The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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Grumble
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Electricity

Post by Grumble » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:26 pm

Since being introduced to it on bad science I’ve been addicted to checking Gridwatch. Today (11/11/19) we’ve consistently had over 10GW from wind, I’m hoping this time next year that will be a laughably small number.
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: Electricity

Post by bmforre » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:29 pm

Opinion recently published in Le Monde:
« L’éolien en mer peut produire en masse une électricité à bas coût, à proximité des centres de consommation »

S’appuyant sur le dernier rapport de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie, le spécialiste du climat Stéphane His explique, dans une tribune au « Monde », que l’éolien maritime présente le bouquet énergétique décarboné le plus efficient.
Unfortunately this is marked as "reserved for subscribers".

Starts with this summary:
Tribune. Devenu l’un des marchés les plus dynamiques du secteur des énergies renouvelables, l’éolien en mer a vocation à devenir une technologie de référence dans le domaine énergétique. Le dernier rapport de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie (AIE) souligne le potentiel « quasi illimité » d’un secteur porté par une croissance annuelle de près de 20 % et dont les coûts de production sont en chute...
https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/20 ... _3232.html

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The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:50 pm

Outside of the nut job coal miner suck-ups running Australia at the moment, it's a pretty standard position that coal's days are numbered. Renewables are continuing to dive in price. This has destroyed the economic viability of coal. In many locations it is now cheaper to build and operate new wind and solar farms than to simply fuel a fully paid off coal plant. You are seeing the consequences of this in places such as Texas where nary a coal plant is in the planning pipeline, there's a bit of gas generation but tens of gigawatts of wind and solar.

Oils is the next one to look down the barrel of the gun. BNP Paribas did an analysis as to the long term viability of oil. It will need to sell below $10/barrel for petrol to be cost competitive with renewable powered battery electric vehicles. Diesel gets away with about $20/barrel.

They had some interesting figures for the metric Energy Return on Capital Invested (EROCI). For the same capital outlay, today, renewables generate 5-6 times as much energy at the wheel of a BEV than does the equivalent capital invested in oil powering an ICE. That ratio is only going to swing more and more into renewables favour as they drop in price and oil reserves dwindle.

The article gives oil a 15-20 year window and only their incumbency is allowing them to tick on. Oil is as f.cked as coal, just with a slightly longer lead time.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:04 am

Interesting, particularly about the diesel vs gasoline difference, thanks. I may post that on my employer's intranet ;-)

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bmforre » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 am

Building windmills have virtually stopped in Germany because it's politically very difficult to get power from North where offshore wind is generated to South where factories need more. Reason: Environmentalists strongly oppose above-ground power lines.

Here in Norway we meet similar problems and most environmentalists don't understand and respect the technical challenges involved. They chant against "Monster-masts" and this popular slogan trumps the need to transmit power to where it's required.

Ongoing German debate on these matters is interesting and important. I follow such debate mainly on the Frankfurter Allgemeine and 3sat TV but that's exclusively in German. Der Spiegel may have material in English?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:30 am

bmforre wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 am
Building windmills have virtually stopped in Germany because it's politically very difficult to get power from North where offshore wind is generated to South where factories need more. Reason: Environmentalists strongly oppose above-ground power lines.

Here in Norway we meet similar problems and most environmentalists don't understand and respect the technical challenges involved. They chant against "Monster-masts" and this popular slogan trumps the need to transmit power to where it's required.

Ongoing German debate on these matters is interesting and important. I follow such debate mainly on the Frankfurter Allgemeine and 3sat TV but that's exclusively in German. Der Spiegel may have material in English?
I understand there’s a visual impact, but what are the environmental concerns about transmission lines?
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: Electricity

Post by Grumble » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:40 am

Last year the minimum renewable supply (daily average) was about 5%, this year it's over 10% so far.
77917E64-8782-4DC7-BDD0-70916BD75390.jpeg
77917E64-8782-4DC7-BDD0-70916BD75390.jpeg (572.83 KiB) Viewed 2197 times
As actual power that was 2 GW and 3.6 GW

I would add nuclear in to that as a low carbon electricity source. I suspect that’s where the biggest debate will be on this forum at least.
Last edited by Grumble on Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electricity

Post by Grumble » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:44 am

And here’s the coal picture
5CF5CE9F-338A-4101-A495-E5A552E50099.jpeg
5CF5CE9F-338A-4101-A495-E5A552E50099.jpeg (374.92 KiB) Viewed 2197 times
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Re: Electricity

Post by Gfamily » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:32 am

I noticed our local coal powered station was supplying last week - which is relatively rare this year.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:20 am

Grumble wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:30 am
bmforre wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 am
Building windmills have virtually stopped in Germany because it's politically very difficult to get power from North where offshore wind is generated to South where factories need more. Reason: Environmentalists strongly oppose above-ground power lines.

