Friday, October 02, 2015

Cool new stuff

I normally don't post about the daily Today's Exciting Breakthrough That'll Change Everything, but some exceptions:

1. The Economist on electronic flight. Air travel is already a non-trivial source of emissions and getting bigger, and its unclear whether biofuels will ever be real substitute for jet fuel. That small electronic planes could be flying in just a year or two for an hour at a time is good news, as trainee pilots use them to learn skills. It seems like massive planes are a long ways off, but any bit helps, so maybe biofuels are one solution with electronic planes the other, and if at least one works then we're good. And also, get rid of flying whenever possible.


2. Osmotic power:



From Sciencedaily, new steps, hopefully,  in using the salinity differential between more- and less-salty water to create power. I've heard of osmotic power before and think it has serious potential. The paper mentions combining brines from ocean desalination plants with seawater. I think a better example, maybe, could be brines from wastewater recycled via reverse-osmosis plants, combined with wastewater that that isn't undergoing RO treatment. It's much less salty to begin with, so it's easier to achieve a higher salinity differential with RO wastewater brines than ocean desal brines.

In the water field, we're used to doing energy recovery when you pump water over an incline - you just stick a turbine at the bottom on the far side, and you get 80% of your energy back. Why not do the same thing after you pump wastewater across a membrane?


3. Kauai installing the first utility-grade solar-plus-battery storage. Hawaii has the goal of 100% renewable power by 2045, something the rest of us in the developed world need to hit a decade or so later (combined with whatever large hydro/nuclear still around then). The real if overhyped problem renewables have of intermittent wind power and no solar power after sunset can be counter acted with batteries, and Kauai (amazing place to hike, btw) is doing it. They're using massive numbers of Tesla's Powerwall batteries to get 52 megawatt-hours of storage, several percent of total daily usage. Hardly a complete solution, but a non-trivial start. Combine storage with smart homes that shift power usage to times when renewable power is working, and you're getting a solution.

Hawaii does have sky-high fuel import costs that makes this financially feasible, but it's worth noting that the state doesn't have the energy poverty of Haiti. The rest of us could do this now if we were willing to bear some costs - the world doesn't face a binary choice of current fossil fuel waste or Haitian levels of economic development.


4. Small scale solar-plus-used-hybrid batteries replace generators at Yellowstone National Park. Lamar Buffalo Ranch, an environmental education facility at Yellowstone with no grid power, had used diesel generators for decades. They switched to solar power backed up with 208 reused, hybrid car battery packs. This is obviously experimental and not based on straight financial considerations, but it points the way. Millions of hybrid battery packs are going to be available in the next 5 years. My Prius from 2004 with 175,000 miles is going to have to be recycled someday. I don't honestly know whether there's enough juice in these hybrid batteries to make them commercially useful, but I think it's highly likely for reusing the much larger plug-in and EV batteries, millions of which will be available in the next decade. That's lots of cheap power storage.

144 comments:

Tom said...

The Economist shows up late in Taiwan. Did it have anything about OTEC? Hawaii's where it got trialed back in the 30s.

E. Swanson said...

I recall that the battery packs for hybrids can be re-built. I'm not sure what's done, but it appears that some of the batteries are degraded more than the rest, thus the better ones may be re-used.

A couple of years ago, I bought one of those LiMH powered flashlights. It turns out that they use the same cells found in some laptops. I had an old laptop battery which would not hold a charge, which I disassembled and separated the cells. Then, I charged each one and now use them in 2 flashlights and the 8 cells seem to be working quite well.

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

The way I used to do it is move the batteries from transportation, to solar and then to wind, as they degraded. Even highly degraded batteries work well on wind as long as they are not shorted out, as with wind the power levels are so high you just need something to ballast the MOSFETs and keep them from blowing on a regular basis. A superconducting coil would work equally well, if you happen to have one.

Once completely shorted out you have no choice but to melt them down and separate the materials and reconstitute the plates and electrodes. Taken to the 'ideal battery' limit you just have a fuel cell and fuel and a large array of reactant feeds to reactant centers.

Beware the exploding super battery. Also, where this is going :

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Quantum_Astrophysics.pdf

John said...

The only real difference between biofuel and fossil fuels in air (or other) vehicle propulsion is that biofuels have more recently been biosynthesized via the energy of the sun, while fossil fuels, as the name suggests, longer ago.

The products of combustion of the bio/fossil fuels, assuming no great accommodating "breakthrough technological" advances sought in airplane engines, would be the same level of Kg CO2 per passenger-kilometer traveled.
(Kerosene in > combustion products of kerosene out.)

Someone else can detail the numbers on the EROEI for fossil fuels (mined) vs bio fuels (farmed). (From whence cometh the WATER to grow bio fuels?!?)

John Puma

Barton Paul Levenson said...

JP: The products of combustion of the bio/fossil fuels, assuming no great accommodating "breakthrough technological" advances sought in airplane engines, would be the same level of Kg CO2 per passenger-kilometer traveled.

BPL: Yes, but the carbon in fossil fuels came out of the ground, while the carbon in biofuels came out of the air via plants. (I know, the fossil fuels did, too, but that was from an atmosphere with much more carbon.) There is no net addition to airborne CO2 from biofuels. And in the case of biofuels from biochar mechanisms, one byproduct is solid carbon that can be buried, for a net decrease.

BBD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BBD said...

John

The real if overhyped problem renewables have of intermittent wind power and no solar power after sunset can be counter acted with batteries

Not at any real scale because the amount of energy storage required is much too great. See eg. MacKay to get a feel for the numbers. Very large scale pumped hydro might do it, but the cost will be significant, not to mention the ecological impact.

Nigel Franks said...

There's no point in solving the renewable energy problem if we ignore agricultural emissions. Some recent calculations estimate them to be up to 45% of man made emissions.

John said...

To BPL:

OK, the EROEI (ultimately CO2 emissions) calculation to farm the biofuels source plants, transport them, process them into useable fuels then transport it to its final point of use?

Also the source of the, apparently, rapidly disappearing water to grow the biofuel crops? What do we do with the mass of glycerol from the biodiesel process?

Oh, yes, biochar, a sort of sequestering approach. As I understand it, typical "good" yields of the char, itself, is around 50% and that is not going to be achieved without precision (i.e. $, energy and CO2 expensive) equipment with "syngas" and "bio-oil" (and no mean amount of CH4) comprising the remainder. Those could be refined, at further energy/CO2 costs, into fuels and other useful compounds as are similarly derived from fossil fuel.

The process is, generally, pyrolysis that requires energy input. Sure, theoretically, it will be done using the "syngas" and "bio-oil" byproducts but that won't be routinely achieved without use of limited species of plant material of known and optimal chemical composition. Switch grass monoculture, here we come! What food crops will shrewdly be jettisoned for that?

And, spurred by the same something for nothing assumption about biofuels, one wonders how much biochar will actually provide its beneficial effects (with attendant energy/CO2 costs to get it to, and into, the soil) as opposed to being "directly substituted for any application that uses coal." (wiki article)

At best we will get elemental carbon to enrich the soil at no net CO2 emission. But why bother? Sure without this "promising" technology plant material will "indiscriminately" decompose, as it has since the arrival of plant species, sending CO2 into the atmosphere.

But as with the attraction of biofuels, the decaying matter itself will enrich the soil, in every way claimed for biochar, allowing new generations of plants that incorporate the equivalent of the previous generation's CO2 into their own structures.

The secret is to grow more plants/trees NOT to pyrolyze them.

We are not going to improve on the natural cycles with our "clever" technology only disrupt or destroy them, taking ourselves, and/or ancestors with them.
See Dilworth ISBN 9780521757690
-----

John Puma

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

The water doesn't 'disappear'. It eventually goes into the ocean where it become salty. The ice sheets don't disappear either, the same thing happens, it returns to the ocean and become salty and then you have to start up the long term evaporation, vaporization and condensation cycle (distillation) once again and then freeze it on the poles to store it.

It just seems to me that rather than wasting all that fresh water it would be more rational to use a light and easily manipulated electronic working (super) fluid rather than some heavy, difficult to work with cryogens. They have their uses, as long as you are ok with continual mechanical maintenance or need them to fuel some reaction engine or fuel cell (read battery). BBDs concerns about night time are baseless because in the future that energy will just be shipped across the terminator and around the world, equally distributed.

I know. Wealth redistribution. What a concept.

No, I am not an ecomodernist.

BBD said...

BBDs concerns about night time are baseless because in the future that energy will just be shipped across the terminator and around the world, equally distributed.

At a conservative cost of $1 billion per 1GW per 1000km.

