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Tue Nov 26, 2013, 08:12 PM

Have you heard the bull**** claim that "renewables are great but they aren't enough"?

Have you heard the bull**** claim that "renewables are great but they aren't enough"?
This is a common bit of misinformation that swirls around the public consciousness, perverting the ability of the public to make informed choices on how we proceed to address our energy security and climate change needs. This is a detailed analysis matching real world demand and the known operational profile of renewable energy sources. It clearly shows that claims such as "renewabes can't do it" or "renewables aren't enough" are nothing but balderdash and poppycock.

These false beliefs that are being nurtured by political and economic forces that stand to lose power and money if we focus our efforts on the renewable, sustainable solution to our energy issues.

Equally important is the fact that not only CAN renewables do the job, but they can do it for less money, more reliably, with far fewer external costs, and much much lower risks than the only other non-carbon contenders - coal with carbon capture/sequestration and nuclear power.

The claim is NOT being made that this would be an easy task. Nor is the claim made that the modeling in the paper is perfect representation of all geographic areas and the specific resources that would be available to meet demands in those areas; for example, there will be areas where wave/current/tidal or biomass are more important than solar, or where storage options like pumped hydro and compressed air storage are more appropriate than standard hydro.

What the paper does demonstrate is the fallacy of the idea that renewable energy resources are not up to the task. We have a wide range of technologies sitting on the shelf available to meet demand and it is good to be aware of their potential.

Matching Hourly and Peak Demand by Combining Different Renewable Energy Sources
A case study for California in 2020


Graeme R.G. Hoste
Michael J. Dvorak
Mark Z. Jacobson

Stanford University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Atmosphere/Energy Program


Abstract
In 2002 the California legislature passed Senate Bill 1078, establishing the Renewables Portfolio Standard requiring 20 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable resources by 2010, with the additional goal of 33% by 2020 (California Senate, 2002; California Energy Commission , 2004). More recently, some legislative proposals have called for eliminating 80% of all carbon from energy to limit climate change to an ‘acceptable level’. At the passing of the 2002 California bill, qualifying renewables provided less than 10% of California’s energy supply (CEC, 2007). Several barriers slow the development of renewables; these include technological barriers, access to renewable resources, public perceptions, political pressure from interest groups, and cost, to name a few. This paper considers only one technological barrier to renewables: integration into the grid.

Many renewable resources are intermittent or variable by nature—producing power inconsistently and somewhat unpredictably—while on the other end of the transmission line, consumers demand power variably but predictably throughout the day. The Independent System Operator (ISO) monitors this demand, turning on or off additional generation when necessary. As such, predictability of energy supply and demand is essential for grid management. For natural gas or hydroelectricity, supplies can be throttled relatively easily. But with a wind farm, power output cannot be ramped up on demand. In some cases, a single wind farm that is providing power steadily may see a drop in or complete loss of wind for a period. For this reason, grid operators generally pay less for energy provided from wind or solar power than from a conventional, predictable resource.

Although wind, solar, tidal, and wave resources will always be intermittent when they are considered in isolation and at one location, several methods exist to reduce intermittency of delivered power. These include combining geographically disperse intermittent resources of the same type, using storage, and combining different renewables with complementary intermittencies (e.g., Kahn, 1979; Archer and Jacobson, 2003, 2007). This paper discusses the last method: integration of several independent resources. In the pages that follow, we demonstrate that the complementary intermittencies of wind and solar power in California, along with the flexibility of hydro, make it possible for a true portfolio of renewables to meet a significant portion of California’s electricity demand. In particular, we estimate mixes of renewable capacities required to supply 80% and 100% of California’s electricity and 2020 and show the feasibility of load-matching over the year with these resources. Additionally, we outline the tradeoffs between different renewable portfolios (i.e., wind-heavy or solar-heavy mixes). We conclude that combining at least four renewables, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power in optimal proportions would allow California to meet up to 100% of its future hourly electric power demand assuming an expanded and improved transmission grid.




