The People Promising Us “Net Zero” Have No Clue About the Energy Storage Problem

Reposted from the MANHATTAN CONTRARIANFrancis Menton

If you are even a semi-regular reader of this blog, you know about the energy storage problem that is inherent in the effort to eliminate dispatchable fossil fuels from the electricity generation system and replace them with wind and solar. As discussed here many times, other than with nuclear power, the storage problem is the critical issue that must be addressed if there is ever going to be “net zero” electricity generation, let alone a “net zero” economy based on all energy usage having been electrified. For a sample of my prior posts on this subject just in the last few months, go here, here and here.

The problems of trying to provide enough storage to back up a fully wind and solar system without fossil fuels are so huge and so costly that you would think that everyone pushing the “net zero” agenda would be completely focused on these issues. And given that the issues are quite obvious, you would think that such people would be well down the curve with feasibility studies, cost studies, and demonstration projects to make their case on how their plans could be accomplished. Remarkably, that is not the case at all. Instead, if you read about the plans and proposals in various quarters for “net zero” in some short period of years, you quickly realize that the people pushing this agenda have no clue. No clue whatsoever.

Today, I am going to look at discussions of the storage situation coming out of three jurisdictions with ambitious “net zero” plans: California, Australia and New York. First a very brief summary of the problem. It is (or certainly should be) obvious that wind and solar generators have substantial periods when they generate nothing (e.g., calm nights), and other times when they generate far less than users demand. Get out a spreadsheet to do some calculations based on actual historical patterns of usage and generation from wind and solar sources, and you will find that to have a fully wind/solar generation system and make it through a year without a catastrophic failure, you will need approximately a three-times overbuild (based on rated capacity) of the wind/solar system, plus storage for something in the range of 24 – 30 days of average usage. For these purposes “usage” at any given moment is measured in gigawatts, but usage for some period of time is measured in gigawatt hours, not gigawatts. California’s average electricity usage for 2020 was about 31 GW; Australia’s was about 26 GW ; and New York’s was about 18 GW.

To calculate how much storage you need in gigawatt hours, multiply average usage in GW by 30 days and 24 hours per day. So California will need about 22,302 GWH of storage, Australia about 18,720 GWH, and New York about 12,960 GWH. That is to supply current levels of demand. For the “everything electrified” case, triple all of these numbers: 66,906 GWH for California, 56,160 GWH for Australia, and 38,880 GWH for New York. Price that out at current costs of Tesla-type lithium-ion batters (~$150/KWH) and you will get around $10 trillion for California, $8.4 trillion for Australia, and $5.8 trillion for New York. These figures are in the range of triple total annual GDP for each of these jurisdictions, before you even get to the cost of the three-times overbuild of the generations system to account for charging of the batteries when the sun is shining and wind blowing. Nor can Tesla-style batteries hold charge for months on end as would be necessary for this system, but at this point, that seems like a minor quibble.

With that, let’s consider some recent discussion of the march toward “net zero” in each of these jurisdictions:

California. On March 14, PV Magazine (I think that stands for “Photo Voltaic”) had a piece by Christian Roselund with the title “California’s solar market is now a battery market.” The gist is that California’s solar developers have now caught on to the need to pair batteries with their projects, and that therefore new projects going forward are as much battery projects as solar panel projects. Here’s a sample of the cheerleading:

No US state has led the energy transition like California has. . . . As a result California has been a pioneer for a range of clean energy technologies. . . . California is on the cusp of no longer being a solar market where batteries are being added – instead, it is becoming a battery market that (sometimes) includes solar.

So how much battery capacity is being added by the new projects?:

According to the American Clean Power Association, California had only 256MW of utility-scale batteries before 2020, but had reached 2.1GW by the end of 2021 – an eightfold increase. . . . The 256 solar-plus-storage projects representing 72GW of solar and 64GW of batteries make up the vast majority of hybrid projects in the CAISO queue. . . . California will need all the energy storage it can get its hands on; a recent analysis suggests that the state needs 37GW of batteries over the next 20 years, as well as 53.2GW of utility-scale solar.

It’s all GW, GW, GW. But guys, how about the amount of GWH that California will need? You will not find any mention of that unit in this piece. Sorry, but if those 64 GW of batteries you are planning to buy only store energy for one hour, then you will need to multiply your purchase by about a factor of a thousand. If they store energy for about four hours (typical of what you might be able to buy today), then multiply your purchase by a factor of 250.

Could they really be so far off from the actual problem? I’m afraid that the answer is yes.

Australia. Over in Australia, it appears that they have people who have figured out that they need to measure the storage requirements for wind/solar backup in GWH rather than GW. Here is a piece from March 25 from Energy Storage News, headline “Australia surpassed 1GWh of annual battery storage deployments during 2021.” That’s huge progress. But one GWH?

Read the article, and again it’s all cheerleading for the great progress being made:

[F]or Victoria it was a record-breaking year, while NSW has already recorded strong installation volumes and its tally of 7,377 installations was in line with figures in recent years. . . . Victoria hosts a 48% share of the commercial and grid-scale operating capacity today, with South Australia the next biggest at 24%, Queensland on 14% and NSW on 9%. Last year, the Victorian Big Battery came online, which at 300MW/450MWh made a big contribution to the state’s total.

And how much is in the pipeline?:

There is around 1,000MWh of grid-scale energy storage currently under construction, but the development pipeline of projects is a massive 57GWh.

“A massive” 57 GWH. Really? Has anyone told them that they are going to need more like 56,160 GWH to fulfill their “net zero” fantasies? Like California, they are off by about a factor of 1000. Here is a picture from the article of what a Tesla-type battery installation for a mere 150 MWH looks like. That’s well less than 1/6 of one GWH.

Aerial view oil / chemical tanker in open sea, Refinery Industry cargo ship.

Looks like they’re going to need 400,000 +/- of these installations. And by the way, these Tesla-style batteries have no ability to store energy without loss for months on end. Good luck trying to find anyone addressing these issues.

New York. In crazy New York, we have a statute passed in 2019 that requires state-wide greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to 60% of 1990 levels by 2030. Since electricity is less than 1/3 of final energy consumption, this would necessarily mean that all fossil fuel electricity generation will be gone in 8 years.

How to do that? A collection of panels and advisory bodies have been putting out reams of reports, thousands of pages in the aggregate. Nobody could possibly keep up. On the other hand, it is obvious that essentially no batteries are yet under construction.

A lone guy named Roger Caiazza, who blogs as the Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York, is the only critical thinker I am aware of who tries to read most of this stuff. On March 25 Caiazza had a post titled “What the Experts Are Saying Now.” That post was also picked up at Watts Up With That here.

Here’s Caiazza’s big discovery. Rather than proposing a massive build of batteries, New York’s “experts” think they have a better idea: the “DEFR”. That stands for “Dispatchable Emissions Free Resource.” And what exactly is that? As far as Caiazza can determine, it’s something that hasn’t been invented yet. Caiazza links to this March 24 Report from New York’s Independent System Operator, title “System and Resource Outlook Update.” Plow your way through through 17 pages of incomprehensible gibberish and you will come to this on page 18:

DEFR Builds Allowed Starting in 2030

Input Assumption Adjusted:
– First allowable year for DEFR builds advanced to 2030

• Caveats:

  • –  Significant uncertainty related to cost / availability of DEFR technologies, as well as regulatory definition of “zero-emissions” compliant technologies
  • –  Assumption is not based on estimate of realistic timeline for first potential DEFR additions
  • Observations:
    • –  DEFR capacity build earlier on in model horizon,although comparable capacity builds by 2040
    • –  Decreased fossil capacity (i.e., primarily earlier retirements and less new builds) offset by earlier DEFR capacity additions

Yes, we are to be completely dependent on so-called “DEFR” technologies, which have not been invented yet and as to which “significant uncertainties” exist. Could this get any more ridiculous?

I guess if you work at the ISO and open your mouth and say “this can’t possibly work,” you will be immediately fired.

Read the full post here.

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Steve Case
March 29, 2022 10:14 am

comment image

Peter Fraser
Reply to  Steve Case
March 29, 2022 12:02 pm

“Men it has been well said think in herds. It will be seen they go mad in herds while they only recover their senses slowly and one by one”.Charles Mackay.

Vuk
Reply to  Peter Fraser
March 29, 2022 1:16 pm

Practice makes it perfect.
In London we are training by starting with smaller for the near future much bigger events.
Daily mail: Power cut shuts down London
Up to 38,000 customers affected as outages wipe out traffic lights, internet and electricity across 37 postcodes – and fire shuts tunnel causing rush hour chaos.

  • The outage ripped across London causing chaos as internet and lights went out
  • People working from home were helpless as they’re unable to log on computers
Last edited 1 month ago by Vuk
Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
March 29, 2022 3:01 pm

Financial Times:
EU and Russia in stand-off over rouble payments for gas
Failure to revise supply contracts could halt the flow of fuel to Europe
Europe and Russia are locked in a stand-off over Moscow insisting that its gas is paid for in roubles, raising the prospect of a halt in gas supplies as the Kremlin doubles down on its demands.
Russian officials said on Tuesday that Moscow would not “supply gas for free” to Europe, a day after G7 countries unanimously rejected President Vladimir Putin’s directive.
“Payments will be accepted in roubles only,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian state news agency Interfax.
“Companies need to understand the changed market situation, the absolutely new reality that has emerged amid the economic war waged on Russia.”
ICIS estimates that Gazprom earned about $340 million per day from gas sales between the start of the war and March 15.

Last edited 1 month ago by Vuk
Willem post
Reply to  Vuk
March 30, 2022 5:07 am

Russia will cut of gas to UNFRIENDLY countries on April 1, if they do not pay in roubles, or gold, or bitcoin.

Euros and dollars are no longer wanted by Russia, because of all the sanction restrictions placed on them regarding Russia’s use of euros and dollars.

