The Real Cost of Wind and Solar

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I keep reading how wind and solar are finally cheaper than fossil fuels … and every time I’ve read it, my urban legend detector rings like crazy.

It rings in part because the market is very efficient at replacing energy sources based on their cost. Here, for example, is the story of kerosene, emphasis mine:

When a clean-burning kerosene lamp invented by Michael Dietz appeared on the market in 1857, its effect on the whaling industry was immediate. Kerosene, known in those days at “Coal Oil”, was easy to produce, cheap, smelled better than animal-based fuels when burned, and did not spoil on the shelf as whale oil did. The public abandoned whale oil lamps almost overnight. By 1860, at least 30 kerosene plants were in production in the United States, and whale oil was ultimately driven off the market. When sperm oil dropped to 40 cents a gallon in 1895, due to lack of demand, refined petroleum, which was very much in demand, sold for less than 7 cents a gallon. …
SOURCE

My question was, if wind and solar are so cheap, why are they not replacing traditional sources overnight?

So I decided to look into the question. The main number used to judge how expensive an energy source might be is called the “LCOE”, the Levelized Cost Of Energy. It takes into account all of the costs for new power plants—capital costs, overhead and maintenance costs, fuel costs, financing costs, the whole gamut of expenses for that power source. Well … except for one cost, but we’ll come to that later.

Here is the latest information on the LCOE for various energy sources, from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2021 report entitled Levelized Costs of New Generation Resources.

Figure 1. US IEA levelized costs of electricity, 2021.

And yes, that clearly says that onshore wind and standalone solar are cheaper than any other source of energy.

I looked at that, and my urban legend detector started flashing red and the needle pegged out … why?

Because of the numbers in the first column, the “capacity factor”. The capacity factor for an electricity generation system is what percentage of the “nameplate” generation it actually produces. For example, if the nameplate on a windmill says it will generate 16 gigawatt-hours (GWh, or 109 watt-hours) per year if it ran 24/7/365, and due to the intermittent nature of wind it only actually generates a quarter of that, then its “capacity factor” would be 25%.

I looked at the claimed capacity factors for wind and solar, which according to the US EIA folks are 40%+ and 30% respectively, and I thought “No way. Not possible.”

Now, part of the error in the solar capacity factor is explained by footnote 4, viz:

4Technology is assumed to be photovoltaic (PV) with single-axis tracking. The solar hybrid system is a single-axis PV system coupled with a four-hour battery storage system.

Why is that a problem? Well, because tracking systems need to move each individual solar panel at a steady rate during the day so the panels always face the sun. Then, at the end of the day, they rotate the panel back to its starting position. Unlike fixed systems, these require a complex installation of motors, time sensors, bearings, levers, and the like to rotate the panels.

And because such mechanical “single-axis tracking” systems are expensive to install, expensive to operate, expensive to maintain, and subject to damage from weather, it is very rare for a grid-scale solar farm to use such systems. Almost without exception, they are fixed-angle systems with the panels mounted securely to a (theoretically) wind-proof frame like those at the Topaz Lake Solar Farm shown below.

Figure 2. Solar panel fixed mounts, Topaz Lake Solar Farm, one of the world’s largest.

If you imagine the necessary motors, gears, levers, and other mechanisms required for a single-axis tracking system to be able to rotate each and every one of those nine million! solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, you’ll understand why fixed solar panels are the norm for grid-scale installations.

In any case, I thought I’d find the real data on this question of capacity factors. The amazing source, Our World In Data, has all of the information needed. Here is the current average of all of the world’s real-world wind and solar installations in the most recent year for which we have data, 2019.

Figure 3. Actual and theoretical (nameplate) generation, 2019 data.

As you can see, the US IEA is way off in fantasyland about the capacity factors of wind and solar. In both cases, they are claiming far larger capacity factors than we have out here in the real world.

Now, in Figure 1, they claimed levelized costs as follows, in US cents per kilowatt-hour:

  • Combined-cycle gas — 3.45¢ per kWh
  • Solar — 2.90¢ per kWh
  • Onshore Wind — 3.15¢ per kWh

That’s the basis for the claims that renewables are now the cheapest sources of electricity. However, given the actual capacity factors, in reality these costs are:

  • Combined-cycle gas — 3.45¢ per kWh
  • Solar — 6.21¢ per kWh
  • Onshore Wind — 4.97¢ per kWh

“Cheapest sources”? No way.

And as for offshore wind, they’re just as far off. They claim 11.5¢ per kWh, but the new Block Island offshore wind farm is charging the utility, not the customer but the utility, 24.4¢ per kWh …

And finally, there is a huge elephant in the US EIA room … backup power. This is the missing cost I mentioned above.

If you add a gigawatt of unreliable intermittent renewable wind or solar energy to a system, you also have to add an additional gigawatt of some kind of reliable dispatchable energy, where “dispatchable” means you can turn it up or down at will to replace renewables when there is no wind or sun. The US EIA levelized cost document linked above does mention the need for backup … but it doesn’t even touch the cost of backup. All it says is:

Because load must be continuously balanced generating units with the capability to vary output to follow demand (dispatchable technologies) generally have more value to a system than less flexible units (nondispatchable technologies) that use intermittent resources to operate. The LCOE values for dispatchable and non-dispatchable technologies are listed separately in the following tables because comparing them must be done carefully.

They say that dispatchable technologies have “more value to a system” … but they fail to mention that “more value” translates into higher real-world costs for non-dispatchable renewable technologies.

How much higher? Well … they don’t say. But you can be sure that it won’t be free. At a bare minimum, it will be the capital cost of the dispatchable backup generator plus some portion of the other fixed, variable, and transmission costs … and that means that because of the costs of the needed backup generators, there is very little chance that solar and wind will ever be competitive with other methods.

TL;DR Version: Neither wind nor solar are ready for prime-time, and due to their need for backup power, they may never be ready.


Here on the hill above the ocean, my gorgeous ex-fiancee and I are preparing to visit relatives in northern Florida. We’ll be on the road starting Tuesday for about three weeks, leaving our daughter and son-in-law here in the house to enjoy the sun. If you live in the northern Floridian part of the planet and would like to meet up, drop me a message on the open thread on my blog. Just include in the name of your town, no need to put in your phone or email. I’ll email you if we end up going there. No guarantees, but it’s always fun to talk to WUWT readers in person. I’ll likely be posting periodic updates on our trip on my blog, Skating Under The Ice, for those who are interested.

My very best to everyone,

w.

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Scissor
June 25, 2021 10:09 am

Will some enterprising person bring back whale oil when the lights go out?

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Scissor
June 25, 2021 10:31 am

I use an Aladdin brand Welsbach mantle lantern diesel powered for 60 Watts light equivalent and abundant heat.

Scissor
Reply to  Doug Huffman
June 25, 2021 10:55 am

Nice!

Lots of those, wicks and mantels available on Ebay. Diesel fuel is readily easy to make, unlike gasoline.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Doug Huffman
June 25, 2021 12:52 pm

My brother was lucky enough to inherit our family Aladdin lamp. As you say light and heat from a single source. Nothing better for a house in rural Scotland.

Garboard
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 8, 2021 2:50 pm

I love my Aladdin lantern on my boat but I need to burn liquid paraffin . When I tried using diesel oil as I recall it was quite smelly and smoky

Stephen Philbrick
June 25, 2021 10:10 am

I say take them at their word – if it truly is cheaper, there’s no more need for subsidies.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
June 25, 2021 11:04 am

Or mandates. Obviously the utility companies would be crazy to choose any other power sources, so why would they need to be forced to source a minimum percentage of their power from wind and solar?

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 25, 2021 11:19 am

Agreed

Derg
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 25, 2021 12:12 pm

“ so why would they need to be forced to source a minimum…”

Because of stupid people like Simon, Griff, Ghalfrunt….

David A
Reply to  Rich Davis
June 25, 2021 9:49 pm

And no analysis comparison of the cost of wind plus solar is complete without the greatly increased cost of Natural Gas and fossil fuel generation being properly tagged onto the cost of wind and solar.

This is simply due do the extreme limitations put on NG and FF production, lowering their capacity a great deal, forcing both to start and stop multiple times a day.

Rick C
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
June 25, 2021 3:47 pm

Exactly. And let’s go one step further – no need for a carbon tax or restrictions on fossil fuel plants. The competitive advantage of wind/solar/batteries should be enough to displace these expensive obsolete technologies – Right?

Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
June 26, 2021 9:34 am

Willis wrote:
“If you add a gigawatt of unreliable intermittent renewable wind or solar energy to a system, you also have to add an additional gigawatt of some kind of reliable dispatchable energy, where “dispatchable” means you can turn it up or down at will to replace renewables when there is no wind or sun. The US EIA levelized cost document linked above does mention the need for backup … but it doesn’t even touch the cost of backup.”
 
All true. That is the BIG LIE of grid-connected intermittent power generation. Ignoring the huge costs of intermittency is deliberate deception.
 
The truth is that grid-connected intermittent power has little-to-negative value – here in Alberta when we have excess wind power we still pay the power generator for it, but then we either give it away to neighboring British Columbia or Washington State or actually PAY THEM to take it. The recipients have substantial hydro power that they can use to offset – we do not.
 
