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Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

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  • Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

    This should get Starving Steve up in arms :eek:

    Poster-ScaleofPowerGeneration.pdf

    Or in other words, solar is nice, but is too damned expensive for large scale electricity generation even beyond availability issues.

  • #2
    Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
    This should get Starving Steve up in arms :eek:

    [ATTACH]2019[/ATTACH]

    Or in other words, solar is nice, but is too damned expensive for large scale electricity generation even beyond availability issues.

    I'm not sure if you know this, but up in British Columbia they pay alot for electricity.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

      Originally posted by c1ue View Post
      This should get Starving Steve up in arms :eek:

      [ATTACH]2019[/ATTACH]

      Or in other words, solar is nice, but is too damned expensive for large scale electricity generation even beyond availability issues.
      I'd reply but this is already in RnR...the unrelenting bitch slap would be too painful...:rolleyes:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

        Originally posted by santafe2
        I'd reply but this is already in RnR...the unrelenting bitch slap would be too painful...:rolleyes:
        Yes, but in which direction? ;)

        http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter14.html

        SOLAR versus NUCLEAR POWER
        The electric power requirements that a utility must supply consist of the sum of (1) base load, which continues day and night and accounts for about two-thirds of all electricity used; (2) intermediate load, which is the increase above the base load that is normally encountered during most of the day and early evenings; and (3) peak load, which occurs for a few hours on most days and for longer times in special circumstances, like on very hot days when there is abnormally heavy use of air conditioning, or on exceptionally cold days in areas where electric heating is in widespread use.
        Nearly all of the cost of nuclear power is in the construction of the plant. Fuel costs are much lower than for fossil fuel plants. It therefore pays to operate nuclear plants whenever they are available; consequently, they are used to provide base load service. A utility would not build more nuclear plants than it needs for its base load because it cannot afford to have a nuclear plant sit idle. For electricity derived from fossil fuel steam plants, 50-75% of the cost is due to the cost of the fuel. Hence, there is a substantial savings in shutting them down at night when the power in not needed. This makes them well suited for servicing intermediate load. Where nuclear plants are not available, they are also used for base load.
        Since fossil fuel steam plants are still rather expensive to construct, it does not pay to build them for peak load service; they would sit idle the great majority of the time. Peak load service is normally provided by internal combustion turbines, which are relatively inexpensive to purchase but are inefficient, use expensive fuel, and hence are costly to operate.
        Solar electricity is most ideally suited to providing peak load power due to heavy use of air conditioners on hot, sunny days during the summer. In that peak load application, solar will compete mostly with the internal combustion turbine, which is the most expensive source of electricity now in use. The optimism of solar electricity enthusiasts for penetrating the utility market by the end of the century is based on the prospect of succeeding against that competition. Since using solar energy to replace internal combustion turbines would reduce our use of oil and of machinery that is largely imported, it is very much a socially desirable goal.
        Since solar energy is available during the daytime, it also has the potential of competing for service of the intermediate load. Of course, solar plants installed to supply peak power would be used all year and would contribute to the intermediate load. Since they consume no fuel, it saves money to use them — but this contribution would be relatively minor. However, since steam plants normally used to service intermediate loads are much more efficient and use cheaper fuel than internal combustion turbines, solar competition for the bulk of intermediate load will be much tougher. Moreover, intermediate load is normally as high in winter as in summer, so it is winter-time solar energy, which is much less available, that must compete here. However, in areas where coal is not available, as in most of our coastal areas, where a substantial fraction of the population is located, this competition would become easier if oil prices rise sharply. This might allow photovoltaics to penetrate the utility market for the bulk of intermediate load service. Solar electricity may thus serve as a check on price increases imposed on us by OPEC, a highly desirable goal.
        If environmental restrictions on coal burning should become really severe, the price of that technology might escalate. This would improve the competitive position of solar energy for the rest of the intermediate load. Since solar energy is much less harmful to the environment than fossil fuel burning, and since it would be highly desirable to save these fossil fuels for other uses (see Chapter 3), it would be socially desirable for solar energy to take over as much of the intermediate load as possible. This hope is included in the dreams of the solar electricity enthusiasts, and we must wish them well in these endeavors.
        The situation with regard to base load service is very different, however. Since base load electricity is the lowest in cost, the price competition becomes much stiffer. But more importantly, solar electricity can only contribute here in combination with a very large capacity for electrical energy storage, presumably with batteries. Even if current development goals are achieved, this storage alone will be more expensive than current base load electricity. Hence, for solar electricity to compete for base load service, two independent "miracles" would be needed, one in drastically reducing the cost of solar electricity, and the other in substantially reducing the cost of batteries beyond present program goals. Of course, if electricity storage should become really cheap, nuclear power would be in a position to compete for peak and intermediate load service.
        Since nuclear power is used only for base load service, there will be no competition between nuclear and solar electricity in the foreseeable future. Each has its place in our nation's energy mix, and these places are very different. Each serves to reduce the environmental problems from fossil fuels discussed in Chapter 3. Each serves to alleviate the political and economic problems incurred in importing oil. The fact that nuclear and solar electricity are not in competition and probably never will be is the bottom line. If I were to return to Earth thousands of years from now, long after fossil fuels are gone, I would not be surprised to see nuclear reactors generating base load power and photovoltaics providing the intermediate and peak loads.
        A much more balanced view of the problem - also noting the regional issues with solar.