Remember, none of this would have happened if 1) a 1990 pledge had been kept to not expand NATO one inch beyond East Germany, and 2) none of this would have happened if NATO had not illegally bombed Serbia for 78 days, in 1999, and 3) none of this would have happened, if the US had not instigated a color revolution in Ukraine in 2014, and turned Ukraine into a NATO training center, and into a bio-lab “research” center, even though Ukraine was not a member of NATO

Last edited 1 month ago by Willem post
MarkW
Reply to  Willem post
March 30, 2022 8:06 am

This would have happened eventually. Putin has always regarded Ukraine as rightfully part of Russia and was just looking for an excuse and an opportunity.

beng135
Reply to  MarkW
March 31, 2022 10:14 am

Yeah, if some weak dopacrap instead of Trump had been elected in 2016, it would’ve happened soon after that.

Last edited 1 month ago by beng135
Emily Daniels
Reply to  MarkW
April 1, 2022 7:00 am

Exactly! Funny how everyone likes to quote the 1990 agreement (made with the Soviet Union, which no longer exists) and forget about the 1994 agreement in which Russia, US, and UK agreed to respect and protect Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for them giving up their inherited Soviet nuclear weapons

Tee Shanny
Reply to  Vuk
March 31, 2022 5:02 am

Ummm… that’s dumb.
The realms of power cuts due to storms and other natural disturbances do not coincide with power cuts due to imagined insufficiencies of power grids you imply doubt about.

Have you heard “DOES NOT COMPUTE” much in response to those types of inane and useless utterances?? If not, it’s only because your associates, friends and family like you too much ( and feel sorry) to embarrass you by saying things like,
“WTF, that’s crazy and makes no sense? What the hell do you mean? That’s mindless. Did you even go to school? What’s your expertise in that area? STFU, loser.”

yirgach
Reply to  Peter Fraser
March 29, 2022 1:42 pm

Today we call it “Mass Formation

Willem post
Reply to  yirgach
March 30, 2022 5:13 am

In the 14th century there was the PROTESTANT movement against the very corrupt Roman Catholic Church.

A similar movement is needed against the DAVOS forces, which tries to impose the tyranny of a world government

Tee Shanny
Reply to  Willem post
March 31, 2022 5:38 am

PROVE IT.
As anyone with a science background knows, outrageous claims must be met with extraordinary evidence. Otherwise it’s simply another ignorant conspiracy theory fueled by the poorly educated, clearly lying, narcissistic likes of tDUMP and fTucker TarYouSome.

Tee Shanny
Reply to  Peter Fraser
March 31, 2022 4:56 am

You described EXACTLY the issue with the main audience who funds the WUWT website! ( that doesn’t matter to its owner, who like all conservative shills and prifiteers, likely profits mightily from their )

Because their deficient brains don’t provide them with creativity, observations skills, scientific acumen or ability to learn it, or even proper communication skills, they will always huddle together around the same dumb opinions and follow the same dumb opinion leaders, like Trump and Reagan and both Bush’s, as well as every conservative leader and anti-science scientist and politician regarding climate change and other issues of our time: on the “ash heap of History.”

Ironic how, except for that phrase about the ash heap of History being prescient and true, the man who said it is floating into dust on the ash heap of History, except for the results of his villainy against the middle and working classes and the environment.

Peter Gee
Reply to  Tee Shanny
March 31, 2022 7:36 am

Can you kindly dispute the facts alleged by the article in terms of GWH or are you just here to mindless troll like an undergraduate Millennial?

commieBob
March 29, 2022 10:15 am

… significant uncertainties …

How about borderline impossible (to steal a phrase from Judith Curry).

If people have been working hard on something for a long time without results, all the low hanging fruit has been picked. So that’s one thing.

Breakthroughs are usually a result of a lucky accident and not concerted, directed effort. Given how the science industry runs these days, the chances of that happening are vanishingly small. The managers at the funding agencies make darn sure of that. So that’s another thing.

Between those two things, the chances of a viable storage technology are zilch for all practical purposes.

Derg
Reply to  commieBob
March 29, 2022 10:19 am

You have been writing this for a while that all the low hanging fruit of energy storage systems have been picked. I am sure word salad Bob will be along any moment with wild tales in CA.

commieBob
Reply to  Derg
March 29, 2022 10:55 am

Indeed. Here’s an example of how things happen.

A scientist thought he’d found an exciting new battery technology. The batteries would be heavy but that would be OK for stationary storage. They didn’t require exotic materials and they would be cheap to manufacture.

There was hoopla and people like Bill Gates got all excited. I think the company won awards. The technology got past the pilot plant stage and they bought a factory to begin mass production.

Then the wheels fell off. Usually economics does a new, apparently viable, technology in. In this case it appears that they didn’t actually understand the technology as well as they thought they did. Aquion Batteries

Anyway, after one has seen this pattern repeat enough times, one becomes somewhat cynical.

The thing about the low hanging fruit I stole from Don Lancaster.

Anyone interested in how scientific breakthroughs can be prevented should read, The Myth of the Objective.

yirgach
Reply to  commieBob
March 29, 2022 1:50 pm

Don Lancaster! CMOS Cookbook!!
His instructions for dealing with the televisions at the time (late ’70’s)

Find the long cord from the back of the TV and cut it off

Gary Pearse
Reply to  commieBob
March 29, 2022 2:54 pm

commieB, another factor is science has moved into the realm of engineering without the the overarching discipline of economics to guide practical research. There are probably thousands of ways to squeeze an electron out of tens of thousands of diverse systems and without an econmic sense they will be reporting endless
breakthroughs, never to be heard about again.

The fixation with lithium for grid batteries is cult-like. I got down-voted here for pointing out that if by some miracle they could switch to EV transportation and solve the myriad problems, that would free up ~25 million tons of lead from 1.5 billion ICE vehicles plus heavy equipment, etc. etc. (there is 6.5 million t of lead in replacement batteries alone). It’s readily recyclable and research could possibly develop a system for replating lead on very large unit depleted batteries or simply re-hanging them with new lead plates.

At least the people determined to switch to electric should have this in mind as a first phase part of the solution. Seemingly they don’t even know about this. They also don’t seem to know that in 2021 lithium production was an all time high of … wait for it… 100,000Mt!!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 30, 2022 10:16 am

Gary,
While lead-acid battery technology is more mature, and more amenable to recycling, that 25Mt you mention is only a drop in the bucket compared to the staggering amount needed to provide sufficient storage for a grid composed of only renewable generation sources. We would need thousands of new lead mines running 24 hours a day to even consider such a scheme. And that doesn’t even solve the lithium problem, because just replacing all those 1.5 billion ICE vehicles with EVs will require a massive increase in lithium mining. I’m not even sure there are enough known reserves worldwide to meet that need. So the entire scheme is an abject failure anyway you look at it.

Willem post
Reply to  commieBob
March 30, 2022 5:15 am

It would never fly and all these private jets would be grounded

ex-KaliforniaKook
Reply to  commieBob
March 30, 2022 6:28 pm

Dang, CommieBob! I wanted those Aquion batteries – assuming they worked as advertised years ago. I live in the boonies, and reliable power is not a given. With a new state mandate to radically increase unreliables, I hoped to have a great system.

I have to hope UK or Germany or California bite it before all our money goes into the $hitter.

Tee Shanny
Reply to  commieBob
March 31, 2022 5:52 am

One example is INCONSEQUENTIAL.
Sufficient DATA, however, is consequential. Haven’t you heard the phrase,
“Anecdote is not the singular of data”?? That energy company is not another energy company. Their products are not another company’s products, nor are their staffs and expertise and marketing and research and development the same. Bass on millions and millions of differences, it is impossible to predict similar trajectories of failure for both companies. Therefore, the example of that energy company is 100% useless and avoid of meaning, and certainly of predictive ability.

If you want an analogy that’s easy for a 3-year old to understand, the way it must be for you to understand, consider a certain bicycle company.

Let’s call it Schwinn. Now consider *another* bicycle company: Commie Bob’s Bicycle Company. Does the failure of his company, based entirely on rumors and lies by Donald tDUMP and the biased, anti-fact, anti-ethics and unjournalistic crew of Faux News, mean the Schwinn Bicycle Company could never possibly produce enough bikes to survive for almost a hundred years??

Good thing you predicted that! I almost bought and rode a Schwinn! Probably would have fallen apart under my feet. IF the wheels were even made round!🤣🤣🤣

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Tee Shanny
March 31, 2022 9:25 am

Tee,
There are many other examples of exactly the same kind of failures, but don’t look those up – keep your blinders on, because the cognitive dissonance might be too much for you.

Tee Shanny
Reply to  commieBob
March 31, 2022 5:31 am

Another ignorant comment. It’s based on some partial truths which makes it seem logical and reasonable. Certainly much significant scientific research and breakthroughs happen by accident, though much happens by concerted effort.

For the sake of appearing to “win” your argument and falsely appear knowledgeable, did you purposely omit the huge number of scientific inventions created and/or developed as a result of the manned space effort begun by Kennedy in the early sixties??

If you truly believe such a concerted effort was a failure except to put human beings on the moon, there’s not much help for you in terms of research skills and paying attention to discoverable realities.

What you also fail to realize is that you can’t *predict* a lack of breakthroughs, NOR breakthroughs themselves. They don’t result from linear thinking and can’t be limited either by accident or design. But the opportunity for breakthroughs may well be magnifiable under certain conditions. Breakthroughs happen due to constructive interruptions in linear thinking that lead to… breakthroughs.

Your post was based 100% on ordinary, linear thinking. NOT on BREAKTHROUGH thinking.

BUT, IN CONTRAST, breakthroughs disrupt ordinary activities and ideas and processes and linear thinking.

ERGO, FAIL. YOU NEITHER PREDICTED NOR DESCRIBED ANYTHING OF CONSEQUENCE.😳😳😳

USELESS🤡🤯

Bottom Line:
Essentially you’re not smart enough to know how smart you AREN’T. When you can’t think outside the box because the box encloses and warms you, offering a false sense of security based on a huge lack of knowledge, even the inability or unwillingness to seek that knowledge, enclosing the entirety of Your World, and you’ve never seen outside it, to the point where you don’t know the box exists… Then you must NOW realize others who told you about the Box are far superior in intelligence and observation and creativity and everything else, and readily see you sitting smugly, not knowing what you don’t know, but in fact lonely and embarrassed (if you gain any insight from the experience) and rather useless, inside that box.

