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kristopher

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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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‘Hobbled by High Cost, Hydrogen Fuel Cells Will Be a Modest $3 Billion Market in 2030;

Study: ‘Hobbled by High Cost, Hydrogen Fuel Cells Will Be a Modest $3 Billion Market in 2030′
By Joe Romm on Apr 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Capital cost, not hydrogen supply, will limit adoption to a mere 5.9 GW, dashing dreams of a revolutionary energy future, says Lux Research



As I’ve said for a decade now, hydrogen fuel cells are not going to be a significant, cost-effective CO2 reducer. In a 2005 journal article, “The car and fuel of the future,” I noted that:
Using fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen from zero-carbon sources such as renewable power or nuclear energy has a cost of avoided carbon dioxide of more than $600 a metric ton, which is more than a factor of ten higher than most other strategies being considered today….


A 2013 study by independent research and advisory firm Lux Research finds that despite billions in research and development spent in the past decade, “The dream of a hydrogen economy envisioned for decades by politicians, economists, and environmentalists is no nearer, with hydrogen fuel cells turning a modest $3 billion market of about 5.9 GW in 2030.”

Hydrogen fuel cells won’t be a major contributor to solving the problem of manmade climate change until the market is 100 times larger, which simply won’t happen fast enough to matter to the climate fight, even in the unlikely event they ever become a cost-effective CO2 reducer.

The Lux study, “The Great Compression: The Future of the Hydrogen Economy” (client subs. req’d), finds that “hydrogen demand from fuel cells will total 140 million kg in 2030, a meager 0.56% of global hydrogen demand.” Looks like I’m going to win my big hydrogen bet!
Here’s the rest of the news release from Lux:

Go to: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/05/1422411/study-hobbled-by-high-cost-hydrogen-fuel-cells-will-be-a-modest-3-billion-market-in-2030/

Microgrids in India: Bringing Light to Those in Need

Microgrids in India: Bringing Light to Those in Need
Small power plants bring light in a sea of darkness -- pity there are so few of them.


By Sanjoy Sanyal, New Ventures India April 25, 2013


Every night, the rural areas of the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India plunge into complete darkness. In the last week of January, David Ferris (cleantech journalist for New York Times and Forbes) and myself undertook a gruelling road trip across these two states. We saw only darkness in the districts we visited until we came to the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, brilliantly decked up in the lights of the tri-colour to celebrate the 64th Republic Day.

Bringing these peoples out of darkness must be the priority not just of the Indian government. It is also important for Indian businesses: these areas are untapped markets for products and for recruitment. It should also be the priority of successful Indians who have prospered in the last two decades and who should be acutely aware that the social fabric of the country cannot accommodate inequality of access to basic services of this magnitude.

There is a small glimmer of hope. A combination of reasons (falling solar prices and rising solar efficiencies) and grit and inventiveness of a few entrepreneurs has led to the emergence of a model of rural electrification called micro grids which can electrify villages quickly and with small doses of capital.

There are a few brave spirits working in the vast states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, as our briefing note will describe. These are people who have forsaken careers in global semi conductor companies and large Indian infrastructure organizations. There is even an organic farmer from California. There is a medium sized privately owned automotive company which has diversified into rural electrification to round out this motley crew. (Sun Edison, subsidiary of MEMC is a large multinational has a micro grid site running in Madhya Pradesh).

Taken together ...

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/04/microgrids-in-india-bringing-light-to-those-in-need?cmpid=WNL-Friday-April26-2013

Resolve Koodankulam Issues by Dr. A Gopalakrishnan Former IAERB Chair

"Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, has raised some urgent issues in his article in the New Indian Express that the government must address before commissioning Koodankulam"

Resolve Koodankulam Issues
By Dr. A Gopalakrishnan

24 April, 2013
The Indian Express

The first of the two 1000 MWe VVER nuclear reactors at Koodankulam Project (KKNP-1), under commissioning and testing , is supplied by the Russian atomic energy corporation, Rosatom ,through its subsidiary, Atomstroyexport. On the Indian side , the KKNP project is owned by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) , a public sector undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) . The overall safety regulation responsibility is with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) .