To download entire report:
http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CombiningRenew/HosteFinalDraft


This is a repost of an OP from 2010. The original thread is a priceless visit with tombstoned DrGreg (who coincidentally shares so many unique traits with PawW).
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=115x258338

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Reply Have you heard the bull**** claim that "renewables are great but they aren't enough"? (Original post)
kristopher Nov 2013 OP
FogerRox Nov 2013 #1
Scuba Nov 2013 #2
PamW Nov 2013 #4
Scuba Nov 2013 #6
PamW Nov 2013 #7
Scuba Nov 2013 #8
PamW Nov 2013 #9
Scuba Nov 2013 #10
kristopher Nov 2013 #11
PamW Nov 2013 #12
cprise Nov 2013 #3
PamW Nov 2013 #5
NNadir Nov 2013 #13

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Nov 26, 2013, 09:27 PM

1. Modern top of the line wind turbines go carbon neutral in 7 months.

How long does it take for a nuclear plant to go carbon neutral?

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 06:15 AM

2. Yes, and it's bull hockey...

 

http://www.rdmag.com/news/2013/06/dna-constructs-antenna-solar-energy

The Earth receives enough solar energy every hour to satisfy our energy needs for an entire year.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 11:54 AM

4. IGNORES Thermodynamics

Scuba,

That's a TRITE saying.

The problem is that it doesn't comport with the Laws of Thermodynamics.

I can give you ALL the energy you want at ambient temperature; and it doesn't do you any good to get usable work.

Unfortunately, the environmentalists never got beyond the First Law of Thermodynamics. They stopped there.

It is when you learn about the Second Law of Thermodynamics that you discover the LIMITATIONS.

Did you ever consider taking a class in Physics?

The good thing about science is that it is true, whether or not you believe in it.
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:02 PM

6. If you'd like to explain how the Laws of Thermodynamics don't "comport" with my statement, do so.

 

But just boldfacing words and saying "you're wrong" is not an argument.

On the other hand, since 98% of your posts are in the energy forum, it's obviously a passion of yours, so I would expect you can make a good argument to back up your claim that solar power cannot meet the planet's energy needs.

Let's hear it.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:33 PM

7. Sure...consider the waterfall analogy

Scuba,

Energy always "flows downhill" with regard to temperature.

So we can only get useful work when we flow energy between two temperature reservoirs; one hotter than the other.

Consider the analogy to water power.

You get energy when you allow water to flow downhill to another reservoir; that's how dams work.

So if someone gives you a bunch of water; they've given you a bunch of energy, right?

NOT necessarily. Suppose they give you all that water at sea level.

You don't have a reservoir lower than sea level to let the water flow down.

So even though they've given you a bunch of water; the energy is "unavailable".

The same happens with energy. If the energy you've been given is at ambient temperature; you can't get work out of it.

First Law of Thermodynamics

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/firlaw.html

Second Law of Thermodynamics

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/seclaw.html

See the water wheel analogy in the above.

If you are given energy at ambient temperature; then your water wheel is at the top of the waterfall. ( There's no waterfall, just sea-level lake )

How much energy do you get from a waterfall if the water wheel is at the top?

You will note that in all the dams, like Hoover dam; the turbines are at the bottom; and for good reason.

The good thing about science is that it is true, whether or not you believe in it.
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:35 PM

8. So "no", eh?

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:41 PM

9. Just because you don't understand it; doesn't mean it's not true.

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Response to PamW (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:07 PM

10. LOL

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 05:22 PM

11. Noticed that, did you?

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Response to kristopher (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 06:44 PM

12. Don't mind kristopher....

Don't mind kristopher; and how he is so easily amused by the lack of science understanding.

I've attempted to teach the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and its effects to kristopher without success.

As I've often said; I'd have better luck attempting to teach quantum mechanics to the cat.

Actually, it's REALLY SAD, mankind has known about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics for since the mid-1800s. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is NOT new breakthrough, frontier physics. It's the well known "bread and butter" science of engineers for over 150 years.

However, some modern people seem to be incapable of "getting up to speed" with what physicists knew 150 years ago.

