The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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bjn
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:58 am

Shell admits the gig is up, and says that it reached peak oil production in 2019 and expects production to contract 1-2% per year from now on. Aims to flip to non fossil fuels by 2050.

Yes I do use this thread as a bit of a clipboard for energy related articles.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:50 am

bjn wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:58 am
Shell admits the gig is up, and says that it reached peak oil production in 2019 and expects production to contract 1-2% per year from now on. Aims to flip to non fossil fuels by 2050.

Yes I do use this thread as a bit of a clipboard for energy related articles.
How much do companies like Shell drive the market and how much are they just responding to the market? Shell are just hedging their bets, and while people are buying petrol they’ll produce it.
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 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:02 am

Grumble wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:50 am
bjn wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:58 am
Shell admits the gig is up, and says that it reached peak oil production in 2019 and expects production to contract 1-2% per year from now on. Aims to flip to non fossil fuels by 2050.

Yes I do use this thread as a bit of a clipboard for energy related articles.
How much do companies like Shell drive the market and how much are they just responding to the market? Shell are just hedging their bets, and while people are buying petrol they’ll produce it.
I think it is definitely market led, radically changing a company’s direction is bl..dy hard, so why would they do it unless they have to? At least they realise that things are changing and are taking (baby) steps to align themselves with the future.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:24 am

We've sent Chemistry placement students to Shell for donkey's years - previously it was all in the area of lubricants and fuel additives for petrol and diesel. For the last two/three, they've all been in the batteries/EV section, or Shell Mobility as they call it (which always makes me think of mobility scooters...) so I'd say the company has seen the way things are going and didn't want to be late to the game.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:38 am

There are two sides to it; looking for a new business model and PR. The oil companies, sorry, energy companies, have to reposition themselves in our minds or be left occupying the role of the pantomime villains. So even if they weren't sincere, they would have to appear to be trying to develop sustainable alternatives to digging stuff up and burning it. Happily, it now appears that doing the right thing turns out to be a better business to be in after all.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:43 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:38 am
There are two sides to it; looking for a new business model and PR. The oil companies, sorry, energy companies, have to reposition themselves in our minds or be left occupying the role of the pantomime villains. So even if they weren't sincere, they would have to appear to be trying to develop sustainable alternatives to digging stuff up and burning it. Happily, it now appears that doing the right thing turns out to be a better business to be in after all.
BP tried that a while back with their "Beyond Petroleum" malarky. They also seemed to have changed their tune. Big miners are turning away from fossil fuels as well, eg: BHP is trying to offload their thermal coal mines.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:08 pm

FlammableFlower wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:24 am
We've sent Chemistry placement students to Shell for donkey's years - previously it was all in the area of lubricants and fuel additives for petrol and diesel. For the last two/three, they've all been in the batteries/EV section … so I'd say the company has seen the way things are going and didn't want to be late to the game.
Shell closed their lubricants and additives place at Thornton a few years back and moved the work to Rotterdam I think, so might it just reflect that? Then again that consolidation might reflect declining expectations of the market - or at least declining expectations of Shell’s share of a market that’s becoming commoditised. There’s a limit to how much you can read into the tea leaves sometimes.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:51 pm

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:08 pm
FlammableFlower wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:24 am
We've sent Chemistry placement students to Shell for donkey's years - previously it was all in the area of lubricants and fuel additives for petrol and diesel. For the last two/three, they've all been in the batteries/EV section … so I'd say the company has seen the way things are going and didn't want to be late to the game.
Shell closed their lubricants and additives place at Thornton a few years back and moved the work to Rotterdam I think, so might it just reflect that? Then again that consolidation might reflect declining expectations of the market - or at least declining expectations of Shell’s share of a market that’s becoming commoditised. There’s a limit to how much you can read into the tea leaves sometimes.
Depending on the year, and company, we're quite international - I've currently got students on placement in the Netherlands, USA, Russia, Germany and Mauritius. This year we've missed the usual France and Switzerland ones as both Roche and CERN decided against recruiting last academic year. But, having said that, our Shell ones are all in London this year.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:29 pm

Jaguar/Land Rover will be all electric by 2025. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56072019

Well that's nice but what does "all electric" mean when they go on to say they'll launch electric models of their whole range by 2030? So is the 2025 date the end of petrol-only model production? Or is it, more likely, the introduction of at least one hybrid version of each model?

