Why 100% Renewable Energy Is Less Realistic Than a Unicorn

Guest “you can’t get there from here” by David Middleton

16 Sep 2019 | 14:45 GMT
How Inexpensive Must Energy Storage Be for Utilities to Switch to 100 Percent Renewables?
MIT researchers list the energy storage technologies that could enable a 100 percent renewable grid

By Prachi Patel

[…]

Electricity and heat production are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Carbon-free electricity will be critical for keeping the average global temperature rise to within the United Nations’ target of 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst effects of climate change. As world leaders meet at the United Nations Climate Action Summit next week, boosting renewable energy and energy storage will be major priorities.

Wind and solar skeptics are quick to point out that such systems are expensive and can’t keep the lights on 24/7. The first argument is wilting as renewables become cost-competitive with fossil fuels. The second one also boils down to cost: that of energy storage, which will be essential for sending large amounts of renewable energy to the grid when needed.
“Low-cost storage is the key to enabling renewable electricity to compete with fossil fuel generated electricity on a cost basis,” says Yet-Ming Chiang, a materials science and engineering professor at MIT.

But exactly how low? Chiang, professor of energy studies Jessika Trancik, and others have determined that energy storage would have to cost roughly US $20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the grid to be 100 percent powered by a wind-solar mix. Their analysis is published in Joule.

That’s an intimidating stretch for lithium-ion batteries, which dipped to $175/kWh in 2018. 

[…]

Energy storage would have to cost $10 to $20/kWh for a wind-solar mix with storage to be competitive with a nuclear power plant providing baseload electricity. And competing with a natural gas peaker plant would require energy storage costs to fall to $5/kWh.

But those figures are only for scenarios in which solar and wind meet power demand 100 percent of the time. If other sources meet demand just 5 percent of the time, storage could work at a price tag of $150/kWh. Which technologies could hit that target?

[…]

Editor’s note: This story is published in cooperation with more than 250 media organizations and independent journalists that have focused their coverage on climate change ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit. IEEE Spectrum’s participation in the Covering Climate Now partnership builds on our past reporting about this global issue.
This post was updated on 16 September 2019. 

IEEE Spectrum

The paper, published in Joule, was discussed in this August 8 WUWT post. This article provides a little more detail. In order for wind & solar to actually be competitive, energy storage costs would have to drop to:

  • $10-20/kWh to be competitive with nuclear power for baseload.
  • $5/kWh to be competitive with natural gas peaker power plants.

Nuclear power and natural gas peakers (CT) are the two most expensive dispatchable electricity generation sources, after than coal with CCS.

Figure 1. Levelized Cost and Levelized Avoided Cost of New Generation
Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2019. EIA

If energy storage costs would have to fall to $5/kWh for wind & solar to be competitive with natural gas peaker power plants ($77.70-89.30/MWh) and $10-20/kWh to be competitive with nuclear power ($77.50/MWh) baseload, how low would it have to get to be competitive with natural gas combined cycle ($41.20-46.30/MWh) baseload?

The article then bizarrely notes…

If other sources meet demand just 5 percent of the time, storage could work at a price tag of $150/kWh.

Firstly, you can’t run baseload power plants 5% of the time. Secondly, the $20/kWh only applies to “resource-abundant locations such as Texas and Arizona” and, since there is no such thing as a nuclear powered peaker, the $150/kWh cost target is more likely to be achieved through freezing in the dark…

We estimate that energy storage capacity costs below a roughly $20/kWh target would allow a wind-solar mix to provide cost-competitive baseload electricity in resource-abundant locations such as Texas and Arizona. Relaxing reliability constraints by allowing for a few percent of downtime hours raises storage cost targets considerably, but would require supplemental technologies. 

Science Direct

Since unicorn schist is unlikely to appear on the energy scene any time soon and most energy consumers prefer to not freeze in the dark, it should come as little surprise that according to the US EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook, in 2050 we’ll be getting 48% of 31% of our electricity from solar PV. For the math-impaired, that’s 15%… While, we’ll be still getting 17% of our electricity from coal-fired power plants.

Figure 2. US EIA AEO2019.

Of course, electricity generation is only one part of the energy puzzle. Primary energy includes transportation, electricity generation, industrial, commercial and residential consumption.

Figure 3. US EIA AEO2019.

The green curve is “other renewables,” primarily wind (both onshore and offshore) and solar, the gray curve is “coal,” the blue curve is “natural gas.” Note that in 2050, “other renewables” will have barely overtaken “coal,” while “petroleum and other liquids” and “natural gas” will each be 3-4 times the Quad Btu as “other renewables.”

Are EIA projections always right? No. They’re “projections”. EIA totally missed the Shale Revolution. If frac’ing was a unicorn, then solar/wind plus storage could actually compete with natural gas… because that would mean that unicorns actually existed.

Reference

Ziegler, Micah, Joshua Mueller, Gonçalo Pereira, Juhyun Song, Marco Ferrara, Yet-Ming Chiang & Jessika Trancik. (2019). “Storage Requirements and Costs of Shaping Renewable Energy Toward Grid Decarbonization”. Joule. 10.1016/j.joule.2019.06.012.

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181 thoughts on “Why 100% Renewable Energy Is Less Realistic Than a Unicorn

  1. Things change fast. This is all moot as crazy as that sounds to an outsider.
    Hydrino energy will install in small modular power plants at $100/kW and <$0.05/kWh market rates.
    endofpetroleum.com

    Happy to discuss.

    • You want to end petroleum with something that doesn’t exist? You sound like a progressive. Can’t wait to take the high speed train to Hawaii.

        • Navid Sadikali,

          You say,
          “A prototype exists – in fact many exist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_nwlqr-daw

          Prototypes are NOT a commercial scale demonstration plants.
          If you don’t understand why a prototype is not an existing technology then consider why the existence of kites was not the existence of a commercial air transportation technology.

          Richard

          • Richard, you inventing an argument. I never said it was deployed commercially.

            There are reasons for that. A SunCell is high density like an internal combustion engine. When they have partners (like ABM – on the stock exchange) come in — they don’t need to have it deployed at a customer.

            Have you read their latest business plan? https://brilliantlightpower.com/pdf/Business_Presentation.pdf

            You are showing cognitive dissonance in the way you stretch the analogy to kites compared to airplanes. It is ok to be wrong about something you haven’t done any homework about. That is why we wrote this book – and there are others – https://endofpetroleum.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Brett-Book-Reviews-v5.jpg

          • I literally laughed my @$$ off! This is from their “business plan”…

            Hydrino® was precited from physical laws. Its existence as a more stable chemical form of hydrogen, a state below the ground state of quantum theory, disproves quantum theory. The SunCell® is disruptive ofessentially ALL energy and power infrastructure.

            “precited from physical laws”… Precited?
            Who wrote this? Edgar Cayce? Or Edgar Rice Burroughs?

            Mills has been scamming “investors” for 30 years and this is his current “business plan”?

            Brilliant Light Power’s path forward is to:
            • Prove our power source to the world in the near term through power measurements, identification of the Hydrino® products of the reaction, and engineered power systems.
            • Develop the technology
            • Engineer products
            • Commercialize solutions

            There is no such thing as a hydrino. There is no way to alter the nature of a hydrogen atom.

            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cold-fusion-lives-experiments-create-energy-when-none-should-exist1/

            The hydrino only exists in Mills’ bizarre theory.

          • Hi Richard,

            Nice to hear from you.

            I “solved” the grid-storage problem last year, as follows.

            Best, Allan

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/10/29/ft-funny-we-can-solve-climate-change-by-developing-affordable-green-energy/#comment-2503379

            The key problem with grid-connected wind power is intermittency, and the resulting lack of predictable, dispatchable power that is the primary requirement for grid electricity.

            I have heard and read many energy neophytes say that grid-scale storage is the solution – and they act like it actually exists. In practical terms, it does not – except for a few rare cases where pumped storage is feasible.

            So I would like to announce that I have invented a SOLUTION:

            It consists of millions of huge flywheels that are wound up by wind power while the wind blows, and then the power is released back into the grid by tapping power from the rotating flywheels. For longer periods when the wind does not blow, the flywheels are spun by great herds of unicorns, galloping round and round at great speed.

            Once we have solved the unicorn-supply challenge we are sure to have a green energy winner! We are applying to the Canadian government in Ottawa for a development grant – PM Justin Trudeau and Climate Barbie have already declared their support.

            [I suppose I must say “Sarc/off” for the warmists out there, who tend to believe ANYTHING!]

          • Steorn, an Irish Company some years back, supposedly developed a Magnetic Over-unity device that was purported to produce “Free Energy”. They even produced the measuring devices to verify the effect they claim existed. They also had Prototypes and Youtube Videos.
            Didn’t work……..
            Next…
            Hydrino energy……
            NEXT???

          • Navid Sadikali,

            I have “invented” nothing. A prototype is merely a potential and is NOT a technology.

            My analogy is good. Please try to understand it.

            Richard

          • I have a simple solution for solving the grid-storage problem but it involves CC (carbon capture) …… but only the capture of anthropogenic CO2.

