Author Topic: Addressing climate change  (Read 1748 times)

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Offline Granny

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2019, 09:42:57 pm »
Except the real cost of providing 7x24 reliable power is not simply a question of of the cost per megawatt. What matters is the costs imposed on the grid by a power source and sources like wind and solar impose large costs which are not factored into those numbers.

Lazard's analysis is based on a measurement known as the levelized cost of energy analysis (LCOE), which is a way of calculating the total production cost of building and operating an electricity-generating plant.

I think the article refutes your claim, TimG: All building and operating costs are included.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 09:46:31 pm by Granny »

Offline TimG

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2019, 09:43:56 pm »
No you do not need redundant capacity. When the sun is up the solar panel for instance simply feeds into the existing grid. When the sun goes down the existing system is still standing by.
You have no clue how the electrical grid works and I don't feel like providing a remedial tutorial to someone who is not likely to listen. This kind of crap is why is impossible to have a sensible discussion on addressing climate change. For such a discussion to be useful people need to be honest and acknowledge the limitations of the technology we have available.
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Offline TimG

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2019, 09:45:36 pm »
Lazard's analysis is based on a measurement known as the levelized cost of energy analysis (LCOE), which is a way of calculating the total production cost of building and operating an electricity-generating plant.
It omits the cost of backup power for renewables because including such a cost would require assumptions about the type of back up power. This means the number is meaningless. It also adds arbitrary fudge factors to "account" for CO2 emissions which have nothing to do with the real world cost of producing electricity.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 09:47:26 pm by TimG »

Offline Granny

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2019, 09:52:47 pm »
It omits the cost of backup power for renewables because including such a cost would require assumptions about the type of back up power. This means the number is meaningless. It also adds arbitrary fudge factors to "account" for CO2 emissions which have nothing to do with the real world cost of producing electricity.
We now have to evaluate environmental costs of energy use too, and burning fossil fuels is not winning.


Offline TimG

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2019, 09:59:57 pm »
We now have to evaluate environmental costs of energy use too, and burning fossil fuels is not winning.
That is a separate discussion. If you want to have an honest conversation about the cost of producing electricity you leave those costs out. You add those considerations back in when you are deciding what mix of energy to use based on the money that is available to pay for it. i.e. you decide what carbon tax people are willing to pay in a given jurisdiction and you add that into the cost analysis. You don't bury assumptions about a carbon tax into a generic cost analysis and then use that to make the false statement that renewables are cheaper than coal because they are are not when you look at the actual money that has to be spent.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 10:08:55 pm by TimG »

Offline Omni

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2019, 10:00:05 pm »
You have no clue how the electrical grid works and I don't feel like providing a remedial tutorial to someone who is not likely to listen. This kind of crap is why is impossible to have a sensible discussion on addressing climate change. For such a discussion to be useful people need to be honest and acknowledge the limitations of the technology we have available.

Sorry buddy but I spent the better part of my first ten years in the work force as an electrician. Here's a clue for ya, you can put a solar panel on your roof, hook it into the grid, and when it is producing that wheel on your hydro meter slows down which saves you money.

Offline TimG

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2019, 10:06:32 pm »
Sorry buddy but I spent the better part of my first ten years in the work force as an electrician. Here's a clue for ya, you can put a solar panel on your roof, hook it into the grid, and when it is producing that wheel on your hydro meter slows down which saves you money.
Being a electrician does not mean you have any knowledge of how the grid works and your response proves it. In your example, the homeowner with solar panels still expects to get 100% of their needs from the grid so the grid has to build the capacity needed to supply those needs even if solar reduces demand on most days. This redundant capacity costs money - money that only has to be spent because renewables are used which means this cost has to be included in the cost of renewables.

We see a similar effect with water bills in Vancouver. Even if you use no water you still have to pay a large sum for the privilege of connecting to the water system. This is because someone has to pay for the system even if it is not used.
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Offline Granny

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2019, 10:11:22 pm »
You need to build completely redundant capacity since you can't risk blackouts if renewable output goes to zero. This doubles the capital cost of renewables if you use backups like gas. If you try to provide backups with batteries you need enough backup to deal with the statistically unlikely but possible periods where renewables could be not producing due to weather events. The cost of such batteries is too expensive to even consider.
You are right, the costing does not include backup power:
LCOE as a measurement does not take into account some external costs, like storing solar power for cloudy days, which is one of the lingering obstacles preventing the widespread adoption of solar.

