The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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Martin Y
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:18 am

Gfamily wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:09 pm
The claimed percentage reduction in CO2 is probably spurious
The over-100% figure certainly raises an eyebrow but, to be fair, the article calls it greenhouse gas emissions not CO2 emissions.

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Grumble
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:11 pm

We’re on course to cut emissions by a massive... 2% by 2030 compared with 2017 and 0.5% vs 2010.

We need to get a bit better than that.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/un-new-nati ... ext-decade
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:15 am

Grumble wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:11 pm
We’re on course to cut emissions by a massive... 2% by 2030 compared with 2017 and 0.5% vs 2010.

We need to get a bit better than that.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/un-new-nati ... ext-decade
Yes. We need to be ninety times better than that to meet the Paris target of 45% vs. 2010.

You can see why people who actually give a crap, especially young people who will actually have to be alive through most of this century, are getting pretty angry.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:43 pm

I’m absolutely furious at this. The Tories talk a big game but my god they are still in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. They’ve cut the EV grant and reduced the price of cars eligible for it.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... SApp_Other
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:44 am

Another record-breaking low for fossil fuel contribution to the national grid

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bjn
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:10 am

Investors are now demanding significantly higher returns from coal as compared to renewables, factoring in the risk of having stranded assets. This is how industries enter death spirals.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:45 am

bjn wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:10 am
Investors are now demanding significantly higher returns from coal as compared to renewables, factoring in the risk of having stranded assets. This is how industries enter death spirals.
Original publication.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:30 am

bjn wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:45 am
bjn wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:10 am
Investors are now demanding significantly higher returns from coal as compared to renewables, factoring in the risk of having stranded assets. This is how industries enter death spirals.
Original publication.
Notable also that there has been a big decrease in the absolute volume of financing for coal (page 6).

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:18 pm

Meanwhile the U.K. has had next to no wind power for the last 10 days or so. The in development interconnector to Norway would have been running at the full 2 GW to compensate.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:49 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:18 pm
Meanwhile the U.K. has had next to no wind power for the last 10 days or so. The in development interconnector to Norway would have been running at the full 2 GW to compensate.
Part and parcel of being in a transition, innit.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Gfamily » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:15 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:18 pm
Meanwhile the U.K. has had next to no wind power for the last 10 days or so. The in development interconnector to Norway would have been running at the full 2 GW to compensate.
During the day at least, we seem to have enough capacity to be exporting power to France and Ireland - though we are burning some coal - I assume that that will pick up as the sun sets.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:48 am

CUP have made some book chapters free to read for Earth Day, including some from Power Shift: The Global Political Economy of Energy Transitions:
Abstract: After setting out the centrality of governance to understanding and engaging with energy transitions, I show how ideologies and strategies of governance have been shaped by broader shifts in capitalism around neo-liberalism regarding the role of the state and the re-scaling of the global economy through processes of globalisation. I show how at every level from local, city, national, to regional and global governance, political systems reflect and are imbued with the structural and material power of incumbent energy providers and interests, reinforced by institutional power through high levels of access and representation in the key discussion and decision-making centres to frame their needs as congruent with those of the state and their energy pathways as the most viable for tackling the energy trilemma of energy poverty, security and sustainability. I describe an energy governance complex: a web of distributed (but unevenly concentrated) power and agency over different parts of the energy system and its multi-functionality. Ecologising governance draws attention not only to its interconnections and interdependencies but also to its ecological blindness.
As this thread makes clear, a lot of renewable tech is quite mature - the UN reckon we could replace 70% of energy demand with renewables already. Obviously we haven't done anything like that, for political reasons. So I'm looking forward to reading an academic overview of the issues when I get a minute. Hope it's of some interest to others.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:33 pm

Deserves it's own thread, but I'm about to call some friends.

Biden is pulling in front of the pack on climate stuff, AFAICT. I particularly like the way he's already thought about how to get round GOP obstructionism - like a chess grand master, he's already thinking a move ahead.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/2 ... ess-484141
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed May 05, 2021 7:44 pm

Interesting short blog on the role of intergovernmental institutions in driving decarbonisation efforts https://www.e3g.org/news/optimising-the ... onisation/
The present energy governance landscape is fragmented. This is in part due to the historic development of the modern energy system mirrored by the specialized “energy clubs” that emerged (including the IEA, IAEA, OECD, GECF, and IRENA). They are driven by traditional energy policy paradigms such as security of supply, economic efficiency and the development of (primarily) fossil fuel markets. This set of institutions has not been designed to tackle energy system decarbonisation in a comprehensive way.