We all face increased power costs because of this subsidized wind and solar power nonsense.
 
We have published similar comments since 2002 and nothing has changed:

In 2002, co-authors Dr Sallie Baliunas, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian, Dr Tim Patterson, Paleoclimatologist, Carleton U, Ottawa and Allan MacRae, P.Eng. (now retired), McGill, Queens, U of Alberta, published regarding the Kyoto Protocol:

1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

2. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

Nailed it, 19 years ago.

Regards, Allan

Michael Noonan
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
July 2, 2021 4:43 pm

Possibly, Allan, the fact that the first paragraph you posted of the 2002 study is now so obviously and blatantly wrong, does slightly undermine the reliability of the second one, that you bolded.

Randy Stubbings
June 25, 2021 10:19 am

The need for backup generation is even greater at high latitudes. In Alberta, the cost of the batteries alone to get off the grid using solar and batteries is more than C$1 million. That’s because, north of the 49th parallel, the amount of storage needed to make solar work is about two months’ worth: as explained in these two documents, there is a solar energy shortfall from October to March.

Electricity-from-the-Sun-Reality-Versus-Fantasy-3.pdf (friendsofscience.org)

The-True-Cost-of-Wind-and-Solar-in-Alberta-FINAL-Ap-25-2021.pdf (friendsofscience.org)

Richard Stout
Reply to  Randy Stubbings
June 25, 2021 12:25 pm

High Randy, we agree as usual! When realistic capacity factors (that decline in practice), the cost of standby capacity and other factors such as incremental transmission costs and losses are considered I figure that the misleading LCOE figures should be multiplied by three for a more realistic evaluation against a firm, dispatchable source.

Richard Stout
Reply to  Richard Stout
June 25, 2021 12:26 pm

Damn spell check. I meant Hi!

Randy stubbings
Reply to  Richard Stout
June 25, 2021 7:35 pm

Hi Richard. Good to hear from you. I think the multiplier is even larger unless solar is backed up by the fossil fuel generation it is supposed to replace!

Yooper
Reply to  Randy Stubbings
June 25, 2021 2:21 pm

At the 20 acre property I had in Upper Michigan I was off-grid. The nearest grid connection was 6000 feet away, across a State Forest, so any power lines had to be underground. The quote I got from the local power company was $10/foot, plus connection fees, 12 years ago.
I put in a 3 KW solar array, with 20 golf cart batteries, for $25K. Before I sold it last year I replaced the conventional lead acid golf cart batteries with lead-acid carbon batteries designed for the renewable’s odd cycling profile, 43500, for 20+ hours of back-up. Oh, I still had a 15 KW primary power propane generator. And, no, it ain’t cheaper.

Yooper
Reply to  Yooper
June 25, 2021 2:37 pm

We need an EDIT fuction. Not 43500, $3500…

Charles
Reply to  Randy Stubbings
June 25, 2021 6:33 pm

Everyone to the equator.

PeterD
Reply to  Charles
June 29, 2021 4:40 am

I live almost on the Tropic of Capricorn. We also have a 3KW off grid system, but 2000W of cheap Chinese panels is enough to charge it, most days.
Australian dollar figures back up Yooper’s figures.
It’s not cheaper.
Twenty years ago a lot of wind was installed in our little community. We live on the coast with steady winds. No new installations replacing old wind turbines, they have almost totally gone.
Petrol generators are cheaper than solar + battery, They are just noisy. I can run the house on a little 2Kw petrol unit.

Michael in Dublin
June 25, 2021 10:21 am

Correction:
Actual and theoretical (nameplate) generation!!!!

Willis inadvertently highlights that we need two good legs to stand up to alarmists:
The importance of real physical observations and the value of some historical insights.

Mr.
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
June 25, 2021 12:32 pm

See the couple of comments here from Lawrence and John, who clearly inhabit a theoretical world.

Our god-given lyin’ eyes show us that the sun shines on & off, just as the wind blows on & off. Frequently both off at the same time.

Yet apparently in the theoretical world, these conditions can be hand-waved away as immaterial to supply of constant electricity.

What kind of dysfunctional world is in store for the next generations?

willem post
June 25, 2021 10:35 am

The costs of wind and solar in New England are much higher, because NW has mediocre wind and dismal solar.

The NE wind CF is about 0.28, the NE solar CF is about 0.145, based on ISO-NE monitored operating data.

This article explains all in detail

HIGH COSTS OF WIND, SOLAR, AND BATTERY SYSTEMS IN NEW ENGLAND
https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-solar-and-battery-systems

See table 1 of URL

The article also analysis variability of wind and solar.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  willem post
June 25, 2021 11:37 am

Nice! What’s your thoughts on woody biomass?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 25, 2021 2:51 pm

My thought has always been “We can burn it a lot faster than it can be grown.”

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 25, 2021 3:32 pm

Lot’s of things are possible- but it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s say you have a 1,000 acres of well managed forest. You could burn hundreds of cords per year, while the forest, as a whole, continues to increase in volume of high quality timber – so there is a role for woody biomass but I know many here don’t get it, so I’m not going to invest much effort in it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 25, 2021 4:50 pm

My 1,000 acres of well managed forest will have to fit into a suburban cul-de-sac.

AC Osborn
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 26, 2021 2:00 am

It is dirtier, less efficient and very limited in supply compared to gas and coal.

Randy stubbings
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 26, 2021 5:22 am

Let’s see… 1000 acres times (say) two billion families plus hospitals, factories, etc equals… not a chance.

guard4her
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 26, 2021 9:42 am

I operated wood fired boilers for a few years. The wood waste was sawmill sawdust. It is clean energy due to the high combustion temperature. No visible smoke. Burn 70 cubic yards of sawdust in a week and remove less than 20 gallons of ashes, probably including dirt in the wood.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 25, 2021 4:48 pm

Old technology with limited potential for advanced economies.

willem post
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 26, 2021 3:00 am
guard4her
Reply to  willem post
June 26, 2021 9:45 am

This seems to be a waste of time. If you destroy more than is recovered, it’s not renewing.
Duh

navy bob
June 25, 2021 10:40 am

A minor addition to the kerosene-whale oil excerpt: I believe kerosene was called coal oil because it originally came from coal. Wikipedia says:
“Abraham Pineo Gesner, a Canadian geologist developed a process to refine a liquid fuel from coal, bitumen and oil shale. His new discovery, which he named kerosene, burned more cleanly and was less expensive than competing products, such as whale oil. In 1850, Gesner created the Kerosene Gaslight Company and began installing lighting in the streets in Halifax and other cities. By 1854, he had expanded to the United States where he created the North American Kerosene Gas Light Company at Long Island, New York. Demand grew to where his company’s capacity to produce became a problem, but the discovery of petroleum, from which kerosene could be more easily produced, solved the supply problem.”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  navy bob
June 26, 2021 4:59 am

The UK had Paraffin Young.
Wikipedia
James Young FRS FRSE FCS DL LLD (13 July 1811 – 13 May 1883) was a Scottish chemist best known for his method of distilling kerosene (known as paraffin in the British English) from coal and oil shales. He is often referred to as Paraffin Young.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Young_(chemist)

The Oil Shale bings from the oil industry he created were a feature of the West Lothian landscape until the 1970s.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 28, 2021 6:50 am

They still are a feature, plus they are a sorce of road bottoming. running track etc.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
June 25, 2021 10:47 am

Not being an expert in Government-speak, what does “NB” mean in the table?

And how can we, the general public, get the USG to do real, honest, economic analysis. Living in California, there is no point to complaining to either of my Senators or my progressive Representative.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 11:55 am

Thanks, and have a great and safe holiday in Florida.

Pflashgordon
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 26, 2021 9:20 am

Willis, note that they conveniently left off conventional nuclear, as if it does not exist. Take away greenie protests and massive red tape, government delays and over-regulation, even conventional nuclear would likely be much cheaper than wind or solar. At least so far as capacity factor, nuclear baseload plants easily run >90% capacity factors (check the real-world data BEFORE renewables began distorting the grid).Then they credit combustion turbine as only a 10% capacity factor, but that is only due to system-wide constraints, not limitations in the technology itself. I believe that these are typically peaking units that sit idle except for maintenance until demand spikes.

Basically, wind and solar are parasitic and totally screw up the entire grid and energy market. Also remember, U.S.EIA is a part of DOE, who have totally drunk the KoolAid.

Steve Egbert
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
June 25, 2021 11:03 am

NB = “Not Built”

dk_
June 25, 2021 10:55 am

Willis,
You could also look into the implementation details of that “four hour storage” part of the system. I suspect that you may find that it is much more expensive than the estimate, doesn’t scale, isn’t applicable at all to wind power, and is rarely in place.

Bryan A
Reply to  dk_
June 25, 2021 10:06 pm

And the sun doesn’t shine effectively for 12 – 18 hours a day (12 hours if your panels track and 18 hours if they don’t) so you will need up to 18 hours back-up battery capacity (AND the extra solar square footage to recharge them in 4 – 6 hours of optimum solar generation)

AC Osborn
Reply to  Bryan A
June 26, 2021 2:02 am

The re-charge is the part that is usually forgotten, but as you say you can’t supply and recharge at the same time unless you greatly increase capacity.

