EIA: “Renewables became the second-most prevalent U.S. electricity source in 2020″…

Guest “That’s not how I would have phrased it” by David Middleton

JUL 28, 2021
Renewables became the second-most prevalent U.S. electricity source in 2020

In 2020, renewable energy sources (including wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy) generated a record 834 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity, or about 21% of all the electricity generated in the United States. Only natural gas (1,617 billion kWh) produced more electricity than renewables in the United States in 2020. Renewables surpassed both nuclear (790 billion kWh) and coal (774 billion kWh) for the first time on record. This outcome in 2020 was due mostly to significantly less coal use in U.S. electricity generation and steadily increased use of wind and solar.

[…]

Principal contributor: Mickey Francis

EIA

In reality, if you combine five different energy sources (wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy), they are now basically tied for second place with coal and nuclear power.

The eye-catching thing on this graph, is that natural gas is pulling ahead faster than unreliables are catching up.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Monthly Energy Review
Note: This graph shows electricity net generation in all sectors (electric power, industrial, commercial, and residential) and includes both utility-scale and small-scale (customer-sited, less than 1 megawatt) solar.
Billion (kWh)
Natural Gas1,617
Unreliables834
Nuclear 790
Coal774

Here’s how this would look, if you posted it like baseball standings:

WLGB
Natural Gas1620               –
Unreliables8379            79
Nuclear 7983            83
Coal7785            85

Don’t like the math? Take it up with Yogi Berra…

However, for coal, “it ain’t over till it’s over”!

Coal Production. We forecast U.S. coal production will increase by 78 million short tons (MMst) (15%) in 2021 to total 617 MMst for the year. The expected increase in production reflects greater electric power sector demand for coal. Higher natural gas prices make coal more economically competitive relative to natural gas for electricity generation dispatch. In the forecast, coal production increases by 13 MMst (9%) in the Appalachia region, 14 MMst (16%) in the Interior region, and 51 MMst (17%) in the Western region

EIA

You don’t believe Yogi said those things?

Neither did he. Quote Ideas

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Vuk
August 2, 2021 2:12 pm

Reliables are reliable, predictable & boring so power distribution grid controllers tend to fall asleep on the job.
Unreliables are cool, you never know what are you going to get or if you are going to get any. Can’t get more exciting than that for the power distribution grid controller.

John S
Reply to  Vuk
August 2, 2021 2:17 pm

Put hydro in the reliables column. The unreliables then fall to 5% or something. We have always had hydro. It isn’t controversial and wasn’t started with a green new deal.

Tom Halla
Reply to  John S
August 2, 2021 2:29 pm

The People’s Republic of California does not count large hydro as “renewable”.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 2, 2021 2:37 pm

So John is correct

Plus, the climate insane do not support hydro either
Because it’s bad to dam and fill a valley

But coating that valley with solar panels is A-ok

Last edited 1 month ago by Pat from kerbob
n.n
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 2, 2021 3:32 pm

Paving the way forward and a Green gauntlet.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 2, 2021 3:37 pm

Gotta do something so those I S Os don’t feel so
ISOlated

bill Johnston
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 2, 2021 5:10 pm

As crowded as the landscape seems to be getting, are solar panels
subject to shadow flicker from wind mills?

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  bill Johnston
August 3, 2021 1:45 am

I don’t know about the large panels but the small ones that power pumps in my ponds visibly respond to brief shadows; the water stream fluctuates. And I keep my panels clean. Are the panels in “solar farms” cleaned regularly?

TonyG
Reply to  bill Johnston
August 3, 2021 12:20 pm

I guess we’re going to need transparent blades for them.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 2, 2021 5:35 pm

If you consume a lot of land to generate power with wind…and then create a big reservoir for pumped storage…then that’s okay, whereas creating a reservoir and using it directly for power generation is not okay.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  David Foster
August 2, 2021 8:48 pm

Hah … you seem not to understand the purpose of pushing “unreliables” (subsidy mining). When you combine them by the “green” method, people can get massively rich from the enormous power loses inherent in such a system.