In recent years, the G7 and G20 have strengthened their cooperation in areas with a “mission focus”. These include missions related to a sustainable and just energy transition, such as energy access, subsidies, energy efficiency and increasingly renewable energy. But as cooperation is voluntary, progress has been limited. Multilateral fora such as UN SEA4All and IRENA focus on sustainable decarbonisation of the global economy but lack funding and the ability to implement efficient policy instruments to drive transition. The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and Mission Innovation (MI) work to scale up clean energy research, development, and policies and standards in key sectors. But issues including capacity building, shifting of consumer preferences, governance of technology and raw materials’ supply chains, creating standards and rules for decarbonisation, and stranded asset risks are largely unaddressed.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Pishwish » Mon May 10, 2021 10:46 pm

Apologies if it has been posted before, but I find this astonishing.
graph from how renewables got so cheap

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Tue May 11, 2021 6:33 am

Pishwish wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:46 pm
Apologies if it has been posted before, but I find this astonishing.
graph from how renewables got so cheap
Aside from a bump between 2005-2011, that's a remarkably consistent decline.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue May 11, 2021 10:12 am

Pishwish wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:46 pm
Apologies if it has been posted before, but I find this astonishing.
graph from how renewables got so cheap
Yep. That's pretty much the argument I've been making all along, starting in The Other Place. Near zero opex, learning curves and the ability to deploy at smaller scales than any thermally based generation means that thermal systems were always going to lose. The one bit I don't agree with is.....
But nuclear could still become more important in the future because it can complement renewables where these energy sources have their weaknesses: First, intermittency of electricity from renewables remains a challenge and a viable energy mix of the future post-carbon world will likely include all low-carbon sources, renewables as well as nuclear power.
Nukes can't complement renewables because to do that they need to be dispatchable to cover renewables' intermittency. Nukes can be made dispatchable, but it makes them more expensive to build to deal with frequent cycling. The bigger problem is that you will have spent £7B/GW* to build the thing, but the capacity factors will be much lower than current 'base load' nukes. Which means the levelised cost of energy will be markedly higher than currently expensive nuclear generation. You are looking at many hundreds of pounds per MWh. You could run the nuke with higher capacity factors and put any excess generation into storage and use that to cover intermittency, but if you do that, why not just use overbuilt cheaper renewables to do the same? While your at it build more interconnects to get access to hydro in Norway or areas with anti-correlated weather.

There are certainly places where a nuke makes sense (Trondheim?) and can be run economically with high capacity factors, but those will be the exception not the norm.

*Current capital cost of Hinkley Point C, expect it to cost more by the time it finishes.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue May 11, 2021 10:50 am

Great article pishwish, thanks.

In news that may help continue the downward price trajectory of solar power, Brown University have announced a development for perovskite cells. https://www.brown.edu/news/2021-05-06/perovskite
Still some way off coming to a roof near you, but definitely a hopeful sign.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin_B » Tue May 11, 2021 12:15 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:12 am
Pishwish wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:46 pm
Apologies if it has been posted before, but I find this astonishing.
graph from how renewables got so cheap
Yep. That's pretty much the argument I've been making all along, starting in The Other Place. Near zero opex, learning curves and the ability to deploy at smaller scales than any thermally based generation means that thermal systems were always going to lose. The one bit I don't agree with is.....
But nuclear could still become more important in the future because it can complement renewables where these energy sources have their weaknesses: First, intermittency of electricity from renewables remains a challenge and a viable energy mix of the future post-carbon world will likely include all low-carbon sources, renewables as well as nuclear power.
Nukes can't complement renewables because to do that they need to be dispatchable to cover renewables' intermittency. Nukes can be made dispatchable, but it makes them more expensive to build to deal with frequent cycling. The bigger problem is that you will have spent £7B/GW* to build the thing, but the capacity factors will be much lower than current 'base load' nukes. Which means the levelised cost of energy will be markedly higher than currently expensive nuclear generation. You are looking at many hundreds of pounds per MWh. You could run the nuke with higher capacity factors and put any excess generation into storage and use that to cover intermittency, but if you do that, why not just use overbuilt cheaper renewables to do the same? While your at it build more interconnects to get access to hydro in Norway or areas with anti-correlated weather.

There are certainly places where a nuke makes sense (Trondheim?) and can be run economically with high capacity factors, but those will be the exception not the norm.