However, it really matters NOT a WHIT that kristopher nor anyone else understands the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics; because Mother Nature understands the 2nd Law and all the ill-considered "greenie" "wet dreams" that kristopher and his ilk like to promulgate will all be for naught due to forces of Nature they don't understand. Poor INEFFECTIVE advocates.

That's why I always conclude with the following quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson:

The good thing about science is that it is true, whether or not you believe in it.
--Neil deGrasse Tyson

PamW


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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 10:22 AM

3. K&R

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:01 PM

5. Oh Joy - more BLATHER from Jacobsen.

kristopher,

For once I wish that "wanna be" scientist / engineer Mark Z Jacobsen; would do what other scientists do.

Instead of just telling us that there are solution that he "thinks" ( term used loosely ) exist; why not go implement them.

Don't just tell us that there are ways to deal with the intermittent nature of renewables.

Why not go out and DO IT. Get a bunch of wind turbines and the storage system and control system of your choice and construct a pilot-scale power plant that can deliver power 24/7 at constant voltage ON DEMAND.

Anybody taking any bets as to whether that "pseudo-engineer" Jacobsen could really accomplish what he preaches?

He would have NON-ZERO credibility if he just shut up and DID something.

For the present, he's the classic example of the old maxim, "Those that can, DO. Those that can't, TEACH".

BLATHER ON Jacobsen, BLATHER ON!!!

PamW

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 09:17 PM

13. No matter how many times Jacobson sticks his head in the sand...

...and yells like a fool, he still will be clueless.

Hansen ripped him a new asshole - and let's face it, Jacobson's mostly asshole, wishing to bet the planetary atmosphere on a gas entrenching scheme that simply sucks money for no measurable result - in <em>Environmental Science and Technology</em> where he referred to the insipid remarks that Jacobson made with his fellow denialist anti-nuke, Sovacool.

Furthermore, Sovacool et al. provide no references for the
“prevailing scientific consensus” they allude to regarding Chernobyl deaths. The only relevant source they cite is a single-authored web posting from the Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization that is well-known for its long-held opposition to nuclear power. By contrast, the 2008 UNSCEAR report that we cite14 represents a rigorous scientific assessment performed by expert scientists from 27 countries (including the countries most affected by the accident).
On a broader note, essentially all credible energy projections from authoritative sources (e.g., refs 10, 12, 15) indicate that in order to achieve near-term climate change mitigation targets, nuclear power will need to make a substantial contribution to the near-term energy mixeven after factoring in large-scale energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy deployment. The objections to nuclear power raised by Sovacool et al. can readily be resolved by next-generation reactors, as we
described in ref 3. We fully acknowledge that renewables and energy efficiency must play an important role, but relying solely on them to provide all the required GHG emissions reductions
would seriously threaten our chances of success.

Much as Sovacool et al. would prefer to live in a world in which near-term mitigation targets can be fully realized without nuclear, in the real world the urgency and scale of the climate crisis require that we retain and expand all nonfossil electricity sources, especially those that can directly displace base load coal plants. The propagation of biased and misleading arguments against nuclear power by Sovacool et al. and others does a great disservice to the all-important goal of avoiding dangerous
anthropogenic climate change.


The bold is mine.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es402211m

I will state that personally I disagree with Hansen on one point. Despite 60 years of cheering - expensive cheering that has sucked hundreds of billions of dollars, euros, trillions of yen and yaun for no result, the entire renewable energy industry built to date as represented by solar and wind still can't match the 20 exajoules of energy consumption increase that took place between 2009 and 2010.

In fact, combined, the failed expensive and toxic solar and wind industry - the subject of so much bad science fiction - can't even produce 3 of the 538 exajoules humanity is now producing.

This is why 2013 is proving to be the worst year ever observed for the destruction of the atmosphere by humanity. Humanity, all of it, is suffering because too many people listen to the horseshit handed out by Jacobson and his very ignorant supporters.

It's time to stop throwing money at this pop fantasy called "renewable energy." It's killing us, choking us to death, quite literally.

Nuclear energy is the only sustainable form of energy there is.

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