Wind power with benefits

Apr 19, 2012 By Fabio Bergamin
Wind power with benefits
Photo: Wind farm in Zafarana, Egypt. Credit: Flickr / Creative Commons

Which renewable energy sources should be funded in developing and emerging countries? A team of scientists headed by Tobias Schmidt from the ETH Zurich’s Department of Management, Technology and Economics (D-MTEC) looked into this question. The researchers calculated and compared what it would cost to generate a tenth of the electricity demand with wind power or photovoltaics for six selected countries in the south. The result: with one franc or dollar of funding, you can produce more electricity in all the countries examined – Brazil, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nicaragua and Thailand – if the money is invested in wind power plants.

Their study is linked to the climate protection measures that industrial countries will be funding in developing countries in the next years. We are talking large sums of money here: from 2020, 100 billions of dollars are to be channelled every year into the south from the north in the name of climate protection, as the nations agreed at the 2010 climate conference in Cancun. Part of this money will be set aside to cover the additional costs of renewable energies compared to their fossil counterparts. It is therefore intended as a carrot for developing countries to encourage them to switch over to the more expensive green technologies. Where and how this funding should be invested usefully, however, is currently a subject of great debate among scientists and politicians alike.

Even cheaper than status quo

The ETH-Zurich researchers also compared their calculations for wind and solar power in the individual countries with the present electricity mix – with astonishing results: in Kenya and Nicaragua, producing electricity with wind would even be cheaper than it is now. As the study reveals, not only would a green switch make sense there for climate reasons, but also purely economic ones. Both countries rely partly on diesel generators. Because of the currently high price of oil, this increases the cost of producing electricity enormously.

“It is the case that wind is cheaper than the present electricity mix in these countries if you base the calculations on the global market price for fossil fuels,” says Schmidt. In practice, however, natural gas and crude oil are subsidised in many countries. Egypt, for instance, supplies its own natural gas to the electricity companies at about half the global market price. Also in other countries, there are hidden subsidies. Kenya, for example, maintains the electricity price at a low level and covers the deficits in the production of power caused by the rising oil prices with tax money.

“Reduce subsidies”

Consequently, Schmidt also recognises a political demand in the study. “Subsidies for fossil fuels need to be reduced,” he says. After all, as long as fossil fuels are subsidised directly and indirectly to the extent they are today, thereby rendering fossil-fuel power plants cheaper than renewable energy, we would be cross-subsidising crude oil and natural gas with the climate protection funding. This would defeat the whole purpose of the climate protection funding. “Therefore, it is important to attach certain conditions to the funding, such as the southern countries disclosing their subsidies, and for these to be taken into consideration in determining the funding.”

However, the conversion of the power supply in the developing countries will not happen overnight, even with these funds. “Most probably no existing fossil-fuel power plants will be replaced with new plants in the next ten years,” says Schmidt. Initially, they will supplement the existing power plants. After all, the power requirement in developing and emerging countries is increasing parallel to their economic growth. “The idea is to build fewer additional fossil-fuel power plants in the next few years and pave the way for a future expansion of the renewable technology by creating the corresponding structures in these countries,” says Schmidt.

The study by the ETH-Zurich scientists is the first in which the costs of a partial switch to wind and solar power is calculated in detail for individual countries in the south and compared with today’s energy production costs. The previous studies either had a broader focus – such as the global costs of an energy shift – or a narrower one – the viability of individual projects. The ETH-Zurich researchers only considered large power stations in their study, excluding decentralised, off-grid wind turbines and photovoltaic plants. They will address off-grid technologies in an upcoming study.

Explore further: Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy

More information: Schmidt TS, et al: Assessing the costs of photovoltaic and wind power in six developing countries. Nature Climate Change, 2012, doi: 10.1038/nclimate1490

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Lurker2358
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2012
It is the case that wind is cheaper than the present electricity mix in these countries if you base the calculations on the global market price for fossil fuels,


That's true almost everywhere, unless you live somewhere that the sun doesn't shine and the wind never blows...
Shootist
2 / 5 (8) Apr 19, 2012
Wind power with benefits


Now there is a classic oxymoron.