Its like the government's intention to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Is that all petrol and diesel cars or just non-hybrids?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:58 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:29 pm
Jaguar/Land Rover will be all electric by 2025. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56072019

Well that's nice but what does "all electric" mean when they go on to say they'll launch electric models of their whole range by 2030? So is the 2025 date the end of petrol-only model production? Or is it, more likely, the introduction of at least one hybrid version of each model?

Its like the government's intention to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Is that all petrol and diesel cars or just non-hybrids?
Ars has more details...
By 2026, the brand will also retire its diesel engines, and Bolloré said that by 2036, Land Rover should have zero tailpipe emissions, with a goal for the entire company to be carbon-neutral by 2039.
I read that as diesels being dead in 5 years, in 15 years they are entirely BEV, with BEV and petrol hybrids between now and then. They mumble about playing with hydrogen as well.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:01 pm

Right. Thanks. That looks like it says no diesel at all by 2026 and no petrol at all by 2036. It suggests the Beeb's unhelpful wording of "all electric by 2025" is the sort of PR hype JLR would rightly be panned for if they said it themselves.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:31 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:01 pm
Right. Thanks. That looks like it says no diesel at all by 2026 and no petrol at all by 2036. It suggests the Beeb's unhelpful wording of "all electric by 2025" is the sort of PR hype JLR would rightly be panned for if they said it themselves.
Well they might not stop selling the ICE cars but
every new Jaguar introduced from here on will be a BEV
is pretty good I think.
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 Martin Y » Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:41 pm

Well yes I won't dispute that each step in the right direction is good, it's just that it's a journey with a lot of steps leading to 2036 when JLR actually intends its products to be all-electric. All I'm moaning about is that claiming the company will be "all electric by 2025" is extremely misleading.

I note that the same headline wording is used by both BBC News and Reuters so I suspect a JLR press release coined the term.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bmforre » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:15 pm

Trying to blame Texas blackouts on renewables.
NYTimes reports:
The state’s widespread electricity failure was largely caused by freezing natural gas pipelines. That didn’t stop advocates for fossil fuels from trying to shift blame.
... the governor of Texas took to television to start placing blame.
His main target was renewable energy, suggesting that the systemwide collapse was caused by the failure of wind and solar power.
NYTimes comment:
However, wind power was not chiefly to blame for the Texas blackouts. The main problem was frigid temperatures that stalled natural gas production, which is responsible for the majority of Texas’ power supply. Wind makes up just a fraction — 7 percent or so, by some estimates — of the state’s overall mix of power generation this time of year.
GOP governor sees it differently:
Governor Abbott’s voice was among the most prominent in a chorus of political figures this week to quickly assert that green energy sources such as wind and solar were contributing to the blackouts. The talking points, coming largely from conservatives, reinvigorated a long-running campaign to claim that emissions-spewing fossil fuels are too valuable a resource to give up...

“Green energy failure” read the banner on the bottom of the screen of Fox News stories about power outages. Social media posts mocked renewable energy as “unreliables.” A Wall Street Journal editorial called for more reliance on coal to help endure frigid temperatures. Some politicians and analysts spread lies and disinformation to advance their defense of fossil fuels.
If heat of debate could warm their homes people in Texas would be more comfortable right now.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:23 pm

A nuclear power plant tripped out for several hours as well, but as you say, the vast bulk of the failing is of fossil fuel generation. It should also be pointed out that wind was providing above expected provision during the initial blackout, even with several GW being frozen.

