The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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bmforre
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bmforre » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:44 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:30 pm
So it’s a case of it being so wet and rainy with plenty of high mountains why bother pumping?
I understand parts of the UK are wet and rainy yet yield little hydroelectricity.

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Grumble
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:38 pm

bmforre wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:18 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:43 pm
... I don’t think we’ll get 1 TWh of storage, we might get up to the GWh range but that doesn’t last all that long. We’re currently in the MWh range. Can we really use Norway as our storage? I assume this would be pumped hydro, I don’t know what capacity they have?
Latest first: We don't pump hydro in Norway, water rains down from above and is caught in our large reservoirs. From whence: dispatched.

Storage capacity in this country. According to https://energifaktanorge.no/norsk-energ ... rsyningen/, translated and commented by me:
"Normal year" production: 141 TWh. Trend: Increasing with climate change at present.
Storage capacity ca. 70% of yearly consumption.
That's ca 100 TWh.
While you state
... I don’t think we’ll get 1 TWh of storage ...
in Norway we do have 100 times that.
That’s not storage so much as production. For it to be useful to the UK, in this hypothetical scenario, we’d need to add a TWh or so of capacity that we could use in a day or two and which would be easily replenished. That might not be that big of a challenge, I don’t know. Does Norway export a lot of hydro power currently?
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Martin_B
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin_B » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:55 am

basementer wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:56 pm
Martin_B wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:37 pm
Pumped hydro can be the answer in some places. New Zealand, for example, provides significant peak power generation through the release of pumped hydro...
Do you have a citation for that? There is lots of hydro generation, certainly, but when I've gone looking for figures on pumped storage I've mostly found articles saying that we ought to consider doing it.
Interesting. I was working with Genesis who are one of the power generators in NZ, and they were the ones who told me about pumped hydro, but I can't find any details about their power stations online. (They have divested some of their stations in recent years - they were essentially the New Zealand Electricity Corporation until ~1999.) I'm sure that they mentioned that their power stations have the ability to reverse flow when there is excess power generation in the country, but there's no mention of it. I wonder whether a hydro-electric power station which has the ability to reverse flow is still only mentioned as a hydro-electric power station, and pumped hydro-electric then refers specifically to stations pumping to a new, high-level reservoir constructed for the purpose.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin_B » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:58 am

bmforre wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:44 pm
bjn wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:30 pm
So it’s a case of it being so wet and rainy with plenty of high mountains why bother pumping?
I understand parts of the UK are wet and rainy yet yield little hydroelectricity.
You need high mountains in wet areas with different level lakes/reservoirs (or the construction of reservoirs). I guess that in Scotland there aren't so many lakes/reservoirs close to each other but with significant elevation difference to make hydroelectricity an option. That and the historic availability of cheap gas from the North Sea which has made investment in renewable energy schemes superfluous.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by basementer » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:04 am

Martin_B wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:55 am
Interesting. I was working with Genesis who are one of the power generators in NZ, and they were the ones who told me about pumped hydro, but I can't find any details about their power stations online. (They have divested some of their stations in recent years - they were essentially the New Zealand Electricity Corporation until ~1999.) I'm sure that they mentioned that their power stations have the ability to reverse flow when there is excess power generation in the country, but there's no mention of it. I wonder whether a hydro-electric power station which has the ability to reverse flow is still only mentioned as a hydro-electric power station, and pumped hydro-electric then refers specifically to stations pumping to a new, high-level reservoir constructed for the purpose.
Most of the stations in the Waitaki scheme (there are eight in all) discharge into rivers or canals, which presumably makes reversing the flow impractical, but at a cursory glance Ohau A and Aviemore look to have lakes below that could be used. Meridian owns those now, and they don't mention pumped storage on their website. Perhaps it is a matter of terminology as you say.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:38 pm

dyqik wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:10 pm
Pucksoppet wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:33 am
Grumble wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:43 pm
Even with all the concrete nuclear is still very much a low carbon energy source. And that’s the main point really, I don’t believe we can get to a point of 100% renewables because we need something like 1000x the current installation base to cover low wind days, or we need massive amounts of storage. We can get further with more wind and solar and more storage, but to provide 100% low carbon electricity we need nuclear in the mix. I don’t think we’ll get 1 TWh of storage, we might get up to the GWh range but that doesn’t last all that long. We’re currently in the MWh range. Can we really use Norway as our storage? I assume this would be pumped hydro, I don’t know what capacity they have?