Rich Davis
Reply to  David Foster
August 3, 2021 3:17 am

Well, duh! Without the windmills, power isn’t expensive enough to destroy the economy and build socialism.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 2, 2021 2:40 pm

But the Federal EIA does.
Cal’s Sacramento Marxists just don’t use hydro numbers in its drive to destroy affordable electricity. That’s because the Marxists actually want to remove dams and hydro generating reservoirs.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 2, 2021 3:03 pm

Which is why I have the suspicion that hard greens back “renewables” is the knowledge that they cannot support industrial society. A sort of Arcadian socialism is their ideal, along with considerable misanthropy and Luddism.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 2, 2021 6:33 pm

Dam beavers!

We had Yogi on the plane once, Astros charter back from San Diego. Nice guy, no quotes, got a signed baseball tho.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  John S
August 2, 2021 3:48 pm

Right, wind (0.26) and solar (0.11) combined equals 37% of 21% equals 7.77% of total energy. A $trillion of “green new deal” from now we may get to 20%. Total waste, an workable solution for a non-existing climate crisis.

The good news is by 2050 the last of this junk should be landfilled and we will be well on the way to mostly new generation nuclear for our power generation requirements (but not total energy for a couple more decades).

Ed Reid
Reply to  John S
August 3, 2021 5:24 am

A fraction of hydro is reliable. The balance is “source of opportunity” power, available during periods of normal and above-normal precipitation. The challenge is determining the reliable fraction.

griff
Reply to  Vuk
August 3, 2021 12:52 am

not in Texas!

Vuk
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 1:21 am

Hi Griffo
Don’t ya know that in Texas they get BIGGER weather than any other state.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 1:37 am

Displaying your stupidity and ignorance again. Do some research.

Joe the non climate expert
Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2021 6:15 am

“Wind is only reliable in Texas in spring and fall.”

I will add to Middleton’s observation – the Electric generation from Wind during the week of near 100f during the last week of July 2021 was down by by 50-60%. Less wind power electric generation when it was needed the most.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Vuk
August 3, 2021 1:35 am

May you live in interesting times….

Mohatdebos
Reply to  Vuk
August 3, 2021 1:35 pm

Why do you put hydro in the unreliable category?

Mason
August 2, 2021 2:12 pm

And most of the renewables were hydro?

commieBob
Reply to  Mason
August 2, 2021 3:37 pm

Nope. Apparently wind generated a bit more than hydro as measured in watt hours. link

A more interesting way to measure power would be in dollar value rather than watt hours. Wind tends to supply power when it’s cheap because all the windmills are trying to feed into the grid at the same time which isn’t when it’s actually needed.

Measured in watt hours, wind generated 8.4% of the electricity in 2020. My guess is that it accounted for 0.97% of the dollar value of the electricity generated. (poetic license invoked) 🙂

commieBob
Reply to  commieBob
August 2, 2021 7:28 pm

link

I’m having trouble making sense of the numbers in the above link. However, we have the following:

EIA said that in 2019 more than half of wind generation occurred at night, …

As a first approximation, it seems reasonable to take the value of wind power as half that of dispatchable sources on a per annum basis.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  commieBob
August 2, 2021 8:51 pm

I have no doubt that most “greens” would believe that “more than half of solar power occurs at night”.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 3, 2021 3:47 am

As long as the latest peer-reviewed study says that the night-time solar figure is 52.3868294% and even then they might say “almost half”.

oeman 50
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 3, 2021 7:12 am

It does when you rig a diesel generator to feed through the revenue meter at night like some folks were caught doing in Spain….

Rory Forbes
Reply to  oeman 50
August 3, 2021 10:50 am

I remember reading about that, hilarious.

Rich Davis
Reply to  commieBob
August 3, 2021 3:31 am

Oh but cb, don’t you see why they use that talking point? Solar by day, wind at night. What intermittency problem?

All we need to do is build a metric crap ton of them, until the economy collapses and socialism can rise from the ashes.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  commieBob
August 3, 2021 6:49 am

I think that’s way too generous, especially since you have to keep dispatchable sources in place for when wind doesn’t blow at the right speeds.