All that aside, it was a systemic failure due to deregulation of the ERCOT grid. The parts of Texas that weren’t on that grid had a secure power supply. Ars has had several decent articles on the whole clusterf.ck.

Linky

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:28 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:23 pm
A nuclear power plant tripped out for several hours as well, but as you say, the vast bulk of the failing is of fossil fuel generation. It should also be pointed out that wind was providing above expected provision during the initial blackout, even with several GW being frozen.

All that aside, it was a systemic failure due to deregulation of the ERCOT grid. The parts of Texas that weren’t on that grid had a secure power supply. Ars has had several decent articles on the whole clusterf.ck.

Linky
Why would you deregulate a grid? Of all the things needing regulation that’s surely one of the most fundamental.
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 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:16 pm

AIUI the ERCOT grid is almost completely independent from the other grids in the US, because TEXAS! In doing so they avoid federally mandated standards which apply to the other grids because of trade crossing state lines. Those standards govern things like capacity planning and winter reliability mandates. There is a quote from Perry along the lines of, “Texans would rather freeze in a black out than be subject to federal regulations.”

There was an equivalent freeze in 2011 with very similar failings, the Federal Electricity Reliability Council had a whole swathe of recommendations, very few were enacted. Because that would cost money.

The other 2 grids also have decent interties, are more geographically dispersed with more generation capacity. Idaho was something like 40% wind powered during Texas’s blackouts. It also means the ERCOT grid is a smaller market without access to the cheapest generation, so missing out on Idaho’s excess wind for example.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:59 pm

bjn wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:16 pm
AIUI the ERCOT grid is almost completely independent from the other grids in the US, because TEXAS! In doing so they avoid federally mandated standards which apply to the other grids because of trade crossing state lines. Those standards govern things like capacity planning and winter reliability mandates. There is a quote from Perry along the lines of, “Texans would rather freeze in a black out than be subject to federal regulations.”

There was an equivalent freeze in 2011 with very similar failings, the Federal Electricity Reliability Council had a whole swathe of recommendations, very few were enacted. Because that would cost money.

The other 2 grids also have decent interties, are more geographically dispersed with more generation capacity. Idaho was something like 40% wind powered during Texas’s blackouts. It also means the ERCOT grid is a smaller market without access to the cheapest generation, so missing out on Idaho’s excess wind for example.
Yeah - a 357 page report that in the main got ignored. That and El Paso decided that due to it's location it would join the Western Interconnect and winterise its wind turbines - they fared somewhat better...

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:41 am

Another nail in the coffin? Report that, funnily enough ICE vehicles still consume more resources over their lifetime than BEVs.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by discovolante » Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:03 am

Apologies for interrupting all your deeply technical stuff with a really basic couple of questions. What could I expect in terms of improvement in a) range and b) recharging speed in BEVs over say, 5 years and 10 years, and also overall battery life/ability of the battery to maintain its range as it er, gets older? The answer to that part of the question seems to be that it's far less of an issue already but I'm asking anyway. I also realise recharging speed is likely to be dependent on aspects of charging infrastructure but I just want to try and get a better understanding of this overall. Is it right to be as optimistic as the BEV proponents say?
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:00 pm

discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:03 am
Apologies for interrupting all your deeply technical stuff with a really basic couple of questions. What could I expect in terms of improvement in a) range and b) recharging speed in BEVs over say, 5 years and 10 years, and also overall battery life/ability of the battery to maintain its range as it er, gets older? The answer to that part of the question seems to be that it's far less of an issue already but I'm asking anyway. I also realise recharging speed is likely to be dependent on aspects of charging infrastructure but I just want to try and get a better understanding of this overall. Is it right to be as optimistic as the BEV proponents say?
The recharging speed issue is one reason why I am unsure whether batteries will be the final winners. If I had to guess, I'd say it was the most likely but there is still research into fuel cells, and hydrogen, or other fuels (maybe even ammonia, but that's quite nasty) might still win for that reason.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:17 pm

Hmm, let me get my crystal ball. On range, I think it’s a fair guess that progress in battery technology will be incremental rather than dramatic. What will probably improve a lot is the cost of production, so manufacturers will be able to fit a bigger capacity battery to the same priced car. I think that’s already happened in models like the Leaf and Zoe. Of course there’s a limit to how much bigger, and where you’ve got newer EV models coming out which have significantly longer ranges, I think (without going and looking up a load of figures) that’s mostly because they’re simply bigger cars that can fit bigger batteries.