        There is some place for solar in some situations, but unfortunately it appears Starving Steve is more correct regarding nuclear being a more necessary requirement.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
          There is some place for solar in some situations, but unfortunately it appears Starving Steve is more correct regarding nuclear being a more necessary requirement.
          Damn you c1ue and your unassailable logic. I'm not so sure Starving is "more correct" as he's an all nuke guy. I don't think I've ever posted a word saying we don't need all the energy we can get and nukes will be an important part of that energy. That said, solar will be well positioned to provide 15-20% of all stationary/distributed energy. Since we're still at well under 1% in the US today, I'm not ready to hang out the "going out of business" sign. And by the time we've reached the 15% off-set I'm sure we'll be charging electric vehicles. I'm feeling good about solar's chances over the next 20 years...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

            Originally posted by c1ue View Post
            This should get Starving Steve up in arms :eek:

            [ATTACH]2019[/ATTACH]

            Or in other words, solar is nice, but is too damned expensive for large scale electricity generation even beyond availability issues.

            did you consider the concave mirrors projects?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

              Originally posted by santafe2
              I'm feeling good about solar's chances over the next 20 years...
              If your moniker were Yaozhuang2, I might agree.

              In the meantime...

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...enewableenergy

              Renesola recently completed the acquisition of rival JC Solar and has been ramping up its annual polysilicon production capacity, which is expected to reach 2,900 tonnes by the end of next year compared to 400 to 500 tonnes over the current 12 months.

              The Chinese company reported a pre-tax loss of $2.9m in the second quarter compared to a deficit of $62.8m in the first while earlier in the week German solar module maker Solon reported a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss and sales also missed forecasts. Three other firms – Q-Cells, Conergy and LDK Solar – also reported big losses last week.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

                Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                If your moniker were Yaozhuang2, I might agree.

                In the meantime...

                http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...enewableenergy
                While I try to avoid investing talk on iTulip, I'm invested in this one.

                Your friend Yaozhuang2.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

                  How about shooting giant mirrors into space and scattering carbond-absorbing rocks across the planet as a solution to AGW

                  No, really ...


                  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=aI61_wGNbl4I

                  Shooting giant mirrors into orbit and scattering carbon-absorbing rocks across the earth may be needed in a “Plan B” to fight global warming, the U.K.’s national science academy said.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

                    Originally posted by vinoveri View Post
                    How about shooting giant mirrors into space and scattering carbond-absorbing rocks across the planet as a solution to AGW
                    Excellent...government tinkering with the eco-system on a massive scale. Once the magic rocks do their work, the clean-up should be fun...:rolleyes:

                    But another point of view was mentioned in the article:

                    The preferred method for fighting human-induced warming is to reduce carbon emissions at their source...
                    That's crazy talk. Reduce emissions at their source?! Next they'll be talking about conservation...:rolleyes:

                    CO2 eating rocks and human induced blocking of the sun, that's what we need......have I ever admitted that most human beings scare me.
                    Last edited by santafe2; 09-02-09, 11:21 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

                      who controls the mirrors, and can they be focused on specific locations on earth's surface? just askin'.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

                        Originally posted by jk View Post
                        who controls the mirrors, and can they be focused on specific locations on earth's surface? just askin'.
                        these guys...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Solar is nice, but doesn't really help the carbon due to electricity generation problem

                          Originally posted by jk View Post
                          who controls the mirrors, and can they be focused on specific locations on earth's surface? just askin'.
                          You're starting to think like Blofeld...

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