I'm not saying it will never be done, only that these airy pronouncements come with astonishingly large price tags attached.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

JP, I'm fine with growing more trees. But fuels have to come from somewhere, and biofuels will at least be less harmful than fossil fuels. And there is arable land that can't be used to grow crops very easily, and plants other than food plants. Electrify, conserve, but we can't give up fuels of every sort completely.

Russell Seitz said...

point to BBD: A generation after the Woodstock of Physics, high temperature superconducting power lines have tey to materialize, which says something humbling about materials science in praxis.

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

Well maybe you are a year or so out of date.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/182278-the-worlds-first-superconducting-power-line-paves-the-way-for-billions-of-dollars-in-savings

Now I thought I just explained to BBD that a battery was basically a fuel cell with its own built in fuel. So until we can cross the terminator with long superconducting lines, we can do quantum mechanics locally for low voltage 1 volt devices of the future. Jeez. Not getting it, you aren't. Like I said, the problem here is religions and culture.

BBD said...

Like I said, the problem here is religions and culture.

Not at all. The problems are rooted in physics. I will share your delight when novel storage technologies sweep away the impediments to decarbonisation. But until they do, real constraints remain on how far and how fast decarbonisation can progress.

Being clear about what is possible is a fundamental first step in solving the problem. We have to crawl before we can walk.

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

And yet you refuse to help in that endeavor, which we know is possible since it satisfies the laws of physics and no known laws of physics forbid it, and also you are eager to hinder that endeavor. I get that.

That's called unfounded dismissivism. Skepticism without evidence.

I get that too. You are a fool. I know that. I've known that for a while.

BBD said...

[number string]

And yet you refuse to help in that endeavor, which we know is possible since it satisfies the laws of physics and no known laws of physics forbid it, and also you are eager to hinder that endeavor. I get that.

It's wonderful that we now have a working superconductive cable just over a kilometre long, connecting two transformer stations in Essen. The engineering achievement is all the more impressive as the cable is cooled to -206C / 67K by a liquid nitrogen-filled sheath. No mean feat.

Russell did say that "high temperature superconducting power lines have yet to materialise". He was correct.

EliRabett said...

67 K is high temperature for superconductivity. LN2 cooling is a few orders of magnitude cheaper than LHe.

BBD said...

A touch of the parsomatic, Eli?

;-)

Blogger profile said...

"Not at any real scale because the amount of energy storage required is much too great."

Oh dear, Buddy Dumdum.

On that again? HOWEVER, you failed here in a new way. You're no longer pretending to claim that renewables can be used, you're outright proclaiming them unworkable.

http://skepticalscience.com/100-percent-renewable-power.html

The Mackay paper is a hatchet job entirely made to preclude anything other than nuclear.

Blogger profile said...

"At a conservative cost of $1 billion per 1GW per 1000km.

I'm not saying it will never be done, only that these airy pronouncements come with astonishingly large price tags attached."

Really?


Based on, I would suggest, the worst case idiot scenario where you get to claim an entire season with zero of one type of renewable, which is never going to happen.

Tell you what, ask Tepco what it costs for nuclear.

The attachment appears to be TO large price tags, so that all other avenues are precluded other than the preferred one.

Same BS as Mackay.

BBD said...

BP

You're no longer pretending to claim that renewables can be used, you're outright proclaiming them unworkable.

No, I'm not.

Canman said...

An interesting hydrocarbons from sunlight proposal I just ran across:

http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2015/03/23/joule-says-will-go-commercial-in-2017-solar-fuels-on-the-way/

Blogger profile said...

Buddy, yes you are.

Blogger profile said...

Canman, the proposition in the paper talked about in the SKS link uses mostly CSP for solar, which means little need for nighttime backup for solar, and the summer excess is used to create hydrogen based fuels for the winter and any long term widespread drops that may occur (similarly to having a quiet nuclear or coal station backup for when your nuclear power plants are offline for months at a time).

It also figures a massive overproduction, which is entirely unnecessary, to cover the full power requirement for the winter without any reduction in power requirements, without that, almost half the kit is unnecessary.

Buddy likes to claim that it's hugely expensive as if to say it is too expensive, but ALSO likes to pretend that he's not saying it's too expensive, it's just more expensive than claimed.

But if it's not too expensive, who cares what the expense is?

Per levelised power with overproduction for winter in temperate latitudes, Solar is half the price of nuclear. Wind doesn't have anywhere near the problems of such seasonal variation and is even cheaper.

Remember, the push to make a nuclear future is based on the failure as if only one renewable type were being used. It COULD be done that way, but nobody is proposing to do so.

What they ALSO don't understand is that we already HAVE nuclear. And with France we can see that a large fraction (but still minority figure) of power production from nuclear means you hemorrhage money without government bailouts and STILL get widespread blackouts without borrowing power from other countries.

We already have nuclear, and likely as much as necessary. And building more won't happen anywhere near fast enough to make a difference.

Renewables build out a damn sight quicker. And even if they were more expensive, this would make them the only option given the decades we've already wasted pissing about whether there's even a problem.

BBD said...

BP

Buddy, yes you are.

Then you can quote me stating that:

You're no longer pretending to claim that renewables can be used, you're outright proclaiming them unworkable.

Outright, proclaiming and unworkable. I'll await your response quoting me with real interest.

When you fail you can apologise for lying about what I said.

BBD said...

BP

Since you are being irritating again, you can read up on just how badly the flagship US mega-CSP plant at Ivanpah is performing in the real world.

It hasn't even achieved it's estimated power per unit area of just 8.7W/m^2.



Fernando Leanme said...

Isn't it interesting to see wind and power touted so loudly and simultaneously we see nuclear, hydro, and geothermal dismissed when they are so much more reliable?

Blogger profile said...

Buddy, here:

"Not at any real scale because the amount of energy storage required is much too great."

D'oh!

you've done this before, mind. When your comments have been written in language less weaselese you demand to see where you said it, then refuse to acknowledge and demand to see a LINK to it! Then just plain refuse to see it.

It's a thing you do.

Blogger profile said...

"Since you are being irritating again"

Aaaawwwww. Does ooo feew unwewcom wiv the big nasty man not letting you get your fantasy story out?

Diddums.

Tell you what, stop promoting that BS and I'll be less "irritating" because there'd be no need to refute your BS with stuff you find "irritating".

Blogger profile said...

"the flagship US mega-CSP plant at Ivanpah is performing in the real world."

Yeah, just happens to be a lot better than

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olkiluoto_Nuclear_Power_Plant

Not that it's any better elsewhere for nuclear fluffers like yourself:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2562146/three_in_every_four_nuclear_power_builds_worldwide_are_running_late.html

And Hinkley only goes ahead under the committment to a huge backhander to get it started AND a massive guaranteed bid price for the electricity that is going up faster than inflation for decades:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinkley_Point_C_nuclear_power_station

Which, you would remember if you bothered to be fair and accurate about the whole thing as you *claim* to do, requires a massive new build-out of backup and interconnects so as to be able to handle failures at the plant taking it offline. A cost not figured in to nuclear costs at all.

Blogger profile said...

Buddy, how about YOU give your assessment of what mix the various power supply options should be when fossil fuels are removed entirely?

So far you've only ever banged on about "we need more nuclear", "renewables are too expensive and take too much land" and "we can't use coal". You also pretend, and I DO MEAN *pretend* like renewables are "not unworkable", but you NEVER go into how much they can be used or why they can BE workable. Only how bad they can be. Never how they can be working.

So go on, what proportions do you claim we can do, and why?

BBD said...

BP

Where is this quote of me 'proclaiming outright that renewables are unworkable'?

Where is it?

Or were you lying about me again?

Could that be it?

Easy to test though. Either you provide the quote or we know you were lying again.

BBD said...

And BP, selective misrepresentation is not good enough at all.

I wrote that John was mistaken to say that batteries could be used to compensate for slew and intermittency in wind *and* solar (his original statement - go back and read it).

I then said that :

Very large scale pumped hydro might do it, but the cost will be significant, not to mention the ecological impact.

Might do it. Not a proclamation that all renewables are unworkable.

You have now added a deliberate and dishonest misrepresentation to your original lie.

Blogger profile said...

" And BP, selective misrepresentation is not good enough at all."

Since there is ZERO evidence outside the selection that negates the conclusion, your whine here is irrelevant.

Mind you, it's something you LOVE to manage yourself. Talk lots and lots about the problems of renewables, and selectively blot out anything positive about it, or negative about nuclear.

"I wrote that John was mistaken to say that batteries could be used to compensate for slew and intermittency in wind *and* solar (his original statement - go back and read it). "

Yeah, you're wrong, though, it's entirely feasible to do so. It cant with YOUR misrepresentation of the problem, because you're completely unwilling to accord it accurate slew and intermittency.

