Renewable Energy

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Nemo
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Renewable Energy

Post by Nemo »

Green energy is utter bullshit. Who knew?
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Renewable Energy

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Nemo wrote: Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:10 pm Green energy is utter bullshit. Who knew?
Okay - here's the promo text:
Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It's too little, too late.

Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars?

No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine"). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors, 350.org, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.

Music by: Radiohead, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Blank & Jones, If These Trees Could Talk, Valentina Lisitsa, Culprit 1, Patrick O’hearn, The Torquays, Nigel Stanford, and many more.
I think you're off-topic, Nemo. If not, a few words explaining why you're not would be in order. If you are, maybe a request to the mod team to move this to a new thread?

:namaste:
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Renewable Energy

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Oh, well, it hasn't been moved, so let's roll with it. Here's a review of the movie.
Planet of the humans: A reheated mess of lazy, old myths

Gibbs obviously has a long-running gripe with biomass, which has a whole range of serious issues associated with it. Though I don’t know the industry well, I suspect many of his gripes there are valid.

But the outright lies about wind and solar are serious and extremely harmful. Wind and solar aren’t just technological tools with enormous potential for decarbonisation. They also have massive potential to be owned by communities, deployed at small scales with minimal environmental harm, and removed with far less impact on where they were than large power stations like coal and gas. They do incredible things to electricity bills, they decentralise power (literally and figuratively), and with more work they can be scaled up to properly replace fossil fuels.

Gibbs isn’t interested in this stuff. No one in 2012 was. He’s armed with a list of dot points from Watts Up With That, and he’s ready to go.

It’s tough to look past how popular this has been. The film’s been boosted by featuring producer Michael Moore in interviews, including on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. Ludicrously, it received four stars (four. frak. stars.) in the Guardian, a media outlet normally careful to not boosting climate-denier grade misinformation.

All this prominence despite the fact that the film failed to find a distributor, and was dumped onto Youtube instead. ...
:reading: https://ketanjoshi.co/2020/04/24/planet ... old-myths/

:popcorn:
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Renewable Energy

Post by Nemo »

There were some necro threads where it was appropriate but they were all locked.

Plus the documentary simply states what is obvious to anyone who has actually lived on solar. You won't be heating your home or driving your car on solar panels.

*Edited by Mod. Removed meta discussion. Comments regarding moderation are welcome in the Suggestions sub-forum.
Last edited by jake on Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Renewable Energy

Post by jake »

Moved posts regarding renewable energy from Greta thread viewtopic.php?f=36&t=32590 here:
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Malcolm »

Nemo wrote: Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:10 pm Green energy is utter bullshit. Who knew?
It is not utter bullshit, but there are a lot of problems with it:

Alternative-energy technologies don't clean the air. They don't clean the water. They don't protect wildlife. They don't support human rights. They don't improve neighborhoods. They don't strengthen democracy. They don't regulate themselves. They don't lower atmospheric carbon dioxide. They don't reduce consumption.

They produce power.

That power can lead to durable benefits, but only given the appropriate context. Ultimately, it's not a question of whether American society possesses the technological prowess to construct an alternative-energy nation. The real question is the reverse. Do we have a society capable of being powered by alternative energy? The answer today is clearly no.

But we can change that.

Future environmentalists will drop solar, wind, biofuels, nuclear, hydrogen, and hybrids to focus instead on women's rights, consumer culture, walkable neighborhoods, military spending, zoning, health care, wealth disparities, citizen governance, economic reform, and democratic institutions.
Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism (Kindle Locations 3409-3414). Kindle Edition.
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Re: Renewable Energy

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I can do it all on renewables except heat and transport. But many of the things I buy, including solar panels, have insanely huge energy inputs and have limited lifespans. I'm getting very tired of their being only 2 allowable views on every subject.

Heat and transport are only 70 to 85% of my annual energy usage and I've spent a fortune. You can't get there from here. Other than building your own hydroelectric dam it doesn't work.
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Malcolm »

Nemo wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:03 pm I can do it all on renewables except heat and transport.
Right.
But many of the things I buy, including solar panels, have insanely huge energy inputs and have limited lifespans.
Right.
I'm getting very tired of their being only 2 allowable views on every subject.
That's the price one pays for living in a society where the market is worshipped to the extent that people have convinced themselves it is intelligent. No one can rationally choose energy options for themselves, just like they cannot price doctors and health care. These things are not like vacuums and cars, commodities about which one can make rational economic choices for oneself.

