Claim: Neo-Carbon Model powers the world with 100% renewable electricity

From the LAPPEENRANTA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY the department of neo-models comes this model that seems overly simplistic. Perhaps they should talk to the people that tried this experiment on a smaller scale in South Australia first.

Simulation brings global 100 percent renewable electricity system alive for the first time

A new model developed by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) shows how an electricity system mainly based on solar and wind works in all regions of the world. It shows the functioning of an electricity system that fulfils the targets set by the Paris agreement by using only renewable energy sources.

neocarbon-model

The global Internet of Energy Model visualizes a 100 percent renewable energy system (100%RE) for the electricity sector for 2030. It can do this for the entire world which, in the model, has been structured into 145 regions, which are all visualised, and aggregated to 9 major world regions.

“With the simulation, anyone can explore what a renewable electricity system would look like. This is the first time scientists have been able to do this on a global scale.” says Christian Breyer, LUT Solar Economy Professor and a leading scientist behind the model.

The model is designed to find the most economical solution for a renewable electricity system. The model shows how the supply of electricity can be organised to cover the electricity demand for all hours of the year. This means that best mix of renewable energy generation, storage and transmission components can be found to cover the electricity demand, leading to total electricity cost roughly between 55 and 70 euros per megawatt-hour for all 9 major regions in the world.

But the story does not end here. The researchers have ambitious goals to develop the model further. Future upgrades will go from looking only at the electricity sector to showing the full energy sector, including heat and mobility sectors. The model will also describe how to transition from the current energy system towards a fully sustainable one.

According to the researchers the model debunks myths about what renewables can and cannot achieve. One of the myths is that a fully renewable energy system cannot possibly run stable for all hours of the year, due to the intermittent character of solar and wind energy. Another myth is the idea that without large base load generation capacities, such as coal or nuclear plants, an electricity system cannot work. According to the researchers, both of these are incorrect and the facts can be checked from the model.

“My hope is that we can finally stop debating about these myths. The visualisation shows exactly how a fully renewable electricity system operates. So let’s just build it,” emphasizes Pasi Vainikka, Principal Scientist from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.

Transparency of the data and research is very important for the researchers. Anyone can download the result data for further inspection. The publications based on the data are available online.

“We want the model to give every citizen the chance to familiarise themselves with a renewable energy system. Increased knowledge usually lowers the resistance towards new developments,” says Vainikka.

Researchers hope that this can facilitate fact-based discourse on global energy transition.

“Every country in the world has to find pathways to achieve the Paris agreement targets and to avoid stranded assets. This model can provide the help for policy-makers, industrial decision-makers and societal stakeholders to do that,” emphasizes Breyer.

Professor Breyer will present the simulation for the first time on Friday the 4th at the World Clean Energy Conference (WCEC) hosted by the United Nations in Geneva.

###

The model was done as part of the Neo-Carbon Energy research, which is funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes, and is carried out collaboratively by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and University of Turku, Finland Futures Research Centre.

Simulation: http://neocarbonenergy.fi/internetofenergy/

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144 thoughts on “Claim: Neo-Carbon Model powers the world with 100% renewable electricity

  1. They should talk to the people of Tasmania as well. They were relying on Diesel gensets after the 400 MW Bass Link cable failed for nearly a year and they ran out of usable water for their hydro-generators. I cant imagine the problems that would occur with gigantic undersea power cables linking the whole of Australia with the rest of the world.

    • I am thinking more of Bali or some of the other populated islands in the Pacific. Imagine the cost of mining all that copper to bring power cables to all the islands in the Pacific, or the Falklands in the South Atlantic, or aren’t these also parts of the world? do they serve only Canary seed in universities these days?

      • I imagine they’d have self contained renewable grids… see plans for Hawaii for a good example.

        Saves massively on importing fossil fuels which are unlikely to be available on most island groups…

      • Griff,

        I haven’t looked -yet- at their simulation, but the main problem with islands is that they need a 100% reliable back-up even if they have 10 times the full nameplate capacity in renewables. There are days without any wind or too much wind and at night there is no sun.

        Of all countries, Finland has long winters, its North hardly any light at all. Thus zero solar capacity and mid-winter several days to weeks of zero wind when they are under a high pressure system which often occurs. Where will you store all the energy needed to bridge these winter days?

        The story of El Hierro is telling: that island of the Canaries could theoretically supply 60% of their electricity from wind, by storing the surplus in an upper lake via pumping and delivering when needed by a hydro power plant. The net result is that they destroy most of the energy delivered by wind by pumping water up, but let it drain immediately via a bypass, as wind is so variable that it is near impossible to regulate the grid from that source. See:
        http://euanmearns.com/el-hierro-portal/

        From that web site, an overview of the first year of the installation:

        At the end of June the Gorona del Viento (GdV) plant completed its first year of full operation, during which it supplied 34.6% of El Hierro’s electricity demand with renewable electricity at a cost probably exceeding €1.00/kWh and lowered the island’s CO2 emissions by approximately 12,000 tons at a cost of around €1,000/ton.

