Understanding how society will change as we move to renewable energy sources

March 30, 2018 by Kenneth Tam, University of Alberta
Sheena Wilson, principal investigator with the energy humanities theme of the U of A's Future Energy Systems initiative, interviews engineering professor Marc Secanell, director of the Energy Systems Design Laboratory. “We’re not just hearing about the next big thing in energy third-hand—we get the chance to talk directly to Canada’s leading energy researchers," Wilson says. Credit: Kenneth Tam

Imagine waking up tomorrow in a world that doesn't depend on oil.

That might seem far-fetched, but as engineers and scientists come up with new ways to harness renewable energy, those new sources of energy may soon shape the way our societies function and how we live our daily lives.

"We're going to stop depending on oil long before we run out of it, so we really need to exercise our imaginations about what other futures are possible," explains University of Alberta associate professor Sheena Wilson, who heads the Future Energy Systems energy humanities theme.

"Right now we live in sprawling urban communities with long commutes—we drive everywhere. If we don't have access to such powerful energy sources, and our lives aren't organized around auto-mobility, the shape of our cities looks very different. We need to think about communities we're shaping through the energy systems we're designing."

Decentralization of energy through the development of wind, solar, biofuels and geothermal could mean that communities no longer need to be centralized. Societal power structures defined by those who presently control energy and wealth could also fundamentally change.

If someone living in a remote location unconnected from the grid could have the same reliable energy as someone living in an urban centre, would people need to live together in cities at all? Possibly, but maybe for entirely different reasons.

"Our communities might need to be organized in entirely new ways—around social and environmental sustainability, instead of around the easy flow of traffic and consumer goods," said Wilson.

"We can ask ourselves all sorts of questions about why we live the way we live—and if changing the way we access energy will change everything," she added.

Fuel for thought

The U of A cultural studies and media expert based in Campus Saint-Jean has been exploring the social aspect of the energy for years. In 2011 she co-founded the Petrocultures Research Group to explore humanity's next step after the oil-dominated economy. The group has generated a number of interdisciplinary projects and expanded its membership internationally. One of its research initiatives, After Oil: Explorations and Experiments in the Future of Energy, Culture and Society, explores "the social and cultural implications of oil and energy."

When the Future Energy Systems research initiative launched at the end of 2016, Wilson was asked to develop the energy humanities theme, which has brought a group of interdisciplinary humanities scholars into the program to work closely with scientists, engineers and social scientists.

This approach is unique, and when the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference came to Edmonton earlier this month, Wilson and her group were invited to make a mainstage presentation about the energy humanities' program and how it is now imagining possible futures based on the latest energy research.

"We're not just hearing about the next big thing in energy third-hand—we get the chance to talk directly to Canada's leading energy researchers, see what's too new to have hit the headlines and provide input to IPCC reports and recommendations that will influence policy at all levels of government," said Wilson.

Envisioning alternative energy futures

Energy humanities researchers across the arts faculty—including art and design, English and film studies, sociology, political science and history—are working with scientists, government, artists, activists and Indigenous communities to foster inclusive dialogue.

"We're trying to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to inform the thinking we're all doing as we work toward other possible futures," said Wilson.

The fine arts will also play a role in imagining those futures. A seven-year Future Energy Systems project called Speculative Energy Futures—collaboratively led with art and design historian Natalie Loveless under a larger research initiative called Just Powers, for which Wilson is the research lead—will produce a large-scale, evidence-based exhibition and a series of publications to provide visual perspectives on the social and cultural impacts of energy transition.

Another Just Powers visual project called iDoc has been capturing the work of Future Energy Systems on video. In addition to filming interviews and lab footage with U of A researchers, the project will include policy-makers and other players engaged with transition in Alberta more widely.

This research will be archived for posterity by University of Alberta Libraries, and made available through open access in a range of formats on the web and in public screenings so it can inform public discussions about the possibilities and limits of and its politics.

"Fifty years from now, people might be explaining to their grandkids what it was like to have their houses connected to a central power grid—or to 'fill up' their cars," Wilson said. "We want them to understand why we made the decisions we did, and what we were thinking."

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Steve_S2
3 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2018
Communities, villages, towns and cities existed prior to Oil, Gas & Electricity and it is utterly ridiculous to think that our energy mix will eradicate them. Certainly some redesign, reengineering and improvements towards alternate means of transportation, provisioning of services to homes & business operations and even energy distribution are called for.

Distributed & Diverse energy generation for assorted available natural resources / means will be relative to the locality and how this is best accomplished with the most resiliency for the end users / customers. The current "monolithic model" is no longer viable nor practical to continue expanding, there are simply far too many major points of failure and inefficiencies.

Green Energy must be developed & deployed in a cellular form with multiple input & output sources. If any single "cell" fails, the remaining interconnected systems continue to function without disruption. There is no single point that collapses the grid.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2018
Some VERY PUZZLING developments re LENR today...
"US NAVY seeks to license their LENR tech and to engage in collaborative research [Title: "Particle generator... Produces alpha and beta particles as well as protons, neutrons, deuterons, soft X-rays, gamma rays, and tritium"... This invention is a reproducible method of generating particles through the electrolysis of palladium in heavy water. The invention consists of an electrochemical cell composing an anode, a cathode, and magnets within an electrolyte solution of palladium dissolved in heavy water."

-Just WHAT are we to make of this??

And of course this:

"Rossi: 'Enormous Improvements' in the E-Cat QX, ' Now our module is very close to be ready to be reproduced massively'"

-Rossi blew his wad when he opened that box to flip a switch during his last public demo. But then... if the navy is actually doing it, perhaps rossi is not so full of crap as it would seem...

You know? No you dont.
WillieWard
2.5 / 5 (8) Mar 30, 2018
"Imagine waking up tomorrow in a world that doesn't depend on oil."
Renewables, specifically wind and solar, are a scam.
Wind/solar farms should be put to produce low-carbon/carbon-free synfuels(hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, etc.). Intermittency would not be a problem, because when sun shines or wind blows, synthetic fuels could be produced a lot to compensate the inactivity periods.
The problem is that it will become more obvious that wind and solar, aside their intermittency, also are unable to produce the equivalent BTU in synfuels that were required from fossil fuels to manufacture/mine/transport/install/repair/recycle their components, and then the wind and solar "scam" would be definitively exposed to the public, and carbon-free nuclear energy would be embraced as the only scalable way to save mankind from Climate Change.
gkam
2.2 / 5 (10) Mar 30, 2018
http://www.vindy....-plants/

Three more nukes which can't keep up with wind, gas, and solar!
WillieWard
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2018
...wind, gas, and solar!
"wind, gas, and solar" always in the same bed.
No doubt, wind and solar are "greenwashing"/facade for the natural gas(methane/fracking) industry in order to displace carbon-free nuclear energy which is criminal in the face of Climate Change.
"Let's stop kidding ourselves. Renewables are in bed with coal and natural gas producers. Their true rival is nuclear and that is why everybody attacks it."
https://pbs.twimg...M1S4.jpg
rrwillsj
3 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2018
No worries... Be happy...

It doesn't really matter what 'Great Leaps Forward' we make with our technology.

Ten million years of monkey instincts programmed into us means we'll figure out how to screw it all up!
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2018

Societal power structures defined by those who presently control energy and wealth could also fundamentally change.

I think this will be the major blocking point. In some countries (Australia, poland)..the coal-backed power elites are already taking major actions to keep renewables out.

Communities, villages, towns and cities existed prior to Oil, Gas & Electricity and it is utterly ridiculous to think that our energy mix will eradicate them.

Well, there were other considerations back then
1) protection - no longer a concern
2) food procurement through cooperation - no longer a concern
3) limited mobility (which indirectly means lo access to medical or other help if you're far away from others) - no longer a concern

I'm sure cities will not be eradicated, but we may well see a reversal of the trend to move towards cities.
Eikka
2.9 / 5 (7) Mar 30, 2018
the coal-backed power elites are already taking major actions to keep renewables out.


The other side of the coin is those people who deliberately push for unreliable and low availability / dispersed form of energy in order to institute social change according to their views and interests.

For example, the idea of distributed renewable energy really depends on massive transmission capabilities to have any semblance of reliability, which would put sociopolitical power in the hands of those who control the network. No longer could some state act independent of the central authority, because they couldn't operate without being connected to a continent-wide supergrid.

Eikka
3.1 / 5 (8) Mar 30, 2018
Point in case:

If we don't have access to such powerful energy sources, and our lives aren't organized around auto-mobility, the shape of our cities looks very different.


