leafetarian
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A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:00 pm

I just heard speech by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University on this. There was recent paper by him in Scientific American on details as well. Electric cars are mentioned as main ingredient for transportation in this plan.
I thought this is very relevant for all those saying that Leaf would be driven on "dirty" electricity from coal, etc.

A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables: Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here's how

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... gy-by-2030

rwherrick
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:25 pm

leafetarian wrote:I just heard speech by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University on this. There was recent paper by him in Scientific American on details as well. Electric cars are mentioned as main ingredient for transportation in this plan.
I thought this is very relevant for all those saying that Leaf would be driven on "dirty" electricity from coal, etc.

A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables: Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here's how

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... gy-by-2030
Interesting article. Thanks for citing it; I just skimmed it. I think he is far more optimistic about wind power (calling for 50% of the need to be met by wind) than most other sources (20% by wind). I used to work for a Solar panel manufacturer, and have read up a fair amount on this topic. It's not an easy problem to solve, at least not in the next 10-20 years. You need to build a lot of solar panel factories before you make much of a dent. We need to start working on it, but it's going to take a while to get there. Not that it shouldn't stop us from encouraging government action in feed in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, etc. By the way, the best book I've found on the subject is "Without the Hot Air", by David MacKay. You can read it free on-line, or buy the book - I've done both. http://www.withouthotair.com/

I like the way they said in the movie "who killed the electric car" that GM wouldn't use the strongest arguments in favor of the EV-1 because they reflected too negatively on the rest of their (gasoline-powered) product line. For me, the most important factors on the Leaf are energy independence (and not funding petro-dictatorships and oil wars), the ability to use more sustainable forms of energy (even coal or natural gas are improvements because we have hundreds of years of supply, rather than perhaps 50-70 for petroleum at current projections), and greatly reduced maintenance costs. No air pollution comes next, and global warming below that on my motivation scale. So it's a different order than Nissan, which puts the hardest problem to solve - global warming - first in their advertising.

- Bob

Stoaty
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:47 am

rwherrick wrote:For me, the most important factors on the Leaf are energy independence (and not funding petro-dictatorships and oil wars), the ability to use more sustainable forms of energy (even coal or natural gas are improvements because we have hundreds of years of supply, rather than perhaps 50-70 for petroleum at current projections), and greatly reduced maintenance costs.
I hate to burst your bubble, but the "hundreds of years left" for coal is probably not true:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8064

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2697
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AndyH
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:24 pm

rwherrick wrote:Interesting article. Thanks for citing it; I just skimmed it. I think he is far more optimistic about wind power (calling for 50% of the need to be met by wind) than most other sources (20% by wind). I used to work for a Solar panel manufacturer, and have read up a fair amount on this topic. It's not an easy problem to solve, at least not in the next 10-20 years. You need to build a lot of solar panel factories before you make much of a dent. We need to start working on it, but it's going to take a while to get there. Not that it shouldn't stop us from encouraging government action in feed in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, etc. By the way, the best book I've found on the subject is "Without the Hot Air", by David MacKay. You can read it free on-line, or buy the book - I've done both. http://www.withouthotair.com/
I don't think 50% is out of line. While a now 10 year old report shows that 20% wind by 2020 is very do-able, Pickens and others have shown that we can do much, much better than just 20%.

MacKay's book is excellent! We've talked about it here before, but in the early days of the forum. Everyone needs to read this book!
rwherrick wrote: I like the way they said in the movie "who killed the electric car" that GM wouldn't use the strongest arguments in favor of the EV-1 because they reflected too negatively on the rest of their (gasoline-powered) product line. For me, the most important factors on the Leaf are energy independence (and not funding petro-dictatorships and oil wars), the ability to use more sustainable forms of energy (even coal or natural gas are improvements because we have hundreds of years of supply, rather than perhaps 50-70 for petroleum at current projections), and greatly reduced maintenance costs. No air pollution comes next, and global warming below that on my motivation scale. So it's a different order than Nissan, which puts the hardest problem to solve - global warming - first in their advertising.

- Bob
Please strongly consider inverting the order of the to-do list. The coal and natural gas estimates are based on the assumption that we'll continue to use the fuel in future at the same rate we're using them today. That's absolutely not going to happen.