Crucial materials and reactor parts have been exported to KKNP-1 & 2 by a Russian government-owned company called Machine-Building Plant ZiO-Podolsk (ZiO) , which is another Rosatom subsidiary. ZiO-Podolsk supplies have been sent for years to all the Russian nuclear power plants, and to most of the VVER plants exported to countries like India, Iran, China and Bulgaria. These include important safety subsystems , equipment , components and materials supplied over the years to KKNP-1 & 2 .

KKNP-1 was originally scheduled to start operation in early 2010 , but presently even the final start-up testing is not completed . In January 2013 , the Secretary, DAE, stated that he was totally certain that the reactor would be started that month itself, but it did not happen.

From NPCIL’s continuing inability to start-up KKNP-1 till now , it is very obvious that the Indo-Russian commissioning team at Koodankulam is facing some serious problems which they never anticipated....

Much more at link:
http://www.countercurrents.org/gopalakrishnan240413.htm

Thousands of uncertified parts installed in TVA nuclear plants

TVA president on uncertified parts in nuclear plants: ‘This should not have happened’
Friday, April 19th, 2013, by Daniel Potter

The new president of the Tennessee Valley Authority says he’s worried over a failure to properly vet parts used at several of its nuclear power plants. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission stepped up oversight of TVA last month over required quality checks.

Every last piece of a nuclear plant has to have proof it’s up to snuff, says TVA president Bill Johnson.
“These can be pretty simple parts like light switches… we’re not talking about big major nuclear parts.”

Johnson says thousands of parts slipped by without certification over the course of several years. Asked if he’s worried how the situation looks, he said “I worry about us ever not getting every regulation right, every standard right, every specification right. These are things we’re supposed to do, this should not have happened, and then you fix it and make sure it never happens again.”...

http://wpln.org/?p=47235



Translation: "Ooops, my bad, no biggy."

Energy Nominee Blocked Over Cuts at S.C. Nuclear-Waste Plant

Energy Nominee Blocked Over Cuts at S.C. Nuclear-Waste Plant
By Amy Harder National Journal

In his recent confirmation hearing, Ernest Moniz told senators that one of his very first trips as Energy secretary would be to Hanford, the troublesome nuclear-waste site in Washington state. But Moniz might be wise to detour down to South Carolina on his way in light of a move Tuesday by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to block his confirmation.

Graham complains that President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2014 would slash funding for a plutonium-reprocessing facility along the Savannah River in South Carolina and redirect the government’s plans for dealing with weapons-grade nuclear waste to other options.

<snip>

According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, the project’s costs have more than quadrupled to $7.7 billion in the past eight years and will take three more years than planned to complete, until 2019....


http://www.govexec.com/technology/2013/04/obamas-pick-energy-secretary-blocked-over-cuts-sc-nuclear-waste-plant/62745/

Renewables expected to account for 69-74% of new power capacity thru 2030

The rate of change in the model's results is remarkable. The question is, of course, how predictive it is of future developments. I attribute the volatility of the modeling to game changing behavior from China and Germany. The rest of Far East Asia, India and Africa are still wild cards whose behavior isn't significant enough to strongly influence predictions on demand and the consequent buildup of manufacturing. I think the modeling 5 years from now is going to be radically different than what we see now - and it will be in a good way. YMMV

Bloomberg New Energy Finance
STRONG GROWTH FOR RENEWABLES EXPECTED THROUGH TO 2030

Improvements in cost-competitiveness means that renewables will account for between 69% and 74% of new power capacity added by 2030 worldwide, despite current difficult market conditions


London and New York, 22 April 2013 – New research by analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that annual investment in new renewable power capacity is set to rise by anywhere from two and a half times to more than four and a half times between now and 2030. The likeliest scenario implies a jump of 230%, to $630bn per year by 2030, driven by further improvements in the cost-competitiveness of wind and solar technologies relative to fossil fuel alternatives, as well as an increase in the roll-out of non-intermittent clean energy sources like hydro, geothermal and biomass.

....