GOOD LUCK DOING ANYTHING USEFUL with your “skills.” You may have the aptitude to become a typical talking head on Faux Snooze, though! The bar is low.

BTW, these comments apply to well over 90% of those who love to comment and make themselves try to look important (failing utterly) on WUWT.
If ever there were miles-wide and ever-growing (like a cancer) fodder for bullying, it’s here!

commieBob
Reply to  Tee Shanny
March 31, 2022 6:07 am

You’re missing the difference between actual breakthroughs and incremental improvements.

Incremental improvements are amenable to concerted effort. Just look at the technological progress during WW2.

Breakthroughs are not amenable to concerted effort. They are the result of prepared minds doing curiosity based research. Sadly, the way science is run these days diminishes the chances of that happening by a lot.

Sal Minella
March 29, 2022 10:17 am

If only they could tap into the anger-energy of pissed-off New Yorkers.

Bruce Ploetz
Reply to  Sal Minella
March 29, 2022 11:08 am

Check out the science fiction novels of Tanith Lee – she posits a society powered by emotional energy. You can buy whatever you want, simply make an enthusiastic product endorsement in the checkout lane.

Ironically titled “Don’t Bite the Sun”, it is one of the forgotten classics of the 70s. Mankind is reduced to living in domed cities in the midst of a desertified planet of the far future. But within the domes, there seems to be a paradise on earth, where every possible whim is instantly satisfied by advanced technology. Or is it?

The idea is in the same category as the magic someday technology called DEFR. As the song says “Only fools believe..”

Reply to  Sal Minella
March 29, 2022 1:16 pm

If you think New Yorkers are angry now, ask them after they’ve suffered through a week of record cold temperatures, happening now.

The Brits and the Germans will be even more angry, as the “benefits” of the imbecilic green-energy policies of their fearless leaders encounter record cold temperatures, as the Polar Vortex dips into western Europe.
________________________________

As I said to two eminent gentlemen, one from London and one from New York, over coffee in Calgary on 23March2022:
Britain and Germany have had a mild winter to date, but that could change anytime, if the Polar Vortex dips down into western Europe, as it has done further east this winter.
The Nino34 area is still quite cold at almost minus 1, and it is a good predictor of global average temperatures four months later, but it is the location of dips in the polar vortex that causes the real harm, and it does not have to last long to kill crops and people.
 
We all tried to prevent this inevitable carnage…
 
Best personal regards, Allan MacRae
 
NEW YORK SUFFERS RECORD MARCH COLD; TORONTO BREAKS CENTURY-OLD LOW TEMP BENCHMARK; + UK FORECAST COLDEST START TO APRIL IN 100 YEARS
March 29, 2022 Cap Allon
The COLD TIMES are returning, and they’re bringing the SNOW back with them…
ARCTIC BLAST THREATENS COLD RECORDS ACROSS EAST U.S., INCLUDING 145-YEAR LOW IN PHILLY; REMARKABLE COLD FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH SWEEPS GREENLAND; ANTARCTICA PLUNGES -1.2C BELOW 1979-2000 AVERAGE; + EUROPE FREEZES
March 28, 2022 Cap Allon
…widespread frosts and low-level snows are set to strike Europe, bringing the risk of considerable crop damage…

Tom.1
March 29, 2022 10:17 am

Energy storage has always been the elephant in the room. I’ve never understood how it can be so completely ignored.

n.n
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 10:59 am

Just-In-Time methodology, coupled with labor and environmental arbitrage, a unskilled modeled hypothesis of climate cooling… warming… change, and add sociopolitical myths of Green (as in blight)… no, green fields. A clean, renewable beginning and end, only possible at The Twilight Fringe a.k.a. emanations from penumbras a.k.a. Rainbows and unicorns etc.

Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 1:23 pm

Told you so 20 years ago.
In 2002 we published that there was no real global warming crisis and green energy was not green and produced little useful (dispatchable) energy. We also correctly predicted in 2002 that solar-driven global cooling would start about now, and that does appear to be happening. We further predicted in detail in 2013 the current green energy crisis in Britain, Germany etc. These are, to my knowledge, the best (earliest and most accurate) predictions of our current climate-and-energy disaster. [Insert strong expletive here].
We did not make these correct predictions in order to gloat about being correct – we made them in order to prevent them from happening, to save real people from hardship and to save real lives. I cannot express how frustrating it is to have foreseen this disaster and to watch as it unfolded, having warned against it for the past two decades, and it still happened and is still happening! [Insert even stronger expletive here].
It is clear that the Climate-and-Covid scams were deliberate and were perpetrated by the same gang of thugs from the World Economic Forum et al. It is past time for Nuremberg 2.0!
{Rant/off}

Tom.1
Reply to  Allan MacRae
March 29, 2022 2:34 pm

A: You’re gloating
B: Nobody listened to you, so why are you gloating?

Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 4:11 pm

My objective in recording the above facts is to encourage the International Criminal Court to prosecute and imprison the perpetrators of this Climate-and-Energy debacle. My position is that the leaders of the Climate-and-Energy scam knew from the beginning that they were doing great harm, and yet they did it anyway. They were correctly advised of the true facts by many other knowledgeable climate scholars – they cannot claim that they did not know. They wasted trillions of dollars and millions of lives, especially in the developing world. Nuremberg 2.0!

paul courtney
Reply to  Tom.1
March 30, 2022 12:39 pm

Mr. .1: A. Well, he was right and has been vindicated (unlike your comments), so he can gloat if he wants to.
B. Right for the sake of being right kinda matters to scientists, regardless of whether anyone listened. But you don’t get that. Tells alot, you know.

Rich Lentz(@usurbrain)
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 2:19 pm

It is ignored because they are convinced that they can get the energy from the utility next to them or the one after that.
Years ago someone had a report of how if the entire east coast was powered by wind turbines that the average along the whole coast could feed the whole coast. All it would take is a “Smart Grid” and that smart grid would have to have a device on ever home business, manufacture or user of electricity to cut them off.
They would also need more than double the present number of long-haul HV Transmission lines, the ones running at the highest voltage, from the southern tip of Florida to the northern tip of Maine and from the ocean inwards about 400 miles with a line about every 100 milers.
it would take 20 years just to get a plan another twenty to get the necessary permits and another twenty to build it. Would only cost about twenty years of the entire GDP. And it would increase the cost of Steel and Aluminum three or four-fold.
Then there would be the environmentalists that would want this to be underground! You cant even get light-post high towers for 5G. How can they build this. Still they believe it can be done and is the answer.
All that a Smart Grid does is use those boxes they place on your house is to shut off your power for 15 to 30 minuets each hour, Like they did me when the Wind turbines were frozen in Texas.

Above cost estimate does not include the cost of mitigation of coronal mass ejection (CME) or Cyber Attack, which make a smart grid perfect for shutting down everything.

Tom.1
Reply to  Rich Lentz
March 29, 2022 2:36 pm

Lots of wishful thing everywhere.

Willem post
Reply to  Tom.1
March 30, 2022 5:16 am

Elephants are invisible to pea brains

Greg61
Reply to  Tom.1
March 30, 2022 9:30 am

I don’t believe it is being ignored. They just don’t want to admit the ultimate goal is to force a return to primitive existence for most of us while they live the high life as elites.

IAMPCBOB
Reply to  Tom.1
April 3, 2022 3:56 pm

Because they just ‘ASSume’ that something magical will happen and everything will work out just as they said it would! Note: so far, it hasn’t happened at all, and most likely never will, either! It’s very painful to watch, though. Only children should believe in fairy tales!

william Johnston
March 29, 2022 10:18 am

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the PV and windmill people would forego the subsidies on those things with the proviso that they then be given subsidies for the batteries that would be required. Yup! That’s the ticket.

Tom.1
March 29, 2022 10:29 am

An option which I have never read about, but which seems possible with known chemical processes would be to make hydrogen with electrolyzers and use it as feedstock to a Fischer-Tropsch process along with CO2 to make hydrocarbons of practically any molecular weight. I’m sure the cost would be outrageous, but it’s known technology. Here you would not have the problem of storing and transporting the hydrogen; it would just go straight to liquids. You’d need enough storage to keep your process running, but that’s it.

Tom.1
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 10:39 am

This would have an additional advantage of being able to utilize a lot of existing infrastructure; refineries, pipelines, gas stations, power boilers, etc.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 11:12 am

If you want your electrolysers to run efficiently they should be run continuously. Running them from intermittent surpluses form intermittent renewables is a recipe for high cost, and will still leave you with large amounts of surplus power that are uneconomic to exploit. The way to do it of course is from nuclear, and that is what you would expect in a word where fossil fuels are becoming scarcer sometime in the future, because it is unlikely that Jet A1 and RP-1 rocket fuel will easily be surpassed by other technology for a start.

A look at the electrolyser problem with renewables:

https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/nZM72/1/

Tom.1
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 29, 2022 1:57 pm

Efficiency and economics are usually controlling. I’m just making the point that with the technology we know about, we could make hydrocarbons from electricity. If you want/need energy storage, what are the options? Batteries work, but the economics don’t work very well. The electrolysis/F-T route economics aren’t very good either, but it is something that could be made to work with known technology. I assume someone, somewhere has evaluated this, but I’ve never seen anything on it.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 2:41 pm

The big hazard of Fischer Tropf process for greenies is the CO2 byproduct. The starting points are either steam reforming of methane or coal with the water shift reaction used to provide hydrogen. You have to make carbon monoxide before building alkenes with hydrogen and catalysts.

Scissor
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 29, 2022 4:42 pm

His proposal is to make CO from reverse water gas shift.

Dr. Bob
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 11:50 am

Tom 1,
Yes, F-T technology does work as you stated, but the energy required to reduce CO2 back to hydrocarbons is immense. The benefit though is the stored energy is dispatchable in any internal combustion engine (diesel and jet fuels are the easiest F-T fuels to produce, so gasoline is mostly left out). But the energy can be stored indefinitely, essentially. The problem is the efficiency. I calculated from NIH papers that energy efficiency for Direct Air Capture of CO2 to HC fuels is in the 10% range. Not really practical.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Dr. Bob
March 29, 2022 2:43 pm

SASOL, Chevron, Shell and others have made GTL and CTL work. Why go for CO2 capture?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Dr. Bob
March 29, 2022 7:07 pm

We could produce carbon from charcoal made out of garbage and municipal waste. Just cook the trash until it is charcoal. Also allows us to stop wasting our time and energy with recycling.

