How About A Pilot Project To Demonstrate The Feasibility Of Fully Wind/Solar/Battery Electricity Generation?

Reposted from the MANHATTAN CONTRARIAN

Francis Menton

At this current crazy moment, most of the “Western” world (Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia) is hell bent on achieving a “net zero” energy system. As I understand this concept, it means that, within two or three decades, all electricity production will be converted from the current mostly-fossil-fuel generation mix to almost entirely wind, solar and storage. On top of that, all or nearly all energy consumption that is not currently electricity (e.g., transportation, industry, heat, agriculture) must be converted to electricity, so that the energy for these things can also be supplied solely by the wind, sun, and batteries. Since electricity is currently only about a quarter of final energy consumption, that means that we are soon to have an all-electric energy generation and consumption system producing around four times the output of our current electricity system, all from wind and solar, backed up as necessary only by batteries or other storage.

A reasonable question is, has anybody thought to construct a small-to-moderate scale pilot project to demonstrate that this is feasible? Before embarking on “net zero” for a billion people, how about trying it out in a place with, say, 10,000, or 50,000, or 100,000 people. See if it can actually work, and how much it will cost. Then, if it works at reasonable cost, start expanding it.

As far as I can determine, that has never been done anywhere. However, there is something somewhat close. An island called El Hierro, which is one of the Canary Islands and is part of Spain, embarked more than a decade ago on constructing an electricity system consisting only of wind turbines and a pumped-storage water reservoir. El Hierro has a population of about 11,000. It is a very mountainous volcanic island, so it provided a fortuitous location for construction of a large pumped-storage hydro project, with an upper reservoir in an old volcanic crater right up a near-cliff from a lower reservoir just above sea level. The difference in elevation of the two reservoirs is about 660 meters, or more than 2000 feet. Here is a picture of the upper reservoir, looking down to the ocean, to give you an idea of just how favorable a location for pumped-storage hydro this is:

The El Hierro wind/storage system began operations in 2015. How has it done? I would say that it is at best a huge disappointment, really bordering on disaster. It has never come close to realizing the dream of 100% wind/storage electricity for El Hierro, instead averaging 50% or less when averaged over a full year (although it has had some substantial periods over 50%). Moreover, since only about one-quarter of El HIerro’s final energy consumption is electricity, the project has replaced barely 10% of El Hierro’s fossil fuel consumption.

Here is the website of the company that runs the wind/hydro system, Gorona del Viento. Get ready for some excited happy talk:

A wind farm produces energy which is directed into the Island’s electricity grid to satisfy the population’s demand for electricity. The surplus energy that is not consumed directly by the Island’s inhabitants is used to pump water between two reservoirs set at different altitudes. During times of wind shortage, the water stored in the Upper Reservoir is discharged into the Lower Reservoir, where the Wind-Pumped Hydro Power Station is, to generate electricity from its turbines. . . . The diesel-engine-powered Power Station only comes into operation in exceptional circumstances when there is neither sufficient wind or water to produce the energy to meet demand.

Over at the page for production statistics, it’s still more excitement about tons of carbon emissions avoided (15,484 in 2020!) and hours of 100% renewable generation (1293 in 2020!). I think that they’re hoping you don’t know that there are 8784 hours in a 366 day year like 2020.

But how about some real information on how much of the island’s electricity, and of its final energy consumption, this system is able to generate? Follow links on that page for production statistics, and you will find that the system produced some 56% of the electricity for El Hierro in 2018, 54% in 2019, and 42% for 2020. No figures are yet provided for 2021. At least for the last three years of reported data, things seem to be going quite rapidly in the wrong direction. I suspect that that’s not what you had in mind when you read that the diesel generators only come into operation in “exceptional circumstances” when wind generation is low. And with electricity constituting only about 25% of El Hierro’s final energy consumption, the reported generation statistics would mean that the percent of final energy consumption from the wind/storage facility ran about 14% in 2018, 13.5% in 2019, and barely 10% in 2020.

So why don’t they just build the system a little bigger? After all, if this system can provide around 50% +/- of El Hierro’s electricity, can’t you just double it in size to get to 100%? The answer is, absolutely not. The 50% can be achieved only with those diesel generators always present to provide full backup when needed. Without that, you need massively more storage to get you through what could be weeks of wind drought, let alone through wind seasonality that means that you likely need 30 days’ or more full storage. Get out your spreadsheet to figure out how much.

Roger Andrews did the calculation for El Hierro in a January 2018 post on the Energy Matters website. His conclusion: El Hierro would need a pumped-storage reservoir some 40 times the size of the one it had built in order to get rid of the diesel backup. Andrews provides plenty of information as to the basis of his calculations and his assumptions, so feel free to take another crack at his calculations with better assumptions. But unfortunately, his main assumption is that the pattern of wind intermittency for any given year will be just as sporadic as it was for 2017.

Then take a look at the picture and see if you can figure out where or how El Hierro is going to build that 40 times bigger reservoir. Time to look into a few billions of dollars worth of lithium ion batteries — for 11,000 people.

And of course, for those of us here in the rest of the world, we don’t have massive volcanic craters sitting 2000 feet right up a cliff from the sea. For us, it’s batteries or nothing. Or maybe just stick with the fossil fuels for now.

So the closest thing we have to a “demonstration project” of the fully wind/storage electricity has come up woefully short, and really has only proved that the whole concept will necessarily fail on the necessity of far more storage than is remotely practical or affordable.

Read the full article here.

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Jan de Jong
January 27, 2022 6:16 am

What we’re counting on: “then a miracle occurs”.

commieBob
Reply to  Jan de Jong
January 27, 2022 8:20 am

People look at the way computers have advanced and think that’s the way all technology works. Bill Gates really did compare the technological development of computers with that of automobiles. His point is that the technological development of computers was DIFFERENT.

People turned Gates’ remarks into a joke.

If cars were like computers, they would cost 25 cents and get 1000 miles per gallon.

In light of the above, you’d think folks would be more savvy about the way technology develops but no …

wadesworld
Reply to  commieBob
January 27, 2022 8:45 am

Unfortunately I don’t recall what they were, but I saw a presentation by a guy who designs batteries, and he mentioned there are at least two laws of physics standing in the way of the quantum leap in battery technology the alarmists assure us is coming any day now.

His prediction was only marginal gains for the next 20-50 years.

Bryan A
Reply to  wadesworld
January 27, 2022 2:28 pm

Seems like they’ve already had a proof of concept trial for Wind/Solar/Battery system and had discovered that it doesn’t work without…
…Massive Government Subsidies
…Reliable Back-up of Fossil Generation
…During Cold Still Winter Nights
…Without inter-tie access to reliable generation from other States/Countries
¥ind, $olar and €atteries cost lots of upfront ¥$€£¢ and spend too much idle time being paid when they do and paid when they don’t produce energy.

Scissor
Reply to  commieBob
January 27, 2022 10:23 am

I’d prefer that my car not lock up and crash so often.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Scissor
January 27, 2022 11:50 am

It’s ok – just turn it off (completely), wait 10 seconds, and reboot.

commieBob
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
January 27, 2022 2:26 pm

You joke.

How about the Toyota solution to uncontrollable acceleration … take your foot off the brake. link

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  commieBob
January 27, 2022 7:47 pm

Why didn’t people simply pop the transmission into neutral, coast to a stop and then turn off the engine? Or ride the brakes for a minute until a safe place to pull over is found?

commieBob
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
January 27, 2022 8:10 pm

I don’t know. There are the 911 calls of the people it happened to but I’m not willing to listen to them again.

It shouldn’t have happened but it did … a bunch of times. link

patrick healy
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
January 28, 2022 5:25 am

Loren,
I you talking about mickey mouse skalectric pretend cars, there is an easy solution – abandon it on the roadside and get a reliable 10 year old diesel

BCBill
Reply to  Scissor
January 27, 2022 12:40 pm

Imagine you are merrily driving down the highway, suddenly your windows turn opaque blue and all controls fail. Thank goodness Bill Gates has moved on to vaccine and food production. What could possibly go wrong with those?

Martin
Reply to  Scissor
January 27, 2022 2:47 pm

I had a Dodge Caravan with a minor slip in the transmission. If I accelerated to quickly it would sometimes drop in to limp mode. I actually drove it for two years by dropping in to neutral turning it off and back on drop back in drive and go on my way.

glenn holdcroft
Reply to  commieBob
January 28, 2022 3:41 am

Your windscreen would go blue or black if Bill Gates windows was attached , just send $150 and they will solve the problem .