Nick Schroeder
June 25, 2021 10:56 am

Not news.
Back in 2010 or so I worked on FEED for a triple set of dual 50 MW P&W NG CT’s near Anaconda, MT.
They were being planned to cope with the wind variability.
Btw the LCOE analysis is chock full of assumptions, uncertainties and what the client wants to see.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
June 25, 2021 2:54 pm

I’d say full of propaganda, because that’s basically what it is. Fodder for idiots that don’t understand that intermittent sources don’t provide what we need and never will.

Mark D
June 25, 2021 11:01 am

Sun and wind power were great on my sailboat. Solar on the motor home would be useful. To run my house? Not so much. Factories? Fuggedaboutit.

sailor76
Reply to  Mark D
June 25, 2021 2:20 pm

I had a 34; Southwind motorhome, added a rooftop solar panel, as we did a lot of off grid camping. It only registered a trickle on the amp meter when the sun was out. Pretty useless in retrospect. Used heavy duty batteries to run the rooftop fan. The solar panel idea sounded good to me, but it was a wasted investment.

Mark D
Reply to  sailor76
June 25, 2021 4:44 pm

Ten 100 watt panels and a larger house bank would do nicely I with MPPT controller and the fridge on propane I think off grid would be doable. LED lamps have reduced lighting load to nil. Boat did well on a lot less.

Hasbeen
Reply to  sailor76
June 25, 2021 8:55 pm

I spent 6 years doing 53,000 miles cruising & working around the Pacific islands. The yacht was a very good sailer, so did very little motoring, thus charging batteries was a chore.

I tried wind & solar, in the trade wind area, which is best suited to both. They both failed to provide useful charging.

The answer was a small Honda 240/12V 800W generator, which averaged 9 hours a week to do the job.

Surprisingly the reasonably quite Honda exhaust was less annoying than the wind generator over time.

griff
Reply to  Mark D
June 26, 2021 1:47 am

and yet most of UK’s car factories have significant solar power… why? the predictable nature of the supply means electricity costs can be fixed for the (long) life of the panels

Jaguar Land Rover Manufacturing Centre Project | Kingspan | Great Britain

Redge
Reply to  griff
June 26, 2021 6:56 am

This will be Kingspan the company that kept fire test results secret – you know the fire at Grenfell where the cladding was a major contributor to the fire

Talk about being economical with the truth!

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
June 26, 2021 8:17 am

Those 21,000 PV modules are going to be a right pain to dispose of in 25 years time.

Michael Noonan
Reply to  Dave Andrews
July 2, 2021 4:51 pm

Dead solar panels are now starting to be recycled. As the earlier generation ones are starting to reach their use-by date, there’s a good buck to be made by recycling them.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
June 26, 2021 9:00 am

Significant? Really?
griff has a really strange definition of predictable
He also has a really strange definition of “long life”.

Then again, griff is famous for redefining words to better fit what he wants to believe.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
June 27, 2021 8:29 am

The installation was made in a hurry in order to squeeze in on 1.5 ROCs per MWh of subsidy back in 2016 AFAICS. Currently worth over £75/MWh in subsidy. And lots more in greenie point virtue signalling at the expense of ordinary household billpayers.

Pretty much useless in wintertime, so they may have added a diesel generator to avoid Triad charges that are based on the high demand half hours – inevitably after sunset.

Last edited 27 days ago by It doesn't add up...
Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:10 am

“If you add a gigawatt of unreliable intermittent renewable wind or solar energy to a system, you also have to add an additional gigawatt of some kind of reliable dispatchable energy, ”
..
Not true
.

https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/63045.pdf
.
“Furthermore, studies and operational practices have found that existing conventional plants that reduce output to accommodate wind and solar typically can provide the reserves needed to accommodate additional variability. ”

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:29 am

In the near term, unreliables ‘vampire’ off existing generation for support. It results in increasing costs by destroying existing efficiencies. Longer term, it destroys existing reliable generating sources and leads to blackouts.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 11:41 am

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:55 am

Wrong analogy; it is the deteriorating economics of the existing generation that leads to their demise. It is sad that we are seeing various jurisdictions having to subsidize FF generation to make up for unreliables’ subsidies. It is paying twice to virtue signal.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 12:00 pm

Lawrence, what is your educational and professional work experiences? As an EE and former GM/CEO of an electric utility, I tell you you appear ignorant of basic electric power generation, transmission and distribution system facts. I think you should lurk elsewhere.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 2:41 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 2:45 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:59 pm

It reduces the amount of profitable electric generation to pay for its immutable O&M and financing costs.

Lawrence, you are either a fool or a troll and I am done with you.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 4:19 pm

Lawrence is sellin’ but I ain’t buyin’!

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 4:53 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:53 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Sunsettommy
Editor
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:38 pm

I have read the post 4 times, even went to the post on the dashboard to see if it was missing, nope your alleged quote doesn’t appear to exist, maybe you are quoting from a different article?

It appears to me you made it up, if proven, I will be unhappy about it.

I think you are lying.

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 5:10 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 7:53 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:08 pm

When you lie about what other people have said, you can expect them to get angry with you.
I’m sorry if that hurts your delicate sensitivities, but that’s the real world.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:47 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:51 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:41 pm

Lawrence, you are trying to shift the discussion away from your fundamental misunderstanding of electric power operations and economics. Willis can support his own positions; he does a much better job than I.

In fact, I was a very successful ‘suit,’ obtaining multiple rate decreases for my customers/owners while increasing reliability. What have you ever done for the people relying on your expertise? Has any group of people ever relied upon you? Without further information, I’ll just assume you are another keyboard cowboy.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 4:56 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 28 days ago by Lawrence Sellin
Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:35 pm

Well, Lawrence, I’ve shown your mine … now show me yours. Bet mine is bigger than yours.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 7:56 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 9:40 pm

(Snipped)

(Let’s get back to the topic and lay off the snarky attacks)

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:10 pm

(Snipped)

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 7:58 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 9:40 pm

(No more flaming arguments on each other, get back on TOPIC!)

SUNMOD

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Curious George
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 1:12 pm

The best way to prolong a life of a car is to let it stand outside for three years.

Mark D
Reply to  Curious George
June 25, 2021 4:48 pm

Aircraft, autos, and gen sets need regular exercise or they go to hell in a hurry.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Mark D
June 25, 2021 5:21 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:10 pm

It really is amazing how little Lawrence knows about machinery.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:55 pm

No one runs anything at 100% except possibly in an emergency. The trick is you set up the system to run at 75%. Them it will run for a long long time.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Curious George
June 25, 2021 7:54 pm

I hope there was an implied sarc tag there. I’m in the process of repairing a car of that description. The worst is the entire fuel injection system full of 4 year old 10% alcohol gas.😒

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Curious George
June 27, 2021 8:46 am

Well, so long as you aren’t hooked into a V2G scheme.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 1:15 pm

Is there anything you know that is actually true?
No, running power plants at partial power does not preserve them, it causes excess wear.
The plants were designed to run with a certain flow and head of steam. Running at anything else causes pressures within the turbine to start wearing on places that were not designed to take the strain.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 2:48 pm

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joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:30 pm

How does the operator make a profit when he has to run his expensive CCGT facility at 50% or less capacity. He cannot. He will need subsidies. Of course, if you want to build much cheaper open cycle plants, with much less efficiency, that is another trade off. Still, who pays?

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  joel
June 25, 2021 5:00 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:11 pm

So the operator has to be able to guess what stupid regulations liberals will come up with next?

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:30 pm

If you are fully shutting down a whole turbine, then you aren’t load following.
If you aren’t load following then you are wasting your time.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:03 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:12 pm

You really are stupid if you actually believe that other than size, there is no difference between a jet engine and turbine.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 1:29 pm

As usual you’re talking utter nonsense …at so many levels. Do you give these things ANY thought at all, or do you just react?

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 25, 2021 2:43 pm

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Rory Forbes
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:39 pm

Actually in the long term is [sic] PRESERVES existing generating sources, since running them at reduced power increases their life expectancy.

Except there is no demonstrated need to have both systems. One is obviously redundant. The conventional energy source can run independently. The misnamed “renewable” source cannot. There is no saving.

Running an engine at 600 rpm (idle) wears it out less than running it at 3600 rpm.

That depends entirely on the type of engine. Running at idle could cause it to carbon up, causing serious damage. Running at 3600 RPM is well beyond greatest efficiency for an HD diesel.
“All modern heavy duty diesels achieve their rated horsepower at the midrange of the rpm band (typically somewhere above 1,600 rpm), whereas they produce high torque at relatively low rpm (typically between 1,100 and 1,400 rpm). Fuel consumption is lowest at lower rpm.”

Therefore, no part of your statement has any validity. Neither wind nor solar are needed. Conventional fuel is.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 25, 2021 5:06 pm

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Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:24 pm

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Rory Forbes
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:54 pm

What wears a turbine out more, running at 100% load, or running at 30% load?