Disputin
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 11:51 am

Yes, but…

Electrolysis is only about 70% efficient, if that, so you’ve got to generate the power in the first place, and then you’ve got the requirements of the Fischer-Tropsch process. The final result is a net debit (a very large debit!) which has to come out of the surplus power generated, of which there isn’t any.

Nice try, but no cigar.

Tom.1
Reply to  Disputin
March 29, 2022 1:45 pm

You are saying it can’t work or that it is just inefficient? I’m not making a case that it is economical, just that it can be done.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 3:04 pm

A net energy deficit is a net energy deficit. Not only is the process inefficient it’s impossible to keep running forever. There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. If you keep having to grow the energy production used as the input in order to keep the process running then what happens when that energy production maxes out?

Tom.1
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 29, 2022 3:31 pm

A perpetual motion machine is one where you get more energy out than you put in; it impossible. All real world processes the use or transform energy are less than 100% efficient. An inefficient process is not impossible; that’s the only kind we have.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 3:43 pm

No, a perpetual motion machine is one where an small impulse of energy starts it working and it keeps on going. A small push to the end of a pendulum will keep the old grandfather clock going forever. What is being proposed here is the good old swing on the kids play ground. You keep pushing it over and over to make it reach a 1 foot swing. But the child keeps demanding more and more “swing” so you have to keep applying more and more force to the swing each time. Sooner or later you can’t push any harder or the chain snaps or the child falls out of the swing or any of a dozen things can cause the system to fail. That’s what happens when you have a built-in net energy deficit in a system with continuous growth in demand.

Tom.1
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 29, 2022 7:53 pm

No, Tim, a grandfather clock will not run forever. As soon as the weights bottom out, it stops.

Tom.1
Reply to  Disputin
March 30, 2022 11:16 am

If all the energy is sourced renewably (wind or solar) and you produce some net usable energy, say, a charged up battery, then even if that conversion process is only 1 percent efficient, you still do not have a net energy debit. The energy from the sun (which includes the wind) is free, and unlimited in availability. That doesn’t mean it’s an economical process, just that it is delivering some net usable energy.

Scissor
Reply to  AndyHce
March 29, 2022 2:27 pm

I’m guessing that the catalyst(s) are platinum group metals.

Fraizer
Reply to  Scissor
March 29, 2022 5:25 pm

Actually Iron or cobalt. Pretty cheap materials. Could be done with nuclear if/when hydrocarbons become 50x more expensive. I recall that the break-even for FT synthesis using gas was $75 crude oil (about a decade ago).

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Fraizer
March 30, 2022 6:45 am

The IEA recently said the world faced a potential shortage of cobalt (and lithium) as early as 2025.

Tom.1
Reply to  AndyHce
March 29, 2022 2:31 pm

Thanks. Interesting idea.

Tom.1
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 2:45 pm
paul courtney
Reply to  Tom.1
March 30, 2022 10:55 am

Mr. .1: This is not the first time you have commented from a position of ignorance, and only then (as shown in a subsequent post, hoisting your own petard) do some research.
Ah, well, at least you’re not whinging about the other commenters.

LdB
Reply to  Tom.1
March 29, 2022 9:06 pm

You could just store the hydrogen efficiently in oil … oh wait 🙂

beng135
Reply to  Tom.1
March 31, 2022 10:41 am

ROFLMAO — hydrogen. What a gas, gas, gas….

Last edited 1 month ago by beng135
Sparko
March 29, 2022 10:30 am

We are cursed to live in an idiocracy

n.n
Reply to  Sparko
March 29, 2022 11:02 am

A democracy with knee bent.

Willem post
Reply to  Sparko
March 29, 2022 11:58 am

We will have at least 4 years of Dem/Prog idiot-craziness, 2020 to 2024.
The D/P idiots were using COVID to manage us
The D/P idiots have switched to Ukraine to manage us

Anything to distract us from the porous southern border and our children not being educated, but being brainwashed.

If we go to the polls en masse, to overwhelm any cheating, we may be able to block the D/P idiots in 2022 and onwards

Scissor
Reply to  Willem post
March 29, 2022 2:29 pm

The U.S. debt has spiked about 30% to over $30 trillion within the past two years. Talk about sustainable!

Reply to  Scissor
March 29, 2022 6:08 pm

It’s not an error – it’s the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM PLAN – in Canada, the USA, Britain, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, and so on…

HERE IS THE BIG PICTURE, PRE-COVID – STRAIGHT OUT OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S PLAYBOOK, AS ADOPTED BY WOKE LEFTISTS TRUDEAU, FREELAND AND THEIR CABINET – TRAITORS ALL.
I tried to published the following exposé in the Financial Post in Autumn 2019 (pre-election) and the former editor helped me edit several drafts, only to have the current editor veto it. That was the first article I ever had rejected by a major Canadian paper, of the many I have published. 

Justin Trudeau’s $600 million grant has bought treasonous loyalty from the disgraced mainstream media. Like Trudeau, most of them can no longer be respected or trusted. The media have collaborated in the destruction of Canada. Canada is now a corrupt, disgraced Liberal/NDP dictatorship.


The Covid-19 false crisis enabled more unjustified restrictions of our freedoms, deliberately intended to trample human rights and reinforce the societal and economic destruction of Canada. These crimes against humanity must be publicly tried, judged and harshly punished – Nuremberg 2.0!

Regards, Allan MacRae,
B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng., Calgary

THE LIBERALS’ COVERT GREEN PLAN FOR CANADA – POVERTY AND
DICTATORSHIP October 1, 2019
[excerpt]
The insider, he said, had been working on an advisory group to the Trudeau government. The group was not formed to discuss policy for the 5 year horizon that governments are usually interested in but to develop policies for the further future, 20 to 40 years out. The implication was that the group had concluded that the present economic model was flawed and had to be replaced. “Unregulated consumerism was unsustainable and people would have to learn to make do with less. The government would have to have more control over people to enforce their austerity and the wealth of developed nations would have to be redistributed to help undeveloped nations.”

JCM
March 29, 2022 10:31 am

They do not care either way if they meet their net zero goals. It’s only ambition and promises that drive investment into ponzi schemes.

It is why none of it makes any sense, particularly the bits about windmills and batteries reducing flood risk, drought, hunger, and poverty. It’s plain fraud, a scam.

Results are secondary, not least when the results cannot be observed. It is make-believe in the most classic sense.

JCM
Reply to  JCM
March 29, 2022 11:16 am

The victims of the fraud to date are innumerable; those unnecessarily living in energy poverty and squalor. Many millions have suffered and died as a consequence. Furthermore, the damage to the environment is incalculable while investment is diverted to green energy funds.

The humanitarians and environmental stewards know this, as they scrounge for the crumbs of available resources without a peep of support from media or politicians.

New scientific insights are worthless now, considering “carbon” trading has become the most valuable commodity the world has ever known. No new science will be permitted to take a chunk out of that. There is too much on the line, at worst the innocent pensioners whose investment is now tied up the scheme based on corporate boards looking out for their “best interests”. It’s a brilliant and complex web, where no matter what there are innocent victims. That is the nature of fraud.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  JCM
March 29, 2022 3:25 pm

Hmm … is that why apparently 79% of Brits polled are for this ‘clean’ energy putsch? This seems to me the biggest barrier to self preservation of the British people. They don’t seem to understand that that empty food shelves, energy bills, joblessness… are direct byproducts of gov idiotic energy policies.

https://renews.biz/110020/uk-re-support-remains-high/

Iain Reid
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 29, 2022 11:48 pm

Gary,

the reason our U.K. public support renewables is because they don’t know the real facts. Facts that the media do not publish instead there is an almost daily message of cheap renewables and all we need are more of them.
How many will know that we have had more than a week of almost nil wind generation? How many know how poor solar is as a source of power. How many know renewables (Hydro excepted) are technically inferior to conventional generation.
In such a scenario is it surprising that the public support them. High electricity costs are believed to be due to energy company’s greed and high gas prices at times. No mention of the high cost of renewables, how can it be when the media and indeed government repeat the lie that renewables are cheap.
Again there is no mention of reliability and stability of our grid?

Simply put the populace is misled and therefor ignorant of the facts.

AndyHce
Reply to  JCM
March 29, 2022 1:41 pm

They do learn from history. History is full of religiously oriented scams that worked to control people for long periods.

Tom Halla
March 29, 2022 10:32 am

Net Zero really needs something with the performance of Heinlein’s Shipstones. Entirely fictional, but so is their planning without such devices.
The plot of Friday was that the trade secret of how such a thing worked was so valuable that the Shipstone Syndicate ran the world.

March 29, 2022 10:34 am

The People Promising Us “Net Zero” Have No Clue About the Energy Storage Problem

The key point that appears to escape them is that electricity is not a source of power, it is merely a means of transmitting power. Carbon fuels however are their own battery and so can be transported and transformed by combustion to release their energy store to provide power at will.

Nicholas Harding
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
March 29, 2022 11:07 am

Way past time for some Pilot Projects that lead the way and show us that Net Zero is possible: must be places where we can know there is no cheating: Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, selected islands in Maine and California, then scale it up to the State of Delaware, then California and New York. Once it is working with the early adopters I am sure we will all rush to join.

Time to raise our voices for some pilot projects!

Higgins
March 29, 2022 11:01 am

Great summary, noticed a small translation in the numbers for the storage calculation for California (31 x 24 x 30 = 22,320 GWHR versus 22,302 GWHR shown in your text).