Here in Norway we meet similar problems and most environmentalists don't understand and respect the technical challenges involved. They chant against "Monster-masts" and this popular slogan trumps the need to transmit power to where it's required.

Ongoing German debate on these matters is interesting and important. I follow such debate mainly on the Frankfurter Allgemeine and 3sat TV but that's exclusively in German. Der Spiegel may have material in English?
I understand there’s a visual impact, but what are the environmental concerns about transmission lines?
Oh god, I bet it's the whole EM sensitivity and radiation rubbish
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by JQH » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:28 am

That was my first thought too.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin_B » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:50 am

bjn wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:50 pm
Outside of the nut job coal miner suck-ups running Australia at the moment, it's a pretty standard position that coal's days are numbered. Renewables are continuing to dive in price. This has destroyed the economic viability of coal. In many locations it is now cheaper to build and operate new wind and solar farms than to simply fuel a fully paid off coal plant. You are seeing the consequences of this in places such as Texas where nary a coal plant is in the planning pipeline, there's a bit of gas generation but tens of gigawatts of wind and solar.

Oils is the next one to look down the barrel of the gun. BNP Paribas did an analysis as to the long term viability of oil. It will need to sell below $10/barrel for petrol to be cost competitive with renewable powered battery electric vehicles. Diesel gets away with about $20/barrel.

They had some interesting figures for the metric Energy Return on Capital Invested (EROCI). For the same capital outlay, today, renewables generate 5-6 times as much energy at the wheel of a BEV than does the equivalent capital invested in oil powering an ICE. That ratio is only going to swing more and more into renewables favour as they drop in price and oil reserves dwindle.

The article gives oil a 15-20 year window and only their incumbency is allowing them to tick on. Oil is as f.cked as coal, just with a slightly longer lead time.
Oil production will still be needed, even if not used for fuel, as oil provides many useful chemical feedstocks; this is currently something like 2-5% of the total oil extracted (sources vary). If the amount of oil used for fuel decreases, the number of producing reservoirs will have to also be cut, but won't end up as zero. It may interest economists to work out what the price of oil will do if this is the only usage, as there would be significant over-supply (especially from the Middle East). One thing I can guarantee, is that the economists will get it wrong (they always do!)
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by greyspoke » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:17 am

As long as there is a residual demand for oil for some purposes, the whole of the oil will have to be used for something. So that might mean some things (eg petrol for motor-racing, classic cars etc.) remain relatively available as a by-products.

How useful are plant-based products for chemical feedstocks?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:26 am

You could make any currently-oil-derived feedstock you like from plant-based sources if the economics are right. It’s just a question of capital investment in the kit, that and growing enough of the plants.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:29 am

jimbob wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:20 am
Grumble wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:30 am
bmforre wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 am
Building windmills have virtually stopped in Germany because it's politically very difficult to get power from North where offshore wind is generated to South where factories need more. Reason: Environmentalists strongly oppose above-ground power lines.

Here in Norway we meet similar problems and most environmentalists don't understand and respect the technical challenges involved. They chant against "Monster-masts" and this popular slogan trumps the need to transmit power to where it's required.

Ongoing German debate on these matters is interesting and important. I follow such debate mainly on the Frankfurter Allgemeine and 3sat TV but that's exclusively in German. Der Spiegel may have material in English?
I understand there’s a visual impact, but what are the environmental concerns about transmission lines?
Oh god, I bet it's the whole EM sensitivity and radiation rubbish
They kill huge numbers of birds and bats, especially during migration periods (meaning that the impact is international). Can post some references this evening if folk are interested.

There is a similar issue with wind turbines, but those tend to be more localised whereas power cables in this instance would be stretching across an entire country. There is ongoing research into how to minimise impacts of cables but it's not there yet.

Obviously this has to be weighed against the negative impacts of climate change, coal mining etcetera, which is by no means straightforward. But please don't just dismiss environmentalists as a load of woolly-brained idiots before doing any research whatsoever (and I notice that bmforre didn't bother to link to anything the environmentalists have actually written).
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by JQH » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:33 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:29 am

... Obviously this has to be weighed against the negative impacts of climate change, coal mining etcetera, which is by no means straightforward. But please don't just dismiss environmentalists as a load of woolly-brained idiots before doing any research whatsoever ...
Fair point.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:33 am

Mod note: at Grumble's request we've merged this thread with another on a similar topic.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:35 am

jimbob wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:20 am
Grumble wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:30 am
bmforre wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 am
Building windmills have virtually stopped in Germany because it's politically very difficult to get power from North where offshore wind is generated to South where factories need more. Reason: Environmentalists strongly oppose above-ground power lines.

Here in Norway we meet similar problems and most environmentalists don't understand and respect the technical challenges involved. They chant against "Monster-masts" and this popular slogan trumps the need to transmit power to where it's required.