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s predictions for world energy markets to 2030 come from its Global Energy and Emissions Model, which integrates all of the main determinants of the energy future, including economic prosperity, global and regional demand growth, the evolution of technology costs, likely developments in policies to combat climate change, and trends in fossil fuel markets. Together these form three scenarios: “New Normal”, “Barrier Busting” and “Traditional Territory”.

The New Normal scenario is considered the most likely. It shows the investment requirement for new clean energy assets in the year 2030 at $630bn (in nominal terms), more than three times the investment in the renewable energy capacity that was built in 2012. This 2030 investment figure is 35% higher than that produced in Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s last global forecast a year ago, and the projection for total installed renewable energy capacity by that date is 25% higher than in that previous forecast, at 3,500GW.

In the power sector, the research company’s latest forecasts project that 70% of new power generation capacity added between 2012 and 2030 will be from renewable technologies (including large hydro). Only 25% will be in the form of coal, gas or oil, the remaining being nuclear. The scenarios are based on Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest projections for coal and gas prices. For gas, these assume prices stabilise in real terms at $6, $9 and $11/MMBtu in the US, Europe and the Asia respectively.

For comparison, the International Energy Agency’s New Policies scenario forecasts that 57% of power capacity added during this period will be from renewable resources (including large hydro)....


http://about.bnef.com/press-releases/strong-growth-for-renewables-expected-through-to-2030/


ETA: This writeup on the Bloomberg research from MotherJones is worth reading in full. The charts they selected deserve sharing as a reminder of where this type of growth, should it occur, will leave us:

Charting new generation only:


Total generation:


MotherJones writeup here:
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/04/charts-renewable-energy-fossil-fuels

Keeling Curve Website Wants You To Know When CO2 Levels Hit 400 Parts Per Million

Keeling Curve Website Wants You To Know When CO2 Levels Hit 400 Parts Per Million
By Joe Romm on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm



On Monday, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory measured CO2 levels in the air of 398.36 parts per million (ppm). And that means carbon dioxide, the main gas driving climate change, will soon hit 400 ppm for the first time in human existence.

The world’s longest unbroken record of atmospheric CO2 levels is the “Keeling Curve” measured at Mauna Loa since 1958. The curve was initiated by Charles David Keeling and is maintained by his son, Ralph F. Keeling, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (where I did my Ph.D. research on the physical oceanography of the Greenland Sea).

The Scripps folks want you to know precisely when we hit 400 ppm so they have set up a website and even a twitter feed, @Keeling_curve, that will tweet out the CO2 level every day.
The 400 ppm level is another major milestone on humanity’s accelerating path to destroying a livable climate. As climatologist Chris Field told the AP, “It’s an important threshold. It is an indication that we’re in a different world.”

How different can be seen in this chart:


The 400 ppm level was passed in parts of the Arctic last May because...


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/24/1911821/keeling-curve-website-co2-levels-hit-400-parts-per-million/

India's grand solar plans threatened by ugly US trade spat

India's grand solar plans threatened by ugly US trade spat
In a tit-for-tat trade battle between the US and India over solar power, what is certain is that the environment will be the loser



Should trade wars and protecting local jobs get in the way of clean energy?

That's the dilemma before India – and the world – at the moment. Desperately short of power, but with an average of 300 sunny days a year, India is aggressively pursuing solar energy. Its national solar programme, the grandly named Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (named after India's first prime minister) plans to generate 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022. But an ugly trade spat with the US may frustrate India's efforts to go solar.

In February this year, the US asked the World Trade Organisation for dispute consultations concerning the "domestic content" requirement of the solar programme. Domestic content is a loaded phrase in international trade. What it means is that India requires solar energy producers to use locally manufactured solar cells, and offers them special subsidies. This allegedly violates WTO principles that require countries to treat both foreign and domestic goods equally.

...

But it isn't just Indian companies that are worried. Twelve influential green organisations, including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, Action Aid USA and Friends of the Earth, have urged the US to withdraw the complaint, and called for a compromise that allows India to build a solar economy. In a strongly worded letter, the groups pointed out that India's domestic solar industry is critical to global efforts to tackle climate change. The groups also expressed dismay at the idea that climate policy might be determined by trade wars rather than climate science.