That's true almost everywhere, unless you live somewhere that the sun doesn't shine and the wind never blows...


A night in the doldrums . . .

Hard to generate enough energy with one of these to even pay the energy costs of its construction and manufacture.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Hard to generate enough energy with one of these to even pay the energy costs of its construction and manufacture.
From the article: "After all, as long as fossil fuels are subsidized directly and indirectly to the extent they are today, thereby rendering fossil-fuel power plants cheaper than renewable energy..."
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Hard to generate enough energy with one of these to even pay the energy costs of its construction and manufacture.


EROI (energy gained over the lifetime as compared to how much energy you put in to manufacture it) is about 20 for wind power.

ROI (return on investment)are between 5 and less than one year (depending on size and position).
GSwift7
2 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
When they say that it would be cheaper to use wind or solar in some of those places, they must not be including the cost of building a grid to hook them into. Heck, you would need to build and upgrade airports, shipping ports, highways, roads and railways before you could build the grids in some of those places. Not to mention the training and education needed to do all of that, which does not currently exist on those places. That's why they use diesel generators for power. It's easy to maintain a diesel generator, parts are relatively easy to get, and you can even run them on locally producable alternative fuel additive mixtures.

The above story is also speaking nonsense when they talk about anybody agreeing to send 100 billions of dollars to any of these countries in Cancun in 2010. The countries in question certainly agreed that they want the money, that's about it.
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2012
Heck, you would need to build and upgrade airports, shipping ports, highways, roads and railways before you could build the grids in some of those places.

...

Not to mention the training and education needed to do all of that,

And this does not go for other types of powerplants because...?
SteveL
2.5 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
Just like the infrastructure and secure distribution systems; the cost of storing the energy produced wasn't even addressed. Wind and solar power are great, but you need to be able to store that energy with at least a couple of days worth of reserve.
SteveL
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Heck, you would need to build and upgrade airports, shipping ports, highways, roads and railways before you could build the grids in some of those places.

...

Not to mention the training and education needed to do all of that,

And this does not go for other types of powerplants because...?

The diesel systems they mention in the article are usually for specific towns and are not part of a distribution grid. To convert from local power systems to a large centalized distribution system you will need power line roads and power lines, substations, rights-of-ways, etc. I dunno about the airports and such.
Lurker2358
4.4 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2012
Hard to generate enough energy with one of these to even pay the energy costs of its construction and manufacture.


Someone hasn't done the math for themselves?

The best turbines can pay for themselves in 25 months when averaging just half of peak power...

They are easily 10 to 15 times more cost-efficient than coal fired power plants during their lifetime, even at half of peak power.
Eikka
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2012

They are easily 10 to 15 times more cost-efficient than coal fired power plants during their lifetime, even at half of peak power.


Not if you consider that you still need the coal fired power plant on the side to be able to use the wind energy as it comes and goes. Even if wind power was free, it would cost money because of the power regulation problem, and that is never factored in to these bull**** studies.

Sometimes you even have to pay wind farm owners to turn them off because the energy won't fit the grid: http://www.telegr...ity.html
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
The diesel systems they mention in the article are usually for specific towns and are not part of a distribution grid.

Point being: At some point they will not be able to afford fossil fuels anymore if prices keep going up (and there is no reason to think that they will ever go down substantially again)

It's better to have a source of power than to have no source of power. And local battery storage is viable for small scale usage.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 19, 2012

That's true almost everywhere, unless you live somewhere that the sun doesn't shine and the wind never blows...


I thought the sun quit shining for part of every day. And wind dies down just when it is needed.
NotParker
2 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012

Point being: At some point they will not be able to afford fossil fuels anymore if prices keep going up (and there is no reason to think that they will ever go down substantially again)



Natural Gas is dropping in price thanks to massive discoveries of shale gas.

