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#51 2021-08-07 13:46:08

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,197

Re: The Form Revolution

Kbd512, I have always been of the opinion that some form of nuclear power was the best option for meeting future human energy needs.  The reasons are that nuclear power reactors are power dense, long lived and fuel faces no imminent shortages with high conversion reactors.  This makes nuclear power acgood option if you happen to enjoy living in a wealthy society, as most of us do.  I just thought it would be fun to play devil's advocate for a while and explore if there are any options that would allow intermittent renewable energy to meet human needs at anything like our present living standards.  I am sceptical, but as an honest researcher I was prepared to look into it.

Firstly, wind and solar power have low power density.  It is because of this fact that a MWh of wind energy consumes about 10-20 times more steel than a light water reactor powerplant.  None the less, wind power is still an order of magnitude more resource efficient than solar PV power.  Knowing that fact and given where I live (the wind swept, but dark and cloudy British Isles) any scenario where the bulk of my country's energy is derived from renewable energy, is going to rely heavily on wind power.  Solar PV is a waste of time and money in the United Kingdom.  We have been over and over that topic again and again on this forum.  There is no way around it.  A 1GWe average power solar farm, would cover about 1000km2 in the UK.  That is an area equivalent to Greater London.  And it may even have a negative EROI (A 1GWe PWR nuclear steam supply system, would fit into a modest 3 storey building, some 8m x 8m in footprint.  The containment dome takes up a lot more space, but the essential infrastructure of a nuclear power plant is tiny compared to competing systems).  So solar power can be written off.  Wind power is a lot more power dense than solar power and wind turbines can be built in the North Sea, where output is more continuous and winds are persistently stronger.  So the question of whether the UK can run on renewable energy is really a question of whether it can run on wind power.  Aside from modest contributions from biomass, wind power is the only renewable that the UK has that is worth pursuing.

Can the UK run on wind power?  Below is a link to Grid Watch, showing wind power generation from about 13GWe of installed capacity (last year).
https://gridwatch.co.uk/Wind

Take a look at last year's power production.  The generation of wind electricity clearly varies widely from one day and week to the next and it varies wildly between summer and winter, with far more being produced in the cold months.  This happens to be when heat demand is greatest.  The capacity factor of wind energy in the UK is about 30%.  What that tells me is that if I draw a line at 20% installed capacity (2.5GWe), about one half of all energy generated will be above that line and one half beneath it.  In the UK, something like 80% of all energy production minus transport, is used to produce hot and cold in one way or another.  The UKs heating energy requirements, exceed its electricity consumption by a sizable margin: about 500TWh per year vs 300TWh per year.  UK electricity consumption has declined thanks to decades of having its productive industries asset stripped.  But I digress.  Assuming that a large chunk of our heating is provided by electric power, then we can probably assume that at least half of all power is used in this way.  So draw a line at 2.5GWe on the graph.

Most of the generation above that line will be absorbed by grid controlled storage heaters in people's homes.  These will store at least a few hundred kWh each of heat as hot water.  Below that line is what we will call baseload electricity for other things.  Even drawing a line at only 20% of installed capacity, there are quite a few occasions in a year, where wind power will not provide the ~1TWh per day of electric energy consumed by UK baseload.  This is where gas turbines come in.  These will run on LNG that can be stored in tanks built close to the GT sets.  GTs have low capital and operating costs, but relatively high fuel cost.  In this scenario, GTs burning natural gas would provide maybe 10% of electric power, wind would provide 90% of baseload electricity and close to 100% hot water and space heating.  We would still need natural gas, but only enough to generate 30TWh of electricity per year.  That amounts to only about 1/10th of the UKs current natural gas consumption  - A far more sustainable amount.  And biogas could reduce the amount of LNG needed even more.

The amount of installed wind capacity needed to achieve this in the UK would be about 230GW.  That is a hell of a lot.  Most of it would need to be built offshore and it would cover an area of sea at least as large as Wales (20,000km2).  How much would it all cost?  Next stage is to work that out.  Offshore wind is presently bidding in at £40/MWh ($50/MWh).  But what we really want to know is capital costs.  And we need to know how much steel and concrete it will need to do that, in order to gauge whether we have a sustainable solution.  Grid controlled storage heaters won't be dramatically more expensive than ordinary storage heaters.  They are a large water tank, say 1-5m3, with a grid controlled resistance heater in it.  A bigger problem is that whilst 230GW of wind power generates an average of 70GWe, there will be times where it does generate 230GWe.  The grid needs enough transmission capacity to handle that.  I don't think it does at present.  How much will it cost to strengthen the grid?  I haven't got a clue.  But pending those details, I think I can say that powering the UK with 95% wind electricity and 5% natural gas, looks semi-plausible.  What I cannot say for sure is that the cost and net energy yield are sufficient to allow an affluent way of life.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-07 15:04:55)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#52 2021-08-07 18:37:27

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: The Form Revolution

We've been over and over a lot of this ground. I will spell it out again:

1. High energy density while desirable is not decisive. I doubt you can get any higher density than nuclear but new nuclear is  very expensive, around 10 cents per KWh for new nuclear. The UK government had to guarantee 9p per KWh or it wouldn't get built.

2. Nuclear power require substantial inputs of human labour time if not steel. It is human labour time that is the key factor in which energy systems are adopted. You never, ever consider how much material is consumed at a nuclear power station every day. Do you have any idea? I wouldn't be surprised if it was several tons.

3.  Only a complete fool would claim the UK could operate off wind energy alone.

4.  You seem to have a very limited imagination regarding our energy future. Battery costs have been falling at a steep rate and look set to fall even further with the advent of Form Energy and commercialised iron-air batteries. The UK could run a fleet of 500,000 tons battery ships and collect solar power in the sunny South Atlantic or after plugging into solar power stations in places like Morocco. At the same time we see technologies like NovaSolix looking to reach 45% and then 90% efficiency. Likewise there is the prospect of major advance with artificial photosynthesis. We are also moving into an era of printed PV or other solar power film. Manufacturing costs are going to plummet even more. It's price that is key. Once the price is seriously competitive then you can incentivise people to put it on their roofs, in private homes, offices, factories and public buildings.

5.  If you want to evaluate a serious green energy plan, then look at green energy in the round (wind, solar, geothermal, heat exchange, hydoelectric, tidal, sea current, wave energy, energy from waste and biofuels) plus storage (lithium batteries, iron-air batteries, pumped storage, and green hydrogen or methane).