Secondly, "Not at any real scale because the amount of energy storage required is much too great." is what you said HERE RIGHT NOW. Not a reply to John's statement you give there.

Misrepresentation. Non selective, actual, real, genuine lying, misrepresentation.

And you're doing your signature "IGNORE EVERYTHING I EVER SAID" BS again.

"Where is this quote of me 'proclaiming outright that renewables are unworkable'?"

Here:

"Not at any real scale because the amount of energy storage required is much too great."

Les Salines France said...

BP said, "And with France we can see that a large fraction (but still minority figure) of power production from nuclear means you hemorrhage money without government bailouts and STILL get widespread blackouts without borrowing power from other countries."
France gets about 75% of its electricity from nukes. We don't get widespread blackouts from a lack of electricity per se, it's mainly due to bad weather taking down the power lines. Even when some nukes had to shut down because the cooling water at the intakes was too warm, supplies were not disrupted.

BTW France is also a net electricity exporter: see page 10 http://www.rte-france.com/sites/default/files/2015_01_27_pk_rte_2014_french_electricity_report.pdf

BBD said...

BP

Yeah, you're wrong, though, it's entirely feasible to do so.

Not at scale. No battery technology exists that can provide the necessary storage capacity to compensate for regional-scale slew and intermittency in wind / solar.

You are being assertively wrong. Again.

Blogger profile said...

"France gets about 75% of its electricity from nukes. We don't get widespread blackouts from a lack of electricity per se"

Because you import it from Germany and your other neighbours. Especially when this happened

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/08/17/372817/-Global-warming-shuts-down-TVA-nuclear-reactor

Not to mention the massive handouts your government pays EDF so it can remain a nuclear powered country.

"Even when some nukes had to shut down because the cooling water at the intakes was too warm, supplies were not disrupted."

Yeah, because HVDC links to other countries sorted you out:

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/09/clean-energy-loving-germany-increasingly-exporting-electricity-to-nuclear-heavy-france/

Blogger profile said...

"Not at scale"

Yes. At scale.

"No battery technology exists that can provide the necessary storage capacity to compensate for regional-scale slew and intermittency in wind / solar. "

Yes it can.

The same techniques that we have to use at the moment for the fossil fuel and nuclear power stations going offline for months (or sometimes years) at a time will work just as well for wind/solar.

Blogger profile said...

"You are being assertively wrong. Again. "

Ahh, projection again, Buddy?

Blogger profile said...

And STILL nothing about YOU giving your assessment of what mix the various power supply options should be when fossil fuels are removed entirely.

BBD said...

More deranged rubbish.

To date this year France has exported 5.6TWh to Germany and imported 1.2TWh from Germany. That's 4.6 times as much exported to Germany as imported.

You don't know what you are talking about.

BBD said...

The same techniques that we have to use at the moment for the fossil fuel and nuclear power stations going offline for months (or sometimes years) at a time will work just as well for wind/solar.

This crap *again* from you demonstrates just how weak your topic knowledge really is.

Conventional plant (FF / nuclear) can and does go offline unexpectedly once in a while. One plant at a time.

Renewables exhibit slew and intermittency on regional scales so need regional-scale backup, not just a bit of spare capacity elsewhere on the grid.

The backup requirement increases as the share of renewables in the energy mix rises.

This is basic, energy 101 stuff. It would help if you could be bothered to understand it.

Blogger profile said...

"To date this year France has exported 5.6TWh to Germany and imported 1.2TWh from Germany. "

Importing when it's expensive for France and exporting when it's cheap for Germany. Hence the financial meltdown of EDF.

Oh, and check in 2008.

You wouldn't want to be found guilty of selective misdirection, would you?

You don't know what you are talking about.

"Conventional plant (FF / nuclear) can and does go offline unexpectedly once in a while. One plant at a time."

Or several. And taking a huge load of generation with it. Hence a need for MASSIVE backup generation for new nuclear, never costed or acknowledged by nuke fluffers,

Rewnewables are no more likely to be out over a region as all nuclear power plants to have to be offline over a region. And both equally painful. After all, they are to be generating a Megawatt that isn't supposed to know or care what generated it. So its lack will be noted just as effectively.

"so need regional-scale backup, not just a bit of spare capacity elsewhere on the grid."

Just like nukes do.

"The backup requirement increases as the share of renewables in the energy mix rises."

Just like nukes do.

Worse, since renewables are more varied and much cheaper, nuclear profitability drops massively when there is a lot of renewable generation, and THIS is why nuke fluffers get in such a tizzy over renewables. After all, you're not in this for the ecology, you're in this for the bennies.

France has to have many load following plants because they mix so hugely into their grid. And doing so

a) Knackers the plant early
b) Causes more cost in operating
c) Reduces capacity factor on nameplate.


"This is basic, energy 101 stuff. It would help if you could be bothered to understand it. "

No, your points was nuclear fluffer 101 stuff. I know all about it. Which "irritates" you no end.

Blogger profile said...

And STILL nothing about YOU giving your assessment of what mix the various power supply options should be when fossil fuels are removed entirely.

Again.

Plenty of words about how renewables cannot work, none about where it would.

BBD said...

Rewnewables are no more likely to be out over a region as all nuclear power plants to have to be offline over a region.

Just wrong.

Again.

You do this all the time (as well as refusing to admit your regular and often serious mistakes).

This behaviour makes it impossible to have a sane conversation with you, which I suspect is why you do it in the first place.

It provides you with your conception of a 'win'.

From the outside, things do not look so rosy.

And STILL nothing about YOU giving your assessment of what mix the various power supply options should be when fossil fuels are removed entirely.

I've no idea what the global energy mix will look like if we ever manage to ditch FFs entirely. The plausible, realistic mid-century scenarios tend to cluster around 30% renewables, 30% nuclear and 40% FF. I'd go with that as a rough working hypothesis.

BBD said...


You wouldn't want to be found guilty of selective misdirection, would you?

You don't know what you are talking about.


Let's review the recent data:

Energy exports and imports between France and Germany:

2011: F to G 20.3 TWh G to F 139 GWh

2012: F to G 13.2 TWh G to F 782 GWh

2013: F to G 11.8 TWh G to F 1.2 TWh

2014: F to G 14.8 TWh G to F 831 GWh

French energy exports to Germany dwarf French imports from Germany.

Facts, not incorrect assertions.

Les Salines France said...

Incredible BP: I post you the links and yet you manage to twist the facts: e.g. Because you import it from Germany and your other neighbours. Strictly speaking it's true that France imports from its neighbours, but it exports a hell of a lot more.

"... Especially when this happened

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/08/17/372817/-Global-warming-shuts-down-TVA-nuclear-reactor
France doesn't get any electricity from the USA.But you're arguing against yourself here in any case: the purpose of interconnectors is to allow large scale transmission when necessary.

And even if they cost " $1 billion per 1GW per 1000km." don't forget that: a) that's peanuts per person
b) they save money by enabling cheap electricity to be bought from elsewhere. That's why for example the UK is building a link to Norway: not security of supply, but cheaper electricity.

Canman said...

This is what some of you are asking renewables to do:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/COkw0soUsAQ6-IZ.jpg

BBD said...

And even if they cost " $1 billion per 1GW per 1000km."

As far as I know, there are no HVDC interconnectors between France and Germany.

Les Salines France said...

Sorry BBD, but I don't understand what you mean.

Canman: if they talk about "primary energy" without pointing out that fossil fuels in transport and electricity production are only about 30-35% efficient, they aren't telling you the whole story.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: Isn't it interesting to see wind and power touted so loudly and simultaneously we see nuclear, hydro, and geothermal dismissed when they are so much more reliable?

BPL: Gee, I wonder if the people around Three Mile Island, Brown's Ferry, Chernobyl, Fukushima Dai, etc. think nuclear is reliable?

Barton Paul Levenson said...

BBD: The plausible, realistic mid-century scenarios tend to cluster around 30% renewables, 30% nuclear and 40% FF. I'd go with that as a rough working hypothesis.

BPL: A "plausible, realistic" future like that will kill us pretty damn soon. Still 40% fossil fuels in 2050? We'll collapse long before that when our agriculture fails. Damn, you just don't get the scale, or the immediacy, of the problem, do you?

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Can: This is what some of you are asking renewables to do:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/COkw0soUsAQ6-IZ.jpg

BPL: How do you replace all that fossil fuel with this tiny slice of renewables? By growing the renewables as fast as possible and retiring the fossil fuels as fast as possible. You know, the way we replaced horses and buggies with cars, or IBM PCs with PC clones, or big bulky monitors with flat-screen monitors.

Because if we don't, we're all dead.

BBD said...

BPL

Damn, you just don't get the scale, or the immediacy, of the problem, do you?

