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Old 14th January 2014, 07:09 PM   #132033  /  #1
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Getting Unscrewed: The Alternate Energy Solutions Thread

This thread is for discussion about the why and how of lessening our dependence on fossil fuels. Hopefully it devolves into a lot of arguing and a massive flamewar.
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Old 14th January 2014, 07:23 PM   #132037  /  #2
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Australia has the natural resources to convert to wind and solar by 2040 with no increase in cost.

solar-wind-could-replace-all-fossil-fuels-in-australia-by-2040

Quote:
The scenario painted by Blakers includes:

The currently-declining consumption of electricity stabilises at 2013 levels
New capacity to replace retiring fossil fuel power stations at end of system life is exclusively wind and solar i.e. no new gas or coal plant.
All existing fossil fuel power stations have retired by 2040
Existing hydro and other renewables is maintained but not increased
Capacity factors typical of good sites are achieved for wind (35%) and solar (20%). System lifetimes of 30 years are assumed.
Wind and PV installation rates of 1 gigawatt (GW) per year each are sufficient to meet the Government’s 2020 renewable energy target. Note that about 1 GW of PV was installed in 2012 and about 1 GW of wind will be installed in 2013.
In order to reach 100% renewables by 2040 the following installation rates are needed:
Wind: 1 GW per year until 2040; AND
Solar: 1 GW per year until 2020, then growing by 10% per year thereafter.
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Old 14th January 2014, 10:08 PM   #132067  /  #3
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http://blog.cleantechies.com/2014/01...-in-australia

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A study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in Australia has discovered that renewable energy is cheaper to produce than the old conventional fossil fuel sources, and that is without the subsidies.

The study shows that electricity can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AUD 80/MWh (USD 83), compared to AUD 143/MWh from a new coal plant or AUD 116/MWh from a new baseload gas plant, including the cost of emissions under the Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme. However even without a carbon price (the most efficient way to reduce economy-wide emissions) wind energy is 14% cheaper than new coal and 18% cheaper than new gas.
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Old 14th January 2014, 10:09 PM   #132068  /  #4
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Originally Posted by SR71 View Post
Hopefully it devolves into a lot of arguing and a massive flamewar.
self-important tosspot












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Old 14th January 2014, 10:48 PM   #132091  /  #5
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Barmy bounder! I never!
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Old 14th January 2014, 11:25 PM   #132103  /  #6
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Petro production is outpacing discovery. Off the cuff, seems like a long term problem for the industry. Maybe they just aren't looking hard enough.

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Old 14th January 2014, 11:50 PM   #132112  /  #7
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In summary, as has been noted in other threads, there is literally no reason not to invest all available energy money and effort into greener, 'renewable' sources.

Better for economies (cheap energy, new industry, new research tech)
Less pollution (from drilling, mining, burning, leaks)
Less carbon to contribute to global warming and ultimately better in may ways for the planet
No looming horror of running out of oil
etc
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Old 15th January 2014, 09:05 AM   #132168  /  #8
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http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/a-do...stimates-94767

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The Australian government’s main economic advisor has significantly revised its cost estimates for leading energy technologies in an update that should introduce a dose of reality to the energy debate in this country.
The Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics quietly released an update of its Australian Energy Technology Assessment in December. The first report*came out in July, 2012.

In the latest report – concluded after “consultation” with various industry sectors – the cost of solar technologies has been revised*"downwards*"(in some cases by up to 30 per cent), in particular solar thermal with storage, while the costs of clean energy rival technologies such as carbon capture and storage and nuclear have been revised*"upwards."
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Old 16th January 2014, 04:48 PM   #132251  /  #9
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Realistically, the missing piece of the puzzle for alternate energy seems to be utility scale electrical (or whatever) energy storage. If only there were cheaper batteries for setting aside energy when production is good in advance for when production conditions are poor. There are other ways than batteries to store energy, but they tend to be lossy and/or expensive, as are current generation batteries at utility scale. Maybe this battery will prove out for practical use?

organic-mega-flow-battery-promises-breakthrough-for-renewable-energy

It's a flow battery, meaning the charged electrolyte is stored outside of the reaction cell and pumped through the cell when it's meant to discharge. The interesting thing here is that expensive metals in the electrolyte are replaced with organic molecules resembling a substance found in rhubarb. Rhubarb.
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Old 16th January 2014, 06:22 PM   #132256  /  #10
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One nice thing about this is that it will get easier when we've built enough infrastructure across the country and globe with more efficient ways to move energy. It is always raining, gusting, or sunny somewhere and places where not much is being generated. There will be someplace useful for the generated energy to go.
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Old 17th January 2014, 07:10 PM   #132426  /  #11
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If you go to Science Daily, you can read pages and pages about solar energy research, among other things. My favorite article from last year was this one. The idea is for a fundamentally different type of solar energy capture. Rather than photons knocking electrons about in a silicon layer, this receives the radiation in the same way antennas capture radio signal. Tiny antennas, rectified over diodes. Of course, the antennas have to be really tiny at even infrared frequency, but this U Conn researcher is trying to make said tiny antennas by some sort of nano printing.

