Many recent posts on this blog have dealt with the theme of the infeasibility of a fully wind/solar/storage electricity system. Today I will deal with another study of the subject, this one from German authors Oliver Ruhnau and Staffan Qvist, titled “Storage requirements in a 100% renewable electricity system: Extreme events and inter-annual variability.” The Ruhnau/Qvist study does not have a date other than “2021,” although it appears to have come out toward the end of that year.
Although Ruhnau and Qvist do not say it explicitly, my conclusion from their paper is that it is a further demonstration of the complete infeasibility — indeed the complete absurdity — of attempting in the short term to replace all fossil fuel electricity generation in a modern economy with only wind, solar and storage.
The background of this issue is that large numbers of green activists, up to and including the current President of the United States, make regular statements indicating that they believe that fossil fuels can be eliminated from the modern economy by simply building sufficient capacity of wind and solar electricity generation. Such statements rarely consider or mention the necessity of energy storage, or the feasibility or cost of same. And yet any serious consideration of the intermittency of wind and solar inevitably leads to the conclusion that without dispatchable backup (fossil fuel or nuclear) they require vast amounts of energy storage to cover the periods of intermittency. Understanding the amount of storage required, its physical characteristics, and its cost, is completely essential to answering the question of whether a fully wind/solar/storage system is feasible.
And yet our governments are currently marching ahead with religious zeal with plans for “net zero” electricity generation, based almost entirely on wind and sun, without any serious consideration of the amount of storage required or of the cost or feasibility of the project. Nor has there ever been a demonstration of a workable prototype system that could achieve net zero emissions with only wind, sun and storage, even for a small town or an island.
Previous posts at Manhattan Contrarian on this subject have reviewed detailed work by Roger Andrews and by Ken Gregory. In this post from November 2018, I reviewed work by Andrews dealing with actual wind and solar generation data from the two cases of California and Germany. Andrews concluded that due to seasonal patterns of wind and solar generation, either California or Germany would require approximately 30 full days of energy storage to back up a fully wind/solar generation system. Based on current costs of lithium-ion batteries, Andrews calculated that building sufficient wind and solar generation plus sufficient batteries would lead to a multiplication of the cost of electricity by approximately a factor of between 14 and 22. In this post from January 2022, I reviewed work by Gregory dealing with actual wind/solar generation for the case of the entire United States. Gregory considered how much storage would suffice as the sole back up where the U.S. had fully electrified all currently non-electrified sectors (e.g., transport, home heat, industry, agriculture), thus essentially tripling electricity demand from the current level. His conclusion was that the batteries alone would cost about $400 trillion — about 20 times the full GDP of the United States.
Clearly, if either Andrews or Gregory is anywhere near right, converting a modern economy to fully wind, solar and storage is not remotely feasible.
Into this mix now come Ruhnau and Qvist. The focus of R&Q is once again the amount of storage needed to back up a fully wind/solar generation system, once fossil fuels have been eliminated as a back up option. The R&Q study deals only with the case of Germany, and only with supplying its current level of electricity demand, rather than demand that may be tripled or more by economy-wide electrification of transport, heating, and so forth.
The bottom line is that the result of the R&Q study is approximately in line with the findings of Andrews and Gregory. Where Andrews and Gregory had calculated that about 30 days of storage would be required to back up a fully wind/solar system, R&Q come up with 24 days. However, to get to the 24 day result, R&Q require massive overbuilding of the wind/solar system, to the point where its nameplate “capacity” is about triple Germany’s peak electricity demand, and five times average demand. The result is a system where vast amounts of surplus electricity on sunny/windy days must be discarded or “curtailed.” However, R&Q say that their model is based on cost minimization, because building vast excess capacity and discarding electricity by the terawatt hour is actually cheaper than adding additional storage.
The starting point of the R&Q study is a critique of prior authors who have calculated relatively low storage requirements by only looking at a supposed worst case multi-day wind/solar “drought” of calm and cloudy days. Some such studies cited by R&Q have derived storage requirements in the range of 4 – 8 days as supposedly sufficient to back up a fully wind/solar system. (Even those levels of storage requirements would likely make the cost infeasible.). But R&Q use available hourly wind and solar generation data over the course of entire years for Germany to show that much longer periods of relative calm and dark can occur, causing the storage requirement needed to avoid blackouts to be much higher.
While our time series analysis supports previous findings that periods with persistently scarce supply last no longer than two weeks, we find that the maximum energy deficit occurs over a much longer period of nine weeks. This is because multiple scarce periods can closely follow each other. When considering storage losses and charging limitations, the period defining storage requirements extends over as much as 12 weeks. For this longer period, the cost-optimal storage capacity is about three times larger compared to the energy deficit of the scarcest two weeks.
At pages 5-6 of their paper, R&Q lay out the generation (installed capacity) and storage requirements for their view of an optimized system.
First there will be a vastly over-built system of wind and solar facilities:
On the supply side, almost 300 GW of variable renewable generators are installed: 92 GW solar PV, 94 GW onshore wind, and 98 GW offshore wind . . . . For solar PV and onshore wind power, this is nearly twice as much as the installed capacity in 2020; for offshore wind power, this means more than a tenfold increase.
For comparison, Germany’s current peak demand is in the range of 100 GW, and average demand is in the range of 60 GW.
Then there will be some 56 TWh of storage, equivalent as discussed to about 24 days of full electricity consumption for the entire country of Germany at near-peak usage levels. To get a handle on how much that is, consider that a Tesla battery is in the range of about 100 KWh, and sells for about $13,500, or $135/KWh. So, if you were trying to cover the 56 TWh of storage with Tesla-type batteries, it would run you around 56,000,000,000 x $135, or about $7.56 trillion — which is about double the GDP of Germany.
But R&Q think they have a better idea than batteries, namely hydrogen as a vehicle for the storage. In their model, almost all (54.8 TWh out of the 56 TWh) of the storage comes from hydrogen. In the first instance, this requires adding yet another massive new cost element to the system, namely an entire network of some 62 GW of hydrogen-fired CCGT power plants, almost sufficient on their own to supply Germany’s grid at average levels of demand.
Add together the cost of three-times overbuilding of wind turbines and solar panels, 56 TWh of storage, and a network of new hydrogen-fired power plants almost as extensive as Germany’s entire current generation system, and you have a collection of costs that can’t possibly be feasible in any rational world.
And yet somehow, when R&Q get to their conclusions with respect to feasibility, they wave their hands and say there is no problem. Although they concede that there exists no utility-scale hydrogen storage, distribution and combustion system anywhere in the world as a basis to calculate costs, they somehow come up with a figure of 30 euros per MWH of load for the cost of the storage — less than the cost of Tesla-style batteries by a factor of over one thousand. Is there any basis? The closest they come is this:
As underground hydrogen storage is currently limited to pilot systems in Germany, the currently 250 TWh of German natural gas storage, which is mostly underground storage in salt caverns, may serve as a reference.
Unfortunately I don’t think that underground storage of natural gas is at all a valid reference. Natural gas can effectively be stored in non-airtight things like salt caverns because it does not ignite when it goes above about a 15% concentration in the air. Sadly, not so for hydrogen. Hydrogen also rapidly corrodes and leaks from pipelines and containers, causing potentially extreme hazards. I don’t claim to know all the engineering challenges of making a safe hydrogen-based electricity system, but they are clearly huge. If dealing with hydrogen in massive quantities were safe and easy, plenty would be doing it already. There is a reason that no massive hydrogen storage facilities or hydrogen pipelines exist.
The simple answer to all of this is that we must demand from our politicians a demonstration of feasibility of any replacement energy system before we embark on these multi-trillion fantasy building projects. Show us a fully wind/solar/battery or wind/solar/hydrogen system that works at reasonable cost for 5000 or 10,000 people over the course of a few years, before requiring entire countries of tens or hundreds of millions of people to be the guinea pigs.
That is just the tip of the iceberg, you then have to replace all the derivative products from the oil like Plastics and Synthetic Rubber and the thousand other things.
And whtever they are going to use to surface the roads. But, maybe the idea is that there won’t be roads. No travel for the peasants. The real people will travel by private plane and helicopter.
See my reply to Ldb above
Just an aside. I’ve conoed the BWCA twice. I cant think of a better conoeing place in the world.