Yes, I do. Please don't join BP in strawmanning me to death.

The scale and immediacy of the problem is why we need to ask hard questions about potential solutions and get clear answers.

FWIW, I think the outlook is bleak based on where we are now. Don't mistake me for Pollyanna. Rather the other one. Cassy wotsit, you know. Classical looks but never very smiley.

Les Salines France said...

BBD: nice one.

BBD said...

Les Salines

Sorry BBD, but I don't understand what you mean.

The costing I quoted upthread was for HVDC, and came from this post at SoD.

Apparently there are no HVDC interconnectors between the French and German grids.

As I understand it, the proposal for a European supergrid requires HVDC interconnectors to keep transmission losses down to a practical level.

Les Salines France said...

Right. I'm not sure of the relevance of a FR/DE HVDC transmission line to the discussion. When you've got a common border it doesn't seem worthwhile to have a single line.

Les Salines France said...

FYI some more info on French export/import http://www.rte-france.com/sites/default/files/plaquette_interconnexions_anglais.pdf

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

"This is what some of you are asking renewables to do:"

With this : http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/sorce/data/tsi-data/

You know how to do arithmetic, right? And I'm not asking you do to this. I am telling you that you have no there is no other choice, you HAVE to do this. Soon. Sooner than soon since I've been telling you this for about thirty years now. Somehow, you still don't get it.

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

I've got a name for these people, BBD and Canman.

The catatonics and the paralyzed.

Brian said...

BBD - not sure what I think yet of MacKay as a source, but regardless, he seems positive about EV batteries as a source for power storage:

http://www.withouthotair.com/c26/page_198.shtml

He doesn't discuss AFAICT the millions of used EV batteries that will be available as well.

And btw, the "overhyped" power storage quote is from me, not John.

Blogger profile said...

" Rewnewables are no more likely to be out over a region as all nuclear power plants to have to be offline over a region.

Just wrong.

Again."

Nope, I'm right. Sorry, insisting on your fantasy chicken little scenario is ridiculous and not going to be entertained, even if it "irritates" you.

"You do this all the time (as well as refusing to admit your regular and often serious mistakes). "

Projection again, Buddy.

"The plausible, realistic mid-century scenarios tend to cluster around 30% renewables, 30% nuclear and 40% FF. I'd go with that as a rough working hypothesis."

Well since I asked WITHOUT FOSSIL FUELS, you fail. Utterly.

I'd go with ~5-10% nuclear (mostly so we can work on designs that WORK in real life applications, we need nuclear if we're going to get off this planet) but by 2050, we should be 90% renewables no problem.

Blogger profile said...

" Isn't it interesting to see wind and power touted so loudly and simultaneously we see nuclear, hydro, and geothermal dismissed when they are so much more reliable"

Well, I guess you live in a fantasy world, Fern.

This isn't a surprise.

Nuclear is the only one you can actually see here in reality, but the reasons for it are
a) It's not allowed for many people, therefore NOT a solution
b) It is expensive to build, and ties you in for two generations for "ROI" to plateau
c) It takes too long to roll out
d) It doesn't play well except as a small contributor when there are a lot of renewables about

Blogger profile said...

"Let's review the recent data:"

Check 2008.

France is dumping because they don't need their power at night, and don't produce enough in the day. Cheap night, expensive day.

Germany doesn't HAVE to build more because the balance of payments is in their favour, and building more would only depress prices. They too are in it for the bennies.

Sorry, this is yet more nuke fluffer 101, the exact same BS as you tried before and failed on.

Blogger profile said...

" This is what some of you are asking renewables to do:"

Oh noes! How can we replace power production with another power production system! It's never been done before!!!! OMG!!!!!

Moron.

Blogger profile said...

" Incredible BP: I post you the links and yet you manage to twist the facts: e.g. Because you import it from Germany and your other neighbours. Strictly speaking it's true that France imports from its neighbours, but it exports a hell of a lot more."

Not when there's a heatwave.

And you export at night when the spot prices are low and import in the daytime when spot prices are high, and the balance of payments ruins the French nuclear programme, hence its continuing bailout by your government.

I've already said this, but you're not listening at all, are you. Waving your "Inanimate Uranium Rod" around, proclaiming it "Employee of the week!".

Try listening with your ears, not your national pride.

Blogger profile said...

"As far as I know, there are no HVDC interconnectors between France and Germany. "


So what?

Blogger profile said...

" Right. I'm not sure of the relevance of a FR/DE HVDC transmission line to the discussion. When you've got a common border it doesn't seem worthwhile to have a single line. "

If you're going to claim "At a conservative cost of $1 billion per 1GW per 1000km."

Blogger profile said...

"Damn, you just don't get the scale, or the immediacy, of the problem, do you?

Yes, I do. Please don't join BP in strawmanning me to death. "

Will you PLEASE learn what the heck "Strawman" means before prattling it about!

No, repeating what you claim is NOT strawmanning.

BBD said...

Brian

BBD - not sure what I think yet of MacKay as a source, but regardless, he seems positive about EV batteries as a source for power storage:

*A* source, yes, of course. But not a regional scale solution for slew and intermittency. MacKay shows that a proposed 33GW UK wind fleet averaging ~10GW output requires a reserve capable of providing 1200 GWh to cope with a five day national lull in windspeed.

VtG by contrast (under some generous assumptions by MacKay) might manage 20GWh.

There is no battery technology that I am aware of capable of providing 1200 GWh or anything like it, but this is the kind of regional scale backup that is going to be required if wind is to become a significant part of the energy mix.

* * *

Incidentally, if you are reading this, I am getting a bit tired of the offensive lunatic running amok in your comments section.

Blogger profile said...

Or you could ignore the planned incompetence Mackay insists will happen and take a look at others who have shown that that backup isn't necessary, any more than we need 1TWh battery backup for a single nuclear power station going offline.

Have a look at, for example, http://skepticalscience.com/100-percent-renewable-power.html where this isn't necessary.

Of course, what did we do when we lost a nuke station for over a year? We coped. What did we do when the Russians cut off our gas? We coped. Not having to cope is only required for renewables, just like having to cost infrastructure upgrades or backup generation is only required for renewables, forgetting them for non-renewable sources is okey-dokey.

Blogger profile said...

"There is no battery technology that I am aware of capable of providing 1200 GWh or anything like it"

Easy peasy. 10 billion 120Wh batteries will do it.

Everett F Sargent said...

Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon (yes I am)
Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a mennil-toss flykune

Brian said...

BP -

Eli, John and I have only a few firm rules for commenting moderation (e.g. obscenities, threats to other commenters) but in addition we also make suggestions. One I'll make is to not dominate the comment thread. For one thing, more people will read what you write if the thread isn't comment after comment by you. I don't read your comments other than occasionally skimming to see if there's a rules violation. You've got some interesting info, but I'm not going to read them in the way they've been presented.

No firm rule about this (so far, anyway) but please keep it in mind.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

BBD: this is the kind of regional scale backup that is going to be required if wind is to become a significant part of the energy mix.

BPL: Wonder how the Danes and Germans and Spaniards are coping, poor things.

Blogger profile said...

"One I'll make is to not dominate the comment thread."

I admit that it is a problem when it happens, but frequently this is due to the fact that I don't live and work the same hours as the mostly USA/Aus contingent. Ergo there will be posts to be answered while I am not here and there will be scores of points to be made all in a row. This, like the "you wait for ages and no bus comes, then suddenly three at once" apocrypha, it APPEARS worse than it is because of the clumping. We are pattern seekers, and we over-emphasize patterns because a pattern that might be (but isn't) a predator looking to eat us is better seen and responded to than if it's discarded.

Secondly, there will be multiple people trying the same scheme on me all at the same time. Therefore if there are three people in a heated argument with me, I appear to be dominating the thread, but it really is four people, not merely me.

Lastly, another common occurrence is in the case where I think that someone really is capable of learning what I'm trying to say, if only I can find the right way to say it. VERY frequently, especially when someone has already invested in an idea, they're ret-conning the words to mean what they THINK it should mean, based on expectations. Finding a wording that doesn't fit or jars them out of the rut is possibly going to lead to enlightenment, even if it is a clearer counter to the point in question. And sometimes just changing the words a little is enough: words have multiple meanings and someone picking one will feel it is the right one, even when it isn't, so changing the word will show them what the meaning of the word used was intended.

Frequently posts will get long and this one is an example, finding a shorter way to say it means finding a way that is harder to parse in the intended way. Another reason to post a similar comment, when a better short wording appears.

"You've got some interesting info, but I'm not going to read them in the way they've been presented."

And I don't know how you will want them presented until AFTER I've presented them the "wrong" way. Then posting it the right way won't get read, because you've decided you aren't going to read them.

