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On Reducing U.S. Primary Energy With Wind and Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency

Bruce,

The NREL reports are mostly wishful thinking.

The NREL uses statistical methods which, outside the US, have no standing.

Foreign entities use actual 1/4-hour grid and generator (if available) operating data on which to base their conclusions.

The NREL should concentrate on gathering actual data and present them clearly, without shading them with its agendas and boosting political goals.

In Germany, the Fraunhoffer Institute plays a similar RE boosting role regarding the ENERGIEWENDE.

August 31, 2015    View Comment    

On Reducing U.S. Primary Energy With Wind and Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency

Nathan,

The NREL has little credibility in Europe, as it is seen as a government RE propaganda site.

CFs for some locations are higher than others. It is the regional or national average CF that counts.

The 2014 CF for New England was 0.263, but there are 2000 ft ridge lines that get 0.30 year after year.

August 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Reducing U.S. Primary Energy With Wind and Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency

Clayton,

I have added a section on ERoEI near the top of the article, which speaks for itself.

Regarding variable wind and solar energy, the countries around the North Sea experience the same weather.

Interconnecting them will not reduce variability, as has been shown with 1/4 hour, SIMULATANEOUS, production data of various countries.

In fact, by adding these graphs, variability is increased, and because of interconnections, this variability can be dealt with by more gas turbine capacity inefficiently operating at about 75% output, while ramping up and down; more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh.

As you know, gas turbines become significantly less efficient at such operating conditions; large MW stationary diesel engines would better maintain their efficiency at such operating conditions.

NREL may be somewhat optimistic. Here are ACTUAL results of an outstanding offshore wind system

The Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm.

Germany’s first wind farm – owned by EWE, E.On and Vattenfall – the 60-MW capacity Alpa Ventus began full operation in April 2010 and on Feb. 21 it announced it had reached 1 terawatt-hour of generation. And it’s doing better than expected:

The average yield of the offshore wind farm in 2011 through 2013 was 253.14 gigawatt-hours per annum, exceeding the forecast yield by approximately 10 per cent.

The capacity factor of the wind farm of 48.1 per cent during this period is an outstanding result by international standards.

http://earthtechling.com/2014/02/offshore-wind-powers-eye-popping-capacity-factors/

 

August 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Hottest Month On Record Portends Global Warming Speed Up

Hops,

I agree CO2 is helping out making the earth warmer, but only by a few degrees.

Over the ages, it has been solar activity determining the global temperatures and climates. The sun is king, rules all.

The earth, without its water mass stabilizing the world's temperature and large masses of water evaporating into and condensing out of the atmosphere, would be as cold as the back face of the moon at night and as hot as hades when facing the sun.

In comparison, CO2 is a fly on an elephant's nose.

 

August 27, 2015    View Comment    

On Hottest Month On Record Portends Global Warming Speed Up

Joseph,

The Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period were warmer than the Present Warm Period.

In between were the Dark Ages, which was a cold period lasting at least 500 to 600 years.

What part of the PWP is due to coming out of the Little Ice Age (1450 - 1850) and what part is due to manmade activities?

The PWP could also last 500 to 600 years, i.e., it has at least 350 more years to go.

August 27, 2015    View Comment    

On First Offshore Wind Farm in the United States Begins Construction

Nathan,

It is invalid to claim "learning experience", when the 600-ft high wind turbines come from France and the rest is all well known assembly of foundations and wiring to shore, done for at least 1500 offshore units in Europe. 

There is some economics of scale, but that usually leads to about a 25% reduction, based on learning curves of similar projects in Europe.

Citing SMR nuclear is not valid, as it is an entirely different and far more complex combination of technologies.

August 17, 2015    View Comment    

On First Offshore Wind Farm in the United States Begins Construction

Hops,

A nuclear plant typically runs about 500 days between refueling AT NEAR RATED CAPACITY. Then it goes down for maintenance and refueling for about 3 - 4 weeks.

To compare that with weather-dependent variable-intermittent wind energy is hilarious.