Vuk
March 29, 2022 11:09 am

Water pumping is not the most efficient mass replacement energy storage system, water is not particularly heavy, and in the summer months high level reservoir with large surface looses significant volume to evaporation.
For replacing solar during nights one could consider conveyor belt (for uplift) of sand.
Since sand it is 1.6 times heavier than water, less storage volume or height difference would be required for the similar energy output (Ep=mgh) (musing of an idle mind)

Last edited 1 month ago by Vuk
Mike Smith
Reply to  Vuk
March 29, 2022 12:32 pm
Vuk
Reply to  Mike Smith
March 29, 2022 2:50 pm

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complicated
but it takes a touch of genius to do the opposite – A.E.
The natural world has been trying to protect itself from the both types since primates started walking upright.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Vuk
March 29, 2022 12:38 pm

If in doubt, check out euanmearns.com – just about any harebrained storage scheme ever proposed has been dismembered there. Including concrete blocks….

https://euanmearns.com/is-ares-the-solution-to-the-energy-storage-problem/

Graham
Reply to  Vuk
March 29, 2022 7:05 pm

Pumped hydro is a con.
Even I ,a New Zealand farmer can tell you that you will never get back the energy that powers the pumps to push the water up a incline from the water flowing back down through a turbine All hydro power stations are using gravity as the water flows towards the sea.
BUT the sun has evaporated the water from the surface of the sea and it falls as rain on the high country .
Hydro power is indirectly powered by the sun .
The cheapest and most efficient electricity storage are small dams on rivers that are turned on between 7am to 9 am and they refill during the day and then on again around 6pm to 8 pm .
I owned a farm with my son with one of these schemes on the river owed by a power company and it worked well to cover the peak power requirement of the wider district.
Taking this idea further ,there are eight hydro power stations on the Waikato river and also a number on the Clutha river that can be remotely controlled to generate power when needed.
New Zealand has a number of wind farms which can produce a lot of power or none at all on a windless day or night so these hydro stations can be started up very quickly and shut down as required
A women minister is touting a pumped hydro scheme in the South Island using surplus power from wind and solar to pump water up into Lake Winslow which will overfill and flood a lot of farm land .but that’s OK she says because she though this idea up.
This idea is dumber than dumb .
A much better idea is to install some small hydro power stations on smaller rivers in gorges so that all the power that they generate is used when needed.
It is virtually impossible to get consent for these power stations as two have been stymied in my area as the anti dam brigade are very powerful.
Also another irrigation dam was stopped by the greenies which would make a huge difference to the Hawkes Bay economy irrigating orchards ,market gardens and even wineries .

Iain Reid
Reply to  Graham
March 29, 2022 11:54 pm

Graham,

pumped hydro is an excellent idea when it is built for it’s intention, which is frequency support. They were built and used before the huge expansion of renewables.
They cannot be used to cover renewable intermittency, and as you say are very inefficient as is all storage. That inefficiency is acceptable when used to bolster frequency as otherwise power could be lost. It is short term boosting. It also has a secondary function as reserve power should large scale grid trip cause a loss of power, the so called ‘black start’ to enable generators to get back on line.

Thomas Gasloli
March 29, 2022 11:10 am

That headline could be shortened to: People Who Promise Net Zero Have No Clue.

Dennis G. Sandberg
March 29, 2022 11:11 am

$150/kwh for lithium storage isn’t realistic. The battery cost is only 1/2 of the installed, commissioned, operating storage system that includes enclosures, switching, interconnections, fault protection and fire suppression. Current prices are about $350/kwh and the cost will never be <$200/kwh. Not that it matters, the point is battery storage, for a few days of cloudy and calm weather, costs at least 10x more than the panels and turbines, and is not a financially viable alternative to conventional electrical generation.

Reply to  Dennis G. Sandberg
March 29, 2022 6:20 pm

The problem is much worse than the author suggests. When demand for the scarce materials that are used for energy storage skyrockets, so will the price of those materials. It could easily end up being 10 or 100 times as expensive to build these storage facilities.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Grant Brown
March 30, 2022 6:54 am

The price of lithium carbonate used in EV batteries rose 150% during 2021 according to the IEA and they say the world faces potential shortages of lithium and cobalt as early as 2025.

Ben Vorlich
March 29, 2022 11:20 am

I was reading about Sun Power SunVault Storage, which comes in 26 kWh and 52 kWh versions and costs $15,000 before installation. Presumably for the smaller version. So at least $20,000 installed plus some rooftop solar. Say $30k up and running.

A typical UK house uses about 8 – 10kWh of energy per day. So all all electric house with an EV gets two days energy for that spend.

So hardly value for money. Nor would it cover a renewable drought of more than two days

Matt Dalby
March 29, 2022 11:21 am

Presumably individual states such as California could get away with a little bit of creative accounting. Install a lot of renewables. When output is high export surplus power to other states and class it as a carbon credit on the basis that it reduces fossil fuel usage in those states. When output is low import power from other states but ignore carbon emissions since they were generated out of state. Hey presto the figures show that California’s electricity is carbon neutral, and hence it’s a world leader and it’s politicians are eco-hero’s. No doubt the largely clueless supporters of net zero would fail to see through the scam, or the fact that it’s all been achieved by juggling numbers on a bit of paper and has made no difference in the real world.
I think the U.K. already does something similar, but on a smaller scale. We have a number of inter-connecters to Europe and probably don’t include emissions involved in producing imported power as part of our annual carbon emissions.

Nicholas Harding
Reply to  Matt Dalby
March 29, 2022 11:34 am

That is why I want to see some island Pilot Projects; add Bermuda and Long Island to the list. Islands allow for better observation as to cheating.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Matt Dalby
March 29, 2022 12:45 pm

You are correct that we regard the MPP3 power plant at Maasvlaakte (at the entrance to Rotterdam Harbour) which is coal fired as being zero carbon when it feeds the HVDC converter next door at the Dutch end of the BritNed line – which comes out in the UK where originally the Kingsnorth D coal fired power station was to be built before Zac and Greenpeace chums invaded the site and protested, with Ed Miliband agreeing with them not to proceed with it. Green honour satisfied while UK consumers get to pay for the interconnector as well as the still coal fired power station.

markl
March 29, 2022 11:23 am

The lack of electricity storage problem will eventually be realized by the people being duped but the cost of failure will be astronomical. Currently we still have fossil fuel backup but as more wind and solar are installed that will diminish. It can only lead to massive power outages and the consequences won’t be pretty.

It doesn't add up...
March 29, 2022 11:26 am

Here is what the bright sparks at Regen think they could get away with for a net zero grid in the UK by 2035:

https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/net-zero-electricity-system-achievable-and-resilient-by-2035-but-increased-investment-required-regen-report-finds

It looks specifically at how a net zero power system could function on a cold, calm and cloudy winter day in January 2035, presenting an hour-by-hour analysis and detailing the energy system challenges that must be addressed to ensure system resilience and maintain security of supply.

In the scenario presented, there is 55-65GW of offshore wind capacity, 25-35GW onshore wind, 40-50GW of solar, 6-10GW of other renewables, 10-15GW of low carbon dispatchable, 8-10GW of nuclear, 8-12GW of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and 15-25GW of fossil fuel backup.
On the day looked at in the report, there is low renewable output and high demand, with supply drawing heavily on carbon capture and imports alongside energy storage and demand-side flexibility. As such, the day sees 220GWh of nuclear, 240GWh of CCS, 230GWh of offshore wind, 80GWh of onshore wind, 40GWh of solar, 140GWh of other renewables, 190GWh of low carbon dispatchable and 400GWh of interconnector imports.
Energy storage, and in particular long-duration energy storage, will be critical to making the best use of low-cost energy, balance demand and supply and operate the system, Regen said. In the Day in the Life scenario, over 20GW of battery storage is available, with an average storage duration of at least three hours, which is charged overnight and discharged at peak times during the winter day. This includes liquid air and gravity-based storage alongside new pumped hydro.

Delusional stuff. 60GWh of battery storage. Assuming that you’ll get 20% wind capacity factor on a “challenging” day. And that on a “challenging” day there would be at least 400GWh of interconnector imports from the Continent that would be desperately short of power itself. It doesn’t even consider what happens if you get Dunkelflaute for a week or more. Truly amatuer, yet this work has been commissioned by National Grid to reassure ministers that it’s all feasible.

AndyHce
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 29, 2022 1:55 pm

Rube Goldberg would be jealous.

another ian
Reply to  AndyHce
March 30, 2022 2:41 am
Dave Andrews
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
March 30, 2022 7:02 am

Surely there must be people working at National Grid who know it’s fantasy land stuff?

michel
March 29, 2022 11:38 am

Brilliant pieces, these. If Menton were to apply the same methodology to the UK Net Zero proposals, the result would be similar.

Its really amazing. The people making policy on these matters seem to be incapable of even the simplest kind of logical reasoning, coupled with simple arithmetic.

I can understand it that the activists should rave on. It is in their interests to be demanding things that are impossible, since they are only using them as issues to organize around, and practical failure is as useful to them as any other way of not meeting their demands – it keeps the issue alive to use for organizing around.

But supposedly qualified and trained engineers and civil servants? What on earth are they thinking of?

And, question for the readers and for Menton, how do you all expect this to play out? Do you expect the authorities to take this to the point of sticking us without any usable power? Which is what it will certainly do if they take it to the limit.

Mr.
Reply to  michel
March 29, 2022 1:37 pm

Do you expect the authorities to take this to the point of sticking us without any usable power?

I have no doubts that the WEF-type acolytes have EXACTLY this is mind –
Darwinian laws 101.

The future world as they envision it will comprise just 2 classes of humans –

  1. those who have the means, the connections, the sponsorships;
  2. those who DON’T have the means, the connections, the sponsorships.

Thus, Earth’s human population will be reduced to a “manageable number” within a few decades. Natural selection, doncha know.

Class #1 people will comprise the entirety of the “manageable number”.

MarkW
March 29, 2022 11:42 am

That is to supply current levels of demand. For the “everything electrified” case, triple all of these numbers: 66,906 GWH for California, 56,160 GWH for Australia, and 38,880 GWH for New York.

Another point that the author didn’t emphasis, is that these storage requirements are for CURRENT levels of demand. Currently almost all of transportation and most heating is being made up using fossil fuels. Once those get converted to electric, current demand is going to increase by a factor of between 5 and 10.