Would a conoe be better than a koyok? What about a john boot?
Best bet for Boundary Waters is a kevlar canoe. Light, strong and more cargo than a kayak if you intend to spend more than one night on a campsite or two.
Did my trek when 53 years young and five days, two campsites..
While the Ely CofC undoubtedly appreciates that comment, I would hate to see BWCA become something along the lines of more popular outdoor attractions. BTW, been there, done that. Including 2 portages.
Coal is required to refine raw SiO2 into Si metal!
Also to refine Fe2O3 into purer Fe for strength
I think that the intention is to still use hydrocarbons for all of the derivative purposes. Ceasing energy use of hydrocarbons is the goal however foolish or unjustified.
There are operating hydrogen steel plants…
Don’t keep us in suspense. Name any that are actually producing and not just in the planning stage.
We’re waiting Griff, darling
Name them and also tell us the price of the steel produced by them.
ROFL you really must just read all the PR junk put out by companies and believe it’s real … you really are that naive.
I normally call that trolling for bucks vapor ware.
We call it the same as well.
No there are [ plural ] not.
There is one (1) “pilot direct reduction plant” in Lulea, Sweden, that is currently producing “fossil-free pellets“.
From the “Timeline” webpage of the SSAB partner for that pilot (/ prototype / demonstrator) plant :
URL : https://www.ssab.com/company/sustainability/sustainable-operations/hybrit-phases
From the HYBRIT “A fossil-free future” website :
URL : https://www.hybritdevelopment.se/en/a-fossil-free-future/
– – – – –
PS : You keep ignoring the (multiple) requests to supply “supporting evidence” for your fact-free bald assertions.
Please try again.
Bald assertions? Bald-faced lies, more like it.
Griffter is a real numpty. He lies, somehow thinking that he’s supporting his agenda. But when he inevitably gets called out with real facts the net effect is that most people are less likely to believe the green scam.
Well he must have thought it works well for the socialist politicians pedaling the lies so it should be ok for him.
Monkey see, monkey do.
No offense intended if any readers identify as a monkey.
Several months (/ about a year ???) ago after verification I felt obliged to post a comment here saying “In this case griff is right !“.
NB : No I am unable to find it again right now, yes I remember adding some extra snark as well …
The “appeal to authority” fallacy is basically :
“Person X said something … and therefore it must be true”.
What I call the “reverse appeal to authority” fallacy is similar, and goes something like :
“Person Y said something … and therefore it must be wrong”.
One reason griff can be said to exhibit “troll-like behaviour” is that my emotional response to the vast majority of their posts is “What the [ bleep ] did they manage to either get completely wrong or distort beyond recognition this time ?!?”.
One positive aspect of griff’s posts is that it obliges me to check for myself whether “this time” is in the (much ?) less than 1% of cases where they actually have a valid point.
99(+)% of the time the result is complete frustration (hence the “extra snark”), but griff is a salutary reminder that I should never “prejudge” what people post … even in those cases where I agree with what is being put forward, or have developed a “they are usually right” conclusion about the person in question over the years (e.g. Willis Eschenbach).
The result of posts by griff (et al) is to both “keep me on my toes” and enforce (most of the time …) a “don’t just assume, check it first” attitude before I decide to hit the “Post Comment” button.
I think there are hydrogen powered steel plants in Qatar. However the economics there are completely different from most of the rest of the world. They have almost limitless amounts of natural gas (and no coal reserves) so producing hydrogen via steam reformation of methane is relatively cheap, especially as they don’t include carbon capture and storage. Obviously the economics in Europe or the U.S. would be totally different as natural gas is far more expensive, and hydrogen production would have to include CCS or involve electrolysis of water. Both would massively increase the cost of hydrogen and obviously any steel produced from it.
The lesson is that just because a technology exists and may make economic sense in a limited number of circumstances, it doesn’t mean it makes sense to deploy it more widely, exactly the same as renewable energy.
Using hydrogen obtained by steam reformation of methane doesn’t even reduce the amount of CO2 emitted in steel-making since CO2 is the by-product!
Terms like “fossil-free steel” are usually associated with “green” hydrogen produced from electrolysis, and in addition the electricity is limited to “zero-carbon / renewable” sources.
My reading around the subject says that “grey (/ gray)” H2 is from steam reformation of CH4.
“Yellow” H2 comes from electrolysis, but the electricity used comes at least partially from fossil-fuel plants (coal and/or gas).
“Blue” H2 is either “grey” or “yellow” H2 plus CCS (to capture the CO2 released by both the main steam reformation “cracker” and any electricity supplied by fossil-fuel plants).
NB : For the most die-hard greenies there is the completely separate “pink” H2 … which it turns out is actually “green” H2 produced using electricity from “low-carbon, but still evil” nuclear power plants.
Tru dat …
And where does the hydrogen come from? The cheapest source is from natural gas or coal. You could use electrolysis via PV or windmill but the cost will be much higher. The steel will cost much more than offered by the many countries who don’t want to commit economic suicide.
hydrogen is a crutch to make wind/solar not look so bad when one realizes how much battery or pumped storage is required. Though actually more of a diversion – some one points out that batteries are so expensive and polluting, green prophet points to hydrogen as a savior… and exists the podium before anyone asks the tough questions about making hydrogen work.
Bait and switch, bait and switch, bait and… , until they have enough to retire on, then exist stage left to the new villa on the beach with a generator hiding in the basement.
See also my response to “Matt Dalby” above.
How many windmills to power how many torch batteries to produce a tonne of green steel. Are you numerate enough to answer this Griff?
You missed the word “pilot”…….
Then gasoline would become a waste by-product. How would it be disposed of? Burning it, lol?
Wonder how they’ll get the carbon fiber for the wind turbine blades?
Carbon fiber is made from a polymer that is then partially burned to produce the fiber. It just keeps getting worse for the Greens.
you then have to replace all the derivative products from the oil
I never see anyone addressing that.
The simplest approach is to avoid weather dependent sources altogether. Nuclear will work, if the Green Blob is stopped from lawfare against it.
The GREEN BLOB should be shipped, en masse, to Russia
Putin will put them to work somewhere north of the arctic circle.
They would be kept isolated from the rest of us, so WE can concentrate on living our lives, as we see fit
The Green Blob is Putins (and his predecessors) creation, and is busy doing his work.
Putin needs them more urgently in the Ukraine. The net result will happen more quickly there, anyway.
I see that at 7.15 am this morning more UK electricity is being produced from coal 1.45 GW versus wind 1.12 GW or solar at 0.39 GW
Is Saudi Arabia running out of wind?
How long will the batteries last out?
They have been drawing on them for 3 days now, and when the wind picks up they will need recharging.
The UK isn’t against nuclear (see my post above).
It just can’t find any way of paying for it (having another go right now) and the timescale to construct it is very long.
Once again, griff makes a valid point.
France, seemingly, has done better with nuclear than any other country. Macron has announced a large new build of nuclear capacity but points out that it will take a long time to build it. And there are problems …
As far as I can tell, nuclear is made much more expensive because of the costs of safety measures and regulatory compliance and the cost of engineering and insurance.
The answer for the above problems is supposed to be small nuclear reactors (SMR). They would be turned out in a factory and hauled to the sites where they would be used. That means one could write off the costs of design and regulatory compliance over a large number of units.
So, how much progress is being made on SMRs? A quick web search doesn’t produce much hope. It doesn’t look like there’s much in the pipeline for more than a decade.
If we want SMRs in a reasonable time period, we have to have something like the Manhattan Project to cut through the red tape and speed the process of developing new technology. As far as I can tell, the technological progress needed is incremental. No actual breakthroughs are needed so it might be feasible.
What to do in the meantime? There is this recent work that shows that surface mined coal has less global warming potential than LNG. Say What! 🙂
As far as I can tell the real solution is for society to come to the widespread realization that CAGW is a hoax. That, my friends, would make wind and solar pointless. We could all get on with our lives and worry about real problems.
Makes you think. If the cost overruns were available for RnD on other reactor technologies…
Some 40 years ago I had to write a research paper/essay comparing wind, solar, and nuclear power. It was clear that nuclear was the only viable option and I proposed smaller standardized units dispersed throughout as a national security enhancement as not putting “all your eggs in one basket”.