*Current capital cost of Hinkley Point C, expect it to cost more by the time it finishes.
One thing people who promote nuclear as a low-carbon option often get wrong is claiming that nuclear can supply a constant base-load. Linking lots of nuclear plants via an interconnected grid can supply an approximate base-load, but the availability of an individual nuclear power station is only 70-90% (not dissimilar to coal). So for somewhere remote like Trondheim to be run on nuclear power they either need two power stations (and hope that one doesn't trip while the other is being maintained) or use nuclear with back-up such as battery/pumped hydro.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Pishwish » Tue May 11, 2021 12:28 pm

Bjn, do you think that utillity-scale solar will be viable in the UK and northern Europe? With or without subsidies?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Tue May 11, 2021 12:56 pm

Martin_B wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 12:15 pm
bjn wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:12 am
Pishwish wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:46 pm
Apologies if it has been posted before, but I find this astonishing.
graph from how renewables got so cheap
Yep. That's pretty much the argument I've been making all along, starting in The Other Place. Near zero opex, learning curves and the ability to deploy at smaller scales than any thermally based generation means that thermal systems were always going to lose. The one bit I don't agree with is.....
But nuclear could still become more important in the future because it can complement renewables where these energy sources have their weaknesses: First, intermittency of electricity from renewables remains a challenge and a viable energy mix of the future post-carbon world will likely include all low-carbon sources, renewables as well as nuclear power.
Nukes can't complement renewables because to do that they need to be dispatchable to cover renewables' intermittency. Nukes can be made dispatchable, but it makes them more expensive to build to deal with frequent cycling. The bigger problem is that you will have spent £7B/GW* to build the thing, but the capacity factors will be much lower than current 'base load' nukes. Which means the levelised cost of energy will be markedly higher than currently expensive nuclear generation. You are looking at many hundreds of pounds per MWh. You could run the nuke with higher capacity factors and put any excess generation into storage and use that to cover intermittency, but if you do that, why not just use overbuilt cheaper renewables to do the same? While your at it build more interconnects to get access to hydro in Norway or areas with anti-correlated weather.

There are certainly places where a nuke makes sense (Trondheim?) and can be run economically with high capacity factors, but those will be the exception not the norm.

*Current capital cost of Hinkley Point C, expect it to cost more by the time it finishes.
One thing people who promote nuclear as a low-carbon option often get wrong is claiming that nuclear can supply a constant base-load. Linking lots of nuclear plants via an interconnected grid can supply an approximate base-load, but the availability of an individual nuclear power station is only 70-90% (not dissimilar to coal). So for somewhere remote like Trondheim to be run on nuclear power they either need two power stations (and hope that one doesn't trip while the other is being maintained) or use nuclear with back-up such as battery/pumped hydro.

Trondheim currently has back up power for when there isn't enough capacity from renewable energy sources. Its connected via the grid to Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. Sources there include nuclear power produced in Sweden.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue May 11, 2021 1:02 pm

Pishwish wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 12:28 pm
Bjn, do you think that utillity-scale solar will be viable in the UK and northern Europe? With or without subsidies?
Yes, without subsidies, even with our sh.tty insolation, because the costs keep plummeting. But utility scale wind will be even better.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue May 11, 2021 1:06 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 1:02 pm
Pishwish wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 12:28 pm
Bjn, do you think that utillity-scale solar will be viable in the UK and northern Europe? With or without subsidies?
Yes, without subsidies, even with our sh.tty insolation, because the costs keep plummeting. But utility scale wind will be even better.
However, the vast majority of people don't live in latitudes with sh.tty insolation.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue May 11, 2021 1:41 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 1:02 pm
Pishwish wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 12:28 pm
Bjn, do you think that utillity-scale solar will be viable in the UK and northern Europe? With or without subsidies?
Yes, without subsidies, even with our sh.tty insolation, because the costs keep plummeting. But utility scale wind will be even better.
It’s viable now isn’t it? As I write this the U.K. has about 6GW from solar, or about 18% of its power. Cf nuclear at 4.4GW and 13%.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue May 11, 2021 1:53 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 1:02 pm
Pishwish wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 12:28 pm
Bjn, do you think that utillity-scale solar will be viable in the UK and northern Europe? With or without subsidies?
Yes, without subsidies, even with our sh.tty insolation, because the costs keep plummeting. But utility scale wind will be even better.
Government LCOE estimates for a range of tech in the UK over the next decade(pdf).

I'd put money on them on being on the high side.

Screen grabs from the report....

CCGT-H : combined cycle gas running at a higher efficiency than currently tech
CCGT + CCUS Post Combustion FOAK : CCGT + carbon capture usage and storage, first of a kind (ie: magic)
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Screenshot 2021-05-11 at 14.49.25.png
Screenshot 2021-05-11 at 14.49.25.png (73.5 KiB) Viewed 60 times

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