Spetzer86
January 27, 2022 6:19 am

No, no….The models have been quite clear that none of these points is at all close to critical. All this model generated data thoroughly supports this program and you’re just clearly wrong. Oh…and racist…likely fascist as well…think of the children!

chicago vota
Reply to  Spetzer86
January 27, 2022 6:50 am

I agree completely. You can’t argue with the results of a pogrom. Sorry, program. We need to look forward to the glorious day when the patriarch is destroyed and there are no more male and female power plugs. Just female, neutered, and female assisted for three-pronged.

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  Spetzer86
January 27, 2022 6:10 pm

Sounds like you are paraphrasing Justin Trudeau.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  Rick W Kargaard
January 28, 2022 3:41 pm

>>Sounds like you are paraphrasing Justin Trudeau.<< speaking of neutered

joe
January 27, 2022 6:25 am

How About A Pilot Project To Demonstrate The Feasibility Of Fully Wind/Solar/Battery Electricity Generation?
i think this is a great idea and perhaps the greatest experiment humans could ever conduct. just spitballing here but to do the experiment correctly you would need at least two locations. one in the north, say somewhere above the 45 parallel. one in the equatorial reign. both with zero fossil backup. one hundred percent wind, solar, battery. and the only wood burned must be grown with in the zone of the experiment. damn good idea. i want to help build it.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 7:45 am

I nominate Martha’s Vineyard for the northern location. The locals just love the idea of renewables, or so it would seem based on their voting preferences.

joe
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 27, 2022 7:57 am

yes, we can name it the barry experiment, where the results are known befor the experiment is conducted.

Steve Case
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 27, 2022 8:18 am

Didn’t Senator Kennedy oppose off shore windmills on MV some time before he passed away?

nw sage
Reply to  Steve Case
January 30, 2022 9:30 am

And that may or may not be why he passed.

John Garrett
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 27, 2022 8:21 am

Excellent idea!

Drake
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 27, 2022 12:10 pm

Great idea, give them a year to build out then cut the power line from the mainland.

Sink or swim, since, you know islands can sink, or flip over according to Dem Rep Jefferson.

Dave
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 27, 2022 7:38 pm

Add Delaware and DC

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 8:56 am

To do it right we should guarantee no outside intervention. The location should be sealed in some way for 10 years, after which we will judge the success of the project by counting the number of people remaining in the experiment area.

beng135
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
January 27, 2022 9:55 am

Exactly. The “real” CO2 emissions of a realistic test-case would include the power requirements including manufacturing all the sun-plates, pinwheels, batteries, pumped-storage equipment, etc on the island itself. Even cars, buildings, food-production — everything in fact.

Last edited 4 months ago by beng135
joe
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
January 28, 2022 4:52 am

yes, i like it.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 9:08 am

Construction camps in remote locations are “pilot systems” that have already been built many times. No matter that you have been asked to check out green options by a virtue signalling public liason officer, PLO, you always end up with a diesel genset to run the kitchen and utilities, while solar panels and batteries are suitable to run the electric fence to keep bears out. You put a couple of PV solar panels on the satellite tower to humor the PLO…. Budget wise, it always works out that solar panels and batteries are 4 times as expensive to theoretically do the job. And you still have to have a genset as backup…..because that’s more economical than helicoptering everyone out to civilization if you happen to have 3 cloudy, windless weeks in mid January….So 100% standby gensets and a year’s supply of diesel is least risk and half the cost.

beng135
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 9:51 am

Below.

Last edited 4 months ago by beng135
Joao Martins
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 1:44 pm

How About A Pilot Project To Demonstrate The Feasibility Of Fully Wind/Solar/Battery Electricity Generation?

Something kind of an “ecological farm” for the school children? I.e., something that will illustrate how we can go without agriculture and agronomy in the whole world by not being able to provide enough food for the students?

Lee L
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 4:27 pm

“has anybody thought to construct a small-to-moderate scale pilot project to demonstrate that this is feasible?”

They have.
I think they call it Germany.

How is it doing? Well …. there is this gas pipeline to Russia …

Winter is a bitch isn’t it Chancellor?

spangled drongo
Reply to  joe
January 27, 2022 5:25 pm

Joe, we built a pilot project here in far western Queensland at the off-grid town of Windorah in 2008 at a cost of over $100,000 per house.
It previously had a diesel generator that used 100,000 litres of diesel fuel per year which was kept for back-up.
I have never been able to find a cost/benefits study but I rang the Mayor a while back and asked him how much diesel the town still uses and he said; “about 100,000 litres per year”.
IOW, more than 100% useless as it still costs a bundle to run and maintain.

rhb2
Reply to  joe
January 28, 2022 10:46 am

Doesn’t that South Australia region that went solar and battery qualify as a demonstration project?

Tom Halla
January 27, 2022 6:30 am

And that is with an unusually favorable pumped storage location?

decnine
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 27, 2022 6:44 am

It isn’t only very favourable for pumped storage. The Canary Islands sit in the Trade Winds zone. If the wind isn’t reliable enough there, it won’t be reliable enough anywhere.

Derg
Reply to  decnine
January 27, 2022 7:54 am

Are they still running diesel generators on the Canary Islands?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Derg
January 27, 2022 7:59 am

Yes. Both the Canaries and the Azores have a range of generating sources, including geothermal, fuel oil/No 6 oil thermal, diesel, wind and solar. Different mixes on different islands.

Derg
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 1:11 pm

I wonder who paid for all the wind and solar attempts…it has been a boondoggle

MarkW
Reply to  decnine
January 27, 2022 8:00 am

I was wondering why aren’t using any solar? Not in the budget?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  MarkW
January 27, 2022 8:12 am

Doesn’t fit the demand profile. Spaniards take siestas. Demand is very much after dark. No extensive need for aircon thanks to being in mid ocean. There is of course a certain amount of rooftop solar already. Live data here

https://demanda.ree.es/visiona/canarias/el_hierro/total

MarkW
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 4:34 pm

You would think that anything that generates extra power would be worthwhile. Help to keep that pump storage full.

On the other hand it is an island and land surface is at a premium.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  decnine
January 27, 2022 10:13 am

No they don’t – they sit under the Azores High almost constantly – that’s why The Canaries are such a great all-year round holiday destination ##
And good for growing tomatoes.

Sometimes, like it did earlier this week and because it is sooooo huuuuuge, the Azores High becalmed most of Europe.
Crazy Climate Change or what – normally it does that in the summer.

Maybe there is ‘some‘ wind at 2,000ft above sea-level but I cannot see it being much and that is why the experiment failed.
How many solar panels did they use, they’d get stacks more energy and much lower maintenance costs

## Did they factor in the jet fuel used to get the holiday-makers in and out – or least out of the place?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 27, 2022 12:33 pm

The main problem really was that the storage was too small, constrained by the small lower reservoir. In the end they largely gave up trying to use it as storage at all, simply using one penstock and turbine to pump to the higher reservoir, and letting the water flow back downhill again in the other one without turning a turbine much of the time. It’s instructive to page through a day at a time using the arrows on the date here:

https://demanda.ree.es/visiona/canarias/el_hierro/acumulada/2022-01-20

The next few days are windless, with total reliance on diesel, but late on the 25th we reach a point where wind (eolica) produces more than demand, and pumping is used as the main balancing system. Mouseover the charts to read off the values: you will see that diesel is still there to aid with inertia throughout. There is almost no use of hydro to provide positive generation.

This satellite map shows the twin penstocks going into the hydro plant at the edge of the lower reservoir.

https://goo.gl/maps/qY7BXaWrVvDRKoWs7

Zoom out to see its location, and the upper reservoir to the NW.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 27, 2022 7:55 am

Not entirely without problems. They had leakage in the upper reservoir, which as you can see from the photo is lined. The lower reservoir is really too small, almost at sea level below a cliff. They refrained from using the sea and salt water for the system, which would have solved the lower reservoir at the expense of corrosion risk, and salting the land if the upper reservoir or penstock leaked. These days the pumped storage system operates mainly as grid stabilisation, flexing the amount of pumping or generation with gusts in the wind.

Dave Yaussy
January 27, 2022 6:30 am

I think this story illustrates the hardest part to grasp about renewables and storage – on this small island, going from 50% electricity generation with renewables to 100% generation, using the present pump storage system, requires 40 times, not 2 times, the amount of present storage.

I imagine most of the public, to the extent they think of it at all, assume that going to net zero is a simple step of dividing electric generation needed by nameplate capacities of existing wind turbines and solar panels and putting up the resulting number of turbines and panels, with a couple batteries thrown in here and there. That’s going to be a hard impression to change.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
January 27, 2022 7:50 am

System Design appears to be a lost art.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
January 27, 2022 11:55 am

Thinking seems to be a lost art.