Heat and transport are only 70 to 85% of my annual energy usage and I've spent a fortune. You can't get there from here. Other than building your own hydroelectric dam it doesn't work.
Yes, and meanwhile, oil isn't moving at all. The entire energy industry is looking at a major disruption, from which recovery may be impossible. For example, in your neck of the woods:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/ ... ction.html
Steam-driven oil sands production, also called steam-assisted gravity drainage, involves injecting steam into an oil sands deposit to melt the bitumen and make it flow up the well. To ensure long-term production, the temperature and pressure at such sites must be maintained at a certain level. Disruption, Reuters explains, could result in permanent damage, which would translate into a permanent loss of production.

Yet Western Canadian Select, the heavy oil benchmark of Canada, has been trading below $10 for about ten days now, with a temporary spike to $10.13 a barrel last Thursday. At the time of writing, WSC was trading at $-0.01 a barrel.
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Nemo »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:08 pm
Nemo wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:03 pm I can do it all on renewables except heat and transport.
Right.
But many of the things I buy, including solar panels, have insanely huge energy inputs and have limited lifespans.
Right.
I'm getting very tired of their being only 2 allowable views on every subject.
That's the price one pays for living in a society where the market is worshipped to the extent that people have convinced themselves it is intelligent. No one can rationally choose energy options for themselves, just like they cannot price doctors and health care. These things are not like vacuums and cars, commodities about which one can make rational economic choices for oneself.

Heat and transport are only 70 to 85% of my annual energy usage and I've spent a fortune. You can't get there from here. Other than building your own hydroelectric dam it doesn't work.
Yes, and meanwhile, oil isn't moving at all. The entire energy industry is looking at a major disruption, from which recovery may be impossible. For example, in your neck of the woods:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/ ... ction.html
Steam-driven oil sands production, also called steam-assisted gravity drainage, involves injecting steam into an oil sands deposit to melt the bitumen and make it flow up the well. To ensure long-term production, the temperature and pressure at such sites must be maintained at a certain level. Disruption, Reuters explains, could result in permanent damage, which would translate into a permanent loss of production.

Yet Western Canadian Select, the heavy oil benchmark of Canada, has been trading below $10 for about ten days now, with a temporary spike to $10.13 a barrel last Thursday. At the time of writing, WSC was trading at $-0.01 a barrel.
The tar sands is such a fiasco. There was a time when international reserves were low and the middle east was at war. Oil hit over 100$ a barrel. Our right wing PM at the time was an economist and passed a very interesting law that demanded all oil exchanges be traded back into Canadian dollars at the end of every trading day. This predictable daily currency exchange was obviously gamed since currency traders knew between 4 and 5 pm there were mandatory trades. This sent the CAD up to over par with the USD. He pushed over 3 billion a year in annual tax credits into developing capacity. Some cost 93$ a barrel to extract. It destroyed manufacturing and trade in my province but imports cost nothing and we could travel so no one cared. When prices fell back to normal and more proven reserves were discovered we screwed over the Chinese(Sinopec) to buy the most expensive extraction zones but kept all the light sweet crude wells for ourselves. We promised them a pipeline in return. We are still pretending we will build it some day to keep from being sued in an international court for heavy oil no one will ever want.

WCS actually hit minus 35$ at one point. The dilutant(basically WD40) that keeps the diluted bitumen or dil bit liquid costs about 7$ a barrel. Total extraction costs for tar sand oil is about 73$ a barrel after massive layoffs and automation. They have been borrowing massively since 2008 telling the banks 100$ a barrel oil was normal. This year so much of that paper comes due Russia and Saudi have decided to bankrupt them. I'm happy that part of our economy and history will soon be dead.
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Re: Renewable Energy

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Nemo wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:08 am ... Total extraction costs for tar sand oil is about 73$ a barrel after massive layoffs and automation. They have been borrowing massively since 2008 telling the banks 100$ a barrel oil was normal. This year so much of that paper comes due Russia and Saudi have decided to bankrupt them. I'm happy that part of our economy and history will soon be dead.
More generally and in the longer term, all renewables need to do is undercut fossil fuel costs and the fossil fuel producers will go broke, one sector at a time.
Tar sand oil is more vulnerable than most, but coal-fired power stations are already on their way out: new wind and solar is cheaper (most places) than new coal, even when you factor in storage, and new wind and solar is cheaper in some places than the cost of simply running existing coal plants. That's all good, from my POV, and it will keep getting better.