        See:
        http://euanmearns.com/el-hierro-completes-a-year-of-full-operation/

      • Griffie, the model assumes that regional power can be used to handle variations in wind and power for particular spots.
        Unless these islands are tied into the world grid, they can’t make use of regional power.
        Sheesh, at least read the nonsense you post.

      • So scientists in Finland believe it is possible to supply all their electric needs on 100% renewable energy sources. Fine…put your money where your mouth is and prove your concept. Show the world how it’s done

    • Consider liking New Zealand into the world-wide grid. The closest landmass is Australia. We’d need more than 2000 km of submarine power cable, which is about 1/4 of the current world total. It would be able 3.6 times the length of the longest existing submarine power cable. The cost would be somewhere between staggering and ruinous. And that’s if you are willing to risk your whole country on one cable. We’re close enough to Tasmania to learn *something*, I hope.

      • NZ’s electricity is currently 80% renewable. And if the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter were to close
        NZ’s electricity could be 100% renewable. There is also a huge potential for roof-top solar installations meaning that NZ could very easily supply all of its electricity using renewable sources. Of course NZ is not a model for the rest of the world since it has a small population in a large area and amply geo-thermal and hydro-electric resources.

      • I should also mention Samoa (about 4000 km from Australia) and Hawai’i (also about 4000 km from the rest of the USA). Presumably Samoa and Fiji and their neighbours would be part of a common net, the total would have to be more than 4000km. We South Pacific island nations are presumably good places to put solar and wind systems, considering the timezone and hemisphere differences from America and Europe. All things considered, I really don’t see the world more than doubling our submarine power cable network in just 14 years. My impression is that almost all existing submarine power cables are in relatively shallow water…

        Two corrections in previous message: s/liking/linking/ (although I do hope you consider liking New Zealand) and s/able 3.6/about 3.6/.

      • One other rather signify the issue: sharks are attracted to any undersea electrical cables due to the magnetic fields. A massive power cable like those considered would attract every shark for a hundred miles.

      • @Germinio: the “Internet of Energy Model” simulation is, at least to me, quite hard to decipher. It appears to show New Zealand running on battery storage the whole time. The last time I visited the site, the link to download the results as an XLS file didn’t show up. The question is not whether it makes sense to link NZ into the global network or not. I agree, NZ has nothing to gain. But the rest of the world might, because it’s midday here when it’s winter in the US (or something like that :-)). No, the question is whether the MODEL ASSUMES that it is. I have written to the principal investigator asking if the source code is available, but got an automated reply that says he’ll be away for a couple of weeks.

        Cables linking Australia to PNG New Guinea won’t be cheap either. Wikipedia sez BassLink cost AUD 800 million (only 60% over budget (:-)). It took about 2-3 years to build.

      • I got a reply from someone else there that the source code for the model is not available and they have no plans to make it so. This makes it impossible to replicate their calculations, I’m afraid.

        My future attitude to all models will be “either the source code is available for scrutiny or it’s wrong.”

    • One reason the far left adore renewable energy is they hallucinate a world where local communities control their own energy and are energy independent. Connecting Oz with undersea cables to the rest of the world is a counter narrative. It implies dependence; contra the prime directive of energy independence. One might think fans would see paradoxes. I think it’s probably renewable energy fans realize the whole is a tendentious story, that way incompatible plots don’t get in each other’s way. Like the best fantasy and Sci-Fi. That pretty much how they sell renewables: a different story for each group turns renewables into everyone’s alternative energy.

    • A few years ago my son took me to a fishing spot which was supposed to be a quiet pool but it turned out to be a raging torrent. We were puzzled by the sight of this flood, because Tasmania was in the middle of a drought. Then we remembered two facts. (1) In Melbourne the temperature was around 40C. (2) The fishing hole is located downstream of a massive hydro power station. Great Lake was in the process of being drained so that Melbournians could have power for air conditioning, thanks to Bass Link. A lot of us Taswegians suspect that our lakes wouldn’t have become so low if Basslink hadn’t been laid.

    • Tasmania has several large raw materials producers who require 99.9% reliable power input. A power outage is very expensive for any process that cannot be sustained without heat supplied by electricity. Hydro Tasmania is no longer a world class engineering corporation. It runs on the whim of weak minded management chasing RETs, in order to feed a claimant state. It must change but has no incentive to do so while the federal government continues to rely on its votes and feeds a “progressive thinking”, government employed, “looking into stuff”, educated elite. Such an elite is only viable while the money keeps coming from the Feds.

    • Every model like this contains at least one big lie – usually about energy storage.

      In this model, the big lie is their Power to Gas (methane).

