The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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jimbob
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Sun Oct 02, 2022 8:10 am

Martin_B wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 2:14 am
Grumble wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:44 pm
bjn wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 8:09 pm
Western Australia is now removing remote households from the grid, tearing down the power lines and installing a self contained system of solar panels and batteries. The cost of creating and maintaining the distribution infrastructure was just too much. More then 4km of lines and they break even. As the price of solar and batteries drop they are contemplating creating micro grids for remote towns as well.

Resilient too. When a cyclone hit recently, the only places that had electricity were outfitted with one of these systems.

Such a distributed system would work well in parts of the world that are sunny and have no electricity infrastructure.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-02/ ... /101479136
That’s brilliant. What % of Australians live remotely?
bjn wrote:
Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:17 pm
Not a lot. 17 out of 24 million live in the various state capitals. I’m not going to guess as to the truly remote population.

Slight aside, it costs more just to distribute electricity to a house in Australia than the LCOE from a solar panel. That’s before you’ve paid for the actual generation of the electricity from whatever. There’s a reason that rooftop solar peaked at 42% of generation nation wide last Sunday. And it’s not even summer yet.
Western Australia has a very marked split between city and rural. Metropolitan Perth is ~80% of the population of WA and the next largest places are Bunbury (~100 km south of Metropolitan Perth) and Geraldton (~350 km north). Both are part of the Perth grid, but Geraldton has it's own power station and wind turbines.

When Cyclone Seroja (mentioned above) hit WA north of Geraldton in April last year the power companies lost a lot of the transmission lines in the area and the communities affected received solar panels, wind turbines and diesel generators which they say made power more secure for them than the power lines they'd had. This change was happening before Seroja, but has been increased since, partly because these remote communities experiences.

Technically the Perth grid does extend all the way to Kalgoorlie, 600 km east and nearly half-way to the South Australia border, but Kalgoorlie also has it's own power stations and generates more than it needs, so exports to the local communities. The biggest non-resources dominated town not on the Perth grid is Esperence, only ~10,000 people and 700 km from Perth, and that has it's own little grid with power stations and wind turbines.

These micro-grids will probably only be applicable for 5% of the WA population, and are expensive, but cheaper than 100s of km of transmission lines for populations of 10s or 100s of people, which is how some of rural WA is.
That is the basic idea behind grid parity as I understand it. And as renewables come down in cost, increasingly less-remote areas will be more economic to supply off grid. And that will also increase the market for such renewables (smallish scale) and that should prompt investment in manufacturing leading to further price drops even without any further technical advances.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Oct 02, 2022 8:54 am

I listened to a podcast that covered a paper on enhanced geothermal energy. Standard geothermal is limited in than you need three things, hot rocks, natural fractures and water. However there is a lot more impermeable rock with suitable temperatures which can’t be used. To get around that you drill 2 holes into the hotness, frack the rock between them, pump water down one, steam comes out the other, use that to drive a turbine, and pump it down again.

It’s been tried experimentally a few times in the past, but was found to be difficult and uneconomic. However, fracking technology has come on a long way since, and peeps are trying it again. The paper above has modelled how you can use the fractures as an energy storage medium. Rather than running the plant as close to 100% capacity as you can, instead when energy is plentiful from other sources, you shut off the stream outlet, but keep pumping more water into the fractures. Because the rock is impermeable, your water gets heated and stays down there. When energy is scarce you open the taps and generate more than steady flow operation. This requires bigger turbines, energy to inject the water and more fracking, but a significant cost is drilling the holes in the first place, which will be the same. All in all, you get better utility from the system as you supply energy at times of expensive electricity and little or none at times of cheap energy. They estimate 60% better returns in a market with high VRE penetration. This is with 100 hours of storage.

May work in practice, it may not. If it does, it could be a significant contribution.

Even the UK sits on hot granite even if we have no geysers. There are two experimental enhanced geothermal plants in Cornwall being built, though they aren’t planning on doing the storage bit as fair as I am aware. The Redruth project seems to be fracked and partly reliant on natural fractures, so may not be suitable for storage.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:22 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 8:54 am
I listened to a podcast that covered a paper on enhanced geothermal energy. Standard geothermal is limited in than you need three things, hot rocks, natural fractures and water. However there is a lot more impermeable rock with suitable temperatures which can’t be used. To get around that you drill 2 holes into the hotness, frack the rock between them, pump water down one, steam comes out the other, use that to drive a turbine, and pump it down again.