Your larger claim, Nemo, that renewables are never going to be enough, is dubious.
On the supply side, costs are still falling, grids are getting smarter, and storage costs (the next big growth area, I reckon) are dropping. We're still working out the best transport energy solutions, although EV's are looking more and more likely to win that one.
But the demand side is where things might get really interesting. It's possible for us to reduce demand per capita without much of a reduction in comfort and convenience, and I would like to think that's where we might be going. It's also possible that our population will take a bigger-than-coronavirus hit from the next pandemic, or start dropping as the developing nations' fertility rates follow ours below replacement rate.

:juggling:
It's not all doom-and-gloom.

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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Malcolm »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:30 am
Nemo wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:08 am ... Total extraction costs for tar sand oil is about 73$ a barrel after massive layoffs and automation. They have been borrowing massively since 2008 telling the banks 100$ a barrel oil was normal. This year so much of that paper comes due Russia and Saudi have decided to bankrupt them. I'm happy that part of our economy and history will soon be dead.
More generally and in the longer term, all renewables need to do is undercut fossil fuel costs and the fossil fuel producers will go broke, one sector at a time.
Tar sand oil is more vulnerable than most, but coal-fired power stations are already on their way out: new wind and solar is cheaper (most places) than new coal, even when you factor in storage, and new wind and solar is cheaper in some places than the cost of simply running existing coal plants. That's all good, from my POV, and it will keep getting better.

Your larger claim, Nemo, that renewables are never going to be enough, is dubious.
On the supply side, costs are still falling, grids are getting smarter, and storage costs (the next big growth area, I reckon) are dropping. We're still working out the best transport energy solutions, although EV's are looking more and more likely to win that one.
But the demand side is where things might get really interesting. It's possible for us to reduce demand per capita without much of a reduction in comfort and convenience, and I would like to think that's where we might be going. It's also possible that our population will take a bigger-than-coronavirus hit from the next pandemic, or start dropping as the developing nations' fertility rates follow ours below replacement rate.

:juggling:
It's not all doom-and-gloom.

:namaste:
Kim
The Jevons paradox would infer that it is a little premature to proclaim the death of fossil fuel. And there are quite a number areas in which alternative energy infrastructure (cells, electronics, rare earth strip mining) has a big environmental cost compared to the value of the power it produces. It remains uncompetitive in the market, and only exists through subsidies. I am not saying we should cease seeking alternative means of generating power, but to make any of that sustainable, our world culture and economic values will have to change considerably.
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Malcolm wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:58 am The Jevons paradox would infer that it is a little premature to proclaim the death of fossil fuel.
Perhaps, but I didn't proclaim its death, I proclaimed its decline. I'm sure it will hang around for decades, but in ever-smaller niches.
And there are quite a number areas in which alternative energy infrastructure (cells, electronics, rare earth strip mining) has a big environmental cost compared to the value of the power it produces.
Granted - so long as we don't forget the big environmental costs of fossil fuels ... some of which keep on giving far longer than we might have thought. https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tudy-finds
It remains uncompetitive in the market, and only exists through subsidies. ...
I have to say you're out of date, in just the same way the makers of the movie in the OP were out of date.
(I was going to say, "I'm afraid you're out of date," but that wouldn't be true at all. "I'm delighted you're out of date," would have been closer, but not polite.)

Lazard's have been following costs for a while. Here are their 2019 figures - https://www.lazard.com/perspective/leve ... rage-2018/. They confirm what I said earlier, partly because I've been following them for a while. :-)

IEEFA and Bloomberg have also been doing good work for years. Here's the former summarising the latter, eighteen months ago:
Falling technology costs means unsubsidized solar and/or onshore wind are now the cheapest source of new bulk power in all major economies except Japan, according to BloombergNEF‘s (BNEF) new 2H 2018 LCOE report. The report assesses the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies globally (excluding subsidies).

Every half year, BNEF runs its Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) analysis, a worldwide assessment of the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies – excluding subsidies.

These are the key, high-level results:

Solar and/or wind are now the cheapest new source of generation in all major economies, except Japan. This includes China and India, where not long ago coal was king. In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants.

The benchmark global levelized cost for onshore wind sits at $52/MWh, down 6% from our 1H 2018 analysis. This is on the back of cheaper turbines and a stronger U.S. dollar. Onshore wind is now as cheap as $27/MWh in India and Texas, without subsidy.