Global warming/climate change/climate destabilization is the number one problem this planet has - bar none. It's directly responsible for the growing number of climate refugees, famines, crop failures, droughts, floods, and spread of tropical diseases. Even if we could sequester 100% of the carbon from burning coal, and capture 100% of the mercury, sulfur compounds, radioactive elements, and other problem emissions, coal still has to be mined - and that's as damaging to people living in mining areas as burning the coal. There's nothing 'clean' about coal.

While it's a nice rallying cry, we'll stop sending money to people that dislike us as soon as we get more windmills and solar facilities planted. That problem will take care of itself when we focus on number one - carbon emissions.

Yes - we need more wind turbine factories in the US, and more solar panel production. And trained installers and maintainers. And since we just happen to be trying to climb out of a recession, have high unemployment, and need to restore our manufacturing base, this seems like a match made in heaven. ;)

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davewill
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:36 pm

AndyH wrote:Please strongly consider inverting the order of the to-do list. The coal and natural gas estimates are based on the assumption that we'll continue to use the fuel in future at the same rate we're using them today. That's absolutely not going to happen.
It just doesn't matter very much. The facts are that we need to eliminate gasoline use AND coal use. The most important thing is to squelch the notion that we have to eliminate coal before bothering to eliminate gasoline vehicles. Both efforts are herculean (vehicles possible more than coal), and we need to make progress on both of them at the same time.
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Yodrak
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:15 pm

How ironic that the author uses the development of the interstate highway system "changing commerce and society" as an example of how major change can be made to happen relatively quickly. Indeed the interstate highway system did change commerce and society, and not for the better with respect to the hot topic of the day global warming.

The article is almost 2 years old - still relevant, perhaps more relevant than ever - but not recent. And as the insurance ad tells us, "things come at you fast", including Pickens having backed off a bit on his wind development plans, as have many other wind developers.

Regards, JEff
leafetarian wrote:I just heard speech by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University on this. There was recent paper by him in Scientific American on details as well. Electric cars are mentioned as main ingredient for transportation in this plan.
I thought this is very relevant for all those saying that Leaf would be driven on "dirty" electricity from coal, etc.

A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables: Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. Here's how

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... gy-by-2030
Khun Yodrak
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AndyH
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:41 am

Yodrak wrote:... And as the insurance ad tells us, "things come at you fast", including Pickens having backed off a bit on his wind development plans, as have many other wind developers.

Regards, JEff
Pickens did reduce his wind plans a number of years ago - in Texas - because the state didn't install the necessary infrastructure to get the wind to consumers. Some turbines were cancelled, but most were installed in wind farms in more northern states.

Across the board, however, according to the American Wind Energy Association:
http://www.awea.org/learnabout/industry_stats/index.cfm
The first quarter of 2011 saw over 1,100 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity installed -- more than double the capacity installed in the first quarter of 2010. The U.S. wind industry had 40,181 MW of wind power capacity installed at the end of 2010, with 5,116 MW installed in 2010 alone. The U.S. wind industry has added over 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 4 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined. Today, U.S. wind power capacity represents more than 20% of the world’s installed wind power.

Today, the U.S. wind industry represents not only a large market for wind power capacity installations, but also a growing market for American manufacturing. Over 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. make components for wind turbines, and dedicated wind facilities that manufacture major components such as towers, blades and assembled nacelles can be found in every region.

Yodrak
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:53 am

Certainly wind farm development is ongoing, and at a good pace. No doubt about that.

My experience is that:
- fewer new wind farm projects are being proposed today than were being proposed 5-10 years ago, but the projects that are being proposed today are more likely to succeed.
- maybe 1/3 of the wind farm projects that have been proposed in the last few years make it to commercial operation, the rest are cancelled somewhere in the development phase for one reason or another. Of those that were proposed 5-10 years ago, maybe 1 in 10 made it to commercial operation.

The industry is maturing, early over-enthusiastic and under-prepared developers are being replaced by, or are becoming, more savy and realistic in their expectations and in their planning. There is a lot of consolidation going on - smaller start-up developers that were successful are merging with each other or being bought up by large, often international, companies.

A significant factor these days is obtaining financing for projects.

AndyH wrote:Pickens did reduce his wind plans a number of years ago - in Texas - because the state didn't install the necessary infrastructure to get the wind to consumers. Some turbines were cancelled, but most were installed in wind farms in more northern states.