            Ya see now, those anthropogenic CO2 molecules are “human” created CO2 molecules…… a waste product that took a lot of fossil fuel energy to create, …. and which are a special isotope of CO2 which contains a newly created H-pyron or Human-pyron in their nuclei, ….. which permits “climate scientists” to determine how much of the atmospheric CO2 ppm has been emitted by humans, both yearly and total emissions.

            Anyway, all one has to do is design a CC (carbon capture) device for “stripping” those anthropogenic CO2 molecules out of the atmosphere and storing them in “pressurized” tanks.

            Then when “backup” electricity is needed, the anthropogenic CO2 is released from the storage tank, …. the H-pyron “bond” to the nuclei is “broken” and the energy “release” is used to generate electricity.

            Duck soup, …… will work like a charm.

        • It would be slightly more believable often all those cables and wires had amp meters on them.
          And maybe a thermometer in sight?
          Better yet, do it in public with cameras rolling and sceptics standing right there, live in broad daylight on a news feed.
          If it is true, why not do this?
          There are a large number of venture capitalists and/or corporations that would fund a free energy scam I mean plan instantly, if it was true.
          Or is there some reason everyone should just have complete trust in someone claiming to do something generally accepted to be impossible?
          Not like people have never engaged in scams and fraud regarding such matters, is it?
          Anyone can make a darn video.
          I saw one where the President was dancing the mambo with Hillary.
          Or was it the samba?

          • Don’t you know? Their business plan spells it out, “Hydrino® was precited from physical laws.”

            Just a quick look shows all kinds of nonsensical statements, grammatical errors, etc., it appears to be edited by Steven Mosher.

        • 1. I notice that Hydro Power is listed as Nonj-Dispatchable. Is this an error, or is it because reservoirs’ water levels fluctuates?

          2. I notice that storage costs are cited per KwH. But, if you’re talking about storing the output of a 100 Mw renewable source, can you really say, “Well that’s $20 per KwH, and each hour you’re putting out 100 KwH, so that’s a cost of $20 x 100,000 KwH or $2 million.?” Without saying how long the storage needs to preserve the power, it makes no sense at all. Do you want to cover winter, night time needs? Do you want a couple days storage to cover cloudiness/windlessness? Or do you want 2-3 months to cover seasonal differences? Huge flywheels could work, but with today’s technology, only for very short time frames (1 hour would be pushing it).

          3. I’m developing (mentally) a scheme to store heat energy using a thermal cell scheme. But rather than a simple water (or other material) setup like I’ve seen on the web, I would use the phase change latent heat of various alloys in adjacent cells. This could “substitute” for example 80 calories (for water melting) for 1 calorie of water going up by 1 degree. Of course, different alloys have different latent heats, but hopefully you get the idea. If you wanted to store heat, in say 5 degree increments from 100 degrees Celsius to 400 degrees, you’d need 60 cells. In the adjacent spaces between cells, you’d need minimal insulation, while surrounding (especially at the high temperature end) the whole complex of cells would need more (much, much more?) insulation. And, since the heat storage capacity of this scheme would increase at the 3rd power, while the insulation needed would increase at the 2nd power, huge systems would be easier to implement (proportionately) than small systems.

          Mental games are fun, aren’t they.

          (Rescued from the spam board) SUNMOD

        • The video demonstrates nothing. It shows a vibrating metallic box connected to tubing, submerged in some liquid that grows cloudy as time elapses.
          What is being pumped into or out of the box is neither demonstrated nor mentioned.

          • ATheoK – I would be very disappointed if this discussion was shut down. I’m not associated with BLP in any way. I don’t know Navid – perhaps he is peripherally associated with BLP. I think he is more of an activist – excited about the potentials of BLP – interested to spread awareness. This thread was about alternative energy. Discussions branch off all of the time. BLP is one of many companies claiming to have found an energy source that uses novel processes involving ionized hydrogen, a metal catalyst, and electric discharge. Brillouin Energy uses deuterium to bathe palladium electrodes. Electrical pulses are applied to the electrodes. The theory is that the hydrogen is absorbed into the metal lattice as the lattice expands from the pulse. As the pulse decays, the lattice compresses hydrogen into different nuclear reactions, producing anomalous energy. If you want to challenge the physics behind these alleged processes then please do so! I would love to have some good things to think about – other than “that is quack science.”

            One the one side, we have hysterical people pushing for solar and wind power, which fail any basic economic or engineering analysis if used in any large percentages on the grid. Now I’m witnessing climate alarmism skeptics trying to shut down discussion about potential breakthroughs in energy because it doesn’t fit the consensus. And the tactics being used are the same as used by the Alarmists: control free speech, discredit by association, claim all of the science is known and settled. This is very disappointing.

            MODS: Please do not shut down this discussion. It only seems to be getting the participation of a few people and most are just trying to discredit – instead of providing substantive arguments. This discussion will likely die soon anyway. I would be disappointed if this gets shut down from the top. Navid got his fair (or unfair) share of pushback and very few interested supporters. I respectfully submit, I don’t think MOD level speech control is in order here.

      • Bullshit. Black holes don’t exist. The universe is governed by electric charges in a soup of plasma. Vacuum decay is as imaginary as string theory and spacetime.

    • How can one discuss that which does not exist? One can speculate, create scenarios, etc, but discuss? It’s like discussing unicorns.

    • From the Net…

      Brilliant Light Power | Brilliant Light Power has developed a new commercially competitive, non-polluting, plasma-based primary source of massive power from the conversion of hydrogen atoms of water molecules to dark matter, the previously unidentified matter that makes up most of the mass of the universe.
      https://brilliantlightpower.com/

      ELECTRICAL POWER FROM HYDROGEN TO DARK MATTER
      Brilliant Light Power has developed a new commercially competitive, non-polluting, plasma-based primary source of massive power from the conversion of hydrogen atoms of water molecules to dark matter, the previously unidentified matter that makes up most of the mass of the universe. The SunCell® that was invented to harness the new power source catalytically converts hydrogen directly into dark matter form called Hydrino® releasing brilliant high-energy light which is down-converted in energy to facilitate the production of electricity using commercially-available concentrator photovoltaic cells.

      The World’s First Continuous Plasma – Closed SunCell®

      THE POWER OF THE SUNCELL®
      The electricity producing SunCell® uses a catalyst to cause hydrogen atoms of water molecules to transition to the lower-energy Hydrino® states by allowing their electrons to fall to smaller radii around the nucleus. This results in a release of energy that is intermediate between chemical and nuclear energies and a nonpolluting product. The energy release of the hydrogen separated from H2O, that can be acquired even from the humidity in the air, is over one hundred times that of an equivalent amount of high-octane gasoline. The highest known power density with direct electricity conversion facilitates essentially all power applications untethered to fuels or grid infrastructure. The electrical generation cost is anticipated to be less than 10% that of any known power source.

        • Marv,
          This Hydrino “technology” has been consuming investor’s and government money since the 90’s. Growing trees and selling firewood probably is a better investment for your estate planning energy portfolio purposes.

          • Water boils at 100C (212F). But Steam for Steam Turbine electric production is required to be between 400C (752F) AND 600C (1112F). If this device can’t heat water to 1112F all you have is a very expensive stove.

          • Of course. It says in the comment.

            The SunCell® was submersed in a 120 gallon, vigorously stirred water tank that was initially at room temperature. The SunCell® internal temperature remained steady at about 400°C which is a typical operating temperature of a steam turbine power plant.

            This is the most powerful chemical reaction known to man.
            endofpetroleum.com/energy-density

            You are looking at the iPhone 1.0 in October 2016.

            BTW: Classical physics can explain electrons and electron levels — the central problem of 1925 – where the roads diverged is – why is the electron stable to radiation? Quantum mechanics went so far but did not solve it…

        • Let me summarize for those too lazy to read:

          A guy named Mills has raised $60+ million in funding over 29 years, the culmination of which is zero commercially available products.

          Good work if you can get it.

          • David,
            Did I tell you about my conversion technology for converting solar to lunar cells when the sun goes down and back again in the mornings?
            Now where can I apply for the grant?
            I am calling the device PipeDream in deference to its potential to work when the sun goes down and we are all dreaming…..

        • Regarding the con artist…

          Randell L. Mills, M.D. is a dairy farmer’s son who purports to have invented “the new fire” by debunking quantum mechanics and, in the process producing the book, Grand Unified Theory of Classical Physics.[1] Scientists say he’s a kook if not a con artist who has been promising a Duke Nukem Forever energy revolution for decades, with some accusing him of bilking investors of tens of millions of dollars. However, his company boasts some directors with impressive business backgrounds.[2][3]

          The American Physical Society’s Robert Park says of the farm boy cum Einstein, “It’s the American story but he’s still wrong.”[4]

          Steven Chu (Nobel laureate physics and Obama’s Secretary of Energy) says, “I feel sorry for the funders, the people who are backing this.”[5]

          The list of comments like this from authorities like this goes on to the point of being boring — although some are amusing enough to quote for a tl;dr:

          Phillip Anderson (Nobel laureate physics), regarding Mills’s “hydrino” form of hydrogen providing the Duke Nukem Forever energy revolution quips, “If you could f*** around with the hydrogen atom, you could f*** around with the energy process in the sun. You could f*** around with life itself. Everything we know about everything would be a bunch of nonsense. That’s why I’m so sure that it’s a fraud.”[4]

          […]

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Randell_Mills

          • These are generic comments. Mills is using Maxwell’s equations to understand the structure of the atom.