In most locations in the U.S. today, wind outcompetes combined-cycle gas plants (CCGT) supplied by cheap shale gas as a source of new bulk generation. If the gas price rises above $3/MMBtu, our analysis suggests that new and existing CCGT are going to run the risk of becoming rapidly undercut by new solar and wind. This means fewer run-hours and a stronger case for flexible technologies such as gas peaker plants and batteries that do well at lower utilization (capacity factor).

Short-duration batteries are today the cheapest source of new fast-response and peaking capacity in all major economies except the U.S., where cheap gas gives peaker gas plants an edge. As electric vehicle manufacturing ramps-up, battery costs are set to drop another 66% by 2030, according to our analysis. This, in turn, means cheaper battery storage for the power sector, lowering the cost of peak power and flexible capacity to levels never reached before by conventional fossil-fuel peaking plants.

Batteries co-located with PV or wind are becoming more common. Our analysis suggests that new-build solar and wind paired with four-hour battery storage systems can already be cost competitive, without subsidy, as a source of dispatchable generation compared with new coal and new gas plants in Australia and India.
:reading: https://ieefa.org/bnef-unsubsidized-win ... n-sources/
But for pure symbolic value, the Saudis' move to solar takes some beating:
Saudi solar solicitation attracts ultra-low bids, with prices at $0.016/kWh

Held under the so-called National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), Saudi Arabia’s tenders are part of a plan to drive a renewable boom in the space of a decade. Previously floated targets would have the country reach major volumes of installed solar (40GW) and wind and others (20GW) by 2030.

The country – which relies on oil revenues to prop up national budgets – has recently seen sharp declines in reference barrel prices, as lockdown plans enacted due to the COVID-19 crisis forced downwards revisions of demand for the fossil fuel.
:reading: https://ieefa.org/saudi-solar-solicitat ... 0-016-kwh/

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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Nemo »

Malcolm you do realize those statistics are for generating grid electricity. Alternative energy was great for that 20 years ago and a no brainer today. Making the car go vroom vroom and burning stuff so I don't freeze in winter is 70-85% of my annual usage. That is with a 4cyl Japanese vehicle, a heat pump, triple pane silverized IR reflective windows, new vapour barriers and insulation.The problem is heat and transport. Storage is like a vaccine for Covid or fusion energy. It's always just around the corner.

The solution is very tiny houses and electric bikes. But even that is a waste of time. On a national level in the army we never ran out of bullets, bombs or enemies. In America you can still walk down the street and buy an assault weapon today. Can you find an N95 mask? I agree with Ozzie Zehner's position that the environment is an intersectional issue. We are being sold a bill of goods about the problem being fixed. Both sides of the issue are lying. I was an environmentalist in the 80s and that is when we were bought out. You could go from making 30k a year to 80k(1990 dollars) to work as corporate PR. It's now almost the entire industry. It is not a grassroots movement now.
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Re: Renewable Energy

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Reporter, Al Gore, and Richard Branson in an interview scene.

Reporter to Branson: "Is Al Gore a prophet?"

Branson: "How do you spell profit?"

The three laugh.

I've noticed the profit feature a long time ago. I went to a green energy convention around 20 years ago and there were all kinds of environmentalists and leftists attending. And then I noticed all the booths were really big businesses, selling their wares. I couldn't help but wonder if some of the attendees who argue against capitalism knew that they are actually supporting capitalism.
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Re: Renewable Energy

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I have some solar panels and also some other green energy features at my home. The panels require regular maintenance and come no where near providing a zero electric bill or going off the grid, but it does help with the energy bills some, reducing the electric consumption from the city somewhat.
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Malcolm »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:34 pm
It remains uncompetitive in the market, and only exists through subsidies. ...
I have to say you're out of date, in just the same way the makers of the movie in the OP were out of date.
In the US for example, there is a little thing call the ITC, the Solar Investment Tax Credit, which gives solar projects a 26 percent credit for projects begun in 2020, and 22 percent tax credit for projects begun in 2021. This applies across the board to both residential and commercial properties. So, still subsidized.

Wind is the big winner in the subsidies dept in the 2020 budget, where developers are offered a 60 percent incentive if they bring their projects online by 2024. So, wind and solar are still subsidized in the US, even though such subsidies are slated for termination.

Of course, the Nuke industry received 250 million.