6. You are way too dismissive of solar's future role in the UK.  Remember, if the price of solar reduces 50%, that is the equivalent of doubling its efficiency or moving the UK south by several hundred miles. It's reduced about 90% in one decade.



Calliban wrote:

Kbd512, I have always been of the opinion that some form of nuclear power was the best option for meeting future human energy needs.  The reasons are that nuclear power reactors are power dense, long lived and fuel faces no imminent shortages with high conversion reactors.  This makes nuclear power acgood option if you happen to enjoy living in a wealthy society, as most of us do.  I just thought it would be fun to play devil's advocate for a while and explore if there are any options that would allow intermittent renewable energy to meet human needs at anything like our present living standards.  I am sceptical, but as an honest researcher I was prepared to look into it.

Firstly, wind and solar power have low power density.  It is because of this fact that a MWh of wind energy consumes about 10-20 times more steel than a light water reactor powerplant.  None the less, wind power is still an order of magnitude more resource efficient than solar PV power.  Knowing that fact and given where I live (the wind swept, but dark and cloudy British Isles) any scenario where the bulk of my country's energy is derived from renewable energy, is going to rely heavily on wind power.  Solar PV is a waste of time and money in the United Kingdom.  We have been over and over that topic again and again on this forum.  There is no way around it.  A 1GWe average power solar farm, would cover about 1000km2 in the UK.  That is an area equivalent to Greater London.  And it may even have a negative EROI (A 1GWe PWR nuclear steam supply system, would fit into a modest 3 storey building, some 8m x 8m in footprint.  The containment dome takes up a lot more space, but the essential infrastructure of a nuclear power plant is tiny compared to competing systems).  So solar power can be written off.  Wind power is a lot more power dense than solar power and wind turbines can be built in the North Sea, where output is more continuous and winds are persistently stronger.  So the question of whether the UK can run on renewable energy is really a question of whether it can run on wind power.  Aside from modest contributions from biomass, wind power is the only renewable that the UK has that is worth pursuing.

Can the UK run on wind power?  Below is a link to Grid Watch, showing wind power generation from about 13GWe of installed capacity (last year).
https://gridwatch.co.uk/Wind

Take a look at last year's power production.  The generation of wind electricity clearly varies widely from one day and week to the next and it varies wildly between summer and winter, with far more being produced in the cold months.  This happens to be when heat demand is greatest.  The capacity factor of wind energy in the UK is about 30%.  What that tells me is that if I draw a line at 20% installed capacity (2.5GWe), about one half of all energy generated will be above that line and one half beneath it.  In the UK, something like 80% of all energy production minus transport, is used to produce hot and cold in one way or another.  The UKs heating energy requirements, exceed its electricity consumption by a sizable margin: about 500TWh per year vs 300TWh per year.  UK electricity consumption has declined thanks to decades of having its productive industries asset stripped.  But I digress.  Assuming that a large chunk of our heating is provided by electric power, then we can probably assume that at least half of all power is used in this way.  So draw a line at 2.5GWe on the graph.

Most of the generation above that line will be absorbed by grid controlled storage heaters in people's homes.  These will store at least a few hundred kWh each of heat as hot water.  Below that line is what we will call baseload electricity for other things.  Even drawing a line at only 20% of installed capacity, there are quite a few occasions in a year, where wind power will not provide the ~1TWh per day of electric energy consumed by UK baseload.  This is where gas turbines come in.  These will run on LNG that can be stored in tanks built close to the GT sets.  GTs have low capital and operating costs, but relatively high fuel cost.  In this scenario, GTs burning natural gas would provide maybe 10% of electric power, wind would provide 90% of baseload electricity and close to 100% hot water and space heating.  We would still need natural gas, but only enough to generate 30TWh of electricity per year.  That amounts to only about 1/10th of the UKs current natural gas consumption  - A far more sustainable amount.  And biogas could reduce the amount of LNG needed even more.

The amount of installed wind capacity needed to achieve this in the UK would be about 230GW.  That is a hell of a lot.  Most of it would need to be built offshore and it would cover an area of sea at least as large as Wales (20,000km2).  How much would it all cost?  Next stage is to work that out.  Offshore wind is presently bidding in at £40/MWh ($50/MWh).  But what we really want to know is capital costs.  And we need to know how much steel and concrete it will need to do that, in order to gauge whether we have a sustainable solution.  Grid controlled storage heaters won't be dramatically more expensive than ordinary storage heaters.  They are a large water tank, say 1-5m3, with a grid controlled resistance heater in it.  A bigger problem is that whilst 230GW of wind power generates an average of 70GWe, there will be times where it does generate 230GWe.  The grid needs enough transmission capacity to handle that.  I don't think it does at present.  How much will it cost to strengthen the grid?  I haven't got a clue.  But pending those details, I think I can say that powering the UK with 95% wind electricity and 5% natural gas, looks semi-plausible.  What I cannot say for sure is that the cost and net energy yield are sufficient to allow an affluent way of life.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#53 2021-08-08 08:37:00

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,923

Re: The Form Revolution

Perhaps this could be helpful:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ar … &FORM=VIRE

Quote:

Are 100-hour iron air batteries ready for prime time on the power grid?

He is talking mostly about Iron Air batteries in general, but does speculate that
Form Energy may have had some breakthroughs.

Done

Last edited by Void (2021-08-08 08:43:53)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#54 2021-08-08 08:58:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,342

Re: The Form Revolution

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#55 2021-08-08 10:27:26

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: The Form Revolution

I had seen that - didn't think it particularly added much, except to underline the slow charge/discharge function of iron-air batteries makes the technology  unsuitable for "smoothing output" from day to day but fine for long term storage.

Void wrote:

Perhaps this could be helpful:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ar … &FORM=VIRE

Quote:

Are 100-hour iron air batteries ready for prime time on the power grid?

He is talking mostly about Iron Air batteries in general, but does speculate that
Form Energy may have had some breakthroughs.

Done


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#56 2021-08-08 22:54:20

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,197

Re: The Form Revolution

louis wrote:

We've been over and over a lot of this ground. I will spell it out again:

1. High energy density while desirable is not decisive. I doubt you can get any higher density than nuclear but new nuclear is  very expensive, around 10 cents per KWh for new nuclear. The UK government had to guarantee 9p per KWh or it wouldn't get built.