Ronald Stein
August 2, 2021 2:14 pm

Natural gas grew faster than renewables! Breezes and sunshine need reliable backup electricity generation.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Ronald Stein
August 2, 2021 2:42 pm

That’s why the gas guys are supporters of renewables and opponents of coal and nuclear

The ideal world for gas suppliers is no coal or nuclear

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 2, 2021 3:27 pm

And the nuclear guys bash coal and gas. Lots of crocodile feeding going on, which suits the CAGW alarmists and the solar and wind guys just fine…

John Garrett
Reply to  David Middleton
August 2, 2021 6:31 pm

Uh…, um…, er…

Aubrey McLendon [founder of Chesapeake Energy] (unfortunately) ran a very effective advertising smear campaign against coal— and, for a long time, he managed to do it without anyone finding out who was funding it.

Ultimately, the truth did emerge. It did not reflect well on McLendon.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Garrett
John Garrett
Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2021 3:54 am

LOL

…Too bad the Sierra Club realized they bought 8/8ths of a third-for-a-quarter deal…

Last edited 1 month ago by John Garrett
Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
August 2, 2021 6:53 pm

David, I recall nuclear plant owners making a really big point about how GHG-friendly their plants were compared to their fossil fuel-fired competitors. Now that you mention it, I’m pretty certain that the gas-fired plant operators also emphasized that their plants had lower emissions than coal-fired plants. Given that the eco-Stalinists don’t like any of these options, it would have been nice if the fossil fuel producers and nuke operators had ‘circled the wagons’ early in a common defense against CAGW alarmism and renewable cronyism, rather than forming up a circular firing squad.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
August 3, 2021 1:40 am

Idealist.

Mohatdebos
Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2021 1:43 pm

Baloney. Gas producers (Enron) funded the Sierra Club anti-coal crusade.

starzmom
August 2, 2021 2:19 pm

Right now in the Southwest Power Pool which is through the Great Plains, wind is at 5%, coal is at 43% and natural gas is at 40%. Earlier today, wind was at 2.4% don’t know what coal was then. Maybe wind and solar were better last year.

Last edited 1 month ago by starzmom
Ben Vorlich
Reply to  starzmom
August 2, 2021 3:07 pm

On this side of the tlantic the UK has wind at 2.71% of demand, France 2.55%, Germany ~11%, Spain 18.57%, Ireland 1.67%, Denmark 51.97% but also importing 28.64% , Italy 7.69%.

In a couple of days we’ve got Storm SomethingOrOther coming in when there’ll be too much wind generation and/or turbines being switched off to protect them.

Expect a comment on how wonderful wind is from Griff on Thursday or Friday

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 2, 2021 4:32 pm

Is our electricity bill so high in Ireland because we are having to subsidize the turbines for not working or when the wind is gusting to fiercely to allow them to shut down? Perhaps some Irish reader in the know how can give an answer.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 3, 2021 3:54 am

Don’t bother griff. He’s busy lighting votive candles, praying for some new weather extreme to hype.

August 2, 2021 2:35 pm

If Cal’s hydropower output plummets for 2021 due to continuing low reservoirs (Shasta and Oroville), then unreliables tally in electricity will look pretty bad come 2022.

Lumping in hydropower to the other unreliables distorts the picture of reality about wind and solar scams.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2021 6:55 am

Yes, but even the non-dispatchable hydro will be consistent when the water is flowing; the whims of the wind and cloud cover can alter the power production of wind and solar massively and unpredictably, so it is far worse than “sometimes” hydro.

RickWill
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 2, 2021 4:19 pm

A potentially economic application of weather dependent generators is to conserved perched water in a hydro system that is water storage constrained.

Rated wind capacity equaling the capacity of the installed hydro can extend the duration of the perched storage by 30%. That is usually a lower cost option than expanding storage capacity. These days it is near impossible to add to dam storage in developed countries. There is always an endangered pink lung-fish or black spotted toad that has a unique habitat in the proposed dam location.