"Last summer when people were predicting that the US market would recover to $4MMBTU I said it would be closer to the high $2s. As usual, I was too conservative, with the true price now in the upper ones and even more than the bottom in sight. We will see negative prices, i.e those few who can, like some generators, industrials and canny storage operators, will actually get paid to take gas out of the system. "

http://www.nohota...emid=171
djr
3 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
"Not if you consider that you still need the coal fired power plant on the side" Eikka - you are a luddite - with no understanding of the subject you write about. Denmark is on track to get 100% of their energy from renewables. http://econews.co...by-2050/ They will be balancing intermittent sources with biogas. It can be done. If we develop small scale thorium - it seems like a great match for wind and solar. Funny - this is a quote from your own Telegraph article - "Wind turbines are generating a great deal of clean, green energy the problem is that the National Grid simply doesn't have the capacity to take it all in." The problems being faced are technical - and surmountable. The change is coming - the luddites will continue to kick and scream.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
Eikka - you are a luddite - with no understanding of the subject you write about.


Luddites were people who saw their craft and livelyhood being threatened by new technology, so they sought out to destroy it. I don't; I'd rather like it to work.

Denmark is on track to get 100% of their energy from renewables. They will be balancing intermittent sources with biogas. It can be done.


The article is full of factual inaccuracies, like the claim that wind power produces 25% of Denmark's electricity. It produces that much energy of the total, but most of it is actually exported out of the country because it doesn't match with the demand.

That aside, how do you propose to make enough biogas? Do you think it is scalable to the whole world? For example, the toilet waste of 10 million people will make approximately enough biogas to run just 10,000 cars. Where do you get enough biomass to ferment for all that methane you need?

djr
3 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
"Natural Gas is dropping in price thanks to massive discoveries of shale gas" Well - define massive. It is important to take the long term picture when looking at energy. Here is a neat article on the Cheniere LNG import terminal - and how they are now looking at building an export terminal in Texas. http://oilprice.c...lProblem being - our proven gas reserves only amount to about 11 years of current usage - and "probable" reserves may get us through 22 years. $2 per mcf is unsustainable - so companies like Chesapeake are switching their operations to oil rigs - in order to throttle back gas production - and bolster the price. The long term picture is that prices are almost sure to head back up - as it is only profitable at "$4 per mcf for existing plays and up to $9 per mcf for some new ones" Wind and solar will keep heading down.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
The problems being faced are technical - and surmountable.


The problems aren't technical - we have plenty of technical solutions. They're problems of implementation, practicality and cost.

I hate to explain this thing over and over again to people who just don't get it: If your windmills are turning 2 GW and your demand is 1 GW then you can't use half the windmills. That's pretty much obvious.

That's the capacity problem in a nutshell.

Exporting the power across borders dilutes it into a larger grid, but what happens when your neighbors are also producing wind power and can't accept yours? It means that you can't have more wind power, and given the poor capacity factor of it, it can only make a portion, a quarter of your total energy at most.

It means that roughly 3/4 of your energy has to come from somewhere else. If you say "biogas", very well, do you have enough of it? Where do you get enough of it?

That's not ludditism - that's plain common sense.
kochevnik
4 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
Not if you consider that you still need the coal fired power plant on the side to be able to use the wind energy as it comes and goes.
You've ignored hydropumping about four times now. Enough to suspect that you're a corporate shill or troll: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity
NotParker
1 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
define massive.