Things got worse...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/terra-india/2013/apr/23/india-solar-plans-us-trade-spat

These trade disputes stink of another rightwing attack on the move away from fossil fuels. Climate denial, climate skeptics, attacks on state laws,; we know those to be true. The battle is being fought on every front, so why wouldn't they be using international trade law to obstruct? Driving a wedge between labor and environment interests can do nothing but help the cause of the Right.

Nuclear isn't a renewable source of energy.

As much as it's lovers would like it to be. As to your supposed open-mindedness, that's bullshit. You are, and have been for years, a dyed-in-the-wool nuke booster.

While the headline is from the paragraph you pulled, it actually relates to the discussion in the previous paragraph which specifically discussed renewables - wind and solar - and their relative pace of deployment related to coal. It's bad writing/editing that you seem to have overlooked.

Apparently you can't read very well for meaning since I made it very clear that we need to increase the rate of renewable deployment. However, I'm sure if you check my post again with that in mind you'll find it. ETA-It's also very clear that the "renewables are doing just fine" comment refers to the evaluation of the writers of the paper. That what the "it says" part of "it says that in contrast to nuclear, renewables are deploying just fine" means, in case you have trouble parsing that also.

The nuclear power industry wants to EXPAND global energy use, not shrink it. They are a key enabler of the economics that support the coal industry. There is more than ample evidence to support that thesis, so, if you actually do have climate change as your first priority, you'd stop your anti-renewable, pronuclear antics and focus on the obvious solution to the problem - getting rid of centralized thermal energy systems and replacing them with distributed renewables.

One of the most important messages of the paper isn't that renewable energy is failing to meet their projections - it isn't. It is that nuclear power is a MARKET FAILURE that is sandbagging the effort to address climate change.

ETA:
Renewables Investment Seen Tripling Amid Supply Glut
By Louise Downing and Alex Morales, Bloomberg
April 22, 2013



LONDON -- The plunge in the cost of wind and solar power that bankrupted more than two dozen manufacturers is forecast to spur a tripling of investment in renewables by 2030 and to reduce the grip fossil fuels have on world energy supply.

Annual spending on clean-energy projects that don’t add to greenhouse-gas pollution may rise to $630 billion at the end of the next decade from $190 billion last year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report today. That’s 37 percent more than estimated in November 2011 and means renewables would account for half of all generation capacity by 2030.

The findings contrast with production gluts that made most solar and wind manufacturers unprofitable last year, tipping a unit of Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) into bankruptcy and Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) into record losses. While suppliers are suffering, lower equipment prices are making more projects profitable to develop and advancing the day when renewables can rival coal and oil on cost.

“The apocalyptic views about what it will cost to shift the world to renewable energy simply aren’t true,” Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of New Energy Finance, said in an interview. “Three years ago, we thought wind and solar would be cheap as chips, and they’ve even gone below that.”...

More at: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/04/renewables-investment-seen-tripling-amid-supply-glut?cmpid=SolarNL-Tuesday-April23-2013

Investment in renewables expected to triple

Renewables Investment Seen Tripling Amid Supply Glut
By Louise Downing and Alex Morales, Bloomberg
April 22, 2013



LONDON -- The plunge in the cost of wind and solar power that bankrupted more than two dozen manufacturers is forecast to spur a tripling of investment in renewables by 2030 and to reduce the grip fossil fuels have on world energy supply.

Annual spending on clean-energy projects that don’t add to greenhouse-gas pollution may rise to $630 billion at the end of the next decade from $190 billion last year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report today. That’s 37 percent more than estimated in November 2011 and means renewables would account for half of all generation capacity by 2030.

The findings contrast with production gluts that made most solar and wind manufacturers unprofitable last year, tipping a unit of Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) into bankruptcy and Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) into record losses. While suppliers are suffering, lower equipment prices are making more projects profitable to develop and advancing the day when renewables can rival coal and oil on cost.

“The apocalyptic views about what it will cost to shift the world to renewable energy simply aren’t true,” Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of New Energy Finance, said in an interview. “Three years ago, we thought wind and solar would be cheap as chips, and they’ve even gone below that.”...

More at: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/04/renewables-investment-seen-tripling-amid-supply-glut?cmpid=SolarNL-Tuesday-April23-2013
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