A feature of battery storage is the speed and simplicity of environmental approvals. Although that could change following the Tesla battery fire in Victoria last week.

Pat from kerbob
August 2, 2021 2:41 pm

Here in Alberta today our wind is overperforming at 30%

Wooo

http://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market/Reports/CSDReportServlet

Editor
August 2, 2021 2:42 pm

Thanks once again, David, for yet another fun and educational post.

Have fun,
Bob

Carlo, Monte
August 2, 2021 2:51 pm

Every day the BNSF Railroad operates multiple 1.5 mile-long (2.5km) coal trains from the Powder River basin in Wyoming/Montana to Texas straight through the middle of true-blue woke Colorado, and the anti-energy crazies don’t even realize they are there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carlo, Monte
Duker
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 3, 2021 12:31 am

That coal goes to 5 plants in Colorado, two of them have city of Colorado springs as the utility.
Eg Martin Drake power plant 200MW all coal.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 3, 2021 6:58 am

Don’t alert the crazies please.

Chris Hanley
August 2, 2021 2:52 pm

In terms of the ‘net zero’ baloney, so-called renewables accounted for just 11% of the total US energy consumption in 2019.
What most people assume when ‘renewables’ are mentioned are wind and solar that accounted for only 33% of that 11% or ~4%.
And yet the fantasists imagine the entire nation powered by solar panels and windmills by 2050.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 2, 2021 3:40 pm

All US energy consumption, or just electricity?

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 2, 2021 4:01 pm

My understanding is that ‘net zero’ or GND applies to entire energy consumption, ‘transitioning the United States to 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources’.

Waza
Reply to  David Middleton
August 2, 2021 10:00 pm

David
Can you please clarify this.
My understanding is the GND calls for
A. 100% renewable electricity generation or ZERO emissions
B. NET ZERO emissions total energy. Both by 2030.

Thanks in advance

chadb
Reply to  David Middleton
August 6, 2021 7:02 am

Correction Dave – the 20% number is for electricity while the 11% number is for all energy. The penetration of renewables in transportation is limited to (basically) ethonal and renewables has almost no role in direct heating (residential, commercial space heating or industrial processes). So renewables can look better in electricity than in overall energy use.
I know our expectations of the future will differ, but I expect electricity to hit nearly 50% renewable but overall energy to stay below 20% renewable.

Philip
August 2, 2021 3:04 pm

Just a simple question. What’s the investment in renewables, versus coal, NG, hydroelectric, nuclear power, versus each(s) total energy supplied at grid?

Philip
Reply to  David Middleton
August 2, 2021 6:49 pm

So… renewables are costing us 10X as much to deliver 1/5 the energy. Sounds like a solid business deal. 🤨

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Philip
August 3, 2021 7:02 am

Only when the government puts its foot on the scale at taxpayers expense, and then only for the people with lots of money to “invest” in the Ponzi scheme. In other words, yet another wealth transfer to the “elites” that already have way too much to be looking for more from the backs of the people that actually have to work for a living.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Philip
August 3, 2021 12:18 pm

It’s a new economy! I mean, sure you lose money on every kW, but you make it up in volume.

Or something like that…

C’mon man!

chadb
Reply to  David Middleton
August 6, 2021 7:06 am

Come on Dave – you know good and well that the 3.6 quad increase is the annual increase. You need to multiply that by ~20 to get the energy returned per dollar (assuming a 20 year lifespan).
You know that. You would need to look at the lifetime generation (which for gas is one time use, but for a wind turbine it is as long as it puts electricity onto the grid). Is there an emoji for shaking my head in dissapointment?

August 2, 2021 3:19 pm

If we weren’t dumb-ass locked into oil…(Snipped) would catapult the USA into the future!

SUNMOD

Last edited 1 month ago by Sunsettommy
MarkW
Reply to  Mortimer Zilch
August 2, 2021 4:54 pm

If your scam was a superior as you want us to believe, it wouldn’t matter if we were locked into oil, the market would be beating a path your door.