2. Nuclear power require substantial inputs of human labour time if not steel. It is human labour time that is the key factor in which energy systems are adopted. You never, ever consider how much material is consumed at a nuclear power station every day. Do you have any idea? I wouldn't be surprised if it was several tons.

3.  Only a complete fool would claim the UK could operate off wind energy alone.

4.  You seem to have a very limited imagination regarding our energy future. Battery costs have been falling at a steep rate and look set to fall even further with the advent of Form Energy and commercialised iron-air batteries. The UK could run a fleet of 500,000 tons battery ships and collect solar power in the sunny South Atlantic or after plugging into solar power stations in places like Morocco. At the same time we see technologies like NovaSolix looking to reach 45% and then 90% efficiency. Likewise there is the prospect of major advance with artificial photosynthesis. We are also moving into an era of printed PV or other solar power film. Manufacturing costs are going to plummet even more. It's price that is key. Once the price is seriously competitive then you can incentivise people to put it on their roofs, in private homes, offices, factories and public buildings.

5.  If you want to evaluate a serious green energy plan, then look at green energy in the round (wind, solar, geothermal, heat exchange, hydoelectric, tidal, sea current, wave energy, energy from waste and biofuels) plus storage (lithium batteries, iron-air batteries, pumped storage, and green hydrogen or methane).

6. You are way too dismissive of solar's future role in the UK.  Remember, if the price of solar reduces 50%, that is the equivalent of doubling its efficiency or moving the UK south by several hundred miles. It's reduced about 90% in one decade.



Calliban wrote:

Kbd512, I have always been of the opinion that some form of nuclear power was the best option for meeting future human energy needs.  The reasons are that nuclear power reactors are power dense, long lived and fuel faces no imminent shortages with high conversion reactors.  This makes nuclear power acgood option if you happen to enjoy living in a wealthy society, as most of us do.  I just thought it would be fun to play devil's advocate for a while and explore if there are any options that would allow intermittent renewable energy to meet human needs at anything like our present living standards.  I am sceptical, but as an honest researcher I was prepared to look into it.

Firstly, wind and solar power have low power density.  It is because of this fact that a MWh of wind energy consumes about 10-20 times more steel than a light water reactor powerplant.  None the less, wind power is still an order of magnitude more resource efficient than solar PV power.  Knowing that fact and given where I live (the wind swept, but dark and cloudy British Isles) any scenario where the bulk of my country's energy is derived from renewable energy, is going to rely heavily on wind power.  Solar PV is a waste of time and money in the United Kingdom.  We have been over and over that topic again and again on this forum.  There is no way around it.  A 1GWe average power solar farm, would cover about 1000km2 in the UK.  That is an area equivalent to Greater London.  And it may even have a negative EROI (A 1GWe PWR nuclear steam supply system, would fit into a modest 3 storey building, some 8m x 8m in footprint.  The containment dome takes up a lot more space, but the essential infrastructure of a nuclear power plant is tiny compared to competing systems).  So solar power can be written off.  Wind power is a lot more power dense than solar power and wind turbines can be built in the North Sea, where output is more continuous and winds are persistently stronger.  So the question of whether the UK can run on renewable energy is really a question of whether it can run on wind power.  Aside from modest contributions from biomass, wind power is the only renewable that the UK has that is worth pursuing.

Can the UK run on wind power?  Below is a link to Grid Watch, showing wind power generation from about 13GWe of installed capacity (last year).
https://gridwatch.co.uk/Wind

Take a look at last year's power production.  The generation of wind electricity clearly varies widely from one day and week to the next and it varies wildly between summer and winter, with far more being produced in the cold months.  This happens to be when heat demand is greatest.  The capacity factor of wind energy in the UK is about 30%.  What that tells me is that if I draw a line at 20% installed capacity (2.5GWe), about one half of all energy generated will be above that line and one half beneath it.  In the UK, something like 80% of all energy production minus transport, is used to produce hot and cold in one way or another.  The UKs heating energy requirements, exceed its electricity consumption by a sizable margin: about 500TWh per year vs 300TWh per year.  UK electricity consumption has declined thanks to decades of having its productive industries asset stripped.  But I digress.  Assuming that a large chunk of our heating is provided by electric power, then we can probably assume that at least half of all power is used in this way.  So draw a line at 2.5GWe on the graph.

Most of the generation above that line will be absorbed by grid controlled storage heaters in people's homes.  These will store at least a few hundred kWh each of heat as hot water.  Below that line is what we will call baseload electricity for other things.  Even drawing a line at only 20% of installed capacity, there are quite a few occasions in a year, where wind power will not provide the ~1TWh per day of electric energy consumed by UK baseload.  This is where gas turbines come in.  These will run on LNG that can be stored in tanks built close to the GT sets.  GTs have low capital and operating costs, but relatively high fuel cost.  In this scenario, GTs burning natural gas would provide maybe 10% of electric power, wind would provide 90% of baseload electricity and close to 100% hot water and space heating.  We would still need natural gas, but only enough to generate 30TWh of electricity per year.  That amounts to only about 1/10th of the UKs current natural gas consumption  - A far more sustainable amount.  And biogas could reduce the amount of LNG needed even more.

The amount of installed wind capacity needed to achieve this in the UK would be about 230GW.  That is a hell of a lot.  Most of it would need to be built offshore and it would cover an area of sea at least as large as Wales (20,000km2).  How much would it all cost?  Next stage is to work that out.  Offshore wind is presently bidding in at £40/MWh ($50/MWh).  But what we really want to know is capital costs.  And we need to know how much steel and concrete it will need to do that, in order to gauge whether we have a sustainable solution.  Grid controlled storage heaters won't be dramatically more expensive than ordinary storage heaters.  They are a large water tank, say 1-5m3, with a grid controlled resistance heater in it.  A bigger problem is that whilst 230GW of wind power generates an average of 70GWe, there will be times where it does generate 230GWe.  The grid needs enough transmission capacity to handle that.  I don't think it does at present.  How much will it cost to strengthen the grid?  I haven't got a clue.  But pending those details, I think I can say that powering the UK with 95% wind electricity and 5% natural gas, looks semi-plausible.  What I cannot say for sure is that the cost and net energy yield are sufficient to allow an affluent way of life.