It’s been tried experimentally a few times in the past, but was found to be difficult and uneconomic. However, fracking technology has come on a long way since, and peeps are trying it again. The paper above has modelled how you can use the fractures as an energy storage medium. Rather than running the plant as close to 100% capacity as you can, instead when energy is plentiful from other sources, you shut off the stream outlet, but keep pumping more water into the fractures. Because the rock is impermeable, your water gets heated and stays down there. When energy is scarce you open the taps and generate more than steady flow operation. This requires bigger turbines, energy to inject the water and more fracking, but a significant cost is drilling the holes in the first place, which will be the same. All in all, you get better utility from the system as you supply energy at times of expensive electricity and little or none at times of cheap energy. They estimate 60% better returns in a market with high VRE penetration. This is with 100 hours of storage.

May work in practice, it may not. If it does, it could be a significant contribution.

Even the UK sits on hot granite even if we have no geysers. There are two experimental enhanced geothermal plants in Cornwall being built, though they aren’t planning on doing the storage bit as fair as I am aware. The Redruth project seems to be fracked and partly reliant on natural fractures, so may not be suitable for storage.
There's several really good benefits to this if it does work in practise.

The most obvious being that it relies on drilling and fracking and turbines and we already have experts in all of those technologies.

The second being that it would potentially play very well with others, covering gaps in otherwise very desirable wind and solar generation.

And the third is that geothermal tends to have a very low impact on the environment and land use.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:34 am

You may get some localised quakes due to the fracking though. Which will get some NIMBY opposition.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:56 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:34 am
You may get some localised quakes due to the fracking though. Which will get some NIMBY opposition.
Would they be so bad in granite? I sort of imagine that shale is potentially more vulnerable, as there are lots of weak bedding planes in the rock.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Oct 02, 2022 10:18 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:34 am
You may get some localised quakes due to the fracking though. Which will get some NIMBY opposition.
Fracking quakes are generally very minor things, though. Typically no more intense than a lorry driving past.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Little waster » Sun Oct 02, 2022 10:40 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:34 am
You may get some localised quakes due to the fracking though. Which will get some NIMBY opposition.
Don't worry, various fossil fuel shills and climate change denialists have spent considerable sums and time trying to convince the public that fracking earthquakes are fine, fine, perfectly fine.

Which is ironic :lol:
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Oct 02, 2022 10:48 am

Little waster wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 10:40 am
bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:34 am
You may get some localised quakes due to the fracking though. Which will get some NIMBY opposition.
Don't worry, various fossil fuel shills and climate change denialists have spent considerable sums and time trying to convince the public that fracking earthquakes are fine, fine, perfectly fine.
One only needs to be able to read and understand the moment magnitude scale and, more importantly, the modified Mercalli scale to know this true. For all the fuss about them, we're typically talking about quakes that are undectable without seismometers. In Oklahoma, where there's been a lot of fuss about this, only a few reached a four on the latter scale, which is about the same as a heavy truck driving past.[

There appear to have been a couple of more severe ones in China, where the regulatory environment is basically non-existent, but it's certainly a risk that can be controlled.

Compared to a lot of industrial activities that our society depends on - quarrying, for example - this risk is effectively zero.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sun Oct 02, 2022 11:50 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 8:54 am
I listened to a podcast that covered a paper on enhanced geothermal energy.
I’ll give that a listen, cheers.
A bit churlish

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Oct 02, 2022 11:59 am

I only stumbled across that podcast yesterday via Twitter. Seems sane and evidence based. I also listen to Michael Liebriech’s Cleaning Up podcast for a capitalist/investor take on how it should be done.

https://cleaning-up-leadership-in-the-a ... ecast.com/

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Oct 02, 2022 12:16 pm

Little waster wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 10:40 am
bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:34 am
You may get some localised quakes due to the fracking though. Which will get some NIMBY opposition.
Don't worry, various fossil fuel shills and climate change denialists have spent considerable sums and time trying to convince the public that fracking earthquakes are fine, fine, perfectly fine.

