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View Poll Results: What role do humans play in contributing to climate change?
Humans are the primary contributor to climate change 392 63.02%
Humans contribute to climate change, but not the main cause 162 26.05%
Not sure 37 5.95%
Climate change is a hoax 31 4.98%
Voters: 622. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-15-2020, 04:50 PM   #2061
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I've been watching the Brooks plant data as well. If you look at the whole time series, you see the average wattage per day instead of hourly.

https://www.dispatcho.app/live/BSC1?r=42507300

This shows that the average daily production works out to about 5 MW in the summer months (33% of nameplate capacity) and a fair amount less than 1 MW in the winter months (>7% of capacity).

If we are to move to a non-GHG emitting energy mix (net zero being the goal), we have to contemplate replacing transportation and home heating with electrical sources as well, so the load would be highest in times like what we're in right now (I'm guessing doubling or more the 11 GW we currently use in the province).

Given that our future electrical grid needs to work hardest in the winter, the only energy source that could possibly work would be nuclear (which is fine here as we are on a geologically stable part of the earth far from tsunami and so on).

The trouble is, if we want to build out to meet our current 11 GW demand, we'd need 4 or so Darlington-scale nuke plants at a cost of $25 billion or so each in 2020 dollars ($100 billion total, and maybe double that to satisfy the demand for electrified heating).
As of right now it doesn't make much sense for Alberta to switch home heating away from natural gas.

Instead we should figure out a way to make natural gas burn cleaner, and explore possibilities such as mixing it with hydrogen to make it more environmentally friendly.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:52 PM   #2062
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What was the cost of the big solar plant going up near Vulcan? With subsidies it is pretty darn close to any other comparable power plant you would build.
$500 million for 400 MW (peak).

That works out to $500 million for ~130 MW in the summer, and ~30 MW in the winter.

https://calgaryherald.com/business/l...uthern-alberta
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:54 PM   #2063
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As of right now it doesn't make much sense for Alberta to switch home heating away from natural gas.

Instead we should figure out a way to make natural gas burn cleaner, and explore possibilities such as mixing it with hydrogen to make it more environmentally friendly.
then we would need the electricity to make the hydrogen and natural gas to make the electricity until we build nuclear.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:56 PM   #2064
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As of right now it doesn't make much sense for Alberta to switch home heating away from natural gas.

Instead we should figure out a way to make natural gas burn cleaner, and explore possibilities such as mixing it with hydrogen to make it more environmentally friendly.
There isn't a "cleaner" - most high efficiency furnaces already run at >95% efficiency.

https://www.energystar.gov/products/...cient/furnaces

Adding hydrogen is a novel thought, but making hydrogen costs energy as well so you're simply shifting the energy burden to the factory that makes the hydrogen.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:56 PM   #2065
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The market is proving that solar, wind + storage is cheaper and better to build.

Unfortunately nuclear, despite probably being the 'best' options has not had any new tech show up since the 70's, and has to deal with an insane amount of regulations. Most plants take decades to build, run over budget and cost multitudes of billions in the end.

In the meantime, solar & wind is going up like crazy, and storage is starting to hit its stride.

Battery efficiency is a moot point. Honestly, we are just starting to get into battery tech. What will it look like 10 years from now?

Because it would take at least 10 years to build a nuclear plant.

We also don't talk about wind enough. I remember putting up windmills on our farm in 1993 I believe, and they were 300kW. Aren't there windmills coming to market right now that are 10mW? That is insane.

Off shore, regional, cost effective, etc.
Again, the market is speaking here. Pretty obvious what it is saying.
The market may be speaking, but that doesn't mean it's correct. Please, again, tell me how solar + wind + battery would work in Alberta this week. What would it look like? Wind is putting out 1% and solar virtually nothing. So that leaves you with batteries, and my numbers are showing it makes no sense, so much so as be impossible to function on that system. By day 5 of no wind and no solar, your batteries are long since dead, and your citizens want your head on a pike.