Louis, we have been over this again and again.  In fact, the same discussions on solar power have taken place here for several years, stretching back to long before I joined the group.  You don't appear to have learn't a single thing from these discussions.
And you don't seem to understand the technologies or concepts that you are trying to talk about.  And you aren't interested in learning about them by your own admission.  Hence you offer up the same recycled opinions over and over again.  People examine the facts and they get shot down over and over again.  You are then frustrated that people won't accept your opinions and beliefs as facts.  A few weeks go by and you offer up the same opinions again.  And they get shot down once again.  Eventually, people get bored and stop engaging with you.  I find it more than a little strange.  You appear to want people to accept your opinions as a matter of faith.  But that is not the way engineering works.  It is about facts and analysis, not faith.  I honestly don't know what more you think you are going to get from this board.

Maybe you should join a bible class? Those people tend to deal with matters of faith.  That sort of thinking works best when people refrain from asking difficult questions.  You might get a better reception there.  They might look a little confused when you start talking about solar panels in the middle of Eziekiel.

Your thinking on vaccines seems to fall into the same pattern.  Ultimately, you may be right or wrong in your opinion on vaccines.  But that opinion seems to be based on attitude rather than logic.  So no amount of contrary evidence will ever convince you.  It makes engaging on forums like this fundamentally pointless for you.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-08 23:31:40)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#57 2021-08-09 04:39:21

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: The Form Revolution

Calliban wrote:

Louis, we have been over this again and again.  In fact, the same discussions on solar power have taken place here for several years, stretching back to long before I joined the group.  You don't appear to have learn't a single thing from these discussions.
And you don't seem to understand the technologies or concepts that you are trying to talk about.  And you aren't interested in learning about them by your own admission.  Hence you offer up the same recycled opinions over and over again.  People examine the facts and they get shot down over and over again.  You are then frustrated that people won't accept your opinions and beliefs as facts.  A few weeks go by and you offer up the same opinions again.  And they get shot down once again.  Eventually, people get bored and stop engaging with you.  I find it more than a little strange.  You appear to want people to accept your opinions as a matter of faith.  But that is not the way engineering works.  It is about facts and analysis, not faith.  I honestly don't know what more you think you are going to get from this board.

Maybe you should join a bible class? Those people tend to deal with matters of faith.  That sort of thinking works best when people refrain from asking difficult questions.  You might get a better reception there.  They might look a little confused when you start talking about solar panels in the middle of Eziekiel.

Your thinking on vaccines seems to fall into the same pattern.  Ultimately, you may be right or wrong in your opinion on vaccines.  But that opinion seems to be based on attitude rather than logic.  So no amount of contrary evidence will ever convince you.  It makes engaging on forums like this fundamentally pointless for you.

I think the dogma is all the other way. If I point out the huge reductions in cost of PV over the last ten years, you claim - without much evidence - this is all down to China, cheap credit and cheap fossil fuels and is therefore unsustainable. It's an article of faith for you that at some point the scam will collapse and the price will rise. You cling to this despite all serious business analysts concluding the opposite - that the real price will continue to fall, and dramatically so.

If I point to the huge falls in battery storage price, you reference the theoretical physical limits of battery storage, irrelevant if the price is right.

If I point to the potential of a green energy plus storage system you suggest there's not enough lithium around on a global scale to make this practical. Now an iron-air long term storage battery system looks credible, using commonly available materials, you move on to a different pitch, arguing that green energy plus storage takes up too much land (even though much of the wind power is generated out at sea and much of future solar power generation could be located on roofs rather than agricultural land).

I don't argue from faith, I do argue from a broadbrush understanding of the science and how markets are moving and I have hunches about what is possible. Early on, back in the days when Space X were launching from Kwajlein in the Pacific, I picked them out as serious contenders. I never believed that the challenges of landing on Mars would be a serious impediment to Mars colonisation (as many here argued), because retro-rocket landings would be perfected (that seems to be the case). I have a hunch that PV power will provide the energy on Mars for all the early Space X missions to Mars. Looks like Space X agree! I have a hunch that, as I have predicted, Mars will prove wildly profitable not a financial burden. We will see.

I think my record has been pretty good.

Re green energy on Earth I have been correct - I said the real price of PV and wind energy will continue to fall and it has (no crystal ball, just reading up on analytical articles on the subject). I said battery and other storage technologies would become commercialisable and that too is happening. I did once think that manufacture of methane was the way forward for a green energy system. I've changed my view on that, thinking utility scale green hydrogen production from water is a better bet, much simpler. Originally I was attracted to methane because in much of northern Europe natural methane provides heating and hot water, absolutely vital in winter, and we have a ready-made methane distribution system. However, it looks increasingly as though the price of electricity can be brought down significantly so conversion to electric-powered heating and hot water.  That said, I wouldn't entirely rule out methane manufacture - someone may show it is commercialisable.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#58 2021-08-09 18:38:05

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,709

Re: The Form Revolution

Louis,

The Chinese manufacture about 90% of the world's solar panels.  The Chinese don't use existing solar panels to make new solar panels.  They use coal and gas, and lots of it.  That's also how nearly everyone else does it as well.  I'm sure you'll immediately dig up an exception, but the exception doesn't appreciably alter the general applicability of the rule.

After the 2008 bust, interest rates on capital were practically zero, because the only alternative was a depression much worse than the Great Depression, but even if interest rates stay near zero for the rest of our lifetimes, sooner or later the Chinese will probably want a return on the debt they're purchasing.  If they can't get it from US Dollars or British Pounds or Euros, then they might simply decide to stop accepting something with no tangible value to them.  Having more coupons (fiat currency) to buy things in the store only works when the store has something to sell that you actually want to buy.

Your idea of "all serious business analysts" seems to be limited to Lazard & Associates, but even there your own assertions that prices will continue to fall disagrees significantly with Lazard's own analysis.  They show prices bottoming out or even rising slightly on photovoltaics and batteries.

The "huge declines in battery prices" still put them well above and beyond the capital cost of a nuclear power plant.  Lead-acid has been cheaper than Lithium-ion since before Lithium-ion ever existed.  Several decades after Lithium-ion has been in the market, Lead-acid is still cheaper.  This begs the question of why power companies haven't been busily buying up every Lead-acid battery in existence.  If the only metric that mattered was the cost of the battery, then all the grid operators should have purchased Lead-acid batteries for their grids to supplement their wind and solar investments, but they don't do that, because those "cheaper batteries" are still not nearly cheap enough at the scale they require.

Whether or not the challenges associated with landing on Mars proves to be a significant impediment remains to be seen.  Immediately after claiming you're using evidence or general understanding of science, you assert something is not a problem as an article of faith, despite lacking a single rough field landing as a data point that it's not so difficult to accomplish (with the design that SpaceX has opted to use, which thus far has only landed on steel-reinforced concrete pads and steel ship decks).  Even Elon Musk says it's not easy to do.