David Elstrom
March 29, 2022 11:46 am

But all the garbage elite “deep thinkers” have to do is posit some fanciful solution, then anyone pointing out the “solution” is unworkable is branded a “thought criminal.” This scam means the elitists need nothing except hot air behind their fantasies, because mountains of data are simply dismissed. It’s a great scam, and as usual the scammers never give up the con.

Ossqss
March 29, 2022 11:52 am

Sooo, does the term Net Zero only apply to electricity production?

What about the massive amounts of fossil fuels required in many other aspects of production and manufacturing for life on Earth?

Can you even make windmills or solar panels in a Net Zero world?

I wonder what those storage numbers would look like from Francis Menton if he used the TES totals for his calculations.

Bob
March 29, 2022 11:59 am

I read what Caiazza had to say on a WUWT post. To say that the report from New York is gibberish is a huge understatement. It was total hogwash. It was repetitive and filled with highfalutin words that were completely unnecessary. I said at the time that it could have been written in one paragraph and at a high school level. There was so little information in that report it could have been written by an eighth grade graduate and we would know more than the trash we got. It was disgraceful.

Cam_S
March 29, 2022 11:59 am

Hooray! In Canada today… March 29, 2022.
– – – – – – – – –

Canada releases plan for a 40 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030
Feds pledge to dramatically curb emissions in oil and gas and transportation sectors to reach 2030 targets
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault today released the government’s plan to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions over the next eight years to meet ambitious 2030 reduction targets.
It’s a plan that leans heavily on deep cuts in the electricity, oil and gas and transportation sectors.
In an effort to slash emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, the federal government has announced some $9.1 billion in new investments that will, among other things, boost incentives for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), sweeten tax breaks for companies in the fossil fuels sector that embrace carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology, and work to make Canada’s electricity grid cleaner.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-2030-emissions-reduction-plan-1.6401228

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Cam_S
March 29, 2022 12:47 pm

I think Alberta will secede.

Burgher King
Reply to  Cam_S
March 29, 2022 12:55 pm

In 2030, will Canada allow me to drive my F-250 into the country? Or will I be stopped at the border and told to turn back?

Or what is more likely, will I be charged a fee of say, $500 US collected at the border, for the one-time privilege of driving across Canada in my F-250?

Cam_S
Reply to  Burgher King
March 29, 2022 1:52 pm

The way gas prices are increasing, you may not want to drive through Canada!

Charlie
March 29, 2022 12:01 pm

UK grid, 8pm.

Demand 37GW

Wind 2.4 GW

Solar 0.03GW

Yep, ridiculous.

Bruce Cobb
March 29, 2022 12:09 pm

Net-Zero has a lot in common with the now-defunct company Theranos. The NYT was a whistleblower for the Theranos fraud. Yet they are happily complicit with Net-Zero and the whole Greenie Scam Biz. Sad.

Joel
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 30, 2022 4:01 am

It was the Wall Street Journal that was the whistle blower.

Pat from Kerbob
March 29, 2022 12:14 pm

Nice picture of Justin Trudeau in the header.
But that is his default look on every problem

Mr.
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
March 29, 2022 1:44 pm

But he can be relied upon to apologize for any problems.

If fact he apologizes for EVERY problem, even if there is no credible evidence of any real problem existing.

I bet a sneak peek at his diary would have a reserved block titled –
DELIVER APOLOGY FOR ________________ (T.B.A.)

Mike Smith
March 29, 2022 12:28 pm

We can easily approach Net Zero without any honking great batteries. The one (and most likely only) viable option is nuclear power. The nuclear forces are how we reach the necessary energy density.

The French have already proven the absolute viability of the approach.

And yet, none of other western leaders are the slightest bit interested because, of course, they have an entirely different agenda from that which they promulgate.

Derg
Reply to  Mike Smith
March 29, 2022 12:57 pm

This ^

Lance Flake
March 29, 2022 12:40 pm

My favorite storage fantasy is to assume we can simply use electric vehicles. We want to electrify everything anyway so all vehicles will have big batteries. Simply keep them all plugged in and charging from the excess renewable generation. Then when generation isn’t enough generate electricity from those plugged in vehicles.

Other than the complete lack of practicality this idea is fantastic! Surround an expensive battery with a car or truck. Ration who can drive when based on the mix of solar/wind generation and the probabilities of generation failure (night and/or calm winds). Sounds like a great plan to me!

Martin Pinder
March 29, 2022 12:41 pm

I twigged that about rating batteries in MW & GW in the American Clean Power Association article on California. It’s meaningless. Watts are a unit of RATE of doing work or of providing or consuming energy, If Watts are the units of the rate of flow of energy, then the actual quantity of ENERGY provided or consumed in a given time is the product of the RATE of provision or consumption of energy (Watts) times that given time, that is, Watt seconds (Joules), Kilowatt hours, Gigawatt hours etc. If you have a battery, you want to know how much energy it can provide, not the rate at which it can provide it, so you want to know its capacity in Watt hours, Megawatt hours, Gigawatt hours etc. The article was probably written as usual by some journalist with not even a basic knowledge of science & scientific measurement.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Martin Pinder
March 29, 2022 7:38 pm

General Atomics sells fast capacitors for various applications. One has a voltage rating of 100 kV, and can deliver a maximum current of 60,000 A. That corresponds to a maximum delivered power of 6 GW. Sounds like a winner, right?

Its capacitance is 100 nano Farads, so the total energy it can store is 500 J. That corresponds to 0.0001389 kW-hr (1.389E-10 GW-hr).

Storing just one hour’s worth of electricity for 6 GW-hr energy capacity would require 43 billion of these caps. They weigh about 6.9 kg each, and occupy a volume of 0.00374 m^3. You’d need 297 million metric tons of them, occupying a cube 544 meters (1,785 feet) on a side to produce your 6 GW-hr.

Sure, a capacitor is not necessarily the best example – though it does have the requisite charge/discharge rate, and life cycle capability. Ultracapacitors don’t fare much better, so don’t try going there….

griff
March 29, 2022 12:57 pm

course they thought of it…

UK govt just invested £6.7 million in 24 start up long term storage projects, for example

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  griff
March 29, 2022 1:10 pm

No they haven’t thought about it. They haven’t a clue how much stoage is necessary, or how it could be realistically achieved at acceptable cost. See my post earlier, where they consider 3 hours to be “long duration”, and 60GWh of batteries to be sufficient storage.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  griff
March 29, 2022 1:10 pm

Governments do not “invest.” They take money they’ve acquired via taxation, borrowing or printing, and they subsidize favored, fashionable and faddish projects to further an agenda.

Mr.
Reply to  griff
March 29, 2022 1:51 pm

Griff, grid scale dispatchable electricity storage is a PHYSICS / ENGINEERING challenge first and foremost.

Throw all the $$$$s you like at making the sun come up in the west for a change – but it just ain’t gonna happen!

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  griff
March 29, 2022 2:28 pm

Griff,

Has it ever occurred to you to ask why it is the UK govt that is pouring taxpayer money into wind energy and the storage batteries for them?

If wind and solar were commercially viable against fossil fuels and nuclear (or better even), they would not need govt mandates and money to begin with. The private sector would invest in wind and solar itself without any govt coercion. The fossil fuel power plants would be shutdown in the face of competition from so-called “renewables”.

The wind and solar energy (and storage) industries are nothing more than an artificial product of government on both sides of the pond. They are a manifestation of ignorant and irresponsible govt bureaucrats pandering to politically connected special interests, nothing more.

If you took a cold hard look at feasibility studies involving the physics, engineering and economics of wind and solar, you would know this. Foolish and blind religious faith in unreliablles precludes you from doing so. So-called “renewables” are an ignorant “solution” in search of a problem.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 29, 2022 4:14 pm

6,7 million. OK, now increase that by 10,000 times and you just might be 1% of your way to your goa..

LdB
Reply to  griff
March 29, 2022 9:08 pm

WOW £6.7 million that won’t even get the compliance, application and enviroment reports and lunch meetings done 🙂

Come back when the number goes in the trillions and we might think they are serious.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
Gaz
March 29, 2022 1:07 pm

Tasmania is a state of Australia which, around 1960, was 100% hydro power and its largest storage had a capacity of around A WHOLE YEAR energy supply for the state. There was a major drought and, even with that huge storage of renewable energy, the state just got through without the lights going off with major power rationing, aerial cloud seeding and rapidly installed oil fired gas turbines as well as a generator ship which was found somewhere surplus from WWII.
If you want 100% renewable, YOU CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH STORAGE. A full year’s energy use is the bare minimum – not a day or a week. Weather is continuously variable over long time spans and is often quite similar over very wide areas. Think long stretches of calm, windless overcast dry days. Has anyone put the statistics together on grid-wide bases – I am not even sure long and wide data sets exist for solar radiation.

AndyHce
March 29, 2022 1:33 pm

A few years ago I had occasion to look up some data on an official Iowa State power system website that presented various summaries of output from their, at that time, coal and wind powdered generating system. One summary compared the average wind capacity factor for the six coldest months vs the six warmest months. Cold averaged 48%, warm averaged 16%.

With six months of the year only providing 16% of capacity, there would be a need for much more than a 3X overbuild, or a heck of a lot more long term storage filled during the colder months..

For NY’s DEFR program: by the time this is supposed to come on line, there may be a lot of, by then, teenagers from the Congo that will have run out of cobalt to mine. Put them to work in NY running large squirrel cages attached to generators.

marlene
March 29, 2022 2:37 pm

“Could this get any more ridiculous?” Actually, yes it can – when we’re forced to pay for it!

Old planning engineer
March 29, 2022 2:37 pm

Unfortunately, there are problems with this article that turns it into a simple rant, rather than anything useful.

To determine the amount of energy storage a system requires you must first decide:

  • the level of reliability that the system must deliver. In traditional analysis this is based on the likelihood of equipment failure and repair times and is expressed as the number of elements that can be out of service at a certain percentage of peak load. When dealing with weather dependent generation one also needs to include the maximum outage duration that will be tolerated. In both cases rolling power cuts are used as a method of bringing the system into compliance until the problems are resolved. The article does not state these assumptions.
  • The amount of energy that can be brought into the system through external transmission links. This is specific to individual systems and is often a major source of error in the analysis as most analysts simply assume that the external systems are independent of the system under study. No such analysis was done in the study that came up with “30 days”
  • The distribution of energy generation within the system under study. This requires modelling and a simple spreadsheet (as claimed in the article) will not produce anything meaningful. For instance, understanding the capacity of transmission links are a vital part of this work.
  • Weather dependencies and their impact on the weather dependent generation. This depends on the location of the generation as well as the type and is highly specific to the system being studied.
  • The relationship of load to weather. In some areas maximum load also corresponds to maximum sun ( i.e. summer peaking) in others it is inversely related (i.e. winter peaking) This has a major impact on the storage required.