Doonman
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
January 27, 2022 3:32 pm

Adding existing numbers appears to be a lost art

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
January 27, 2022 8:02 am

I suspect opinions will start to change when blackouts start becoming a frequent occurrence.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  MarkW
January 27, 2022 11:56 am

No, the blackouts will be blamed on the power companies. The Climate Scientists have so warped physics that no one will believe that the cause of the blackouts is rooted in physics.

Megs
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
January 28, 2022 12:37 am

We have had around 12 blackouts blackouts and numerous brownouts since our local 87MW industrial solar installation was commissioned in 2019. We have also lost hundreds of dollars worth of equipment and as our house was completed in that same year, it was all new. Just as an aside, we had to pay $30,000 for a transformer, poles and wiring to be able to connect to the grid. And a further slap in the face is that our water pumps are electric. When the power goes out so does our water.

The last time, I phoned our electricity supplier to find out why the power was out…again. She blamed it on a goanna!

tkampr
Reply to  Megs
January 30, 2022 6:44 am

what is your location?

Megs
Reply to  tkampr
January 30, 2022 1:06 pm

We’re in Central West, NSW Australia. Our region has been declared a Renewable Energy Zone. The existing industrial solar is only the beginning, a 500MW solar works with 200MW BESS on 17 sq km of land was recently approved. A mega project of 63, 7MW wind turbines each at 280m high and a neighbouring 500MW solar works. These sites will each have backup batteries, 400MW and 500MW respectively. The site will also have its own internal transmission lines at 11 kilometres long plus a new substation. All this only eight kilometres from our town. This project alone will take up 93 sq km of prime agricultural land. There is more in the pipeline, we are up to a potential 200 sq km so far.

We moved here because the area is teeming with native wildlife. These animals will be driven out, bulldozed over and chopped up ny turbines. The landscape will never be the same. Anthropogenic CO2 destroying the world is total BS, the environmental damage done globally by the roll-out of renewables is very real!

Nicholas Harding
January 27, 2022 6:34 am

Excellent idea! Write your Senators and recommend that a pilot project, maybe St Thomas or some other island should be put on a 100% renewable fast track so that we know the unexpected problems in making the conversion. After say, January 31, 2025, no fossil fuel imports to the pilot project island! No plastic, no gasoline, no sail cloth other than canvas or cotton, etc. Bio fuels, but only at 100% bio, none of this 85/15 mostly fossil fuel stuff. I bet that islands will be scrambling to be the demo project!

I am writing my Senators today!

TonyL
Reply to  Nicholas Harding
January 27, 2022 7:41 am

Now that is a really bad idea.
Why on Earth are you proposing to destroy St. Thomas? The place is not exactly a tropical Eden, but it is close. What ever did the people of St. Thomas do to you for you to retaliate in such a hateful, spiteful way?

As a alternative, I would suggest conducting the experiment in an area where the people strongly support the notion of 100% renewables. An obvious location is almost any urban area in California. The benefits are obvious.
1) The people will support it.
2) The people who vote for this stuff will “enjoy” the consequences of the policies they advocate for.

Trial location B: Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Everybody there is liberal to hard-liberal. Most of the property owners are uber-liberal and trendy to the point of being “woke”. This is where President Obama bought his mansion, left wing as you get.
Let them try it out.

Nicholas Harding
Reply to  TonyL
January 27, 2022 8:17 am

Martha’s Vineyard is a good tradeoff for St Thomas. This has to be done on an island, with no undersea cable to the mainland for backup power. I want a demo that is free of cheating. The only problem with MV is that some people will bring propane or other fuels by ferry or boat. I proposed St Thomas, a very nice place, as it may be harder to cheat there than say a city in California.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Nicholas Harding
January 27, 2022 11:35 am

I suggest using Martha’s Vineyard using extensive security measures to avoid cheating – for science. Since Obama and other celebrities are there, extra security measures should be easily accepted.
If there are objections, complaints can be registered at the nearest DNC headquarters where their names will be logged and they will be admonished on every social media platform with possible fines involved.

John Garrett
Reply to  TonyL
January 27, 2022 8:19 am

Re: Martha’s Vineyard

Bravo! Excellent idea !!

yirgach
Reply to  TonyL
January 27, 2022 8:36 am

Well look at it this way – if you were the project manager or administrator, where would you like to be? St. Thomas sounds like a no brainer.
Your biggest concern would be that the ice making machines had enough electricity and the beer stayed cold in the coolers.

Nicholas Harding
Reply to  yirgach
January 27, 2022 9:02 am

That is why I would give it 2 weeks or less on St Thomas

Rocketscientist
Reply to  TonyL
January 27, 2022 9:35 am

I am all for the concept of placing it on The Vineyard (it is historic but not very picturesque nor tropical). However, the highest point on the island is only 280 ft ASL, and not that big. And interestingly, the nicer mansions are on Katama Bay on the eastern side while the heights are in the northwestern end.
Tidal projects would fare better, and they are truly abysmal.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rocketscientist
January 27, 2022 11:41 am

You can’t build pumped storage in the U.S. anymore. Eagle’s Crest in CA is the prime example of the money from the crony battery capitalists preventing rational alternatives to battery storage.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 27, 2022 7:26 pm

G’Day Dave,

“Eagle’s Crest in CA is the prime example of the money…”

You got that right.

https://www.eaglecrestmountain.com

In fact, the Eagle Crest Mountain Estate is set within the last standing southern grove of Redwoods in California, replete with fascinating year-round wildlife and seasonal waterfalls. Oak Glen is amongst the most secluded yet convenient cities in Southern California which, of course, attracts A-list Angelenos to revel in lush, intimate privacy.

TonyG
Reply to  TonyL
January 27, 2022 11:36 am

An obvious location is almost any urban area in California.

Catalina, perhaps? Not so urban, but if they can’t do Catalina at 100% they can’t do anywhere.

Rocketscientist
Reply to  TonyG
January 27, 2022 12:53 pm

Use Big Bear Lake to generate hydro once again. But, what to do when nature fills it for you? Where do you store your excess capacity when your batteries are full? And BTW wouldn’t it be prudent to shunt or drain stored capacity when nature is about to inundate your plans? I don’t have much faith in CA state employees to manage these.

Franz Dullaart
January 27, 2022 6:39 am

OK. So a 40x bigger reservoir – but how many more wind turbines to fill that larger reservoir? (Asking for a friend)

Art Slartibartfast
Reply to  Franz Dullaart
January 27, 2022 7:02 am

Not only that, how much energy does it cost to create such a resevoir and the wind mills? You need to consider the complete lifecycle cost. And do not forget about the cost of maintenance.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Franz Dullaart
January 27, 2022 8:01 am

Try looking at the answers I found for Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

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

Steve Case
January 27, 2022 6:47 am

I’m sure that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, The NewYork Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, Scientific America etc. will pick up on this report and in short order wheels will come off the whole Global Warming Climate Crisis band wagon and we will all live happily ever after.

Tony Sullivan
Reply to  Steve Case
January 27, 2022 7:55 am

I’ll be patiently waiting…

comment image&ct=g

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tony Sullivan
January 27, 2022 10:21 am

Needs music:


H.R.
January 27, 2022 6:54 am

There are some people who have gone totally “off grid”. I don’t know if any have been successful with just solar and wind.

Most cases I’ve read about, the owners also had a backup generator and/or or wood for additional heat or, in one case, a steam powered generator that would burn about anything.

I’m just dredging my memory of the cases I’ve read about, but I think all of these off-grid people do have an ICV of some sort to haul themselves and materials to their abodes in the boonies.

There must be a few cases where someone was 100% successful at a zero-carbon setup. But I don’t think they are likely to be living to the same standards that we currently enjoy.

I don’t think there’s even a single household proof-of-concept example of zero-carbon living that maintains modern urban living standards. Sacrifices must be made.

People who want zero-carbon are just mindlessly repeating a catchphrase from the narrative. I don’t think they know what it really entails. There are some off-gridders that do know, though.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  H.R.
January 27, 2022 7:32 am

I don’t think there is any such case of 100% off the grid because all the materials needed have to come from the grid.
Now, if you are talking about regressing and living rough in a hovel or a cave, there are surely some of those, but that isn’t modern living, and no thank you from me.

H.R.
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
January 27, 2022 3:17 pm

👍👍
That’s what I was getting at in my last paragraph, Pat. The educated-but-brainless-and-clueless believe, “Oh, nothing will change except everything will be powered by solar and wind.”

Bzzzzztt!! Wrong. Stake out your cave early, folks.

Steve Case
Reply to  H.R.
January 27, 2022 8:37 am

Some time ago, maybe 25 years now, I visited a guy in Door County, WI – 45 deg. North who was doing exactly that. On his tour of the place, the first thing he said was it was VERY expensive electricity.