Then of course, there is this:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverwyma ... 8a4b31e022:
"While volume-based subsidies currently smooth out this problem, returns on investment will likely begin to decline once operators in systems with large-scale dependence on renewable energy can no longer depend on them. No subsidies may mean that many renewable producers will become no longer financially viable, and the current effort to switch global power generation to renewable sources may be undermined."
Now, don't get me wrong, I am totally in favor of developing these resources, and I am totally in favor of subsidizing these industries. But if we are taking about it from the point of view of a free market, alternative energy still is not over all competitive with fossil fuels.

You will object that fossil fuels received far more in subsidies, and it is true. The same article states:
The US Energy Information Administration reports that 28 percent of electricity generation globally in 2018 was from renewable energy and will only reach 49 percent by 2050. That’s disturbing given the planet’s need to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions and international targets that call for net zero emissions by 2050.

Given the sluggish adoption, some degree of subsidization will be needed for the foreseeable future. After all, the International Monetary Fund estimates direct and indirect subsidies to the global fossil fuel industry in 2017 totaled $5.2 trillion, up from $4.7 trillion in 2015, despite the climate crisis.

While renewables have proven they generate cheap electricity, the financial risks of some of these projects have not yet been fully mitigated. Renewable power generation is moving into a new phase, and while it is no longer crawling, it isn’t running yet either.
There there is this:

https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/us-wi ... 2-1-774251
The pandemic is “now causing supply chain disruptions that have the potential to significantly delay construction timetables and hurt the ability to monetise time-sensitive tax credits,” Greg Wetstone, CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), said in a statement to Recharge.

Projects that come online in 2020 can qualify for full value of the federal production tax credit (PTC), set at $24/MWh for electricity sent to the grid over their initial decade of operation.
So you see, at least in the US, wind and solar are still entirely dependent on tax credits, etc., for their viability.

Further, there are problems with the way Lazard calculates LCOE:

https://www.factcheck.org/2019/07/does- ... subsidies/
The EIA, which produces LCOE figures for future years, estimated in February that for wind facilities coming online in 2021, the average cost without subsidies would be $48.80/MWh when weighting by capacity. That’s compared with $46.70 for conventional natural gas and $40.50 for advanced natural gas (see Table A1a).

There are areas of the country, however, where wind’s LCOE values are lower or almost identical to those of advanced natural gas. Advanced natural gas, EIA analyst Sukunta Manussawee explained over email, is the only type of natural gas plant the agency expects to be built in the future, and refers to more efficient plants that get more energy from a given amount of fuel.

Overall, then, the data suggest that based on LCOE, building a new onshore wind facility is already, or very soon will be, cheaper than building a new natural gas plant, either on average, or in large sections of the country, without federal dollars being thrown wind’s way.

That isn’t the case for offshore wind, which remains very expensive to build, and thus is more pricey per megawatt hour than most other sources, even after subsidies are included (see, for example Table 1a or Lazard’s unsubsidized estimate of $92/MWh). There is only one commercial offshore wind farm currently operating in the U.S.

Beyond Levelized Cost

While LCOE is the most frequently used metric for cost competitiveness, it’s not perfect.

The EIA in particular cautions against reading too much into LCOE. “LCOE does not capture all of the factors that contribute to actual investment decisions, making the direct comparison of LCOE across technologies problematic and misleading as a method to assess the economic competitiveness of various generation alternatives,” the agency’s February 2019 report reads.
But here is the salient point in fact checking Trump's claims:
“What we see is not that wind is non-competitive without the PTC,” he explained in an email, “but rather that with the PTC it is very competitive.”
In other words, subsidies make wind, etc, very competitive with gas. The article concludes:
In the end, only time will tell whether wind is viable without subsidies. As Namovicz emphasized in a phone interview, despite all the numbers and fancy analytics that people try to use, because the U.S. is currently providing a large subsidy to wind, it’s impossible to know the alternative.

“There are no facts without the subsidy, because we don’t have that data available,” he said. “Everything else is just analysis and economic modeling.”

It’s a sentiment that Murray, the Duke economist, also shared. “Basically the tax credit played its role,” he said in an email. “That is how subsidies are supposed to work — kick start a technology and see if it can compete. Looks like we will see.”
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Malcolm »

Nemo wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:05 pm Malcolm you do realize those statistics are for generating grid electricity.
Yes.

