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Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:11 am
by DaveinOlyWA
Why is this a surprise? Why was it ever believed that burning something that had to be mined with great abandon would have no consequences? Lets be real. This issue was undoubtedly discovered, discussed and buried decades ago.

The cost may seem high but averaged over the years it was known, the costs are quite "reasonable"

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:34 am
by Oilpan4
Anything but coal?
Well the only thing that has been able to eat into coals market share was hydraulically fracked natural gas and combined cycle natural gas plants.
But the technology to provide instrument guided deep formation fracking cheaply didn't exist until the late 1990s to early 2000s.
I don't even think wide scale use of large combined cycle natural gas power plants came on line until the 1990s in the US.
They date back to the 1960s but I remember hearing they were the next new big thing in the 1990s.


Our electric cars are power hungry. So far their all limited to economy and sporty class cars, until here pretty recently which are pretty efficient.
My leaf uses up to 400kwh per month, so when tons of people switch to electric then residential electricity demand is going to soar.
I have heard that "people should just use less electricity" adopting electric vehicles and using less electricity isn't practical.

Well nuclear was on track to replace a lot of fossil fuel capacity.
It went from a 0% market share to about 10% market share in less than 30 years, then 1996 the last commercial nuclear power reactor came on line and nuclears rapid market share growth flat lines soon after.
Had the United states continued to build nuclear power plants we could probably have around 1.3 maybe 1.5 trillion kwh per year of total generation capability, but we have been stuck at 800 billion kwh per year around for at least the last 20 years.
If the United States built that additional capacity to generate 500 billion kwh per year with nuclear power, around 250 million tons of coal wouldn't be burned every year, that could eliminate more than a third of coal generation we have now.

Around here I can reliably get 1kwh per day with a fixed 200w mono panel.
Let's say we want to eliminate 100 billion kwh per year of coal generation.
Chop up 100 billion kwh over 365 days, gives you 2,739,726 kwh per day. So I would need 2,739,726 solar panels of 200w or equivalent.
Should be easy enough to figure the rest from there.

Note, according to Wikipedia "most of the coal generation capacity is used to cover base load". So using nuclear power to replace coal is the better idea and using solar to replace coal was always destined to be dead on arival.

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:42 am
by WetEV
Oilpan4 wrote:So using nuclear power to replace coal is the better idea and using solar to replace coal was always destined to be dead on arival.
Solar + storage at utility scale isn't a full solution, only about 80%. The remaining 20% I think will likely have a nuclear component. I'm sure some will disagree.

You need about 15kWh of storage per average house to get to 80% solar. Add in reserve and reduce cycling to improve battery life, and you might have 30kWh of batteries. At a projected in 2025 cost of less than $100 per kWh (utility scale), that is $3000 per household. It would be more now, and more at personal scale. Perhaps a dollar a day cost per household. Or less.

Coal dies.

I suspect your personal energy uses are more daytime (AC) than nighttime, so you personally might need less.

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:45 am
by DaveinOlyWA
Oilpan4 wrote:Second little problem.
Our electric cars are power hungry. So far their all limited to economy and sporty class cars, until here pretty recently which are pretty efficient.
My leaf uses up to 400kwh per month, so when tons of people switch to electric then residential electricity demand is going to soar.
I have heard that "people should just use less electricity" adopting electric vehicles and using less electricity isn't practical.

Well nuclear was on track to replace a lot of fossil fuel capacity.
It went from a 0% market share to about 10% market share in less than 30 years, then 1996 the last commercial nuclear power reactor came on line and nuclears rapid market share growth flat lines soon after.
Had the United states continued to build nuclear power plants we could probably have around 1.3 maybe 1.5 trillion kwh per year of total generation capability, but we have been stuck at 800 billion kwh per year around for at least the last 20 years.
If the United States built that additional capacity to generate 500 billion kwh per year with nuclear power, around 250 million tons of coal wouldn't be burned every year, that could eliminate more than a third of coal generation we have now.

Around here I can reliably get 1kwh per day with a fixed 200w mono panel.
Let's say we want to eliminate 100 billion kwh per year of coal generation.
Chop up 100 billion kwh over 365 days, gives you 2,739,726 kwh per day. So I would need 2,739,726 solar panels of 200w or equivalent.
Should be easy enough to figure the rest from there.