On charging time, there may be a bit more scope for technological improvements in how fast you can pump energy into a battery, but the practical limit is going to be the infrastructure for some time to come. You can’t recharge a 50 kWh battery at home in an hour without upgrading your electricity supply by a factor of ten, and if more than a couple of people on your street want to do that then the substation won’t be up to it either. Similarly if the car park at the motorway services is going to have fast charging points for a couple of hundred cars, it’s going to need the equivalent of a small power station of its own. No doubt this will all happen eventually, but not in five years...

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:19 pm

discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:03 am
Apologies for interrupting all your deeply technical stuff with a really basic couple of questions. What could I expect in terms of improvement in a) range and b) recharging speed in BEVs over say, 5 years and 10 years, and also overall battery life/ability of the battery to maintain its range as it er, gets older? The answer to that part of the question seems to be that it's far less of an issue already but I'm asking anyway. I also realise recharging speed is likely to be dependent on aspects of charging infrastructure but I just want to try and get a better understanding of this overall. Is it right to be as optimistic as the BEV proponents say?
a) range has been steadily increasing, but depends as much on the efficiency of the car as the size of battery. Currently Hyundai/Kia and Tesla seem to be leading the way there. They both have cars with a realistic 250 mile range and more if you can pay for a bigger battery. That’s as opposed to the state of the art 10 or so years ago when about 100 miles was considered good. I’m not sure range will increase by another 100 miles or so in the next 5-10, as likely they will decide to keep the same range and use a smaller battery to save weight. Mazda are already doing this using a small battery and smaller range (124 miles) for the MX30. They argue that this is already big enough for most people.

b) recharging speed is currently at about 350 kilowatts max rate for the latest cars, I’m sure there’s some room for higher rates in the next 5-10 years. Realistically it’s likely that the 350 kW charging stations will at least have replaced a lot of slower ones in that time frame, and increased the number of charging points as well. Outside of cities and motorways charging still isn’t great, unless you can charge at home or work, but there are more than 20,000 locations now so it’s normally possible to get to one.
350 kW will get your battery 80% full in about 15 minutes. The rate slows as you approach 100%.
Thermal management of batteries really improves the life and I believe warranties normally cover at least the first 100,000 miles if not more. In testing they make batteries last the equivalent of 1,000,000 miles and still have over 80% capacity remaining.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:26 pm

On battery lifetime, I think we’re still learning from experience of how these things behave in the field and anecdotally they last better than had been feared, with the caveat that faster charging may tend to mean faster degradation. Another thing that may come along as penetration of EVs increases is a better established and more predictable ‘second life’ market for used EV batteries which might lead to more user-friendly warranty and replacement policies from the manufacturers.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:07 pm

Durability of batteries is getting better all the time but modern batteries should now outlive a car if used sensibly. Jeff Dahn is a battery researcher who works closely with Tesla. He has test rigs where he analyses a range of battery chemistries by continually charging and discharging them with a set of different charging regimes. He's tested an off the shelf lithium battery that shows no practical degradation if the charge is kept between 25% and 75% after 10,000 cycles. That same chemistry degrades about 10% if fully charged and discharged on each cycle. 10,000 cycles is enough for 2 million miles, the rest of the car will fall apart well before that. He's still testing the things. Youtube video of him going into it all, his bit is about 15 minutes, lots of Q&A around it.

The key graph below from his presentation is below, the cycle time is 2 hours for his rig, so the bottom axis represents 10K cycles.

Image

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