“As far as I can tell the real solution is for society to come to the widespread realization that CAGW is a hoax.”
You are correct sir! It’s rather obvious why that hasn’t happened yet, as the view of reality presented to society has been filtered/controlled by the MSM and Social Apps (read MIC/Deep State/Your CONgress) to the point where any conflicting information is actively suppressed.
Witness the current debacle in the Ukraine, Covid Pandemic, US election fraud, etc…. Ain’t gonna change until it really, really hurts. Already some idiots are proposing Gas cards to offset rising prices. Yeah, that’ll fix it.
“It just can’t find any way of paying for it”
Neither will the UK be able to afford the storage required to support Wind & Sun generation. This article makes that clear.
Lars is awaiting your call griffter. https://thorconpower.com
That’s because griff’s friends have done everything in their power to block and slow down the installation of nuclear.
They could make it lower cost just the same way they have done so for renewables.
Nuclear is fine for countries with no fossil fuels of their own. They may end up paying more for their power but it keeps the money in the country. Or a very remote site.
I love nuclear, my engineering degree is based on it, but CCGT just blows everything away.
for a mere 800$ i can buy a LiFePO4 battery that will store 0.13$ worth of electricity. 3000 times!
In virtual power networks they trust-
Why virtual power plants are the future of electricity retailing | RenewEconomy
They’re going to want to ‘harvest’ your private investment in battery storage to shore up their failing grid by design.
If you’re into rooftop solar and you invest in a Powerwall or two for your own benefit (not that it pays ROI now) why would you want it sucked dry to bail out their macro grid idiocy? Same with your expensive EV and V2G. Why would you buy an EV with its expensive battery any larger than you need for your daily use just so your electricity retailer can wear part of it out? That’s the brain trust’s idea of your virtual power network you paid your hard earned for. Not that it will take very long for individual power consumers to work it out and slash their theory of surplus value.
I live in a very sunny location where there are very few cloudy days. Even so, my 5.2kW roof solar system only generates at best around 30kWh daily. On hot summer days, I consume on average 30kWh every day. Now tell me where I can find the “spare” energy to charge a battery bank, let alone provide spare power back to the grid in summer?
You’re clearly consuming too much electricity so what you need is heat pumps and the Gummint is here to help the earlybirds wot helps themselves-
My heat pumps work a treat – but they cost £25,000! (msn.com)
I learned everything I need to know about this subject by operating solar power electric fence systems around pastures and paddocks here in western Pennsylvania. No further research needed. Thanks for the post, though! Sending link out in emails. Ya know? Like old guys do. 🤣
I suggest the WEF gathers an expert panel to consider all the basic, uncontestable facts about 100% grid scale base load 24 x 7 power supply.
The experts will just need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide some simple numbers.
Then show their work.
The answer to all this study would conclude –
From the article: “The R&Q study deals only with the case of Germany, and only with supplying its current level of electricity demand, rather than demand that may be tripled or more by economy-wide electrification of transport, heating, and so forth.”
Where are we going to get all the materials required to electrify the whole economy? Just totally electrifying the UK’s auto fleet would use up all the available lithium available, according to a study I saw not long ago. And that’s just one country. How many more mines do we have to open to completely electrify the world?
From the article: “But R&Q use available hourly wind and solar generation data over the course of entire years for Germany to show that much longer periods of relative calm and dark can occur, causing the storage requirement needed to avoid blackouts to be much higher.”
Oh, no, Griff, this is not looking good. Calm and dark, Griff, that’s the story of unreliables. Twelve weeks of storage requirements and costs $7.56 Trillion.
Who thinks this is realistic? Yet our politicians just keep forging ahead with this very bad, damaging, dangerous idea. Mass delusion and political conniving.
That $7.56 Trillion is just Germany. What about…
And that’s just the EU
There are about 208 countries and principalities globally
It isn’t as if we are starting now, from scratch, in those countries… many of those are well advanced in renewable electricity for example.
Please don’t throw words like “advanced” around, you clearly don’t know what it means.
Hilarious and a mere drop in the ocean. But dream on darling.
“It isn’t as if we are starting now, from scratch, in those countries…”
We are most certainly starting from scratch when it comes to grid-scale storage systems. At the moment, its is nuclear and fossil fuelled generation that is keeping those countries afloat.
Yeah we have seen how advanced the EU electrical grid is … apparently they thought advanced countries should rely on Russian Gas 🙂
And all of them are having significant problems.
your misunderstanding is that their advertised end product bears any slight relationship to the real goal
I bet you were against the steam engine…
Lithium mining bout to start in Cornwall, new UK battery plants (and battery recycling plants) about to open… 25 years of investment and development to net zero…
You are clearly clueless. It’s a mere drop in the ocean. The UK is more concerned about expending North Sea oil and gas production and will be fracking soon.
You Green zealots are always talking about wonderful developments which are “about to happen”. Which they rarely if ever do. A bit like their climate predictions (Gore, Mann, Charles, etc. etc. etc.) which never eventuate!
“Lithium mining bout to start in Cornwall”
Yes, and what does this have to do with grid scale storage systems? It has been shown again and again that batteries for such systems are incredibly expensive.
The current target for batteries from Cornwall Li is vehicles.
And currently British Lithium is only producing 5kgs per day
Cornish lithium mining will depend on extraction from lithium rich brines in deep aquifers. It will require extensive fracking to operate, and will entail bringing the brines that are also rich in NORM (Radioactive) contamination up through the regular water table, before being processed to extract the lithium.
Of course, a gas well returning water to the surface would be required to transport and treat it offsite before it could be discharged, and the fracking operation would have to stop for the slightest tremor below the threshold of human senses.
Would Griff impose those standards on lithium extraction?
CO2 is not a problem…more COI2 is desirable…all of this windmill/solar panel stuff is a huge waste of time and money.
Steam engines work. Wind and solar don’t.
steam engines were developed by private compainies and idividuals and had to pay for themselves right from the begining. How many wind farms and solar installations can say that.
“I bet you were against the steam engine…”
Wrong again, Griff. I love steam engines. Steam is good. I’m looking forward to using steam in outer space to propel future space vehicles.
A study in the Netherlands on the ‘Metal Demand for Renewable Electricity Generation’ in the country found
“To reach renewable energy production targets the Netherlands requires a significant percentage of the annual production of five specific critical materials. The case of the Netherlands is illustrative for other countries, both in and outside Europe. As future demand for these metals exceeds expected supply, the energy transition becomes a vulnerable process. Whilst we are working on reducing our dependence on Arabian and Russian oil, we are creating a new dependency at the same time: a dependency on (Chinese) metals.
For some of the 5 critical metals they estimated the Netherlands would require up to 4% of the total world production on a yearly basis. Netherlands population is about 17.2m.
Thanks for that pertinent information, Dave.
Yes, hydrogen is the new magic. But US regulated utilities have a simpler solution. They just ignore the future storage requirements and give lip service to net zero. That way they can make a fortune building wind and solar in the short run. The more they spend the more profit they make.
“But US regulated utilities have a simpler solution. They just ignore the future storage requirements and give lip service to net zero.” Those regulated utilities are then able to raise prices to pay for those short term wind/solar solutions paid for with dubious long term bonds. Only when the bonds are shorter term than the life cycle of the wind/solar solutions will the customers’ prices stabilize. (Note I did not say come down.)
“Based on current costs of lithium-ion batteries,”
Egad! It is a huge tell of the linear thinking of non engineering minds in this fantasy electric power synod. At least ask yourself what it is you need. You need storage. If it is batteries you choose, they don’t have to be lithium batteries! Lightweight not required for storage! Vanadium liquid ion, even lead acid. Lead is eminently recyclable. In fact 76% of lead used comes from recycling, mainly from auto and equipment batteries. As a plus, if they did switch (somehow) to EV, all this lead come available, cheap!
Egad! It is a huge tell of your innumeracy that you can’t consider the square miles of land needed for storage with something like a vanadium flow battery, let alone where you will find all the vanadium needed. Nor is there currently sufficient lead. If 74% is recycled, there is a whole lot of new lead mines needed to up production to meet this new demand. An engineer would recognize these issues.
