Popular and ‘Best-Of’ Posts

 

WIND:

aa CT GTM TEC RENEWIND INTERMITTENCY IS EXAGGERATED – NREL study shows US wind potential is larger and more stable than previously thought with capacity factors of 65% available, see details HERE.  Better even than Handleman Post predictions, that capacity factors of 50% can be achieved in large volume.

CleanTechnica logo-JoBEST US WIND SITES ARE BARELY TOUCHED –  HERE  – is a post showing where the best sites are why they are underutilized and how we can harvest much more wind at those sites.

WIND TURBINE STATE OF THE ART – New wind turbine technology is further reducing the cost and intermittency of wind power – HERE

RENEWABLES IN GENERAL

COST – The cost of Renewables Is Dropping Rapidly – HERE are some great graphs showing declining costs. Here is Lazards 2019 report showing that wind and solar are the least cost energy sources. HERE is Lazards 2018 report on the cost of generation showing solar and wind as the least cost sources.  You can always get the most up to date version of this annual report by searching on ‘Lazard’s Levelized Cost’.

GROWTH – The amount of renewable energy has been growing exponentially for decades.  Here are some good graphics illustrate that growth.

HERE is a link to videos of an entire course on renewable energy.  The presenter is engaging making it fun and interesting.

STORAGE

– Storage is vitally important for the future of renewable energy and many think that Lithium Ion batteries will play an important role if the cost can be brought down.   Elon Musk predicts breaking the important $100 / kwhr barrier by 2025.  This is in the same ballpark as predicted by Navigant and McKinsey  prior to the Tesla announcement of the Gigafactory.

aa Logo CleantechnicaGIGAFACTORY A conservative bet for Tesla – HERE .

LITHIUM AVAILABILITY – And not to worry, there is plenty of Lithium – HERE .

The Energy CollectiveThere has been much excitement over the Tesla Powerwall energy storage system.  It is important but not for the reasons described in the press.  My recent post post on the significance of Powerwall was picked up by The Energy Collective – HERE.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES INCLUDING ELON MUSK AND TESLA

EV EMISSIONS – Electric Vehicles pollute less even when you take into account emissions from the generation source HERE

TESLA IS REVOLUTIONARY – Tesla really is revolutionary. HERE

BATTERY COSTS PLUMMET – EV batteries are the cost driver and they are coming down FAST – HERE

aa CT-RENEEVs FOR LOAD SHIFTING – EVs combined with Load Shifting use market forces to increase the value of wind power while reducing the cost of driving. – HERE

EV RANGE IS A NONISSUE – HERE  CleanTechnica logo-Jo  .

The world according to Elon – Elon Musk on the Tesla road map from 2006.  And now more from Elon on the derogatory Larry Hirsh article.

SOLAR

aa CT-RENEGIGA SCALE AND EFFICIENCY INCREASES POINT TO GRID PARITY – Multiple entrants in the <20% Efficient PV module space points to impending solar grid parity.

SOLAR LAND AREA – The Land area required for solar is relatively small in comparison to the overall human footprint.

EFFICIENCY

EFFICIENT LIGHTING – Incandescent bulbs are being phased out in favor of high efficiency lights.  The most efficient is LED lighting which is dropping in price rapidly and is more efficient than CFLs – Here.

TRANSMISSION

Moving renewable energy from the best sites (eg Great Plains for wind, the Southwest for solar) to sites of highest demand such as the East Coast requires upgraded power transmission infrastructure

EFFICIENT INTRACONTINENTAL POWER TRANSMISSION – Clean Line Energy HERE is developing HVDC transmission lines – HERE to do just that.

LINKING THE THREE US GRIDS – The US is composed of three separate, independent electrical grids, by connecting the three grids Tres Amigas will make wider use of renewable energy possible.

aa Logo CT-TEC-RENEBENEFITS OF AGGREGATION, A CASE STUDY – Texas’ grid expansion demonstrates a path towards higher wind penetration HERE .  Completed transmission lines nearly eliminate curtailment.