Keeping it running as a backup for unnecessary wind or solar power is the worst thing one can use a jet engine for.

Sunsettommy
Editor
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:57 pm

It depends on the design, best to use it at the designed level for best use of the turbine.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:13 pm

For most power turbines, the 30% load provides a lot more wear.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:52 pm

What do you know about the gas turbine in a CCGT setup?

I know enough to understand that you were not referring to jet engines in the previous discussion … so your question is a non sequitur.

MarkW
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 25, 2021 7:15 pm

It’s not a non-sequitur if he actually is stupid enough to believe that there is no difference between a jet engine and a turbine from a power plant.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 8:15 pm

It’s a non sequitur because we weren’t discussing jet engines of any sort.

It’s like if the discussion was about sulky racing and someone says; “OK, if you’re so smart, what do you know about hot-rod racing?”

Janus100
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:55 pm

That’s my profession.
So, if you have an intelligent question, I might be inclined to answer….

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:13 pm

Based on everything you have written, he knows a lot more about them then you do.

Janus100
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:15 pm

Lawrence, to rebutt your statements in any meaningful way would take a semester type lecture in power engineering electrical generation and distribution.

Hence No, we will not provide detail explanation why your position is totally naive and ignorant,.
We respectfully request you to educate yourself..

Kevin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 2:19 pm

I worked on one of the AP1000 reactors that were designed to play nice with renewables. The control system required to do this made things needlessly complicated.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Kevin
June 25, 2021 2:49 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:33 pm

Knowing that tomorrow is going to be windy or cloudy is pretty close to useless, you need to a forecast of wind and clouds minute by minute.
You’re just phoning it in now.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:27 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:16 pm

I’m guessing that in whatever world Larry lives in, forecasts are always 100% accurate.
Wind speed and direction don’t change minute by minute?
Tell me Larry, have you ever stepped foot outside your mom’s basement?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Kevin
June 25, 2021 3:01 pm

And therefore needlessly expensive – to design, maintain, and repair. And FOR WHAT?!

MarkW
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 25, 2021 4:33 pm

So Lawrence can feel good about himself.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:44 pm

The problem with your proposed solution is that it takes seconds to minutes for the output of a wind or solar plant to change, yet it takes hours for the output of a fossil fuel plant to change.
Your plan to ramp up and down the output of fossil fuel plants to compensate for the unreliable nature of wind and solar is simply impossible.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:29 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:18 pm

OK, it takes a minute or two, however the solar plant can still change in seconds.
Regardless, the point remains that it takes hours to change the output of a power plant. Why don’t you just admit that you have no idea what you are talking about?

Iain Reid
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:32 pm

Lawrence,

they work harder trying to balance demand, and with increased heating and cooling cyles the mainteace goes up and fuel efficiency drops.
By the way try running an internal combustion engine for a long time at idle and see how long it lasts, engines need load for longevity.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:33 am

It’s a matter of semantics. The discussion is in the context of marginal increases to the total output. If your intention is to added ad a gigawatt, and you choose to do it with renewables, you also need to add a gigawatt a reliable dispatchable energy.

Alternatively, if your goal were to idle a portion of existing reliable dispatchable energy using renewables, you are correct that you could do so without adding a gigawatt a reliable dispatchable energy, but you would not have added a marginal increase to the total output. The latter approach might be a reasonable course in certain situations but it does not increase the total available output.

In other words, net addition of power using renewables requires additional reliable dispatchable energy (in roughly the same amounts). 

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
June 25, 2021 11:44 am

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Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:56 am

And you wreck the economics of the grid.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 2:51 pm

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joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:32 pm

Texas power rates have increased in the last few years.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  joel
June 25, 2021 5:31 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:19 pm

It really is amazing how incredibly inept Larry’s defenses have gotten recently.

Sunsettommy
Editor
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 9:28 pm

Yeah he doesn’t make case for any of it.

joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:34 pm

This week, on the day that ERGOT urged conservation, wind power fell from 12GW at 2:00am to 2 GW at noon.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  joel
June 25, 2021 5:33 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:21 pm

Once again, Larry demonstrates that he really doesn’t understand any of the issues being discussed.
joel points at a time when wind power decreased dramatically over a 10 hour period.
Larry declares that this doesn’t matter because ERCOT knows that on average there is less wind during the summer.

joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 9:49 pm

No. Wind drops dramatically from midnight to noon, almost every single day of the year. And, yes, nobody expects wind and solar to come through in extreme weather events. This is an argument for wind and solar? And, who is to pay all these thermal backup plants to stay in business while they run very inefficiently. We will have to subsidize ALL power producers. This is just madness, since it will do nothing to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:26 pm

No, they sacrificed the fundamental economics of a reliable grid for the transitory economics of not paying for reliability. How much has the outages cost TX?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 4:27 pm

P.S. I ran electric grids. Don’t lie to me and expect to get away with it.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 5:36 pm

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Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 5:35 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:22 pm

So you are admitting that wind power is unreliable.
Seems you are trainable after all.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:35 pm

Like most liberals, Lawrence actually believes that what ever the politicians he likes says, is what happened.

Janus100
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:31 pm

Huh hooo!
You’re even more ignorant than I thought…

AndyHce
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 12:30 pm

Actual building is often five or six times the nameplate capacity on the false assumption that enough of that total capacity will be available enough of the time. In reality it frequently isn’t. That’s why Germany more or less gives a large amount of wind produced electricity to Norway, then buys it back at a much higher price when none of their excess wind capacity is actually producing anything.

The same thing applies in California with solar output where the state sometimes PAYS millions of dollars per month to surrounding states to take the excess, then pays extra high prices to buy electricity when CA’s production is well below demand.

The same thing happens in other countries in various manners such as removing wind and solar from the grid when they are over producing much more than thermal plants can be shut down, but paying the solar and wind producers premium price compensation for what they “might” have been able to produce.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  AndyHce
June 25, 2021 2:52 pm

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Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:32 pm

Do you understand how the rate paid to the rooftop solar producers relates to their economics? If you pay rooftop producers the avoided cost of generation, the rooftoppers will revolt because their cost of generation exceeds the marginal cost of other generation. Since they vote, politicians will subsidize them to your detriment.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 25, 2021 5:38 pm

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Last edited 28 days ago by Lawrence Sellin
Dave Fair
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 6:35 pm

I wasn’t going to respond to your inanities anymore, Lawrence. This one, however, is beyond stupid. Rooftop installations exaggerate the ‘duck curve’ phenomenon, thus requiring utilities to install more peaking generators. You are a fool or a knave and I have zero respect for you.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:23 pm

Except they don’t because the max demand happens many hours after peak solar power.
Really Larry, this is basic stuff that anyone with even a minimal IQ could look up. Why is it you work so hard to remain ignorant?

Lrp
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 9:32 pm

Peak power usage is from late afternoon until evening, when rooftop solar output is lowest, if it happens.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:36 pm

The fact that you don’t know how completely irrelevant your comment is, says nothing good about your education and your intelligence.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:44 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:25 pm

If you stop acting like an idiot, I’ll quite calling you on it.
BTW, it is more than obvious that you have zero, or less, knowledge about any of these subjects that you insist on lecturing us about. Yet you continue to make a fool of yourself.

Lrp
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 9:35 pm

Dude, you present yourself as an ignorant, but pig headed idiot. What do you expect, accolades and admiration?

MarkW
Reply to  Lrp
June 25, 2021 9:44 pm

He wants a participation trophy, and he wants it now.

Curious George
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 1:16 pm

Are you saying that you never needed that gigawatt?

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Curious George
June 25, 2021 2:52 pm

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John Boland
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 2:04 pm

Can we layoff 1 gigawatt of those employees?
nope

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:10 pm

Nope, to add a gigawatt, you install two gigawatts of wind/solar, then throttle down existing plants by one gigawatt.

Uh, NO. If you *needed* to ADD a gigawatt and you added two gigawatts of wind/solar, they still leave you with a blackout when the Sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

PS “renewables” such as biomass plants do not need any backup.

Biomass on a small scale using “waste” wood and brush as fuel can be useful, but it won’t work on an industrial scale. It also can’t be ramped up and down very quickly or efficiently – nobody wants to sit in the dark waiting for the plant to get a fire going when the wind stops blowing and/or the Sun stops shining. And if you’re going to use more than “waste” wood for your biomass plants, you’ll then need to explain to the tree-huggers how environmentally friendly deforestation is. The problem with “biomass” is that you can burn it a hell of a lot quicker than it can be grown.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 25, 2021 5:48 pm

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joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:31 pm

If you follow the UK grid, you will see that they have an average of 6 GW with 11,000 wind turbines. That output varies form 13 GW to 0.5GW.

meab
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:39 pm

Stupid comment, Sell-out. If you need to add one single gigawatt, you would need to add over 5 GW of solar. Why? Because solar’s capacity factor is typically less than 0.2. The fact that it has to be less than 0.5 is understood by even a half-wit (so you’re probably less than a 1/4 wit). There’s also winter with low sun angles, short days, high cloudiness, and snow in many places. Plus when solar goes off line, as it does every single night, ALL solar goes off line. You get no additional power from your second GW solar plant. So what will you do at night for power if you throttle down existing plants? Guess you can’t do that. You obviously don’t know that Germany gets most of their power in winter from coal, lignite (dirty coal), and wind and almost NOTHING from solar. But they often have weeks with little wind. By trying to go green, the Germans ended up with electricity costs THREE times the U.S. cost.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  meab
June 26, 2021 7:02 am

And didn’t reduce CO2 emissions after wasting all their resources building virtue signalling wind/solar “power” anyway. Whoops!