The fact that you continue to be ignored is proof that your claims aren’t as great as you claim.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Mortimer Zilch
August 2, 2021 8:56 pm

I can’t imagine why the US (or anyone) would want to be “catapulted into the future”. What’s wrong with the present?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 3, 2021 4:05 am

The flight is exciting but the landing part, kinda sucks.

Tom in Florida
August 2, 2021 3:38 pm

Hold on, Greenies are anti nuke so that cannot be counted as renewable. Or is this just another case of “we count what we want when we want to count it”.

davidmhoffer
August 2, 2021 3:52 pm

It took me a while to find the breakout:
https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec10_3.pdf

So… Wind+solar is slightly over 30% of renewables based on consumption, so only about 6.3% of the total. What’s interesting about the chart is that it shows consumption broken out, but on the generation side it doesn’t.

So what are they trying to hide? Why break it out one way for production and another for consumption?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 3, 2021 7:08 am

Looking at that chart, I highly doubt that “consumption = production,” as indicated, when a lot of wind and solar is “produced” when not needed. Sounds like another generous “assumption” made to make wind and solar look better than they are (surprise, surprise).

Beta Blocker
August 2, 2021 4:06 pm

On July 30th, California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency and issued an Emergency Proclamation Regarding California Electricity.

According to this proclamation, shortfalls in California’s supply of electricity are predicted to last into the summer of 2022 and beyond.

Dr. James Conca has this to say about the situation, and laments California’s decision to close
Diablo Canyon by 2025:

Drought, Heat And Nuclear – Gavin Newsom’s Elephant In The Room

Looking at the proclamation itself, the first two action items in the declaration read as follows:

1. All agencies of state government shall use and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities or perform any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all residents are to obey the direction of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.

2. All energy agencies shall act immediately to achieve energy stability during this emergency, and the California Public Utilities Commission is requested to do the same. In particular, the California Energy Commission is directed, and the California Public Utilities Commission and the CAISO are requested, to work with the State’s load serving entities on accelerating plans for the construction, procurement, and rapid deployment of new clean energy and storage projects to mitigate the risk of capacity shortages and increase the availability of carbon-free energy at all times of day.

………….. another seven pages of actions, fifteen in number.

It has been clear for some time that the only means California has for dealing with its self-inflicted shortfall in electricity supply is to increase the price of electricity in an attempt to encourage energy conservation; and if that doesn’t work, to enforce strict energy conservation measures as might be explicitly dictated by state government decree.

Last edited 1 month ago by Beta Blocker
H.R.
Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 2, 2021 7:09 pm

Will the last person to leave California please turn out the lights?

Oh wait… all of the lights will already be out.

Flashlight futures are UP!

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 3, 2021 12:23 pm

IF we were smart here in California (well, some of us are – most in Sacto aren’t):

  • We’d build 10 more Diablo Canyon plants, so we’d have 110% of our electricity consumption powered by reliable, clean nuclear
  • We’d build dozens more desalination plants, and use our unreliable wind and solar to power them (as it is easily “banked” in reserviors)

We’d end up with plenty of electricity, and the drought becomes a non-issue. It’s not like we’re lacking for water, what with the Pacific Ocean right there…

Peter
August 2, 2021 5:03 pm

Renewables grew from 500bln kWh to roughly 850 bln kWh between 2010 and 2020; gas grew from 100bln kWh to 1600bln kWh. Does anyone know how much money was involved in the growth of both. I bet that gas was way cheaper.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Peter
August 3, 2021 7:11 am

See somewhere above, where wind and solar (or maybe it was just wind) costs 10x the RETAIL electricity price.

George Daddis
August 2, 2021 5:19 pm

My favorite thing that Yogi never said was about his (and my) favorite Italian restaurant: “It is so crowded, no one goes there any more.”

The strange thing was, he was right!
(Among my friends, who helped make the place so popular, no one went there any more because of the long wait.)

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  David Middleton
August 3, 2021 1:39 am

And don’t tell anyone.

Tom Abbott
August 2, 2021 5:50 pm

From the article: “this outcome in 2020 was due mostly to significantly less coal use in U.S. electricity generation and steadily increased use of wind and solar.”