Unlike the Klimit Krazies who want 100% electric – heat, hot water, cooking, clothes drying etc. anything like that, he used gas which as you know is being banned by various jurisdictions.

I came away with notion that a solar powered house is doable, but expensive, and perhaps affordable.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Steve Case
January 27, 2022 9:37 am

Go east to the other side of Lake Michigan. Solar is basically useless in the winter. The moisture coming off the lake keeps most of Michigan cloudy all winter.

joe
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
January 28, 2022 5:25 am

i live in s.e.michigan, and you speak the truth.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  H.R.
January 27, 2022 10:07 am

The Scottish island of Eigg in the Inner Hebrides is sometimes claimed to be self sufficient 95% renewable. However this is being economical with the actuality. The system is connected to the UK grid and only has battery storage for 24 hours. Disconnect from the UK grid, which receives the excess from the island, and remove the 5% diesel and I suspect it would fail fairly quickly one a high pressure system arrived.

For those intersted you can read about it here

https://www.lifegate.com/eigg-scotland-renewable-energy-self-sufficiency

KyBill
January 27, 2022 6:54 am

Just do part of the experiment – have the US Postal System go full EV by 2030. That means hot location, cold location, city location, rural location. Have them put in the charging stations in all of these locations. They don’t need to worry about backup power, but they also don’t get to use IC cars/trucks either.

Rather than the government forcing us plebes to perform this EV experiment let the government do the experiment and then calculate the cost.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  KyBill
January 27, 2022 7:54 am

Slow Joe Brandon is trying to convert the entire US federal government vehicle fleet to batteries-only, this was one of ex. orders signed early on. This would presumably include the USPS.

menace
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
January 27, 2022 10:23 am

Not sure how that can be accomplished with an EO. Especially as that EO has caveats that like 50% of materials have to be American/union made and also final assembly.

Also USPS delivery vehicles can’t be just any old car it would have to be custom designed. I doubt the USPS could absorb such costs within their current budgets without having increased appropriations from Congress.

Since it requires a commitment to get one or more of the US manufacturers (Big 3 plus a unionized Tesla?) under contract to make such vehicles, this cannot be accomplished by simply asking dozen and dozens of agencies to make their own plans. It would have to be a concerted effort that is separately funded by congressional appropriations and oversight.

joe
Reply to  KyBill
January 28, 2022 5:29 am

reguarding the usps, this could backfire, the mail may actually arrive on time.

Charlie
January 27, 2022 7:01 am

Good grief. If they can’t make this work in the balmy Canary Islands, how is is expected to work in places where it gets cold and the heating demand is high?

Peter W
Reply to  Charlie
January 27, 2022 9:07 am

Try central Florida, where temperature is predicted to get inro the 30’s two nights in a row, no hills worth mentioning, hardly any wind, have had several days of cloudiness, and are not used to this cold weather with highs at best in the 60’s.

Pauleta
January 27, 2022 7:02 am

What about Washington, DC? Not too large population, people with actual power live there and they would be more than willing to follow their decisions.

David
January 27, 2022 7:02 am

Lots of variables to take into consideration. In this experiment, an area with no “heavy” industries (heavy in the sense the need to move heavy loads, like mining, manufacturing, etc) will look more feasible than one with those industries. But we all consume stuff from those heavy industries. So are the carbon neutral regions condemned (economically, strategically) to rely on those area that have no restriction? Having other jurisdictions making the heavy stuff does not really change much, just moves where carbon is generated while making you poorer by reducing options.

Steve Case
Reply to  David
January 27, 2022 8:41 am

How bout those millions of watts electric arc furnaces the scrap steel industry uses?

It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 7:03 am

There are a number of small island systems. There’s another on another Atlantic island – Graciosa in the Azores. The project was beset with endless troubles, but eventually went live with a combination of wind, solar and battery to try to minimise diesel use. Statistics on output for Jan-Nov 21 are here,

https://www.eda.pt/Mediateca/Publicacoes/Producao/ProducaoConsumo/POEE%20novembro_2021.pdf
and show
Diesel 4.34GWh
Wind 7.08GWh
Solar 0.95GWh

for a 64.9% renewables outcome, but no mention of volumes spilled or curtailed or losses through the battery system. It’s another case that shows that getting beyond 2/3rds renewables is hard and expensive. The whole system has of course been heavily subsidised by the EU with large sums written off over procurement contracts that failed on top.

More on the project here

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/an-islands-path-to-100-renewables

The video is worth a gander, because it does discuss the limitations that intermittency causes. Wärtsila and all, you might say.

Last edited 4 months ago by It doesn't add up...
Lasse
January 27, 2022 7:13 am

Simris was a Swedish example with batteries and solar/wind.
https://www.eon.se/en_US/om-e-on/local-energy-systems/live-from-simris

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Lasse
January 27, 2022 8:34 am

…….can be achieved by downsizing loads when the system indicates that there is a lot of consumption and insufficient production.

That sounds great for the consumers….they will buy ICE generators after the 2nd or 3rd bout of “load shedding“ cuz of battery cost and the amount if energy you can store in a couple of jerry cans…..but maybe that’s part of the agenda….

Last edited 4 months ago by DMacKenzie
January 27, 2022 7:17 am

Why go small scale? The entire UK will be the experiment…Boris is all in…save the bears!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Anti-griff
January 27, 2022 7:55 am

it’s sad to see how far the once Great Britain has fallen

Dave Fair
Reply to  Anti-griff
January 27, 2022 12:11 pm

Yea, UK! The world needs crash test dummies. Of course, the U.S. has one of those at the White House.

joe
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 28, 2022 5:36 am

an actual crash test dummy in the white house would be an improvement.

john
January 27, 2022 7:18 am

Isn’t Germany doing that right now?

Derg
Reply to  john
January 27, 2022 7:55 am

Nope, they are using solar and wind to fleece taxpayers.

Reply to  john
January 27, 2022 8:08 am

Pellworm is a smal island in the Northsea they started a teststudy of islands autarky with wind, solar, some self produced gas, batteriees and smart meter.
Result, the grid connection to the mainland couldn’t be shut down, no new jobs could be created, they never reached autarky, it was, finally a total failour with a considerable lost of money too.

See an translated journalistic text about:

menace
Reply to  john
January 27, 2022 10:26 am

Germany is using France and Putin as their backup plan when the wind stops blowing.

TonyL
January 27, 2022 7:22 am

It is clear that pumped storage requires the proper geography to be practical. At best, you need a mountain to put your upper reservoir on. People note that a mountain is not always available where pumped storage might otherwise be desirable.

Modern problems require modern solutions.
Large scale civil engineering comes to the rescue.
Over the course of the years, I have known many people who were excellent at creating mountains out of molehills. I always felt that these people would be better off if only their special skill could be put to productive use. Unfortunately, nobody knew what that productive use might be.
Now we know.
Round up some of these people and put them on the engineering team tasked with building the mountain. Provide some molehills as raw materials, and you should have the mountains you need in no time.

Easy.

Last edited 4 months ago by TonyL
griff
Reply to  TonyL
January 27, 2022 8:28 am

you can use old coal mines for pumped storage – or air: expandable air storage at the bottom of lakes, cryo compression and release… fly wheels.

Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 8:59 am

I urge the UK to put the griffter in charge of the Great Experiment…hehehehehe.

Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:03 am

Start using your lukewarm breath to fill coal mines, so you have something important to do.

Peter W
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:11 am

Fly wheels? We are supposed to spend all our time swatting flies?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 11:17 am

The idea of using underground storage as the lower reservoir for pumped storage was discussed here:

http://euanmearns.com/flat-land-large-scale-electricity-storage-fles/

You will find that the economics look somewhat challenging. But it attracted comment from among others, Phil Chapman (former astronaut) and David Mackay (Chief Scientific Officer at DECC and author of SEWTHA). The Dutch project last surfaced in 2019, but it failed to attract funding.

Alba
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 11:40 am

What are countries supposed to do if they don’t have old coal mines or any lakes? And with all the extra, intense drought we are going to get from global warming the lakes will all be empty, anyway.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 4:40 pm

Another solution that won’t work for a problem that never existed.

LdB
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 6:31 pm

With usual Griff logic you don’t even have to have the mines you could use the mines in another countries perhaps one you are almost at war with … what could possibly go wrong 😉

I see the Australian government stands ready to ship gas to Europe if Russia turns the gas off which I am really upset about … How do people learn lessons if you don’t make them face the consequences.