Not that CO2 emissions matter anyway, of course.

joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 26, 2021 7:06 am

In the attached graph, I have plotted wind output in the UK divided by the UK’s reported installed wind power, as of 2020, eg. capacity factor, from Oct 2019 to Apr 2020. I used the installed wind power based on a wikipedia article. The wind power data comes from https://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/.
We can argue about the true value of the mean C.F. What cannot be argued is that 50% of the time the C.F. is less than the mean value. According to this chart, for example, 25% of the the time the C.F. is less than 14%. The C.F. never gets above 58%.
So, if you need 1 GW of wind power you need at least 3 GW of wind power installed ON THE AVERAGE. That assumes effective battery storage, since wind power is independent of demand. 25% of the time, when the C.F. is under 14%, you will need at least 10GW of installed wind power plus an effective storage system.

UK Capacity Factor.png
nickc
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:38 am

Ya but wasn’t the idea of wind and solar to replace conventional, can’t be done.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  nickc
June 25, 2021 2:53 pm

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joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:36 pm

Yes. The UK produces 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions, 1/3rd of that from their electricity sector. The efforts being made in the Western world insignificant.
Same with CA.

jimf
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:26 pm

You seem to start from the false premise that emissions need to be reduced. Proof, please

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:38 pm

Except you can’t throttle them back, since you may need that power on a minute or two of notice.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:50 pm

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Last edited 28 days ago by Lawrence Sellin
MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:27 pm

Not well.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:49 pm

CCGT can track, if you design that ability in from the beginning.
However, by giving it the ability to produce power moderately well at many different power settings, you are giving up on peak efficiency.
Beyond that, you also have to make the entire assembly stronger as it now has to deal with many different stresses and vibration modes.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:26 pm

Only by a very tiny amount, that’s because when you throttle them back, they become much less efficient.
Anyone else notice how frequently Larry tries to change the subject?

Last edited 28 days ago by MarkW
Abolition Man
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 7:54 pm

MarkW,
It’s actually rather amusing to watch Larry the Sellout jump from one topic to another as his BS gets wrecked by other commenters that have far more expertise and experience than he possesses!
I’m not sure what Marxist organization he sold out to, but they’re definitely not getting their money’s worth!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:45 am

“….can provide the reserves….”

For how long and at what cost? But isn’t it the objective of the greens to permanently close/dismantle “conventional plants”. And if some are not closed- I doubt you can just flip a switch to turn them back on or increase their output.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:49 am

Yes true, because there will always be times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
Making conventional plants ramp their output up and down causes the energy produced by them to be much more expensive.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 2:55 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 29 days ago by Lawrence Sellin
MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:41 pm

Are you really as stupid as your comments make you sound?
Are you trying to take over Nick’s title as someone who’s only talent is changing the subject?

If the wind blows to hard, wind turbines are shut down to prevent damage.

Even an idiot such as yourself should be able to figure out that when a turbine produces power 20% of the time as opposed to 10% of the time, it’s unit costs are going to go down.

(Let’s cool down the personal attack stuff……) SUNMOD

Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:53 pm

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Richard Page
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 6:57 pm

Larry – it isn’t name calling if it is an accurate description of you based on the posts you have submitted. I suggest if you don’t want to be called that particular name then you should stop posting idiocies.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Richard Page
June 25, 2021 8:08 pm

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Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 8:05 pm

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Last edited 28 days ago by Sunsettommy
Rusty
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 1:17 pm

At additional cost to the consumer and taxpayer.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Rusty
June 25, 2021 2:57 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:41 pm

You have no idea how unit costs are actually calculated, do you?

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:54 pm

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MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:30 pm

Then for once, demonstrate your ability to get something right and explain how you believe unit costs are calculated.
BTW, if you say something inane like dividing costs by output, expect to be ridiculed even more severly.
You have to explain all of the costs and how you calculated them. Don’t forget to include labor, maintenance, depreciation, etc.

Last edited 28 days ago by MarkW
Dean
Reply to  MarkW
June 26, 2021 2:28 am

Crickets…………

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 26, 2021 7:07 am

The “unit cost of wind” is meaningless, as it omits the gigantic issue of the lack of ability to consistently produce power 24/7. And the gigantic costs of dealing with that reality.

Ben Elmore
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 2:17 pm

I follow MEAN in Nebraska. They are supposedly supplying the power to my community 1500 miles away. 8 different farms, spread across the state, hundreds of separate turbines that all go completely dead for 12 hours often and the longest period I have seen is a 72 hour stretch where they entire production of 8 farms was zilch. This is demonstrably false.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Ben Elmore
June 25, 2021 3:00 pm

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Last edited 29 days ago by Lawrence Sellin
joel
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 3:44 pm

Don’t know about Nebraska, but in TX there is a dramatic drop in output from midnight to noon. Look at the ERGOT data. In the UK the wind does not show a diurnal variation.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  joel
June 25, 2021 5:56 pm

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AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 26, 2021 7:09 am

ERGOT might be more apropos, as in “ER, GOT NO POWER.”

starzmom
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 2:45 pm

You forget we are shutting down our conventional plants left and right. And they can only provide quickly dispatch able power if they have some rolling reserve. Otherwise, it takes hours to bring a conventional steam turbine plant up to temperature. NREL operates with pie in the sky thinking.

Bob Meyer
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 2:54 pm

The paper argues that energy backup requirements can be reduced by “aggregating” various solar and wind source from different areas. Basically, their argument comes down to “Somewhere the wind is always blowing and somewhere the sun is always shining”. The transmission costs between “somewheres” is never addressed.

Chris
Reply to  Bob Meyer
June 26, 2021 1:24 am

Here is Australia, in summer it is common for a high pressure system to centre over the middle of Australia – the result is light winds across the whole eastern seaboard where the majority of the population lives. I have read this argument so many times and have come to the conclusion that people don’t understand the weather – let alone the climate.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bob Meyer
June 26, 2021 7:11 am

Nor is the fact that their “claim” is (1) not true and (2) that the “somewhere” it may indeed be blowing doesn’t mean it’s close enough to be connected to where it’s needed, or that it will produce enough power to make up for transmission losses between supply and demand.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 7:37 pm

Until you have a peak load situation, like Texas last February and for four months each summer. Then every reliable power source is operating at 100%. If you have 20% unreliables as part of your mix, you will be 20% short if the sun goes down or the wind blows less. If you need to keep the power grid up and meet the needs of your customers, you have to be able to meet the peak load with reliable energy production alone.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 10:29 pm

If existing conventional plants have to reduce output to accommodate wind and solar, then wind and solar add no capacity to the system.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 11:28 pm

Lawrence,

it depends on if you need to expand the grid capacity, such as accomodating the extra load from electric vehicles and heat pumps as the U.K. government seems to want to do.

Heat pumps seem entirely illogical to me as they are nowhere near as efficient as they claim due to basing the efficiency relative to the electrical power they use, which negelcts the losses in generating and transmission. As I believe the winter heating load is currently four times the maximum electrical load, this will require a very large increase in electrcical capacity used for about four months of the year. Even if heat pump take up is only a quarter of heating demand this equates to doubling our electrical demand.

Furthermore as we will need to have sufficient gas power stations exactly as Mr Eschenhbach points out, it will not reduce CO2 emissions to any great extent but at great cost and for a less efective heating system to boot.

Pflashgordon
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 26, 2021 9:55 am

Lawrence, first consider the source, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, propagandists for the industry. That aside, your quote actually proves the assertion. That is, existing fossil fueled plants with 80-90+ percent capacity factors are FORCED to cut back to accommodate parasitic “renewables” to the point that they become uneconomical to operate (e.g., who would build a CCGT [combined-cycle gas turbine] to only operate with a capacity factor of 30-50%?) That is precisely the same as the quote that you dispute. For now, as “renewables” still have relatively low penetration, it is not as noticeable, but as penetration increases and/or as demand increases, wind and solar destabilize the grid and will have to be backed up 1:1 with conventional sources. Who gets to pay for these duplicate systems? You and me, the ratepayers. What a scam!

beng135
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 27, 2021 8:06 am

Hahahaha — a goobermint website link. There’s really an Easter bunny too…..

Bill Toland
June 25, 2021 11:32 am

Believe it or not, there are actually solar farms in Scotland. Their capacity factor is less than 9% because Scotland is one of the worst places in the world for solar farms. They were only built because of the gigantic subsidies that were available at the time.

http://euanmearns.com/solar-pv-potential-in-scotland/

As can be seen in the link, the capacity factor in the winter months in Scotland falls to 1%. Greens actually had the nerve to complain when the subsidies were reduced for new solar farms.