I think we'll be using a mix of sources feeding the grid for a while, so backup isn't an issue now and technological inprovements will take care of it in the future.

Offline Omni

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2019, 10:15:20 pm »
Being a electrician does not mean you have any knowledge of how the grid works and your response proves it. In your example, the homeowner with solar panels still expects to get 100% of their needs from the grid so the grid has to build the capacity needed to supply those needs even if solar reduces demand on most days. This redundant capacity costs money - money that only has to be spent because renewables are used which means this cost has to be included in the cost of renewables.

We see a similar effect with water bills in Vancouver. Even if you use no water you still have to pay a large sum for the privilege of connecting to the water system. This is because someone has to pay for the system even if it is not used.

It seems you still don't understand well. The homeowner with solar cells reduces their costs when those panels are producing power so they get much less than 100% from the grid when the sun shines bright. So the redundant capacity actually saves money.
 And I pay a minor fee to be connected to the water system and then there's this little meter thingy that charges me for how much I use.

Offline Omni

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2019, 10:21:04 pm »
You are right, the costing does not include backup power:
LCOE as a measurement does not take into account some external costs, like storing solar power for cloudy days, which is one of the lingering obstacles preventing the widespread adoption of solar.

I think we'll be using a mix of sources feeding the grid for a while, so backup isn't an issue now and technological inprovements will take care of it in the future.

I am sure we will be using a mix for a long time to come but that mix will teeter toward renewables as more are developed and come online. We'd have to be rather stupid to continue simply drilling holes in the ground to try to find more pollutants to keep the lights on while the sun gets up every day.

Offline TimG

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2019, 10:24:48 pm »
I think we'll be using a mix of sources feeding the grid for a while, so backup isn't an issue now and technological inprovements will take care of it in the future.
It is wrong for you to assume that technological improvements will "take care" of the problem in the future for the same reason I can't assume that climate change will not cause problems. We can't know what tech will appear in the future and we have to plan with the tech we have and can afford to use today. 

Offline Omni

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2019, 10:45:23 pm »
It is wrong for you to assume that technological improvements will "take care" of the problem in the future for the same reason I can't assume that climate change will not cause problems. We can't know what tech will appear in the future and we have to plan with the tech we have and can afford to use today.

Climate change is already causing problems which is why science is working hard and successfully to move us away from fossil fuels.

Offline Poonlight Graham

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2019, 11:08:17 pm »
I have fairly high confidence that by 2100 we will have not only the technological capability to reduce the CO2 level in the atmosphere to anything we want, but we'll be able to geo-engineer most species populations and re-freeze the glaciers etc etc.  Essentially we'll have the means to do mostly what we want with the environment, including a global temperate drop.

This is like people in 1919 worried we're eventually all going to die of polio, or people in 1819 worried we're going to eventually run out of wood to heat our homes.  The entire problem will be irrelevant due to unthinkable technology changes.
"The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth"  - African proverb

Offline Omni

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2019, 11:18:42 pm »
I have fairly high confidence that by 2100 we will have not only the technological capability to reduce the CO2 level in the atmosphere to anything we want, but we'll be able to geo-engineer most species populations and re-freeze the glaciers etc etc.  Essentially we'll have the means to do mostly what we want with the environment, including a global temperate drop.

This is like people in 1919 worried we're eventually all going to die of polio, or people in 1819 worried we're going to eventually run out of wood to heat our homes.  The entire problem will be irrelevant due to unthinkable technology changes.

You can grow trees simply by putting seeds in the ground. Growing ice, not so easy.

Offline Poonlight Graham

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Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2019, 11:24:15 pm »
You can grow trees simply by putting seeds in the ground. Growing ice, not so easy.

I grow ice in my freezer.
"The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth"  - African proverb