DJ my premise was that if they forced ev on the world there would no need for auto batteries! There are 1.5B cars and trucks on the road carrying 14 million tonnes of lead plus that in the worlds construction and other equipment. Annually replacement batteries account for 6.5 million tonnes plus new car batteries, so let’s round it off 25million metric tons available.
So let’s have a look at lithium production
“Lithium mines produced an estimated global total of 100,000 metric tons of lithium in 2021, a peak in lithium production volume.”
D J Hawkins, I get this a lot of this sort of thing so your not alone. Most don’t look at problems holistically. An engineer has to. Even my wife argues engineering stuff with me! (I am a Geologist, and mining/metallurgical engineer. I consult on rare metals projects)
Oh, and DJ, Lithium price is $78,000/t and lead $2,300/t. Are you feeling my pain?
If everyone moves to EV’s, that opens up 2 or 3 lead batteries per house (in first-world multi-car households) How long could a house run on the power of three batteries? A good new battery will supply 100Amp hours at 12V, or 1.2 kW-hours, so at best you’re freeing up 3.6 kWh per house. An average home uses 30 kWhr per day, so under the most optimistic estimate possible, you free up 15% of what a house needs to last a day.
As mentioned in the post, to account for the lulls from unreliable sources you would need 24 days of storage. Freeing up every single IC car battery for the grid gives less than one percent of the storage needed. 25 million metric tons sounds like a lot until you do a little math a realize that billions of metric tons – more than 100 years of world production- are needed for a grid dominated by unreliable sources.
I agree with where you’re coming from with wasting lightweight lithium battery resources for stationary grid backup. However you need to tell that to the fast buck merchants using BIG lithium for a couple of hours arbitrage to cream off the problems the unreliables created in the first place. As if EVs aren’t running into lithium scarcity problems already.
The IEA says lithium carbonate increased in price by 150% during 2021 and they foresee potential world shortages of lithium and cobalt as soon as 2025.
Observa, this narrow thinking is responsible for the huge mess that has been brought upon the world. What makes people who think like this feel they no best how to rule our affairs
Ideally, H2 can be stored as hydrocarbons and used in existing infrastructure as fuels. Hydrocarbons are fungible with all existing transportation systems as diesel and jet fuel. Gasoline is a little more difficult to produce but can be done. However, converting H2 to Hydrocarbons does require capital expense which will not be trivial. But at least this expense will be less than building an entirely new H2 infrastructure for production, distribution and utilization of a fuel that is both highly flammable and of low energy density.
It is hard to understand why people become so enamored with a solution to a problem that has more issues than the problem itself.
In my view, there is nothing worth doing about GHG emissions until and unless China, India, and all the developing countries stop using fossil energy. As that won’t ever happen, there is no point in Western Civilization committing suicide over a problem that either doesn’t exist or cannot be mitigated without 100% cooperation of the world (which will never happen).
The wind and solar industries in the West need China to continue to use coal to manufacture their hardware, without the relatively cheap hardware they would collapse.
This could be a solution for hydrogen storage and shipment. I’ve have no idea of the economics but the Japanese company is apparently going commercial with it on a significant scale, which could say it could pay for itself.
Get back to me if I am still around in ten years and let me see how that worked out. I would bet it won’t.
The trouble is when writing about batteries, wot u rite is out of date before you even hit ‘Send’
Hopefully you’ll see a screenshot from Alibaba describing 105Ah LiFePO4 cells where you get 4 of them for about 25GBP – call that 35USD
Nominal 1,280 Watt hours of energy
5 year warranty or 3,000 cycles. (Lithiums are good for long term storage, they have very low self-discharge)
De-rate them to 1,000Wh in actual usage gets you the hypothetical Tesla 100kWh battery for less than $3,500
= a saving of $10,000 on the quoted Tesla price/cost.
Getting them shipped is the nightmare………
edit to PS
If you visit the page they came from, they claim to be good/safe at temps up to 500° Celsius
That should make them safe for *most* Future Climate Scenarios
Esp compared to Lithium Ion cells.
Don’t quote me but as I remember from ‘somewhere’ and ‘some’ time ago, Li-Ions go into thermal runaway and thence self-combustion if you run them above 60° Celsius
Are you telling me the a 60C Lithium Ion cells will get to combustion. In closed space that not hard to get to in Arizona. Our average summer temp is 41c eh high we can get to without trying is near 48 C. 12 more C would be not problem. Here in Mesa we have a door handles wrap so you don’t burn yourself 60c is the low end of burning yourself. Has the whole world cone nuts or it it the insane 25% leading us around? God help us.
that would be most welcome, because the ones for sale in the US are either $800 (US made) for a 100 ah or $300 through Walmart, so chinese made. My experience, to date, with chinese solar products is….unimpressive to the point where I will eventually by the Dakota batteries.
Oops, did you even look at your image? The size and dimensions of those batteries should give it away, but those are all 3.2 volt cells and the price is 25GBP for each of them. (price drops per unit if you buy in bulk)
Not a terrible deal, still, but not quite as astonishing as you think
Multiply your figures by 4, Teslas run on about 48V not 12V. That batteries you’re pointing to are 3.2V so 12.8 for a set of 4.
Commercial scale renewables will never power cities and factories on their own without reliable backup. How much of the land will they blanket with this infrastructure before they work this out? How much more damage will they do?
‘They’ always leave out the replacement cycle of batteries, PV panels, and turbines ….. say 10 years on batteries and 15 years for the others. Think of the cost in terms of geometric progression to replace components at that rate. You’d always be paying huge sums of money in scheduled maintenance/upkeep. Before you could build out your finished system you’d be completely replacing the pieces already installed.
25 years for PV panels and turbines.
Only in ideal conditions and all suffer a serious fall off in efficiency as soon as they start producing. A bit like Harp in the musical world.
Easy to know ask the manufacturer for the warranty and what percentage of output at that …. anything past that is a bonus but can’t be counted on.
And hope they are still doing business 10 years down the road.
That’s the big problem. The PV panels really do quite well out to 25 years. The inverters do well to last 15 years, and they are expensive. If the company goes out of business, that’s your expense.
That’s what the marketing types claim. Out in the real world, the life expectancy has been 20 years and less. And that’s for PV and turbines that were in the best environments. Rougher environments wear out quicker.
To the author: That you would make such an ill-informed statement calls into question everything you wrote. The technology of producing and pipelining hydrogen is well developed and well understood. It is mature technology and as safe as it is for natural gas or any other combustible gas. https://community.tradestation.com/Discussions/Topic.aspx?&%20Topic_ID=103455
You can confirm the state of hydrogen pipeline technology by checking with Air Products company: Air Products’ U.S. Gulf Coast hydrogen network
The Air Products link doesn’t say what the pipeline is made from. Maybe some kind of fossil fuel derived plastic?
Hydrogen piping is metal. The metallurgy depends on the operating conditions.
Indeed so, and so does the frequency with which it needs to be replaced. The industry has developed good techniques for monitoring HIC to reduce accident risk. It’s obviously much easier to do replacement in pipe racks running above ground between plants over relatively short distances than with a wider distribution system which is buried. Even high CrMo steels need more frequent replacement than methane lines.
Tom 1 is correct. Do an internet search for hydrogen piping specifications.
ASME B31.12. But H2 is produced locally and piped to end users for immediate use. These are relatively short pipelines in industrial areas – not cross country pipelines or distribution piping into your home.
Hydrogen storage is problematic.
Hydrogen use for the general public (or even some industrial) has safety concerns.
Hydrogen is expensive relative to natural gas.
Most hydrogen is made from natural gas via steam methane reforming, so at best, all hydrogen does is shift the location of any emissions.
This has been discussed here before. There is an industrial pipeline iservicing chemical plants in a limited area. The cost to maintain this is less than driving truckloads of hydrogen around. Expanding the pipeline to cover larger areas or building and maintaining millions of small pipelines is not economically feasible or safe today.
You are right about the economics. Building out a nationwide hydrogen distribution system would be a huge cost and would take a very long time. It would be as safe natural gas pipelines.
H2 has way more explosive potential than CH4.
The industrial pipeline is 600 miles long. There is really only one, at least in the US, because there is only one area with sufficient demand (the Gulf Coast). If the demand was everywhere, like natural gas, then you could have hydrogen pipelines everywhere also.