"Today, the combination of reserves information and resource assessments places that future supply at 2,100 Tcf or greater. That represents about 100 years of supply at current gas production rates, which are 22-23 Tcf per year."

http://www.aga.or...els.aspx
kochevnik
5 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
That represents about 100 years of supply at current gas production rates, which are 22-23 Tcf per year."
So what will people do in 2113?
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
Again, the point needs to be made that, if wind is being converted to energy, by conservation of energy, that leads to some wind being lost, energy of motion being taken from the moving air. That will lead to a region of air more stagnant than normal in the lee of wind farms. But wind is crucial for many things, redistributing heat, movement of weather systems, preventing accumulation of dust, distributing seeds. Yet so many insist that the effect of this would be minimal, at best, but, again, the model of the "butterfly effect", which chaos theory used to justify its existence, requires that small causes in certain systems yield significant results. Unsurprisingly, most wind farms are built in areas of huge amounts of wind flow. but that also automatically makes them major contributors to the effect of wind on the planet, which means they will have a definite effect on climate.
NotParker
2 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
You've ignored hydropumping


How many places is that practical? 5? 6?
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
You've ignored hydropumping about four times now.


Where?

The problem is that people like to throw the word, but again, no analysis about the cost-effectiveness or scalability of pumped hydro storage.

Have you any idea how much water you actually need to pump for one GWh of energy? Lifting one ton of water 100 meters up gives you just 0.272 kWh of energy - in theory. In practice you lose about a third of it.

Dinorwig for example has about 9 GWh total output capacity, so it can operate for about 5 hours at 1.7 GW before running out of water, but the difference between its lower and upper lake is half a kilometer. It's basically a hollowed out mountain filled with water. If you empty it, the locals will have to be evacuated because there's just so much water.

You'd need a hundred of those to have a meaningful amount of storage capacity for anything wind related.
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
That represents about 100 years of supply at current gas production rates, which are 22-23 Tcf per year."
So what will people do in 2113?


Burn the gas found this year. And next. And the year after that ....

And then methane hydrates.

kochevnik
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2012
You've ignored hydropumping about four times now.
Where?
Here
The problem is that people like to throw the word, but again, no analysis about the cost-effectiveness or scalability of pumped hydro storage.
Its efficiency is in the 70% to 85% range. http://www.electr...d_hydro/
You'd need a hundred of those to have a meaningful amount of storage capacity for anything wind related.
There are millions of hydro pumps idling that can used for the task. As for your absurd story about a lake, all I can say it that much of your western US uses hydro and you're not drowning yet. Just bulldoze a dirt perimeter on some barren land and you're good. Your west is nothing but barren, wasted land anyway.
Burn the gas found this year. And next. And the year after that ....
Then what? Find a rope with which to hang yourself? Way to cut your carbon footprint N-Parker.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Here's actually an excellent site if you want to watch what happens in the UK grid: http://www.gridwa...r.co.uk/

Observe the Pumped/Hydro/Wind graphs. The wind power is the red line. The way it produces power is pretty much on/off with big surges that last for a day or two, and then nothing in between. It just goes up and down all through the year, and you can also see the large difference between summer and winter production.

You need a battery of brutal proportions to deal with that.

Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
As for your absurd story about a lake, all I can say it that much of your western US uses hydro and you're not drowning yet. Just bulldoze a dirt perimeter on some barren land and you're good. Your west is nothing but barren, wasted land anyway.


You're thinking of regular hydropower dams, which mostly generate power from the run of the river. They have little actual storage capacity, and they too, if you were to let the gates open wide, would flood the underlying areas.

For dealing with wind power, you can't close the gates for too long or the reservoir will just flow over and you'll just waste energy. You have to let the river run through eventually.

Yet, the United States isn't the entire world, and, your reasoning has a large flaw: 2/3 of the electricity consuming US population is on the east coast, but the best places for pumped hydro storage is on the west coast. There's a slight problem called 3000 miles in between.
jet
not rated yet Apr 19, 2012
I agree Hydro is very useful, now try to get one built in the US with EPA and the Endangered Species Act.
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Then what? Find a rope with which to hang yourself? Way to cut your carbon footprint N-Parker.


Maybe solar and wind will be cost efficient in 1000 years.

NG produces 50% of the CO2 of coal (not that I give a damn). Replace all coal and oil with NG and carbon out drops 50%.
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Here's actually an excellent site if you want to watch what happens in the UK grid: http://www.gridwa...r.co.uk/

Observe the Pumped/Hydro/Wind graphs. The wind power is the red line. The way it produces power is pretty much on/off with big surges that last for a day or two, and then nothing in between. It just goes up and down all through the year, and you can also see the large difference between summer and winter production.