If indeed there's some miraculous new battery technology that will succeed where no existing battery technology has, which was by definition cheaper than technology that didn't exist, then I've yet to see it.  I hope you're correct, but battery tech companies are a dime a dozen.  An enormous amount of money is thrown at them, but 99% of them never produce anything that makes its way into a commercial product.  The ones that do, don't typically bet their existence on something that nobody else could make work well enough to warrant mass-manufacture.

If this new Iron-Air battery can't load-follow, then the prospective power company looking to purchase needs a Lead-acid or Lithium-ion battery that can load-follow, plus an Iron-Air battery, plus wind turbines or photovoltaics with significant over-capacity, or a gas turbine as a backup if all of that proves too expensive in actual practice.

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#59 2021-08-09 19:29:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,342

Re: The Form Revolution

They also use cheap labor charges for the people employed to make them....eventually that too will rise making those cheap panels more costly in the end

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#60 2021-08-09 23:33:47

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,709

Re: The Form Revolution

SpaceNut,

The mistake is believing that any single factor is decisive in the adoption of fundamentally new technology.  When I look at these new battery technologies in general terms, I consider where the industry is headed.  Batteries that are more energy-dense, with longer cycle lives, and faster charge / discharge seems to be where they're headed.  As I've said numerous times already, I really like what Form did, but this technology is not new, yet nobody else pursued it.  If it works well enough, then demonstrate that it works at scale and then the market will be Form's oyster.

Whether certain parties here accept it or not, there's a floor to commodity prices, generally dictated by labor / energy / raw materials input, plus capital costs for manufacturing capacity and supply chain.  Even if zero labor is involved, the price can never stay below what it costs to produce.  I'm left wondering if Iron and Zinc can prices accurately reflect Form's claims.

Lead-acid batteries haven't become appreciably cheaper over the decades, despite low embodied energy, low production costs, ever-lower labor inputs, and very high recycling rates.  You can argue that you get more battery for your money as compared to decades past, but not that you pay less overall for the same piece of technology at the scale required to supplant fossil fuel energy storage.  10 years ago you received 20Wh/$, but now you receive 25Wh/$.  Any improvement is most welcome, but another 5Wh/$ is not a game-changer.  Again, if it was, then the power companies would already be snapping them up to gain a competitive advantage.

According to Form, their technology is already patented six ways to Sunday, so something akin to a product spec sheet should be forthcoming, but no real details at all, as of yet.  I want to see something more substantive than marketing hype.  If they're already piloting their tech with a power company, then that shouldn't be too onerous to produce.

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#61 2021-08-10 09:10:47

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: The Form Revolution

kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

The Chinese manufacture about 90% of the world's solar panels.  The Chinese don't use existing solar panels to make new solar panels.  They use coal and gas, and lots of it.  That's also how nearly everyone else does it as well.  I'm sure you'll immediately dig up an exception, but the exception doesn't appreciably alter the general applicability of the rule.

After the 2008 bust, interest rates on capital were practically zero, because the only alternative was a depression much worse than the Great Depression, but even if interest rates stay near zero for the rest of our lifetimes, sooner or later the Chinese will probably want a return on the debt they're purchasing.  If they can't get it from US Dollars or British Pounds or Euros, then they might simply decide to stop accepting something with no tangible value to them.  Having more coupons (fiat currency) to buy things in the store only works when the store has something to sell that you actually want to buy.

I don't doubt that the Chinese have probably support their industries to corner the market in PV panels.  China is a kind of state capitalist entity. The USA and other countries have let them do this. It's not my responsiblity and it doesn't really reflect on green energy itself.

Currently, when last I looked, there was about a 20% price differential between US manufactured solar and Chinese products. I doubt it's going to get any wider. Further robotisation and further wage rises in China are going to narrow the differential.

I wonder how much the price of fuel is reflected in the price of a PV panel? My guess would be not much more than 15%.

Are you claiming Chinese PV manufacturers are using coal and gas direct as power in their factories? 

Looks a little unlikely to me. If they are using electricity then about 28% of China's electricity comes from green energy sources.

Your idea of "all serious business analysts" seems to be limited to Lazard & Associates, but even there your own assertions that prices will continue to fall disagrees significantly with Lazard's own analysis.  They show prices bottoming out or even rising slightly on photovoltaics and batteries.

Deloitte, FT, Goldman Sachs, BP are all predicting a bright future for green energy:

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/e … tlook.html

https://www.ft.com/content/a37d0ddf-8fb … bde29fc510

https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen … y-in-2021/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bp-bets-fu … 1601402304

The "huge declines in battery prices" still put them well above and beyond the capital cost of a nuclear power plant.  Lead-acid has been cheaper than Lithium-ion since before Lithium-ion ever existed.  Several decades after Lithium-ion has been in the market, Lead-acid is still cheaper.  This begs the question of why power companies haven't been busily buying up every Lead-acid battery in existence.  If the only metric that mattered was the cost of the battery, then all the grid operators should have purchased Lead-acid batteries for their grids to supplement their wind and solar investments, but they don't do that, because those "cheaper batteries" are still not nearly cheap enough at the scale they require.

Whether or not the challenges associated with landing on Mars proves to be a significant impediment remains to be seen.  Immediately after claiming you're using evidence or general understanding of science, you assert something is not a problem as an article of faith, despite lacking a single rough field landing as a data point that it's not so difficult to accomplish (with the design that SpaceX has opted to use, which thus far has only landed on steel-reinforced concrete pads and steel ship decks).  Even Elon Musk says it's not easy to do.

If indeed there's some miraculous new battery technology that will succeed where no existing battery technology has, which was by definition cheaper than technology that didn't exist, then I've yet to see it.  I hope you're correct, but battery tech companies are a dime a dozen.  An enormous amount of money is thrown at them, but 99% of them never produce anything that makes its way into a commercial product.  The ones that do, don't typically bet their existence on something that nobody else could make work well enough to warrant mass-manufacture.

If this new Iron-Air battery can't load-follow, then the prospective power company looking to purchase needs a Lead-acid or Lithium-ion battery that can load-follow, plus an Iron-Air battery, plus wind turbines or photovoltaics with significant over-capacity, or a gas turbine as a backup if all of that proves too expensive in actual practice.