This is supposed to be a discussion forum. To indicate disagreement (minuses) without stating why is completely meaningless.
Ever hear of Hydrogen embrittlement? [ search “hydrogen embrittlement in steel”] I performed tests on the air breaking system on railroad cars annually. Always found several leakers. Ever hear that nuclear weapons facilities are continually tested for the presence of Tritium? Ever notice how Helium leaks out of a party balloon? I even had to prepare and perform a test to verify the leakage rate of a three foot thick concrete wall covered with a layer of steel. Also, how much H2 is going to stay in the under ground storage assuming they use the same methods they use for storing NG under ground, e.g. abandoned salt mines etc. The utility I worked for said that at the price they buy the NG for and sell it for they still save money with the leakage.
You say “Plastic Lining.” LOLOLOLOLOLOL
The Air Products company sheet referenced has a link for “Tell me more”, but it’s broken. The US Dept of Energy page for hydrogen pipelines shows the following:
“ Research today therefore focuses on overcoming technical concerns related to pipeline transmission, including:
The potential for hydrogen to embrittle the steel and welds used to fabricate the pipelines
The need to control hydrogen permeation and leaks
The need for lower cost, more reliable, and more durable hydrogen compression technology.”
The author made a properly informed statement.
Brilliant tom1 you’ve solved the hydrogen problem just by uttering the magic word “nonsense” I look forward to seeing you receive your Nobel Prize for saving the planet
Nonsense is nonsense.
“If implemented with relatively low concentrations, less than 5%–15% hydrogen by volume, this strategy of storing and delivering renewable energy to markets appears to be viable without significantly increasing risks associated with utilization of the gas blend in end-use devices (such as household appliances), overall public safety, or the durability and integrity of the existing natural gas pipeline network.”
When people here embrace or endorse ideas that are completely untrue or technically unsupportable without knowing the least thing about it, then they are the intellectual equivalent of climate alarmists.
Read your own comment and look in the mirror.
Hydrogen is the “Houdini” molecule. It escapes from anything.
hydrogen embrittlement is a major concern with hydrogen. Conventional natural gas transmission piping can only accept it when mixed with natural gas at low concentrations.
I have always been amazed that so called “smart people” can’t grasp why relying only on wind and solar energy for the entire electrical system is not viable. Their willingness to overlook the obvious is phenomenal.
For a large percentage, if the party says yes, that’s the end of the argument.
Huge underground vaults of very leaky hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?
Since it goes up, not much. The question is can you make up the losses. That the question. Hydrogen is the smallest molecule there is to contain it, the losses would be huge. There are some storage methods that might work but again they are dependent on rare earth minerals and do we have enough. Life and it compromise are not a walk in the park. To bad leftist and their useful idiots don’t get that.
Lets see rare earth materials where can we get them? Aah, China of course.
China’s share of global critical resource minerals is 95% for light rare earths (LREEs) and 95% for heavy rare earth elements (HREEs). No problem!
It only goes “up” in bulk quantities. A smallish leak will diffuse in every direction, and per Murphy’s Law, will prefer those directions leading to an ignition source.
For such an experiment to be judged as a long-term test of net-zero all the hardware including storage would need to be manufactured using wind and solar, indeed to be a truly valid test all the mining of materials transport maintenance and safe disposal would need to be powered by wind and solar also.
On that basis I’m guessing there would be little surplus energy for anything else.
For a large percentage of people, if it isn’t made in their jurisdiction, those considerations do not apply. No argument can convince otherwise.
Doesn’t Net Zero mean net zero? You know, net vs gross. As in, I emitted 2 gigatons of CO2 flying to Iceland to watch the eclipse but paid some peasant in Brazil to plant some trees so the net emissions are zero?
Quite so. All we would need is just one wind turbine or solar panel to produce the energy to manufacture more wind turbines and solar panels, and so forth, exponentially. Foolproof! Why hasn’t Griff proposed this?
Coal, gas and fuel seem perfectly good energy storage mediums. Why complicate it with batteries. Leave them for golf carts, DIY tools, and kids toys.
Because CO2 really does = climate change which really does = bad for people
The question is, even if you accept this, how moving to wind in the UK is going to make the slightest difference to global CO2 emissions.
Again, lets see some numbers. Right now UK is emitting around 450 million tons a year. Show us how much this will be reduced by moving the UK grid to wind and solar (assuming its possible… which it anyway isn’t).
Then show us what effect this reduction will have on global temps.
It will have none.
This is down at the level of engineering. Generalities don’t help. It may be CO2 is bad in general. But trying to do the impossible with the grid is not going to help anyone, anywhere, because its not a way of reducing it.
In your special algebra, it seems that the variable really=”someone told me such and so, and I believe them, so I really don’t need any proof or corroboration”.
Griffiepoo: please post real, empirical physical evidence that CO2 concentrations control temperatures.
You can’t because there isn’t any.
Funny thing is griff on the latest figures currently available your favourite country, Germany with all its wind mills and solar panels emitted 7.72 tonnes of
CO2 per capita in 2020 compared to UK’s 4.66 tonnes per capita and
France’s 4.26 tonnes per capita.
You keep saying that, but you keep failing to come up with any real world evidence to demonstrate to show that it is true.
Weather events that are no worse than what has been happening for hundreds of years, is not evidence that CO2 has changed anything.
Except that it doesn’t. The climate models assume positive feedback between atmospheric CO2 and stratospheric water vapor, which provides 80% of the warming predicted by the models. That assumption of positive feedback was disproven a decade ago.
Define which way the climate is changing, warmer, cooler?
Then explain why CO2 has never “changed” the climate before now, even when at 10X current levels.
Also explain why 2-3 degrees C warmer climate existed 6-8 thousand years ago when CO2 < 300 ppmv.
20 years and the world is at 0.0C anomaly – and that is with China, India and the rest of the developing world burning every bit of coal they can get their hands on during that whole time.
Really sucks to be you.
The only consistently reproduced data shows that CO2 = more flora = good for people.
There is data showing CO2 does not equal climate change, and also plenty to show that recent warming is good for people.
I guess that’s the difference between “Science” from a few left wing grant seekers and the scientific method.
“President of the United States” he is not a moron in his early life and know little about science then and now. He in his more lucid life spent most of his life leveraging the corrupt into sending him money for access to the lever of power. Now he is a slave to zealots the are truly idiots on how things work and don’t give a rip on how many people they kill to achieve their aims on sending us back to the stone age and may I add slavery.
Brandon is a dimwit and always has been. He’s always been smart enough to know how to manipulate the system for his own benefit, I’ll give you that.
We could do all that or just start building nuclear and fossil fuel generators.
Hmmm… UK govt held a meeting this week about expanding nuclear to 25% of UK demand (currently 16%, with several plants due to close).
Johnson announces aim for UK to get 25% of electricity from nuclear power | Nuclear power | The Guardian
Tried to address the financing, involved Us firms as well as EDF.
(I note the Finnish EDF reactor is now allegedly in final testing before commercial switch on, after starting construction in 2005)
How about you get your radical leftist anti-science friends out of the way so we can build a reliable ele tri city system based on nuclear?
If CO2 is a problem for some, nuclear is the answer. I believe the cost of nuclear would drop substantially if the artificial barriers were removed. I am not concerned about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Once again I remind Watts readers (and possibly the authors of this) that no European country relies only on electricity generated within its borders and that already there is massive interchange between countries on the European grid, with a day ahead price set for electricity based on forecast renewable availability.
There simply isn’t going to be any curtailment or constraint going forward, because there’ll be a market for the electricity somewhere else, when it isn’t poured in to batteries or generating hydrogen.
The hydrogen generation, storage etc capacity is now starting to be built: it will arrive by 2050. The Germans intend to make use of their existing gas network for storage and hydrogen: that may well include a 20% hydrogen mix into natural gas.
It is a mistake to equate storage only with grid scale batteries…
If watts readers had had any say in it, we’d never have progressed our technology as far as the wheel.
This is the same old stuff…
Can I remind you that France blackmailed us over energy with regards to Brexit and several times have threatened to cut off power to Jersey and to the UK generally if they don’t get their way?