And frequently someone who really isn't there to find something out will ignore the content and concentrate on the tone, ignoring the content entirely, or passingly (usually dismissively). It weeds out people who really aren't willing to think outside their personal prerogatives to not give a monkey's butt about the tone. And someone who will only accept "appropriate" tone for information, really isn't going to listen to any information unless it conforms to their other preconceptions and biases.

I don't demand anyone else bother with the style. Everyone tries their own, and everyone will find (if they are honest and deal with the individual as the individual, rather than as a clique or monogram of a "type of person", for example, "denier") that their tone changes on subtle cues or even just tangential happenstances outside the scenario. I just demand the same leeway to choose for myself as everyone else who chooses their path, and may disagree with the way I do things because that is an antithetical to them if they were doing it.

Then again, you may not be reading this. But it will STILL count as one more ding on the "Domineering over the thread". I can't go working under the assumption you'll not listen, though, it demeans you by presupposing a character for you on my side. It's fairer to let you decide what your character is and follow that.

BBD said...

BPL

BPL: Wonder how the Danes and Germans and Spaniards are coping, poor things.

The Danes are in a sweet spot on the Nordic grid that allows them to import electricity from Germany, Sweden and Norway, which allows them to compensate for the considerable fluctuations from the national wind fleet.

Germany imports nuclear electricity from France (see upthread).

Spain seems to manage without significant imports, so is apparently able to balance its grid using existing spare capacity.

None of this is particularly relevant to the way things will need to work in a high-renewables future. None of it invalidates what I said earlier about the need for very large scale backup.

Brian said...

BP - "But it will STILL count as one more ding on the "Domineering over the thread"."

Not at all, and I appreciate the thoughtful response. A longish comment responding to multiple people is much less domineering that lots of responses. You could start with "Responses to Jane, Dave and Sue below" if you want so those people know to read it, if they want.

Regarding tone, Eli's built a pretty freewheeling place and some skin thickness is required. I'll use as an example John Puma's quite strong criticism of some of my recent, apparently terrible posts as an example - I have no problems with the tone. Same with Fernando on the other side.

Still, some restraint makes the medicine go down better, not to mention some internal acknowledgment that the person posting the comment may not always be right.

Blogger profile said...

Something else to remember about HVDC lines is that it costs to run HVAC lines too. Complaining about the cost of one without subtracting the savings of not building the other is a common tactic to fluff up the costs and refute an otherwise acceptable option.

And HVDC can be cheaper than HVAC, especially when including running costs:

http://electrical-engineering-portal.com/analysing-the-costs-of-high-voltage-direct-current-hvdc-transmission

Blogger profile said...

"Not at all, and I appreciate the thoughtful response. A longish comment responding to multiple people is much less domineering that lots of responses."

I feel otherwise. Especially with multiple people and the limited markup and referencing here making actually discerning what is a quote you're making, to whom (and from where), and what is a quote, what is a "analogous statement" quotation marked phrase, and which bits are your responses.

When there are multiple people, too, how does someone whose points are not commented on until much later in a long post going to know whether the post is of relevance to them?

Additionally, I frequently (a minority of times to be sure) lose the entire stuff because blogger has a problem with updating this popup window and apoloises, asks me to check cookies (they're enabled) and then there's no damn back button to get the long text back to try again.

Which make up for a long post being rather pointless and risky.

Blogs don't make for the same flow of discourse as face to face oral arguments. It's a lot slower for a start. Both to write and read.

By splitting up it becomes easier to see whether there's any point to the post for your purposes within the first sentence, and by being one point of validation, no need to read further if not.

Slashdot does a good method, but I would suspect it's quite heavy weight to implement. You see a subject and the first line. Single posts with one topic introduce it in the subject or in the first line that is all that is summarised in the list and you can skip it if you don't care, multiple point ones require opening it up. And being a single line, it's short and you don't waste time skimming past reams of text to get to some grain for your grist.

I think, and this is why I do what I do the way I do it, if it's fourteen posts by me or compacted into one single uber-post, it's still the same text you have to scan past. I've occupied the exact same face-space. And the time is longer, since if it were fourteen posts, and 12 of them were unimportant to you, you would be able to skip those 12 quickly, whereas in the uber-post you'd have to read all of them to the end to see which ones were worthy of response or comment.

If my comments are so worthless (to many people) as to render the above reason not worthy of consideration, then it's really no different if they are scores of posts or a handful, they're still all worthless,their count doesn't change this in the least.

BBD said...

A few simple points, BP:

1/ I am not here to peddle nuclear. That is your lie, and yours alone. Stop repeating it.

2/ I am not anti-renewables. That is your lie, and yours alone. Stop repeating it.

3/ I am only arguing for robust energy policy which means facing up to the facts - *not* pretending that there are no problems to solve.

4/ Recognise that of the two of us, it is *you* who is the activist, relentlessly and aggressively pursuing an anti-nuclear line. I only ever argue for holistic, inclusive and pragmatic energy policy because it is more likely to lead to efficient decarbonisation than proscriptive and exclusive policies.


5/ *You* are the one who wants to throw away an entire low-carbon technology before we've made any significant progress in resolving some of the very real, very major issues arising from large-scale renewables integration. I don't want to push *anything* off the table.

You cannot bully me, you cannot intimidate me and you cannot make me stop. What you can do is read my comments more carefully and take a more rational, balanced tone in your responses. That would make for more productive exchanges.

Blogger profile said...

" A few simple points, BP:

1/ I am not here to peddle nuclear."

You're not? Why then are you doing it?

"2/ I am not anti-renewables"

You're not? Then why do you keep saying they are too expensive or not going to work?

"3/ I am only arguing for robust energy policy which means facing up to the facts"

You are? Then why do you ignore the facts and fabricate new "facts"?

"4/ Recognise that of the two of us, it is *you* who is the activist,"

Only me? Then why do you do exactly what you claim I am doing to be the activist?

"5/ *You* are the one who wants to throw away an entire low-carbon technology before we've made any significant progress in resolving some of the very real, very major issues arising from large-scale renewables integration"

Nope, I'm not. We don't need any more nuclear, and it's a much higher carbon tech that is also a lot LOT less safe, and more expensive and slower to build up.

These "very real, very major issues" are only chicken little stories to scare people off doing something about the problem for another two generations. The "very real, very major issues" HAVE ALREADY BEEN DEALT WITH in the SEVERAL studies of how to go 100% rewnewable.

"You cannot bully me"

Not trying, but neither can you bully me.

"you cannot intimidate me"

Not trying, but neither can you intimidate me.

"and you cannot make me stop"

Yeah, just like Tom Fullerthanadunnywagon won't stop. Or Fern Leanonsomeonesle. Or Tony Watts. Et al.

I'm not trying to STOP you, I'm just countering your BS and nuclear fluffery with facts and illuminating your biased advocacy.

Oh, by the way, great job playing the internet hero, guy. *fist bump*

"What you can do is read my comments more carefully"

I do. What you're saying is not what you want me to read, though. You want me to read it to the conclusion you have deluded yourself into believing is true, when all it is is delusion.

Just like the deniers who pop on and claim that they KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that AGW is false and have the right idea. They are full of it, but they are DELUDED and think they are correct. Or Truthers. Or Birthers. They, like you, BELIEVE they are saying sane things supported by solid reality.

And despite every reading of what they say, if you don't agree, they, like you, insist that you're not reading it properly unless you come to the same conclusion.

" and take a more rational, balanced tone in your responses."

It's entirely rational and far more balanced than yours. I'm just not deluded like you are.

"That would make for more productive exchanges."

In other words "Agree with me or it won't be productive". Sorry, you're wrong, and if agreeing with the wrong claims is required to be "productive", then screw being productive. BEING RIGHT is what matters.

BBD said...

Well, that was a waste of time.

No use arguing with the insane.

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

You cannot bully me, you cannot intimidate me and you cannot make me stop.

You aren't doing anything, certainly not about the problem being discussed here. Why would anyone want to stop you? You are paranoid.

Hint: Nuclear is not viable. Nobody is pursuing it at the scale that is necessary to solve the problem. It's not the solution. It's not even part of the solution. Too expensive, too dangerous. Therefore the only explanation for you is that you are simply shilling for the industry. Nuclear is not scaleable despite your inane pleas to the contrary.

BBD said...

As I said, no point in arguing with the insane.

Blogger profile said...

"No use arguing with the insane. "

Not really. Arguing with you shows up your insanity in case anyone else is taken in by it's apparent support (much like a denier's support for their claims by some PhD paper in E&E).

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

The way I see it, is that the only thing nuclear has going for it, is that is makes an excellent international industrial jobs program for the billions and billions of Bill Gates' and the popes' happily breeding healthy religious nutjobs. Got to keep that cash flowing.