Last edited 29 days ago by Bill Toland
joel
Reply to  Bill Toland
June 25, 2021 3:45 pm

Same in the UK. They want all in on solar starting in about 2010. Now, in the last four years, there has been no increase in solar on the UK grid. Guess what changed? (Hint: The sun did not stop shining.)

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  joel
June 27, 2021 8:56 am

it was the financial sun that stopped shining. No more raining down of lavish subsidies.

John Phillips
June 25, 2021 11:37 am

Have I got this right? The capacity factor of new generation planned for 2026 in the US is higher than the installed, aging global fleet as at 2019. I am shocked!

An apple-apple comparison eg for US Wind shows the CF for March and April this year to be 43.5% and 40.6% respectively. Up from 32% in 2011.
 
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_6_07_b

Reply to  John Phillips
June 25, 2021 12:06 pm

for yeas UK renewable energy lobbys have claimed that capacity factors of over 35% are what are obtained. meanwhile metered output shows that 20-25% is the real figure, the 35% is modelled and does not include overspeed shutdown or broken turbines.

John Phillips
Reply to  Leo Smith
June 25, 2021 12:24 pm

Evidence? Link? My figures are from the US EIA.

The UK Government DUKES report for 2020 found a CF of 32% for onshore and 40.4% for offshore wind.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904826/DUKES_6.5.xls

joel
Reply to  John Phillips
June 25, 2021 3:51 pm

Why use the US EIA figures? Just get the UK data and do your own math. I did. The overall CF was 28%.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  joel
June 27, 2021 9:00 am

2021 is looking a lot lower. Lots of Dunkelflaute. Plus some cable connection problems, as Ørsted admitted in their annual report.

beng135
Reply to  John Phillips
June 27, 2021 8:43 am

Again, goobermint website links. Naive much? Believe propaganda much?

Derg
Reply to  John Phillips
June 25, 2021 12:17 pm

Is this with subsidies?

Is wind including the cost to maintain reliability?

Bill Toland
Reply to  John Phillips
June 25, 2021 1:04 pm

Some blatant cherry picking there. March and April were unusually windy months. I see that the capacity factors for January and February were 34.1% and 32.8% which is similar to 2011.

MarkW
Reply to  John Phillips
June 25, 2021 1:17 pm

Unless someone has found a way to make the sun shine on new solar cells more than it shines on old ones, your complaint is without merit.

starzmom
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 2:48 pm

Well, they might be cleaner and less scratched.

MarkW
Reply to  starzmom
June 25, 2021 4:46 pm

The cells themselves also degrade over time. Especially if they are left in direct sunlight.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 6:08 pm

That’s why I cleverly shade my solar cells. </sarc off>

John Phillips
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 3:55 pm

In fact, per your link the US average capacity factor over the last decade is 33.6% … so their claiming 41% as an average is a joke.

So, logically, your figure of 26&% must be absolutely hilarious.

My point sailed over your head. Comparing the CF of planned US 2026 capacity with global existing CF is about as unscientific as it gets. Good enough for WUWT though.

You will get a few upvotes here for this lame stuff – but good luck convincing anyone outside the echo chamber.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Phillips
June 25, 2021 5:14 pm

“… CF of planned US 2026 capacity …” is fantasy. I can plan on any CF I want, that doesn’t mean it will be realized.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 26, 2021 3:18 am

Well done Willis..
I killed my laptop’s battery (and got something akin Migraine) chasing around to find out what ‘Time Adjusted Capacity‘ is.
Got nowhere

Because as read, their numbers are insanely high and simply nonsensical
Esp for solar PV

What Is The Requirement for them to do that?

MarkW
June 25, 2021 11:45 am

Another thing that is often over looked when calculating how much power a solar panel is able to produce in a day, is that not only does the sun travel from east to west every day, it also travels north and south during the year.

Assuming you align your arrays so that they are pointed directly at the sun on the equinoxes.
As the sun moves poleward after the equinox, the total amount of energy that can be captured each day drops, until it gets to the longest day of the year.
From that point the amount of energy increases until equinox is reached again.
Then the sun starts to move towards the equator and once again the total amount of energy drops until the shortest day is reached.

The difference in total irradiance caused by this north/south motion of the sun is enough to create the seasons. Surely it will also have a measurable impact on how much energy a solar panel is able to capture.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 3:06 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 4:59 pm

Do you specialize in non-sequiturs, or have you been taking lessons from Nick.

Anywho, since you brought up the point of air temperature, haven’t you just proven that the worst place to put a solar array is in the desert, where it gets really hot?

Beyond that, without some numbers your attempts to compare efficiency changes due to angle of incidence and air temperature are as silly as you are.
How hot would it have to get for the output of a solar cell to drop as much as having the angle of incidence change from 90% to 45%?
If you don’t know, then it proves that you are blowing smoke again.

Abolition Man
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 8:02 pm

MarkW,
I think he may be trying to wrest the crown for Dunning-Kruger away from AOC! He seems to be the mental equivalent of; “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane!”

SMS
June 25, 2021 11:46 am

What is the LCOE if you eliminate all taxes from fossil fuels and all taxes/subsidies from renewables, where they will be compared on a level playing field? Right now, our government unfairly taxes coal and oil because they have demonized their usage and know they can get away with stacking the deck against fossil fuels to make renewables look more attractive.

Rich Lentz
June 25, 2021 11:49 am

Another problem with Wind that is ignored and described/dismissed as “You do not know what you are talking about” is what the utilities generating electricity call “Hotel Loads”, that is the electricity load and in use 24/7/365. The typical hotel load is in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 percent of the nameplate deliverable electricity. The typical wind turbine has a myriad of permanent electrical loads that must be in operation 24/7/365. For example; HVAC, Hydraulics and the associated motors, cooling systems for the hydraulics, generator, etc. weather station equipment needed for wind speed and direction, motors to adjust the turbine blades and to adjust the direction of the nacelle, computers and communication systems and many other things. Yes, not all of this will be running 24/7/365, However a large majority must be ready to move the nacelle immediately or goodbye wind turbine. typically this load is NOT taken directly from the generator but from a separate feed off of the grid. This load will be placed on the grid and added to the total power generation needed to make 100% “Renewable Power.” That means for every six Wind Turbines added to the Grid your design will need to include one more to meet the load requirements of the average number of Wind Turbines that are NOT generating power. This because you are NOT even getting a REAL 28% capacity factor, you are getting MUCH less.

That wind farm with one hundred 1-Megawatt turbines will have a average, annual, delivered capacity of 28 megawatt and an average, annual load on the grid of 12+ megawatts. That is why no one selling wind turbines tells you these numbers.

Don’t like my numbers, then find a competent Electrical Engineer with a PE to determine the average annual use of electricity for a Wind Turbine, and do the math.

PS. When you calculate the energy used by the Solar Steam Generators, Like the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System with the three axis mirrors you will find that they are generating less than twice as much electricity as they use. Again calculate the amount of power used in the Instrumentation and Control System for the multi thousand motors used. The typical Ham Radio rotor for a Tribander antenna needs about 200 Watts.

Jeffery P
Reply to  Rich Lentz
June 25, 2021 12:50 pm

Is Ivanpah still open? Google admitted it was a failure years ago. It’s also a hazard to aircraft navigation to kills an untold number of birds. From the air, the mirrors look like a body of water to birds. They come in to land, or for a drink and the concentrated solar power cooks them. Birds are known to catch fire before they hit the ground. Well, at least solar is environmentally friendly, right.

If you’re motoring along the California/Nevada border on I-15, take a good look, it is something to see.

Bob Meyer
Reply to  Jeffery P
June 25, 2021 3:07 pm

I heard that they made a deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bob Meyer
June 25, 2021 4:37 pm

New product called Wuhan Duck.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 25, 2021 8:03 pm

Isn’t it stuffed with bats?

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Rich Lentz
June 25, 2021 3:11 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Last edited 29 days ago by Lawrence Sellin
MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:03 pm

Once again, Lawrence demonstrates just how desperate he is to try and defend his religion.
Compare the power needed to run those pumps to the amount of power a nuclear power plant produces between shutdowns. On one hand you have a few kilowatts for a week or so. On the other hand you have several gigawatts for several years straight.
Now lets take a look at Lawrences beloved bird choppers.
Output of the turbine, a Megawatt or two, for on average maybe 2 days out of the week. Versus a few kilowatts for the other 5 days.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 26, 2021 3:55 pm

Lawrence I don’t know what you are Sellin but I have over fifty years in commercial nuclear power Electrical production. For ten years I was responsible for testing these nuclear power plants electrical systems, Instrumentation systems, reactor control systems, testing pumps to assure they met design specifications on flow and pressure. etc. Even interfacing with the Utility employes responsible for the distribution of the generated electricity while testing the Plant and Substation protective circuit breakers and metering systems.
The average person thinks that when a Wind turbine (any commercial power generator) generates electricity that power needed to make it generate electricity comes out BEFORE it goes on the Grid. That is rarely, if ever, the case. Actually it is sort of like a value added tax – the generated power comes out of one pocket and the Hotel Load comes out of the other pocket.
Use Your Brain. How can you run the hydraulic pumps, HVAC, computer, etc. out in the middle of nowhere? Are you going to have an emergency generator like you would use for a home emergency generator to run this vital equipment? NO The Utility gets that power from the local utility where the Wind turbines are sited. That also means there is a meter measuring that electricity delivered to the Wind Turbine AND another Meter measuring the power Delivered to the Grid by the Wind turbine. The entity owning the Wind Turbine and generating the electricity LIKEs this, It is standard practice throughout the Electric Utility system BECAUSE the electricity you buy is an expense and a tax write off. And it makes the average politician, municipal official, uninformed educators, etc. think they are getting more power from a Wind Turbine ( Solar Steam Electric Generator, etc. than they actually are.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 27, 2021 10:36 am

The closest I have come is an analysis made several years ago on the Wind Turbines sited off of the coast of Scotland by an engineer that kept track of the power delivered to the Wind Turbines and the power produced. He discovered that the power used in the winter [when the use of electricity used to heat the blades, oil, run the hydraulics etc. is the greatest] exceeded the total power generated by the WTs. I normally only look at WUWT, Notrickszone and Climate Depot.