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 2:38 am

Griff,

that is exactly how Dinorwic (circa 2 Gwatts) pumped storage plant was built, except it is in an old Welsh slate mine.
But, and it’s a very big but it is not intended to make up for wind intermittency but for frequency control. Because it can start producing very quickly, (0 to 2 Gwatts in about 12 seconds I believe?) it can recover large losses of power from other sources or a sudden increase in demand, which allows the dispatchable generators to catch up and maintain balance. They are short duration plants.
That’s all that storage can be as the capacity and extra generation capcity to keep it charged is simply far too great to make up for wind’s intemittency. It’s a common misconception due to a lack of perspective as the the amount required.

joe
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 5:44 am

are you proposing flooding coal mines with water? how will we be able to burn the coal if it is wet?

Corky
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 7:56 am

Ah, compressed air. That’s fail safe, and if it does fail, do not be close by. That why we use in compressible oil in pressurized hydraulic systems. Fail.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 8:24 am

That’s very true Griff, old open pit Coal mines are excellent places to place pumped storage reservoirs so, to prepare for the Pumped Storage revolution, we should dig as many open pit Coal Mines as possible and extract the Coal filling them up

pigs_in_space
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 3:09 pm

Have you ever been near an “old coal mine”????
I used to see quite a few as a kid in Wales,inc actually operating ones.
Do you know what happens to those holes in the ground when they shut?
Griff can’t his big twat mouth shut long enough to understand or visit a coal mining area!!!

The drifts collapse and/or fill with water, as some miners found out to their cost,when they accidentally breached one and DIED.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-58585552

Komerade Cube
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 4:31 pm

The first intelligent comment griff has ever made. It must be Friday night in Beijing and the spam checkers are off for the weekend. >> air: expandable air storage << Billions of latex party balloons puffing up industriously with all that leftover wind from the mills. Think how decorative! How festive!

Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2022 7:23 am




Anyone with at least half a working brain cell knows that it doesn’t, and can’t possibly work. This of course automatically excludes Griff and his ilk.

griff
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2022 8:27 am

I get my information from those working on large scale renewable systems and from the scientists supporting those endevours… I think those people probably know a lot more than I – and the average Watts commenter

wadesworld
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:00 am

So where’s that 100% renewable town then griff? Surely your scientists can point to dozens.

Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:01 am

Griffter….you are Net Zero.

Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:05 am

Such as these failing at Pellworm ? They know how to fail 😀

Meab
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:09 am

Your problem, griffter, is you swallow the dishonest hype from renewable energy shysters and dishonest claims of climate alarmists lock, stock, and barrel. To make things worse, you then repeat the dishonesty without critically examining it and then, in a final insult to your intelligence, when a commenter schools you on your ignorance/stupidity you ignore the realist’s compelling arguments and actual data.

Reply to  Meab
January 27, 2022 9:36 am

Would be good for climate “science” too:

We failed

For ALMOST two years, we – the press and the population – have been almost hypnotically preoccupied with the authorities’ daily coronatal.

WE HAVE STARED at the oscillations of the number pendulum when it came to infected, hospitalized and died with corona. And we have been given the significance of the pendulum’s smallest movements laid out by experts, politicians and authorities, who have constantly warned us about the dormant corona monster under our beds. A monster just waiting for us to fall asleep so it can strike in the gloom and darkness of the night.

THE CONSTANT mental alertness has worn off tremendously on all of us. That is why we – the press – must also take stock of our own efforts. And we have failed.

Danish Ekstra Bladet

Komerade Cube
Reply to  Meab
January 28, 2022 4:38 pm

Griff’s problem is that he is a paid troll working for the CCP to disrupt intelligent discourse on WUWT.

Peter W
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:13 am

So tell us about all of their great successes.

MarkW
Reply to  Peter W
January 27, 2022 4:43 pm

They are going to happen, there are just a few problems left to solve.
At least that’s what the ad men keep telling us.

Tony Sullivan
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:16 am

So provide some links to these systems & said scientists, so everyone can read the data and draw our own conclusions. If you can’t/aren’t willing to do so, then once again you’ll simply be viewed as spouting unfounded nonsense.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 9:17 am

So you admit that you’re a brainless parrot then (apologies to parrots). Got it. Unlike you, we actually want the truth instead of ideology.

Alba
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 11:56 am

Go on, griff, name a few. And do tell us the peer-reviewed literature they have published.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 4:42 pm

In other words, griff gets his information from the public relations departments of groups that are angling for even more Other People’s Money.

LdB
Reply to  MarkW
January 27, 2022 6:35 pm

Yep he believes in the grifters and losers which is probably the motivation behind the name rather than Ed.

Philo
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 5:23 pm

Well, you must be digging deep. I haven’t read about any large, scalable “renewable” systems that have been successfully put into operation. Nobody has successfully “killed the duck” so to speak- the sudden increase in demand just as the sun is starting to go down! The only approach remotely successful is when the windmills and solar cells are running under the direct control of the major generating supplier, usually one with 3-5 fossil fueled power plants.

LdB
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 6:33 pm

Bet you have to shop around for those scientists for a few days

Iain Reid
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 2:42 am

Griff,

that is the problem, you are talking to the wrong people, engineers design power systems, scientists talk about them and from what I have heard lack the very basics of how they work. They all concentrate on intermittency and completely miss the technical aspects of asynchronous non inertial generators such as renewables

Last edited 3 months ago by Iain Reid
Jim Gorman
Reply to  Iain Reid
January 28, 2022 10:06 am

Most of the engineering guys I knew that went on to advanced degrees and research were “idea” guys.

One of them gave me a design he made and asked if I could build it. I had to tell him that he needed a Ft. Knox for some of the parts and that others just were not made. 100 dB gain antennas that fit in a suitcase, lol.

Not a one of them had the slightest knowledge about the physical world.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  Jim Gorman
January 28, 2022 4:42 pm

>>Not a one of them had the slightest knowledge about the physical world.<< PHd syndrome. Show up, spout a bunch of clever sounding nonsense laden with buzzwords, and scoot before the project implodes.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Komerade Cube
January 29, 2022 7:03 am

Been there, seen that, Huh?

Komerade Cube
Reply to  griff
January 28, 2022 4:36 pm

Oh griff, you get your information, such as it is, from that smelly thing that follows you around. You’ve never once published any data, done any calculations, or quoted anyone who even pretends to have done so. You’re the king of drive by shootings.

Thomas Gasloli
January 27, 2022 7:27 am

They don’t build a model project because this was never about a system that would work.

It was and is about a handful of billionaires getting guaranteed profits from government subsidized boondoggles. The green talk is just the smoke & mirrors that make the scam possible.

A trial project would expose the scam before all the profit can be extracted.

Steve Case
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
January 27, 2022 8:46 am

That’s right it won’t be tried for the same reason the Krazies never debate.

Pat from Kerbob
January 27, 2022 7:35 am

I vote for a location that voted to enact a climate emergency declaration, like Victoria BC.
2 years to be net zero.
And no FF powered cruise ships docking either, only rowboats.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
January 27, 2022 12:37 pm

That sounds like New Zealand.

ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 7:38 am

Way to go Griff……

WSJ
European officials are scrambling to lock down energy supplies they would need to keep their economies churning if hostilities around Ukraine imperil natural gas piped from Russia, and have turned to the U.S. for help finding backup sources beyond Moscow’s control.

Now, U.S. and European officials are racing to find short-term alternatives to refill depleted reserves. More than two-dozen tankers are en route from the U.S. to Europe, lured by high gas prices in the EU. Another 33 tankers that haven’t yet confirmed their destinations are likely to mainly head there as well, according to oil analytics firm Vortexa Inc. “They would only cover a fraction” of Russian supplies if all were lost, said Clay Seigle, managing director at Vortexa.

Biden administration officials in recent days have held marathon video calls with officials around the world, trying to convince buyers in South Korea, Japan and other countries that have already paid for their imports to let the U.S. reroute those shipments to Europe, people involved in those talks said. European officials have traveled or planned trips to Doha and the Azeri capital, Baku, to try to line up supply.

Derg
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 7:57 am

If Biden and his ilk are involved you know it will get effd up.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Derg
January 27, 2022 12:21 pm

Wasn’t it Obama that said something like: You can always count on Biden to eff thing up?

Kevin A
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 27, 2022 1:36 pm

2020 I paid $0.95 a gallon for propane, November 2021 $2.25
Thank you Brandon.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kevin A
January 27, 2022 3:47 pm

Xiden is so demented he agreed with the guy that said “Let’s Go Brandon” on a televised phone call. The look on “doctor” Jill’s face was priceless! “Let’s Go Brandon” is not an encouragement for him to do more, ever though he may think it is.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 8:01 am

“European officials have traveled or planned trips to Doha and the Azeri capital, Baku, to try to line up supply.” Maybe having to go hat in hand – will wake up Europeans, back to some common sense regarding energy- but I doubt it.

griff
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 8:26 am

It certainly is!

