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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » Solar / Wind / Geothermal / Efficiency Energy Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 41, 42, 43  Next
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R_P

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Posted: Jun 23, 2024 - 8:04pm

"The Economist latest cover story on solar energy is packed with interesting stats."


Proclivities

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Location: Paris of the Piedmont
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Posted: Jun 14, 2024 - 6:42am

The cement that could turn your house into a giant battery
Red_Dragon

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Location: Dumbf*ckistan


Posted: May 24, 2024 - 6:55am

 islander wrote:


Germany has too many solar panels, and it's pushed energy prices into negative territory



https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/solar-panel-supply-german-electricity-prices-negative-renewable-demand-green-2024-5

Headline is a little misleading. The negative pricing was only during peak production. Germany fails to store most of the energy produced in that window. But this shows that there is plenty of capacity available.


Especially since Germany isn't a particularly sunny place.
islander

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Location: West coast somewhere
Gender: Male


Posted: May 24, 2024 - 6:19am



Germany has too many solar panels, and it's pushed energy prices into negative territory



https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/solar-panel-supply-german-electricity-prices-negative-renewable-demand-green-2024-5

Headline is a little misleading. The negative pricing was only during peak production. Germany fails to store most of the energy produced in that window. But this shows that there is plenty of capacity available.
islander

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Location: West coast somewhere
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 8:00am

 Lazy8 wrote:

Wrong verb. Let people build them. Do away with zoning laws that prevent them from building solar roofs and they'll do it to save money. Stop trying to force the future and let the future happen.


We're also going to do away with arcane permitting rules that require people to have a grid connection too right?  There have been incentives and subsidies for all the traditional sources for decades to force their adoption. We now know (we knew then too) that there are substantial issues with those sources, but they were there supporting the right politicians, so the rules were made. 
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:59am

 Lazy8 wrote:

Wrong verb. Let people build them. Do away with zoning laws that prevent them from building solar roofs and they'll do it to save money. Stop trying to force the future and let the future happen.


Hmm, not having solar i wasnt aware there were zoning issues...though not surprised as trying to add even a 10x12 deck requires months of paperwork and thousands of $. 
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:58am

 Lazy8 wrote:

Wrong verb. Let people build them. Do away with zoning laws that prevent them from building solar roofs and they'll do it to save money. Stop trying to force the future and let the future happen.


now you're talking.
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:56am

 black321 wrote:
Well why not a decentralized hybrid approach?
Build more houses with solar/windmills?

Wrong verb. Let people build them. Do away with zoning laws that prevent them from building solar roofs and they'll do it to save money. Stop trying to force the future and let the future happen.
Red_Dragon

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Location: Dumbf*ckistan


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:52am

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:45am

 Lazy8 wrote:

No.

The big problem with renewables is the ratio of power generated to resources (land, material, labor, energy, capital) required to build them. You can think of this as cost, which greenies tend to think of as irrelevant, but it represents real resources. If the power generated doesn't justify the investment it's a net loss. A step backward. Coal burnt and labor spent that shouldn't have been.

Some projects make sense, some don't. The ones that make sense will happen because those building them can see a return; the ones that don't make sense get subsidized—propped up as a huge virtue signal measurable in tons of CO2, cubic miles of earth dug up, and years wasted.

Yes, there are technical problems, but they're solvable. The problem of humans deluding themselves that they're making progress by building windmills that spend most of their lives idle has proved a lot more intractable.


ok, when I have time, I'll look into the energy budget of windmills. I do know they are technically challenging and high maintenance. But I am still surprised at the sheer scale of wind energy output. I live here and it is not like the entire landscape is littered with the damn things, not more than any other major infrastructure.

I know you hate the distortion of government incentives (for good reason) but renewables are certainly not the only energy sector to have benefited from them. Nuclear, coal and oil & gas have too over the years. 

Anyways,  a cursory look at solar shows that a panel assuming an  average daily generation of 2kW will have produced more power than was needed to build it within the first 1000 hours of operation and will keep running pretty well maintenance free for years to come.   Sounds like a winning formula to me.