TEACHER RESOURCES

These resources help you use renewable energy as a context to teach STEM.

Calculate the area required to power the earth with solar modules.  This post discusses this and includes a spread sheet with the calculations.

This site has lots of data from a fixed and a tracking array.  You can download the data or plot it on the site.  If it doesn’t plot data for today then select an earlier date a couple of years earlier.  It is an old site and the computers sometimes go down.

General Resources

BNEF report on the coming crash in oil.

Coffee House

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Climate Change Overview

Charts such as polar Ice, Temperature spirals, Extreme Weather in the news, Mythbusting

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Zero Carbon in 10 Years

Most carbon emissions are for energy production.  Nearly all of that can be transitioned to electricity.  Solar and wind produce electricity with zero carbon emissions.  Solar and Wind are now the least cost sources and therefore we can deploy them rapidly without economic hardship.

Energy intensive industries such as oil and gas will be dramatically reduced in size with the deployment of renewables and electrified transportation.  There are some such as the manufacture of concrete that emit carbon by virtue of the chemical processes required to manufacture them.  They are out of the scope of this series.  However, if we reduce carbon emissions by 90% it is reasonable to assume that the remaining 10% can be addressed by finding substitutes or developing carbon sequestration, such as reforestation and development of other natural carbon sinks.

 

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Policy for the New Decade

  • Primary Policy Recommendations
    • Require Real Time Metering and Price Signals For all Customers
    • Create a Legal Framework for Intrastate HVDC Power line Right-Of-Ways (ROW)
    • Require that All Sources (Including Storage) Be Permitted to Sell to the Grid on a Level Playing Field
  • Secondary
    • No Road Use Fees for EVs until they reach 10% market penetration
    • Fossil Fuel Companies begin paying into a clean-up fund immediately
    • Eliminate PTC for terrestrial Wind and:
      • For Double PTC for offshore fixed
        • double it for the first 20 GW deployed
        • half it after 20 GW
        • Eliminate after 40 GW is reached
      • For Triple PTC for offshore floating
        • Triple for the first 5 GW
        • Back off to double until 15 GW
        • Back of to 1X until 25 GW
        • Eliminate after 25 GW
      • Fund training for the new energy age.
        • EVs
          • Servicing
          • Infrastructure
          • Codes and standards enforcement (e.g. electrical inspectors)
        • Wind
          • Manufacture
          • System Design
          • Installation
          • Servicing
          • Codes and standards enforcement (e.g. electrical inspectors)
        • Solar
          • Manufacture
          • System Design
          • Installation
          • Servicing
          • Codes and standards enforcement (e.g. electrical inspectors)
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Renewables and Storage Cost Summary

Solar

Wind

Storage

EVs

 

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Climate Change Overview

  • Overview
  • Temperature Spirals
  • Ice Loss
  • Severe Weather
  • Mythbusting

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Electric Vehicles, Status and Timeline

Private Industry

This is already outdated and their numbers are turning out to be conservative so EV adoption rates are accelerating relative to mainstream forecasts – https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-ev-oil-crisis/

Policy: Countries Committing to Go All-In On Electric Vehicles

German Government Votes to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030 https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/future-cars/news/a31097/german-government-votes-to-ban-internal-combustion-engines-by-2030/

France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/06/france-ban-petrol-diesel-cars-2040-emmanuel-macron-volvo

Britain to ban new diesel and gas cars by 2040 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/world/europe/uk-diesel-petrol-emissions.html

Spain to Outlaw Diesel, Gasoline Car Sales in 2040 Under New Law https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-13/spain-to-outlaw-diesel-gasoline-car-sales-in-2040-under-new-law

Sweden to ban fossil-fuel cars by 2030 https://www.fleeteurope.com/en/safety/sweden/article/sweden-ban-fossil-fuel-cars-2030?a=FJA05&t%5B0%5D=&curl=1