Note, according to Wikipedia "most of the coal generation capacity is used to cover base load". So using nuclear power to replace coal is the better idea and using solar to replace coal was always destined to be dead on arival.
You do realize that the failure of nuclear power was a direct result of the coal industry? Had nothing to do with safety, cost or anything other than Big Coal protecting Big Coal's pockets.

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:13 am
by Oilpan4
Actually I put a split in the bed room and let the rest of the house turn into an oven during the summer. I will open windows at night to cool off the house probably until may, then I will leave the air conditioning off until after sun set. During the summer, a few times a month I will turn the A/C on during the day.

Coal will probably continue to be used for quite some time for steel production, point of use heating and possibly to power Transoceanic ships when diesel fuel becomes to expensive. Using coal to cover base loading seems like a waste.

Oh and battery storage looking like it would cost around $110,000 per MwH if it were made by tesla today.
A fairly average combined cycle natural gas plant will have a capacity of about 400Mw.
So you would need 400 of those batteries for every hour of run time you wanted.
It could be done now, it doesn't appear economical. It will likely become economical at some point.

During winter I can easily use 20 or 30 kwh per day to keep the house warm using the heat pump. This is why I bought and installed a wood stove and coal furnace. If I was going to go completely off grid I would want at least 50 kwh of battery. A big wood pile and big coal pile.
So realistically I would want more like 100kwh of total capacity if I used lead acid batt tech.
If I wanted to charge my leaf and plug in hybrid.
There's no way some one who has a heat pump and EV can get by on 15kwh.
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Oilpan4 wrote:Second little problem.
Our electric cars are power hungry. So far their all limited to economy and sporty class cars, until here pretty recently which are pretty efficient.
My leaf uses up to 400kwh per month, so when tons of people switch to electric then residential electricity demand is going to soar.
I have heard that "people should just use less electricity" adopting electric vehicles and using less electricity isn't practical. Using it for large scale power generation is kind of a waste.

Well nuclear was on track to replace a lot of fossil fuel capacity.
It went from a 0% market share to about 10% market share in less than 30 years, then 1996 the last commercial nuclear power reactor came on line and nuclears rapid market share growth flat lines soon after.
Had the United states continued to build nuclear power plants we could probably have around 1.3 maybe 1.5 trillion kwh per year of total generation capability, but we have been stuck at 800 billion kwh per year around for at least the last 20 years.
If the United States built that additional capacity to generate 500 billion kwh per year with nuclear power, around 250 million tons of coal wouldn't be burned every year, that could eliminate more than a third of coal generation we have now.

Around here I can reliably get 1kwh per day with a fixed 200w mono panel.
Let's say we want to eliminate 100 billion kwh per year of coal generation.
Chop up 100 billion kwh over 365 days, gives you 2,739,726 kwh per day. So I would need 2,739,726 solar panels of 200w or equivalent.
Should be easy enough to figure the rest from there.

Note, according to Wikipedia "most of the coal generation capacity is used to cover base load". So using nuclear power to replace coal is the better idea and using solar to replace coal was always destined to be dead on arival.
You do realize that the failure of nuclear power was a direct result of the coal industry? Had nothing to do with safety, cost or anything other than Big Coal protecting Big Coal's pockets.
I'm listening.

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:49 am
by WetEV
Oilpan4 wrote:There's no way some one who has a heat pump and EV can get by on 15kwh.
Completely off grid, no.

80% off grid, yes.

Of course this is on the average, but not everywhere and for everyone.

Winters here are gloomy. I couldn't get 80% off grid as Seattle may have a whole month or two or three with basically zero sun.

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:31 am
by Oilpan4
I have at least 300 days of sun here.
The longest I have seen over cast skys was 4 days in a row I think.

Compared to maine I have seen it go 3 weeks straight with no sun. That junk gets old quick.

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:04 am
by iPlug
WetEV wrote:Winters here are gloomy. I couldn't get 80% off grid as Seattle may have a whole month or two or three with basically zero sun.
Fortunately hydroelectric is a great battery in your region, and it lasts for... indefinitely. :D

Re: Unearthing One Hidden Cost of Coal Electricity

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:52 pm
by SageBrush
DaveinOlyWA wrote: The cost may seem high but averaged over the years it was known, the costs are quite "reasonable"
Do you have any data to back up that opinion ?