I wish they would bother to publish follow up articles on some of the press releases at Science Daily. I'm thinking of writing to the Professor at U Conn to ask how things are coming along.
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Old 18th January 2014, 06:47 AM   #132488  /  #12
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My position in a biotech's sure-thing drug is down 80%.

How large a stake/position in a battery company of your choice would you take today?
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Old 18th January 2014, 06:18 PM   #132494  /  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MondoVman View Post
My position in a biotech's sure-thing drug is down 80%.

How large a stake/position in a battery company of your choice would you take today?
I might consider going with an early leader at the stage where wind farms are being fitted with battery banks. Not before then, too many contenders! As is so often the case, the firm which creates the breakthrough may very well not be the one to profit from it.

I see concrete is being poured for the new fusion reactor project. Maybe they can get it to sustain operation. Who knows?
Fusion Development

Quote:
The world’s biggest energy research project, the $20bn ITER nuclear fusion reactor, entered a key construction phase last month, as contractors began to pour 15,000 cubic metres of concrete into a pit in the south of France. It will house a huge doughnut-shaped machine, where scientists hope to tame the fusion reaction that powers the sun as a source of clean energy on Earth.
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Old 18th January 2014, 10:54 PM   #132501  /  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR71 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MondoVman View Post
My position in a biotech's sure-thing drug is down 80%.

How large a stake/position in a battery company of your choice would you take today?
I might consider going with an early leader at the stage where wind farms are being fitted with battery banks. Not before then, too many contenders! As is so often the case, the firm which creates the breakthrough may very well not be the one to profit from it.

I see concrete is being poured for the new fusion reactor project. Maybe they can get it to sustain operation. Who knows?
Fusion Development

Quote:
The world’s biggest energy research project, the $20bn ITER nuclear fusion reactor, entered a key construction phase last month, as contractors began to pour 15,000 cubic metres of concrete into a pit in the south of France. It will house a huge doughnut-shaped machine, where scientists hope to tame the fusion reaction that powers the sun as a source of clean energy on Earth.
Interesting yet packed with scary word shite!

Ordered most to least scary:
"hope to tame the fusion reaction" - Hope?! What the!
"hope ... clean energy" - Aren't they absofucking sure at present?
"Maybe they can get it to sustain" - Are they ex-shuttle engineer's?
"Who knows?" - One would expect this question to be 100% unnecessary.
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Old 19th January 2014, 01:30 AM   #132531  /  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MondoVman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SR71 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MondoVman View Post
My position in a biotech's sure-thing drug is down 80%.

How large a stake/position in a battery company of your choice would you take today?
I might consider going with an early leader at the stage where wind farms are being fitted with battery banks. Not before then, too many contenders! As is so often the case, the firm which creates the breakthrough may very well not be the one to profit from it.

I see concrete is being poured for the new fusion reactor project. Maybe they can get it to sustain operation. Who knows?
Fusion Development

Quote:
The world’s biggest energy research project, the $20bn ITER nuclear fusion reactor, entered a key construction phase last month, as contractors began to pour 15,000 cubic metres of concrete into a pit in the south of France. It will house a huge doughnut-shaped machine, where scientists hope to tame the fusion reaction that powers the sun as a source of clean energy on Earth.
Interesting yet packed with scary word shite!

Ordered most to least scary:
"hope to tame the fusion reaction" - Hope?! What the!
"hope ... clean energy" - Aren't they absofucking sure at present?
"Maybe they can get it to sustain" - Are they ex-shuttle engineer's?
"Who knows?" - One would expect this question to be 100% unnecessary.
hope to tame the fusion reaction - So far they can only blip it on at an operating test reactor for, what, 7 seconds is the record? By "tame" they mean keep it on for a useful length of time without destroying the reactor.

Maybe they can get it to sustain - or maybe they can't, no one is quite positive at this point, it's experimental.

Who knows? - I don't think anyone at all is quite sure if we can contain a little plasma ring of starfire in a machine on earth without it destroying the machine. They certainly hope to.
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Old 19th January 2014, 01:43 AM   #132532  /  #16
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Wow! 30 seconds in a Chinese Tokamak. That was just last year!