Fusion will have the same issues of large capital costs to pay off, assuming it happens.
Actually, as far as I could make out when I looked at this about a year or so ago, very little. I was reading original documents from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE: http://www.nve.no), so I could easily have missed something, but it looked like, although Norway has lots of hydro power, it has very little to no pumped storage ( https://www.nve.no/energiforsyning/kraf ... f=mainmenu 1626 power-generating facilities generating 135 TWh/year and 30 pumps using 0.16 TWh/year.). That could be changed, but it is not a short-term, or cheap project.
It's a lot cheaper than building new pumped storage, or probably new other method storage sites. You've got the upper dam and reservoir, the generators, and the lines connecting to the grid already. The big outlays would be a lower water storage pond (probably much cheaper than the high dam and reservoir), pumps and plumbing*, and control and switch gear to reverse the direction of the grid connections.

*or whatever the appropriate word here is
Regardless of whether it's pumped storage or conventional hydro, it still must be possible to have it very fast to turn on and off, so with sufficient hydro generation capacity, the pumped storage part might be less important.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by rockdoctor » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:32 pm

As a fossil fuel employee, I'm quite engaged with its death. I happen to be employed by one of the worst CO2 emitters; one of or core businesses is coal-to-liquids or CTL (we stitch synthetic diesel molecules together from elements). An early challenge I was set was finding methane near enough to Johannesburg to replace coal. We have not yet succeeded.
In the oil industry worldwide conventional oil exploration is declining due to cost and falling success rates. Gas (methane) is being found in huge quantities though. I think the jury is still out as to whether fracked oil is profitable. There is a huge amount being produced, but apparently at a loss in most cases.
I reckon gas will be the transition fuel to wean us off oil. It may be a long or short transition, but at least coal looks to be subsiding relatively quickly.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:34 pm

[quote=rockdoctor post_id=4047 time=1574530361 user_id=180
I reckon gas will be the transition fuel to wean us off oil. It may be a long or short transition, but at least coal looks to be subsiding relatively quickly.
[/quote]
How so? They are generally used for different purposes.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by rockdoctor » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:48 pm

Large scale coal is used for electricity generation. That can definitely be replaced by other energy sources.
My company illustrates how you can convert coal into diesel, and we also do gas into diesel.
Anything into electrons looks more and more to be the way forward

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:55 pm

Looks like coal use will be on track to have declined by 3% globally in 2019.

The really illuminating part for me was that China, which is building a swathe of new coal plants, has historically low utilisation rate of 48% for its existing fleet. Globally the utilisation rate is also dropping. All those extra plants they are building are just going to add to the idle pool and reduce utilisation rates even further. Stranded assets in the making.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:06 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:55 pm
Looks like coal use will be on track to have declined by 3% globally in 2019.

The really illuminating part for me was that China, which is building a swathe of new coal plants, has historically low utilisation rate of 48% for its existing fleet. Globally the utilisation rate is also dropping. All those extra plants they are building are just going to add to the idle pool and reduce utilisation rates even further. Stranded assets in the making.
I can’t make out why China is building so many coal plants despite the existing ones not being utilised. I suspect the answer is in corruption.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:29 pm

That. And probably a bunch of other reasons including they’ve been in a planning pipeline and inertia has carried it among as well as electricity demand not growing as fast as expected.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bmforre » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:01 am

US and Australian climate scientists Rob Jackson and Pep Canadell have recently published on status and trends for fossil fuels' CO2 contribution. Se f.ex. NYTimes https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/opin ... on=Opinion and pointers from there to scientific publications.