BBD said...

Arguing with you shows up your insanity

All you have demonstrated in your exchanges with me is that:

- you don't know anything about energy, renewable or otherwise

- you are arguing with the voices in your head, not what I actually write

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

And you nukwear guys are missing out on all the fun. Condensed matter physics is really happening right now. The near future is going to make you look, well, just plain silly. Save it for the asteroids and outer planets.

Bernard J. said...

Off piste, but there's no more suitable thread on which to post.

The Australian High Court sees sense:

http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/landmark-high-court-ruling-on-brca1-gene-patent-as-pensioner-wins-legal-case-20151006-gk2wvu.html

Brian said...

BBD - this is way upthread, but a system consisting of 100% onshore wind and nothing else besides power storage is one hell of a stupid system. That's not a realistic hypothetical that tests how much power storage is needed.

It relates somewhat to the disadvantage of MacKay's fixation on the UK as an isolated grid. Maybe somewhat relevant to the UK, but that's a tiny chunk of the world.

BBD said...

Brian

BBD - this is way upthread, but a system consisting of 100% onshore wind and nothing else besides power storage is one hell of a stupid system.

Where was this ever proposed on the thread except of course by BP as yet another strawman? I never argued for this and nor does MacKay.

What I actually wrote was that the currently proposed 33GW UK wind fleet (a land and offshore mix) will require 1200 GWh storage to provide fail-safe backup. SPV doesn't contribute significantly during the N European winter so the wind resource needs to be backed up by something in winter or it will simply drop out of the grid from time to time. If we don't want a fossil fuel backup, then it has to be pumped hydro on a massive scale because no other technology exists capable of providing 1200 GWh. If we confine ourselves to matters of fact, there is nothing contentious about a single word of this.

It relates somewhat to the disadvantage of MacKay's fixation on the UK as an isolated grid. Maybe somewhat relevant to the UK, but that's a tiny chunk of the world.

MacKay uses the UK as a example partly because he was until recently the chief scientific advisor to DECC (so it was his job) and partly because the UK is a useful regional example. The UK isn't so very different to a lot of the rest of the world. All of Northern Europe will have to import solar energy during the winter. Much of the US will, too.

If you want to see MacKay's analyses for Europe, the US and the world, they are in ch. 30.


Blogger profile said...

"MacKay uses the UK as a example "

So what?

He uses mathturbation to ensure renewables are made unusable, and avoid facts that don't help him ensure nuclear is the only option to be taken.

And sometimes outright lying to make his way. Such as, for example, using more than double the actual per-person energy use of the UK.

Blogger profile said...

" BBD - this is way upthread, but a system consisting of 100% onshore wind and nothing else besides power storage is one hell of a stupid system. That's not a realistic hypothetical that tests how much power storage is needed."

And it's not one ANYONE is saying we should do.

It's ridiculous to demand that a failure of one renewable means ALL renewables are a failure, but nuke fluffers MUST do this to ensure renewables are not done when there's money to be made in big central generation systems that require large corporations to rake off the profit to be built.

BBD said...

It's ridiculous to demand that a failure of one renewable means ALL renewables are a failure

Which I did not do.

You are simply lying about what I actually said, as you have done for hundreds of comments now on RR.

It is not acceptable.



Blogger profile said...

" It's ridiculous to demand that a failure of one renewable means ALL renewables are a failure

Which I did not do."

Yes you do.

BBD said...

Yes you do.

So quote me.

Quote me:

demand[ing] that a failure of one renewable means ALL renewables are a failure

Not partially. In full, unambiguously.

Or stop lying about what I said.

It is unacceptable and I am sick to bloody death of you doing it.

Brian said...

BBD - okay I misunderstood if MacKay isn't doing a thought experiment, but I don't know where this wind power proposal is from, other than one sentence he mentions on pg 188.

Regardless, if they're only part of the system then you don't have to demand complete storage backup, if other parts of the system can provide power.

I'm not sure Britain's far enough north to have near-zero PV value in the winter (which is probably a windier time anyway). More reason for a larger grid, though.

My guess is the 5-day period he references is almost entirely onshore wind in Britain.

Everett F Sargent said...

"Beware the exploding super battery. Also, where this is going :"

... yeah, I now know where this is going ...

FUCK NASA!

One down one to go.

The other one, now that one is a doozer ...

"No, you just want to scream and shout at others because they're not doing what you want them to."

Irony much?

As to 'we'll all be dead in 13 years' or some such, standing on their soapbox on an urban street corner or walking around an urban area with a sign stating 'the world will end yesterday' or some such, really what can you say, we'll all be dead eventually.

The invasive species known as homo sapiens, that one species needs to go extinct ASAP, yeah, that's me talking crazy talk, whatever.

As to the luckwarmer, now that one never passed STEM at the high school level even. It can only get its own opinion from the opinions of other illiterati.

So as to energy policy, real actionable energy policies, BBD would appear to be the only 'rational' actor in the building as it were (I really don't like the word 'rational' simply because people 'rationalize' killing other people and species). So BBD would appear to be the only objective actor in the building.

By the time everyone takes the other's preferred solution off the energy table, there ain't anything on the energy table. D'oh!

The IEA does offer something called Technology Roadmaps ...
https://www.iea.org/roadmaps/

The latest specific roadmap appears to be ... wait for it ... Nuclear Energy (dated 9/17/2015)
https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/Nuclear_RM_2015_FINAL_WEB_Sept_2015_V3.pdf

But go ahead and pick any technology roadmap (if I'm not mistaken 100% renewables by 2050 is not on their energy table, maybe it should be, now that report would be an interesting read, sans the usual BS about 100% renewables (e. g. solar and wind and hydro, oh my).

Effin' anarchists (btw when and where is the next meeting and who runs the next meeting, I'm thinking TBD, TBD and TBD).

BTW, hate hydro, ever since Glen Canyon Dam, can't do that, tear them all down I say, and go for pumped storage using, you guessed it, the Grand Canyon, the entire Grand Canyon, a mile high dam, filled with ocean water even.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

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

Can anybody translate that last comment for me, I don't speak testosterone. Perhaps if you start at the first of the year you will get a better idea how I arrived at now.

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Quantum_Initiative.pdf

You can follow the specific references on my blog which has basically morphed into a running bibliographic tool, but if you are not following this then you are missing out on all the fun and you just don't get the optical, or even the infrared to the ultraviolet. You just don't get it.

I can't help you there, except maybe to recommend less testosterone.

Everett F Sargent said...

Fuck NASA!

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

I'm sorry to say I tried that and unfortunately it did not work. The offending programs (Constellation, SLS and Orion), still exist, and the offending non-programs (hazardous asteroid satellite detection), still don't exist. So according to the peer reviewed space cadet literature, you would be wasting your time. Even the upcoming Discovery mission selection process is fraught with controversy and the Mars program is a fraud and the ISS is teetering on the brink, pending upcoming launches.

Can you comment coherently on the bismuth nanostructure ZT hypothesis?

Blogger profile said...

"So as to energy policy, real actionable energy policies, BBD would appear to be the only 'rational' actor in the building as it were "

Nope.

You only agree with him. There's a huge difference.

He doesn't even know why the numbers Mackay got are valid, nor how to do the maths to derive or show them well applied. All he knows is that Mackay says renewables are crap and unworkable and that's what he wants to hear.



"Or stop lying about what I said."

I've not STARTED lying about what you said, Buddy Dumdum.

You're a nuke fluffer and deluded.

Simple as that.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

EFS: As to 'we'll all be dead in 13 years' or some such, standing on their soapbox on an urban street corner or walking around an urban area with a sign stating 'the world will end yesterday' or some such, really what can you say, we'll all be dead eventually.

BPL: You could try reading the article and trying to find where I made a mistake. Oh, wait, that would require some competence in the field. My bad.

Everett F Sargent said...

BPL,

Post a direct link to the as published version (if it's paywalled I'll cross that bridge when I come to it).

Or provide a citation.

I'm not a Boomer Doomer, so I don't have a habit of reading way-over-the-top EOTW stuff.

BBD said...

Brian

I don't know where this wind power proposal is from, other than one sentence he mentions on pg 188.

It's UK government policy, or at least it was, under the last Labour government.

Regardless, if they're only part of the system then you don't have to demand complete storage backup, if other parts of the system can provide power.

Yes, but the point is *which* other parts? Not FF plant if we are supposed to be getting rid of it.

I'm not sure Britain's far enough north to have near-zero PV value in the winter (which is probably a windier time anyway). More reason for a larger grid, though.

