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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%
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:42 PM   #2081
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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.
Another way to look at it is that it would take about 2 TW of solar panels in the SW deserts to generate the rough equivalent of American electricity usage for a year (ignoring the challenging aspects of storage, transmission, etc).

But the most solar that has ever been installed by a single country was China in 2017 at 53.1 GW. So it would take China nearly 40 years to install that much but not even China (with by far the largest electricity system in the world and also builds most of the world's solar panels) can absorb that much solar. By 2018, its new solar capacity additions had fallen to 45 GW and this year its looking at only 20-24 GW new.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:45 PM   #2082
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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.
So why not a Tesla Powerwall or similar in every home? This make so much sense to me a completely decentralized system that can take or supply power to the grid. And most importantly can store energy that would normally go unused like solar.
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Another way to look at it is that it would take about 2 TW of solar panels in the SW deserts to generate the rough equivalent of American electricity usage for a year (ignoring the challenging aspects of storage, transmission, etc).

But the most solar that has ever been installed by a single country was China in 2017 at 53.1 GW. So it would take China nearly 40 years to install that much but not even China (with by far the largest electricity system in the world and also builds most of the world's solar panels) can absorb that much solar. By 2018, its new solar capacity additions had fallen to 45 GW and this year its looking at only 20-24 GW new.
I came up with similar numbers it would take decades to build out such a project by then the tech would be failing and obsolete.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:48 PM   #2083
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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.
Bruce Power requested to build a new power plant with 2 reactors and withdrew it in 2009 not because of cost, but because Ontario has too much power and it simply wasn't needed. Bruce Power is hugely profitable, and nuclear is very profitable despite all the costs.

All of the solar and wind projects in Ontario are feel good projects with little economic feasibility.

Alberta certainly can use a nuclear reactor versus 0-1 MW with peak conditions average of 5 MW producing solar plants at 30 million a piece.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:56 PM   #2084
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So why not a Tesla Powerwall or similar in every home? This make so much sense to me a completely decentralized system that can take or supply power to the grid. And most importantly can store energy that would normally go unused like solar.

I came up with similar numbers it would take decades to build out such a project by then the tech would be failing and obsolete.
Long-term I think that will happen, the US building code had changes made for 2020 that recommended homes be built for electrical car charging and battery systems like the Powerwall.

It all depends on the economics though. Last I checked, your power costs need to be at LEAST $.16 to $.20 per kWh for a Powerwall to make sense, and you need to live in a state/province where you pay for peak demand.

The Powerwall 2 which came out at the end of 2019 has a build in software feature where you can charge the Powerwall during non-peak hours, and then discharge it during peak hours (4PM to 10PM). Apparently in some areas the cost of peak power is insane so for a lot of people they can easily pay for the Powerwall in a few years just by running that feature. Plus, version 2 has enough storage to easily provide a home with enough power during those 6 hours.

Definitely the future whether people want to admit it or not.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:01 PM   #2085
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Bruce Power requested to build a new power plant with 2 reactors and withdrew it in 2009 not because of cost, but because Ontario has too much power and it simply wasn't needed. Bruce Power is hugely profitable, and nuclear is very profitable despite all the costs.
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Bruce will spend $13-billion on the 15-year refurbishment project, while the province will pay Bruce an estimated average of $77 per megawatt-hour for the electricity, which is below the average electricity price in Ontario of $83 per megawatt-hour.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/repo...ticle27577426/

From what I can tell the plans are going ahead and they are working on the reactors right now. Again, insanely expensive even if it is a great source of power.


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All of the solar and wind projects in Ontario are feel good projects with little economic feasibility.

Alberta certainly can use a nuclear reactor versus 0-1 MW with peak conditions average of 5 MW producing solar plants at 30 million a piece.
Nobody is disagreeing with you. But the world is a lot bigger than Ontario & Alberta.

I really wish nuclear were the future, but it very clearly isn't.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:15 PM   #2086
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I really wish nuclear were the future, but it very clearly isn't.
Then we as a planet are never going to transition to clean energy barring some miracle breakthrough. Solar, wind, tidal etc. has no chance of producing the demanded output.
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Nobody is disagreeing with you. But the world is a lot bigger than Ontario & Alberta.
We as a country already produce 70% of our electricity via hydro honestly it's the least of our worries.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:53 PM   #2087
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So why not a Tesla Powerwall or similar in every home? This make so much sense to me a completely decentralized system that can take or supply power to the grid. And most importantly can store energy that would normally go unused like solar.