Take this perspective and turn it around: if we should want our societies to look different, we must restrict access to powerful energy sources that enable auto-mobility. We must choose solutions that make private transportation expensive and inconvenient in order to force a particular form of society.

In this way, if practical reality disagrees with your ideal of how society should be structured, you transform reality so that your ideal society is the only one that can function and thus achieve your goals.

Of course that is neglecting what the people would actually prefer given a free choice, but that's never been an issue for the people who wish to engage in social engineering. Their idea is the best idea, and you're stupid by default if you disagree.
Eikka
3.1 / 5 (8) Mar 30, 2018
In simple terms, auto-mobility means mobility of labor, which means independence from social planning as the people can move themselves to where labor is needed. Without mobility of labor, the free market economy breaks down.

Now, if you should for some reason wish for the free market economy to break down, in order to instititute some form of centrally planned economy, then it would be very expedient to disable free movement of labor.

After all, the debate over which form of society we should have hinges on which one is the most optimal and brings the greater benefit to its members. So, people advocating for one form over another have a tendency to sabotage their competition in order to "prove" their point.

greenonions1
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2018
the idea of distributed renewable energy really depends on massive transmission capabilities to have any semblance of reliability, which would put sociopolitical power in the hands of those who control the network
And that is not true for the current power system?

So if I go all electric, have oversized solar panels on my roof, and a set of batteries. I connect to my neighbors through a local micro-grid. I have a couple of electric cars - both with 100 Kwh batteries - that can run my house on minimum load for a week - and be charged up at a local charge point. That makes me more dependent on O.G. and E? I see the possibility of it going in the opposite direction - meaning more competition, and local reliance.
gkam
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 31, 2018
As usual, Eikka has it backward. The dispersal and distribution of generation assets makes it possible to improve the granularity of the system so islanded self-sustaining areas are small and locally controlled.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2018
Integration costs, aside ecological impacts, are completely neglected by eco-nuts/faux-greens:
"analyses done in both the UK and Germany showed that just connecting an offshore wind farm to the land grid costs more than building an equivalent capacity in gas turbines that can be located virtually anywhere"
https://pbs.twimg...fzZJ.jpg
https://books.goo...CQAAQBAJ
"BILL GATES : Renewables is NOT A VIABLE solution for CLIMATE CHANGE"
https://www.youtu...EzHBze7M

WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2018
So if I go all electric, have oversized solar panels on my roof, and a set of batteries. I connect to my neighbors through a local micro-grid. I have a couple of electric cars - both with 100 Kwh batteries - that can run my house on minimum load for a week - and be charged up at a local charge point.
I thought gskam was the only sociopath maniac compulsive pathological liar here.
Meanwhile, in the real world:
"Poorer Californian families without solar panels must pay $65/year to subsidize wealthier families with solar, finds UC-Berkeley economist"
"It doesn't make sense... Rooftop solar isn't getting rid of the utility. It's just changing who pays for it."
https://pbs.twimg...Pb8p.jpg
https://energyath...-panels/
"Often forgotten - net metering takes money from everyone (including the very poor) to subsidize those with solar panels"
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 01, 2018
Keep pasting, Willie. It will take your mind off of that failed V.C. Summer nuke plant and that $9,000,000,000 we will never see again, . . . and the mess it left us to clean up.

Next failure: Vogtle.
greenonions1
2.8 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2018
No Willie - seems your the liar here - not gkam. One important thing to understand is that we are only just reaching the point where solar is at grid parity. So as the cost curve continues down - of both solar panels, and batteries - we will see more and more being installed. There are already examples around the world - showing that it is a very promising technology - and will one day be one of the major contributors to our electricity supply system. Nice quote here for you willie liar -
prices fall as rooftop solar accounts for a sizeable share of demand during the day
And like I say - we are just hitting grid parity now. From - https://cleantech...ord-low/

Another source with the same info - willie is not capable of checking facts - https://futurism....a-power/
WillieWard
2.9 / 5 (9) Apr 01, 2018
And like I say - we are just hitting grid parity now. From - https://cleantech...ord-low/
...Another source ...
https://futurism....a-power/
South Australia has one of the most expensive electricity bills and dirtiest grid, all thanks to intermittent renewables penetration, and even so the renewable cultists claim it's a success like Energiewende fiasco.
https://pbs.twimg...Irr-.jpg
You and gskam live in an alternative reality like superman's bizarro world.
"Antinuclear activists don't stop repeating claims that have been proven false. Modern term is "alternative facts" "
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Apr 01, 2018
Since we added another electric car and household A/C, we had to pay $200 last year for electricity.

This year, I'll top off the Tesla for free at the new supercharger site and save that money.

Does Willie buy power from Nukes at high prices?
WillieWard
2.8 / 5 (9) Apr 01, 2018
Since we added another electric car...
Poor Californian families are paying $65/year to subsidize wealthier eco-nuts like gskam to pretend they are still connected to grid because they are powering the whole state thanks to their sunshine&breeze unicorn energy system.
"Electric Car Subsidies Transferring Wealth From the Poor to the Rich"
https://uploads.d...d91e.jpg
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 01, 2018
THAT is what you are down to now, a crank letter to a local newspaper in another country??

Hahahahahahaaaaa!
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 01, 2018
Way-out Willie, nuclear power was conceived and paid for by the government you hate so much. It is our biggest boondoggle of the 20th Century.

We have now outgrown it, but the Big Money behind it is still there, with their bought politicians.
V.C. Summer and Vogtle and Hinkley Point are the examples of the future of nuclear power.

Them . . and Diablo Canyon.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2018
South Australia has one of the most expensive electricity bills and dirtiest grid
Because of the cost of gas - due to local shortages - due to massive exports.

There is absolutely no positive relationship between the share of wind generation in supply and wholesale electricity prices in the state — in fact a negative correlation


So as pointed out in the last article linked - roof top solar is beginning to bring the cost of electricity down - and break the grip of monopolies - who are squeezing the customers "because they can"

From - http://www.news.c...56194843

More lies from Willie.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2018
Because of the cost of gas...
More lies...
The best you two do now is call liar who exposes your lies.
Because wind and solar are a trillion-dollar fiasco at reducing emissions everywhere, e.g. Germany, Denmark, South Australia, California, Minnesota, etc.

"Report: Minnesota Failed To Cut Emissions By Investing Billions In Wind Energy" - Oct 12, 2017
"Minnesota's investment in wind energy has cost state taxpayers billions of dollars while failing to produce meaningful cuts to the state's carbon output, according to an October report from the Center of the American Experiment."
http://dailycalle...-energy/
http://www.inside...-prices/
...the future of nuclear power.
"Minnesota May Be Next to Support Nuclear Plants" - 03/29/2018
http://www.powerm...-plants/
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 01, 2018
Thanks for showing us the way to another set of nuclear power plants needing subsidies to stay competitive.

Why would you get science "information" from the DailyCaller?
granville583762
3.3 / 5 (7) Apr 01, 2018
Solar; free unlimited electricity to last us till the universe finally returns to its big bang in over 15billion years time

if you want energy there's a price to pay fossil fuel - CO2, hydro - loss of habitats, windmills - loss of habitats but they work of shore, tidal - loss of habitat and very limited, nuclear - unlimited power until it comes to decommissioning and finally Solar are 800,000 mile diameter ball of unlimited safe for 5billion years and safe for another 5billion years, free unlimited electricity to last us till the universe finally returns to its big bang in over 15billion years time, the Sun has nourished life on earth for 4billion years until we came along. The Sun is the answer, how anyone could have missed the Sun is beyond me, cover the vast empty deserts in solar panels put solar panels on every roof but not on farm land or we will starve. Be sensible and there's unlimited free safe power!
greenonions1
3 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2018
Willie
The best you two do now is call liar who exposes your lies
Not lies willie - I provided you with a link that explains why S Australia is paying such high electricity rates - and another link that showed that because of the increased adoption of roof top solar - those costs are going down.

That is nothing like telling lies - like saying renewables are not scaleable.

Renewables are beating the pants off your 12 cents Kwh Hinkley Point willie - you just don't know it yet.
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
And that is not true for the current power system?


Less than it would be.

The current average power transmission distance in the US is less than 200 miles, whereas with tons of renewables in the grid it would have to be 1000+ miles or coast-to-coast to level off the major differences, especially with solar power.