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 8:43 am

and…..

WSJ
American exporters, while eager to help, have told U.S. officials during talks that they are already sending as many cargoes as they can to Europe without breaking long-term supply contracts with other customers. Europe is already receiving 70% of America’s LNG cargoes, according S&P Global Platts. Further discussions on European supply will take place during an EU-U.S. energy meeting on Feb. 7, European officials say.

Dave Fair
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 12:23 pm

Ideologue politicians create a crisis then try to (unsuccessfully) patch things up.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dave Fair
LdB
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 6:37 pm

Yes Australia offered to save Europes butt by shipping gas but really europe as a whole needs to learn a lesson about energy security.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  LdB
January 28, 2022 4:46 pm

And a lesson about electing Communist politicians beholden to the Chinese and the Russians.

joe
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 28, 2022 5:55 am

and their may be russian subs hunkered down in the north atlantic as we speak.

Fred
January 27, 2022 7:43 am

In Sweden EON push the pilot project in Simris as a huge green success as a small village “going off grid”. The problem was that they for years also showed actual produced power and used power. I guess they produced more than they used about 1 day every two weeks. Yet they continue to claim it as a sucess story and something to copy for the society. They do not show the failure in real time anymore, wounder why?

Joseph Zorzin
January 27, 2022 7:45 am

There is a Netflix video about this system on El Hierro. I’ll have to look it up. It wasn’t just about that island but I think about renewable energy on isolated areas- but I’m not sure. I recall the Netflix video being extremely optimistic about it.

It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 7:49 am

The dashboard output for KIREIP, the project on King Island in the Bass Strait is working again. It can get mesmerising to watch as the system copes with huge swings in wind generation over a matter of a few seconds. Catch it at different times to see the solar contribution, and various modes and different weather conditions. They seem to switch between different ways of system balancing. Sometimes they just rely on the variable resistor and the flywheel. At others diesel takes the main strain. The battery chips in from time to time.

https://www.hydro.com.au/clean-energy/hybrid-energy-solutions/success-stories/king-island#

Duane
January 27, 2022 7:52 am

Actually, there are already lots of energy storage plants in operation, and lots more coming on line. Mercom Capital, an investor in renewable energy systems, forecasts a total of $5.1 GWH of new storage capacity coming online in the US in 2022, an increase over 2021 of 84%.

Florida Power & Light, the largest electric utility in the State of Florida, is bringing online lots of new solar storage facilities, with the largest to date, located in Manatee County, with a capacity of 900 MWH. Florida, with its abundant sunshine, is better suited than other places for solar development, but that is also true throughout the entire “sun belt” of the United States which includes roughly half the nation’s population today.

https://www.fpl.com/energy-my-way/battery-storage/manatee-battery.html

Tesla is selling modular Power Pack systems to utilities and commercial customers.

Whether storage is some sort of magic bullet for making renewables more feasible at a utility scale or not is debatable. But it’s being implemented already. In a few years we’ll see how well these storage systems perform.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 8:06 am

Or not. I did some calculations that show that batteries have doubled in cost over the past year due to rising raw materials prices. Much of that rise is recent. That is going to kill the economics for wider deployment.

kzb
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 2:06 pm

Why do people assume energy storage will use batteries? Large scale it will more likely be pumped hydro or compressed air.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  kzb
January 28, 2022 4:56 pm

100.000 rote Luftballons

Auf der Party ganz allein dachte ich sag alles klar
Alles sind hier super drauf nur du, du bist nicht da
Uberleg die ganze Zeit die ich das ubersteh
Doch auf einmal hab ich sie die rettende Idee!

100.000 rote Luftballons!

MarkW
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 8:08 am

5 GWh? Be still my beating heart.

Call me when they get up to a couple hundred TWh.

Duane
Reply to  MarkW
January 27, 2022 8:28 am

The point being we are beyond “pilot projects” already with actually commercially operating storage plants. The author asserted that there are no known storage plants operating in the real world.

By the way, if storage plant capacity increases by 84% in a year, it would take less than 20 years to reach terrawatt capacity. It takes that long to plan, design, permit and build a conventional power plant today.

John Pickens
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 9:18 am

The author asserted that there are no known storage plants operating in the real world.” No he did not. The quote is: “we are soon to have an all-electric energy generation and consumption system producing around four times the output of our current electricity system, all from wind and solar, backed up as necessary only by batteries or other storage.”

And he proposed that someone actually build such a FF free test system. He also said that there were no such systems in existance.

Please give an example of a FF free end-to-end system that is currently operating and prove him wrong.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 9:50 am

2 hours of power is not what I would consider a “commercially operating storage plant”. It’s useless, almost like Griff.

MarkW
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 4:52 pm

Almost double every year for 20 years?
As long as you are going to wish for things that can’t possibly happen, why not wish for magic batteries instead?

BTW, 5GWh is not storage in the sense that we are talking about. It’s job is to keep the grid running for a few minutes while the fossil fuel plants ramp up.

To have real storage you are going to need 10’s of TWh, at a bare minimum.

griff
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 8:25 am

Storage as currently available is not a solution for days of power… but it is excellent at frequency response, at peaker power, at ‘smoothing the curve’, at replacing spinning reseve

MarkW
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 4:53 pm

Frequency response, peaker power and smoothing the curve are not storage.

LdB
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 6:39 pm

That doesn’t mean anything when you baseload disappears because Russia turns off the gas 🙂

Peter W
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 9:21 am

I live in central Florida, and haven’t seen much of that “abundant sunshine” for several days.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  Peter W
January 28, 2022 3:24 pm

We have had windless thick fog for a week, the temps yesterday were a nice warm -4C (all day).
The car turned to a block of ice, and all water froze.

Without my propane and 230V (nuclear powered) hookup I would be in hospital with severe exposure or dead.

I was discussing a solar panel with a big backup truck battery (for when the sun was out!)
It would have given me 2kw for less than 1hr.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Duane
January 27, 2022 9:49 am

Wow, they can power 329,000 homes for 2 hours. Postponing the blackout for two hours doesn’t seem to be worth the cost. The sun still won’t come up until morning.

joe
Reply to  Duane
January 28, 2022 6:01 am

yes of course, utopia is only always a few years away.

DrTorch
January 27, 2022 8:20 am

Great post. Nice to see a request for real data, not models and limited calculations.

I had a discussion last Sun about something similar. I said I’ve seen prices for the cost of electricity from solar thermal vary from $.075 to $.35 . How can anyone make a sound decision with conflicting data like that?

So why doesn’t the US Dept of Energy set up some standard tests to determine these costs? Across perhaps 10-15 geographic zones.

Current Dept of Energy budget is $35B. It’s been over $20B each year for the past 20 years alone. Do the math, that’s roughly half a trillion dollars.

Seems like we should be getting some concrete answers to such questions for that kind of money.

griff
January 27, 2022 8:24 am

One thing different about this place is it isn’t connected widely with HVDC transmission lines.

The UK is (increasingly so) – to 6 widely separated geographical areas.

There are also alternatives to that diesel generation.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 10:09 am

Hi Griff,
Alternatives to diesel are you talking wood, biogas, biodiesel or what?

kzb
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 27, 2022 2:09 pm

This is one tiny island. In an area as large as the USA, the wind will almost always be blowing somewhere. So they are not comparable.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  kzb
January 27, 2022 4:28 pm

I spotted the wind not blowing pretty much anywhere on land globally just a couple of days ago. Global stilling.

Global stilling.png
MarkW
Reply to  kzb
January 27, 2022 4:56 pm

Blowing somewhere is meaningless.
1) Unless you are willing to put enough windmills to power the US everywhere in the US, the power from those windmills are going to be needed where the windmills are, they don’t have any to send to you.
2) Long distance transmission isn’t free. The further you go, the more energy you lose.

This past summer, almost the entire EU was becalmed for several weeks.

Last edited 3 months ago by MarkW
Jim Gorman
Reply to  kzb
January 28, 2022 10:24 am

That other place where the wind is blowing had better have enough surplus to supply their own needs in addition to yours. What do you think that does to the efficiency of the whole system? How about you having extra RE energy to recharge any batteries in addition to your needs.

All I see is oversupply of RE devices which makes efficiency terrible –> higher and higher costs to the consumer.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 1:08 pm

Widely separated geographical areas? From the BritNed (1GW, fed by MPP3 coal fired power station next door) at Maasvlakte, Rotterdam to NEMO link (1GW) at Zeebrugge is about 100 miles: another 80 gets you to Coquelles and the start of Eleclink (1GW) through the Channel Tunnel, and another couple of miles gets you to les Mandarins, the start of IFA1 (2GW) – both fed by Les Gravelines nuclear power stations. Another 200 miles along the Channel coast gets you to Caen near IFA2 (1GW, also nuclear fed).