I came up with similar numbers it would take decades to build out such a project by then the tech would be failing and obsolete.
It's not straightforward to wire a home for this, nor is it cheap. You'd be way better, instead of say, 500 homes in a neighborhood having one, have one central location in the neighborhood where they are housed. Much cheaper, more reliable, and easier for a utility to manage. But then you have to ask, why do this at all? Ramp down gas generation when the sun is shining, ramp it up when it isn't. No battery needed, and no "unused solar". And no shortage of supply on worst case scenario days.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:02 PM   #2088
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But then you have to ask, why do this at all? Ramp down gas generation when the sun is shining, ramp it up when it isn't. No battery needed, and no "unused solar". And no shortage of supply on worst case scenario days.
Gas generators can't be started/shutdown on a whim as a result a whole bunch of fuel is wasted a battery grid stores this wasted energy.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:17 PM   #2089
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Gas generators can't be started/shutdown on a whim as a result a whole bunch of fuel is wasted a battery grid stores this wasted energy.
Really? I thought that was one of their benefits, that they could be turned up or down pretty quickly. Not off, of course, but down. Perhaps I'm mistaken on that.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:11 AM   #2090
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Really? I thought that was one of their benefits, that they could be turned up or down pretty quickly. Not off, of course, but down. Perhaps I'm mistaken on that.
You're absolutely correct, but from what I understand it's more complicate than that.

Grid stabilization is more than just demand vs supply, but about having them match perfectly to prevent frequency irregularities which lead to power outs. Hydro is the cats meow, because you can just dial it up/down fairly easy. Large steam turbines take minutes to scale up/down and even gas peaker plants can take several seconds to a couple minutes to react. Batteries are instant and make the grid far more reliable and have less load shedding and loss.

Cost is really hard to compare. To attempt to have levelized costs you have look at solar plus storage vs "load" (Coal/Nuclear/etc) plus gas peaker. There's so many assumptions that go into that cost analysis that you can make arguments either way very easily. Cost for Solar Plus storage is only installation with very little ongoing costs. Costs for Nuclear for example is build/fuel/ongoing labour/maintenance/inspection/etc. Then if you amortize that over the life span you still don't get levelized costs because battery storage provides load balancing services that other load generation can't compare with (eg. needing to add gas peakers to balance the load).

Long story short, people much smarter than me can make both sides of the argument work. To my simple mind, Solar/Wind as load with some form of energy storage makes the most sense, but it's complex and we haven't solved long term storage we'd need in many parts of the world. There is however, an awful lot more room for solar/wind in current load generation before we have to have these problems solved.


Why can't 95% renewable be the goal? 90%? Seems more reasonable and you still can achieve the end goal of GHG emission reduction.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:18 AM   #2091
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Gas generators can't be started/shutdown on a whim as a result a whole bunch of fuel is wasted a battery grid stores this wasted energy.
I think peaker plants can be shut down/turned up quickly. Natural Gas as load generation cannot be.

I may be wrong though
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:00 AM   #2092
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You're absolutely correct, but from what I understand it's more complicate than that.

Grid stabilization is more than just demand vs supply, but about having them match perfectly to prevent frequency irregularities which lead to power outs. Hydro is the cats meow, because you can just dial it up/down fairly easy. Large steam turbines take minutes to scale up/down and even gas peaker plants can take several seconds to a couple minutes to react. Batteries are instant and make the grid far more reliable and have less load shedding and loss.

Cost is really hard to compare. To attempt to have levelized costs you have look at solar plus storage vs "load" (Coal/Nuclear/etc) plus gas peaker. There's so many assumptions that go into that cost analysis that you can make arguments either way very easily. Cost for Solar Plus storage is only installation with very little ongoing costs. Costs for Nuclear for example is build/fuel/ongoing labour/maintenance/inspection/etc. Then if you amortize that over the life span you still don't get levelized costs because battery storage provides load balancing services that other load generation can't compare with (eg. needing to add gas peakers to balance the load).

Long story short, people much smarter than me can make both sides of the argument work. To my simple mind, Solar/Wind as load with some form of energy storage makes the most sense, but it's complex and we haven't solved long term storage we'd need in many parts of the world. There is however, an awful lot more room for solar/wind in current load generation before we have to have these problems solved.