For instance in the Australian context of which I have some knowledge the best analysis that I am aware of suggests that somewhere in the region of 7 days (not 30) of storage is required as load is summer peaking and there is a degree of geographical and meteorological diversity.

Another major failure in the article is to assume that LFP batteries will form the basis of the long term storage. Madness and a straw man that simply weakens the whole point.

If the article pointed out that in the NYC case no such study has been published by a reputable planning body and questioned why such an obvious step has not been done it might have more impact.

RickWill
Reply to  Old planning engineer
March 29, 2022 3:56 pm

I agree – I refer to the storage estimate as highly conservative below.

For Australia, I determined that 750GWH of storage would be enough coupled with 240GW of solar collectors in central Australia.

Twiggy is working on the storage in the form of “green” hydrogen. That will yield Musk scale subsidies.

Last edited 1 month ago by RickWill
It doesn't add up...
Reply to  RickWill
March 30, 2022 11:19 am

You would do well to look at this work:

https://euanmearns.com/australia-energy-storage-and-the-blakers-study/

How much generation are you shedding?

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Old planning engineer
March 30, 2022 11:10 am

Your points have a degree of validity, but let’s look at the consequences:

LOLP is usually expressed in terms of what the average consumer can expect over the course of a year as power cuts: most of these are in fact cause by local distribution problems with downed power lines in bad weather or the loss of a transformer, and have little to do with generation. It is a different matter when discussing a shortage of generation across the whole grid that could threaten grid wide blackout. Of course plant reliability statistics allow us to make good estimates of how much plant we need to guard against plant breakdowns, but such numbers are largely meaningless for intermittent renewables where the key variable is nature’s input. In any case, adjusting for plant reliability simply implies you need to invest more to offset, so it isn’t going to help the numbers.

Interties and interconnectors are often suggested as solutions to renewables shortages. Reality is all too often that such an assumption is the weak point. Take Tasmania’s problems when the Bass Strait cable failed just after they had run down their hydro reservoirs helping out Victoria and they had inadequate reservoir replenishment. They had to import emergency diesel generators to keep the lights on. Or the blackout in South Australia that inevitably became state wide when the Heywood interconnector failed. The reality is that if adjoining states and countries all move towards attempting to rely on renewables they will suffer the effects of high correlation of low renewables output, often at times of high demand: the interconnectors become useless when there is no surplus power to transmit, and only serve to create a huge imbalance between supply and demand with the richest consumers being those who can afford to bid for the reduced available supply – if it is made available at all. The only security is having local dispatchable generation. Equally problematic are times of high surplus production: we already see countries using phase shift transformers to block power dumping on their grids, and negative pricing reflecting the costs of being forced to shut down plant – something that gets even more injurious when exporting country consumers are paying subsidies to make it happen, and also leads to high peak demands for transmission that are hard to justify investing for because they are rarely needed.

Grid of the future studies tend to operate with the “copper plate assumption” that at least within countries or TSOs there are no transmission constraints. The effect of such assumptions is to undercount the need for grid transmission assets, and also to underestimate the generation that is curtailed due to grid constraints and the dispatchable generation that must be dispatched to replace it, All of this implies that high renewables grids are going to be much more costly than the estimates imply (and would need even more storage).

One of the biggest weaknesses of many future grid studies is their use of estimated weather generation relationships. They rely on short term correlation statistics that take no proper account of longer term weather pattern features and grossly underestimate the real impact of lengthy periods of Dunkelflaute. Work that look at real histories is actually a much better basis.

I would also agree that much more work needs to be done on forecasting demand profiles. When you look at some of the forecasts you find that they have probably been massaged to try to create profiles that are both unrealistic and at the same time less challenging for high renewables grids to supply. No awkward seasonal demand is a key characteristic. Much of the work on DSR tends to assume that the response is available when needed: they do not explain what happens on the 2nd to nth days of Dunkelflaute when all the V2G surplus was used on Day 1, or that people cannot indefinitely tolerate having their heating and cooling and appliances switched off. They don’t begin to look at keeping a grid working 24×7 for years on end.

I levy these criticism precisely at the studies that purport to claim that high renewables grids are feasible let alone whether they are affordable. Work by those like Francis Menton challenges the key false premises that these people are adopting.

Incidentally, I agree that batteries are never going to be a viable solution to large scale grid storage needs – however it is necessary to run the numbers in order to disabuse the notions of so many lay people who do not understand that. The place for batteries is a short term supply smoothers where their response speed is an advantage. People are gaily told that we only need a few battereis and everything will be alright: it’s not true. I have spent a deal of time looking at alternatives, and really the only ones that merit more serious study are hydro schemes and power to gas. The former are limited for most countries by lack of potential sites on the scale that would be required. Even where there are potential sites they would be highly controversial.
The economics of power to gas do not look at all good, with low round trip efficiencies and low utilisation rates being largely insurmountable obstacles.

March 29, 2022 2:40 pm

I have mentioned before my conversation with the Minister for Energy and Climate Change who didn’t know that you have to use generated electricity at once or find some way to store it. He literally didn’t know. He hadn’t been briefed by his civil servants at the Ministry for Energy and Climate Change.

Perhaps the civil servants did not know either.

JF

RickWill
March 29, 2022 3:24 pm

To calculate how much storage you need in gigawatt hours, multiply average usage in GW by 30 days and 24 hours per day. 

This is a HIGHLY conservative basis for determining storage requirement.

I run some of my household load off-grid using solar. The battery is sized to power the load for 48 hours. The solar panels are sized to power the load over 48 hours with just 2 hours of sunlight (I am at 37S). The battery has gone flat 4 times over ten years – on every occasion was in May due to persistent cloudiness. I could have avoided the battery going flat by using a tiny petrol or gas generator for a few hours on the days the battery went flat.

Your conservative basis is not the economic solution. The economic solution is to overbuild on the energy collection and include some limited dispatchable generation – in this insane world, that would be offset by giving up a bit more farmland. In Australia, Twiggy Forrest is working on the dispatchable generation by producing “green” hydrogen from otherwise curtailed generation and it will be a subsidy harvester without equal.

Curtailment is already a big issue for wind and solar subsidy farmers because it has now got to 10% of installed capacity. All that potential output lost because there were limited storage.

I determine that Australia NEM (Eastern States) needs 750GWh of storage and 240GWh of solar located in central Australia to get close to a solar powered grid. Still hugely expensive but a fraction of your guesstimate. Average demand is around 23GW. So solar capacity factor just 10%.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  RickWill
March 29, 2022 6:23 pm

“ This is a HIGHLY conservative basis for determining storage requirement.”

Since the stakes are literally life and death here in canada I want as conservative a calculation as possible

RickWill
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
March 29, 2022 7:33 pm

You would not rely on the grid if it was a matter of life or death. People who have done that are literally a dying breed.

Even Australian supermarkets now have back-up generators because they suffer big losses when power goes out. Hospitals have had emergency generators for decades as does any life critical service.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  RickWill
March 30, 2022 11:22 am

I run SOME of my household grid off grid using solar.

But you still rely on the grid to keep your household supplied, evidently. That takes care of the difficult bits.

MR166
March 29, 2022 4:16 pm

“……..the people pushing this agenda have no clue. No clue whatsoever.”

Ah, but they do!!! The people at the head of the train here can see that the bridge is out up ahead and are increasing the throttle. They WANT to see the failure of Western governments. It is all part of the Great Reset and necessary for the creation of the New World Order.

Greg Locock
March 29, 2022 4:40 pm

I grabbed a few years of daily data from https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/data-portal/dataset/actual-cfd-generation-and-avoided-ghg-emissions for their extensive wind and solar farms in the UK, then aggregated each of solar, onshore wind, and offshore wind, to give an average energy each day from each type’s nominal capacity. Over 2 years (2020 and 2021) on average PV produces 2.9 h of nominal power per day, offshore 10 hours, and onshore 6 hours.

Various cross plots revealed that although you do get the most solar on calm days, and you do get dark, windy days, you also get calm dark days and windy sunny days.

I also compared the output of each offshore windfarm, and frankly if one is working then they all are, and if it is calm at one typically it is calm at all. The mantra that the wind is always blowing somewhere is demonstrably false in the UK for days at a time.

Then I used Solver to find an installed capacity for each generator type and battery size to supply 1GW of baseload power, 24/7, with minimum cost and 2 days in 2 years with empty batteries.

So, for installed costs per MW of 8.6e5 for solar, 6.5e6 for offshore wind, 1.6 e6 for onshore wind, and 2e5 per MWh for batteries, the optimum system to replace a 1GW baseload generator would cost 27 billion dollars. It would have 4723 MW nominal power of solar, 230 of offshore wind, and 8367 of onshore wind. This ignores the social cost of onshore windturbines, of course. The batteries would be 42 GWh. So, at least in the UK over 2 years you only need a couple of days backup for the cheapest system. You are of course massively overbuilding the cheap renewables by 1300% to get that battery size down.

If I then reduce the cost of batteries by a factor of 10, ie $20 /kWh, then we need 600% overbuild and 6 days of storage.

The problem I see here is that these numbers are very different to 30 days of storage in the article. They are of course very much affected by the assumptions on cots and the local weather.

RickWill
Reply to  Greg Locock
March 29, 2022 5:53 pm

48 hours storage capacity at average demand works well. A small amount of dispatchable added to the generation would make that level of storage highly reliable in most locations.

For Australia’s NEM, I get 750GWh of storage and 240GW of solar collectors in central Australia would source the 23GW average demand.

The solar capacity was based on actual measured output from the Broken Hill solar farm while they were still bidding at the floor price so were always dispatched.