The IA batteries are likely only going to be discharging the equivalent of perhaps 10% of electricity generated in any one year and as Form themselves say, are not designed for load following.  Lithium batteries are already been used to smooth out electricity supply. Combined with hydro, pumped storage, and other green energy sources (e.g. energy from waste and bio fuels)  they are getting close to dealing with daily troughs in green energy supply. Probably combined with green hydrogen at utility level, that will be the answer.

As for the Mars landing I really do think that is a relatively trivial issue. We will see the Starship land on rockfields on Earth and we will see it's not big deal.


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#62 2021-08-10 15:39:05

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,197

Re: The Form Revolution

China directly manufactures 80% of solar modules produced in the world and about 80% of polysilicon.  Some 45% of global polysilicon is made in the Uigyer region of Xingjiang, home to 20% of Chinese coal reserves and some of the cheapest electricity in the world, thanks to an electricity grid dominated by coal fired powerplants.  Xinjiang is one of the heaviest coal producing provinces in China.
https://www.businessinsider.com/coal-an … ina-2016-3

Electricity costs as little as $0.03/kWh and accounts for around 40% of polysilicon costs.
Xinjiang is one of the poorest regions in China, with per capita GDP of $3000/capita, so wages are cheap. Chinese solar panel manufacturers in Xinjiang also benefit from slave labour.
https://www.bloombergquint.com/business … t-xinjiang

Solar panel costs have fallen 90% over the past decade, as China has come to dominate global production.  But this was accomplished through government subsidy, cheap coal based electricity and forced labour.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshe … 35ac4c71ec

About 5 tonnes of polysilicon is needed to produce 1MWe-peak of solar modules.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycrystalline_silicon

It takes 190MWh of electric energy to produce 1 tonne of polysilicon.  Under UK conditions, it would take around 1.2 years for a 20% efficient polycrystalline solar panel to generate the electricity needed to pay for its polysilicon.
https://wsimag.com/science-and-technolo … re-silicon

Using thin film solar cells is a way of reducing the quantity of silicon needed to manufacture solar powerplants.  Unfortunately, polysilicon is the thin end of the stick.  The US Department of Energy provides a summary of the quantity of materials needed to manufacture a TWh of electric power from a number of different energy sources.
https://www.energy.gov/quadrennial-tech … eview-2015

For PV, I will summarise the largest components: 350t concrete, 3700t cement; 850t copper; 2700t glass; 7900t steel; 680t aluminium.

Compare this to the embodied materials of 1TWh of electricity from a pressurised water nuclear power plant: 760t concrete (138t cement); 3t copper; 0t glass; 160t steel; 0t aluminium.

Per TWh, a solar PV powerplant will consume 49 times as much steel; 26 times as much cement, 283 times as much copper and at least 680 times as much aluminium.

Nor is this the end of the solar materials budget.  When energy losses in storage are taken into account along with the embodied energy and materials of the storage medium, these materials costs are magnified.  Only a portion of these materials will be recycled.  Describing Solar PV as 'Green' is certainly debatable.  It may be Green in a political ideological sense, but nothing about this technology is environmentally friendly.  The Liberal media and other creatures of the far left, would have us believe that this technology is destined to replace fossil fuels as principal energy source for Planet Earth.  The irony is that solar PV is more dependent on fossils fuels for its manufacture than any other energy source.  It has reached a temporary nadir in its power generation costs due to a confluence of factors:

(1) Relatively low commodity costs (at least until recently), largely thanks to Chinese coal based energy and the enormous quantities of steel, glass, aluminium and cement that it allows them to produce.  The Chinese produce more of each of these than the entire rest of the world.  This is fortuitous, considering how much of each of these commodities are needed to produce each TWh of solar electricity.

(2) Very cheap, coal based electricity in the regions where PV is produced.  Xinjiang contains 20% of Chinese coal reserves and its electricity supply is dominated by coal.  The result, is some of the cheapest electricity in the world.  Labour costs are very low in this part of China and there is a substantial amount of slave labour.  This renders coal production very cheap.  But Xinjiang is too far from coastal China for this coal to be cost effectively transported to their industrial heartland.  In a psychopathic kind of way, Solar PV makes a certain amount of sense for the CCP.  It allows them to convert distant coal reserves, which lie thousands of miles from their coastal population centres, into an energy dense product, with the aid of very cheap (often slave) labour.

(3) Low labour costs.  Xinjiang has some of the lowest labour rates in China, with a substantial portion of forced labour.  China has built PV module factories here and in other low wage countries.  The fragility of PV wafers makes module assembly a very labour intensive activity.

(4) The CCP subsidised PV production with very low interest rate loans.  This allowed this very capital intensive industry to produce products very cheaply, far more cheaply than anywhere in the West.  This led to allegations of dumping.

(5) Enormous scale economies in the Chinese market brought down costs even further.

(6) Very low interest rates and bond yields in Western countries since 2009, have provided very favourable conditions for a capital intensive industry, with otherwise low operating costs.

(7) Liberalisation of electricity markets and rules favouring renewable energy, allow renewable electricity to be put on electricity grids as soon as it is generated.  Other producers, including coal and nuclear, lost market share and were increasingly pushed into the role of backup powerplants.  They were not compensated for lost market share.

(8) Heavy subsidy in Western economies pays for a large part of capital costs.

These factors combine to reduce the breakeven price of a kWh of solar PV electricity to a level that now appears competitive with new fossil and nuclear power.  With a confluence of favourable conditions like this, it isn't surprising that solar PV appears (temporarily) extremely cheap.  One might wonder why its price is indeed not zero?  Idealists, all too happy to look a gift horse in the mouth, would have us believe that the current situation heralds a new age of industrial economy powered by sunlight.

A more sober look at the facts would lead one to conclude that a combination of cheap Chinese coal, low cost (and slave) labour, low interest rate loans (on both the producer and consumer side), subsidy and political favouritism; have all combined to give rise to a situation that is extremely precarious and unlikely to continue indefinitely.  In fact, in 2021, PV module cost has already increased about 20% y-o-y.  Chinese coal production has plateaued for 8 years and is likely very close to its historic peak.  Low interest rate money is an unstable situation that has resulted in massive debt escalation and loss of returns on capital.  A significant increase in inflation or loss of confidence in fiat currencies, could result in rising interest rates in the future.  Subsidies are being dropped all over the world, as they cease to be affordable.