So if I go all electric, have oversized solar panels on my roof, and a set of batteries. I connect to my neighbors through a local micro-grid. I have a couple of electric cars - both with 100 Kwh batteries - that can run my house on minimum load for a week - and be charged up at a local charge point. That makes me more dependent on O.G. and E?


The thing is, you won't.

Because those "couple electric cars" cost you more than your house. The vast majority of people simply cannot afford this.

But the vast majority can afford a 25 gallon drum of gasoline and a portable generator. Lucky they don't need to, since the grid still works.
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
For reference, 25 gallons of gasoline put through a genset working at 25% efficiency produces 200 kWh of electricity.

The dispersal and distribution of generation assets makes it possible to improve the granularity of the system so islanded self-sustaining areas are small and locally controlled.


Yes, if those assets include on-demand and adjustable capacity, like big diesel generators.

Unlike non-demand and non-adjustable sources like solar and wind power, which have the opposite effect of decreasing the granularity of the system, because they work together as one large unit: weather fronts are hundreds of miles in size, and the sun shines simultaneously on half the globe at a time.

You get a power surplus/deficit at the same time over huge areas, consisting of multiple states, so they all have to be wired together into a supergrid for the system to have any chance of working.

Unless everybody buys $100k electric cars to run their homes on the side.

Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
both with 100 Kwh batteries - that can run my house on minimum load for a week


The average household energy consumption in the US ranges from 16,000 - 25,000 kWh a year, not including transportation. At minimum, you'd need 300 kWh a week, and at worst you may need 500 kWh.

But that's average. If your power goes out in Seattle or Chicago in the dead of the winter, you're going to need a whole lot more. Forget about hot showers, you're going to need 100+ kWh a day just to keep yourself from freezing.
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
Here's an example from the UK:

http://nationalgr...r-homes/
Heat is by far the most variable of our energy demands. An average house requires 12 megawatts a year (MWh/a) of heat compared to 4MWh/a for power demand. Due to the seasonal nature of heat demand, the peak in a day can be higher than five times what the power grid delivers. There are significant variations between buildings too. A new-build apartment may need only 6MWh/a, while a pre-war detached house could consume 30MWh/a or more.


And this is why 83% of UK households are connected to the gas supply for their heating, and this is the source of energy that renewables is supposed to replace.

Air-to-air heat pumps can lower the demand on power and are relatively cheap, but they have the nasty disadvantage of turning inefficient when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing, so they're little better than direct electric furnaces in a cold snap.
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
Now, if only there were a way to produce massive amounts of energy in the summer when the heat demand is low and there's sunshine aplenty, store it for six months, and then spend it through the winter.

How much batteries would you need for that? Well, given the figures above something on the order of Megawatt-hours per household. Ten Teslas per home sitting in the garage, except they'd self-discharge, so that wouldn't be any good.

However, if you could somehow produce methane gas and pump it into the existing gas grid, to which 83% of households are already connected:

https://en.wikipe...r-to-gas

And if you pull that off, there's no need to up-end society to switch to renewable sources.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 02, 2018
Also, the article is making a fundamental false dilemma:

"Our communities might need to be organized in entirely new ways—around social and environmental sustainability, instead of around the easy flow of traffic and consumer goods," said Wilson.


The easy flow of traffic and goods IS PART OF social and environmental sustainability.
1) labor mobility reduces income disparities by reducing unemployment, equalizes access to services
2) easy flow of materials equal less wasted energy in supplying the essential goods to the people, equals lower cost, equals social equality

But of course, if you come from the point of view that the free market economy should be switched to something else, like a planned economy, then the argument makes sense because you're begging the question that the society as it is cannot be socially or environmentally sustainable simply by switching the energy sources.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 02, 2018
And that's why I say some people are looking at the renewables question not as a technical problem, but a sociopolitical problem, where the solutions are chosen and advocated for fundamentally according to their political impacts rather than their technical sensibility.

It's tail wagging the dog.

If you've already decided that in your utopia people won't own cars, but instead ride around in magic electric shuttlebusses, then obviously you have a problem with the current system itself, rather than how it is actually operating.

The debate then is just a mask for the real point: "I want to change the society to my liking, and to answer why we must, I'm going to use renewable energy as the bait: institute my system, and none else, and it will be done."
Eikka
4 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2018
Also, here's a nice one:

https://en.wikipe...psulatus

In 1999, Norferm a subsidiary of the Norwegian oil company Statoil, opened a 10,000 tons per year plant to produce animal feed from natural gas from M. capsulatus


In 2016 Calysta, an American biotech company, opened a plant in Teesside, UK, to produce up to 100 tons of fish feed a year from natural gas using M. capsulatus.


If you can produce methane from renewable electricity, you can produce FOOD out of wind turbines and solar panels. You can grow cattle, fish, poultry, or just eat it yourself if you prefer, without using farmland to grow the feed. That means taking away one of the main arguments for why we should all have to turn vegetarian. Whoops, didn't have to change that aspect of society either.

All this is going on behind the curtains while the peanut gallery is debating what to do. Well, debate fast, or you'll miss the train.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (9) Apr 02, 2018
Eikka has to give up caffeine.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (9) Apr 02, 2018
There was a smile with my last comment, . . .
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2018
Eikka
The average household energy consumption in the US ranges from 16,000 - 25,000 kWh a year,
I have a 2,300 sq ft home - in Oklahoma - electric everything except heat and hot water. Last year I used 6030 Kwh (I just added it all up). Averaged bill is $60 month - has been that way for 20 years. Being conservative - we would double that if we added heat pump, and hot water. That's 1,000 Kwh a month - 250 Kwh a week. If I go on full bore. But you notice I sad at minimum load. We had an ice storm a few years ago - took out power for a week - used a small genny - shared with my neighbor - and kept essential services running just fine. 2 100 Kwh cars could keep us up and running - especially if we already had battery bank in garage - for times of extended poor weather.

Notice I was talking about in the future. We are learning to adapt - with smart meters - electric cars - demand management systems etc.. Sorry you have no vision Eikka. Just watch as it happens.
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2018
renewables are not scaleable.
Wind and solar are parasites on other forms of reliable energy such as hydro/geothermal and biomass, and fossil fuels. Hydro and geothermal are site-specific(geographically limited), dams cause huge ecological impacts. Biomass is worse than coal in terms of greenhouse effect, and competes with agriculture.
So wind and solar alone are not scaleable solution to stop Climate Change(as already confirmed in practice, Germany, Denmark, etc.), indeed, they don't even work in small-scale, there is no country, or even a small island, 100% powered by sunshine&breeze unicorn energy without fossil fuels to parasitize or to serve as "greenwashing".
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Apr 03, 2018
"Wind and solar are parasites on other forms"

Want the names of the next three nuclear powerplants which will close because they are too expensive to operate, even after they are paid off?
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2018
Wind and solar are parasites on other forms of reliable energy
Ahhh - so that is your argument in support of the lie that wind and solar are not scaleable?
Specifically, wind and solar generation overtook nuclear generation in the fourth quarter of 2017 to be the country's second highest source of electricity for the first time
That's not a parasite - that is an up and coming energy source. If you realize that
The cost of new offshore wind halved in 2017 and onshore wind is already the cheapest of any new power
It becomes obvious that the world is changing - and only dummies don't understand the nature and magnitude of that change.

From - https://cleantech...-source/
WillieWard
3 / 5 (6) Apr 03, 2018
CleanTechnica is not a reliable source.
Most of CO₂ reduction is due to replacement of coal by natural gas(methane).
It's interesting that they stopped writing about Germany, Denmark, and other countries heavily committed with intermittent renewables, trillion-euro fiascos at reducing emissions.
Now they are preferring countries that are replacing coal by natural gas, so they can claim that CO₂ reduction is thanks to sunshine and breeze unicorn energy.

"40% of UK primary energy was derived from natural gas in 2016, a 50% increase from 1990"
https://cdn-04.be...ed157912
https://www.thegu...ergy-mix

UK CO₂ reduction matches with natural gas(methane) increase:
http://i.imgur.com/duFaCWK.png
greenonions1
3 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2018
Most of CO₂ reduction is due to replacement of coal by natural gas(methane)
So what? Rome was not built in a day. So it is smart planning to retire coal plants, fall back on available gas plants - and then build out renewables.
Reduction in power sector C02 emissions driven by change if fuel mix for electricity generation in 2017, with less use of coal and more use of renewables
From - https://c1cleantechnicacom-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/files/2018/04/BEIS-7.jpg Numbers are UK government statistics.
PTTG
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 04, 2018
Willie, who exactly are you trying to convince? You must spend hours every day doing nothing but bad-mouthing solar and wind.... why? Do you believe that policymakers are going to read phys.org comments? Or is it just an attempt to troll green-energy advocates into wasting time talking to you?