With geo politics constantly getting in the way the EU is not a reliable energy partner to those it doesn’t like. That includes the UK and such as Hungary and others not conforming to their regulations. The 10% we often get from the EU is 10% too much
Well the answer there is to keep decent relations with out neighbours!
I am sure Mr Putin will always be your friend 🙂
Sometimes it’s not about you and your neighbours hate your guts just because they can.
I’m sure you have a good supply of vaseline and comfy kneepads to keep up those ‘decent relations’ with the neighbours, when they know you’re desperate for power.
Interconnection hasn’t helped Europe, the whole continent including the UK has been becalmed for months, the power deficiency from the renewables was already a huge problem before Putin decided to best Adolf.
please clarify the storage methods. We do not have the topography for very much pumped storage over and above Dinorwig . We will need 130GW of power once we use heat pumps and EV’s and that is the amount at any one time so capacity will need to be much larger to take into account the vagaries of the weather gods. Do tell us your plan
We have several pumped storage projects building/planned… Loch Ness, Coire Glas.
The govt just pumped £6.7 million into 24 pioneer/pilot projects for long term storage.
It isn’t my plan, is it? It is UK govt and electricity industry.
Coure Glas is just 30GWh, with a maximum redelivery rate of 1.5GW (less than Dinorwig), so it would empty in just 20 hours. Puny when we need at least 30TWh of storage for current demand levels with a wind and solar dominated grid. Electrify transport and heating and you will more than double the requirement.
They will take 20 years assuming they are feasible. They will need to be joined by several hundred others to store the power needed. it isn’t feasible.
Its a shame the greens were against nuclear. It will take many decades to even get back to where we were in the 80’s
Put some numbers on it. Menton has, and has cited three papers which independently arrived at similar ones. Put some numbers on it if you differ. For instance, look up how frequently a blocking high with no wind occurs over most of Western Europe. Look at last July,
Figure out how much it will cost to extract the hydrogen. How much you need, what it will take in excess power generation to extract it. What storage will cost.
The point you are refusing to meet is a simple one: its not possible to run a constant demand grid using intermittent and unpredictable power generation plus some form of storage. The scale of the storage operation is so huge that no country can do it.
It doesn’t matter whether its storage from batteries, pumped hydro, hydrogen. It cannot be done on the necessary scale. And this cannot be helped by increasing the size of the wind plant, as one of the papers cited by Menton shows.
I can understand taking a different point of view after considering and arguing with the numbers. But what you are doing is pure wishful thinking, its reciting the same hopeful mantras with zero factual backing, and in fact in contradiction to observed facts.
For instance, look up how frequently a blocking high with no wind occurs over most of Western Europe. Look at last July,
In my understanding it is about once every 5 years.
Once again, renewable power is intermittent, but predictable.
Predictable? Please predict when the next time a blocking high with no wind will occur.
That’s great news, Griff! Severe and damaging Europe-wide blackouts every five years on average!!
We have blocking highs most winter just when we most need power. From my weather diary I note we had some 30 days of little solar or wind last winter mostly Nov/dec and another 15 since.
Please predict what wind will be, in 5 minute intervals, for every 1 km sq parcel with an accuracy of 1 km/hr.
Until you can do that, wind is not predictable.
Griff, do you have a source? My main source for intermittency is templar or gridwatch where you can see that over a year its wildly intermittent.
But a real argument, at a level more useful than literary criticism, would have to do what the several pieces Menton cites do. That is, they would have to estimate how much excess wind capacity combined with how much storage you would have to have.
You haven’t cited anything that casts doubt on these pieces and their conclusions.
On blocking highs, I think there are blocking highs just about every year. Ones which take wind power to under 20% of average output across most of Western Europe, for several days. Sometimes they come in waves one after the other.
I hear for instance from friends in the UK that they are in a dead calm at the moment, have been for a couple of days, and expect to be for several more
But I don’t have an authoritative source for the frequency of such events. If you have one, can you supply?
This is really no different than pointing out that a lot of power distribution in the US crosses state borders. Just because that is so does not mean the power will always be there if the only source is renewables.
but what you are missing is a Europe wide deliberate strategy to increase transmission of renewable power…
e.g Germany/Norway HVDC, Germany north south link, etc etc
ROFL do you really think Germany is going to have excess power going forward they have to replace 40% of there energy use of Russian Gas.
You can’t build transmission lines long enough to cover all the lack of availability of renewable power. Period.
Though massive interties which you and your leftist comrades will oppose also.
Line losses in even the best transmission lines are typically 30%.
Unless you build them with room temperature superconductors (i.e. unobtainium.)
“If watts readers had had any say in it, we’d never have progressed our technology as far as the wheel.”
Grifter invents the wheel…only…. it doesn’t work at night…. or when there’s no wind… and it only works going downhill… and if the Russians want to stop your wheel, they can… oh and of course it will be the most expensive wheel ever made.
Quite the revolution.
There is a real and actual increase in renewable generation and new technology going on right across Europe on a huge scale. And yet you dismiss all of it…
Was happening past tense … then Ukraine happened and stuff got real.
It’s like this griff. The poor people don’t want technology they can’t possibly afford just for technology’s sake for you to ooh and aah over-
My heat pumps work a treat – but they cost £25,000! | This is Money
Now do you get it?
And how’s that going for ya? How much are you paying for that free power from the sun and wind? How much did you have to turn the heat down this winter?
You know renewable is just a marketing term, dontcha? The equipment is not renewable, the components are not renewable and many of the raw materials are rare earth minerals which are in short supply.
Solar panels have a limited life span and their capacity degrades over time from the moment the panels leave the factory. Wind turbines have a lifespan of 20 years or less and many parts are not recyclable.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.
Europe has just been punched in the mouth by a real energy crisis, and consequently everyone is falling over themselves to secure reliable access to fossil fuels. Renewables are a failure in the real world.
Yes even the UK went to beg to the Saudis … given their human rights issue it was pretty funny.
I feel safe to say that most WOWT readers are not only tech savvy but tech enthusiasts. Your attempts to cast dispersions on us as Luddites are rather ridiculous and should be recognized as the ad hominem attacks they really are.
30 years to build hydrogen capacity? Really?
As to the existence of inter-ties. Yes we know of them. Polish coal plants and French nuclear are the only reason why German and English grids haven’t collapsed yet.
Yes, it is you spewing the same old anti-science nonsense.
Search “potential solar energy map EU” and “potential wind energy map EU.” Study these charts.
Please, in 200 words or less explain how the solar energy facilities get built and gets from Spain, North Africa or the Mid East across the mountains to the Northern EU. Include realistic cost estimates.
Then explain how the Wind energy gets built and gets from the Northern EU to the southern EU Include realistic cost estimates. (You can use the same transmission lines and batteries/storage system.)
Back of the envelope estimates are well above the total GDP times 20 to 50 of the EU, As indicated in the above article. Especially when you eliminate all Nuclear power!
Bonus points: Provide a realistic estimate of deaths that will result from an energy system that does not use any fossil fuels, PERIOD, Not even emergency backup. Must be 100.000000% Renewable energy and not include fake “Bio-fuels” that emit CO2 when generating electricity or in transit from their source.
Do NOT Forget the fuel/energy needed for all transportation. Even EV Bikes.
Yes. The wonderful thing about the original paper is the proposal to use hydrogen to supply intermittent generation. However, even after you get through building the new hydrogen storage and transmission facilities, and the new generating plants that will be required to turn it into power, you have another problem.
Where are you going to get the hydrogen in the quantities required? There is no source for it presently. I suppose the answer is going to be, when all those turbines are generating power way in excess of demand, it will be used to generate the hydrogen on an industrial scale. Maybe by electrolysis?
Well, add in the costs of that too. It is completely hare brained. Or as Menton rightly says in his last sentence:
The idea that we would embark on replacement of our entire energy systems without demonstration of feasibility of the replacement is pure madness.
I suppose the answer is going to be, when all those turbines are generating power way in excess of demand, it will be used to generate the hydrogen on an industrial scale.
Yes, of course it is.
Demand is not always high when wind/sun is delivering most power.