LdB
Reply to  griff
January 27, 2022 6:43 pm

France just told the UK to stick it’s interconnector up it’s butt because they have twigged to the energy security issue. Going forward if anyone wants to squeeze the UK just cut the power and listen to the screaming.

https://www.offshore-energy.biz/uk-france-interconnector/
https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/planning-permission-refused-for-1-2bn-uk-france-interconnector-20-01-2022/?tkn=1

quote
“The French have already said they will turn off the power, they will use future energy supply as a bargaining chip,” she told The Times. “That doesn’t help our energy security.”

So how long before the rest of Europe tells the UK to generate it’s own power 🙂

So lets have the Grifter prediction of how the UK goes forward in power?

Last edited 3 months ago by LdB
Michael in Dublin
January 27, 2022 8:34 am

A number of ongoing small pilot projects is a cost effective way to prevent huge wasteful spending on major projects. The mistakes discovered in a small project means one can address these and make signifcant changes. Mistakes in a huge project totally deplete the resources and funding with no financial return.

MJB
January 27, 2022 8:36 am

Excellent suggestion. The scale we are tinkering with (sabotaging) the worlds energy, social, and economic systems seems to demand some prototyping and testing before jumping in fully. To be effective the sales pitch might have to be angled more to demonstration site to find the best ways, as opposed to the more confrontational prove it could work first.

Tom.1
January 27, 2022 8:40 am

I know there will be a lot of cheering, jeering, and backslapping about this here, but really, failure is nothing to be wished for. As it is, we are probably wasting tons of money pursuing failed green dreams. I’m not sure what good comes out of this, except that if it ultimately convinces people to not bet big on weak ideas, then maybe there will be some benefit in the long run. More likely, it’s like trying to convince true believers that communism will never work. Some people never get it.

markl
January 27, 2022 8:47 am

I’ve been saying this for years. Do a proof of concept before attempting to do away with fossil fuels for generating electricity. Seems obvious until one realizes the intent of promoting AGW is to destroy Capitalism not fossil fuels use.

Tom.1
Reply to  markl
January 27, 2022 8:59 am

Right. I’m not sure why we’ve put the cart before the horse on the issue to the extent that we have. It’s not like these things are immune to normal cost benefit analysis. Of course, when your do nothing option is, supposedly, the end of the world, I guess you’ll try anything.

Derg
Reply to  markl
January 27, 2022 9:25 am

I think they tried it in the Canary Islands. I swear they tried to get pumped storage to work. Per post above they are still using diesel generators.

Gary Pearse
January 27, 2022 9:02 am

10-15% are numbers we see a lot. I think dividing 12 by what they were hoping for will become a rule of thumb on what to expect.

Lil-Mike
January 27, 2022 9:09 am

What I don’t understand about battery and solar are two things.

1) why not have the DC to AC conversion at each panel. Driving DC any even small distance to the centralized converter involves fat copper (expensive) wires, and large losses. We have advanced electronics these days, cell could host a small converter.

2) why not have a smaller batter on each solar panel. When charging, charge directly (with regulation) to the battery. No conversion from solar DC to AC, then to battery DC, then to chemical, the from chemical to DC, then to AC again. Each of these conversions involve losses. Here, the converter can source power from two sources, the solar cell, or the battery.

menace
Reply to  Lil-Mike
January 27, 2022 10:33 am

Its all about cost and efficiency. If it was better to do as you suggest, some engineer would have already figured that out.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Lil-Mike
January 27, 2022 12:03 pm

1) why not have the DC to AC conversion at each panel.

This idea has been floating around since the 1990s. The biggest issue is that the lifetime of an electronic inverter is much less than that of a typical PV module. When the inverter dies, the module is rendered useless.

2) why not have a smaller batter on each solar panel.

The weight issue aside, this is pretty much the same problem. A lead-acid battery is only useful for a few years.

MarkW
Reply to  Lil-Mike
January 27, 2022 5:05 pm

Transmission losses are determined by current and resistance. In industrial sites voltages can range into the thousands of volts, which means that current can be reduced tremendously.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
January 28, 2022 10:34 am

That friends is why Tesla won over Edison. AC can easily be transformed between various voltages and the grid only needs the minimum amount of wire to do it. No back to back inverters to accomplish the conversion.

Philo
Reply to  Lil-Mike
January 27, 2022 5:44 pm

Right off the bat, a large part of solar panels costs are the inverters required. Batteries are another cost and possible weak point. I know that most batteries, on almost any scale, include controllers that will automatically sense a failing cell and cut it out of the circuit.

Rud Istvan
January 27, 2022 9:19 am

There have been several small scale ‘net zero’ pilots like El Hierro. They have all failed. That is why there won’t be any more; further proof of ‘net zero’ idiocy is not something the warmunists would welcome.

Tom.1
January 27, 2022 9:33 am

We can just use my house. I have 7.5 Kw of solar panels that are designed to make 105% of my monthly demand. All I need are some batteries. Who’s up for writing that check? It’s quite sunny where I live, so it won’t take more than 10.

Diogenese
January 27, 2022 9:54 am

Washington first .

Enlightened Archivist
January 27, 2022 10:05 am

I believe Germany is worried that they may become the next demonstration project if Putin withholds gas. Seems only fair.

AndyHce
January 27, 2022 10:24 am

Assuming they had space for the storage, could there be anywhere near enough wind power to fill the reservoir while providing daily electricity needs?

william Johnston
January 27, 2022 11:01 am

I seem to recall a small town in Texas bought that plan. I also recall it was a total failure and the townspeople were stuck with a huge bill.

Beta Blocker
January 27, 2022 11:47 am

This article at Forbes claims the energy storage problem for renewables can be solved using ‘energy vaults’. These energy vaults use massive deadweight blocks raised to a height when excess energy is available, and then are dropped when the energy is to be recovered.

We Can Store Our Excess Renewable Energy In An Energy Vault

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2022/01/27/we-can-store-our-excess-renewable-energy-in-an-energy-vault/?sh=437f0a603334

The Energy Vault corporations web site is here:

https://www.energyvault.com/

“At Energy Vault, we envision a planet where science and deep respect for our natural resources herald creative technological advancements in sustainable, clean, renewable energy. Our Board of Directors and Executive Management Team consist of experienced industry professionals with deep technical backgrounds in mechanical energy storage as well as energy storage market and customer requirements.”

A similar idea was proposed more than fifty years ago in the mid 1960’s as a means of matching supply with demand. Huge skyscraper energy towers would be constructed in or near major cities to store energy produced in the off hours in order to handle the peak demand curve.

But we haven’t seen any of these built since they were first proposed. So the question is … why?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Beta Blocker
January 27, 2022 12:17 pm

My guess would be that the huge initial expense, plus the amount of energy lost during conversion would make them economically unsound.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2022 4:44 pm

Actually the losses are not too bad – slightly less than for batteries in fact. But the energy storage is somewhat limited.

http://euanmearns.com/short-term-energy-storage-with-gravitricity-iron-versus-ion/

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Beta Blocker
January 27, 2022 1:17 pm

Well actually we have. Gravitricity have built a demo version up in Leith, Scotland. It can produce 250kW for a few seconds. They are now looking at the possibility of using a mineshaft in Czechia for a 4-8MW, 2MWh system. It competes with batteries in the grid stabilisation market, and is incapable of serious quantities of energy storage that would be required to sustain a renewables grid through a few weeks of Dunkelflaute.

https://gravitricity.com/projects/

StephenP
Reply to  Beta Blocker
January 27, 2022 1:43 pm

The massive deadweight blocks could have a great demand among certain people as an alternative to concrete boots.
It was rumoured that the concrete pillars on the bridges around London’s M25 orbital motorway could tell a few tales.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Beta Blocker
January 28, 2022 10:40 am

Assuming no losses, how heavy and how tall to store 1 MWh of energy? The math is pretty simple so I know you can do it.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Beta Blocker
January 29, 2022 1:11 am

Very simply, as has been said so many times storage cannot compenste for intermittency because it lacks the capacity. There are so many crackpot ideas that it’s obvious the people who think them up have no concept of the magnitude of the task they are trying to do.