At a time when surplus energy from fossil fuels is rapidly declining, the world cannot afford idealistic energy sources than provide poor surplus energy yield.  We need energy sources that can deliver what fossil fuels used to provide but no longer can.  That means energy sources with high power density, capable of repaying an initial energy investment dozens or hundreds of times over in their lifetime.  The more rapidly we can affect that transition, the more wealth our children will be left with and the better our chances of getting a foothold within the solar system.  Such achievements are inherently energy intensive and require the mastery of nuclear energy, both at home supporting industry and for propulsion and base power supply.  From this point of view, the present political obsession with low power density (Green) ambient energy is both pointless and dangerous; a diversion into a dead end.  It is especially dangerous at a time when surplus energy from fossil fuels is declining fast.  Such mistakes could easily be fatal for industrial society at this point.  As surplus energy declines, it becomes more and more difficult to afford investments that mitigate decline.  It is time to drop foolish, idealistic fantasies and invest our efforts into the high power density nuclear energy sources that are needed to allow humanity to escape its cradle and colonise the solar system.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-10 15:59:13)


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#63 2021-08-10 17:29:38

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: The Form Revolution

Calliban wrote:

China directly manufactures 80% of solar modules produced in the world and about 80% of polysilicon.  Some 45% of global polysilicon is made in the Uigyer region of Xingjiang, home to 20% of Chinese coal reserves and some of the cheapest electricity in the world, thanks to an electricity grid dominated by coal fired powerplants.  Xinjiang is one of the heaviest coal producing provinces in China.
https://www.businessinsider.com/coal-an … ina-2016-3

Electricity costs as little as $0.03/kWh and accounts for around 40% of polysilicon costs.
Xinjiang is one of the poorest regions in China, with per capita GDP of $3000/capita, so wages are cheap. Chinese solar panel manufacturers in Xinjiang also benefit from slave labour.
https://www.bloombergquint.com/business … t-xinjiang

Solar panel costs have fallen 90% over the past decade, as China has come to dominate global production.  But this was accomplished through government subsidy, cheap coal based electricity and forced labour.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshe … 35ac4c71ec

About 5 tonnes of polysilicon is needed to produce 1MWe-peak of solar modules.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycrystalline_silicon

It takes 190MWh of electric energy to produce 1 tonne of polysilicon.  Under UK conditions, it would take around 1.2 years for a 20% efficient polycrystalline solar panel to generate the electricity needed to pay for its polysilicon.
https://wsimag.com/science-and-technolo … re-silicon

Fuel may account for 40% of polysilicon but not PV panels. My estimate of 15% is looking good and maybe 4 percentage points of the 15% would come from green energy, so the fossil fuel part would account for 11% of the cost of PV panels. I think far more important will be cheap labour costs (or slave labour) and state capitalism at work supporting Chinese industry in conquering another key market.

If there is a price differential currently of 20% between US and Chinese manufacture, given the costs decline by 90% in a decade, that really only amounts to something like a 2 to 3 year difference because US costs are still going down at a similar rate to Chinese costs. If all production was switched to the USA it would be like saying "Damn - we can only do now what we could do in 2018"...yes it would put a slight brake on development but that is all.

Pay back period in terms of energy for PV panels is given as between 2 and 3 years by most serious analysts now I believe.

Using thin film solar cells is a way of reducing the quantity of silicon needed to manufacture solar powerplants.  Unfortunately, polysilicon is the thin end of the stick.  The US Department of Energy provides a summary of the quantity of materials needed to manufacture a TWh of electric power from a number of different energy sources.
https://www.energy.gov/quadrennial-tech … eview-2015

For PV, I will summarise the largest components: 350t concrete, 3700t cement; 850t copper; 2700t glass; 7900t steel; 680t aluminium.

Compare this to the embodied materials of 1TWh of electricity from a pressurised water nuclear power plant: 760t concrete (138t cement); 3t copper; 0t glass; 160t steel; 0t aluminium. Per TWh, a solar PV powerplant will consume 49 times as much steel; 26 times as much cement, 283 times as much copper and at least 680 times as much aluminium.

Until you give a figure for how much material goes into a nuclear power station on a yearly basis, I really can't take your figures seriously.

I would not be at all surprised if the figure was something like 1000 tons per annum (maybe 30,000 tons over the lifetime of the plant), and that's without considering the material consumption of the individual workers and the gasoline required to get them to work in their cars (far more than for PV panel maintenance).

Nor is this the end of the solar materials budget.  When energy losses in storage are taken into account along with the embodied energy and materials of the storage medium, these materials costs are magnified.  Only a portion of these materials will be recycled.  Describing Solar PV as 'Green' is certainly debatable.  It may be Green in a political ideological sense, but nothing about this technology is environmentally friendly.  The Liberal media and other creatures of the far left, would have us believe that this technology is destined to replace fossil fuels as principal energy source for Planet Earth.  The irony is that solar PV is more dependent on fossils fuels for its manufacture than any other energy source. 

About 90% of PV panels are currently recyclable and they are working on the remainder.

It has reached a temporary nadir in its power generation costs due to a confluence of factors:

(1) Relatively low commodity costs (at least until recently), largely thanks to Chinese coal based energy and the enormous quantities of steel, glass, aluminium and cement that it allows them to produce.  The Chinese produce more of each of these than the entire rest of the world.  This is fortuitous, considering how much of each of these commodities are needed to produce each TWh of solar electricity.

(2) Very cheap, coal based electricity in the regions where PV is produced.  Xinjiang contains 20% of Chinese coal reserves and its electricity supply is dominated by coal.  The result, is some of the cheapest electricity in the world.  Labour costs are very low in this part of China and there is a substantial amount of slave labour.  This renders coal production very cheap.  But Xinjiang is too far from coastal China for this coal to be cost effectively transported to their industrial heartland.  In a psychopathic kind of way, Solar PV makes a certain amount of sense for the CCP.  It allows them to convert distant coal reserves, which lie thousands of miles from their coastal population centres, into an energy dense product, with the aid of very cheap (often slave) labour.

(3) Low labour costs.  Xinjiang has some of the lowest labour rates in China, with a substantial portion of forced labour.  China has built PV module factories here and in other low wage countries.  The fragility of PV wafers makes module assembly a very labour intensive activity.

(4) The CCP subsidised PV production with very low interest rate loans.  This allowed this very capital intensive industry to produce products very cheaply, far more cheaply than anywhere in the West.  This led to allegations of dumping.

(5) Enormous scale economies in the Chinese market brought down costs even further.