New Green Hydrogen Project by EDF Renewables UK and Hynamics comes to Teeside – Hydrogen Central (hydrogen-central.com)
EDF Renewables UK will be lucky to survive it is in trouble and bleeding cash … want to check it’s credit ratings
All are BBB with negative outlook
Wow, so EDF debt is rated as essentially a junk bond…
Massively subsidised toy plants are not grid scale solutions.
Griffypoo, nothing you say in defense of hydrogen changes the fact that hydrogen is difficult to contain in storage (as I understand) and burns nearly invisibly. I don’t know about you Griffypoo, but when something is burning, I want to see the flame.
And I only need to look the 1937 video of the Hindenburg disaster to know that I would like to stick with fossil fuels and nuclear. A plausible explanation for the disaster is that a hydrogen gas leak was ignited by a static electrical spark on the outside skin of the ship setting the ship on fire.
Plowing into hydrogen with little or no prior experience using it as a significant energy source and no feasibility studies is an example of politicians pandering to their political base without thinking or consideration for safety concerns.
Oh silly peons, power is for the Elite and not for thee.
you will own nothing ( therefore you’ll have no need to power what you don’t have ) and you’ll be happy ( because you’ll be dead from the death jabs and other nefarious poisons, plagues and wars the Elite force onto you in the near term ).
smile and now argue pointlessly about semantics while the Elite get on with the business at hand.
Oh, last word: God said “ unless these days be shortened no flesh would survive “, so I ask you how “ lucky “ do you feel in the near term now without His protection and without knowledge of His promises for His people in this day how can you dwell in faith ? You can’t, most nearly all won’t, and already 1.2 million have died just here in the States in 2021/22 above and beyond that which is normal year over year…your in the midst of the greatest holocaust in human history and you actually believe that the Elite care about providing electricity…
It continues to puzzle me that there is so much focus on Hydrogen as a “green fuel”. It is a complex and costly fuel to create, store and use.
Surely “green” Methane makes much more sense than Hydrogen? Methane – we already have systems to store and burn, simple and economic. It isn’t difficult to generate green Methane – at least no more complex than green Hydrogen. It allows for a painless transition, unlike Hydrogen, where everything is rip and replace.
I suspect the hydrogen storage route is grossly underestimated. The storage requirement is almost certainly denominated in terms of deliverable electricity. But in order to deliver that electricity you will need twice as much hydrogen in store if the generators operate at 50% efficiency, which is better than the average for the intermittent operation of the existing CCGT fleet. So we need to store 110TWh of hydrogen.
The next problem is that hydrogen has a third the energy density of methane at the same storage conditions as a gas. That creates an overhead of three times the energy requirement to compress it, and means we need storage that could hold 330TWh of methane.
That is before we look at whether they have considered the economics of electrolysis, or whether they have just assumed that all surpluses can be converted to hydrogen. The reality is that surpluses have a duration curve, and higher levels of surplus occur for much shorter periods of time, which leaves plant capacity at the margin with very low rates of utilisation that are uneconomic. The consequence is that you need even more capacity to ensure an adequate utilisation of electrolysis plant, but you will end up with significant curtailment that is uneconomic to exploit.
Fossil fuels run the whole of our civilization on earth, and those idiots actually are stupid enough to believe that can just stop it in the United State and the rest of the world will follow suit.
Ain’t gonna happen folks.
Everyone who buys into and is pushing this idiocy, are SCAM ARTIST and decidedly do not have our best interest at heart, let alone, battery back up is still in its infancy and we cannot yet count on nature to divvy up sun and wind on command.
AOC’s Green New Deal sounds all nice a cozy, but the facts are that it cannot be approached at this time, as everything is tied to OIL, and we mean EVERYTHING !!!
You do not have to ask phd’s and universities about the feasibility of solar and wind power; ask an engineer at your utility provider. The amount of energy it will take to replace one nuclear power plant is astronomical. While the supposed transition is taking place; energy requirements are not decreasing but increasing, up to 50% in some areas. There are several other very good points in the article but:
Are American consumers going to:
This is like arguing with children. If you really want to see our future just find a middle class Chinese citizen in Beijing. Ask them if they can purchase heat, if they can use a clothes dryer, what tempoerature their apartment size refrigerator is, the number of goverment credits to purchase a bicycle, etc.
They green people think if they promote enough fear, you will give up. If these fascists continue to push “green fascism”; this is what you will get.
Everything we need to do 100% renewable energy (meaning wind and solar) is technologically feasible with current technology, and this includes storage. It’s all about economic feasibility.
As we used to say in the engineering world, “you can build anything once, but can you scale it and do it economically in volume? “
No, it’s about whether these systems will cause a reduction in CO2 emissions, which is their sole goal. Hint: It won’t.
Doesn’t matter if the technology is available today – if nobody can afford it, then the technology is useless.
And that’s the entire Greenie dream for 100% renewables – it’ll all just get magically built. Don’t need to consider how much it’ll cost, just start building anyway.
With that lone statement, you’ve proven you have no concept of wind and solar. There is not one wind farm located outside of migratory bird routes. Wind farms demand consistent wind to operate. A transmission line runs along side of a wind farm with a fossil fuel plant upline of the wind farm. An intertie substation owned and operated by the connecting utility, controls what is allowed to be fed to the system. Early morning the sun rises. Earth science simplicity. Sun up, surface heats, wind created, is the wind the correct speed to cause the motors on the turbine to turn on and start the turning of the propeller? Blades pitched to catch the wind and turn the turbine into the wind? A weather station on the turbine runs the on computer program to determine when to rotate the propeller and when to switch from consuming power and start producing. Plain simple, the public has been conned into believing that’a wind tower is a giant pinwheel from KMart. It takes power consumption to move the propeller and reach the switch to produce. At the base of each wind tower is a loop feed distribution transformer. That transformer must be capable of operating in forward or reverse without human interaction. I know of few wind farms fed from hydro plants. There are 91,000 dams in the US. Less than 2300 are hydros. Bonneville Power feeds several thousand towers along the Oregon Gorge. Without fossil fuel plant production and hydro production…a wind farm is nothing more than ridiculous looking paperweight.
Wish I had kept the photos of 5he Leaning Tree wind farms on black angus ranches on the the gorge. My presentation included a series of photos that caused Engineers to laugh about my attitude of wind towers. On the plateau’s on each side of the gorge, a line of black angus formed in 400 foot shade of the wind tower and followed only shade on the desert on the Oregon and Washington sides. “The only reliable purpose for each tower existing is shade trees for cows.”
Anyone who has been involved in a large scale industrial project knows that years of engineering and study are done before implementation. Clearly, no one in the government has ever been involved in such projects. Completely changing our energy systems would be the largest industrial project ever taken on by orders of magnitude. And all we have is “scoping” studies like this. That would be considered just a very early step before serious engineering started. Politicians don’t get how the real world works because someone else makes it work for them. In their world, it is all just magically happens. The whole reason the engineering and study is done is so that the project will be a success. An old saying comes to mind : ” Fail to plan …. plan to fail”.