SPV output during cloudy winter days in the UK is negligible and zero at nights so SPV cannot be used as backup for sustained UK-wide windspeed lulls that occur during winter anticyclones.

My guess is the 5-day period he references is almost entirely onshore wind in Britain.

Anticyclones affect offshore wind too.

As I said earlier, there is nothing at all controversial here. These are engineering challenges that need to be addressed with large-scale renewables.

BBD said...

BP

I've not STARTED lying about what you said, Buddy Dumdum.

You're a nuke fluffer and deluded.

Simple as that.


I asked for an unambiguous quote and once again, you have failed to provide one. Once again, you have been lying about what I said.

Why the hell you are still tolerated here is a complete mystery to me.

Everett F Sargent said...

"You only agree with him. There's a huge difference."

I agree with him because I've spent a great deal of time studying the energy problem myself, sans bickering for the sake of bickering in social media.

The IEA is currently my baseline and I posted a LINK to their information.

You are quite free to post a LINK to some other body any time you choose, say like the NAS or the NAE or the UN, for example.

Or post any other effin' LINKS of your own choice.

The basic point is talking alose doesn't cut it, arguing alone doesn't cut it and arguing with EVERY other person posting on RR most certainly doesn't cut it.

And if your are going to reply to this post with NO LINKS then please try to keep your reply in one SINGLE post.

Brian said...

Found a 2012 post by Eli about interconnecting Northern Europe:

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2012/04/facebook.html

Good idea it seems, addressing some of the issues discussed in this thread. OTOH it hasn't happened yet.

FWIW I see a lot of similarities between nuclear and large hydro. I thought I had blogged about it once but couldn't find it. Anyway I wouldn't get rid of either in terms of existing facilities (maybe some poorly situated nuke plants should go) but would be very wary of expanding either (esp large hydro). Keeping them without expanding them could also address some of the issues BBD raises.

Everett F Sargent said...

Here's something for me to read from the DOE ...

THE QUADRENNIAL TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
http://energy.gov/qtr

"The last four years have been defined by dramatic change in the nation’s energy landscape. Domestic production of oil and natural gas has boomed, causing the United States to become the world leader in combined oil and natural gas production for the last three consecutive years. Electricity generation from solar photovoltaic cells has increased over tenfold and wind power has nearly doubled. Looking forward, the United States faces significant energy-linked economic, environmental, and security challenges. Climate change is one of the most pressing dangers of our time and will greatly magnify all of these challenges unless swift action is taken to reduce carbon emissions. The rapidly evolving nature of energy technology and scientific capability to address these challenges demands rigorous analysis to inform DOE's strategic decisions—a need that the Quadrennial Technology Review will address."

QUADRENNIAL TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 2015
http://energy.gov/quadrennial-technology-review-2015

What does it say? I don't know. I just found it.

Everett F Sargent said...

Here's three more things (circa 2015) I found for me to read ...

100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States
https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/USStatesWWS.pdf

Renewable build-up pathways for the US: Generation costs are not
system costs
http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/Others/BeckerEnergy15.pdf

Smart Energy Systems for coherent 100% renewable energy
and transport solutions
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Henrik_Lund3/publication/273401196_Smart_Energy_Systems_for_coherent_100_renewable_energy_and_transport_solutions/links/551926060cf273292e70a8f9.pdf

What do they say? I don't know. I just found them.

Everett F Sargent said...

Here's something else (circa 2015) for me to read ...

Solar cell efficiency tables (version 46)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pip.2637/pdf

What does it say? I don't know. I just found it.

Blogger profile said...

"What do they say? I don't know. I just found them."

Try reading them.

I gave one, it's over at SKS, and their calculations inflate the build out by about double what would be needed and require NO backup at all, it would create the backup (with synthfuels, for example) and overproduce all the time so as to produce the current requirements at any time.

"Oh it's toooo expensive!!!!" cries Buddy! "Uh, not that this means it's not possible!" he follows up, yet what on earth is he complaining about if he thinks it's doable??? He never says, just squawks "Strawman!", "Misrepresenting!", "Buckaaawk!".

But, as with the ridiculous claim of the cost of HVDC links, ANYTHING is expensive to build out for national needs. Building up to 30% nuclear would cost as much as building out for 60-90% of current load by renewables. "Oh, the renewables would be expensive!!!!" So would building nukes. "Oh, it needs backup!!!!" So would the nukes. "Oh, it needs expensive transmission!" So would nukes. About the ONLY thing nukes don't need as much as renewables is land space for the generator itself.

HOWEVER, we only need 0.3% of the land, of which we've concreted and tarmac'd over 3%, so using 3.3% land instead (which we could negate mostly because we can dual purpose for most of our generation of solar) is hardly a relevant problem.

What you CAN read, without reading those links, are that there are SCORES of scenarios, all around the world, to go 100% renewable.

NOT ONE going 100% nuclear.

Blogger profile said...

"Good idea it seems, addressing some of the issues discussed in this thread. OTOH it hasn't happened yet."

One of the huge things that wasn't costed into the cost of nuclear was the HVDC link to France. For the new power stations, and since the link wasn't enough when Didcott and Sizewell went offline they upgraded that too, a link to Denmark and Norway is being planned so that we can import more when the Hinkley ones break down, and export to them when we can make money doing so.

The cost of these two links aren't costed into the cost of the new nuclear power stations, however, rather making the lie of Mackay's claimed point of his hatchet job moot, since he hasn't complained nor documented these problems, which were such an issue with renewables.

BBD said...

BP

NOT ONE going 100% nuclear.

I have never argued for this nor would I support any proposal that did.

On the contrary, I have explicitly stated that *all* low carbon technologies will be required to give us the best chance of decarbonising fast enough to avoid very serious climate impacts.

The problem with the 100% renewable scenarios is that they are as misguided as 100% nuclear: so simplistic and dependent on idealised assumptions as to be of no practical value.

BBD said...

One of the huge things that wasn't costed into the cost of nuclear was the HVDC link to France. For the new power stations, and since the link wasn't enough when Didcott and Sizewell went offline they upgraded that too, a link to Denmark and Norway is being planned so that we can import more when the Hinkley ones break down, and export to them when we can make money doing so.

To the best of my knowledge, this is fantasy.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BBD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
snarkrates said...

Dudes, Neither of you are helping your credibility any. Maybe take a break or at least come up with more creative profanity.

BBD said...

BP

"Oh it's toooo expensive!!!!" cries Buddy! "Uh, not that this means it's not possible!" he follows up, yet what on earth is he complaining about if he thinks it's doable??? He never says, just squawks "Strawman!", "Misrepresenting!", "Buckaaawk!".

You continue to misrepresent every single thing I say, forcing me to repeat myself, which is tedious.

The problem here is not the cost but the misrepresentation of the cost. The pernicious meme is the 'renewables are cheap and get cheaper at scale".

This is not only untrue, it is an inversion of the facts.

As I have striven to point out, the costs associated with renewables integration *increase* at scale. This is because at higher penetrations the slew and intermittency of wind and solar requires large-scale regional backup and continental - intercontinental networks of grid interconnection.

These are *extremely* expensive and as a matter of face are not costed in the populist treatments of renewables deployment. Nor are the associated technical challenges and environmental impacts ever addressed.

Energy policy needs to be informed, not misinformed, or it will go awry. All I have done here is to point out where misinformation has displaced the facts. The vehemence of the reaction has been instructive.

Brian said...

As I've said clearly before, no obscenities, esp directed at fellow commenters. I deleted one obscene comment.

BBD had quoted a commment with an obscenity directed at BBD, so no criticism intended by me of BBD but I'm deleting that comment as well.

Blogger profile said...

"NOT ONE going 100% nuclear.

I have never argued for this nor would I support any proposal that did. "

But there ARE proposals, valid ones, that manage 100% renewables. Proving nuclear isn't an answer, whilst renewables have genuine chance.

Despite all your catawauling that it's expensive, that it uses too much land, that it's too unreliable (yet somehow believing that you can get away with denying you're a fluffer for nukes: if none of that stops it being used, then why bring it up???), people WITHOUT blinders on can see how it can be done.

Only diehards, fluffers and the deluded manage to cling to the lie.

BBD said...

if none of that stops it being used, then why bring it up???

Remember way, way back when I said that the most robust energy policy with the best chance of rapid decarbonisation was an inclusive one? One which employed *all* low-carbon technologies?

Your question answered.

Blogger profile said...

"Remember way, way back when I said that the most robust energy policy with the best chance of rapid decarbonisation was an inclusive one? One which employed *all* low-carbon technologies?"

Yes.

Still has BUGGER ALL to do with why you bring up it being "expensive" for renewables, since they're ALL expensive.