You need a battery of brutal proportions to deal with that.



Great site. It must be insane to try and cope with Wind when demand doesn't fluctuate much.
Anorion
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
lets cut all the subsidies, tax advantages, administrative, judiciary and diplomatic aid they get to help their activities, for all the oil company and nuclear company and then lets see how cost efficient they are.
and don't forget to add cost of war in Iraq to the oil coming from middle east.
i don't say fossil fuel is bad or good, was just wondering.
djr
5 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
"That's not ludditism - that's plain common sense." Unless you are distorting your numbers - I am not sure why - but I think the word luddite is very appropriate. Let me give u one example of your distortions - Regarding danish wind "but most of it is actually exported out of the country" Do u have a reference for that critical piece of information? Here is a highly technical report by a large team of engineers and experts http://www.energy...ower.pdf They claim the % exported is actually around 1%. The anti science luddite commentary is so annoying - it takes so much time to deconstruct your stupid lies.
islatas
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
Why not use a more energy dense solution for energy storage? Molten metal and salt batteries have developed quite a bit in recent years and other options we haven't even heard of yet will emerge. To say the problem of massive energy storage isn't technical is blind. You can rant all you like but ways will be found. There was a time when supplies of oil were unreliable as well. Who needs coal? I'd prefer our base supply be nuclear.
NotParker
1 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
"After all, as long as fossil fuels are subsidized


Most fossil fuel subsidies are consumption subsidies in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia where gasoline is kept artificially cheap at the pump so the natives don't rebel.

"Saudi Arabia spends more than $30 billion a year on gas consumption subsidies while Russia spends $17 billion on natural gas subsidies. Iran, which produces both, subsidizes both, spending $66 billion in total plus an additional $14.4 billion on electricity consumption subsidies."

Go ahead. Cut those subsidies. And watch the countries burn.
NotParker
1 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
Denmark


"Exports. Over the last eight years West Denmark has exported (couldnt use), on average, 57 percent of the wind power it generated and East Denmark an average of 45 percent. Denmark sells this power to its neighbors at almost no cost, asking only that its neighbors sell some of their baseload power back to Denmark on the frequent occasions in which the wind does not blow there."

At almost NO COST.

http://www.instit...-states/
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
And this does not go for other types of powerplants because...?

The diesel systems they mention in the article are usually for specific towns and are not part of a distribution grid. To convert from local power systems to a large centalized distribution system you will need power line roads and power lines, substations, rights-of-ways, etc. I dunno about the airports and such.


Yes, that's exactly what they do. Actually it isn't unusual to have a generator for specific buildings, rather than a whole village.

As for the airports, I don't mean big international airports, but you'll certainly want small ones. Some Asian countries have undergone National Electrification Projects over the past few decades, such as Viet Nam and the Phillipines. It's a huge national project to get power lines out to areas that don't even have roads yet. Talking about building wind mills is getting the cart way ahead of the horse.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
Point being: At some point they will not be able to afford fossil fuels anymore if prices keep going up (and there is no reason to think that they will ever go down substantially again)


They make their own fuel locally in many cases.

Brazil (and other countries) are already producing large portions of thier diesel fuels from bio-diesel alternatives. It's been a great boost to thier agriculture economies. Using wind or solar generated by equipment produced in China isn't going to help them at all. Tell people who can't afford shoes, running water, or medicine that they need solar panels. Good idea!
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
I think the word luddite is very appropriate.


Numbers can be disputed. We already have two examples of opposite claims about the percentage of Danish wind energy export, both probably sourced from the same wikipedia article for all I know.

The definition of a luddite isn't a person who disagrees with you. It's a person who actively tries to hinder progress for his own personal benefit. I have no such stakes. Calling me a luddite for pointing out obvious shortcomings of the arguments used for wind power is equivalent to calling me a "saboteur" of wind energy - as if I wanted it to fail.