And this outcome is because wind and solar are subsidized by the taxpayers.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 2, 2021 9:00 pm

Subsidy mining is ranked as the most profitable investment in the mining sector.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 3, 2021 7:12 am

And shoved down the throats of utilities by government mandates – otherwise the utilities wouldn’t buy a single Watt of it.

John Savage
August 2, 2021 6:08 pm

Yes, but “biomass” and “hydro” comprise the vast majority of “renewables”. Solar and wind barely register.

michael hart
August 2, 2021 6:26 pm

How do the numbers look when you subtract hydro from the unreliables? Hydro is a lot more reliable, in the sense that you know the level of the reservoir, and can thus calculate much further into the future. It also has the merit of reducing the average cost when it is compounded with the unreliables.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
August 2, 2021 6:28 pm

OK. I see others are asking the same question below.

PCman99
Reply to  michael hart
August 3, 2021 12:03 am

Also the water is run through the turbines when it’s needed, and saved in the resovoir when it’s not. The best use for solar is running airconditioning, and for wind turbines to run the pumps to fill out behind the dams.
We in Ontario were blessed with Lake Erie and Ontario, that their heights are so different. The water from Lake Ontario is fed into a pipe where it then plunges to Lake Erie’s level and spins the turbines.

I’ve heard the Israelis and Jordanians want to do basically the same thing but with the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  PCman99
August 3, 2021 1:41 am

See also Dinorwig. Electric Mountain.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  PCman99
August 3, 2021 6:44 am

I think Lake Erie flows down to Lake Ontario

Felix
August 2, 2021 6:44 pm

I was thinking along the lines supposedly uttered by Pravda when the US hockey team beat the USSR team: “We came in second, and the US came in next to last.” Here the USSR’s role would be played by non-renewables.

August 2, 2021 6:49 pm

In response to a couple of questions, some data on capital costs of various generation modes can be found at this EIA report.

https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/powerplants/capitalcost/pdf/capital_cost_AEO2020.pdf

These are costs per kw capacity, so if you want costs/kwh, you need to account for capacity factor differences.

CCGT is estimated at $958/kw
Wind is estimated at $1265/kw (onshore, great plains)
Solar PV is $1313/kw

Taking capacity factors into account, wind and solar are considerably more capital-intensive than is gas.

If wind/solar become a significant proportion of total grid capacity, I think it is also necessary to include battery costs require to make the intermittent sources behave as good grid citizens.

PCman99
Reply to  David Foster
August 3, 2021 12:11 am

Has anyone ever run a simulation based on historical wind and solar output, to see if an enhanced and fully connected national or continental electrical grid would take away the need for most of the battery or pumped storage backup required to make renewables into sort-of-reliables?

Reply to  PCman99
August 3, 2021 10:02 am

I’ve seen a couple attempts at this. IIRC, if the coupling is over a wide enough area, you can get down to about 20% backup which comes from *gas* or some other dispatchable source. You can’t use just batteries for that 20%; while they may be reasonably economical for an hour or two of storage, can’t possibly afford enough for days/weeks of unfavorable wx conditions.

The 20% still requires *overbuilding* of the solar/wind resources (to get good output on marginal days), and I think also some short-term battery storage.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  David Foster
August 3, 2021 7:15 am

Batteries won’t cut it, it is necessary to keep 100% fossil fuel or nuclear back-up, and include the costs of that.

RoHa
August 2, 2021 10:09 pm

So that guy is Yogi Berra. I’ve seen the name, but I didn’t who or what he was.