It also begs the question "The best one is an inclusive one", since you're SUPPOSED to bring evidence for that, not use it as evidence of a claim then claim that one is evidence for the supposition.

So, no, prove it *has* to include *all* low-carbon technologies. Why would it fail if it excluded one?

AND DO NOT USE "It's expensive!!!" because if it's not too expensive, then, AGAIN, there's no point in bringing the point up.

BBD said...

So, no, prove it *has* to include *all* low-carbon technologies. Why would it fail if it excluded one?

Proof is for mathematicians, BP.

However, if you look at all credible energy projections for ~2050 you will see that they cluster around 30/30/40 for nuclear/renewables/FFs.

The risk we run by pushing nuclear off the table is ending up with 70% FFs in 2050 instead of 40% FFs. If renewables do better than expected, then they will displace more of that 40% FFs before 2050 which would be a deeply desirable outcome.

What you want to do it bet the world - literally - on the assertion that we can go 100% renewables by about mid-century despite the very considerable engineering and technology challenges that would have to be solved for this to happen.

If you are wrong, the entire planet will pay a terrible price. If I am wrong and renewables surge ahead, the big nuclear build-out can be phased out early.

This is what I mean by robust energy policy.

Blogger profile said...

"If you are wrong, the entire planet will pay a terrible price."

Oh noes! If I'm wrong, a TERRIBLE price will have to be paid! Buddy doesn't say WHAT price, or how it would arise and why, BUT IT IS TERRIBLE!!!!

"If I am wrong and renewables surge ahead, the big nuclear build-out can be phased out early."

If you are wrong (about what? you keep bleating on that there are no consequence for what you're talking about), the entire planet will pay a TERRIBLE PRICE!

If we build up the renewables, we solve some of our power problems right there and then. Since the build up quickly, we can see the results quickly, not a decade or two later when it's finally turned on. If it turns out we need to do more or differently, we still know how to build nukes. And we've had some more years to work out any other failures and how to prevent them. And had several years more evidence of where is going to be still suitable for a nuclear power station for the next 50 years.

if we find that a plain that we built some wind power on is no longer possible to use due to flooding, we can take it down and move it elsewhere.

Try that with a nuke station.

Blogger profile said...

"However, if you look at all credible energy projections for ~2050 you will see that they cluster around 30/30/40 for nuclear/renewables/FFs."


No, if I look at all credible energy POLICIES, we can see 100% renewables being a valid and achievable goal.

EliRabett said...


Motivated by the 1973 oil shock France moved its electricity generation system to nuclear in a decade

Blogger profile said...

Yup. You can change your entire system quite quickly when you feel the need, even on a nation-wide level.

Went over board, IMO, and it's a matter now of national pride, so they're willing to let politicians sink billions into it despite it being a bit of a cluster bomb financially.

Oh, buddy, please realise that you would have us still produce 7-8Gt/y CO2, which is unsustainable in the face of AGW. All it does is delay (if there is indeed still time for delay).

BBD said...

All it does is delay (if there is indeed still time for delay).

How does arguing for a simultaneous build-out of renewables and nuclear delay decarbonisation? You've rather lost me there.

Blogger profile said...

"How does arguing for a simultaneous build-out of renewables and nuclear delay decarbonisation? "

By building out for keeping 40% Carbon-based generation like you propose, dumdum.

BBD said...

I didn't 'propose' keeping 40% FFs. That's what is likely to be left by mid-century if we go flat out for both nuclear and renewables from today.

In some quarters, it is regarded as extremely optimistic.

Your response indicates a complete lack of comprehension and zero familiarity with the topic basics.

Blogger profile said...

" I didn't 'propose' keeping 40% FFs."

Yes you did. You proffered 30/30/40 split.

"That's what is likely to be left by mid-century if we go flat out for both nuclear and renewables from today."

Then

a) you should have said that you wanted to get to a DIFFERENT SPLIT when you claimed 30/30/40

b) you have just shown WHY we should give nuclear a kick into the deep grass. If we go flat out for just renewables, we'll be 100% renewables by 2050.

Blogger profile said...

How about, Buddy, you answer the question AGAIN, this time, NOT by answering a different one, but by answering the one ACTUALLY ASKED.

And please note the complete lack of "by 2050" or "by the middle of the century".

What split of power generation do you see as being suitable and maintainable?

BBD said...

Why don't you read what I write?

Your various demands have already been answered, but since you are apparently unable to read the words, here's a quick recap of things I have already written:

If we go flat out for rewewables we will be unlikely to get above 30% by mid-century. I don't give a stuff what you assert otherwise. This is where the credible expert projections converge.

Same goes for nuclear. So I'm not 'proffering' anything. I am reporting the expert consensus to you. Read. The. Words.

This leaves us with something in the region of 40% FFs still in the mix by mid-century under what many consider to be *optimistic* assumptions about the rate at which nuclear and renewables will actually displace FFs between now and then.

If we go flat out for just renewables, we'll be 100% renewables by 2050.

Not in the real world according to the expert consensus, so you might as well let this go. It's wishful thinking on a colossal scale.

What split of power generation do you see as being suitable and maintainable?

Once again, I refer you to the expert consensus: we *might* - if we are lucky and if we try very, very hard - get to 30/30/40 N/R/FFs by mid-century. Thereafter, the *aim* is to get rid of the remaining 40% FFs as fast as technically feasible but at this point all attention needs to be focused on getting to something like 60/40 low carbon / FFs by ~2050 if this is even possible.

Blogger profile said...

" Why don't you read what I write?"

I do buddy. Nobody reads what you don't however. Because it has to be written first. How about you write what you mean, rather than ret-con it to something else when your trousers fall round your ankles?


"If we go flat out for rewewables we will be unlikely to get above 30% by mid-century"

OK, YET AGAIN (and ironically give your idiotic opener) why don't you try to read what I wrote?

Here's a hint: WHERE do I ask where you want it to be by mid century?

But you're wrong here. If we go flat out we will be very likely to manage 100%.

"I don't give a stuff what you assert otherwise. "

Is this because you'll only accept what YOU assert ex nihilo? But I've given several links to studies showing a cogent plan for 100%, so it's not just by assertion.

Is it.


"Once again, I refer you to the expert consensus: we *might* - if we are lucky and if we try very, very hard - get to 30/30/40 N/R/FFs by mid-century. "

WHAT expert consensus?

We have an expert consensus we can manage 100% renewables.

MOREOVER, YOU HAVE NOT EVER and I mean ****EVER**** been asked what you want to see done by mid century.

TRY READING WHAT WAS DAMN WELL WRITTEN YOU INCREDIBLY DENSE MORON!

BBD said...

We have an expert consensus we can manage 100% renewables.

No, we don't. There are a handful of studies making this claim. That is not an expert consensus. It's rather like the handful of studies that claim that climate sensitivity is extremely low.

Blogger profile said...

" We have an expert consensus we can manage 100% renewables.

No, we don't."

Yes we do.

"There are a handful of studies making this claim."

That is what a consensus of experts MEANS! It's not an informal poll, nor is it a 100% agreement on a statement. It's a large number of experts who agree that something is feasible.

Meanwhile you don't even have that. All you have is "Well, we won't be able to change quickly, even if we change quickly".

BBD said...

It's a large number of experts who agree that something is feasible.

There isn't a 'large number of experts' who agree that 100% renewables by mid-century is feasible. Most experts *don't* think this is feasible. That's why the expert consensus excludes this scenario.

Blogger profile said...

"There isn't a 'large number of experts' who agree that 100% renewables by mid-century is feasible. "

Yes there is. I've given links to three papers with multiple authors. YOU have given one yourself. You don't LIKE it, therefore discard it utterly,but that is because you're a coal industry apologist (nuclear is merely a camoflage I have realised, now that you have indicated you want to keep coal as the majority energy provider, and nuclear is just a way to insist renewables can't do it).

If you liking what they say is necessary, then you have no experts in your claimed (but not evidenced) consensus either.

Blogger profile said...

"Most experts *don't* think this is feasible."

Proof plz.

BBD said...

Individual papers mean next to nothing in this context, BP. You need to look at the expert consensus which emerges from organisations with global reach and perspective like the IEA.

If you read through the 2014 World Energy Outlook (executive summary here) you will see that I have been *generous* in the assumptions I use for 2050 throughout this 'discussion'.

* * *

you're a coal industry apologist (nuclear is merely a camoflage I have realised, now that you have indicated you want to keep coal as the majority energy provider, and nuclear is just a way to insist renewables can't do it).

This is so loony tunes as to be more laughable than offensive, but it does once again raise the issue of your reading comprehension.



Blogger profile said...

"If you read through the 2014 World Energy Outlook"

It doesn't show your claim about the majority of experts.

Sorry.

Still looking for proof, plztnks