Which is ironic :lol:
Were it to work and people start to drill and frack for geothermal, expect to see “But you were against fracking gas! You must be a hypocrite!” from the Mail etc…

Another downside is that there are lots of heavy vehicle movements to establish the fracked wells. Depending on where, that does need to be handled sensitively. Tiny country lanes with a few hundred artic movements will get the NIMBYs out for fairly good reason.

A “waste” products of geothermal is low grade heat, which you can use for district heating if things that need to be heated are near by. The Eden project is going to initially use their first well for heat then drill a second well to do the electricity thing. So that is a thing you could integrate into local communities or new builds near a site.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin_B » Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:09 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 12:16 pm
Another downside is that there are lots of heavy vehicle movements to establish the fracked wells. Depending on where, that does need to be handled sensitively. Tiny country lanes with a few hundred artic movements will get the NIMBYs out for fairly good reason.
That does depend on the size and depth of the wells, though. These geothermal wells will need to be deep enough to reach the higher temperature rock but shouldn't need to be as deep as hydrocarbon wells.
They could also be drilled dry (or with water to return the drilled-out rock) while hydrocarbon wells tend to be drilled with 'mud' (a dense mineral-based fluid) which protects against the sudden release of hydrocarbons. So, the drilling equipment, while still sizeable, wouldn't be as large as the equipment needed for hydrocarbon wells.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:34 am

The other thing with fracking for heat is that it's a renewable resource - you don't frack, pump that area dry, frack again, pump again like you do with oil.

So it's more like a few of earthquakes in an area while the systems are being set up than an ongoing series of them.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:20 pm

dyqik wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:34 am
The other thing with fracking for heat is that it's a renewable resource - you don't frack, pump that area dry, frack again, pump again like you do with oil.

So it's more like a few of earthquakes in an area while the systems are being set up than an ongoing series of them.
If you’re leaving a borehole pressurised while you’re “storing” energy, might there be some earthquakes then? Probably the pressure would be a lot lower than the pressure to frack though.
A bit churlish

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:37 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:20 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:34 am
The other thing with fracking for heat is that it's a renewable resource - you don't frack, pump that area dry, frack again, pump again like you do with oil.

So it's more like a few of earthquakes in an area while the systems are being set up than an ongoing series of them.
If you’re leaving a borehole pressurised while you’re “storing” energy, might there be some earthquakes then? Probably the pressure would be a lot lower than the pressure to frack though.
I'd be shocked if there was anything that humans could perceive unassisted.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:22 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:37 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:20 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 11:34 am
The other thing with fracking for heat is that it's a renewable resource - you don't frack, pump that area dry, frack again, pump again like you do with oil.

So it's more like a few of earthquakes in an area while the systems are being set up than an ongoing series of them.
If you’re leaving a borehole pressurised while you’re “storing” energy, might there be some earthquakes then? Probably the pressure would be a lot lower than the pressure to frack though.
I'd be shocked if there was anything that humans could perceive unassisted.
I'd be aftershocked if there was ongoing disturbance. ;)

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:14 pm

Article by Michael Liebreich of NBEF fame on the immediate effect of the Russian imposed gas shortages and longer term trends.

Short term for Europe...
There is a limited number of things that could actually help over the coming two winters compensate for the loss of Russian gas: energy efficiency; sourcing more gas from non-Russian sources; keeping existing nuclear plants online and bringing back those that are offline; burning more coal; and, as a last resort, demand reduction – rolling power cuts, gas rationing and the like. That’s it. The rest, when it comes to helping Ukraine, is noise.
Longer term...
If none of this persuades you that we are on the verge of a Great Clean Energy Acceleration, contemplate this, courtesy of Jenny Chase and the BloombergNEF solar team: global solar installations are expected to grow to 245GW this year, up 38% on last year. By 2025, existing and planned solar silicon refining capacity would be sufficient to deliver no less than 940GW of solar cells and panels annually – as much each year as has been installed over the entirety of the last two decades. The cell and panel capacity may not yet exist, but the supply chain for a solar singularity is on its way.
Nearly a TW of solar cells per year in three years.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:43 pm

Meanwhile, how not to do it: Drax (owner of UK's biggest "renewable" biomass power station, for which they receive lots of public cash) have been busted cutting down primary forest to make woodchip pellets. Cue much dissembling and bullshittery from the corporation.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-63089348
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Oct 03, 2022 9:07 pm

bjn wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:14 pm
Article by Michael Liebreich of NBEF fame on the immediate effect of the Russian imposed gas shortages and longer term trends.