August 17, 2015    View Comment    

On First Offshore Wind Farm in the United States Begins Construction

The 30 MW Block Island Offshore Wind Project has a 20-yr PPA starting at $0.235/kWh in 2007 (base year), escalating at 3.5%/yr which means the 2027 price to the utility will be $0.468/kWh.

This is intermittent, variable wind energy that cannot stand on its own, needs to be balanced by other generators, which have to operate inefficiently ramping up and down, at part load, and supplemented by other generators when wind is near zero, etc.

NOTE: New England WHOLESALE prices have been about 5 c/kWh for about 5 years, due to low-cost, nearby, domestic natural gas. It would be much less costly to import hydro energy from Canada at about 5 - 7 c/kWh, as described in this article.

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2219181/increased-wind-energy-versus-increased-canadian-hydro-energy-new-england

A State of Rhode Island suit is pending to overturn the contract; the aim is to negotiate to obtain a lower price.

Power production is estimated at 30 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.40 = 105,120 MWh/yr. (the website states 125,000 MWh, but that would require a CF = 0.476, which is highly unlikely.

Capital cost is estimated at $290 million, or $9,667/kW; completely outrageous, about 2 times the cost of Europe offshore.

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

Federal subsidies would be 30% as a grant. 

 

August 16, 2015    View Comment    

On Renewable Energy Delivers 70% of New Generating Capacity in First Half of 2015

Joe,

If it blows in Ieland, it blows all over the UK , the North Sea, etc. Interconnections are, at best, only a partial solution.

"As for Wheatley's Australia report - interesting that in this case CO2 emissions are at 78% in Australia. Much higher than the low 50s in his Ireland report."

The reason is the more annual wind energy on the grid, the more gas turbines have to operate inefficiently, i.e., ramping up and down at part load. The Australia study area has much less wind % than the 17% in Ireland at that time, hence the 78% and 52.5%. The more wind, the lower the percent, if gas turbines are used.

Going to about 25% wind, etc, all hell will brake loose in Europe, as there will not be enough balancing capacity in the system.

Various studies of the Norway/Sweden systems indicate they have rather limited hydro balancing capacity, certainly not enough to take care of Europe. Tens of $billions are required just for Norway modifications which entail much environment damage, which the rich Norwegians might not tolerate. Just Google.

August 13, 2015    View Comment    

On Renewable Energy Delivers 70% of New Generating Capacity in First Half of 2015

Joe,

"Not sure why you say "gas plants of UK could help out"- because as Mark pointed out the primary source from other end of interconnector is a nuclear plant in Wales."

It does not matter there is a nuclear plant near the other end of the line. It is the gas plants on the UK grid doing the balancing by inefficiently ramping up and down at part load, not the nuclear plants.

The instant wind energy is fed into a distribution grid or high voltage grid, it immediately becomes part of the existing mix of the grid, and the NEW mix spreads as electromagnetic waves, at near the speed of light, and gets consumed along its many ways. The electrons migrate very slowly; mostly they vibrate in place at 60 Hz.

There is nothing local about energy after it has been fed into the grid, as moving at near the speed of light means from northern Maine to southern Florida, about 1,800 miles, in 0.01 second.

Depending on the quantity of RE fed into the grid, it could be consumed as part of the NEW mix almost anywhere within 5, 10, 50, 100, or 200 miles.

Below is a Wheatley report of Australian wind energy not reducing CO2 as claimed. I am sure it will be of interest to you.

http://joewheatley.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/report.pdf

 http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/89476/wind-energy-co2-emissions-are-overstated

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August 13, 2015    View Comment    

On Renewable Energy Delivers 70% of New Generating Capacity in First Half of 2015

Albert,

A very rational response.

In a similar vain, why have wind turbines in New England, when Eastern Canada has plenty of low-cost hydro. All that is needed is HVDC transmission lines.

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2219181/increased-wind-energy-versus-increased-canadian-hydro-energy-new-england

August 13, 2015    View Comment