With that last point in mind, expect no further response.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 04, 2018
It's a lie:
Reduction ... C02 emissions driven by change if fuel mix ... with less use of coal and more use of renewables
The truth is:
UK CO₂ reduction matches with natural gas(methane) increase:
http://i.imgur.com/duFaCWK.png
Real numbers don't lie: http://energytomo...ises.jpg

"Some environmentalists don't want to hear the facts about natural gas, as many are actively promoting it as a bridge fuel."
https://e360.yale...mckibben
"Without cheap gas, the "gas bridge" to alternative energy sources collapses."
"Environmentalists admit you shouldn't believe what they say — but they want your money anyway"
http://financialp...1bf70e25
who exactly are you trying to convince?
I love to expose faux-greens' lies and contradictions.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2018
Real number don't lie
No - you lie. Renewables are scaleable etc.

Now - if you look at renewable energy production over the same time period - you will see that renewables are also increasing. So to lie - and infer that the C02 reductions were solely as a result of conversion to gas - would be typical of Willie Wonka. Of course - increasing production of renewables - at the same time as decreasing production of coal - will cause C02 reductions. Yes - changing from coal to gas also reduces C02. Now that wind is the cheapest form of new energy build - we will see the graph of renewable energy production continue up - and coal/gas/nukes will go down...

https://en.wikipe...city.PNG
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 04, 2018
if you look at renewable energy production...
capacity ≠ generation, your graph shows installed-capacity instead of energy production.
In the face of Climate Change, what should matter is cost-effective CO₂ reduction and not installed capacity of intermittent energy backed up by coal/oil/gas.
Intermittent renewables(scaleable ecological disasters) are not cost-effective at reducing emissions.
Intermittent renewables are increasing/scaling together with emissions and/or natural gas.
It doesn't even work in small scale, there is no country, or even a small island, successfully 100% powered by wind/solar+batteries.
Costa Rica is >90% hydro; Denmark, Germany, California, Minnesota, etc. are expensive fiascos at replacing fossil fuels.
Carbon-free nuclear power is the only scalable solution to stop Climate Change.
It has scaled far more rapidly than renewables and really decarbonized modern grids.
https://pbs.twimg...hGcm.jpg
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2018
In the face of Climate Change, what should matter is cost-effective CO₂ reduction
Sure - and as I have already demonstrated - with UK gvt figures - onshore wind is the cheapest form of new generation - and off shore wind dropped in half in 2017 - so that makes it a no brainer that renewables ARE the cost effective C02 reduction option. Sure beats your 12 cents kwh from Hinkley Point - that will not be on line until 2025....

All that explains why renewables passed gas in terms of generating capacity in 2013, and have been increasing their lead ever since. Look at the graph of this conservative organization - labeled "Electricity Generation by fuel" - https://www.iea.o...les2017/

Note renewables now produce about 6.8k Twh of power, and nukes about 2.5k Twh - pretty level for about 18 years. - http://www.world-...day.aspx
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2018
Here is how we move in the energy field:
https://www.ecowa...93.html?

Electric services giant FirstEnergy Corp. announced over the weekend that its embattled coal and nuclear units have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

This move comes just days after the Akron, Ohio-headquartered company called on Rick Perry's Department of Energy for an "emergency order" to save its dying coal and nuclear plants in the northeastern U.S.

The coal and nuclear energy sectors have been struggling over the past decade due to an influx of cheap natural gas and the rapid rise of renewable energy.

Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2018
Notice I was talking about in the future. We are learning to adapt - with smart meters - electric cars - demand management systems etc.. Sorry you have no vision Eikka. Just watch as it happens.


I'm watching as it isn't happening.

Smart meters and demand management do nothing for your total energy demand. They're just means to ration energy - deprive you of energy when you would need it. That's not a solution, that's just a roundabout way of saying "we screwed it up and now we decide to call it something else".

As for vision, you're living in a hyped up fantasy. Electric cars are not going to break through in the near future because of supply/demand issues with the batteries. The price of a 100 kWh of batteries will not go down soon enough because they industry just can't produce enough of them to meet up with the need to store energy.

You can fantasize about owning an electric car all you want, but as long as it costs you the house, not gonna happen.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2018
Seriously though. "Demand management" as a solution to intermittent renewable energy is just rolling with the punches.

It's not even attempting to solve the problem. It's just accepting it and trying to cope, third world style.

if you look at renewable energy production over the same time period - you will see that renewables are also increasing. So to lie - and infer that the C02 reductions were solely as a result of conversion to gas - would be typical of Willie Wonka.


It would also be a lie of omission to deny that 90% of the decline in CO2 was due to natural gas instead of renewables.

Both are decreasing CO2, but renewables only do that in conjunction with natural gas for the buffer. The other alternative is renewables + coal, which doesn't reduce CO2 at all. Adding renewables (wind+solar) alone does not work.
gkam
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2018
That is ridiculous.
We have been doing demand side management since 1980. It levels out the demand curve so we do not have to invest in generation.

Now, we can apply battery storage to avoid some of it in the user sector.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2018
iWe have been doing demand side management since 1980.


Yeah, and it's never been without its problems. It's the reason some major industries are turning to generate their own power out of natural gas wherever possible.

Varying day/night rates or "smart hours", or shutting down some large industrial users in a time of grid emergency are way off from what we're talking about here. Demand management on the scale necessary to seriously deal with the intermittency of renewable energy, we're actually talking about an alternative way to implement rolling blackouts.

The "smart grid" is just an attempt to hide the fact that the grid can no longer meet demand with supply. People will be switching to gas appliances by the millions because they can no longer rely on the grid for getting their clothes washed or their dinner cooked on time. At least you can run the lights off of not too many batteries.

gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2018
I guess it is no use trying to discuss technical issues with outsiders. Your statements are laughable to those in the industry.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2018
Eikka
It would also be a lie of omission to deny that 90% of the decline in CO2 was due to natural gas instead of renewables
It would not be a lie of omission. I have always acknowledged that the process is going to take time. Shifting our electricity system over is a massive undertaking. We are closing out coal plants - shifting to gas plants that are already in place, and subsequently building out our renewables. I hope we also build out nukes - but it would seem the cost factor is going to give the edge renewables. Let's wait and see. Now please tell us where you got your 90% figure.... If you look at the graph labeled "Electricity generation by fuel' - you will see that we now generate more power globally with renewables, than with gas...https://www.iea.o...les2017/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2018
Eikka
It's not even attempting to solve the problem
Yes it is. The problem is that wind and solar are intermittent, and we can't control when they will be generating. So yes - we end up with a problem of generation not matching demand. The advantage of wind and solar - is that they are cheap - and reduce emissions. Demand management is certainly one part of solving the problem. Just for example - we are on smart hours - pay 5 cents Kwh for power off peak. System pre-cools the house in the morning - and reduces the amount of cooling at peak. I save money - and have to accept house warming up a little in the afternoon. That is a trade off I am fine with. When we had a Leaf - we charged at night - for 5 cents kwh.

Again - much of this stuff is going to take time - perhaps many decades to integrate - sorry you have no vision...
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2018
Sure - and as I have already demonstrated - with UK gvt figures
Interesting that you have only UK to cite, what about Germany, Denmark, South Australia, and other wind/solar trillion-dollar fiascos?
Evidences show that UK CO₂ reduction is much more related to replacement of coal by natural gas(methane).
http://energytomo...ises.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/duFaCWK.png

Most of renewables are hydro and biomass.
"Africa is the continent with the highest penetration of renewable energy. It is also the poorest."

Simplifying: Solar, wind and biomass are the past.
Fossil fuels are the present.
Nuclear is the future.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2018
...nuclear energy sectors have been struggling over the past decade due to an influx of cheap natural gas and the rapid rise of renewable energy.
No doubt renewable energy is being an excellent form of "greenwashing" for the natural gas industry in order to put carbon-free nuclear energy out of business.
"Our society's blind push for 100% renewable (instead of 0% carbon), is doing far more environmental harm than good."

greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2018
Simplifying: Solar, wind and biomass are the past.
Fossil fuels are the present.
Nuclear is the future


That's an interesting perspective - and completely contradictory to what the iea (a notoriously conservative group - that has consistently under predicted renewables). - https://www.vox.c...newables

Despite their anti renewables bias - this is what they had to say
Renewables capture two-thirds of global investment in power plants to 2040 as they become, for many countries, the least-cost source of new generation


So let's wait until 2040 - and see if liar Willie really does know more than an agency full of experts who spend their life studying this stuff... Smart money is on the i.e.a.