            You have to move beyond the psychological resistance and indeed the resistance is weighty.

            Indeed, Maxwell’s equations applied at the atomic scale better model the hydrogen atom than quantum mechanics. That’s likely to be the case since QM was an approximative model – weird by all accounts – that doesn’t model that much as all. Reflexively, people will say that it gave us the modern world — it helped calculate some things better — but QM is not a law at all but a group of approximations (which are internally inconsistent).

            Go to our twitter feed – we aren’t just sitting back idle – and we’re happy to talk to any physicist or chemist. Yes, we have published papers, and yes we have top flight academic credentials (not me, team members).

            To go much further on a message board would be ineffective. We’re here to help.

          • Maxwell’s equations failed to adequately describe the behavior of electrons, which is why Niels Bohr used quantum mechanics.

            I was once asked to evaluate a proposed technology that used a “quantum state” to extract energy. I couldn’t quite figure it out at first, it devolved rapidly into physics-like talk that did not make sense to me. Then I realized it violated Carnot’s Law by isothermally extracting heat and turning it into electricity. Bzzzt! Game over, man!

      • “The electricity producing SunCell® uses a catalyst to cause hydrogen atoms of water molecules to transition to the lower-energy Hydrino® states by allowing their electrons to fall to smaller radii around the nucleus.”

        Ahh, the magical mysterious catalyst that causes hydrogen to exit a very stable H₂O molecule, AND cause hydrogen’s one electron to drop to an orbital level below standard hydrogen p level…

        That means, every place on Earth that naturally has catalyst in situ would be lit up like New York City or Hong Kong.
        But that is not happening, anywhere.

        Hydrogen combining with Oxygen to for H₂O releases a lot of energy.
        Reducing H₂O to H₂ and O requires substantial energy, even when catalysts are involved.
        Reducing H₂ electron p levels to less than standard electron orbit is unproven.

        • ATheoK,

          You would be right if the process is as you describe. Let me inform you about the process they claim. I’m not defending it as much as I’m trying to get people to at least understand the claims so that proper scientific criticism can be employed if warranted.

          BLP process claims:

          The water is decomposed by electrolysis into H2 and O2 gas. The electrolysis consumes < 1% of the total output. In the reaction, the hydrogen gas is converted to plasma – ionized hydrogen at around 3000K. In this state, in the presence of the metal catalyst, with the right electrical discharge, the hydrogen is converted into what BLP calls "hydrinos" – state of hydrogen previously unknown – a very lightweight gas that escapes to space. Spectroscopy shows novel lines in the reaction product. We apparently see spectral lines at these wavelengths when we observe plasmas in space. BLP has decided to claim this must be the "dark matter" of the universe. At the least, it would indicate an ion gas that is produced in space that matches what BLP produces.

          This lower valence state of hydrogen is not accepted or predicted by Quantum Physics.

          But it is not correct to say that we should expect to see this process in nature – or every place on Earth.

          I really just wanted to stimulate a scientific discussion – but it appears that I have come to the defense of BLP. That is not actually correct. I have come to the defense of rational thinking and in opposition to using the same tactics Climate Alarmists use. Climate science is not the only branch of science that suffers from demands to adhere to orthodoxy. I see the same negative behavior when discussing relativity, quantum physics, and gravitational cosmology. These theories have ample inconsistencies and incompatibilities – but exploring other possible theories is not met with curiosity to learn and discover – but contempt for upsetting the apple cart.

    • A web sight for Hydrino® mythic grid energy uses the line “Like sunlight in a bottle”.

      This description has been applied to wine for a long long time.
      I’ll be helping to bottle about 500 gallons of red wine on Thursday. I might drink a little and toast “Hydrino” when I do. Then again, I can find better things to think about, and toast.

      But to get really serious.
      Get 5 of these units up and running, another 50 nearing completion, 500 more with financing, and 5,000 more in the late planning stage.
      Then, the end of petroleum will still be in the indefinite future.

    • 1. I notice that Hydro Power is listed as Nonj-Dispatchable. Is this an error, or is it because reservoirs’ water levels fluctuates?

      2. I notice that storage costs are cited per KwH. But, if you’re talking about storing the output of a 100 Mw renewable source, can you really say, “Well that’s $20 per KwH, and each hour you’re putting out 100 KwH, so that’s a cost of $20 x 100,000 KwH or $2 million.?” Without saying how long the storage needs to preserve the power, it makes no sense at all. Do you want to cover winter, night time needs? Do you want a couple days storage to cover cloudiness/windlessness? Or do you want 2-3 months to cover seasonal differences? Huge flywheels could work, but with today’s technology, only for very short time frames (1 hour would be pushing it).

      3. I’m developing (mentally) a scheme to store heat energy using a thermal cell scheme. But rather than a simple water (or other material) setup like I’ve seen on the web, I would use the phase change latent heat of various alloys in adjacent cells. This could “substitute” for example 80 calories (for water melting) for 1 calorie of water going up by 1 degree. Of course, different alloys have different latent heats, but hopefully you get the idea. If you wanted to store heat, in say 5 degree increments from 100 degrees Celsius to 400 degrees, you’d need 60 cells. In the adjacent spaces between cells, you’d need minimal insulation, while surrounding (especially at the high temperature end) the whole complex of cells would need more (much, much more?) insulation. And, since the heat storage capacity of this scheme would increase at the 3rd power, while the insulation needed would increase at the 2nd power, huge systems would be easier to implement (proportionately) than small systems.

      Mental games are fun, aren’t they.

      • 1. EIA classified hydroelectric as non-dispatchable due to seasonal availability issues.

        2. The battery has x kHh per discharge and is expected to last y charge-discharge cycles. Divide the full cost of the battery by (x*y) and you get $/kWh.

        3. Hydrino already filled my annual scheme tolerance limit.

    • Okay, Navid, gotta say it, you’ve out-nutballed Griff … I read through your comments; I can’t imagine the color of the sky in your world, but more power to you … I’m guessing you’ll be hearing from scammers who want your money, and then there’s a bridge …

      • In October 2016, If I told you we’d all be having some crazy device in our pocket that will be the central growth vector for a decade in making new economies…. and inspire a $10T movement in capital in a decade (and many more indirectly)….you’d think I am crazy then too… but on January 9, 2017…it was unleashed…and even when it happened…the world couldn’t even understand what it was

        Steve Balmer of Microsoft said “There’s no chance the iPhone is going to significant market share [in mobile O/S]. No chance.”

        He saw the world through Operating System eyes. If I were you I’d be studying hard right now…the information is out there…go look at their Board of Directors.

        • Let me see if I have this correct.
          You are actually arguing that since one device made a big impact, that proves that your device isn’t a scam.

          When the promoters start pulling out the faulty logic in, you know it’s time to hide your wallet.

          • You have it incorrect. I never said because X happened Y is going to happen. It was an analogy to the situation you are in (outsider), and we are in (insider). It is not a proof.

        • “Steve Balmer of Microsoft said “There’s no chance the iPhone is going to significant market share [in mobile O/S]. No chance.”

          Steve Balmer is an old style dinosaur believer in big iron centralized computational mainframes. He tried for years to sell central computing to businesses and that people should have to have clients, not computers, at their desks.
          Of course, Steve didn’t believe IPhones and mobile IOS were feasible.

          Yet, you use Steve Balmer anachronisms as proof for your nonsense.

          What is worse, you use the con job tactics used to sell bogus stock market schemes as your modus operandi.
          Balmy, just completely balmy!

          • ATheoK said: “What is worse, you use the con job tactics used to sell bogus stock market schemes as your modus operandi. Balmy, just completely balmy!”

            No one is asking anyone for money. Or if they did, I missed it. BLP appears to have all of the funding they need. That line of geniuses or idiots is already formed – and long.

    • Navid Sadikali: Hydrino

      Wow! It’s years since I first read about hydrino energy. Surely you have a actual installation powering the air conditioning at a shopping center some place by now? Generating the electricity for some condos or heating some swimming pools or cooling some ice at skating rinks?

    • Navid,
      Kindly contact me on nansha2000 via that popular g…mail.

      Want to hear directly from you. I am doing a mega project in North Africa and interested in new technology.

      Eddie Leong

      [All users and readers are cautioned against releasing their e mail addresses on-line to a wide audience. .mod]

  2. “[storage, amount] for the grid to be 100 percent powered by a wind-solar mix”

    It’s not a number. It’s just a NO. How can this phrase even exist? After the grid is fragmented then brought down by the first Winter superstorm and infrastructure destroyed, how would a few hours (or days) of storage help? Should I just shut up now?