So it's not all chasing windmills or unicorns.
And the oil&gas lobby has been strangely quiet on the opportunity cost of their particular business for, how long now, um, maybe forever. It is not just climate change, but land use, air quality, radiation in the tailings, environmental impact, high fatality and accident rates, etc. 
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:39am

Well why not a decentralized hybrid approach?
Build more houses with solar/windmills? 
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 26, 2024 - 7:31am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
The big problem with renewables is securing the base load. This is why gas-fired plants are still so important, as you can fire them up at short notice to meet peak demand. 
the only renewable source with that kind of flexibility is hydro and pumped storage, but there is nowhere enough of it to meet the baseload.

No.

The big problem with renewables is the ratio of power generated to resources (land, material, labor, energy, capital) required to build them. You can think of this as cost, which greenies tend to think of as irrelevant, but it represents real resources. If the power generated doesn't justify the investment it's a net loss. A step backward. Coal burnt and labor spent that shouldn't have been.

Some projects make sense, some don't. The ones that make sense will happen because those building them can see a return; the ones that don't make sense get subsidized—propped up as a huge virtue signal measurable in tons of CO2, cubic miles of earth dug up, and years wasted.

Yes, there are technical problems, but they're solvable. The problem of humans deluding themselves that they're making progress by building windmills that spend most of their lives idle has proved a lot more intractable.
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 9:16pm

 haresfur wrote:


One of my big frustrations with energy policy in Australia is the lack of support for gas generation to support peak demand. The environmentalists take a "build it and they will come" attitude to renewables and think that the problem of peak demand will somehow be solved if non-renewable options are off the table. Meanwhile labor and liberals tacitly support continued coal generation because the union jobs are joined at the hip to big business mining. The opportunities for pumped hydro storage are limited by the lack of suitable rivers. Locally, there was an initial assessment that showed the promise for pumped hydro using the maze of mine shafts beneath the town, going down well over a kilometer in depth (no evaporation loss). The catch is that the next study needed would be a quite expensive demonstration that they could keep the upper zone in one mine trend isolated from the deep zone in another and no one wants to spend that. So they will turn off the pumps and flood the deep zone to the point where it will be impossible to reverse.

So that leaves battery storage, which has had some success in South Australia but will be hard to scale up to the level needed. And there is a growing opposition to the impacts of lithium mining. Don't get me started on the limitations put on wind generation by nimbys on the right and left. 


tbh, 20 years ago as the whole wind thing was starting to stoke investor interest here (because of tax breaks) I was thinking, yeah, good to have, but, you know, unicorns. 

I am actually surprised  that so much of Germany's power now comes from renewables. Never thought it would happen at that scale or so quickly. 
haresfur

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Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 4:18pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

of course, but that is the great virtue of a continent-wide grid: for instance, excess wind power from Germany and the Netherlands on windy days is used to pump water into hydrostorage in, say, Norway, (and because Norway can buy it cheaply due to oversupply on such days), then when spot prices rise, Norway can ramp up their hydropower plants to generate power that it can then sell at a premium.  It's actually a win-win situation.
In fact there is a lot more granularity than that, as providers can respond almost immediately to spot prices. Our residential development has a small gas-fired co-gen plant that only fires up during peak demand. We get the waste heat to warm our houses and hot water. Again, a win-win. 

The big problem with renewables is securing the base load. This is why gas-fired plants are still so important, as you can fire them up at short notice to meet peak demand. 
the only renewable source with that kind of flexibility is hydro and pumped storage, but there is nowhere enough of it to meet the baseload. 



One of my big frustrations with energy policy in Australia is the lack of support for gas generation to support peak demand. The environmentalists take a "build it and they will come" attitude to renewables and think that the problem of peak demand will somehow be solved if non-renewable options are off the table. Meanwhile labor and liberals tacitly support continued coal generation because the union jobs are joined at the hip to big business mining. The opportunities for pumped hydro storage are limited by the lack of suitable rivers. Locally, there was an initial assessment that showed the promise for pumped hydro using the maze of mine shafts beneath the town, going down well over a kilometer in depth (no evaporation loss). The catch is that the next study needed would be a quite expensive demonstration that they could keep the upper zone in one mine trend isolated from the deep zone in another and no one wants to spend that. So they will turn off the pumps and flood the deep zone to the point where it will be impossible to reverse.