Across the board, however, according to the American Wind Energy Association:
http://www.awea.org/learnabout/industry_stats/index.cfm
The first quarter of 2011 saw over 1,100 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity installed -- more than double the capacity installed in the first quarter of 2010. The U.S. wind industry had 40,181 MW of wind power capacity installed at the end of 2010, with 5,116 MW installed in 2010 alone. The U.S. wind industry has added over 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 4 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined. Today, U.S. wind power capacity represents more than 20% of the world’s installed wind power.

Today, the U.S. wind industry represents not only a large market for wind power capacity installations, but also a growing market for American manufacturing. Over 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. make components for wind turbines, and dedicated wind facilities that manufacture major components such as towers, blades and assembled nacelles can be found in every region.
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AndyH
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:12 pm

Armory Lovins, in one of his recent talks about the Rocky Mountain Institute's "Reinventing Fire" program, confirmed that one reason for a slower pace of land-based wind generation deployment is due to a lack of required infrastructure. The other significant factor is the drop in the price of natural gas.

See this video for example:



48:47 "Wind power now stuck in the queue awaiting grid interconnection - 300GW or so - could displace about 2/5 of the coal power. All the profitable wind power on available land could displace coal about 19 times over."

I can't find the Pickens-specific comment - it's in the Q/A section of one of RMI/Lovins recent talks. (I watched four presentations yesterday and haven't yet rediscovered the comment. :()

(Interesting to see that PV on 3% of US roofs can displace all US coal plants - and can be done less expensively and in a shorter amount of time than building new coal plants.)

edit...sorry Reddy - too many windows open. ;) Your quote is from another thread.
Reddy wrote:I think the real issue is balancing...
Nice job - thanks for these links!

For a big-picture look at balancing in general and how it looks on the ERCOT (Texas grid - not well interconnected and not well diversified - in other words 'worst case' ;)), fast forward to 49:50 in the video above.

"We're often told that only the coal and nuclear plants can keep the lights on because they're 24/7 while wind power and photovoltaics are variable and thus unreliable..." "Coal and nuclear plants fail about 10-14% of the time losing a GW in milliseconds, often for weeks or months and without warning. Now, grids routinely handle that intermittence by backing up failed plants with working plants. They can handle solar and wind variability - which is forecastable - in just the same way. So my team has been doing hourly simulations and we've found that very large renewable fractions can deliver highly reliable power when forecasted, integrated, and diversified by both type and location."

Toss in some climate change and conventional generation gets worse...
http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/131258113 ... Hours.html
It's been so hot — even in the evenings — that the lake water used to cool some generating plants is too warm.
"They can't really efficiently condense the steam that's used to make electricity, so that causes unit D-ratings that they can't generate as much as they could if the lake were cooler."
http://energyandenvironmentblog.dallasn ... -issu.html
He said around 3,000 megawatts of generation capacity had stopped working on Tuesday, but he didn't say which plants. He said such outages aren't unusual in the hot summer, and Texas is getting some juice from surrounding states and from Mexico.
While more heat makes more wind...
One of the things we've seen pretty consistently the last several days is an increase in wind generation from the coastal wind. The coastal wind generation follows our load pattern very well. It starts coming up about one o'clock and, you know, gradually increases, you know, into the evening.
Last edited by AndyH on Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Reddy
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Re: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewable

Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:25 pm

AndyH wrote:"We're often told that only the coal and nuclear plants can keep the lights on because they're 24/7 while wind power and photovoltaics are variable and thus unreliable..." "Coal and nuclear plants fail about 10-14% of the time losing a GW in milliseconds, often for weeks or months and without warning. Now, grids routinely handle that intermittence by backing up failed plants with working plants. They can handle solar and wind variability - which is forecastable - in just the same way. So my team has been doing hourly simulations and we've found that very large renewable fractions can deliver highly reliable power when forecasted, integrated, and diversified by both type and location."
Yup, the nuclear plant is still off-line (planned shutdown, but started earlier than planned due to excess hydro and outage extended due to slow work):
http://www.kvewtv.com/article/2011/aug/ ... -extended/
Another interesting tidbit (I don't remember where I read it) is that BPA must keep at least 1200 MW excess capacity available 24/7 for that millisecond event you describe. This excess capacity is therefore UNAVAILABLE for balancing the wind power. That cost should therefore be attributed to the large reactor. Is it? I don't know.
Reddy
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Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

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