Egypt, Israel Plan Bans on Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles https://www.cspdailynews.com/fuels/egypt-israel-plan-bans-gasoline-diesel-vehicles

Taiwan government sets timetable to ban sale of nonelectric vehicles by 2040 https://www.taiwantrade.com/news/taiwan-government-sets-timetable-to-ban-sale-of-nonelectric-vehicles-by-2040-1413698.html#

And how about this: a country flush with petroleum resources (18% of their GDP) announced this:

Norway to ‘completely ban petrol powered cars by 2025’ https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/norway-to-ban-the-sale-of-all-fossil-fuel-based-cars-by-2025-and-replace-with-electric-vehicles-a7065616.html

Car Companies That See The Writing On The Wall

GM Is Going All Electric, Will Ditch Gas- and Diesel-Powered Cars https://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/gm-going-all-electric-will-ditch-gas-diesel-powered-cars-n806806 https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/12/05/gm-building-billion-dollar-electric-vehicle-battery-factory-in-michigan/

Audi Puts Money Where Their Mouth Is, 12 Billion Euros in EV R&D – https://ww.electrek.co/2019/11/29/audi-accelerates-electric-vehicle-plans-12-billion-investment/

Volkswagen will stop making gas powered cars in 2026 https://fortune.com/2018/12/05/volkswagen-ending-gas-powered-cars/

Volvo to stop making gas-only cars in 2019 https://www.thedailybeast.com/volvo-to-go-all-electric-with-new-models-from-2019

Honda to stop producing gasoline-only vehicles by 2022 https://news.sky.com/story/honda-to-stop-producing-gasoline-only-vehicles-by-2022-11842268

Mercedes abandons petrol, diesel development https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/motoring-news/report-mercedes-abandons-petrol-diesel-development/news-story/5d8f7bca430bcc40e590c54f18f24c5b

Toyota Just Announced a Deadline for the Phasing out of Gas Engines https://futurism.com/toyota-just-announced-a-deadline-for-the-phasing-out-of-gas-engines

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Cyber Truck Genius or Insanity

With its brilliant design hidden in plain sight, this apparent Musk misstep will likely go down in history as his most masterful stroke of genius.  Here are a few ways that Cybertruck is super smart design, and no doubt there are many others that are not so easily seen.
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PLACEHOLDER:  I can find no public domain photos – Here is an article that has a photo.  I found it after I wrote this and it appears to echo many similar points.
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The truck finds synergies of design that improve its function while also reducing production fixed and variable costs.  By reducing the complexity of the factory it no doubt offers Tesla increased automation and lower complexity.  This means the manufacturing is highly scalable and can be replicated rapidly around the world.  The angular stainless steel appears to be a whimsical feature but it is the key to the design coming in at low cost for unit sales as well as manufacturability.
:
– Stainless steel, no rust, no paint. Gets rid of a whole fleet of robots, paint rooms, and management of toxic waste. Frees up production space, increases how quickly factories can be set up.
– No curves. As one who has worked in production settings, no curves = far easier to maintain tolerances. Speed of creating tooling is dramatically increased, cost of tooling is reduced. Cost of production machinery is reduced.
– Truss structure = huge strength with less material.
– stainless steel, easier to handle, Probably has a plastic film during production so scratch and ding issues almost eliminated. Body parts can be stacked without spacers. Further reducing handling costs.
– Stainless is super strong, so probably fewer fasteners are required.
– Flat windshield, probably much less costly to manufacture and probably is a structural element reducing the amount of metal required further.
– Flat windshield is, no doubt easier and less costly to make, handle and install.
– Seals on flat surfaces are easier, it may even be gasket-less, less assembly labor and lower quality control costs.
– Maintenance for the owner is much lower than that for a typical ICE truck and the time required for maintenance is reduced (no oil changes, far less brake maintenance (due to regen braking) etc.
– And with folks finally figuring out that climate change is an issue, lots of folks will like its zero emissions.
:
My initial reaction to this vehicle that was that Musk had lost his mind. After scrutinizing this, I am back to genius.   He and his team looked at and rethought an entire product category and they came up with a ‘better mousetrap’ which at $39k – $70k is right in there price-wise.  And as far as the product category goes and at first glance appears to be way ahead of the crowd in terms of utility:
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Winning the War Without Firing a Shot