As to your question about what batteries would look like in 10 years? who knows, the current lithium battery was devolved in the early 90's, and used in consumer electronics back then. Not a lot has changed since then. We can dream that all these innovation we read about are going to occur, but they have also been coming up with them for decades, so, hold your breath I suppose? Maybe it will be better?
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:59 PM   #2066
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$500 million for 400 MW (peak).

That works out to $500 million for ~130 MW in the summer, and ~30 MW in the winter.

https://calgaryherald.com/business/l...uthern-alberta
So how is that cheaper than $1.4 billion for 860 MW? Not directed at you, Bownesian, it's for the people who say solar is cheaper. And that doesn't even have a battery.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:02 PM   #2067
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So how is that cheaper than $1.4 billion for 860 MW? Not directed at you, Bownesian, it's for the people who say solar is cheaper. And that doesn't even have a battery.
If $500M = 400MW, then $1.4B = 1120 MW. That seems like more output for the same price.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:06 PM   #2068
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If $500M = 400MW, then $1.4B = 1120 MW. That seems like more output for the same price.
A natural gas power plant can probably operate at full output for 60-80% for the entire year; for comparison Brooks Solar for its first full year of operation in 2018 only had a capacity factor of 17% (22.4 GWh / (15 MW * 8760 hours))



http://www.auc.ab.ca/Shared%20Docume...Generation.pdf
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:06 PM   #2069
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then we would need the electricity to make the hydrogen and natural gas to make the electricity until we build nuclear.
Hasn't there been research to say that we could get hydrogen as a byproduct of oil production?

I only bring it up because there is a NG company in the UK I believe who is working on a way to combine 15% hydrogen into a natural gas solution. I believe it is really new technology though.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:07 PM   #2070
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There isn't a "cleaner" - most high efficiency furnaces already run at >95% efficiency.

https://www.energystar.gov/products/...cient/furnaces

Adding hydrogen is a novel thought, but making hydrogen costs energy as well so you're simply shifting the energy burden to the factory that makes the hydrogen.
Natural gas is a more efficient though as a home heating solution, correct?

In terms of BTUs created NG versus electric.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:08 PM   #2071
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If $500M = 400MW, then $1.4B = 1120 MW. That seems like more output for the same price.
Except 400MW is peak output, for a very brief period of time in summer at midday. Uses Bownesian's numbers for actual math. Let's average 130 summer, and 30 winter, so it's 80MW for $500 million=224MW. Even though in the winter we still need power from somewhere, which means still building conventional power, but we will ignore that, because it seems to be what everyone does...
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:12 PM   #2072
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I don't know why you are saying obtuse things like that. No one is saying move entirely to solar. I think most people (reasonable people) know that Alberta needs a mix of energy sources, and that renewables can have a larger place in that pie- solar, wind, or otherwise. No one is saying close down all the fossil fuel plants and blanket the province in solar farms.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:13 PM   #2073
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It is more efficient over the long-term than most comparable options.

Nuclear is not an option, no matter how much we want it to be.

Again, regional options. Solar in Canada is not as feasible as it is in Texas, although someone in Alberta seems to think it is getting pretty darn close.

What was the cost of the big solar plant going up near Vulcan? With subsidies it is pretty darn close to any other comparable power plant you would build.
Difference is normal power plants actually generate power, while the Vulcan plant put money in the pockets of owners similar to the Monorail from the Simpsons. The Medicine Hat solar plant was already turfed for good reason. Doesn't matter if the plant's nameplate is 400 MW if it would generate 10 MW or lower in days like today.

Despite not having a new power plant built in over 40 years, despite a heavy push for solar and decommissioning of nuclear generating stations, Ontario is still heavily dependent on nuclear with solar being completely inefficient despite much warmer temperatures than here right now. Ontario was able to decomission coal plants solely because they have nuclear to back up the province's energy needs (not solar / wind)

https://www.dispatcho.app/live/AFG1

Ontario Demand at 5:00 p.m. EST
17,933 MW
Market Demand at 5:00 p.m. EST
20,014 MW
Hourly Output by Fuel Type at 5:00 p.m. EST
Nuclear
11,639 MW

Hydro
4,764 MW
Gas
1,849 MW
Wind
175 MW
Solar
7 MW

Biofuel
43 MW

Ontario solar has a capacity of 424 MW (generating 7 MW), wind has a capacity of 4486 MW (generating 175 MW) while Nuclear has a capacity of 13009 MW (generating 11639 MW).