      They want to build hundreds of gigawatts of P2G capacity and then run it for maybe 20% of the year and often in a chaotic manner. P2G equipment does exist and can technically be built at large scale, but the economics are orders of magnitude away from being practical and chemical synthesis processes like them are best suited to be operated in a stable steady manner. Frequently turning them on and off results in production of the wrong chemicals and excess wear and tear on the equipment.

      • ..after Greenpeace France paid some engineers to ‘raise concerns’ about their safety, when of course the engineers who look after them said ‘no cause for concern’

        I note that the American left are being whipped up to protest Trump, as the UK people are whipped up top protest against leaving the EU…

        Green/Left has been very profitable for certain criminal elites hasn’t it Griff?

      • From the link;

        “RenewEconomy is an independent website founded and owned by Giles Parkinson, a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Australian Financial Review, a former columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founder and former editor of Climate Spectator.”

        A reliable source? Well, maybe for Griff, but I would step in this vile pile of BS again!

      • “Griff November 10, 2016 at 3:07 am”

        OMG!! A power station shutdown for maintenance!! How long have these power stations been in operation Griff? 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 years?

        Yeah, long term, wide scale use of ANY infrastructure needs no maintenance at all, esp if it’s solar or wind. Sure Griff, you go on believing that delusion.

      • They won’t find anything serious with those reactors and replacement will come from molten salt nuclear reactors, which cost about one third to build, are much safer than either wind or solar and have essentially zero fuel costs and will be fueled by essentially inexhaustible fuel supplies of nuclear wastes, uranium and Thorium and have plant lifespans over 60 years, three times longer than mis-named “sustainable” wind and solar. Economics will force their adoption over any such
        overly complicated and environmentally obscene system as described in this “renewable” model.
        And they can be sited close to the ultimate user and built and deployed faster than wind. Wind and solar are inferior and primitive means of producing unreliable power. Any such mis-named renewable power system must have enormous overcapacity to even approach 100% power and have an enormous environmental footprint and a very large number of possible points of failure.

      • Patrick, you look anywhere you like and tell me French reactors aren’t offline.

        (See also post from Dermot o’logical below)

      • The French could easily withstand losing 21 reactors for a year.They will be budgeting for about 110GWe peak generation this year. 37 reactors will supply ~ 40GWe. They readily have available 50 GWe from hydro and fossil fuels. The remainder is easily covered by internal wind and solar.

        Perhaps the bigger European concern will be that the French may not be able to supply electricity to backup unreliable wind and solar production in other countries on demand, as they have in the past.

        I wish those countries that did not do sensible planning in the past will be OK if such an emergency occurs.

      • True, about 1/3 of the reactors are off-line now… just look at this…

        http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/eco2mix-mix-energetique-en

        … about 43 GWe out of 63 installed… but the result is that the emissions are up, above 100 gCO2/kWhe, while normally they are half of that…. prices of electricity are up (not only in France, Spain and other neighbouring countries as well).
        Fact is, as you can see on the web site I’ve linked here above… right now, it is 5:00pm, I read 230 MWe on the “solar” output… in 20 minutes or so it will go down to zero… until tomorrow morning at 8:00am… wonderful help from photovoltaics, uh? :-) …

        I’ve seen a nice seminar two days ago, in one of the slides there was a nice logo… I’m trying to get a copy of it, will post it here:

        It reads… “Solar’s alright, but nukes do it all night”

        How true.

        Cheers.

      • According to Griff, a planned shutdown for maintenance is the equivalent to an unplanned shutdown because the wind stopped blowing or a cloud passed over head.
        If the system can survive the first, obviously it can survive the second.
        That’s worthy of a double face palm.

      • Even in the US, a most nuclear plant refueling/maintenance outages are scheduled in the fall and spring. What season is it? Oh, yeah, Fall!

    • No mention of the acreage covered with solar panels or the wind farms always in view, the massive infrastructure, the ecological destruction, the huge maintenance, the relatively short half-life of solar and winds devices, and that during the coldest winter air masses there is no wind and/or little solar energy available. The myths still stand.

      YOU CANNOT BUILD A RELIABLE ENERGY SUPPLY FROM UNRELIABLE ENERGY SOURCES. Particularly true as we lack efficient, large energy storage forms.

      • what exactly is the problem?

        There are plenty of roofs for solar panels… many wind farms are far offshore.

        I assure you that you can’t see the solar farms near me – if you do get on top of a hill, with binoculars you can just about see its solar panels and not the lake it looks like.

        The infrastructure is going in… public opinion sees to it much of the HVDC lines are underground – the UK runs them offshore.

        I saw Euan Mearns research into high pressure in winter in W Europe…

        In the year he studied 2013 there was exactly 1 day of such across the area. I think we can get round that…

      • Griffie, your ignorance shines through your cloud of B$ like a laser light show. Anytime Griff says anything about an electric power system, it is safe to assume the opposite. Take that from a power system engineer and actual electrical system manager.