You should read the section "Bright future for Renewables" Willie - I dare you...
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2018
Link for the iea report - https://www.iea.org/weo2017/
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2018
Willie
Interesting that you have only UK to cite
You want some U.S. statistics?
The Power Sector Carbon Index was down by 5% in Q3 2017
Natural gas generation was down by 7% in Q3 2017
Renewable electricity generation was up by 10% in Q3 2017
Nuclear electricity generation was up by 2%
Total direct CO2 emissions from the power sector in Q3 2017 were 528 billion metric tons, down 10%


Who said "I love it when a good plan comes together?

Data from - https://emissions...3-update
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2018
Renewables capture two-thirds of global investment in power plants to 2040 as they become, for many countries...
Trillions and trillions of dollars for almost nothing in terms of CO₂ reduction.
"Solar Power Is Burning Bright. But It's Hardly Twilight for Fossil Fuels." - April 5, 2018
https://www.nytim...rgy.html
"Wind and Solar Power Advance, but Carbon Refuses to Retreat" - Nov 7, 2017
https://www.nytim...les.html
"MIT report: it will take 400 years to transform to 'clean' energy"
https://wattsupwi...-energy/
"Those that believe solar and wind energy are clean, should tour the mining / manufacturing / transportation / installation operations."

WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2018
The Power Sector Carbon Index was down by 5% in Q3 2017...
Nuclear electricity generation was up by 2%
"total U.S. net generation fell by 1.5 percent last year"
Wind and solar are almost irrelevant in the mix(<3%) even after hundreds of billions of dollars spent, so the CO₂ reduction is mostly due to fall in total generation and more carbon-free nuclear energy in the grid.
https://flowchart...2016.png
https://flowchart...s/energy
http://energyliteracy.com/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2018
Wind and solar are almost irrelevant in the mix
But almost - is not totally. So little at a time - they will come into their own. We have also spent billions on fusion ($24.1 billion in the U.S. alone). And we have gotten 0 out of it at this point. You see investment in the future is smart - just not something that someone like you can appreciate. Wind and solar are now the cheapest new build - which is a return on investment - that will keep paying us back for generations. Hold on to your hat dummy - we are just getting started.

and more carbon-free nuclear energy in the grid
2% more for nukes - vs 10% more for renewables.

Guess you missed stories like this - https://phys.org/...uel.html
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2018
Eikka
It's not even attempting to solve the problem
Yes it is.


No it isn't. It's "solving" the intermittency problem by pretending that it isn't a problem. Remember the fox who said "sour grapes"?

It would not be a lie of omission. I have always acknowledged that the process is going to take time.


Yes it would, and you're making special pleading. You were trying to emphasize the role of renewable energy as an important player in the CO2 reduction -now- rather than in the future.

If you look at the graph labeled ...


Shifting the goalposts. The case was the UK, where indeed the reductions of CO2 are mainly due to increase in nat-gas use, and the graph you present is arguing an entirely different point: capacity growth rather than energy production.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2018
2% more for nukes - vs 10% more for renewables.


Don't attempt to argue with relative metrics for things which operate on different scales.

Nuclear power makes about 20% of the electricity in the US while solar + wind make about 3.3%. Total renewables are around 13%

Most of the increase in renewables production came from good water availability for hydroelectricity. Wind and solar only account for about 25% of the total renewable energy production in the US, so again 75% of the credit goes to someone else.

On absolute terms, wind and solar increased by about 0.33 points, displacing a corresponding amount of CO2, while the reduction in energy demand was 1.5 points, or 4.5x the amount.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2018
We have also spent billions on fusion ($24.1 billion in the U.S. alone).


Yes, in total. Meanwhile, the federal government keeps spending $10.9 billion a year on renewables subsidies, plus state/local incentives, plus bailouts like Solyndra which all counted for cost up to $39 billion a year.

The wind power industry got about $74 billion in subsidies between 1950 - 2010. That's the same amount as the nuclear power industry got, about $73 billion in the same time period. Only, one ended up producing a fifth of the nation's electricity, and the other almost nothing.

If there's just as much potential in wind/solar as in nuclear, dollar for dollar, then you must admit that the money spent was wasted on a massive scam - otherwise you can't explain the lack of results.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2018
Wind and solar are now the cheapest new build...
But "batteries never included" neither fossil-fueled backup plants nor integration costs.
Guess you missed stories like this - https://phys.org/...uel.html
You have no shame, again mixing up "capacity installed" with "energy produced".
capacity ≠ generation
"Capacity installed in kilowatts (kW) is not equal to energy produced in kilowatt hours (kWh)"
gigawatt-installed ≠ gigawatt-generated
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2018
If there's just as much potential in wind/solar as in nuclear, dollar for dollar, then you must admit that the money spent was wasted on a massive scam - otherwise you can't explain the lack of results
The results are that onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new generation. Off shore is coming down fast. So the investment is money well spent - as we move into a new world. Notice that you don't talk about the money spent on fusion - with no results to date in terms of generated electricity. So just as with nukes - that got a lot of gvt supports - before they began paying dividends - same with wind and solar - you are the hypocrite.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2018
Yes it would, and you're making special pleading. You were trying to emphasize the role of renewable energy as an important player in the CO2 reduction -now- rather than in the future


No! I was countering Willie dumb ass - who claims that renewables played no part in the reduction of C02 - and that it was all from conversion to nat gas. Well if renewables are now producing more power globally than gas - how are they not contributing to the reduction in C02?
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2018
Eikka
Nuclear power makes about 20% of the electricity in the US while solar + wind make about 3.3%. Total renewables are around 13%


Eighteen percent of all electricity in the United States was produced by renewable sources in 2017, including solar, wind, and hydroelectric dams. That's up from 15% in 2016, with the shift driven by new solar and wind projects


From http://fortune.co...wer-mix/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2018
Eikka
the graph you present is arguing an entirely different point: capacity growth rather than energy production
Look again. Here is the link - https://www.iea.o...les2017/

The graph is titled "Electricity GENERATION by fuel"

Now I asked you where you got your 90% figure.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2018
Eikka -
Nuclear power makes about 20% of the electricity in the US while solar + wind make about 3.3%


In the twelve months through November 2017... total solar generation, including estimated distributed solar photovoltaic generation, was 75.9 TWh, 1.89% of total U.S. electricity
From - https://en.wikipe...d_States

For the twelve months through November 2017, wind power in the United States amounted to 254.2 terawatt-hours, or 6.33% of all generated electrical energy
From - https://en.wikipe...d_States
WillieWard
2 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2018
...wind is now the cheapest form of new generation...
But "batteries never included" neither fossil-fueled backup plants nor integration costs.
It should be clear that something that is intermittent and is 80% backed up by coal/oil/gas, and has poor energy density and is manufactured/transported by huge quantities of fossil fuels: is extremely ineffective and expensive per CO₂ avoided.
However, renewable cultists are extraordinary resistant to facts; they prefer to create their own factoids, e.g. cleantechnica reneweconomy et al., to repeat and believe, i.e. "assumption or speculation that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact."
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2018
The graph is titled "Electricity GENERATION by fuel"


And it's global, and still doesn't show what you're trying to argue as it omits crucial information about usage other than electricity and total consumption changes. When talking CO2 emissions, we're not talking about the electricity generation alone.

No! I was countering Willie dumb ass - who claims that renewables played no part in the reduction of C02


In the UK, which is what he was talking about, and it's mostly true. Please stay on topic instead of mixing and matching different statistics from different time periods.

Here's the case for the US:
https://www.carbo...nce-2005
-33% due to gas
-12% reduced stationary fuel consumption
-18% reduced electricity consumption
-15% vehicle efficiency
-19% wind power
-3% solar power.

Other factor than renewables accounted for 78% of the reductions
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2018
It's surprisingly difficult to find suitable data for the UK since the statistics are spread out in different places, but at least someone has compiled a comparable record:

https://fractiona...debt.png

From 1965 to 2016 nearly all the reduction in coal use in the UK has been due to 1) increasing use of natural gas. 2) after 2005 a 16% drop in total energy consumption.