But there you got the cause and effect mixed. Wind energy has serious practical problems and it costs a lot for what it's worth - therefore I oppose it - not the other way around.

The actual liars are people who promote wind power but carefully leave out the inconvenient bits to make it seem like you get electricity for a song.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
options we haven't even heard of yet will emerge. To say the problem of massive energy storage isn't technical is blind. You can rant all you like but ways will be found.


That's great, and I'm sure all the people of the future are really glad that they have figured it out. We on the other hand, haven't, and we can't call it until it is. At the moment, technical solutions exist, and none of them are scalable to the required level.

Building more and more windmills right now on the hopes that "something will emerge" is an expensive and futile gamble if it takes 50 or 100 years before it actually happens. Mind, you can build wind power for all its worth, as much as you can economically handle (which isn't much in practice), but it's no saviour for anything. It's just a small supplement and there's no point in bending backwards just for the sake of building wind power - which is why the feed-in tariffs etc. are foolish.
djr
5 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
"The actual liars are people who promote wind power but carefully leave out the inconvenient bits" Unfortunately - this happens on both sides of the arguments. I have just spent an hour looking at technical articles estimating current gas reserves. They range from 11 years - to 200 years. So yes - the facts can be clearly be manipulated. But here is the bottom line for me. Science and economics (how much do we give Saudi Arabia et al every year for oil) are telling us that we have a serious problem with our addiction to fossil fuels. There is a new paradigm emerging - and it is very exciting. Renewable energy is a win win - jobs, pollution, decentralization etc. etc. And every day this board is spammed by anti progress people who want to keep us addicted to fossils. Periodically I jump into the fray - becuz I am excited about the emerging paradigm - I end up regretting it - as we can all find the facts that fit our preconceived opinions. Yes - I think you are luddites.
Lurker2358
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
"After all, as long as fossil fuels are subsidized


Most fossil fuel subsidies are consumption subsidies in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia where gasoline is kept artificially cheap at the pump so the natives don't rebel.

"Saudi Arabia spends more than $30 billion a year on gas consumption subsidies while Russia spends $17 billion on natural gas subsidies. Iran, which produces both, subsidizes both, spending $66 billion in total plus an additional $14.4 billion on electricity consumption subsidies."

Go ahead. Cut those subsidies. And watch the countries burn.


Most of those countries "burning" would be a good thing for the rational nations of the world.

U.S., Europe, and Russia could get together and divide them up, lie we should have after the first Iraq war.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Apr 19, 2012
the facts can be clearly be manipulated


AGW is a perfect example. As are the supposed benefits from renewables.

Coal is winning in China and India. And is helping their economies grow.

Renewables are killing those economies stupid enough to squander money on them.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
@Eikka You need a battery of brutal proportions to deal with that.
For what? You're just making up stories and spreading redardation. You might as well say is requires Optimus Prime.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
@Eikka For dealing with wind power, you can't close the gates for too long or the reservoir will just flow over and you'll just waste energy
Non Sequitur

@Eikka There's a slight problem called 3000 miles in between.
Not really. Maybe in the 1950s. Today the grid is more adaptable. And electric cars will take up the load. Possibly beyond hydro. Only 24-48 hours of energy storage is called for to supplement wind power.
@Eikka You're thinking of regular hydropower dams, which mostly generate power from the run of the river. They have little actual storage capacity
So then how are large parts of the west US powered by hydro, given no "storage capacity?" You make blindingly stupid statements
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2012
@NotParker Go ahead. Cut those subsidies. And watch the countries burn.
You just made the case for green wind energy. Congratulations!
@NotParker Denmark sells this power to its neighbors at almost no cost, asking only that its neighbors sell some of their baseload power back to Denmark on the frequent occasions in which the wind does not blow there."
Yes, grid balancing is yet another solution.
djr
5 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2012
NotParker - China and India are both investing very heavily in renewables - I imagine you know that - and just like saying stupid stuff. The U.S. imports around 11 million barrels of oil per day - and you can't see the economic benefit of developing renewables!!!!!
Husky
5 / 5 (1) Apr 21, 2012
if there apparently is money in these countries to subsidise fossil fuels than no external money is needed, it could be used to invest in wind instead, but that would need good governance, wich is often sorely lacking in those countries, in fact, yet another reason to be very cautious handing over a bag of money
NotParker
1 / 5 (1) Apr 21, 2012
NotParker - China and India are both investing very heavily in renewables