      • Griff,
        Grid scale solar power can’t be achieved by installing panels on the roofs residential homes. Despite your claims, there are not enough of them, especially when you consider location (latitude) and the direction the roof faces. Installation and maintenance would be costly and complex, not to mention the potential liability issues. You only show off your vast ignorance of this subject when you make such ridiculous claims.

      • Here ya go, Griff

        But in my area we get more ice than snow. Can’t sweep it off. Panels too fragile to chip it off. Now what?

  2. “Simplistic” is barely touching the surface of the problems with this model.
    I would put this one firmly in the fairy dust and unicorn fart category , just on first glance.

    • Exactly. When the only electricity you can get is renewable, the world will be 100% renewable.

      ‘Cept for people who just say, “Screw the grid,” and put in their own generators. 100% renewable is a static view, assuming people all over the world won’t react.

      Or you could kill off 7,000,000,000 people. That’ll work, too.

  3. Lappeenranta University
    It’s the same lot who plan to make fuel from thin air –
    “and produces gasoline, diesel, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide” using solar power !!!

    http://www.vttresearch.com/media/news/first-test-plant-to-produce-fuel-from-solar-power-to-be-established-in-finland
    &
    http://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2016_156_power-to-liquid-pilot-operation-of-first-compact-plant.php

    I wonder if their computer muddles ever measure resources in compared to resources out

    • Transparency of the data and research is very important for the researchers. Anyone can download the result data for further inspection. The publications based on the data are available online.

      Downloading data from a non-validated model in transparency.

      Where is the code and assumptions that the model is based on ? How do they know what the insolation and wind speed will be from hour to hour over the whole planet ?

      As soon as some so-called scientist starts talking about “myths”, you know that he playing politics. When he wants us to stop debating, we know he is no longer a scientist.

  4. @Bertief “nearly 90% nukes here in France”

    It’s down to 78%, if they were all running, but 20 of the 58 are currently offline for maintenance, or inspection following the discovery of problems in the new plant being built at Flamanville.

    But RTE says it’s OK – there won’t be any blackouts.

    However, at the same time, some big industrial consumers are being asked to cut usage by 5%, and an app/website will let consumers know if demand is too high and will ask them to cut consumption.

    But it’s OK.

    Link: http://www.connexionfrance.com/Electricity-nuclear-stations-RTE-consumption-ECO2mix-18608-view-article.html

  5. SA went offline due to grid problems after a storm…

    when it gets the planned solar storage upgrades and after they reset the wind farms to be less affected by grid problems, it’ll be fine next storm.

    I do note it recently got over 100% of demand from wind/solar and exported to Victoria

    • “Griff November 10, 2016 at 3:09 am

      SA went offline due to grid problems after a storm…”

      It went offline due to non-synchronous input from wind. You may like to claim otherwise, but the facts are WIND generation caused the whole system to shutdown.

      • @Griff
        Can’t separate cause and effect, can you? The inter-tie went down AFTER the wind tripped off. If you want to violate causality you better keep an eye out for the physics police.

      • Griffie, you can claim anything you want, but when the facts don’t support you, don’t expect to be taken seriously.

    • Let me repeat my reply to when Griff previously brought this up to “prove” how effective renewables are
      ==================================================================================

      Griff is correct – for quite a period of Sunday 30th of October when nothing is happening in a state that is very low on industry.

      The wind decided to blow strongly and fairly steadily when there was very little demand
      http://energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy/2016/october/30

      Wind generation alone exceeded local demand and as a result the spot price in SA was negative between 8:30am and 4:30pm (and less and A$1 for the surrounding half hours).
      Download the historical data from October 2016 for SA and look at the 30th – https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#aggregated-data

      So South Australia needed to pay for Victoria to take the power that wasn’t needed. Is this a good result, Griff?

      Note: Even with wind generation alone exceeding local demand, Torrens B1 and B4 units were generating all day – why’s that Griff?
      http://energy.anero.id.au/fossil-energy/2016/october/30

      • “…in a state that is very low on industry.”

        That is so sad. South Australia used to be the heart of the Australian automobile manufacturing industry.

      • It is what is supposed to happen, yes… surplus renewable energy gets exported.

        Victoria would know 24 hours in advance and schedule fossil fuel power accordingly.

        That’s how it works on the day ahead energy market in western Europe (Germany/Denmark/France and nearby countries).

      • There was a breakdown? so what? there was a breakdown in Fucoshima too, but that one was really worse!
        I would prefer a breakdown from wind and solar!

      • A reminder to the Thread: Griffie knows nothing about actual power system operations. I do, and can tell you he is full of B$.

      • Griff believes they can model climate decades into the future so I guess from his viewpoint, precise prediction of weather a day ahead for each wind and solar farm is simple (and let’s ignore the random effects of clouds passing over domestic PV installations).