Ongoing German debate on these matters is interesting and important. I follow such debate mainly on the Frankfurter Allgemeine and 3sat TV but that's exclusively in German. Der Spiegel may have material in English?
I understand there’s a visual impact, but what are the environmental concerns about transmission lines?
Oh god, I bet it's the whole EM sensitivity and radiation rubbish
Around here, it's just "don't want big pylons near my million dollar home. Which is in the woods, so I'll never see them anyway".

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by tom p » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:42 pm

jimbob wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:20 am
Grumble wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:30 am
bmforre wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:35 am
Building windmills have virtually stopped in Germany because it's politically very difficult to get power from North where offshore wind is generated to South where factories need more. Reason: Environmentalists strongly oppose above-ground power lines.

Here in Norway we meet similar problems and most environmentalists don't understand and respect the technical challenges involved. They chant against "Monster-masts" and this popular slogan trumps the need to transmit power to where it's required.

Ongoing German debate on these matters is interesting and important. I follow such debate mainly on the Frankfurter Allgemeine and 3sat TV but that's exclusively in German. Der Spiegel may have material in English?
I understand there’s a visual impact, but what are the environmental concerns about transmission lines?
Oh god, I bet it's the whole EM sensitivity and radiation rubbish
I thought it would be fear of heavy electricity.

anyway, interesting about birds & bats dying boaf. Please do post more on that

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Fishnut » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:50 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:29 am
jimbob wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:20 am
Grumble wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:30 am


I understand there’s a visual impact, but what are the environmental concerns about transmission lines?
Oh god, I bet it's the whole EM sensitivity and radiation rubbish
They kill huge numbers of birds and bats, especially during migration periods (meaning that the impact is international). Can post some references this evening if folk are interested.

There is a similar issue with wind turbines, but those tend to be more localised whereas power cables in this instance would be stretching across an entire country. There is ongoing research into how to minimise impacts of cables but it's not there yet.

Obviously this has to be weighed against the negative impacts of climate change, coal mining etcetera, which is by no means straightforward. But please don't just dismiss environmentalists as a load of woolly-brained idiots before doing any research whatsoever (and I notice that bmforre didn't bother to link to anything the environmentalists have actually written).
I didn't realise powerlines were responsible for bird deaths - I'd be really interested in the references if it's not a hassle to share. I know that around where I live a lot of the powerlines have orange things hanging off them which I've always been told is to stop the swans from flying into them, but I'd somehow assumed that swans were particularly dumb or something.

The power lines from the new Hinkley Point power station have been a source of local concern for years. A portion of it has gone underground, particularly through the Mendip Hills area of national beauty. From what I understand underground cabling is more expensive than overground but it does seem like a potential solution.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:06 pm

I remember reading about cranes (or storks?) in South Africa flying into power lines. The reason given was that birds don’t necessarily look ahead, they look at the ground.
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by DrTf » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:07 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:26 am
You could make any currently-oil-derived feedstock you like from plant-based sources if the economics are right. It’s just a question of capital investment in the kit, that and growing enough of the plants.
My bold. So where will you do that then? Looks innocent

My understanding of plant based plastic is that they are still really expensive in carbon terms
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:24 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:06 pm
I remember reading about cranes (or storks?) in South Africa flying into power lines. The reason given was that birds don’t necessarily look ahead, they look at the ground.
With large birds like swans and storks there is also the issue of manoeuvrability: their wings are designed for powerful forward flight, often utilising air currents, and by the time they can see wires (especially in low visibility conditions) they simply can't swerve out of the way in time.

I'm on a course right now on various aspects of migration ecology, and flight mechanics have come up quite a bit - though more in the realm of basic science than applied conservation work.

I'm sure I've got some papers kicking around in my PDF mountain. I'll post some links tonight.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm

DrTf wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:07 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:26 am
It’s just a question of capital investment in the kit, that and growing enough of the plants.
My bold. So where will you do that then? Looks innocent
Obviously my ‘just’ is doing some heavy lifting there. The idea of processing biomass from things like fast-growing trees (as currently used to substitute coal in power stations, for e.g.) in ‘biorefineries’ is fairly well advanced though.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by DrTf » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:10 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:46 pm
DrTf wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:07 pm
nekomatic wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:26 am
It’s just a question of capital investment in the kit, that and growing enough of the plants.
My bold. So where will you do that then? Looks innocent
Obviously my ‘just’ is doing some heavy lifting there. The idea of processing biomass from things like fast-growing trees (as currently used to substitute coal in power stations, for e.g.) in ‘biorefineries’ is fairly well advanced though.
The idea is, the reality is not as cost effective as it might be, not least because the processing is just not energy efficient enough atm. Coca cola have just started marketing a plant based plastic bottle - i have it on reliable authority that it has a carbon footprint, in lifecycle costs that is 3x that of an ordinary plastic bottle.

I just wish there was a bit *moar funding* for this kind of tech though -there ar some fun possibilities. But there is no point in developing it if the lifecycle C cost isn't good enough.
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