So that leaves battery storage, which has had some success in South Australia but will be hard to scale up to the level needed. And there is a growing opposition to the impacts of lithium mining. Don't get me started on the limitations put on wind generation by nimbys on the right and left. 
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 3:15pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

Net imports. There are a lot more days when Germany imports power than exports, and on those days it's a lot more than 2%.


of course, but that is the great virtue of a continent-wide grid: for instance, excess wind power from Germany and the Netherlands on windy days is used to pump water into hydrostorage in, say, Norway, (and because Norway can buy it cheaply due to oversupply on such days), then when spot prices rise, Norway can ramp up their hydropower plants to generate power that it can then sell at a premium.  It's actually a win-win situation.
In fact there is a lot more granularity than that, as providers can respond almost immediately to spot prices. Our residential development has a small gas-fired co-gen plant that only fires up during peak demand. We get the waste heat to warm our houses and hot water. Again, a win-win. 

The big problem with renewables is securing the base load. This is why gas-fired plants are still so important, as you can fire them up at short notice to meet peak demand. 
the only renewable source with that kind of flexibility is hydro and pumped storage, but there is nowhere enough of it to meet the baseload. 

Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 2:24pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
oh I agree with the stupidity of shutting down perfectly good nuclear stations that had already 1) amortised themselves and 2) were good to go for a few years yet and 3) were pretty much carbon neutral.    but see page 6 of this for more on Germany's net electricity imports/exports. IIRC we were exporting lots of electricity to France in 2021 in the middle of their drought as they had no cooling water.

Here's a nice breakdown for you. imports only accounted for about 2% in 2023.

Net imports. There are a lot more days when Germany imports power than exports, and on those days it's a lot more than 2%.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 11:08am

 Lazy8 wrote:

See the demand load, mostly in excess of native production? That's imported power, mostly nuclear from France. That could have been done in-country but for colossally stupid decisions driven by superstition.
oh I agree with the stupidity of shutting down perfectly good nuclear stations that had already 1) amortised themselves and 2) were good to go for a few years yet and 3) were pretty much carbon neutral.    but see page 6 of this for more on Germany's net electricity imports/exports. IIRC we were exporting lots of electricity to France in 2021 in the middle of their drought as they had no cooling water.

Here's a nice breakdown for you. imports only accounted for about 2% in 2023.

Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 8:54am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
The German energy charts are fascinating.  

Renewables are really making a massive impact with the share of coal constantly declining. And this was a week at the end of winter/beginning of spring. 
The cloudy days of no wind are still the issue (see March 20) But otherwise,  renewables are performing brilliantly. Now all we need is more pumped storage to cover those gaps.

See the demand load, mostly in excess of native production? That's imported power, mostly nuclear from France. That could have been done in-country but for colossally stupid decisions driven by superstition.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Mar 24, 2024 - 1:32am

The German energy charts are fascinating.  

Renewables are really making a massive impact with the share of coal constantly declining. And this was a week at the end of winter/beginning of spring. 
The cloudy days of no wind are still the issue (see March 20) But otherwise,  renewables are performing brilliantly. Now all we need is more pumped storage to cover those gaps.
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Mar 22, 2024 - 12:08pm

 islander wrote:


Germany has some interesting power things going. They were very creative and went after some novel ideas. Most of them have been pretty successful. The idea of a widely distributed production grid is a really solid idea if you have the back end to manage it (and they do). 

We see some pretty scary DIY too, but I'm generally impressed by most peoples enthusiasm for the ideas. I do wish there were less 'kookery' and conspiratorial thinking in the space, but
it is what it is.  I also wish the DIY crews weren't heavily overlapped with the generally the anti-establishment/anti-elite education set. It makes it really hard to get people to sit down and do the initial math, and understand what is underlying the systems they are putting together (Why am I not getting 100 Watts of power when I put a 100W light bulb over my solar panel?). 

20K is about right for a moderately sized household (depends on how big those 23 panels are and what fun widgets they put on the system). For that to be a 20 year payoff would mean his electric bills would be under a $100 a month.  And within 20 years, he will probably need a battery replacement.  


That's interesting, thanks. And kind of confirms what I was suspecting. 
In terms of ROI it is kind of hard to beat these DIY "balcony power plant" solutions. Maybe four panels instead of two (which would equal 8KW on a good day) . That would probably cover all the low-end appliances and have a bit left over for the high-end devices (oven, washing machine, etc.) provided, of course you wash/bake bread when the sun shines. For 4k upfront investment, it's worth a try. 

I helped him bolt it onto his house and was seriously impressed that you just needed to plug this thing into a normal socket and not worry about anything else. Like, is that it? srsly?

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