Why can't 95% renewable be the goal? 90%? Seems more reasonable and you still can achieve the end goal of GHG emission reduction.
There is a whole bunch to unload on this post. You've clearly done research and you are correct on many things but wrong on many more.

Frequency irregularities are solved simply with the use of synchronization relays, long story short they compare voltage levels and frequency of the supply generation to current grid status. If they arent equal or "synced", the generation will not be introduced to the grid.

You are correct that some gas generation takes a short amount of time to introduce to the grid, however it strongly depends on the type of generation. The more complex the natural gas generation (combined cycle and co gen specifically) the longer the start up time as there are more moving pieces.

I'll admit I do not have any stats to back up cost of battery storage in terms of normalizing pricing, but it currently isnt being done in Canada on a large scale. This could be due to a multitude of reasons and I would speculate battery cost and effectiveness in cold weather to be among them. You dont have to look further than EV mileage to see the effect cold weather has on batteries.

Load shedding isnt prevented by batteries at all. Load shedding is what a grid does to normalize frequency/voltage levels so that electrical devices at a consumer level can operate when the grid is strained. To put it in layman's terms, when a grid has a high demand to capacity ratio, frequency and/or voltage dips. When a grid cannot generate more, UVLS (under voltage load shedding) or under frequency protection are invoked. This means rolling brown outs and it hasn't happened in AB in a long long time.

Nuclear is a technology I could 100% back, solar and wind as a base generation I cant...yet. IMO the only time solar and wind will have a use is when we have affordable and reliable battery systems to store their energy so they can instead act as a reserve instead of a base. As of right now they simply arent effective enough to be done on a broad scale to reach our demand.

Green energy is directly tied to battery advancements, and that's why it isnt feasible right now.

The alternative is to leave this -40C icebox and live somewhere that we dont have to spend thousands on energy and instead move to a climate where humans were actually intended to flourish.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:26 AM   #2093
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There is a whole bunch to unload on this post. You've clearly done research and you are correct on many things but wrong on many more.

Frequency irregularities are solved simply with the use of synchronization relays, long story short they compare voltage levels and frequency of the supply generation to current grid status. If they arent equal or "synced", the generation will not be introduced to the grid.

You are correct that some gas generation takes a short amount of time to introduce to the grid, however it strongly depends on the type of generation. The more complex the natural gas generation (combined cycle and co gen specifically) the longer the start up time as there are more moving pieces.

I'll admit I do not have any stats to back up cost of battery storage in terms of normalizing pricing, but it currently isnt being done in Canada on a large scale. This could be due to a multitude of reasons and I would speculate battery cost and effectiveness in cold weather to be among them. You dont have to look further than EV mileage to see the effect cold weather has on batteries.

Load shedding isnt prevented by batteries at all. Load shedding is what a grid does to normalize frequency/voltage levels so that electrical devices at a consumer level can operate when the grid is strained. To put it in layman's terms, when a grid has a high demand to capacity ratio, frequency and/or voltage dips. When a grid cannot generate more, UVLS (under voltage load shedding) or under frequency protection are invoked. This means rolling brown outs and it hasn't happened in AB in a long long time.

Nuclear is a technology I could 100% back, solar and wind as a base generation I cant...yet. IMO the only time solar and wind will have a use is when we have affordable and reliable battery systems to store their energy so they can instead act as a reserve instead of a base. As of right now they simply arent effective enough to be done on a broad scale to reach our demand.

Green energy is directly tied to battery advancements, and that's why it isnt feasible right now.

The alternative is to leave this -40C icebox and live somewhere that we dont have to spend thousands on energy and instead move to a climate where humans were actually intended to flourish.
This was a very helpful post! Thank you. I've done "research" (I hate calling going down google rabbit holes research), but I there's always terms and concepts I think I understand and find out later I don't. For whatever reason, I find this stuff fascinating and spend bored hours googling all kinds of different green tech stuff. So thanks for this.

I think Li Ion battery as storage will never be the be all/end all. Pumped hydro, molten salt, pressurized air, even lifted concrete as energy storage all seem like potential solutions. None of them are ready for primetime, but we can get there. Like I said in the above post, if we can get 90% of the worlds electrical generation renewable, isn't that still a good goal?
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:54 AM   #2094
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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.
According to census stats, there are 125,000,000 houses in the United States (not to be confused with homes). The average house size is 2687 sq. ft. If even a 1/4 of that space is usable roof, that makes 83,968,750,000 available square feet of space available for solar collection. That's over 30 times the space you calculated. You don't need to build a contiguous solar farm in a desert, you just need to put panels on every home in the nation. Also solves Azure's problem of distribution as the energy is right in the community where it is needed.