    • The concepts of continuous, reliable and resilient do not seem to be in the green lexicon.

      After the storage (batteries, pumped hydro, etc) has been depleted over a few calm or cloudy days or a severe storm, the ‘renewables’ need the capacity to not only provide base power but also recharge the storage. Has this been factored in?

      Can unicorns graze under wind generators?

    • Please, mental illness is no joking matter.
      It is not right to call such facilities “loony bin(s)”
      We need to maintain a respectful tone by calling them by the more proper descriptor “booby hatch”.
      Or, at the very least, the “nuthouse”.
      Respect man…It’s all about r- e-s-p-e-c-t.
      All I’m askin’, is for for a little respect.
      When you get home, mister.

    • We need dreamers.
      But at some point some people who know about math need to sharpen their pencils and pour some reality on the pipedreams before people get the idea that the dreams are in any way achievable.

  3. Price of electricity varies depending on demand. It’s maximum is on cold winter nights. -30 C, no sun, no wind for week or two. Grid is not reliable (UPS a necessity) and transfer costs exceed cost of energy generation.

    Carbon economy is coming instead of zero carbon. I found renewable diesel from the local gas station. Hope that they find enough plastic bags and cooking oil for making it. Eventually they must use coal and CO2 to synthesize oils for transportation and energy storage.

    • I was on a road trip in my 1 ton crew cab diesel pickup getting almost 20 mpg and was very low on fuel, checked GasBuddy and found the cheapest diesel nearby and stopped to refuel. Started fueling and was almost done when I finally noticed it was TYPE 5 B bio-diesel. Driving down interstate beside the Columbia river towards the pacific ocean my instantaneous fuel mileage, at the same speed, dropped more than 3 mpg almost immediately.

      I will never buy bio-diesel again, I cannot afford to waste my money like that.

      • It depends on how they made the bio-diesel.

        Most bio-diesel is made from either vegetable oils or animal fats (the latter are the waste products from meat production, so the raw material is cheap). These consist of mostly triglycerides (three fatty acid molecules bonded to a glycerin molecule).

        Some bio-diesel processes react the triglycerides with methanol, to produce methyl esters of fatty acids and glycerin. These methyl esters boil in the appropriate range for diesel fuel, but contain two oxygen atoms per molecule, which tends to reduce the heating value (just as ethanol has a lower heating value than ethane).

        Other bio-diesel processes hydrotreat (catalytically react with hydrogen) the triglycerides, which produces straight-chain hydrocarbons and water. These straight-chain hydrocarbons have about the same heating value as petroleum diesel, but are more expensive to produce, due to the cost of generating hydrogen.

        “Drake” probably bought some methyl-ester bio-diesel, with the oxygen atoms that reduce the heating value, and thereby reduced his mileage.

  4. Do they assume that we would only need sufficient renewable capacity to meet the kWh equivalent demand? There must also be additional capacity to meet battery charging demand? How do you recharge batteries in Minnesota mid winter especially during a black swan with weeks of little wind and snow covered panels? Did they calculate these things? Assumptions?

    God forbid a massive volcano like the one that wiped out summer in 1816.

      • It may only be a matter of time.
        “May” as in “will”.
        There may be more overdue volcanoes than overdue earthquakes in highly populated regions.

    • Another small detail overlooked by our progressive betters is regarding who exactly will do all these jobs, in a world where everyone goes to college and gets four years of training in intersectionality, privilege acknowledgment, and proper pronoun usage in their way to degrees in woman’s studies and antifa worship?
      Rebuilding the planet to The Jetsons seems so obviously doable for people who never even had a real job, ever ran a business, balanced a budget, or even got their snowflakey hands dirty!

    • Also there is always fairly substantial losses in charging and discharging batteries due to internal resistance.

      Also for keeping batteries that are not charging or discharging warm in winter, and for load balancing electronics if you are using Li-ion batteries. I presume large batteries would never be charged rapidly enough to require active cooling as well, but I may be wrong.

    • Thanks Patrick for that outstanding link. I use to be on Reddit with similar good news such as this and left Reddit after climate justice warriors would call me a denier and liar.

      At that point I knew Global Warming/Climate Change was a religion. All this good news with a slight rise in temp….sign me up.

  5. If for some strange reason battery storage becomes economical (it won’t) the place to use it is at conventional NG/Nuclear/Coal plants. Doing so would enable these plants to charge batteries during low demand hours and discharge them during peak demand. Smaller plants and no peaking plants required. Trying to make worth less than nothing wind and solar “farms” economical by connecting them to storage batteries sounds like something a contribution seeking California politician or a grant seeking scientist would like, but not anyone with a stitch of honesty.

    • Except, as I understand it, nuclear cannot power up and down and NG and coal plants on idle and powering up and down emits more CO2 and pollutants than just running them alone 24/7. Feel free to prove me wrong. I am 100% certain I am right about what I said for LNG and nuclear. I may be wrong about coal.

      • You’re right, KcTaz. But that’s WHY you’d use the batteries. Run the plant at full all the time, that’s when it’s most efficient. When demand is lowhat, store the excess in batteries or whatever. When demand is high, use the batteries to make up the difference. Then you’d only need a peeking plant (which CAN be ramped up and down easily, but aren’t as efficient) if the high demand lasts longer then the batteries.

        ~¿~

        • Schitzree,u

          If batteries (or other storage) could do what you suggest then it would be used. In reality, ‘pumped storage’ is used where possible because it contributes to that reduction of operating plant at below optimum efficiency.

          The technology you imagine would reduce need for power stations by about 30% and, therefore, would be worth a fortune. Why don’t you invent it?

          Richard

  6. All the morons (such as IYI’s w/PhD’s: Yet-Ming Chiang and Jessika Trancik) who do these magical scenario calculations never does the obvious and figure in the impact of homes, offices and factories eliminating natural gas and heating oil for winter heating and water heating and going all electric acros the US as the Watermelons are demanding.
    What would that alone (going all electric) do to 2040 electricity demand increase relative to today’s electricity demand on the grid when a large fraction of home/offices/factories use substantial amounts of natural gas just for winter heating?

    Then they also ignore the transportation demand on electricity in order for consumers and light business to switch vehicles from fossil fuel ICEs to EVs.
    What would that do to the demand in 2040?

    The bottom line is none of these renewable energy scenarios these IYI’s w/PhD spew out have any basis in the real world considering the demands the Climate Alarmists want. Those two IYI’s w/PhDs live in Massachusetts, a state both badly suited for solar PV and on shore wind.
    With brain-deads intellectuals like these two at MIT, is it any wonder Massachusetts already has the highest electricity costs in the lower 48? (believe I saw them everyday in my 9 years in eastern Massachusetts university academic circles; clueless idiots with PhD’s in love with socialistic ideas of directed economies)

    Maybe higher electricity prices won’t significantly impact them with their Ivory Tower salaries, but I can assure you many ten’s of millions of working families would be devastated in their finances by these Ivory Tower moronic energy plans from the socialist Left if they are allowed to destroy affordable energy becasue they took bribes and pay-offs from the Green Slime to concoct junk studies.

  7. Pretty amusing, all in all. Amusing from the point of view that I was just railing about this very same thing only a few WUWT articles back!

    In that nutshell — yes, it was overly long, I apologize — I cited numerically defensible stochaistic studies with many-variable Monte Carlo optimizations (which tend to take a lot of computer time to do right) … that have shown that no more than 50% of energy generation can be wind-and-solar, with the rest made from hydro, biomass, nuclear and instead of batteries, closed cycle natural gas or coal fired elective power. Up to 70% to maybe 80% when the day comes where aviation fuel has a lightweight, safe, electricity-stored-on-board solution.

    Anyway, in the end it remains the case that were petroleum, coal and natural gas to somehow be ‘exhausted’ to the point of being unable to deliver the quantity of power that future civilization will need … that we definitely would figure out how to employ sun, wind, wave, geothermal, nuclear and biomass power to meet our energy needs. We would.

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy ✓

    • I use the Rule-of-thumb that for a grid to be reliable, it can’t depend on renewables as a %-age larger than those renewables net capacity factor (NCF). And if a grid exceeds the combined NCF of intermittent poser sources, then serious electricity reliability (black-outs/brown-outs) will occur and the grid operators attempt to stop those will result in very high costs to the end consumer in the attempt to compensate for the idiotic attempt at using too much intermittent power for merely virtue signaling .

      Solar PC has a NCF of a bout 15% -20% (in sunny climes like SoAZ and west-Texas). On-shore wind is stuck at an NCF of about 30%-35% (for the best sited wind farms).

      Thus we can see that even if the two (solar PV and Wind power) are adequately integrated into a regional grid, going past 50% will result in black-outs and much higher consumer prices for electricity as the grid operator tries to avoid those with spot market purchases of very high priced electricity from opportunistic NG-fed peaking plant operators.

      And in most of the northern states, solar PV cannot be adequately “integrated” at even 15% NCF, so the real number for renewable is stuck at around 30%-35% without producing serious reliability and price per KWh issues (like South Australia is enduring).