Between 2005 and 2016 the reduction in energy consumption accounted for approximately twice the reduction in CO2 output than the growth of renewables, and 1/6th of the renewables were actually due to switching some of the biggest coal burning powerplants to run on imported wood pellets.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2018
Eikka
In the UK, which is what he was talking about, and it's mostly true
Look how you bullshit. 'It's 'mostly' true' Go away. It is not true... Renewables are playing a role in the reduction of C02. Of course they are. They are the fastest growning source of new energy GENERATION - https://www.thegu...y-agency

Of course Willie is a liar - in asserting that they are not playing a role in reducing C02 emissions.

Now why don't you answer the question about where you got the 90% figure - and also acknowledge that you don't know what you are talking about. You asserted that
solar + wind make about 3.3%
of course without showing a source for your made up statistics - and I provided sources (plural) showing that you don't know what you are talking about....
snoosebaum
3 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2018
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2018
Greenonions
distributed solar photovoltaic generation, was 75.9 TWh, 1.89% of total U.S. electricity
From - https://en.wikipe...d_States
wind power in the United States amounted to 254.2 terawatt-hours, or 6.33% of all generated electrical energy

I was using 2016 figures to keep it comparable with the data on nuclear power I had.

Anyways, the argument remains the same. The absolute increase for renewables was 0.822 percentage points while for nuclear it was 0.4 points and the reduction in energy use accounted for 1.5 points.

That means, the relative contribution between these three causes in the CO2 emission reduction goes 30% renewables, 70% something else.

Then there's other causes such as the switchover from coal to gas, which continues to contribute about a third of the total reduction in the US, and that pushes the renewables contribution to the causes down to around 20%.

Not much to cheer about.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2018
Look how you bullshit. 'It's 'mostly' true' Go away. It is not true... Renewables are playing a role in the reduction of C02.


Of course they are - a minor role. That's what I keep telling you. That's what the actual numbers are.

This whole debate started when I pointed out that it's a lie by omission to claim that solar and wind are reducing CO2 output, when in truth it's almost everything else but these renewables, that are pushing it down. And that's especially true for solar power that has the worse capacity factor of the two.

As for the global situation, that's mainly driven by China's huge expansion in coal use after 2001, and then their subsequent massive reduction of coal use by displacing it with oil, hydroelectricity, and for a third cause their expansion in solar+wind - in that order of importance.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 07, 2018
Of course Willie is a liar - in asserting that they are not playing a role in reducing C02 emissions.


And I didn't exactly dispute that.

Willie is pushing hyperbole the same way you're pushing it in the opposite direction. He's a troll/shill the same as you are. He originally developed this style as counter to Gkam's bullshit, basically throwing the same sort of arguments back at the people who regurgitate green propaganda without question or self-criticism: it's the same sort of carefully picked and polished factoids and exaggerations, sloganeering and politicizing.

While he's only "mostly true" with his facts, the actual thing he's showing you is a mirror, and watching you flailing at your own reflection like a chimp.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 07, 2018
of course without showing a source for your made up statistics - and I provided sources (plural) showing that you don't know what you are talking about....


I got it from the wikipedia page for US renewable energy, while you got more up to date data from the individual pages. In the end, this did not change the argument, because the number still show the same thing.

Now why don't you answer the question about where you got the 90% figure


I'd have to actually re-calculate from UK-OFGEM data to verify because I can't find my original sources, but the main point and evidence I already posted up above:

https://fractiona...debt.png

The chart shows that the vast, absolutely vast, majority of CO2 reductions has come from switchover between coal and gas, and it is not an exageration to say that this accounts for 90% of the difference if not more.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2018
because the number still show the same thing
No it does not. 2017 stats - show that wind and solar made up 1.89% (for solar) and 6.33% for wind - making a total of 8.22%. Significantly higher than you assert,

I was using 2016 figures
Which makes you wrong. You did not say that in 2016... and you did not provide a source - so anyone could check your assertion. Obviously the reason for doing this is that the newer data - supports the view that renewables are on a growth trajectory - and this is what we keep asserting. As the cost on wind and solar continue to drop - the slope will turn upwards. We are watching the transition as it happens. In 2017 renewables generated approx 18% of electricity in America - almost caught up with nuclear. My only real point is that we need to de-carbonize as quickly as possible. I think that nukes or renewables can be scaled to accomplish this. Renewables have the edge with cost. We need to tell the truth.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2018
https://theenergy...hed-off/
Renewables are playing a role...
...is a liar - in asserting that they are not playing a role in reducing C02 emissions.
"UK wind farms found to be most profitable when switched off" - Jan 11, 2018
"According to analysis of official figures, the wind farms generate an average of 40% more funds when their turbines are turned off than when they are running."
https://theenergy...hed-off/

Indeed, switched off wind farms are playing a role in reducing C02 emissions by not causing instabilities on the grid and by letting the gas-fired plants running almost steady-state in their best performance range.
"Air emissions benefits from renewable electric power are significantly reduced due to extra emissions from generators that must quickly ramp to compensate for renewable variability."
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2018
About 15% of British electricity was generated by wind in 2017 https://futurism....nd-coal/

Trying to lie - and suggest that replacing that much coal with wind - does not affect C02 amissions - makes you not only a liar - but really really un-informed to boot.

So running off to your anti wind front organizations to drum up bogus reporting - shows you up even more.

Here - read about the R.E.F. https://www.thegu...ind-farm

At least Cleantechnica is honest about being a pro renewables web site - does not need to hide behind lies....
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2018
Trying to lie - and suggest that replacing that much coal with wind - does not affect C02 amissions


Your main problem is that you're using electricity production to infer national CO2 emissions, which is caused by PRIMARY energy consumption across ALL sectors and not electricity production alone.

You're comparing two incomparable measures.

The total primary energy consumption is so much more than just the electricity consumption.

No it does not. 2017 stats - show that wind and solar made up 1.89% (for solar) and 6.33% for wind - making a total of 8.22%. Significantly higher than you assert,


That wasn't the main argument. The point was that you can show high growth percentages for a small number, and it's still going to be a small number.

Which makes you wrong


No. Just out of date. The figures won't change drastically in little over 1 year, so the argument is still valid - just slightly inaccurate.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
At least Cleantechnica is honest about being a pro renewables web site - does not need to hide behind lies...


Rather, they're employing Russian style honesty: being up-front about not telling the whole truth.

They're still not telling you the whole truth.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
For example,
https://www.gov.u...2017.pdf
ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN THE UK
July 2017
Page 9.
more recently, renewables share has increased from 1 per cent in 1999 to 7.4 per cent in 2016


That's of total primary energy consumption with all sources normalized to primary energy. Also note that renewable energy contains all the renewables, including biomass and hydroelectricity, which makes the true share and contribution of solar/wind to reductions in CO2 output even smaller.

This is the difference between the hyperbole from Cleantechnica and others, and reality. They're deliberately presenting you with half the picture to make the numbers bigger. This is the reason why propaganda articles give you the numbers in "households" instead of gigawatt-hours or other comparable figures - to hide the fact that they haven't actually achieved much at all.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
Your main problem is that you're using electricity production to infer national CO2 emissions
No I am not. Your problem is that you don't understand very basic logic. Britain generated 15% of it's electricity from wind in 2017. This of course saves on C02 emissions. It is that simple. Asserting that it does not save on C02 emissions is a lie. It does not matter what percentage of overall C02 emissions this represents.

No. Just out of date
No - it makes you wrong. You are trying to disparage renewables - by showing us what a small percentage of overall production they represent. You purposely use out of date figures - because that supports your point. The latest figures show several things. 1. Renewables are not insignificant. 18% of production is substantial. Sure - solar is still at a very small level. Wind is bigger - now at over 6%. 2. The curve is on an upward trajectory. The increase in just one year is remarkable. cont.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
But hey, going from 1% to 7.4% is a whopping 640% growth in just 15 years!

Print that in your article and publish it.

Asserting that it does not save on C02 emissions is a lie.


And nobody disputed that. You're just shifting the goalposts around to avoid admitting that you have no case.

It does not matter what percentage of overall C02 emissions this represents.


Of course it does. That's the main bit of information that anyone should be interested in - how much CO2 does it actually save?

It does no good to throw around pretty numbers that don't mean anything. That's just misleading the public to think that things are going fine, money well spent, etc. etc. while nothing much is actually getting done!
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
You purposely use out of date figures - because that supports your point.


I use out of date figures because they're available. The last offical UK government energy review is from 2017 and uses 2016 figures.