Short term for Europe...
There is a limited number of things that could actually help over the coming two winters compensate for the loss of Russian gas: energy efficiency; sourcing more gas from non-Russian sources; keeping existing nuclear plants online and bringing back those that are offline; burning more coal; and, as a last resort, demand reduction – rolling power cuts, gas rationing and the like. That’s it. The rest, when it comes to helping Ukraine, is noise.
Longer term...
If none of this persuades you that we are on the verge of a Great Clean Energy Acceleration, contemplate this, courtesy of Jenny Chase and the BloombergNEF solar team: global solar installations are expected to grow to 245GW this year, up 38% on last year. By 2025, existing and planned solar silicon refining capacity would be sufficient to deliver no less than 940GW of solar cells and panels annually – as much each year as has been installed over the entirety of the last two decades. The cell and panel capacity may not yet exist, but the supply chain for a solar singularity is on its way.
Nearly a TW of solar cells per year in three years.
Sorry, that's nearly a TW of silicon, not solar cells.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Little waster » Mon Oct 10, 2022 7:30 am

The "Anti-growth" Coalition strike back.

The crusty old cryptomarxists calling themselves the ...*checks notes* .. Conservative Party crawl out of the dustbin of history to regulate how private landowners develop their own marginal land in a ill-advised attempt to politicise land use in an ideological pursuit of autarchy, reminiscent of Stalin-era Russia, the Khmer Rouge or the Great Leap Forward and we all know how well that went.

The Supreme Leader appeared in front of an ecstatic crowd of 100,000s of supporters to declare the use of solar power as "A .. Dis ... Grace!".

In other news tractor production broke all records for the 17th consecutive quarter.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Oct 12, 2022 3:40 am

New world record for big windmill:
Siemens Gamesa’s 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine prototype has, according to the Spanish-German wind giant today, set a world record for the most power output by a single wind turbine in a 24-hour period: 359 megawatt-hours.

This would be enough energy, according to the company, for a mid-sized electric vehicle – think a Tesla Model 3 – to drive around 1.12 million miles (1.8 million km).
41,000 average German homes, aparrently.

https://electrek.co/2022/10/10/wind-tur ... ld-record/
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin_B » Wed Oct 12, 2022 4:10 am

Wind turbines have come on in leaps and bounds; two decades ago it was thought that the practical maximum size for a wind turbine was ~4 MW as anything larger had bearing issues. This wind turbine is 15 MW!
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Oct 12, 2022 5:35 am

Relevant to wind turbines, but probably also to many other situations, Sandia National Lab in the USA has developed a new rotating electrical contact which can run without maintenance for 30 years. The idea being that it enables both sides of the generator inside a turbine to be wound electromagnets thus removing the need to use rare earth magnets. News story: https://www.inceptivemind.com/sandia-tw ... nes/27387/

Paper here: https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1761109
A bit churlish

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Wed Oct 12, 2022 4:03 pm

Converting diesel locomotive engines to run on ammonia and hydrogen

Not that much detail that I can find, but it sounds as though the hydrogen is generated in situ from the ammonia, so the fuel distribution infrastructure should be less tricky than for hydrogen, not more.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Oct 12, 2022 5:13 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Wed Oct 12, 2022 4:03 pm
Converting diesel locomotive engines to run on ammonia and hydrogen

Not that much detail that I can find, but it sounds as though the hydrogen is generated in situ from the ammonia, so the fuel distribution infrastructure should be less tricky than for hydrogen, not more.
Ok, but I’d be a lot happier to see progress in making green ammonia before additional uses for ammonia are found
A bit churlish

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