricity.

Blogger profile said...

But biodiesel or synthfuel would make those generators CO2 neutral.

And bunnies can go visit a nuclear power station any time they like to verify that they exist. Replacing coal with renewables does not make such big structures evaporate...

Of course, where they don't have these behemoths or even electricity, adding solar or wind power adds electrical power. It never takes it away. There's no "anti generation" with renewables.

PG said...

Blogger Profile I recommend you alter your meth dosage.

Blogger profile said...

PG, I recommend you don't let your secrets out in an attempt to project them onto others.

I would ALSO suggest that containing something more substantive than a disguised "You're a poopyhead, I hate you" would be also a better idea on a public forum. Even if for no other reason than doing so merely indicates that such behaviour that leads you to have a reflexive need to post that sort of thing out of spite and hate to punish them for their words does rather remove any validity of a claim for moral high ground that would be the only possible reason for believing your rage justified.

Blogger profile said...

Rabbits should also remember that diesel generators running 1/1000th of the time produce much less pollution than clean coal running 100%.

Chimps realise that bunnies don't do maths like division. Just multiplication.

PG said...

Blogger profile you are a sanctimonious hypocrite. You lecture people on rage when 75% of your posts are abusive.

I suggest you take a quiet moment to read them.

Blogger profile said...

Peegee, please read the second part of the earlier post.

TIA.

BBD said...

You are an utter hypocrite, BP.

And stop pretending to be either reasonable or sane. Bunnies - including the management - can read. They will have seen your lunacy on the other thread.

They know.

Blogger profile said...

...says the dude who uses an "argument" and gets REALLY "frustrated" when it's not accepted by everyone, but when it's used back, thinks all he has to prove it doesn't apply is say "It only proves how right I was before!"...

Or someone who types DO NOT EVER TELL ME WHAT TO DO, then demands others "read the link" and provide proofs of the form he requires that the data used is wrong. Or "FFS, shut up and let someone else have a say".

You know, hypocrisy.

Or PG who drops a "Republicans are too evil" and then defends against their incorrect measure of the Republican evility with "Well, I'm on the other side of the world, so I can't be expected to know, would I". Didn't stop them claiming what they would do.

It's generally not worth just whining about someone's hypocrisy unless you're 100% hypocrisy free. If that's not the case, then you need more than just a whinge to the post.

Otherwise all you're doing is doubling down on hypocrisy and trying to make out you're both the victim AND the hero in a fiction that you're hoping never to have to explain its evidence for.

BBD said...

Like I said, BP, it's no good trying to pretend to be reasonable and sane.

Everybody knows now.

That's why it was worth keeping the other thread going for so long.

Blogger profile said...

See previous comment, Buddy. DumDum.

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