      But the IYI’s w/PhDs push on with their junk acting like grid solar PV power in So AZ or West Texas wind power in January can be made instantly (with HV connects not built or even planned) available to Northeast US grid to consumers in New England. What a bunch of maroons. No wonder they got rid of their football team, they couldn’t find their way out of the huddle.

    • Stochastic Monte Carlo studies e.g. Blakers’ work in Australia do not provide realistic simulations of wind and solar. That should be evident simply by examining this chart:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4e6133c77a943ffc3fc369885ebd0d6285d923fd65856ab820fcd2f32fe2994.png

      Much better is to use data derived from real weather records, as with the work by Staffel and Pfenniger. Even that has its limitations as can be shown by comparing estimated generation with reality.

      • Climate change deniers or acceptors – we need to talk solutions – if you live in a smog filled city, or seeing the oceans degradation from plastic, or believe we need more clean water – then we need more energy. So does James Woolsey – ex Director of the CIA – and many more greats….and they are behind hydrino energy.

        If you are in NYC and have a role in leadership in climate, energy, or finance come out…RSVP required
        https://www.climateweeknyc.org/event/hydrino-energy-answer-or-answer

        It seems timely to add this given where this thread.

  8. Let’s look at real trends…

    Things keep getting smaller and more energy efficient. The smaller trend is running into a brick wall soon, but the more energy efficient trend should continue for a while. This is the normal trend for anything that costs money…we make it more and more efficient (The opposite function of government bureaucracy)

    BUT…we keep adding more and more “things” we just gotta have that use electricity. So despite electricity demand (one form of energy) for existing individual stuff falling, actual demand may keep increasing. This means we will need more energy (especially electricity) in the future because there will be more people, more stuff, and higher standards of living for the developing world.

    You can supply some energy through intermittent energy, but most demands will remain fairly constant. There will be a leveling of demand (through smarter use) so that peaks are smaller and troughs are higher, which is perfect for a base load, but completely incompatible with intermittent power. Unless there is a huge energy storage breakthrough, intermittent power just cannot be the main supplier. PERIOD.

    Nuclear energy is in its infancy. As new nuclear power is developed and deployed, it will eventually become THE number one base load of choice. This is an obvious conclusion for anyone paying attention. The only caveat is if there is some unpredicted giant breakthrough in some other energy source. Nuclear energy will become the base of of choice within 50 years. It will look nothing like nuclear power of today…most waste will simply be “burned”. The 3% of remaining waste is a much easier problem to solve.

    All this money being spent on “green energy” is wasted. It will lead to nothing new, and eventually will have to be torn down. Some wind turbines will remain as quaint reminders of the past, like windmills in the Netherlands. Solar will continue in niche areas where building a power line is not acceptable.

      • Navid Sadikali,

        You get A+ for persistence and a fail mark for cogency.

        Assuming your device can produce 100kW (as you claim) then it is a toy. Power stations provide MWs.

        Get back to us if and when you have a robust, reliable, and commercially acceptable technology for power generation.

        Richard

        Richard

        • Thanks for acting like you own the joint. We have no duty to get back to you. These insights are free to take or leave.

          When people encounter something so at odds with experience they fight back with emotions. When you confront them they are doing that they get even more aggressive.

          What you should do is demand accountability by scientists who have lead you astray:
          http://www.brettholverstott.com/annoucements/2016/7/21/accountability

          But of course, if you really feel strongly this is a scam contact the US Department of Defense who licensed this tech via ARA:
          https://youtu.be/O1-qq_pJcrI?t=111

          • Navid Sadikali,

            Up thread you falsely accused me of “inventing” an assertion.
            Now you falsely accuse “people” of reacting to your nonsense with “emotions”.

            My only emotion has been concern that your nonsense could mislead readers. And in this thread the only “emotion” others have shown to your nonsense is amusement and laughter.

            Nobody has been “aggressive” towards you.

            Richard

          • Concern is not an emotion.

            Amusement and laughter are normal reactions – drive by emotional gut reactions to new phenomena. As is stating “nonsense” when I patently linked to a video of a military contractor saying this verified by them.

            BTW: We are having fun. This is a skeptics forum right – what happens when skeptic meets generational change — they dig in a little deeper instead of saying “hmmm…”

          • Nonsense means “have no meaning” or “unacceptable behavior.”

            Not sure how that applies?

            The video shows Chief Scientist of a $200mi Defense Contractor saying they
            a) verified hydrino energy in independent university labs
            b) have licensed the technology for the DOD

            I am not submitting as proof of anything, other than it is your word this is absurd vs their word it is not.

          • A youtube video only proves that you know how to operate a camera.
            If video were evidence then it would stand proven that me can fly through space at velocities many times the speed of light.

            Proof is demonstrating this process in fully open and transparent manner in front of skeptics.
            Proof would be scientific papers.

            What you have given is propagands, and poorly done propaganda at that.

          • You are welcome to read the published science, it was posted above.
            http://www.brettholverstott.com/annoucements/2016/7/21/accountability

            This is not for everyone. James Maxwell was not believed for 20 years – crazy E&M waves. Few took a look.

            Every great advance in science has parallels to this situation. Understand this about the human mind: when confronted with radical new ideas the dominant response is FEAR masked by logic, when it is ideally CURIOUSITY with an attitude of open-ness.

          • David, Richard SC, MarkW,

            Navid may have approached this in a way you didn’t like, but I don’t think he is saying “look at the video – that’s all of the proof you need.” There are validation reports and many papers have been published on aspects of the technology. All the videos show is progress in prototype development and testing methods. Clearly all of the videos could be staged propaganda. But viewed in context, with an understanding of what BLP is trying to accomplish and against the backdrop of the validation reports, I think the videos are helpful. If you are interested to know the story, there is information to explore. If not, then ignore what has been said. Maybe your skepticism is a wise choice. If BLP is a scam, in time it will fade away, or maybe make headlines for an evening when it is reported what a massive scam it was. If it turns out to be real, then you can enjoy the headlines when and if they happen.

          • It’s like the Apollo Faked Moon Landing Conspiracy Nuts and Abiotic Oil Mavens conceived a love child in a Charles Hapgood/Immanuel Velikovsky Fantasyland and it’s all in a YouTube video.

          • Papers by Mills about Mills’ hypothesis. Yes, he has a 30-yr old hypothesis… And?

            Thomas Gold and that other crackpot published nonsense about Abiotic oil, it still doesn’t exist.

            Hapgood even published something too; as did Immanuel Velikovsky.

          • David Middleton said: “Papers by Mills about Mills’ hypothesis. Yes, he has a 30-yr old hypothesis… And?”

            And BLP is evolving prototypes that sustain the reaction and manage the heat. They are engineering 2 ways to capture that energy and convert it into usable electricity. They have people from industry and university who have observed the process, inspected the instrumentation and measured results. Perhaps these people were paid off or are just not that smart. BLP has gone through a series of ideas for a device that can sustain the reaction. The evolution of that process seems credible to me. The evolution of the process to manage the heat seems reasonable. The proposals to convert the plasma energy to electricity seems reasonable. I don’t know what kind of challenges they will face when they move to integrate the reactor with the energy capture – but I’m guessing they are less than 2 years from a unit that can run for hours or days and produce 30-50kW of power.

            I don’t want to be the “guy who fell for the scammer.” But I have seen enough to stick my neck out and say that what I see is compelling – AND I simultaneously reserve caution while I follow their development.

            Many companies and universities around the world are reporting anomalous behavior when combining hydrogen, a metal catalyst, and an electric discharge or pulse. Especially when the hydrogen is in a plasma state. Plasma physics is in a very immature state. There is still a lot about plasma that has not been studied. The SAFIRE project has just reported some very interesting results, with papers forthcoming.

            Your comments about Gold, Hapgood, and Velikovsky are just distractions and I won’t dignify them. You really haven’t offered anything scientifically compelling to consider about BLP. You just tried to discredit them by association. In the end, you may be right – but not because you know any more than anyone else on this subject. Your approach would get a big thumbs up from DeSmogBlog and RationalWiki.

          • William Ward,

            You say to me and others,
            “Navid may have approached this in a way you didn’t like, but I don’t think he is saying “look at the video – that’s all of the proof you need.” ”

            Sorry, but Navid has twice misrepresented me and now you have. This behaviour can only increase suspicion that the business you guys are promoting is a sham.

            I did not say anything like, “that’s all the proof you need”.
            I repeatedly told Navid that a prototype is not a technology. IT IS NOT.
            You and Navid are NOT promoting a technology. You are promoting a (dodgy) business opportunity.

            I fear that people may be duped into supporting your business enterprise in the mistaken belief that your business has a technology.

            Richard

          • Richard S Courtney,

            I’m sorry for misrepresenting you. I did not intend to do that. I grouped you in with the others, perhaps incorrectly. It appeared that Navid – whom I do not know, was not being given fair treatment. You may disagree with me, but that was my perception.