(6) Very low interest rates and bond yields in Western countries since 2009, have provided very favourable conditions for a capital intensive industry, with otherwise low operating costs.

(7) Liberalisation of electricity markets and rules favouring renewable energy, allow renewable electricity to be put on electricity grids as soon as it is generated.  Other producers, including coal and nuclear, lost market share and were increasingly pushed into the role of backup powerplants.  They were not compensated for lost market share.

(8) Heavy subsidy in Western economies pays for a large part of capital costs.

These factors combine to reduce the breakeven price of a kWh of solar PV electricity to a level that now appears competitive with new fossil and nuclear power.  With a confluence of favourable conditions like this, it isn't surprising that solar PV appears (temporarily) extremely cheap.  One might wonder why its price is indeed not zero?  Idealists, all too happy to look a gift horse in the mouth, would have us believe that the current situation heralds a new age of industrial economy powered by sunlight.

A more sober look at the facts would lead one to conclude that a combination of cheap Chinese coal, low cost (and slave) labour, low interest rate loans (on both the producer and consumer side), subsidy and political favouritism; have all combined to give rise to a situation that is extremely precarious and unlikely to continue indefinitely.  In fact, in 2021, PV module cost has already increased about 20% y-o-y.  Chinese coal production has plateaued for 8 years and is likely very close to its historic peak.  Low interest rate money is an unstable situation that has resulted in massive debt escalation and loss of returns on capital.  A significant increase in inflation or loss of confidence in fiat currencies, could result in rising interest rates in the future.  Subsidies are being dropped all over the world, as they cease to be affordable.

At a time when surplus energy from fossil fuels is rapidly declining, the world cannot afford idealistic energy sources than provide poor surplus energy yield.  We need energy sources that can deliver what fossil fuels used to provide but no longer can.  That means energy sources with high power density, capable of repaying an initial energy investment dozens or hundreds of times over in their lifetime.  The more rapidly we can affect that transition, the more wealth our children will be left with and the better our chances of getting a foothold within the solar system.  Such achievements are inherently energy intensive and require the mastery of nuclear energy, both at home supporting industry and for propulsion and base power supply.  From this point of view, the present political obsession with low power density (Green) ambient energy is both pointless and dangerous; a diversion into a dead end.  It is especially dangerous at a time when surplus energy from fossil fuels is declining fast.  Such mistakes could easily be fatal for industrial society at this point.  As surplus energy declines, it becomes more and more difficult to afford investments that mitigate decline.  It is time to drop foolish, idealistic fantasies and invest our efforts into the high power density nuclear energy sources that are needed to allow humanity to escape its cradle and colonise the solar system.

I am sure we can argue over the details but "Levelised Cost" means without subsidies. And Levelised Cost shows PV power coming in with some astonishingly low prices. Yes, even then there can be hidden subsidies at work but equally it is true that fossil fuel and nuclear industries have enjoyed hidden subsidies (e.g. paying for the hospitalisation costs of workers affected by coal dust diseases, state support for building ports that can handle fossil fuels or paying for economic disruption caused by nuclear power accidents).

I have never supported "idealistic" energy.  I support energy that makes sense economically. But to analyse that you need also to look at how an industry impacts on your domestic economy. The green energy economy does deliver good quality, well paid jobs for your domestic market. Those people are paying taxes. It's a virtuous circle.

In the UK we have currently just flushed £400 billion down the toilet to fund the most ridiculous pandemic response  package ever devised.

Had we decided to invest one tenth of that sum as a community in green energy and energy storage people we would be experiencing an economic boom and cheap electricity. I look upon it as very similar to our decision to build a motorway network back in the 1960s through taxation. It was very costly at the time but it brought immense benefits to our domestic economy. Doing it through taxation makes a lot of sense because you avoid the add on cost of interest payments.

As it is the benefits of the green energy revolution will be a little delayed as we wait for them to make commercial sense to utility companies.


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#64 2021-08-10 19:50:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,342

Re: The Form Revolution

Keep in mind that once an array is up the power it generates can be sold for nothing if you so desire and has nothing to do with the amount it makes or how much debt the owner has....typically the land that it sets on has a higher value than the array....

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#65 2021-08-11 07:49:44

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,197

Re: The Form Revolution

louis wrote:

Until you give a figure for how much material goes into a nuclear power station on a yearly basis, I really can't take your figures seriously.

I would not be at all surprised if the figure was something like 1000 tons per annum (maybe 30,000 tons over the lifetime of the plant), and that's without considering the material consumption of the individual workers and the gasoline required to get them to work in their cars (far more than for PV panel maintenance).

To do what a single 1GWe nuclear powerplant does in a 60 year life, solar power facilities would consume an extra 4 million tonnes of steel.  Somehow I don't think the dinner and donuts served in the powerplant cafeteria or the petrol used to drive to work are going to make up the difference.  Are you really so deluded that you honestly believe that to be the case?

By the way, the raw material requirements presented in the link I referenced were per TWh, not per unit of installed capacity.  Have a think about what that means.  I am astounded by the lengths you go to to avoid acknowledgement of reality.


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#66 2021-08-11 18:42:25

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,914

Re: The Form Revolution

Well if every employee (average about 650 employees per plant) used 1 litre of petrol to get to and from work each day, that would be 15 million litres of petrol during the lifetime of the plant. On top of that, they've got to be fed and watered...toilets have to be operational....the canteen has to be lit...so on and so forth. This is all resource usage that isn't happening with solar power.

You're not supplying any citations for your claims. Do you have any?

I of course don't think in the future we will be using all that steel but I would be interested to see where your figures are coming from.


Calliban wrote:
louis wrote:

Until you give a figure for how much material goes into a nuclear power station on a yearly basis, I really can't take your figures seriously.

I would not be at all surprised if the figure was something like 1000 tons per annum (maybe 30,000 tons over the lifetime of the plant), and that's without considering the material consumption of the individual workers and the gasoline required to get them to work in their cars (far more than for PV panel maintenance).

To do what a single 1GWe nuclear powerplant does in a 60 year life, solar power facilities would consume an extra 4 million tonnes of steel.  Somehow I don't think the dinner and donuts served in the powerplant cafeteria or the petrol used to drive to work are going to make up the difference.  Are you really so deluded that you honestly believe that to be the case?

By the way, the raw material requirements presented in the link I referenced were per TWh, not per unit of installed capacity.  Have a think about what that means.  I am astounded by the lengths you go to to avoid acknowledgement of reality.


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