A large load is heating the blades in the winter, which Texas probably decided not to install/use. then therr is all of the hydraulics, which also needs heating or kept warm when not in use. Most people in areas north of S. Dakota have heaters on their vehicle oil pan. Even on a Nuclear Submarine in the Warm engine room the oil reservoir for the TG had heaters.

A fairly inclusive list of loads are on this page. http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html
yet there are lots of other things left out.

Approximate power requirements can be estimated with the “Rule of 1500” which states:
1 HP is required for each 1 GPM at 1500 PSI or any multiple of 1500 such as 3 GPM at 500 PSI, 2 GPM at 750 PSI, 1/2 GPM at 3000 PSI, etc. Heaters on oil systems, are usually not needed, if/when the pump is running. BUT, oil must be kept at the proper viscosity – temperature in anticipation of the Turbine, blades, etc rotating. It is my experience that they just let the pumps run and bypass the oil. Also in warm areas, like Texas. the oil will need to be cooled! An Air Conditioner will not do this. It means cooling it just like an Internal Combustion engine with coils cooling the oil cooled by air at a radiator. Systems are needed for both lubricating oil and Hydraulic oil. As you can see, you are going to be running several, a few, large motors. each separate system requiring at least two motors.One for it’s need purpose and one for cooling.

Then you need to consider the heat load that needs cooled/heated in the  nacelle. How many therms does a 10 MW WT Generator produce with a 10 MW load. (Been to long since I had that exercise.) Dont heat/cool then the electronics will not work, which is also producing therms.

Basically, all of the power used to make the WT work is going to make heat in the  nacelle which needs removed by an HVAC. About the same size as needed for a 3BR Home.

Descriptions not accurate, but kept simple as I do not know your engineering level of knowledge. Excuse me if I made it to simple.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 27, 2021 12:09 pm

Even a Whole House Solar system Like the Tesla Panels /Battery will have power leaches. There is of course the fact that panels are rated in terms of developed DC power. The Conversion from DC to AC has losses and the PV Solar Charger Controller – the interface between the PV Solar Panels and the battery has loses. Efficiency decreases with temperature and they are BLACK. Then there are the fans for the inverters and batteries. And like the Nacelle, this equipment will add a heat load on the home if installed inside the home, AND have lower efficiency if installed outside the home in Southern CA. Just like the Mini-Heat-Pump HW Heaters used in CA today. [Make sure it is in your garage/carport if you have one, otherwise you are pawing for the energy twice.] I long forget the Rule-of Thumb for HVAC to remove heat. I do know that my heat-pump is three times as efficient as a NG High efficiency Furnace – Above 30 F.

Rud Istvan
June 25, 2021 11:53 am

I went to EIA.gov and checked the 2021 source document. Nothing has changed from the ‘True Cost of Wind’ analysis posted over at Judith’s in 2015. The tip-off is sentence 1 on page 6. The cost recovery period is 30 years for all types. This is simply wrong. The warrantied life of GE CCGT is 40 years; actual life is longer. The unwarrantied life of large wind turbines is at most 20 years owing to axial bearing wear from uneven loading (windspeeds are higher aloft).

So not only are the EIA capacity factors far too high, and the costs of intermittent backup ignored, they don’t even recognize these very different economic lifetimes in their calculations. Shorter than 30 years raises the capital component of LCOE, by about 30/20 1.5x (not the correct annuity calculation, just illustrative), while longer than 30 lowers it—for CCGT by about 1-(30/40) 25%.

The much cited EIA LCOE numbers were and remain deliberately misleading. In the 2015 deconstruction posted at Judith’s, CCGT true LCOE was about $58/MWh while onshore wind was $146/MWh. EIA claimed they were comparable at about $90 each.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 25, 2021 3:17 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:04 pm

We’ve been using windmills for hundreds of years.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:39 pm

Yup. To pump a bit of water up when the wind blows. NOT otherwise.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:37 pm

I usually ignore ignorant trolls like you. But not this time. You obviously did not read the proffered 2015 wind cost post, and also obviously did not research either (e.g. Vestas versus GE) recent warranties or recent field experience. The oldest wind turbines are small. I specifically said the modern big ones (generally 2MW+) and their failure mode.

Your belief assertions mis-specifying basics are of no value to those of us here who have put in already the research sweat equity you obviously have not.
NEVER again challenge my referenced facts unless you have equally referenced counter facts. Those we can debate. Your beliefs, not. Begone.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 26, 2021 9:21 am

According to Wind Europe (‘the voice of wind energy in Europe’) 388MW of wind power was decommissioned in Europe in 2020 –

222MW in Germany, 64MW in Austria, 61MW in Denmark, 25MW in Belgium, 15MW in France, 2MW in Luxembourg, 0.3MW in UK.

So obviously there is considerable knowledge of wind turbine “life expectancy”

And wind provided only 16.4% of electricity demand across the EU and UK that year

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 25, 2021 6:25 pm

Rud (and Willis), what concerns me as a citizen of a Constitutional Republic is that our government openly lies to us in its official documents. Apparently, the Deep State is so secure in its embedment that they publish easily refuted lies without fear of retribution.

Who will report on your revelations? Would they be cancelled? Refutations to the he lies of the last National Assessment Report were ignored by governmental and media entities. Are there any differences between them now?

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 26, 2021 7:27 am

Agree. Freezing in the dark is bad enough but the fact that the gov, as you have written: “publish easily refuted lies without fear of retribution” is of utmost concern on many levels.

SMS
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 26, 2021 12:19 pm

I think the 40 year life span attributed to FF plants is too short.

Renewables fail, FF plants do not.

Most FF plants are being shut down for political reasons. The political policies generated by state and federal governments impact the economics of the FF plant by inflating their true LCOE.

Nick B
June 25, 2021 11:59 am

It’s a little bit more about the price. When they compare the prices, they got a price of cheapest low efficiency panel made in China. I thought Biden going to start technological war with China, you could easily triple the price for US made solar panels.
Similar lie used about the efficiency of electric car. I never saw a battery with efficiency better than 80% brand new. EV promoters always mentioned 37% efficiency of ICE motor. Well, it’s really difficult to estimate a power load of the car on the road, so I just took a look on electric generator datasheet. Manufacturers provide fuel consumption on full load. Knowing gasoline heat capacity. calculation shows 86% of efficiency…

gringojay
Reply to  Nick B
June 25, 2021 2:08 pm

Biden’s magic touch will make everyone want to get an electric car because fuel for an ICE engine is getting expensive. The Big Guy is so smart he has to whisper in order not to blow your mind.\

82E174BC-2679-4529-ACCF-7B4A45A7BFBC.jpeg
Nick Schroeder
June 25, 2021 12:02 pm

Take a closer look at the authors of these studies.
Fresh faced interns with computer “science” degrees sitting in cubicles running Excel or Access spreadsheets.
Closest they have been to an actual powerplant is looking out the cabin window from 30,000 feet.
No budget for actual site visits.

Bob Cherba
June 25, 2021 12:06 pm

It never fails to amaze me how otherwise intelligent (?) people can claim solar and wind are less expensive than FF or nuclear. They ignore (conveniently) the fact that they require some type of 100%, dispatchable backup, essentially two power systems. Wind and solar produce little or no power for periods of days every year, especially during very hot or cold weather when power is needed most. They must be backed up with FF spinning spare and/or batteries. If only batteries, they must have sufficient MWh capacity to carry the system for several days — BIG batteries. And if battery backup, the RE generators must be sized to meet the expected load, including the power to recharge the batteries.

Then there’s the fact that solar panels, wind turbines and batteries have a shorter life than FF generators. At the moment, solar panels, batteries and wind turbine structures are not recycled, and the large, reinforced concrete turbine foundations are left in the ground. None or little of this is properly accounted for by the RE enthusiasts who claim RE is cheaper than FF and nuclear.