"China wants to accelerate the use of nuclear and hydroelectric power and put an end to 'blind expansion' in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao said in a government report published in early March and reported in Asia Pulse."

http://www.waterp...=2062180

Hydro is good. IPCC hates it because too much methane and CO2, so I approve.
mankydp
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012
I am not sure why it is that all have overlooked the gorilla in the room? I drive by the wind farms around here and they are normally turned off. A few are left running to look good. What we have is a vast amount of non-fracking natural gas laying around. Yes methane hydrates. These will and boil up from warming and have done so in the past. Why not use them? If you are worried about the carbon footprint from a gas that is at least 18 times more warming then pump it into a place like this:

http://www.youtub...CCxdkOng

Carbon fears are a joke at that point. Use it as it costs money to buy it for greenhouses. Energy and food all in one. That is what people need to be thinking about.
NotParker
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012
The U.S. imports around 11 million barrels of oil per day - and you can't see the economic benefit of developing renewables!!!!!


Down from 13 million a few years ago.

Renewables don't replace crude oil since very little electricity in the US is generated by Oil.
NotParker
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012
Yes methane hydrates.


Shale Gas is way cheaper in the US. However, Japan is working hard on methane hydrates and is very close to commercialization.

http://english.ru...9735511/

NotParker
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012
if there apparently is money in these countries to subsidise fossil fuels than no external money is needed, it could be used to invest in wind instead,


Why? Even with hundreds of billions spent to build wind turbines, and 10s of billions in subsidies, the UK is producing 1% of its electricity from wind.

http://www.gridwa...r.co.uk/

The average for the week is 1% or less with a small spike up to 3%.

Monthly is around 1% with occasional spikes and long periods below 1%.

SteveL
5 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012
The U.S. imports around 11 million barrels of oil per day - and you can't see the economic benefit of developing renewables!!!!!


Down from 13 million a few years ago.

Renewables don't replace crude oil since very little electricity in the US is generated by Oil.

A recession will do that to you. Some like to claim the various national or regional recessions are over, but they should take another look around. They may be over by their definition, but there are still an aweful lot of countries and people in egonomic difficulty.
NotParker
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012

A recession will do that to you.


Some of it is recession-related. And related to environmentalists campaigns to send jobs to China by making electricity expensive and drowning US businesses in redtape.

But some of it because shale gas is so cheap and it can be used as a feedstock for the petrochemical industry. On top of that there is gas liquids which are being found along with the gas and those can be used where oil was used.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2012
Renewables don't replace crude oil since very little electricity in the US is generated by Oil.

But electricity using machines may well replace crude oil/gas using machines. Anything from cars to home heaters can be run on electricity.
Arguing that crude oil is irreplaceable because current machinery is designed to use it is just a foolish argument. OF COURSE we had current tech designed to use it - because it WAS cheapest to use fossil fuels (if you ignored all the environmental debts accrued during their use).

But the days when we can stick our heads in teh sand and ignore those debts are long one. Fossil fuels aren't the cheapest (and, most of all, sustainable alternative out there.)
NotParker
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2012
But electricity using machines may well replace crude oil/gas using machines. Anything from cars to home heaters can be run on electricity.


Home heaters are now significantly more expensive to run because of increases in electricity costs caused by wind and solar projects.

And it will take 100 years for electric cars to become ubiquitous.

Of course, they probably said that 100 years ago.

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