            Now – don’t misrepresent me! I’m not promoting any business! As I said previously, I have no connection to BLP and will not gain or lose anything based upon your or anyone else’s perception of it. I was attempting to offer more information about BLPs claims, with the hope for more substantive discussion.

      • Ah, a “prototype”, as pointed out upthread. Get back to us when you have a real, commercial scale, working system.

        • At this point, I would be pleased if he were to hold a fully public demonstration, complete with full instrumentation.

  9. It is disappointing that the article was published in the IEEE Spectrum – and even more so that MIT researchers produced the data.

    Far more fundamental than the cost of storage, is the amount of storage required to implement an energy grid powered exclusively by intermittent/unreliable energy sources. Apparently, this is not factored in by “green” energy supporters.

    There are, for example, several instances each year where the entire US east coast is rainy or cloudy for over a week. In the past year, there was one period where it was cloudy/rainy for 3 straight weeks in the Southeastern US – and these conditions persisted for much of the east coast over that timespan. So, if we consider an all Solar (PV) system, how much storage do we need in multiples of US Daily Capacity, if we want to be assured of no blackouts? (Or similar reliability to what we have now with nuclear and hydrocarbon fuels.)

    The number is probably more than 10 days. This is just a guess. But even 3 days of storage in batteries would be a near-impossible achievement. According to Manhattan Institute Report, titled: The “New Energy Economy”: An Exercise in Magical Thinking, it would take 1,500 years of production at Tesla’s Gigafactory to produce enough batteries for 3 days of US electric grid storage. Scale that up by 50-100% if transportation is grid powered. (The appreciable environmental damage from mining rare earth minerals at this scale is another subject.)

    https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

    This storage problem feeds back to the problem of scaling the size of the system. Even before multiple-day storage is considered, the system must be sized to handle 24 hours of energy requirements. The number of PV panels would have to be multiplied by 2-3X to handle the fact that the sun only shines for 1/3 of the day. Enough energy has to be stored in that 8 hours to supply the full day. An additional 2-3X scaling would have to take place to address the capacity factor. On partially overcast days where the light intensity is only 33%, 3x the PV panels are needed. And finally, what rate of recharge is required? If we increase the size by 10% of peak demand, then it will take 10 full days of sunshine to recharge 1 days supply. That would be very risky. If we want to store 1 day of charge in a day, while simultaneously operating, then the system generating capacity needs to be doubled. If we want 3 days of storage recovery in 1 day then the system needs to be increased to 4x the peak demand.

    A back of the napkin analysis for an all PV system that would replace all 7,658 coal, gas and nuclear plants in the US, and charge 3 days simultaneously while operating 1 day, would require covering 11% of the entire US landmass with PV panels. This is using 27km^2/GW, which is the average land required per GW for the most modern large PV plants built in the last 5 years. The required land area will scale up as the storage replenishment scales up.

    Table showing calculations here: https://imgur.com/tV0Uz14

    Can someone show me where these calculations are not correct? Has a statistical analysis been done showing how many days of storage would be required to match the current grid reliability for a realistic range of weather scenarios?

    We ought to consider the fact that every so often, large scale volcanic eruptions reduce sunlight significantly for a year or more. A historical example here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535%E2%80%93536

    Humanity would be challenged enough with crop failures – but why would we want to add to it with a failed power grid?

    • What’s a few million dead now and then when compared to the glorious struggle? Think of the big picture, fluttering under a red flag.

    • Let us not forget that batteries have a short lifespan, as contributes and panels.
      IOW, they will all have to be constantly replaced, amounting to many times over a single lifetime, and it will be forever!

      • Nicholas,

        Agreed regarding the batteries. Also, let’s not forget the amount of CO2 produced per kWh of battery capacity. The CO2 from production will exceed any CO2 savings over the life of the battery in every application I have examined – except perhaps gas/electric hybrid cars.

        Ps – we talked a few times on Twitter in the recent past – when I gave Twitter a try for a few days ( and quickly confirmed that it is not for me.)

    • That’s what smart meters are for.
      When your rooftop solar panels are pumping out electrons, the 15 minute rate will be $-0,10/kWh. You have to PAY to get rid of it. So just shut down the inverters and top up your batteries.
      When those weeks of drizzle come along, the rate will rise to $150.00/kWh. Just set up your tent in the living room and pull out the sleeping bags plus all your blankets. Evening meal is cold canned soup. If you live in snow country…. MOVE. Become a climate refugee and move to a place with MORE global warming. Because the tree huggers will pass City ordinances to even outlaw renewable wood burning.

    • I’ve done work on the UK using 30 years of weather derived data on wind and solar production that shows you need upwards of 30TWh of storage if you wish to run on a wind and solar 100% renewables scenario and not run out in a bad year. You can call it about a month’s storage relative to demand. The storage system has to be capable of absorbing surpluses of 4 times average demand, though that is unlikely to be a real constraint in view of the size of the storage required. Of course, while the first TWh of storage gets used frequently (the first hundred GWh may get used daily on average), the marginal TWh of storage only gets used once in 30 years – but it better be full when it’s needed! The effective cost of storage per kWh redelivered thus escalates into the stratosphere – more so if you add in longer term leakages from store, rather than a simple daily round trip efficiency factor.

      Another way to look at this is to see what happens in a simple grid design where you progressively replace a fully dispatchable source such as CCGT with wind. This simple simulation is based on hourly demand data over 2015 in the UK.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/330a836dc4b8b1d74d8c7a9c3aff8012095bcd4f9573e00bfdf5a8af87f19315.png

      It shows that with 100% GGCT, sized to meet peak demand, average plant utilization is just over 60% because of the diurnal, weekly and seasonal variations in demand, which averaged 35GW over the year. The wind is taken from data on Danish offshore generation over the same year, as it is similar to UK offshore, and not contaminated by uncertain timings in new wind farm build programmes, and simply scaled up according to the capacity on the X axis. Up to about 25GW of wind capacity, it can all be absorbed without curtailment, taking about a third of the supply. Beyond that high wind can coincide with low overnight demand and lead to curtailment, which rises as the more periods of overproduction come into play as wind penetration increases. By 50GW of capacity, curtailment on the marginal wind farm is at 45% of its output, almost doubling the effective cost. Still CCGT is providing about 42% of supply, including periods of 95%+ during wind lulls. Curtailment is rising quadratically, and marginal curtailment percentage linearly. Extrapolating it is not hard to see that marginal curtailment becomes absurdly high while still not able to supply anything much for windless days. Marginal cost is inversely proportional to 100% less the marginal curtailment percentage.

      I had a go with a simpler set of data in this article I wrote looking at the interaction between wind, solar, storage and diesel generation for Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

      http://euanmearns.com/wind-and-solar-on-thursday-island/

      I see that they have actually gone ahead and replaced their diesel generator now.

      • It doesn’t add up,

        Thanks for the detailed and informative reply. I have to admit, you used some terminology/acronyms that I’m not familiar with. Tonight, I got caught up discussing another aspect of this thread, but tomorrow I’ll try to understand what you are reporting. I’ll probably have some questions for clarification about the details – but I understand the basic message. Thanks again!

  10. Err, aren’t we talking apples and pears here?
    LCOE means cost per kWh delivered to the grid.
    But for batteries, cost per kWh usually means the cost to build that much storage capacity.
    That’s not the same as the final cost of the energy delivered to the grid by the battery.
    That will depend on it’s build cost, how often it’s actually cycled through charge/discharge, and the power source used to charge it.
    So, which meaning of cost per kWh was meant as regards batteries?
    I’m confused.

    • They’re both the cost of delivering electricity to the grid.

      Both are the cost of building and operating facilities per kWh or MWh delivered to the grid.

  11. The weirdest thing about this is that they call hydro-power “non despatchable”. It is actually the most despatchable of all power sources as proven by more than 100 years of large-scale operation. And it can react as fast as a gas peaker plant.

    The 75% capacity factor is decidedly low. In Sweden the average hydro power capacity factor 2009-2017 was 82%. And that includes quite a few powerplants that are by now very old.

    • EIA considers it nondispatchable because many US hydroelectric plants have seasonal availability issues.

    • Hydro is dispatchable until you try to use it too much and find that the reservoirs aren’t replenished to the degree you had been assuming. See e.g. Tasmania’s exploits in exporting via the Basslink, followed by Basslink outage just when the reservoirs ran dry. Or Norway and Sweden’s occasional difficulties when they have a less snowy winter than normal. Since 1990, Sweden’s hydro output has varied between 51.7TWh and 79.1TWh due to weather variations, and Norway’s between 103.9Twh and 142.4TWh.

      Stattnett has a nice chart of the hydrological state of their system here:

      https://www.statnett.no/en/for-stakeholders-in-the-power-industry/data-from-the-power-system/#hydrological-data

      You can see they got quite close to running out altogether in the past.

      • Where have all of the ecologists and environmentalists gone?

        There used to be a time when damming up rivers was seen as a bad idea – as was clear-cutting trees to put up a forest of windmills that rob energy from the air currents and chop up raptors and bats – as was covering open land with reflective, toxin-filled panels that take away lots of natural habitats.

