O.K. You found an example from Germany. But you and everyone else need to take note that Germany's distorted power policies are resulting in the highest electricity rates in the world for customers as well as failing utilities. That is just the opposite of what you are claiming such a regulator environment can do. Sorry, but governments distorting prices by trying to control physics through taxation is not a solution here.
Germany is a member of Nordpool as are Denmark and Estonia, all of them are increasing their share of variable renewables, and Germany is the largest electricity market IN Nordpool, so it's entirely relevant to the discussion. As I noted, some of the high electricity rates are due to feed-in tariffs for renewables, and increasing demand at times of excess power would allow reducing or eliminating those tariffs. I'm all in favor of eliminating subsidies wherever possible, especially as (on-shore) wind is now generally competitive with fossil fuels without subsidies. [Edit
] Actually, I see that Germany is moving away from feed-in tariffs and towards auctions, and others are following, which should help lower rates.
One of the problems for negative pricing is that there's an imbalance between prices paid for imported versus exported energy in Nordpool, which is hurting countries like Denmark when they have lots of wind to dump:
For timeshifting trade with Norway, Denmark exports at DKK 157/MWh and imports at DKK 212/MWh. The correlation is low between wind power in Norway and Denmark. Market price sometimes falls to near or below zero, particularly in high winds and low consumption.
It's far better to use that energy in the country and get a positive rate for it (but still less than normal retail) than if they exported it at a loss. That would benefit both power producers and consumers.
As to using regulatory mechanisms to control demand, while negative pricing handles supply surpluses, at the other end of the market (in this country at least) utilities cut deals with major power consumers to give them a lower rate as long as they agree to reduce demand when requested. As smart meters and smart appliances proliferate, it will increasingly be easier to institute real-time demand response for individual consumers, i.e. ToU metering on a minute by minute basis vs. fixed hours-long blocks, allowing demand response for both reductions and
RegGuheert wrote: GRA wrote:
Are you saying that, to take one example, a moderately loaded ICE or steam turbine running continuously and which doesn't experience the thermal and other stresses of frequent starts and stops from intermittent usage won't last longer than one that does?! The reason power producers are willing to pay consumers to take electricity rather than stop and then restart their combustion generating plants is because it's cheaper over the long term.
Similarly, here's what battery university has to say about PEM fuel cells:
Operating a PEM fuel cell in a vehicle, the PEMFC stack has an estimated service life of 2,000–4,000 hours. Wetting and drying caused by short distance driving contributes to membrane stress. Running continuously, the stationary stack is good for about 40,000 hours.[/quote ]
So, we're talking about 10 - 20x longer life for continuous running versus intermittent use. The question is will there be such an effect with an electrolyzer, and if so, how much?
So your evidence that my estimate of fuel cell life of 10 years was pessimistic is based on your finding a reference to stationary fuel cells with a life of 40,000 hours (4.5 years)? I stand by my assumption that these new electrolyzers will not last longer than 10 years. It is a very good estimate.
I came up with 4.6 years, but that's a matter of rounding. As Battery University is a general source, and I don't know how old that particular section may be, we simply don't know what the life of the systems currently being installed is, especially for this particular purpose. Nor, as I pointed out above, do we know what future electricity costs will be. But I was replying specifically to your statement that continuous usage results in shorter lifetimes than intermittent use, and as I've shown that's simply false in many cases.
Mind you, none of that implies that I think current systems are likely to be cost-effective without subsidies - I believe it will take at least one more round of development if not two or three to get there for H2 and FCs. But then public charging is not yet cost effective either, and BEVs while closer are still uncompetitive. They all still require subsidies to succeed.
GRA wrote:As is often the case, we'll just have to agree to disagree. That batteries and FCs improve by steps rather than a constant slope should be of no surprise to anyone. Li-ion is now approaching its theoretical performance limits, and will need a technological step change...
Statements like this one make it clear that you do not believe the part of your signature which says "The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'." You've stated this self-made-up "requirement" for a "technological step change" in the past and I've corrected it before. I'll correct it again. Li-ion batteries DO NOT "need a technological step change". They already operate at near unity round-trip energy efficiency, so there is no step change that can ever be achieved there. The specific energy, energy density, and specific power of Li-ion batteries have already reached extremely-usable levels. Cost is now in a very competitive range. Steady improvements are all that is needed and these are made every day: the results are quite impressive. These improvements in manufacturing cost, durability, operating temperature range, safety, and material content, as well as the basic characteristics of specific energy, energy density, and specific power, are all moving steadily in the direction which is causing the market size for Li-ion batteries to explode.
We have no disagreement that Li-ion batteries are making incremental improvements, or that there is a realistic usage niche for them now. But if consumers are simply unwilling to use them for that purpose except when bribed or forced to, or unable to pay for them, then they clearly aren't 'good enough' yet to be the near-universal replacement for ICEs. 'Good enough' to me means comparable price (without subsidies) and comparable performance to the ICEs that still make up about 97% of the market in this country, and most estimates predict that won't happen until around 2025, and will require exactly the sort of step change in energy density and specific energy as well as price reductions to achieve that I'm referring to. The only AFV tech which I consider 'good enough' at the moment in this country is the moderate range PHEV, e.g. the Prime, Ionic and Niro, as they also have moderate prices that aren't too much higher than HEVs as well as an existing fueling infrastructure, and thus can survive expiration of the fed. tax credit.
In the case of fuel cells, I believe the next major step change will come when they can go to limited-rate mass production instead of the current low-rate very hands-on methods currently required, analogous to a shift from low-rate initial Model 3 production with lots of rework required to Model 3s rolling off the line by the thousands with only spot checks needed before being put onto trucks for delivery to dealers.
RegGuheert wrote:The main area that I think needs further effort is recycling of Li-ion batteries.
No argument that's needed.
RegGuheert wrote:It is very important that everyone recognizes that low-energy efficiency energy storage solutions (like H2-based solutions) are ONLY suitable for niche applications, not mainstream applications. Because they avoid chemical reactions, Li-ion batteries are at the pinnacle of what is achievable in terms of energy efficiency. We need to continue to improve them and then apply them far and wide with the exception being in areas where the energy needs to be stored for long periods of time (due to the material inefficiencies which come into play). If we ignore the value of this important characteristic of Li-ion batteries, we will never achieve meaningful penetration rates for renewable solutions.
It seems we agree that at the moment, we are still talking about niche applications for both these techs.
GRA wrote:It will ultimately be up to the market to determine which is more cost-effective for various jobs, and neither of us is going to effect that.
The "market" is NOT choosing H2 FCVs--rather, government officials who are not aware of the disasterous effects of fielding low-efficiency solutions are passing ill-informed laws to distort the economics so that purveyors of fuel-cell technologies get paid for their environmentally-damaging "solutions". You can see this in nearly every posting of H2 new that GRA has made. We all need to stand up to our representatives in government and help them to understand how misguided their efforts in this area really are.
The market isn't choosing BEVs either, Reg, and they and their infrastructure remain as dependent on government funding/mandates as H2/FCEVs. They should get to the point of independence sooner than H2 and FCEVs will.