      • Griff,

        Denmark and Germany still can export their surplus wind and solar power, because their neighbors have the capacity to capture it: Denmark in Sweden and Norway, as these can reduce their output from hydro. Germany does that mainly in Austria and part in France, as these also have hydro. As the capacity of the lines to Austria is not high enough, they use the connection via Tsjechia, which has already threatened to close the connection as Germany overloads its network at the cost of its own capacity…
        About the price: Denmark has the highest tariffs of all European countries, Germany is second…

        The problem get worse when more coutries are building more wind and solar farms. The European Physical Society has calculated that for 100% renewables, you need 600 times the current (hydro) storage capacity to survive a few winter days without wind. Or 800 Tesla household batteries for each family in Europe…

      • marty:

        there was a breakdown in Fukushima too

        If Adelaide had the same problem as what caused the breakdown of Fukushima, that would have been the least of their worries, as that would have wiped out all the lower parts of the City… Besides that, near the whole grid of Japan still was working, despite an earthquake of magnitude 9.1, only not the main (bidirectional) power supply around the Fukushima plant…

    • Griff, “it’ll be fine next storm”

      Perhaps. And the one after? It went off line due to grid problems AFTER a storm? You sure about that?

    • Its a model and models are unreliable. Like climate models. In Germany actually ~30% of the energy is produced by renewables. And rising. (And the economy does not break down! )

  6. the model debunks myths about what renewables can and cannot achieve

    I think that says it all for the credibility of the report. No need to get to

    the facts can be checked from the model

    As for

    It can do this for the entire world which, in the model, has been structured into 145 regions, which are all visualised, and aggregated to 9 major world regions.

    haven’t we come across this sort of modelling before?

  7. Professor Breyer has a long career in the solar industry, like seemingly most Lappeenranta solar professors. He is currently in the steering committee of the “European Technology & Innovation Platform” – a supposedly independent scientific body but in reality a front of SolarPower Europe, former EPIA, a registered industry lobby group.

    His earlier model projected that Finland must build over 100,000 big solar power plants in the next 35 years.

  8. “The facts can be checked from the model”: shouldn’t be the opposite? The models can be checked from the facts… About so-called myths: no, they’re just plain reality; myth is a 100% solar- and wind-powered electric grid. Myth is what is on the paper only, not what we experienced in facts. Anyway, who said that nuclear power is not sustainable, while covering several thousands of square miles in solar panels or wind mills is sustainable?

  9. This proposes a ridiculously complicated and interconnected system that connects the entire world,
    operating under the dubious assumption that at any given moment there exists sufficient renewable capacity to power the system. This, of necessity, means excess capacity and dependence upon desert areas for solar and areas of high wind for turbines. But there is no way anyone can estimate costs, since those deserts and high wind areas are owned by countries free to determine how much they must be paid by others who are exploiting them. Such a system is very likely unworkable and will continually require more and more huge amounts of energy-producing land as demand increases. One can only hardly imagine the mass bird killings that would accompany such an enormous wind capacity. Or the effects on the land from the windmills, which interrupt the normal airflow. Or the local effects of solar panel “heat sinks.”
    Such a system also is evidence of ignorance of new nuclear technology which will replace all
    other forms of power production, simply on the basis of safety,economics and reliability. These
    power plants do not require interconnecting the entire world to provide power and are
    immune to power failures in Timbucktoo. Molten salt nuclear reactors are clearly the power of the future and don’t require any such complcated and interdependent system and have an environmental footprint one thousandth the size and are less intrusive to boot. – they will fade into the urban landscape. And they can essentially take care of nuclear wastes while extracting the remaining 98% of its energy. Fuel for these reactors will be around as long as the sun and the wind. The claim that only renewables can provide fuel for the indefinite future is a renewable myth based on sheer ignorance of molten salt reactors.
    Power costs for a molten salt reactor will certainly be under 2 cents per kWhour, which is more than three times cheaper than the estimated costs (which are also likely never achievable) of which these renewable system designers seem so proud. NO system can exist if it costs three times more than its competitors and also requires this ridiculous level of complexity and multiple points of failure
    and is this environmentally obtrusive. This system was designed by those looking to push wind and solar, not find a practical future energy system. This imaginary system is totally non-competitive.
    It is what’s called “Seling a bill of goods” to the gullible.

    • a system of interconnectors already runs in Western Europe and is being expanded.

      This area has good wind and solar resource and a huge installed capacity.

      there are no mass killings of birds in that area thanks to proper pre-construction environmental planning.

      • Yes and we are closing down our nuclear power plants until 2022 (so god will ) There is no reason to assume this does not work for Australia – Except the big oil lobby.