Fusion reactor achieves tenfold increase in plasma confinement time

Quote:
For that reason, work is proceeding apace on the next generation of fusion reactors. Researchers at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei, China, achieved a significant improvement in its confinement time and the density of the plasma it held. This step is necessary to maintain the appropriate conditions for fusion as well as to reduce the damage the hot plasma causes to the reactor walls. As described by J. Li and colleagues, the latest run at EAST achieved a plasma pulse lasting over 30 seconds, a record achievement that simultaneously demonstrated improvements in heat dispersal.
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Old 19th January 2014, 02:33 AM   #132534  /  #17
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Yep. China. Leading the way because the USA doesn't seem to want to.
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Old 19th January 2014, 08:28 AM   #132555  /  #18
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So only about $21 billion for about 30 seconds is what I just learned.

Only $700 million per operational second - an incredible, repeat incredible, bargain of efficiency and cost performance, but in the wrong direction.
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Old 19th January 2014, 01:27 PM   #132562  /  #19
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So only about $21 billion for about 30 seconds is what I just learned.

Only $700 million per operational second - an incredible, repeat incredible, bargain of efficiency and cost performance, but in the wrong direction.
Yes, it's expensive, but the potential payoff is enormous. Should the expense keep nations from trying to develop the technology? That's a fair question, and the answer could well be considered a subjective judgement. Reasonable people might disagree. The benefits of success would be remarkable though, to say the least. How much does the world spend now on coal and gas for electricity? How much are we spending on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter? It doesn't quite work right yet either.

Fusion would give us the benefits of fission energy without many of the drawbacks of current technology. Even thorium reactors still have some of those drawbacks. Fusion would be far preferable to other reactors with respect to radioactive waste and nuclear weapon proliferation concerns. Getting it to work would be among humankinds signal achievements.
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Old 19th January 2014, 11:14 PM   #132568  /  #20
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Originally Posted by SR71 View Post
Getting it to work would be among humankinds signal achievements.
This cannot be overstated. It is pretty much the difference between traveling among the planets and traveling among the stars.
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Old 21st January 2014, 07:45 AM   #132672  /  #21
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http://www.businessspectator.com.au/...atwave-saviour

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Victoria and South Australia have just gone through a week of very high temperatures and very high maximum electricity demand. There has been some debate as to what contribution, if any, solar PV has made. Our analysis shows that solar PV has made a significant contribution, being responsible for reducing peak demand by 4.6 per cent...
... which is quite significant, since the peak electricity demand in this country occurs on days of extreme heat, not low temperatures, owing to over-use of air conditioning.

The peaks are so high that substantial investment in electrical infrastructure has been required to support these rare short-term demand peaks, and is the major cause of increasing electricity costs (Nothing to do with the carbon tax, as some ratbag politicians and other fuckwits would like you to believe.)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-1...ir-con/5203068
Quote:
The Productivity Commission said, "[I]n New South Wales, peak demand events occurring for less than 40 hours per year (or less than one per cent of the time) account for around 25 per cent of retail electricity bills."
http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/p...y-overview.pdf
Quote:
Average electricity prices have risen by 70 per cent in real terms from June 2007 to December 2012. Spiralling network costs in most states are the main contributor to these increases, partly driven by inefficiencies in the industry and flaws in the regulatory environment.
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Old 21st January 2014, 09:45 AM   #132697  /  #22
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Lol. Brain-dead journalism and referencing of same strike again.

I was able to ferret out the "SA" and "Vic" in the diagram LIKELY are abbreviations of South Australia and Victoria, respectively. Something overlooked or blinded-to-consider worth detailing, as is somewhat common today.

Mindblowingly though is "PV". The linked article's headling contains "PV" and the article has 4 or more occurrences of "PV".

What is "PV"? other than evidence of brain-dead journalism and posting.
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Old 21st January 2014, 12:11 PM   #132699  /  #23
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PV is photovoltaic, obviously. You are the brain-dead one, knobhead.
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Old 21st January 2014, 04:21 PM   #132710  /  #24
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That last is what I have been thinking about my own area. The area has seen a rapid increase in power demand and land use development over the last decades. The utility did not keep up with power transport in that interval, so that when we get to 100F or so, we get brownouts. It's not because they can't generate enough power, it's because they can't get it to the customer.

Well, now with all the new buildings and so on in the way, it will be quite costly to improve transmission capacity. Better to just put new PV generation near the load at the ends of branches of transmission circuits, imo.
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Old 21st January 2014, 09:53 PM   #132712  /  #25
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PV is photovoltaic, obviously. You are the brain-dead one, knobhead.
Thanks for proving you possess a poor operating definition of the word "obviously."

Unimpressed (again) with this latest attempt at excusing yourself for burdening forum readers with the "acronym game".
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