Of course, I first knew about Yogi Bear, and wondered why he was called a yogi when he didn’t practice yoga.

griff
August 3, 2021 12:52 am

Hmmm… now show the figures for UK and EU countries

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 1:45 am

Wind in the UK currently providing 1 % of demand. Coal at 2%.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 3, 2021 4:16 am

Griffter own-goal!!

griff
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 3, 2021 12:04 pm

you never post on the many occasions when there are huge amounts of renewables. Why is that?

and the issue is the growth overall of renewables and the growth of gas… in Europe things are NOT the same as in USA

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 7:13 am

At 3pm today in UK:

  • wind 2.2%
  • solar 18.5%
  • hydro 0.3%
  • Nuclear 13%
  • Biomass 8.3%
  • Interconnectors 10.7%
  • Coal 3.0%
  • CC Gas 43.7%

Thus unreliables 20.9% fossil fuels 46.7%

griff
Reply to  Dave Andrews
August 3, 2021 12:04 pm

And if you look at the figures over a year…

Redge
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 11:32 am

UK 3rd August 2021 @ 19:30

Screenshot 2021-08-03 193149.png
Jim Thomson
August 3, 2021 4:19 am

My favorite “Yogi-ism”: In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

August 3, 2021 6:37 am

Greens like to point out that we are adding more renewable capacity than gas capacity but because renewables have such a low capacity factor the gas generates more juice. We are transitioning to gas, not renewables.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  David Wojick
August 3, 2021 8:15 am

Here in the United States, the only way to stop America’s transition towards gas-fired generation is for public policy decision makers to throttle the construction of new gas-fired capacity.

This can be done explicitly with an outright legislated ban on gas-fired generation, or it can be done in stealth mode inside the regulatory review and approval processes by always favoring wind, solar, and nuclear over natural gas.

For those who understand the public policy dynamics of how the energy marketplace competition between natural gas versus the renewables is now playing out in real time, take a close look at California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proclamation of a State of Emergency in his Emergency Proclamation Regarding California Electricity.

Newsom’s proclamation borders on schizophrenic in its internal contradiction between the official state policy of moving California quickly towards reliance on wind and solar, versus the practical need to keep gas-fired capacity readily online in order to handle the state’s serious power shortfalls.

griff
Reply to  David Wojick
August 3, 2021 12:00 pm

In the US you are. In Europe renewables displace both coal and natural gas…

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 12:39 pm

Yes, in Europe, Ruinables are busy ruining their economies. They hope to do the same here.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  griff
August 3, 2021 2:05 pm

griff: “In the US you are. In Europe renewables displace both coal and natural gas…”

Griff, I have a question for you. What role does the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany play in how the renewables are displacing natural gas in Europe?

Michael
August 3, 2021 7:08 am

“It’s deja vu all over again.”

TonyG
August 3, 2021 8:35 am

“Other”? What would “other” be?

chadb
Reply to  TonyG
August 6, 2021 7:13 am

Largely oil and diesel. It also includes some waste from industrial processes that will be fed into combined heat and power generators.

2hotel9
August 3, 2021 9:42 am

So just another bald faced lie from the same lie spewing liars who constantly lie.

August 3, 2021 11:45 am

most of what Yogi said was very deep……”nobody goes there anymore its too crowded” sound contradictory nobody goes there but it is too crowded, that was his point, people in the know dont go there now because it is too crowded…..and it aint over til its over is 100% accurate about a baseball game……

Coach Springer
August 4, 2021 6:05 am

They’ve done a heckuva job on coal since January 2009.

Good thing fracking came along over their dead bodies. Looks to me like they can’t build wind turbines fast enough to do the replacements if they get that far.

Last edited 1 month ago by Coach Springer
chadb
August 6, 2021 6:49 am

The eye catching thing is how much coal has lost. Is coal up vs 2020? Yes, but still down quite a bit vs 2019. Coal capacity factor in 2019 (latest year I have data for) was ~31%, meaning most of the plants are sitting idle at least half the time.
Renewables will do what they do, and you should expect that once they are installed they will churn out power for decades while gas will scale up and down since its highest cost is the fuel. Personally I expect the current decline in coal to continue for the next 5 years bringing it to roughly the same level as oil. Gas continues to grow over that time frame, but after that each new wind turbine or solar panel will pull a chunk out of gas generation.
Personally I don’t care where my power comes from since I have no emotional attachment to wind turbines, solar panels, natural gas, or coal briquettes. This is just my expectation based on historic trends and planned installations as reported by EIA.

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