Similar conclusion for Texas:
What is will change so the key is not to get stuck there. Even with the recent global thrust in all-temperature superconductivity R&D and the R&D of scalable SCMES, the tech remains too expensive in part due to it’s relatively low energy density for massive grid application. Yet there is much to love about SC tech (high efficiency, instantaneous charging and discharging, long functional lifespan), especially if it can achieve all-temperature status and be commercialized at similar expense of home installed climate control systems. The timeframe of these developments is indeterminable. Yet, regardless of the timeframes, the fact remains that there is no better electrical storage system available for a decentralized unitized model of electrical generation (all HC-fuels, and renewable inputs), storage and generation for the homeowner, small business owner, the local neighborhood cooperative.. SCMES can and do currently support grid functions but will never be viable for the colossal job of grid storage and distribution regardless of the inputs.. The energy density will never be there unless the tech advances beyond our wildest dreams. Surprisingly, the viability SCMES at the Home Depot level of commercialization for the home owner isn’t a wild dream The reason there is no clamoring for SCMES as an off grid solution is because the media reports only the ridiculous, (wine makes better SC) and so the emerging SC tech remains on the fringes and beyond the horizon of the general public. The other reason, is the GRID is the untouchable paradigm. We see this as the grid is receives regulatory protection form the off grid movement in states that are passing carbon tax bills. But the global race is on to develop all temperature affordable SC wire. Much of the quantum/SC research is focused on advancing gadgets and quantum communication systems because of intense competition and demand. Fortunately, there are enough smart people who would see the potential of all temperature carbon based SC wire for Home Depot commercialized SCMES and right now most of them are Chinese. Once affordable and commercialized and scalable all-temp SCMES become the rage,…Katy-Bar-the the Grid Door. Notes: All temp affordable SC generators would be very quiet and efficient with no bearings to wear out. Current grid efficiency is about 33%. An off grid system using using The Next Gen SCME storage and distribution system with SC generators in a 3 tier HC fuel powered thermal systems would be greater than a 2.5 factor increase in efficiency. Profitability is helped by the avoidance of grid taxes, fees and monopolized prices. Adding renewable inputs will increase profitability for the homeowner.. Put Next Gen SCMES in cars and lawnmowers, tractors, green houses,….. you get the idea. The purpose of this RANT is to encourage people to think beyond grid and beyond the climate change conundrum of renewable grid solutions. Renewables are good if they have real economic viability for the homeowner…. which they currently do not have due lack of good electrical storage systems. Current solar systems are a tax boondoggle and people are losing their solar shirts due to the political shifting sands. This doesn’t mean the solar input with the proper tech would never be a variable economic solution for the homeowner. There is no better way to destroy a good industry than to make it totally dependent on the whim of politicians.
WTF is a “SCME”? You’re just babbling.
You’re not an engineer and/or planner are you? Lots of ifs, and’s, and maybe’s in your rant. Remember, we have to get from here to there first. You’re not a magician that can snap your fingers and poof, we’re there.
I am glad that worldwide, the investors do not agree with this article. 90% of the new energy between now and 2050, will be renewables.
You’re glad that so many would-be pensioners will find their retirement got pissed away on this unscientific nonsense? So, what, when you dont have money to retire on and can’t work we will just set you adrift on an ice floe?
Only the money spent, not the energy produced. And most of that money will come from futile expenditures of government.
If Renewables are such a slam-dunk investment, you should invest your entire net worth in them. What could possibly go wrong?
In the real world, the Renewables business runs entirely on government subsidies. Take them way and investors drop the sector instantly.
It will never get as far as described in the article. Today, 65% of US citizens live pay-check-to-paycheck and could never afford a conversion to electric cars, electric home heating, or even electric cooking. I am a retired strategic planner and energy economist from the largest electric utility in the state of Texas, USA. A confidential study I did before retirement indicates that less than 45% of people in my former employer’s service area have a garage or driveway that would provide access to at-home charging of an electric vehicle (people living in apartments and central-city residents). This means that a large number of US citizens would be subject to daytime charging and very high demand charges which will be inevitable and non-sustainable!
There will be a slight delay with your Lambo due to a lithium warming tipping point-
Lamborghini Aventador Production Restarting, 15 Cars Will Be Made (msn.com)
Having read though the paper I conclude that they are at least on the right track: I have done similar work covering multi year hourly granularity data that concluded the UK would need over 30TWh of storage for a wind and solar system. However, there are some significantly optimistic assumptions: hydrogen storage assumes electrolyser efficiency at 80% and CCGT at 63%. Real world PEM efficiency is about 60% and will struggle to improve on that given intermittency. The capital cost at €450/kW is less than half of what the Shell REFHYNE project considers a feasible target i.e. €1,000/kW (and current real world costs of double that or more). CCGT operated in intermittent renewables support mode fails to achieve 50% efficiency because of ramping losses. Lower real world round trip efficiencies require more generation to cover the losses, and require more hydrogen storage because of the lower CCGT efficiency. Batteries are generously rated at 90% round trip while real world experience suggests when new they achieve just over 80% but that deteriorates with age, and pumped storage is also generously rated at 80% when 75% is a more realistic figure. The higher costs and lower efficiencies overall would imply an even greater overbuild of renewables, but not much saving in storage.
To get a flavour of this, look at the simple evaluation I did for the UK for 2021 for wind+storage.
Any evaluation of a long term nature has to include the renewables disaster year of 2021. The idea that we could rely on renewables is at the back of the problems Europe now faces, because it never managed to fill its gas storage over the summer because of renewables failure. It would produce even more challenging numbers to include it.
I should perhaps add that there are two other very important factors that can only be evaluated through detailed examination of the data.
Firstly, whether the demand profile is realistic. The demand assumption is quoted as being an estimate for 2030. However it may not adequately reflect real seasonality, particularly if there is supposed to be a move towards electrifying heat.
Secondly, the refactored production assumptions derived from the weather. These are best compared with metered outputs adjusted for capacity to check for realism. Among the ways I have seen the data manipulated for similar studies are unrealistic assumptions about wind turbine efficiency at lower wind speeds and an almost square wave output from solar that seems to ignore the reality that most solar lacks single let alone twin axis tracking on grounds of cost and space, and all of it gets subjected to cloudy days etc.
These can make an enormous difference to the amounts of storage needed to balance a grid, and oddly they are not mentioned in the paper’s discussion.
From long long ago in underground ventilation I recall explosive range of hydrogen at normal pressure was 4% to 75%. Was drummed into us at length just how nasty it is, and how fighting coal fires underground was so dangerous.
“…over the course of a few years, before requiring entire countries of tens or hundreds of millions of people to be the guinea pigs.”
That logic didn’t stop countries from mandating experimental vaccines by threat of job-loss or even fines, so building out a unicorn power system is no big deal for Biden and his cronies waiting to cash in on the green gravy-train, regardless of how many lives and livelihoods are at stake.
“and five times average demand” of course.
Pumped hydro, the only viable storage. And when it rains you get extra power for nothing.
While the enormous cost is one unacknowledged hurdle, the huge geopolitical impact of carbon free by 2020 is that we will be serfs of China. The lithium, rare earth metals, much of the cobalt and other materials necessary for wind turbines and solar panels come from China. We cannot afford to make the same mistake that Germany and the Europeans have made and allow ourselves to be dependent on energy from our biggest geopolitical rival.
The US has enormous energy resources of coal, oil, gas, and nuclear. Full scale development of our own resources makes us energy independent, exporters of LNG to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, enhances our security and retains our traditional advantage of low cost of energy to sustain and improve the strength of our economy and raise our standard of living.
Our energy resources are a potent geopolitical strategic economic and military assets that are better than bullets and bombs.
Just because the goal of the greenies is unachievable doesn’t they won’t, with the very best of intentions, screw up the electrical system and economy. The agenda is what matters to them not the result. The fact that logic, reason and data do not support their agenda means, in their minds, the logic, reason and data are wrong. That’s how they operate; no engineering is required to work towards the goal of the agenda.
“Based on current costs of lithium-ion batteries”
But you’re making a straw man arguments Unless we find massive deposits of Lithium, Lithium batteries certainly won’t be be solution to grid scale energy storage. Grid storage needs to be cheap and last over many charge cycles. It can be large and it can be heavy. Lithium batteries are light and suited to transport and portable devices.
And then following it up with the poor storage choice
“But R&Q think they have a better idea than batteries, namely hydrogen as a vehicle for the storage.”
It’s a poor choice because it’s very inefficient to produce, hard to store and needs substantial infrastructure to distribute.
Much better to find a battery solution that is suitable and locate them around the grid as a distributed storage to reduce the load on the transmission network. Also don’t push wind, it needs way too much maintenance. Better to have much more distributed PV solar and less wind IMO.
I live on the West end of an industrial wind facility. Wind-farm is a misnomer. I can and often do make a short videos of the idle turbines. I set my camera on the same trellis post each time, and take a short video. This facility was touted to produce enough energy to power 68,000 homes. This facility consumes 32 square miles, all of it in prime farm ground. Forty-eight turbines that require approximately two acres each.
The acres consumed do not take into account the damaged tile system used to properly drain this farm land. Tile systems in most cases over 100 years old. The soil has been compacted whereever the cranes, the trucks, or the caterpillars moved. That severely hampers crop production. At any rate.
Turbines v Coal and Gas;
Just a thought- If R&Q suggest building enough extra capacity, wind and solar farms, in Germany to cover electricity needs at all times, is there enough unoccupied land in Germany to support the facilities?