        Climate Alarmists must have them all bound, gagged and locked in a cell somewhere.

  12. Re Unicorns.

    They are supernatural creatures, the size of a carthorse, with a dangerous spike on their heads. They will attack humans on sight, unless said human happens to be a virgin. Good luck!

    Anthea

    • That reminds me of a passage in one of Terry Pratchett’s books:

      “What do you do for a living?
      “I’m a unicorn hunter”
      “Oh….Is it true what they say that you can only catch them by using a virgin as a bait?”
      “Yes, that is correct”
      “They must be pretty rare?”
      “Yes, extremely, and unicorns aren’t that common either”

  13. David

    “Nuclear power and natural gas peakers (CT) are the two most expensive dispatchable electricity generation sources, after than coal with CCS. ” ?

  14. I need to ask a question of all the experts on this subject. How are we, giving up most of our civilization, going to clean up CO2 emissions when we only contribute 15%? What are the experts opinions on how to get China and India, the two largest polluters, to curtail their CO2 production?

    Please don’t blow off the question as we are dealing with 85% of the problem with those two countries. The answer does not lie within the USA.

    • As their economies mature, they will become less carbon intensive. However, there is no way that China, India or the rest of the under-developed nations on Earth will sacrifice growth for decarbonization.

      • David

        “Nuclear power and natural gas peakers (CT) are the two most expensive dispatchable electricity generation sources, after than that coal with CCS. ” ?

    • Trump has probably done more that Obama ever did simply by causing economic recession in China via his trade war.

    • It’s not about CO2, or global warming, or the environment. Those are just excuses, tools to achieve the real objectives.
      It’s not about science at all, otherwise there would be a debate instead of a BS consensus.

      It’s about the demise of industrial civilisation. No CO2 means severe reduction of all our life support systems; limited transport, intermittent power, intermittent refrigeration of food, poor crops, no flying allowed, etc.
      It’s about the elimination of freedom and the destruction of conservative politics.
      It’s about depopulating the planet to make us easier to control, Western countries and Christians first.
      It’s about the elimination of national sovereignty to bring in a New World Order, a One World Totalitarian Government.
      China is already totalitarian, so does not need to be conquered by AGW BS.

      I suggest you read “Be Careful Who You Vote For” posted by Malcolm Carter a few hours ago.

  15. Energy storage is not a solution. Suppose you are 100% renewable energy and you store enough energy for when the wind doesn’t blow for 2 days. Then what happens if the wind doesn’t blow for 3 days?

    Or if you store enough for when the wind doesn’t blow for 5 days. What happens if the wind doesn’t blow for 6 days?

    You can never have real energy security if you rely on renewables and energy storage.

    • John Smith,

      Nature has provided us with adequate energy stores. They are fossil fuels (i.e. peat, coal, oil, gas) and radioactive substances (i.e. uranium, plutonium).

      The problems arise when we attempt to do without using them.

      Richard

  16. The first sentence of the post lays out the utter and absolute false premise of the article: “Electricity and heat production are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.”

    No. This fiction is not even remotely close to the actual situation. Why?

    Human CO2 emissions constitute only 3.4% of all CO2 going into the atmosphere, and as a “greenhouse gas” (GHG), CO2 constitutes only 4% of all GHGs; *water vapor* makes up *95%* of GHGs in the atmosphere. Human emitted CO2 is not even a minor player in affecting the climate, nor is it even a trivial player:

    It. Is. Insignificant.

    See: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/05/01/a-story-of-co2-data-manipulation/

  17. Comments on BRILLIANT LIGHT POWER (formerly Blacklight Power)

    To all of those who have commented so far, dismissing BLP as a scam: I ask you to consider the subject more carefully. I assume (maybe incorrectly) that most offering criticism of BLP have not spent much time researching it. I have been following BLP since 2005. I started with skepticism (as is wise) – and I retain some skepticism – but the scales have been tipping over time. I’m actively rooting for them – and have been for some time. There is much to be considered. I’ll offer some thoughts with the hope of stimulating more conversation.

    I have no investment in BLP – and no agenda other than hoping for some scientific breakthroughs that advance humanity. Breakthroughs come from gaining new understandings about how things work. In my opinion, science has been at a virtual standstill for over 100 years, with most of the practical advancements in science coming before that. In the past 100 years, the significant advancements are around nuclear energy, lasers, the transistor, and maybe a few other things. Otherwise, we have quantum physics (QP), and special and general relativity. SR/GR and QP are not compatible with each other – they conflict. They are useful in very limited ways, however, I doubt anyone can claim their life is better because of the theories of QP/SR/GR. Technology (the application of science) has advanced us tremendously – but this is through incremental improvements in the science that was discovered long ago. If we are to have breakthroughs then we need new understandings – so I’m open to discovering that our understanding of QP is not complete. BLP’s claims challenge QP as we know it. Maybe that will be BLP’s undoing – maybe not. What matters is what we observe and can repeat – even if we can’t explain it fully yet. Validated observations at BLP are worth some consideration.

    Consider for a moment that our gravitational model of cosmology doesn’t explain galactic rotation. The arms of galaxies rotate far too fast for gravity to explain it. When we learned this, what was the response? The response was to theorize “Dark Matter” (DM). For every 1 unit of mass we observe, we have to invent 19 units of mass that we can’t see or detect. Another possible response to realizing gravity didn’t explain the rotation would have been to consider that gravity may not be the force in operation. Those who support the Electric Universe Theory (EU) have produced papers showing how the electric force does a much better job of explaining galaxy rotation. (Link to paper can be provided). Suggesting gravity is not the force – and the EU theory, in general, is considered “quack science” by the establishment. I believe the theory has a tremendous amount of merit – and more and more evidence is coming in from spacecraft probes, and radio observations to support it. Maybe EU theory is wrong – but thinking we understand it all already closes the door to progress. How much might we be missing by creating an almost religious demand to adhere to theory – even if our observations are not consistent with that theory? BLP could be a scam, but it is a very elaborate and clever scam if it is. The work and validation done to date is worth discussion. With that preamble, I will continue.

    BLP claims to have discovered a process that converts Hydrogen gas to a lower valence state, releasing a tremendous amount of energy. This “fractional” valence state contradicts QP to date. BLP claims that the energy released is 100x that of a hydrocarbon fuel like gasoline on a per mass basis. The process uses silver, gallium, or another metal as a catalyst in the reaction. Most of the LENR/LANR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction/Lattice Nuclear Reaction) technologies (formerly referred to as “cold fusion”) involve hydrogen and a metal. Since the fiasco of 30 years ago, dozens of experiments around the world – including at MIT have observed repeatable anomalous energy outputs to LENR/LANR experiments. But none as great as BLP.

    In BLP’s process, an electric discharge (20V/20kA) is used to activate the reaction. The claimed energy output is hundreds of times the energy input. (A very bold claim.) Spectroscopy is used to validate input reactants. Spectroscopy validates that H2 is not present in the reaction products, but what is present in the products is a novel compound with spectral lines that don’t match anything known. These lines do appear to be a close match to lines seen observing deep space; hence the claim they are creating “dark matter”. I’d prefer that they didn’t go down that “marketing” path – but they didn’t ask me my opinion.

    Validation reports – validating various aspects of their process – are available on their website:

    https://brilliantlightpower.com/validation-reports/

    Testing was done by MIT, California Institute of Technology, other universities, and industry experts. Validation supports anomalous energy and novel spectral lines.

    On their “videos” page, you can see the progression of testing of different prototype designs. 24 videos that go back to January 2017.

    https://brilliantlightpower.com/plasma-video/

    The challenges so far have been 1) sustaining the reaction at about 1 per second and 2) controlling the reaction and heat. The next step is converting the energy from the reaction – more on that in a minute. Most of the testing so far has been to develop optimal designs for these first 2 issues. The water bath videos show calorimetry tests – not a method of generating power.

    The following short video shows when a hotspot develops in the reaction vessel and blows a hole in it. What chemical reactions or industrial processes are you aware of that can produce this kind of a blowout? (That is an honest question – not a rhetorical one.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wvMmdF8gBM

    There are 2 methods proposed to capture the energy. 1) Concentrator PV panels – shaped like a geodesic dome over the spherical reaction vessel. 2) Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator attached to the reactor vessel. The reactor vessel is common (or similar) in both designs. Hydrogen gas is introduced into the reaction chamber. Molten metal is pumped with electromagnetic pumps (no moving parts). The metal is divided into 2 streams that arc and meet in the center of the chamber. One stream is connected to the cathode and the other to the anode of an arc welder power supply. The streams are pulsed. Each stream merger allows for the electric discharge that initiates the reaction. The result is a high energy plasma, with the release of high-intensity light – from UV to visible. In the PV system, a carbon fiber dome on the reactor vessel is heated to 3000K from this reaction – and acts like a filament of a very large halogen bulb – but with much more area. An outer dome using concentrator PV cells would surround this carbon fiber “filament” dome. In the MHD system, the expanding plasma from the reaction is channeled into an expansion chamber. Flows of plasma are essentially a current. With magnets and windings, this current can be coupled and converted to electric power.