I'll use more up-to-date numbers when I find them, but the year-old figures are already pointing out that they can't be very high. Suppose the renewables grew a whopping 50% from 2016 to 2017 - that's still going to be around 11% of the total - not very much.

And THAT is what supports the main argument.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
We are just hitting the point where wind and solar are the cheapest new build. Along with the benefit of saving on C02 and other emissions - this of course makes it a very good bet that the upward trajectory.

Cleantechnica - like physorg - cuts and pastes articles from all over the web. It is a good central source of information. I am quite capable of understanding units such as MW vs Mwh etc. Cleantechnica has a transparent bias - that is their right. They do not conduct research. R.E.F. is an anti wind - propaganda site. They are not presenting information - they are manipulating information.

Now - where did you get that 90% number - or was it more made up bullshit?
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
18% of production is substantial.


And also not true, when it comes to comparing apples to apples. You're still arguing two different things at once - share in electricity production vs. reduction in CO2 output which is due to primary energy use.

The increase in just one year is remarkable


Again, high percentage growth of a small number is still going to be a small number, and predicting massive changes due to small system growth is the singularity fallacy that neglects to consider any limits of growth, or practial reality.

Now - where did you get that 90% number - or was it more made up bullshit?


I've explained it already, read up.
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 08, 2018
...suggest that replacing that much coal with wind - does not affect C02 amissions...
Natural gas(methane/fracking) is clearly replacing coal everywhere. Wind is just providing "greenwashing" (decorative facade) for the gas industry.
wind/solar = 20% wind/solar + 80% coal/gas
So replace all fossil fuels entirely with wind/solar+storage and let's see poor people freezing in the dark mainly during the Winter and if they will be happy with intermittent renewables.

But but renewable cultists said sunshine&breeze unicorn energy is "alternative" to gas:
"May Seeks Alternatives for Russian Gas After Spy Scandal" - Mar 14, 2018
https://www.bloom...-scandal
"Why Theresa May Unlikely to Find Alternative to Russian Natural Gas"
https://sputnikne...ral-gas/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 08, 2018
I use out of date figures because they're available.
I was able to produce newer figures. This is a very fluid field - and staying current is critical. Using out of date numbers is a transparent strategy. As in multiple previous posts - you show yourself willing to lie - to support your negative position. Yes I am pro renewables. Reality is showing that it is a reasonable position. I have no skin in the game - other than to want to see a better world. I hope nukes are a part of that better world. Lying is not part of that better world.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2018
We are just hitting the point where wind and solar are the cheapest new build


Discounting externalities.

this of course makes it a very good bet that the upward trajectory.


Continues? Hardly. The renewables are hitting a brick wall in grid integration and being forced to curtail output. Investments are running, especially in the UK, for political reasons rather than practical reasons - it's a massive handout of public money to the industry in bed with the government.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
I was able to produce newer figures.


Yes, but irrelevant figures as you were not making a honest comparison. You produced figures of electricity supply, while the question was about primary energy.

you show yourself willing to lie


Take the beam out of your own eye first.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
Found some new provisional data for 2017

https://www.gov.u...rch-2018

Page 10:

Onshore wind 28.7 TWh
Offshore wind 20.9 TWh
Hydro 5.9 TWh
Solar PV 11.5 TWh
Bioenergy (inc. co-firing) 31.8 TWh
All renewables 98.9 TWh

Meanwhile total primary energy consumption in the UK was 193.5 Mtoe (2,250 TWh, page 5.)

That makes the contribution of Wind power 2.2% of the total energy mix while all renewables contribute about 4.3%

The low figure is explained by the inclusion of non-energy use of fuels. Correcting for that, the final energy consumption is 1616 TWh and the share of renewbles 6.1% of the mix, so it still seems to be -lower- than the year before.

In any case, the amount of renewable energy actually in the mix is too low to explain much of the differences in CO2 output. Rather, energy efficiency, lower energy demand, and switch from coal to gas and oil is responsible for most of the CO2 reductions.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
And that's the main reason why it's still too early to celebrate renewables.

It's too easy to fall victim of this: https://www.xkcd.com/605/

Also, Greenonions, it's very bad form to first complain that a person is using old data to support their claims, calling them a liar, and then 1-vote them for providing new data that confirms the claims.

Shows how much skin you really have in the game. It doesn't seem to be about facts at all, but your personal cognitive dissonance.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
is responsible for most of the CO2 reductions
How many times do I have to explain the point - before you understand it? Willie said that renewables do not contribute to C02 reductions. But that is a lie. They do contribute to C02 reductions. That is a fact. Is it a large percentage of overall C02? No. Not relevant to the point - of showing that factually Willie Ward is a liar. He also said that renewables are not scaleable, that wind turbines kill whales. That is all that needs to be said in terms of establishing that Willie is a liar.

Yes - renewables are a small percentage of overall energy production. It is early days. I think we should continue the process - and one day we will end the use of fossil fuels. Is it happening fast enough. Well - I wish it would be faster - but we live in a world controlled by the fossil fuel industries - and they obviously don't want to give up power. I think the reality fo climate change will become more and more obvious cont.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
and we will be forced to accelerate the process. That is in the future. That will probably entail large scale government intervention. I don't know what it will look like. If left to market forces - I think that renewables will win out - as the cost curve on wind, solar, and batteries is down - and will clearly continue down. From a cost perspective - renewables will be untouchable. Maybe I am wrong. It is interesting times. The big point on this thread for me is that it is important to be honest. You and Willie show a willingness to manipulate facts in order to somehow make yourselves look better.

You never provided a source for your 90% number - you made it up...
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2018
Willie said that renewables do not contribute to C02 reductions. But that is a lie. They do contribute to C02 reductions. That is a fact. Is it a large percentage of overall C02? No. Not relevant to the point - of showing that factually Willie Ward is a liar


Yes. And?

You're clinging on to a tangential issue. Nobody said Willie isn't a liar. Willie is a counter-troll for all the renewables shills, as I already told you. Tell me something new.

It is early days

It's been "early days" for the last 20 - 30 years, depending on how you count, despite the billions and billions poured into this boondoggle, and there's some serious roadblocks on the way that aren't being addressed - the world isn't getting rid of fossil fuels this way.

Pretending that things are going just fine isn't doing anyone a favor.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
1-vote them for providing new data that confirms the claims
Nothing you have shown confirms the claims. The claim is that the adoption of renewables - does not contribution to the reduction of C02. You cannot confirm a claim that is false.

One way we can communicate our anger towards dishonest bullshit posters - is to down vote their posts.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2018
and we will be forced to accelerate the process.


Banging your head into a brick wall faster is just going to make your head sore faster.

If left to market forces - I think that renewables will win out - as the cost curve on wind, solar, and batteries is down - and will clearly continue down. From a cost perspective - renewables will be untouchable.


if left to the market forces - removal of subsidies, lifting all artifical right-of-way laws, net metering etc. - investments to renewables would stop overnight.

Reason being that non-dispatchable random sources of energy can't operate because they're pushing their own market prices to negative - they can't make any profit without the government paying them subsidies.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
You're clinging on to a tangential issue
Because that is the issue on the table. I have no problem in understanding the facts - that currently renewables are a very small percentage of overall energy picture. That does not mean they are bad. Rome was not built in a day. We are just getting our first electric trucks, ships. Electric cars are still a tiny percentage of overall fleet. Electric planes are not available. The future is very interesting

Pretending that things are going just fine isn't doing anyone a favor
Never did that. What I do state over and over - is that the world is changing - and renewables are very exciting in terms of the potential for the future. So is fusion, SMR's, TWR's, LFTR's etc. Renewables are what we have now. I just vote for progress, and honesty.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2018
Nothing you have shown confirms the claims. The claim is that the adoption of renewables - does not contribution to the reduction of C02. You cannot confirm a claim that is false.


No, that's you shifting the goalposts. I never said it doesn't - it was never my point or claim. Read up and see for yourself.


One way we can communicate our anger towards dishonest bullshit posters - is to down vote their posts.


You're beating your own strawmen. This whole debate is just about you raving at your imaginary enemies.

Because that is the issue on the table.


No it isn't.

I have no problem in understanding the facts - that currently renewables are a very small percentage of overall energy picture.


Now you're just switching -your- argument. Just before you were talking how renewable power must be substantial.

Never did that.