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So why not a Tesla Powerwall or similar in every home? This make so much sense to me a completely decentralized system that can take or supply power to the grid. And most importantly can store energy that would normally go unused like solar.
Why not just incorporate cheep battery storage into the footprint of the house? Instead of costly lithium batteries for residential storage, how about cheap salt water batteries that can be easily changed out in a very cost effective manner? This battery bank could be built into the footprint of every attached garage, and then a steel try floor used to cover the batteries and protect them from the vehicles parking on top of them. The home becomes mostly self-sustaining. Add in a local backup power cell that runs on natural gas or propane, and you have a complete system for providing energy need to the home. It's doable, except there are laws in place to prevent it from happening.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:09 AM   #2095
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This was a very helpful post! Thank you. I've done "research" (I hate calling going down google rabbit holes research), but I there's always terms and concepts I think I understand and find out later I don't. For whatever reason, I find this stuff fascinating and spend bored hours googling all kinds of different green tech stuff. So thanks for this.

I think Li Ion battery as storage will never be the be all/end all. Pumped hydro, molten salt, pressurized air, even lifted concrete as energy storage all seem like potential solutions. None of them are ready for primetime, but we can get there. Like I said in the above post, if we can get 90% of the worlds electrical generation renewable, isn't that still a good goal?
The second part of your post is so key. Industrial scale power storage will not be lithium ion because energy density is not critical like it is for cars or cell phones.

Alberta should just mandate steam for SAGD needs to be from Cogen and use that to replace coal. Then wait for Carbon Capture to come down in price.

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Old 01-16-2020, 12:02 PM   #2096
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This was a very helpful post! Thank you. I've done "research" (I hate calling going down google rabbit holes research), but I there's always terms and concepts I think I understand and find out later I don't. For whatever reason, I find this stuff fascinating and spend bored hours googling all kinds of different green tech stuff. So thanks for this.

I think Li Ion battery as storage will never be the be all/end all. Pumped hydro, molten salt, pressurized air, even lifted concrete as energy storage all seem like potential solutions. None of them are ready for primetime, but we can get there. Like I said in the above post, if we can get 90% of the worlds electrical generation renewable, isn't that still a good goal?
I'm with you in that Li-ion wont be the future. Pumped hydro is actually being used in a few places (imagine 2 lakes at different elevations with a hydro dam). They pump water into the upper lake when power is cheap and run the turbines at higher loading.

I agree that energy storage will move in a totally left field direction and wont follow the traditional sense of the word "battery"
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:29 PM   #2097
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Thought this was relevant to the discussion about climate change and responsibility. It's not that long:

Microsoft vows to become "carbon negative" by 2030

Microsoft vowed Thursday to be "carbon negative" by 2030 and announced new plans to fund emerging technologies and methods that pull CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

Also in the article ...

Expanding its internal carbon tax to apply to their supply- and value-chains, not just emissions from their direct operations.

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Old 01-16-2020, 12:31 PM   #2098
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It will be interesting to see what ends up being the most efficient "battery" for grid storage. I can imagine pumped hydro has a lot of efficiency losses through the pumps, but every method is going to have some efficiency issues.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:40 PM   #2099
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It will be interesting to see what ends up being the most efficient "battery" for grid storage. I can imagine pumped hydro has a lot of efficiency losses through the pumps, but every method is going to have some efficiency issues.
The biggest issue with pumped hydro is geography. How many places have higher elevation areas to make lakes out of.


Saw a cool idea of cranes using a turbine to lift large concrete blocks with excess energy created during the day, and using the turbines to create electricity as the concrete lowers during times of need
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:54 PM   #2100
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Thought this was relevant to the discussion about climate change and responsibility. It's not that long:

Microsoft vows to become "carbon negative" by 2030

Microsoft vowed Thursday to be "carbon negative" by 2030 and announced new plans to fund emerging technologies and methods that pull CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

Also in the article ...

Expanding its internal carbon tax to apply to their supply- and value-chains, not just emissions from their direct operations.
I think what's really interesting here is the line about removing their historical carbon emissions. Really cool.
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