      • Germany still doesn’t have an interconnector from the north to the south due to protests from the damage to the forests that would result. Instead, power has to flow around through the Polish and Czech grids and those countries are getting fed up with the disturbances from the surges as wind and solar in the north and south of Germany generate at quasi random, chaotic intervals. So these countries are going to or have installed phase shifting transformers to deflect the unwanted German power
        http://wysokienapiecie.pl/energy-poland/1295-situation-on-polish-german-border-poses-threat-of-european-blackout

        But renewables proponents like to pretend any existing power line provides copper plate busbar capacity so they can model away to their hearts’ content.

      • What else would you expect, Analitik? These are the same people that believe a gas necessary for life will snuff life out at miniscule concentrations.

  10. With all due respect for my energetic brothers and sisters in the vineyard, they appear to overlook a VERY annoying fact: days occur when all of Europe is covered with clouds and there is virtually no wind. Further, those days tend to pop up in wintertime, when the need for energy is at its height in the coldest and most sparsely populated industrialized country in the world.
    Those who criticize this project should know that the people behind it are critically dependent on producing whatever kind of results, as long as they support the politically formulated doctrines of renewable energy at whatever cost and whatever level of reliabililty! If anyone of them would come up with self-evident hard facts like the ones above (arthu4563, ilmastotiede etc…), they would get sacked so fast that they would not even have time to fill the famous cardboard box with their belongings. On the other hand, subscribing to the offical dogma is sure to guarantee a never-ending supply of money and equipment. If anything goes wrong, climate sceptics are sure to get the blame!

  11. I ask if any reader could advise on whether the burden of synchronisation (60 hz for US, 50hz for UK, etc) is still a hidden problem for those who wish to look at distributed power generation networks?

    • I don’t think it is…

      Wind farms are set to run at the required rate to ensure synchronisation…

      The use of batteries for fast frequency response is growing..

      Perhaps I misunderstand you question

      • Wind farms (and solar) are set to FOLLOW the grid for frequency control. That’s why you can’t do a Black Start with renewables. They aren’t capable of providing the necessary inertia to foster grid stability.

    • They would use HVDC interconnectors for any global grid. Hugely expensive for the capacities and distances required

    • TonyN,

      As Analitik already said, interconnection between networks is mostly done with HVDC lines or in the case of windmill parks, the power of the windmills – which has a variable frequency – is transformed into DC and then transformed again into AC with the right frequency. Variable speed pumps/compressor motors work with the same principle, but in reverse order (with an intermediate capacitor).
      An additional advantage of HVDC power lines is that the losses on long distances, especially under (sea) water are less than with HVAC power lines.

      The main problem, as D. J. Hawkins said, indeed is if there is a blackout, there is no frequency on the grid, thus no possibility to push wind (or solar or outside grid) power on the grid. Only after at least one conventional power plant has started and is stable, wind (and solar or an outside grid) may help to start up.

      Most of the backup in case of rapid declining wind power is done with hydro, if available. Capacity of batteries is far too small to do the job. At maximum they can bridge the gap between loss of power and the startup time for a diesel backup. Even then you need a ballroom full of batteries. Here the largest battery backup of the world at Fairbanks (Alaska), just for 7 minutes power for the whole city and valley, until the diesel generators are on line, a matter of life or death at -40°C, mid-winter…:

  12. A whole indoors generation, kept quiet and amused by two-income parents with Donkey Kong and PacMan, has come of age and is inflicting its kiddie console mentality on the world.

  13. total electricity cost roughly between 55 and 70 euros per megawatt-hour

    That’s 6-8 ¢/kWh. I assume it includes all costs, stortage, transmission, tax, etc. If that’s the case, it is wonderful. There is no need for government intervention of any kind, no subsidies, tax cuts, loan guarantees, regulations, nothing. Let the market do its job, that’s all.

  14. Given that the proposed system is built using energy derived some source, whatever it is, then the entire system has to be replaced with energy derived from that same system, as all things expire.

    At present it is not clear to me how such a replication could be managed. The whole energy needs of a society from roads to schools to sewer maintenance has to be operated from the surplus energy provided over and above the energy demands of replicating the renewable energy system.

    If the plan included tidal generation on places 90 degrees of longitude apart then it could run 24/7. In some regions like Eastern Canada hydro power could do it. Most of Africa could be powered by harnessing the falls near the mouth of the Congo River. Water is such a better option than wind because of its energy density.

    I am far more confident that a breakthrough based on new physics will solve energy problems permanently. There are lots of things left to be discovered.

    • As I’ve said many a time. Until you can build, errect, and maintain windmills with wind power, wind power is just greenwashed diesel.

  15. If reliable electric grids using only renewables are so practical in the Finnish model, why haven’t real people been able to build even one in the real world? Perhaps their model has a few minor little flaws?

  16. Of course this can be done if the world really wants to and it can be made to work.
    Just so long as the world has the odd $1000Trillion to throw away every 15-25 years.
    It is a shame that there won’t be much ground area left to live and grow food though.