You change your rhetoric continuously. Just stop and take a step back, and review what you've said.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
Banging your head into a brick wall faster is just going to make your head sore faster
No one is banging their head into a brick wall. Scotland will be 100% renewable in just a few years. It is possible. Do you think the Saudi's are banging their head into a brick wall by proposing 200 GW of solar panels. I suspect they know more than you do about energy. They are also going to build some nukes. I think that is great - we will get some great numbers.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
it was never my point or claim
You were interjecting on a thread between me and Willie. If you don't want to comment on the issue - then don't. I never once said that renewables were not a small percentage of overall energy production. So what - are you just arguing against yourself? My whole point on this thread is that Willie is a liar - and that renewables are contributing to reductions in C02. That is the sum total.

Now I am off to work in the garden - as the sun has finally come out....
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2018
You were interjecting on a thread between me and Willie.


Yep. And I said it was a lie by omission to pretend that renewables have anything but an minor, if not insignificant, role in the CO2 emission reductions. That was my point.

I never once said that renewables were not a small percentage of overall energy production


You claimed they are substantial. I say not. That's the debate I'm having. You're trying to wiggle out of it and change your argument.

Scotland will be 100% renewable in just a few years


Unlikely.

Do you think the Saudi's are banging their head into a brick wall by proposing 200 GW of solar panels. I suspect they know more than you do about energy.


I suspect the prospect of solar panels are a bit different in Saudi Arabia than in Northern Europe, which you conveniently keep forgetting all the time.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
No it isn't
Yes it is. Go back and look if you want to wast the energy.

I will summarize my factual points for you.

1. Adoption of renewables, and closing down of fossil fuel plants such as coal - reduces C02 emissions.
2. The cost curve on wind, solar, batteries - is all down.
3. Wind and solar are becoming the cheapest new build energy.
4. As the cost of wind and solar continues down - we will see the curve on adoption of wind and solar angle up.
5. We live in very interesting times - the issue of climate change is going to become more and more apparent - and we will probably be forced to accelerate the decarbonization of our energy systems.

Now I am going to work in the garden.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 08, 2018
Yep. And I said it was a lie by omission to pretend that renewables have anything but an minor, if not insignificant, role in the CO2 emission reductions
And I never did that - so your point is made up. I would actually take issue with your use of the term insignificant. For example - when the iea says
In 2012, the world relied on renewable sources for around 13.2% of its total primary energy supply In 2013 renewables accounted for almost 22% of global electricity generation, and the IEA Medium-Term Renewable Energy Report 2015 foresees that share reaching at least 26% increase in 2020.
I would argue that is significant - but we can parse that one to death...From https://www.iea.o...eenergy/
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
My whole point on this thread is that Willie is a liar - and that renewables are contributing to reductions in C02. That is the sum total.


Let me quote you from earlier:

Eikka
It would also be a lie of omission to deny that 90% of the decline in CO2 was due to natural gas instead of renewables


It would not be a lie of omission. I have always acknowledged that the process is going to take time.


Yes it would. The question was: what has renewable energy done so far. The answer was: very little. You disputed that, went on to make all sorts of claims about price, scalability, etc. all of which was completely off the point, and you simply shifted the argument around to draw a big red herring.

Stop doing that. You always do that, and then go out in a big huff calling everyone else a liar.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
Yes it is. Go back and look if you want to wast the energy.


No, it isn't. I did, and I still don't agree with you shifting the goalposts, but if you insist:

1. Adoption of renewables, and closing down of fossil fuel plants such as coal - reduces C02 emissions.


True by technicality. Trivial point.
2. The cost curve on wind, solar, batteries - is all down.

Ignoring externalities, and you just added the batteries - modifying the argument again.

3. Wind and solar are becoming the cheapest new build energy.

Ignoring externalities.

4. As the cost of wind and solar continues down - we will see the curve on adoption of wind and solar angle up.


Ingnoring externalities.

5. We live in very interesting times - the issue of climate change is going to become more and more apparent - and we will probably be forced to accelerate the decarbonization of our energy systems.


Not an argument / irrelevant because it's a truism
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 08, 2018
I would actually take issue with your use of the term insignificant. For example - when the iea says


Again, you're conflating different things. You talk about the growth of wind and solar, not renewables in totality, which includes biomass and hydroelectricity among other sources - and those are the significant sources.

Also, you're constantly flipping between local (UK) and global, mixing your claims, like you do when you bring up Saudi Arabia when discussing about renewable energy in the UK. That has nothing to do with the case.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
I said it was a lie by omission to pretend that renewables have anything but an minor, if not insignificant, role in the CO2 emission reductions

And I never did that - so your point is made up.


Yes you have, and continue to do. Let me quote you again. Greenonions:

You are trying to disparage renewables - by showing us what a small percentage of overall production they represent. You purposely use out of date figures - because that supports your point. The latest figures show several things. 1. Renewables are not insignificant. 18% of production is substantial.


Then I went on to show that your figures were wrong/irrelevant to the case.

I'm sorry I have to grind this point, but you truly are terrible. You're almost like gkam.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 08, 2018
Also, on this point:

4. As the cost of wind and solar continues down - we will see the curve on adoption of wind and solar angle up.


It hardly matters what wind/solar costs when you can't sell it. The governments can't keep paying infinite subsidies - they can't keep buying every kWh these sources produce. Right now the subsidies mean one solar panel doesn't have to compete with another solar panel on the market, because they're both getting a fixed price. Once that is no longer true, all the producers on the market enter direct competition, and promptly drive each other out of business by pushing the prices to zero.

That's perhaps the hardest limit of growth. The cut in subsidies in Germany for example has already resulted in a massive crash in new investments:

https://www.clean...Ob9cuksQ
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 08, 2018
UK National Grid Status: wind 0.69%
https://uploads.d...0a2c.jpg
http://www.gridwa...ar.co.uk

"If solar and batteries cannot even replace a Honda portable generator how can Renewables power the world?"
https://uploads.d...7879.jpg
https://uploads.d...e821.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...jeVJ.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...7JiF.jpg
https://pbs.twimg...tXKU.jpg

But but renewable cultists said "we could power the world with wind and solar"
https://uploads.d...8820.jpg

"Coal Generation Reaches New High in South Korea" - Apr 2018
http://www.powerm...h-korea/
WillieWard
3 / 5 (6) Apr 08, 2018
But but renewables cultists said wind is cheap and is reducing emissions and replacing all kind of fossil fuels:
https://uploads.d...8820.jpg
"The UK will spend trillions to reduce C02 emissions..." - Apr 7, 2018
https://www.teleg...fenders/
"Wind and solar are much less efficient decarbonizers than combined cycle gas turbines"
https://www.wind-...urbines/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 08, 2018
It hardly matters what wind/solar costs when you can't sell it
I guess that applies to any generation source right? So let's see how it all plays out. I am done Eikka and Willie - got a garden to take care of. I think you are both idiots - and wrong. Not interested in spending more time - every point is met with a counter point - but no one gets any where. I think time will show that you don't know what you are talking about (well - it is already doing that - with wind and solar beating the pants off all comers in terms of price)- I am happy to wait and see. You understand my point about giving 1's I assume.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Apr 08, 2018
It hardly matters what wind/solar costs when you can't sell it
I guess that applies to any generation source right? So let's see how it all plays out. I am done Eikka and Willie - got a garden to take care of. I think you are both idiots - and wrong. Not interested in spending more time - every point is met with a counter point - but no one gets any where. I think time will show that you don't know what you are talking about (well - it is already doing that - with wind and solar beating the pants off all comers in terms of price)- I am happy to wait and see. You understand my point about giving 1's I assume.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2018
Meanwhile in UK, one of last vitrine/showcase left for renewable cultists, or last refuge for wind/solar fossil-addicted parasites:
"Solar farms receive more cash from green subsidies than selling the energy they produce" - April 2018
http://www.dailym...uce.html
"The UK is being hit by its worst winter death toll in 42 years. It means this winter there were 48,000 deaths due to cold weather. Many can be blamed on the UK's Climate Change Act, which has caused heating prices to skyrocket."
https://climatech...ars/amp/
"UK wind farms found to be most profitable when switched off" - Jan 2018
https://theenergy...hed-off/
"Last night in the UK, renewables accounted for 0.65% of the grid power."
https://pbs.twimg...kID3.jpg
uthrnme
3 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2018
Solarworld back in bankruptcy court
https://global.ha...t-905271

Germany's last significant maker of solar panels filed for insolvency for the second time in a year as China gluts the market with dumping prices.


Now here a meme for drooping LCOE:

https://i.imgur.com/jBTHrCL.jpg

simple

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