Let us know which is more efficient.

Ontario is a net seller of energy, it produces too much because of combined nuclear and hydro.

Nuclear is definitely the best option and always has been, but fear is a powerful tool, and no industry has been vilified more despite the industry being one of the safest ones.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world continues to build real energy projects with nuclear that provide real world results versus theoretical.

https://www.fircroft.com/blogs/8-maj...nd-91492916433

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Old 01-15-2020, 05:21 PM   #2074
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I don't know why you are saying obtuse things like that. No one is saying move entirely to solar. I think most people (reasonable people) know that Alberta needs a mix of energy sources, and that renewables can have a larger place in that pie- solar, wind, or otherwise. No one is saying close down all the fossil fuel plants and blanket the province in solar farms.
Solar is a total and colossal waste of money in Alberta where it is more cost effective to shut down versus even maintaining, period.

What may work in an Arizona desert with reasonable success might not work elsewhere.

May as well build some massive hydro dams on elbow river while at it, trying to generate electricity from a little water if we are going to waste. At least that would still generate some electricity in the winter and this cold...
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:21 PM   #2075
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The market may be speaking, but that doesn't mean it's correct. Please, again, tell me how solar + wind + battery would work in Alberta this week. What would it look like? Wind is putting out 1% and solar virtually nothing. So that leaves you with batteries, and my numbers are showing it makes no sense, so much so as be impossible to function on that system. By day 5 of no wind and no solar, your batteries are long since dead, and your citizens want your head on a pike.


As to your question about what batteries would look like in 10 years? who knows, the current lithium battery was devolved in the early 90's, and used in consumer electronics back then. Not a lot has changed since then. We can dream that all these innovation we read about are going to occur, but they have also been coming up with them for decades, so, hold your breath I suppose? Maybe it will be better?
As I pointed out in my original post, solar + storage doesn't make sense unless power costs at least a certain rate.

It is all about regional power. Solar & wind in Texas makes sense, natural gas in Alberta makes sense.

A combination of everything could easily meet all our emission targets.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:25 PM   #2076
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Batteries don't just magically appear out of thin air, they are made of metals that are toxic to the environment, and uses extreme amounts of water and a destructive process to mine / extract
I've fed up with this oft repeated line. Prove to me mining the materials for battery production is worse than everything else we mine to use in all manner industries. Spoiler: you can't because mining in general is bad for the planet, cherry picking battery production is just plain stupid and screams some sort of agenda, or maybe ignorance or stupidity I don't know which.

Either way it's a crock of ####, you want to talk about dirty look into the exploration, extraction, refinement, transport and ultimately burning of oil. It's really bad. And I'm not anti oil AT ALL in fact the opposite I believe we must use it as a means to transition to clean energy. But let's stop with this utter nonsense that lithium cobalt nickel whatever batteries are the boogie man and way worse than anything else we produce.

BTW solar panels use an extreme amount of water to produce.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:26 PM   #2077
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Difference is normal power plants actually generate power, while the Vulcan plant put money in the pockets of owners similar to the Monorail from the Simpsons. The Medicine Hat solar plant was already turfed for good reason. Doesn't matter if the plant's nameplate is 400 MW if it would generate 10 MW or lower in days like today.