    • Its not that expensive and it does not take so much ground. You can place some collectors on your roof and make your own energy. BTW have you ever seen an opencast coal mining? That’s consuming ground!

      • No it is not, because once the coal is gone the hole can be filled in and the area re-used.
        You obviously have no idea how much energy and how many Widmills and Solar thingies are needed to generate that kind of power 24/7/365.
        Take a look at how much has already been spent on RE and it’s pathetic contribution to world energy needs when Hydro is removed.

      • It appears marty is another Griffie: Assuming speculation is fact. Ignoring the fact that opencast mines are reclaimed is an indication marty intends to deceive.

      • >No it is not, because once the coal is gone the hole can be filled in and the area re-used.
        You obviously have no idea how much energy and how many Widmills and Solar thingies are needed to generate that kind of power 24/7/365.<
        No the holes remain that way and are filled with water. And you don't need 24/7 if you have some spare technologies.

      • For purposes of marketing my very special concensus-supported model, I use a mail box at UN headquarters in NY, but for reasons beyond my understanding the box has been shutdown by fraud investigators since Wednesday. Must have got the wrong guy!

  17. This is all nice but has any thought been given to the “latest” terrorist group that says “lets blow up some interconnectors or distribution lines?”

    World wide interconnected power distribution sounds nice, but you are also placing your bets on world wide power problems. Local generation and distribution means local problems and is much safer.

    • All it really takes is some despot in a sunny (or windy) country to declare that they are going to remove “their” power plants from the grid unless some other country (like the US) does X, Y, or Z. Think OPEC has leverage now? Just wait until the have the ability to disrupt the entire world interconnected electrical grid. No thanks.

    • Oh the terrorists won’t blow anything up because, to actually get this overly complicated green wet-dream to work, you will need a one world government and we KNOW that everything will be peaches and cream at that point.

  18. You know, I’m reminded of a DOS game from the early 90s. Balanced Budget Simulator or something similar, where it showed just how easy it was to balance the federal budget. It was literally a line-item breakdown of the federal budget. Raise a few taxes and cut a few programs, and boom, long term crisis averted. See how easy that was?

    Interesting how that well that worked in the real world. It’s easy to tell the tale you want in a fictional tale. Reality isn’t so forgiving or easily managed.

  19. “One of the myths is that a fully renewable energy system cannot possibly run stable for all hours of the year, due to the intermittent character of solar and wind energy. Another myth is the idea that without large base load generation capacities, such as coal or nuclear plants, an electricity system cannot work. According to the researchers, both of these are incorrect and the facts can be checked from the model.”

    LOL!

    So you make a model that assumes that these “myths” are incorrect. And viola, your model (not surprisingly) shows that the “myths” are incorrect. In other words the computer is regurgitating what you programmed it with.

    If someone is writing computer code and doesn’t understand that if you program an assumption into the computer then the computer output will show your assumption, then they deserve to be fired. Unless they are in climate science or renewable energy, then they will get more funding.

  20. The only way this model can be believed is if you can demonstrate that the model can predict when and where clouds will form on a minute by minute basis.

  21. Douglas-Martin screens we ain’t got (See “Let There Be Light” by Robert A. Heinlein)
    “Shipstones” we ain’t got ( See “Friday” by Robert A. Heinlein)
    Until we got both, whatever those yo-yo’s been smokin’, I want some ;) ;)

  22. ‘Solar Economy Professor’ No mention of the key word ‘Engineer’ as in somebody who knows how generating systems and grids work. Next!

    • Most things are technically possible, ultimately any good idea only survives if it is economically viable, and that could apply to society as well, something that appears to have been lost by those in their rush to condemn coal.

      • And implementation of good ideas takes time, something the rush to wind, solar, biomass, etc. doesn’t allow.

  23. Does the modelling include provision for long haul trains such as those that cross Australia, Melbourne/Sydney to Perth and back, or roadtrains carrying cattle from Victoria to Queensland, or back down when droughts hit?

    • I would love to see an electric powered 2AB quad cattle truck belting along the Tanami or a farmer in the wheat belt plowing his padddocks with a 8 kilometre long extension cord trailing behind.

  24. The real dirty little secret about ANY of this ‘renewable’ garbage is that, if they actually did come up with some sort of ‘dilithium crystal’ energy source, perfect in every way, the next day someone would be protesting it, and trying to ban it.

    It’s what activists do. That’s why there’s no point in indulging them. If they get everything they want, they’ll have a new list tomorrow.

    • Technically, matter/antimatter reaction is the energy source. Dilithium is the magical-sciencey regulator that keeps the reaction under control. :GEEK:

      That really is the progressive activist MO. Feeling morally superior is a drug to them, and protesting against an injustice, real or imagined, is how they get their fix. “X is WRONG. We protest X, therefore we are GOOD. Only BAD PEOPLE refuse to protest X.” Should X be redressed, they must quickly find a Y to stave off withdrawal. And then a Z. Each new WRONG thing more convoluted than the last.