Robber
January 27, 2022 12:43 pm

King Island is a remote community between Victoria and Tasmania. The King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP) provides a glimpse of what’s achievable in renewable energy. And when I just clicked on the live feed, diesel was providing 85% of demand. 🙂 On average 65% is “renewable” energy. Apparently the record is 33 hours without diesel.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Robber
January 27, 2022 1:32 pm

Quite large amounts get shed into the resistor when it’s windy and gusty. It must make a notable contribution to King Island warming.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 2:51 pm

In the 1970s we operated the King Island Scheelite mines, one of which was an open pit that could have been like the lower reservoir for a pumped water storage system. However, green pressure groups convinced the government to order us to fill in the pit when the ore was mined out, which we did.
All this was before the green plan to make King Island operate without fossil fuels, so this was the second example of King Island being stuffed around by green ignorance.
Not that it is such a nice location. The large population of rather venomous, aggressive Tiger Snakes somewhat dampens the enjoyment of bushwalking.
But, do not try to learn from what I write because I am a realist more than a dreamer. Geoff S

MarkW
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
January 27, 2022 5:10 pm

Instead of dumping excess energy, why aren’t they able to drop the current through the stator so that less energy is being generated?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  MarkW
January 28, 2022 1:46 pm

Because it would destabilise the whole system. Try watching it at a time when it’s gusty to see what they have to cope with. Any reactive components would set up wild oscillations, so they went for pure resistance.

ResourceGuy
January 27, 2022 12:50 pm

How about a whole country and/or a major trading block, so we can all watch a full-scale test with major fallout?

lgp
January 27, 2022 12:55 pm

note the bottom of the pond is covered with plastic — made from petroleum…

kzb
January 27, 2022 2:00 pm

But was it designed with being a pilot for net zero in mind? Or simply to provide cheap power?

I also have doubts about the storage. Whenever I’ve been to the Canaries (the “Windward Isles”) it has been quite breezy. I’m surprised there are long periods with no wind.

Having said that, the islands also have an enviable climate. Daytime temperature rarely below 20 degrees C in January and rarely above 30 degrees C in summer. So if net zero can’t work here it certainly can’t in Britain.

Thaipixie
January 27, 2022 8:11 pm

Besides that the replaceable’s (wind and solar) will have to be entirely replaced every 10 to 15 years at greater cost to the environment than any other form of energy. This of course assume that green globalist elite are going to allow you personal transport, effective heating/cooling, hot food (cooked cockroaches) or any other :luxuries!” The only good news is whiners will not be able to charge their phones and there will be no free wifi…. they might have to contribute to society.

Dusty
January 27, 2022 8:59 pm

While a pilot project would be a reasonable, it being proof of concept step, this is only done to identify and resolve issues not discoverable beforehand. Doing it to convince the unconvincible is a fools errand.

If one wants to do something productive, attack wind power for the collosal failure as an energy solution. From the narrow and intermittent limits of energy production, its dependence on an unachievable storage system, through its hugely inefficient use of resources compared to other power production options, to the environmental and ecological havoc it wreaks, wind power should be banned.

Since its unlikely to achieve a ban on its merits alone before the damage done — first and foremost, with the slaughter of our avian friends — becomes irrepairable, it would behoove us to demand an operational limit to ba lade tip speed of 40 mph, down from the current optimal operating speed of 180 to 200 mph for the smaller ones.

In addition more comparative stats should be made use of. For instance, some back of the envelope calcs indicate the materials dedicated to one to two wind turbines are a close equivalent to what is needed for a standard ng power plant. As for the braggadocio associated with windfarms having ratings similar to nuclear (or ng) plants note that footprint comparisons are acres to square miles of dedicated land.

ATheoK
January 27, 2022 9:56 pm

The difference in elevation of the two reservoirs is about 660 meters, or more than 2000 feet. Here is a picture of the upper reservoir, looking down to the ocean”

I don’t believe you can get more energy from the drain down than was expended pumping the water uphill.

Dean
January 27, 2022 10:25 pm

The same reason we don’t get government report when the outcome is certain to be unfavourable.

Dennis
January 27, 2022 10:29 pm

The closest installation of wind turbines, solar panels and battery storage that I am aware of is King Island close to Tasmania, Australia.

But back up diesel generators are also installed because as astute people realise wind and solar is unreliable energy supply, intermittent and average or capacity factor under 30% in Australia, being the result of observers over one year compared to The Australian Energy Market Operator’s 30% to 35% capacity factor for wind turbines and much less for solar.

And from an article I read some time ago about King Island electricity supply it would have been more cost effective to have supplied from mainland Tasmania where an excess supply is produced with hydro power stations the main generators. There already is an interconnector to mainland Australia from Tasmania.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
January 27, 2022 11:54 pm

I have just read the paper by Ferroni and Hopkirk, “Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photo voltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation”. Energy Policy 94 (2016) p336–344.

They say it takes 64 times as much physical material per KW compared with a nuclear power station. They looked at the extended EROI to see what the energy demand is to build a solar PV system compared with the expectable electricity generation that would be realized over 25 years. The answer is 0.82 KWH returned for 1.0 KWH invested.

From the conclusion:
“…despite a string of optimistic choices resulting in low values of energy investments, the ERoEI is significantly below 1. In other words, an electrical supply system based on today’s PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather an un-sustainable energy sink or a non-sustainable NET ENERGY LOSS.”

Dean
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
January 28, 2022 7:17 pm

Given the debate about that paper, it might not be as extreme as you state, but even if they got it wrong by a factor of 10, nuclear is still miles ahead.

I love how the detractors of that paper also complain that PV is compared to Nuclear on a like for like basis, ie providing base load. That is exactly what they are suggesting when you replace fossil fuels with renewables…….

Chris
January 28, 2022 12:02 am

Australia’s capital city Canberra would be ideal. Disconnect it from the main grid and just let it fend for itself using only renewables. It has no industry to speak of and consists mostly of green public servants so no production will be lost if there is no power, and the public servants would readily embrace a life style that involves turning up to work only if it is sunny and/or windy.

Anders Valland
January 28, 2022 1:49 am

If I understand Roger Andrews correctly, the 40-times figure comes in part from problems with the bedrock of the reservoir. Since this is on the Canary Islands the rock is volcanic and quite porous. I understand Andrews to the point that the reservoir is unable to hold water for a prolonged period of time.
Andrews points out that if the reservoir would hold the water for enough time, then it would need to be 10 times its current size. It is still a huge increase, but I think that is more in line with what to expect.

Some are proposing storage using hydrogen instead of batteries. Compressed hydrogen has a little higher volumetric energy density than the best long term storage batteries around. That will of course change as batteries are technology with a prospect for development, while hydrogen is…well, hydrogen. It is a basic element and does not change.In a 10-20 year perspective batteries will probably out compete even liquid hydrogen.

The problem with hydrogen is that you cannot store it for very long. As a compressed gas you may store for some weeks, as a liquid you need to start using energy to keep it cold after 12-14 days. Yes, I know there are containers that can hold it longer but we are talking about huge volumes here. There are no containment systems for huge volumes of hydrogen kept over long times that are or will be remotely close to economically viable.

I believe the numbers Andrews give – twice the production capacity and 10 times the storage – paints a realistic picture of what is needed for a system based purely on intermittent, unreliable power generating systems.

vboring
January 28, 2022 6:56 am

A month of storage is about right. I’ve done some decently detailed modeling of a Midwestern power system. I’d share, but then I would probably get to involuntarily retire early.

The easy gut check is to look at how big our natural gas storage systems are. It takes about a month of storage to handle seasonality. Even with a month of storage and pretty stable production, gas still experiences regular price shocks from shortages. This might indicate that you need a little more than a month.

If you want a zero emission energy system, the list of options are:

1) die in the cold
2) nuclear

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  vboring
January 28, 2022 1:51 pm

in system after system we seem to come up with similar numbers. Oddly, it seems that there is remarkably little differentiation across a fairly wide range of latitudes too.

Rich Lentz(@usurbrain)
January 28, 2022 10:23 am

“Chicago-based Ranger Power wants to build a 250-megawatt solar farm on roughly 2,800 acres just east of Lincoln.” Source Omaha World Harold.
2,800 acres is about two miles by two miles square.

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) is a publicly owned electric utility serving 13 counties and more than 369,500 customers in eastern Nebraska. The district’s generating capacity is 2,645.7 MW, with a peak load of 2,354.4 MW.”
Do the math; 2,645,7 / 250 = 10.5828 Solar Farms. However, that is not enough as the typical Capacity factor is only 25%. That means you need four times as many. Capacity needs to be added for the battery or storage system for over night power requiring at least 50% more making the number six times as many. But Wait, what happens when there is a week or so with no sun and/or overcast skies. Another 50 % of solar power will be needed making the total about Twenty Solar Farms to charge these extra batteries and/or Pumped Storage system.
Using the twenty needed solar farms times 2,800 acres you get 56,000 acres, 87 square miles. Divide that by the 13 counties that OPPD serves and that is 4,307,7 acres per county.
How many farmers are going to give up their property and life style, even under Eminent Domain as OPPD is a “Municipal Utility” and could use it? 

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