Coal plants now always bid a block of energy near the floor price so they force the subsidy farmers to voluntarily curtail once the price is more nagatoive than the subsidy they get. Coal can always recover negative price excursion during evening peaks but not so for solar and often not for wind.

Gaz
Reply to  RickWill
March 29, 2022 6:02 pm

Even a full year of storage didn’t work out well for Tasmania in the early 1960’s drought. 48 hours only carries the system through at most a week of cloudy windless days in late autumn.

RickWill
Reply to  Gaz
March 29, 2022 7:47 pm

But there was no alternative energy source back then. Wind generators actually make economic sense in Tasmania because the hydro system is perched water constrained.

The most economic case right now is no wind or solar. However if access to new fossil fuels resources continues to be curbed and prices continue to rise then there will be an economic case for wind, solar and storage. The lowest cost economic solution will always include some form of dispatchable generation.

If there is 48 hours storage capacity then around the third day without much input it becomes clear that the battery will go flat if it does not get some input. That is the time to start the dispatchable plant but It does not need to have the capacity to run the whole system because it will still get some input from intermittent sources.

It usually takes four days of drizzle for my battery to run flat but the battery can only supply the load for 48 hours without any input. The worst single day I have recorded is 20 minutes of full sunshine equivalent. I need 1 hour of full sunshine in a day to supply the load. So the actual capacity factor for the solar collectors is very low but the economic solution is to overbuild the collection to reduce the battery capacity.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Gaz
March 30, 2022 1:29 pm

He is assuming something like building all his capacity in the middle of the desert, hoping for a 25% average capacity factor, while using only 10/25ths of the output, and building massive grids over many thousands of miles to distribute it around Australia. So if you think of a number for the cost of solar, multiply by 2.5, and add the cost of the grid and the batteries. It is unclear whether he has looked at hourly demand profiles – he only refers to meeting average demand – or to covering much higher levels of demand in summer heatwaves. etc. or if he has accounted for round trip losses through the storage.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Greg Locock
March 30, 2022 2:40 pm

Not sure where you got your costs from. The offshore wind number is on the high side, even as dollars rather than pounds, while solar and batteries are low on a fully installed basis, and you’ve made no allowance for ongoing costs. Still, the key point is that you end up having to jettison as worthless most of the output of the system: a quick calculation suggests that total system output would be about 3GW to produce the 1GW demand, with 2GW curtailed on average: marginal curtailment will be very high indeed. You might also get somewhat different answers if you tried to match an actual hourly demand profile rather than the flat GW. It’s the high demand hours that set the real requirements, during which solar will typically be contributing nothing at all, meanwhile the low demand peiods will lead to more curtailment. Both act to force requirements and costs higher. You also need to check that the minimum you have found is a true minimum, rather than just a local one.

It can be instructive to look at the marginal values of the various components by constraining the solution to 1MW or MWh less capacity in each component in turn, and then re-optimising.

Ladislav
March 29, 2022 5:28 pm

while I say kudos to you for pointing out the difference between gigawatt and gigawatthour, which is so very often used interchangeably in articles written by supposed “experts”, you still have a bit to go in order to express metric units correctly. In metric system, the multiplier “kilo” is ALWAYS written in lowercase (k) and so is hour (h). So the unit kilowatthour is thus written as “kWh”, not KWH as you are writing it. Same goes for gigawatthour “GWh”. Just a thoudht…

Pat from kerbob
March 29, 2022 6:19 pm

DEFR=magic

It’s all taken care of, it will be done because it is directed.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
March 29, 2022 9:48 pm

Maybe DEFR is just a way of saying “Nuclear Power Station” without using the dread word.
After all, it is without a doubt an energy source that is dispatchable and emissions free

And that would explain the expression “First allowable year for DEFR builds advanced to 2030″ i.e. by 2030, the powers that be will have realised that it is the only viable solution and will alllow building new ones 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by StuM
observa
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
March 29, 2022 11:39 pm

Well it’s not that simple. They model it first and then direct it-
Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 IS possible without damaging economy (msn.com)
Dontcha know these people have been to university and they have computers.

observa
March 29, 2022 7:12 pm

It is (or certainly should be) obvious that wind and solar generators have substantial periods when they generate nothing (e.g., calm nights), and other times when they generate far less than users demand. Get out a spreadsheet to do some calculations… 

Don’t think I’ll bother really but here tis in a picture for griff and the numpties-
Wind Energy in Australia | March 2022 | Aneroid
Run your mouse over that graph and you’ll see it gets down to 3.6% of installed nameplate capacity although perhaps the brains trust are working feverishly on gathering moonlight solar.

Meanwhile the storage panacea is at crisis point over a supply chain crunch-
US battery storage industry ‘at crisis point’ over supply chain crunch (energy-storage.news)
It was always their lunar prescriptions that would bring the climate changers undone and only a matter of time now.

griff
Reply to  observa
March 31, 2022 10:01 am

and there was no solar power during that time?

kzb
March 30, 2022 5:18 am

DEFR has been invented, it is biomass. They are going to need a heck of a lot of it though.

observa
March 30, 2022 6:26 am

We know all about those incendiary lithium batteries so forget about the storage-
Delburn wind farm approved with 33 turbines, but no onsite battery storage (msn.com)

kzb
Reply to  observa
March 30, 2022 6:56 am

They will use the safe chemistry batteries.

kzb
March 30, 2022 6:59 am

I certainly think that sceptics need to concentrate on debunking the amazingly cheap prices being forecast for wind and solar power.

Those quoted prices do not include keeping us supplied with power 24/7 and 365 days per year. That is the big lie which needs to be challenged every time it raises its head.

Mark
March 30, 2022 10:21 am

Photo of Tesla battery array captioned as an oil tanker……

It would be interesting to see a histogram of the energy stored in the two systems.!

Tee Shanny
March 31, 2022 4:49 am

Lamenting the lack of solutions won’t help. All it requires is observation and addition skills, plus a basic set of communication skills, which science has proven exist in mere birds.

WHOOOO HOOOO! Go gGet the gold star! You put on your eyeglasses and looked out at reality!

BUT being creative, thoughtful, logical, practical and intelligent WILL solve problems in many cases.

I’m “only” a writer, handyman, researcher, reporter and journalist who has studied the environment for over 40 years.

I recall when scientists appeared to shift gears 30-40 years ago, claiming global warming, then global cooling, then global warming was imminent.

How about this: the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) proposes full cut-off lighting, which can save multiple billions in the United States by reducing fossil fuel usage for unwanted lighting directed upward into the sky.

WHO ELSE HAVE COME UP WITH POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS LIKE THAT??

All I did was remember my concern with the issue when I joined the organization some thirty years ago. I recall studies noting that billions of dollars and huge amounts of fossil fuels could be saved by installing full cut-off lighting and other dark-sky- and power-saving measures.

YEAH, I RESEARCHED THAT.
And you’re going to see it on a massive scale in the next 20 years.

AND it may be fueled much more quickly than that by the lack of fossil fuels due to supply cut-off arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. IF some promint leaders become aware of, and promote it!

The moral of this post, as far as the ignorant rabble who agreed with it because they’re too ignorant to disagree with it, is that you shouldn’t trust people a lot like yourselves tell the truth or limit you from understanding or reaching what may be possible, based on questions that may not have even reached your minds yet!

beng135
Reply to  Tee Shanny
March 31, 2022 10:47 am

Ignorant rabble

Perfect description of your post.

observa
Reply to  Tee Shanny
March 31, 2022 6:55 pm

You need to bear in mind when fantasizing about climate changing with technology as yet unknown or unproven
“The clean energy transition cannot be built on dirty mining.”
Joe Biden invokes Defense Production Act for EV batteries and clean energy (msn.com)

Sleepy Joe seems to be all over the shop here and yet he’s supposed to be the man with the plan for changing the weather. Or has he just run smack bang into the reality of which we speak here?

H.R.
March 31, 2022 6:20 am

I’ll DEFR to the experts.
😉

grayswindir
March 31, 2022 8:13 am

Because the driver to this is changing our political system, not energy. They don’t really care about creating a net-zero energy grid, this just is an excuse to exert more and more control over folks lives. They’ll keep delaying the target date for completion as they utilize the interim steps to issue more directives to all the little people. Again, it’s all about control. Even AOC’s chief of staff stated that the ‘Green New Deal’ was about socialism, not environmentalism. (It was also a brilliant strategy to set up a campaign fundraising network independent of the establishment DNC and Nancy Pelosi, allowing them to fund far left progressives as primary challengers as well as their own reelection campaigns. People the DNC/Pelosi would never fund, and the fascist four could ignore threats from Pelosi to withhold funding for their own reelection campaigns.)

Jason
March 31, 2022 9:26 am

Can you flesh out why such a system would need 30 days worth of energy storage? I realize the absolutists want ZERO fossil fuel generation and that is a silly hurdle. However, even 12 hours worth of system storage would seem to allow much higher penetration of intermittent sources and still provide reliability.

observa
Reply to  Jason
March 31, 2022 8:15 pm

Only 12 hours storage to iron this rubbish out!!!
Wind Energy in Australia | December 2021 | Aneroid
Remember while that goes on it can be overcast and pouring cats and dogs and flooding thousands of homes as we’ve seen in Oz.

observa
Reply to  Jason
March 31, 2022 8:28 pm

Concentrate Jason-

This graph depicts performance of wind farms connected to the electricity grid in south-eastern Australia over a month.
The default, capacity factor graph shows the output as a percentage of registered capacity. On average wind farms in south-east Australia operate at a capacity factor of around 30-35%.

....and the average adult human has one large tit and a testicle. How would you like to be averaged out via medical technology or would you be more interested in the marginal status quo?

Sarge
March 31, 2022 12:09 pm

Don’t forget conversion losses each way, into and out of storage; the real need is considerably larger than just the raw stored power in GWH

Dave L.
April 3, 2022 9:58 am

Just based on some quick math, the storage batteries for California alone would require roughly 60% of the world’s total 2021 lithium production (~60,215 metric tons needed against ~100,000 metric tons produced in 2021.)
That’s based on 63 kg of lithium needed for a 70 kwh battery.

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