It is time we recognize that we are now at war with Russia. This is no longer the cyber war that may happen in the future, it is now.  And the answer to winning it is not tit for tat. That could easily escalate to nuclear war. The winning is easy and simply requires changing the rules. In fact it would all be above board and all Putin could do is sit back and impotently watch his hard work implode.

Step 1 – must happen in 2018 with democrats sweeping into control of congress and throughout the country at state and local levels. Step II is to is to destroy the Russian economy (No Marshal plan until their economy has been crushed and they should be removed from the UN security council and replaced by Germany – Germany has done their WWII penance and now is a world leading economy who has led the European Union wisely).

Step 2 – we go all renewables. This is actually easy to do and the crush Russia part could be done in about 5 years. Energy is non-linear, we would not need to get far into that program before it would collapse the price of oil and just like the Alaskan Pipeline and CAFE standards crushed the Soviet Union, another collapse in oil prices will destroy the Putin regime. Not much is required from a policy standpoint to make this happen. The technology is ready now and companies and capital are ready to step in and make it happen almost over night.  Here’s how:

Simply triple the number of ZEV vehicles that are covered under the ZEV tax credit and change the formula to leverage state’s buy-in. Have the feds lower the federal tax credit to $5000 but add a match to state incentives up to $2500 per vehicle.  This would raise the incentive from the current $7500 federal incentive to $10,000 bringing EVs to the reach of the middle class.  As gasoline prices crashed it would be important to raise the gasoline tax and use the revenues to retrain oil and gas workers for the enormous uptick in manufacturing jobs that would arise out of the shift to renewables.  The amount of the gas tax increase would require analysis beyond what I bring to the party but my guess is that starting immediately with $0.10 per gallon = over $10 billion to start training workers immediately.  As the price of gasoline would drop precipitously, the tax could be ramped up. Some of the funds could be fed back into the oil industry to shut down oil fields in a permanent and environmentally sound fashion which would provide a cushion and ease the employment displacement.

The renewable power needs to be brought from where it is cheap (great plains for wind and Southwest for solar) to where it is needed, the East and West coast.  This requires some wise lawmaking.  We need to adjust eminent domain laws to cover intra-continental transmission lines.  There may be need of a utility / regulated monopoly status.  Currently people are trying to adjust eminent domain laws for private companies that want to build the lines.  There is the potential for unfair wealth shifting, there is some real innovation needed here by law makers.

Require real time, time of use metering for electricity.  This must include not only billing but signals to all power consumers and producers so that they can control their loads and generation to respond to the price of electricity on the grid. 

With the high capacity factor, low cost wind power in the great plains, low cost, surprisingly predictable solar in the Southwest and enormous storage that will come online with the ramp up of electric vehicles, a stable, zero emission electric grid could be ours in 2 decades.  However, due to the highly inelastic pricing of oil and gasoline, we could crush the Russians in about 5 years.  While it would be hard for us, we have many industries to fall back on, they do not.  It would end Putin’s regime and possibly bring us someone like Gorbachev who was interested in a free and democratic society.  Then, and only then, might we offer the olive branch of something like a Marshal Plan.   

 

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The Real Meaning of the 2016 Election

These pieces pretty much summarize the impetus behind the political problems emerging throughout the world:

The Big Oil Anti-Climate Machine

https://thinkprogress.org/@jromm

Misinformation machine

View at Medium.com

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World Energy Reserves – Graphic

Richard Perez has updated his World Energy Reserves graphic to show higher wind potential as well as including high burn of nuclear – likely consideration of Gen 4 nuclear.

World Energy Reserves 2015

 

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