Despite not having a new power plant built in over 40 years, despite a heavy push for solar and decommissioning of nuclear generating stations, Ontario is still heavily dependent on nuclear with solar being completely inefficient despite much warmer temperatures than here right now. Ontario was able to decomission coal plants solely because they have nuclear to back up the province's energy needs (not solar / wind)

https://www.dispatcho.app/live/AFG1

Ontario Demand at 5:00 p.m. EST
17,933 MW
Market Demand at 5:00 p.m. EST
20,014 MW
Hourly Output by Fuel Type at 5:00 p.m. EST
Nuclear
11,639 MW

Hydro
4,764 MW
Gas
1,849 MW
Wind
175 MW
Solar
7 MW

Biofuel
43 MW

Ontario solar has a capacity of 424 MW (generating 7 MW), wind has a capacity of 4486 MW (generating 175 MW) while Nuclear has a capacity of 13009 MW (generating 11639 MW).

Let us know which is more efficient.

Ontario is a net seller of energy, it produces too much because of combined nuclear and hydro.

Nuclear is definitely the best option and always has been, but fear is a powerful tool, and no industry has been vilified more despite the industry being one of the safest ones.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world continues to build real energy projects with nuclear that provide real world results versus theoretical.

https://www.fircroft.com/blogs/8-maj...nd-91492916433
Notice how nothing in your post spoke about the cost of nuclear?

Nobody is arguing that it isn't the 'best' option in terms of actual power production. We are simply saying that due to regulations and the high cost barrier it is simply not an option investors are going for. Again, the market is speaking very loudly here.

Also, how much is Bruce Power spending on upgrading the Ontario plants? It is a insanely high amount.

Spend the same money on solar, wind + storage in a high capacity area such as Texas and your return is ten-fold. Plus, a solar plant can be up and running in 1 year. Nuclear takes 10+.

Lastly, without subsidies, solar + wind are costing less and less to build per kwH. Maybe not in Canada, but the world is a lot bigger than the frozen north.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:31 PM   #2078
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I don't know why you are saying obtuse things like that. No one is saying move entirely to solar. I think most people (reasonable people) know that Alberta needs a mix of energy sources, and that renewables can have a larger place in that pie- solar, wind, or otherwise. No one is saying close down all the fossil fuel plants and blanket the province in solar farms.
I'm not being obtuse, I'm just saying that we will require the baseload we currently have to get us through the rough periods. Thinking about it, because that is the case, battery storage makes very little sense. We would be better to have basic solar and wind that gives us the free energy when it is available, and instead of batteries, you throttle up gas when needed, because batteries can't be relied upon for longer outages of solar/wind. So we require full capacity baseload anyway, why waste money on batteries? Then, any excess green energy generated just reduces gas usage at the time.


My biggest worry is replacing gas with wind/solar/battery, and it not being available when needed(like now). Even replacing 10% is risky. So it should always be done in addition to our max gas capacity, not to replace it. And the financial implications of that should be taken into account. That then gets rid of the risk.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:33 PM   #2079
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I used to think that nuclear was the future, but a combination of wind, solar & storage is much simpler, more efficient and cheaper to build.

Fission is the next step I suppose.
Nuclear could be viable if we made the plants using new technology but for various reasons progress on the tech is stuck in the past.
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A 100 mile x 100 mile solar farm in the Mojave Desert would provide enough power for the entire US grid. Yes I know it isn't possible to transport the power all over the US, but it just goes to show that we are fast on the way to figuring out how to create cheap, renewable energy.
When I first heard about this I thought, damn that's awesome why don't we do it. But then I did some math on what it would take to actually populate a 100x100 square mile grid and it's daunting to put it mildly. 100 sq miles is 2,787,839,999.6383 sq ft imagine tiling and area of that size even half of it.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:37 PM   #2080
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Nuclear could be viable if we made the plants using new technology but for various reasons progress on the tech is stuck in the past.

When I first heard about this I thought, damn that's awesome why don't we do it. But then I did some math on what it would take to actually populate a 100x100 square mile grid and it's daunting to put it mildly. 100 sq miles is 2,787,839,999.6383 sq ft imagine tiling and area of that size even half of it.
The bigger reason why it isn't a plausible plan is because you simply can't transport that power across the US as needed.

Power generation has to be specific to the region it is being used. For the most part anyways.
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