In America you can still walk down the street and buy an assault weapon today.
In most states, that is true, but not in all states such as Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota (limited access), New Jersey, New York, District of Columbia (not technically a state), and Washington.
I agree with Ozzie Zehner's position that the environment is an intersectional issue. We are being sold a bill of goods about the problem being fixed. Both sides of the issue are lying.
Agreed.
I was an environmentalist in the 80s and that is when we were bought out. You could go from making 30k a year to 80k(1990 dollars) to work as corporate PR. It's now almost the entire industry. It is not a grassroots movement now.
This is why, like healthcare, energy production should be socialized.
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Re: Renewable Energy

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DNS wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:12 pm I have some solar panels and also some other green energy features at my home. The panels require regular maintenance and come no where near providing a zero electric bill or going off the grid, but it does help with the energy bills some, reducing the electric consumption from the city somewhat.
I have some solar panels on a rental property. The tenants get free electricity - as much as they want to use - and we still routinely bank a few hundred dollars per year from the feed-in tariff on the excess power the roof produces. Maintenance over eight years has been exactly $0.00 and a total of about half an hour of our time to clean a few leaves off the panels.

:popcorn:
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Malcolm wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:14 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:34 pm
It remains uncompetitive in the market, and only exists through subsidies. ...
I have to say you're out of date, in just the same way the makers of the movie in the OP were out of date.
In the US for example, there is a little thing call the ITC, the Solar Investment Tax Credit, which gives solar projects a 26 percent credit for projects begun in 2020, and 22 percent tax credit for projects begun in 2021. This applies across the board to both residential and commercial properties. So, still subsidized.

Wind is the big winner in the subsidies dept in the 2020 budget, where developers are offered a 60 percent incentive if they bring their projects online by 2024. So, wind and solar are still subsidized in the US, even though such subsidies are slated for termination.

Of course, the Nuke industry received 250 million. ...
Subsidies distort the market and are (as far as I'm concerned) impossible to measure accurately. I do know that here in Australia the fossil fuel industry gets far more subsidies than the renewables industry - while everyone right of centre screams loudly about "unfair competition from subsidised renewables." I suspect the same is true in the US.

While I'm sure everything you say is correct, I don't believe it is the whole story and I don't believe it alters the clearly observable cost trends.
And if the (real) costs of renewables keep dropping - as they have been for years - while the (real) costs of fossils keep rising (as they have to extract more difficult and lower-quality resources) then there must be a crossover. It will be piecemeal, as I said - one market at a time, even one contract at a time - but it is now inevitable. Even without a carbon tax.

:namaste:
Kim

P.S. Here's a "good" example of government intervention which just popped up.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... coal-power
Independent MP Zali Steggall has asked the auditor general to investigate a Morrison government scheme to underwrite gas, hydro and coal power, saying it lacks transparency and citing legal advice that the Coalition had no constitutional or legislative authority to introduce it.

Announced in late 2018 after the government abandoned Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed national energy guarantee, the underwriting new generation investment (Ungi) scheme promises public support for new dispatchable power generation projects to increase competition in the electricity grid. Twelve projects have been shortlisted, including six pumped hydro plants, five gas generators and an upgrade to the Vales Point coal-fired power plant. ...

She said despite these apparent flaws the government had shortlisted projects, started “advanced negotiations” to support gas-fired plants in Victoria and Queensland and entered a memorandum-of-understanding with the New South Wales government to support three projects in the state.

The federal government is increasingly emphasising the need for greater investment in “fast-start” gas power. In media interviews over the past week, the energy and emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, has called for a “gas-fired recovery” from the Covid-19 pandemic after the collapse of oil and gas prices. The federal-NSW MOU says the state will set a target to increase the amount of gas available each year by 70 petajoules, a more than 50% increase. ...
We have our share of dinosaurs.
:toilet:
Last edited by Kim O'Hara on Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DNS
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Re: Renewable Energy

Post by DNS »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:39 pm
DNS wrote: Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:12 pm I have some solar panels and also some other green energy features at my home. The panels require regular maintenance and come no where near providing a zero electric bill or going off the grid, but it does help with the energy bills some, reducing the electric consumption from the city somewhat.
I have some solar panels on a rental property. The tenants get free electricity - as much as they want to use - and we still routinely bank a few hundred dollars per year from the feed-in tariff on the excess power the roof produces. Maintenance over eight years has been exactly $0.00 and a total of about half an hour of our time to clean a few leaves off the panels.

:popcorn:
Kim
That's good, glad to hear that. The temperatures there are more mild, compared to the temperatures where I'm located.
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