    The units I have seen would fit into a space of 2’x2’x2’. The plan is for 100kW to 250kW designs to start. This is equivalent to a 130-330 HP gasoline engine. We already know what can be done with a gasoline engine of this size. These units could replace car and truck engines. They can be ganged together to replace train locomotive engines or ship engines. One 200kW car engine has enough capacity to power 5-10 average homes – so personal home units, apartment units, or neighborhood units could be implemented.

    Of course, all of this could be a very clever scam. We can make almost anything look real with CGI. Putting some hardware and some guys in lab coats in a video is easy if it means taking in millions of dollars. However, the development path I observe is what I would expect. Outside engineering companies have been brought in to help deal with the heat and optimize the design for commercialization. Big names in academia and industry have validated aspects of their process. If I were BLP – and I knew what I had was real and not a scam, I would not be concerned about all of the skeptics complaining that I wasn’t going fast enough. If their process is real, then it would be quite amazing. I already believe that our future will be rich in low cost and environmentally friendly energy. 8 companies and 2 governments (India and China) are already making significant progress with Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSR) at the commercial level. Test reactor deployments with power companies and government support are planned for the next few years. Most of this happening in the background – the news being drowned out by Trump Derangement and Climate/Green Energy Hysteria. So even if BLP is snake oil – I think we will be just fine. But if it is real…

    I come from an engineering background, but I see reasons to suspend my skepticism on BLP – but what am I missing? I have not discussed it with other engineers or knowledgeable people. Maybe I have missed something fundamental. I’d like to hear some good points – other than “QP says it can’t be so”. QP is mysterious enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if there is much more to learn.

      • David,

        That’s a pretty dismissive reply.

        I provided the link to the validation reports as well. Did you take the time to look at any of them? Total optical power is reported. Power densities are reported. Input/Output power gain is reported. These measurements cannot be explained by any known chemistry with the mass of reactants used.

        BLP claims to explain this by driving Hydrogen to a new lower valence state, with theory to support it. But whether that explanation/theory is the correct one or not, aren’t you even the least bit interested in the validated measurements?

        It is a poetic irony to watch people courageously fight established climate science, yet stubbornly defend QP as if nothing about our understanding could be missing. What is it in your experience with QP, that makes you so confident that hydrogen couldn’t be the source of the energy observed in the laboratory and measured by qualified validators?

        WW

        • You posted nothing but YouTube videos and the claims of the con man behind this scam. There were no actual “validation reports” of any kind. Validation comes from independent outside auditors, not advertising brochures.

          • Let’s put all the worn emotional arguments on the table.

            “Too good to be true”
            “It seems like this is cold fusion and that was disproved a while ago, do you think I am a fool?”
            “If it is so good why is it not on the market yet?” – “Proof is in the pudding.”
            “Why wouldn’t Harvard or Princeton or MIT want to be involved in something this big?”
            “How do you know Berkshire Hathaway’s TMI Climate Solutions (a partner on the heater product) isn’t just taking a swing on a moonshot idea because they have so much money?”
            This violates Quantum Mechanics (QM) (note: in April 2019 elite physicists say Quantum Mechanics is wrong – of course that is a video of them saying that – not sure if that is “their non-sense”)

            Myself I don’t think CNN did a bad job on the story: bit.ly/blp-on-cnn

            Everyone loves contrition. I think they only thing you can really fault this team for – is putting deadlines out there that were at times far too optimistic – this is all new chemistry and science – on the other hand go look at the pushback — they had no help despite the DOE knowing it was real — long story there — https://endofpetroleum.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Brett-Book-Reviews-v5.jpg

          • Order before midnight tonight and get the CD anthology: Slim Whitman, Roger Whittaker and Samfir on the pan flute… Mention hydrino to get a Popeil Pocket Fisherman as an added bonus.

          • Friends,

            There may be people who have jumped down to recent comments and thus have missed the above discussion of the claims by representatives of BLP.

            BLP is offering a very dubious business opportunity and has not provided any evidence that it has a product – or a potential product – for sale.

            Please do NOT support BLP with any monies especially if you need to spend those monies on other things.

            Richard

    • William,

      Very nice response – empathizing with the reader. Happy to connect with you. Reach out – we want to push these ideas forward, help people who are early on this do well, and cleanup this world

      For those engineers – confused by the math of Mills – you need to start from first principles – I think my article here is a start: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/physics-missing-something-simple-we-locked-box-navid-sadikali/

      navid, endofpetroleum.com

      • Friends,

        Navid Sadikali says, “we want to push these ideas forward, help people who are early on this do well, and cleanup this world”.

        People who have read this thread have no doubts that those promoting BLP in this thread are “people who are early on this” and that they want “to do well”. I write to warn that investment in their so-called ‘company’ has very high risk.

        Richard

    • “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” – Prof Paul Ehrlich.

      Even if it works, it will never get off the ground. The UN doesn’t want us to have stuff like that.

    • Or we could just recognize that dark matter and dark energy are fudge factors created to explain why the universe looks the way it does if it is actually 14.5 billion years old, whereas a younger universe has no need of such just so stories. Did you know that the best explanation of the moon is that it is an optical illusion, because no other explanation of its origins fits all the observed data?

  18. Electricity and heat production are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

    I didn’t think it was worth continuing to read the “news” article after that whopper.

  19. Friends,

    Navid Sadikali says, “we want to push these ideas forward, help people who are early on this do well, and cleanup this world”.

    People who have read this thread have no doubts that those promoting BLP in this thread are “people who are early on this” and that they want “to do well”. I write to warn that investment in their so-called ‘company’ has very high risk.

    Richard

    • We are a strategic advisory in hydrino energy – a tech that has many implications for the world economy. Even just really understanding WHAT it is puts you in good position to orient and react. I mostly follow this board to understand the thinking of people that are different from me — I come here to learn. Much of it is about human psychology – not facts. I offered a different view, for free.

      For the record, EOP has no operating connection to BLP.

      BLP has Pacificorp as an early investor, ABM as a strategic partner, Berkshire Hathaway’s TMI Climate Solutions as a partner to build a heating product,…you get the drift. People of this message board need not protect entities with vastly deeper pockets who can do their own due diligence. This older article is a good one on the controversy: https://endofpetroleum.com/greatest-home-run/ It is clear that everyone sees something different in this story and very very few actually look deeply.

      I will leave you with one more thing, to really unsettle you .

      Many of you feel warm and cosy because in the comfort that Big physics can’t be wrong. Not in the modern world. We have tamed nature and control nature. Quantum Mechanics is the greatest theory ever invented.
      It is form of hubris, which is classically the death knell of an empire.

      It is why you can’t be so confident that the planet does not have a problem – why systems on the planet don’t necessarily keep working when you pollute them at will – whether that be oceans or other…resting in action on a degree here or there is not acceptable.

      Now for the unsettling part…some world class quantum physicists – legends in their field – have announced that Quantum Mechanics is wrong – not a little wrong – but totally wrong – as in wrong like Ptolemy was wrong. Pay attention to their argumentation – the way they talk about how why they were wrong – it speaks to a psychological frame from which they were operating. We call that a paradigm. They are saying they have the wrong paradigm.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ro2WrEd_tc

      I’m happy to leave it here before we turn this into a Kangaroo Court and all start throwing tomatoes.

      • David, again, no one here is both stupid enough to fall for your scam nor rich enough for it to be worthwhile. Go pitch it to Tom Steyer or Elon Musk.

          • David Middleton,

            You said: “It’s not my scam… It’s Navid’s and William’s scam.”

            I’m so glad you said this. Until this thread, I don’t think we have communicated – and if we did I just don’t remember it. I saw your name frequently and I know you post many articles. So my opinion of you was neutral – but assumed you were an intelligent man. I was rather disappointed by your irascible and reactionary responses yesterday. I figured maybe you were having a bad day. When someone else wrongly associated me with BLP, I directly corrected the record. Despite that, and the fact that you have no evidence to support your claim that there is a scam, or that I’m involved in what you call a scam, you specifically call me out by name in that regard. I’m glad you did this because now I have a full measure of you as a person.

  20. David said: “You and Navid crashed this thread promoting the hydrino nonsense, no one else did.”

    I also provided a detailed analysis of storage requirements for an all PV system in the US. The subject is “renewable energy.” I didn’t think discussing BLP was outside the limits of the subject.

    David, if you had said something like “I’d appreciate if we can park the BLP topic as that distracts from what I intended…” I would have said “ok – sure thing.”

    I don’t think I have behaved in a way over this past year of participating on WUWT to warrant being referred to as someone who was scamming others. I’m self-employed (semi-retired), self-funded in my own businesses. I don’t want or need anyone’s money.

    I can’t force you to recant your statements, but it would be the honorable thing to do. I’m not looking to be your opponent David. I’d prefer to resolve this and move on to hopefully more constructive conversations in the future. But to do that you need to show some good faith.

Comments are closed.