One of my pet peeves is seeing power company ads boasting their newest solar of wind turbine installation will supply power to some large number of homes. I consider this a lie, or at best badly misleading.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bob Cherba
June 25, 2021 3:21 pm

No you had it right the first time, a blatant LIE. Let them plug those X-number of houses into a “dedicated” grid that is supplied ONLY by those newest virtue-signalling wind and solar installations, and see how the “customers” like it.

joel
Reply to  Bob Cherba
June 25, 2021 3:59 pm

About those concrete foundations, I HAVE READ that they intend on keeping them in place and just replacing the stuff in the nacelle. That would be rational. At least, that is how they are projecting their costs to sell them.

Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 12:07 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Derg
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 12:21 pm

Who is subsidizing the wind?

How is reliable power achieved…more subsidies?

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 1:25 pm

Wind mills are cheaper than diesel generators.
Surprise, surprise, surprise.

I suppose you actually believe that you’ve found some killer fact that will prove your case once and for all.
BTW, you still haven’t accounted for the fact that the island still needs to own and maintain those generators for the times when the wind isn’t blowing. Not to mention the fact that wind is heavily subsidized.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 3:22 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 25, 2021 5:06 pm

So you were lying when you claimed that the islanders were paying for power from diesel generators before the windmills came online?
Or is it that you just don’t know what you are talking about?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
June 25, 2021 5:56 pm

Both.

Davidf
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 3:51 pm

If you took away the windmills, and used the cable to feed power to Block Island from FF or Nuclear sources, how much would they pay for the power? The cost comparison should be between diesel and the network, not the RE sources. Thats why, in limited circumstances where you are far from existing network power, it is sometimes advantageous to install RE instead of the huge cost of bringing mains power onsite.

Notanacademic
June 25, 2021 12:20 pm

From my house if I look out of a back window I can see a wind farm, if look out the side I see another wind farm,look out of the front I can see one eco crucifix belonging to another wind farm. When I walk to the lane on the top of the hill (about three hundred yards from my house) I can see five wind farms plus several smaller privately owned eco crucifixes. James Delingpole was right to call them eco crucifixes because they are the cross upon which our beautiful countryside has been crucified. And for what, as discussed here they only work a quarter of the time and will never be cost effective and most ecoloons seem blissfully unaware that they rob the poor (including them)to pay the rich. Two of these wind farms have had one go up in flames. My son is a firefighter and has told me all they can do is watch and hope nothing else goes up. The icing on the cake one land owner has put a small solar array on his land, I live in Rossendale north west England, what the hell was he thinking, what a DIC**EAD. When I bought this house fifteen years ago I had a nice view. Ruining the countryside to save it? MADNESS. Rant over.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Notanacademic
June 25, 2021 11:26 pm

Bird (and bat) choppers.

Notanacademic
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
June 26, 2021 2:20 am

Indeed. I read (can’t remember where) that some public footpaths have been rerouted to stop walkers finding the corpses. Anything to hide the truth and avoid bad publicity.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Notanacademic
June 26, 2021 7:39 am

Your “viewshed” has been affected.

In some relatively uninhabited places such as sage brush steppes of western USA, the concept of “viewshed” has been used to inhibit energy development.

H. D. Hoese
June 25, 2021 12:24 pm

I have been shut out of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute library since March 2020 so I haven’t kept up with it, but guess that there are now at least six acres of windmill parts across the channel on Harbor Island where they have been offloading them for years. They will have lots of truck traffic problems with all the tourists now, even if they ship them out as there are lots of tankers hauling products out of Corpus Christi.

UT has shut the public out of all its libraries for going on 16 months, even students have been severely restricted, guess they don’t know that libraries used to be the safe, quiet places. They may be too busy with their baseball team in the College World Series. They just got a new Medical School in Austin, suspect they are responsible for still scaring people over the hypothetical “new” variant epidemic to come, but haven’t researched it adequately yet. https://dellmed.utexas.edu/education/academics/undergraduate-medical-education. Suggest that you don’t go through Austin, lots of good, neat smaller roads.

Anyway, Texas coast looks like we are in for more problems, federal subsidies still there. Not enough wind in Florida, but lots of sun, except when it rains.

vboring
June 25, 2021 12:25 pm

The important metric to follow is the Electric Load Carrying Capacity factor, or ELCC.

The ELCC is the fraction of the nameplate capacity that will be running when needed most. A 1,000 watt solar plant with an ELCC of .15 will contribute 150 watts during the hottest our of the hottest day of the year.

This is what determines how many gas plants the system needs to back up the solar plants.

This metric is very easy to abuse. Being bad at math or intentionally doing math incorrectly, you can easily produce a high ELCC. In real life, the ELCCs of wind and solar are extremely close to zero.

Anyone suggesting otherwise is trying to sell something.

In real life, the choices are to have a traditional power system. Or to have a traditional power system and add renewables to it as a way to consume less fuel. Wind and solar plants compete with gas fuel, not with gas plants.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  vboring
June 25, 2021 3:28 pm

You’ll just waste other resources on the manufacture (including the mining, transport, etc. entailed), installation, maintenance, and tear down and disposal (and hopefully not, if one has any brains, replacement) of the useless wind and solar installations. So you won’t “save” anything, and certainly not anything that needs “saving.” There’s plenty of natural gas.

Patrick B
June 25, 2021 12:31 pm

Solar and wind energy are indeed inexpensive. But energy generally is cheap; it’s capacity and transmission that are expensive, and made more expensive on a per unit basis when resources are underused. The LCOE ignores capacity needed to support intermittent resources and transmission costs necessary to support wind, in particular.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Patrick B
June 25, 2021 3:29 pm

No, the Sun and the wind are cheap; harnessing it and converting it into electricity on an industrial scale is frightfully expensive.

joel
Reply to  Patrick B
June 25, 2021 4:04 pm

That sounds about right. An article from Germany said the owner of a wind farm, past its 20 year mark and thus losing its subsidy, tore his turbines down because, he said, he was only getting 1 cent per kWh.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  joel
June 26, 2021 7:14 am

If all the true costs were properly allocated to “his turbines,” he should be paying the utility company to take what they produce.

Jonathan
June 25, 2021 12:54 pm

Willis – the other reason for the LCOE costs is that the EIA assumes the lifetimes of all generating resources is 30 years.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Jonathan
June 25, 2021 3:30 pm

Only in the wet dreams of the Eco-Nazis are wind and solar installations going to last 30 years.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Jonathan
June 25, 2021 5:49 pm

See my more detailed comment about that above. EIA was criticized then, yet has done nothing.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Jonathan
June 25, 2021 6:09 pm

Oh, they’ll be there in 30 years, just as rusting toxic hulks.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 26, 2021 7:15 am

And scars on the landscape.

Carlo, Monte
June 25, 2021 1:15 pm

Willis:

North-south single-axis tracking PV systems are relatively simple, usually consisting of a central tube mounted in rings on top of poles spaced along the length of the tube. Because the weight of the PV modules is balanced side-to-side, the actuator can be fairly simple also.

4-hr battery backup is a big battery, and very few if any large “utility scale” grid-tied PV systems have any battery at all.

The much bigger issue in PV systems is the output power, which is based off the so-called (actually misnamed) “name-plate” ratings on the back of modules. There are a number of not-so-obvious issues here:

1) These ratings, and the labels themselves, are required by the National Electric Code, and must be used as design parameters for things such a wire sizes. This is all about safety.

2) The power ratings are at 1000 W/m2 (one-sun) total irradiance, a standardized solar spectral irradiance, and last but not least, 25°C module temperature. These numbers go way back in time, and were developed from doing laboratory measurements of efficiency on individual solar cells. These conditions are almost never encountered in actual use as modules get hot in sunlight and output power drops.

3) It is not a simple matter to estimate the actual power a system might or should produce. This involves models and solar resource data. But, “capacity factor” is still linked to the nameplate power, whereby 100% capacity is defined as the number of module times the nameplate. This is obviously a fictitious number.

4) Energy is of course the time integral of power, but rating a system on energy instead of power is even more complex.

Curious George
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 3:55 pm

I am getting 2%. Still not worth the hassle.

Last edited 29 days ago by Curious George
Curious George
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 4:04 pm

Oh Navigator, shouldn’t it be 23.4° and 8.25%?

MarkW
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 7:40 pm

Wouldn’t you point the panels at where the sun is going to be on the equinoxes? The solstices would be the two extremes in the sun’s travels north/south.

Curious George
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 26, 2021 7:32 am

The Tropic of Cancer is at 23.4, not 11.7. Where does 11.7 come from?

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 6:09 pm

Willis: I’ve seen quite a few N-S systems in these parts including a large one just outside the DIA main terminal. “Actuator” includes everything needed to rotate the central tube. More importantly, they aren’t designed to compensate for the yearly solar position, rather they track the sun from east to west over the course of a day, which overcomes a lot of the losses that a fixed-tilt system has to live with.

Having said all this, more than once I’ve driven past the DIA system when the modules are pointed toward someplace other than the sun! Oops. They do have higher maintenance.

To overcome all the incidence angle losses requires a two-axis (azimuth-elevation) tracker, which are quite a lot more complex. High-efficiency concentrating PV needs very accurate two-axis tracking.