      This doesn’t mean real injustice should go unredressed, but don’t do something about it just because the outrage junkies want you to.

  25. If we could manage to run industry, transport and our homes on simulated electricity, then this day-dream might be practical. However, experience tells us that like many other green pipe-dreams, this will not work in practice. Consideration of the fact that the concept is based on no scientific Climatic evidence, would be the next logical step.

  26. These guys are brilliant. They can tell us how much renewable power will cost without knowing how much power will need to be stored or how much will need to be stored. And they can calculate that costs without mentioning the grid needed to transport electricity to customers from places that are rich in renewable energy.

    “Energy Storages and demand flexibility are ultimately needed in an energy system based on solar and wind
    Different types of storages are needed:

    The fastest reacting storages can provide so called grid support i.e. balancing on sub-second level the between wind and solar production and instantaneous consumption. The amount of energy stored in the family of these technologies can be small but the storage can be charged and discharged at high rate.
    These short term storages will shift energy within a day over minutes to hours.

    Storages that shift energy for weeks and months are also needed. They are called seasonal energy storages. Their main purpose is to maintain the energy system during longer low wind periods.

    THE AMOUNT OF STORAGE AND COMBINATIONS OF STORAGE NEEDED IS UNDER RESEARCH AT THE MOMENT.

    System flexibility, i.e. how other production technologies and energy consumption can balance the variable solar and wind production is also needed.”

    http://www.neocarbonenergy.fi/solution/#storage

    • Wind production can be shut down at each turbine within seconds. The wings can be turned around 90° so you can build a overcapacity of about 20% and so leveling the balance. There is no need to storage all wind power if you have too much. When you see a wind farm in Germany, about 10-20% of the turbines stand still. So if you have some overcapacity there is a lot less need to storage. But yes, storage is the main problem.

      • When I was driving through Germany from the Duesseldorf area all the way to Bremen and Hamburg this last summer, I saw huge windmills, there were many small groups of 6 or so along the Autobahn, most standing still, just a few barely moving. In Germany the electricity cost is about three times higher than here in the US. No wonder. Such intermittent energy carries a huge price tag. In the beginning I was laughing at the article but then reading through the posts it got me really scared, this Prof. Breyer is insane, he believes his own modeling more than facts (his modeling software can check the facts, LOL!) Next some politician takes him for real and we know already where that leads to. Maybe we need a new medical classification or term for this type of ‘green insanity’?

    • ‘demand flexibility’

      That’s where someone else decides whether you get electricity or not. See: Smart Meters.

  27. If this simulation is that good, why not just simulate global warming (or whatever) out of existence. Problem solved.

    • That’s the problem with computer models. You know if it works when it happened, like AGW models. I think RE will solve some problems, but I don’t think it solves every problem. Sure wind and solar will not be the only way, There is biomass, water,cogeneration planst, oil and gas, And I think a regional solution with small interconnectors from one region. to another are preferable because there is much less energy to transport. The main problem now is the storage of the needed additional energy.

      • Yes marty.

        And there’s fracking; and nuclear, especially thorium; and in situ coal gasification; and ocean floor methane clathrates. Between them, we have enough fossil fuels to give us 24/7/365 energy for millennia to come.

        So there is no need whatsoever to bugger about with massively expensive environmentally unsound ‘unreliables’ that require every last milliwatt to be backed up with real thermal plant, is there?

  28. One thing that these 100% renewable loons need to be called out on, is the massive requirements of rare earth metals and it’s not just neodymium. The most critically limited one appears to be dysprosium (Dy). Blair King has an excellent post on this:

    https://achemistinlangley.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/deconstructing-the-100-fossil-fuel-free-wind-water-and-sunlight-usa-paper-part-ii-what-about-those-pesky-rare-earth-metals/

    Dy is a critical component of the permanent magnets used in wind turbines and electric vehicle engines and unlike Nd it appears in rare earth deposits in very low concentrations (ref). Over 99% of the world supply of Dy comes from Chinese sources (ref) and under current use scenarios China estimates it has about a 15-25 year supply of Dy …

  29. Christian Breyer looks like just the latest in a long line starting with Amory Lovens. The one to really watch is Mark Jacobson, who’s being touted and tweeted all over the place by such luminaries as Mark Ruffalo and Naomi Klein. His 100% renewable plans call for things like 387 conscentrating solar plants in the sunny state of New York and cryogenic hydrogen airplanes. Steve McIntyre has likened him to a laetrile promoter:

    https://achemistinlangley.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/more-on-100-wind-water-and-sunlight-and-the-council-of-canadians-100-clean-economy-by-2050-goal/#comment-633

    It seems wildly irresponsible to me for Jacobson to publish numbers out of the air as though they had some engineering validity – numbers that are then taken seriously.

    I see little distinction between him and quacks prescribing laetrile for cancer.

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