A main point: They find that while coal use has decreased a lot lately the expansion in oil and gas has been so large that net CO2 output has increased not decreased. I heard Jackson intervjued on the BBC and he argued strongly about this.
So not much hope of Death of Fossil Fuels right now.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Chris Preston » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:12 am

Martin_B wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:55 am
Interesting. I was working with Genesis who are one of the power generators in NZ, and they were the ones who told me about pumped hydro, but I can't find any details about their power stations online. (They have divested some of their stations in recent years - they were essentially the New Zealand Electricity Corporation until ~1999.) I'm sure that they mentioned that their power stations have the ability to reverse flow when there is excess power generation in the country, but there's no mention of it. I wonder whether a hydro-electric power station which has the ability to reverse flow is still only mentioned as a hydro-electric power station, and pumped hydro-electric then refers specifically to stations pumping to a new, high-level reservoir constructed for the purpose.
Australia has several pumped hydro schemes all on the east cost. Although the Shoalhaven one is used to pump water into the Sydney water supply rather than for generating electricity.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:57 pm

As I write this the U.K. electricity supply is 46% renewable, including 37% from wind. Admittedly it’s late at night and overall demand has dropped but it’s still impressive and not actually the highest figure for the day in % or GW. I’m well impressed by what wind generators are doing. I’m not sure why the coal plants have been woken up for winter though. It seems to me that with the increase in wind there is spare capacity in the gas turbine operators.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Gfamily » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:12 am

Grumble wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:57 pm
As I write this the U.K. electricity supply is 46% renewable, including 37% from wind. Admittedly it’s late at night and overall demand has dropped but it’s still impressive and not actually the highest figure for the day in % or GW. I’m well impressed by what wind generators are doing. I’m not sure why the coal plants have been woken up for winter though. It seems to me that with the increase in wind there is spare capacity in the gas turbine operators.
It's been a pretty still December until today
at the risk of being slated for another crap chart...
Wind speeds and gusts since the start of the month (from our personal weather station)
wind speed.PNG
wind speed.PNG (12.3 KiB) Viewed 324 times
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Sciolus » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:17 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:12 am
at the risk of being slated for another crap chart...
Well, at least that one's got units, but...

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:05 pm

Yesterday averaged nearly 50% renewables supply in the U.K. with most of that being wind which was great. Today we’re back to about 25%. Once we have a few more big wind farms we’re really going to start needing that grid scale storage. A few hours worth isn’t really going to cut it either, though I know we have to start somewhere. Wind varies so much with whole days being calm. At the moment we have a couple of minutes of storage if that (as evidenced by the power cut a few weeks ago).

It doesn’t look like batteries are favoured at the moment but it’s not clear from that article what is favoured. I’m not clear on what demand side response means?
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:17 pm

Drax claim we need at least 10x current storage to achieve carbon neutral generation, up to 30GW from the current 3GW. I assume that’s with nuclear in the mix.
https://www.energy-storage.news/news/dr ... gy-storage
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:26 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:05 pm
I’m not clear on what demand side response means?
Ah, a bit of reading around and it has become clear that DSR is asking people (or companies really) not to use electricity when demand is high relative to supply, and vice versa. I wonder how much we can feasibly gain from that.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bolo » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:41 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:26 pm
I wonder how much we can feasibly gain from that.
Here are some U.S. data. It looks like it takes about 12 GW off peak demand.

At work, we have "gold days" in the summer. Escalators (which are hardly used anyway) stop running. Lighting in non-public hallways is dimmed. The air conditioning stays at the same temperature setting but with a longer on/off cycle. This happens automatically, under the control of the power company in exchange for lower rates the rest of the year.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:25 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:26 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:05 pm
I’m not clear on what demand side response means?
Ah, a bit of reading around and it has become clear that DSR is asking people (or companies really) not to use electricity when demand is high relative to supply, and vice versa. I wonder how much we can feasibly gain from that.
Our fab gets a lower tariff for going off-grid at times of high demand. We have a very large uninteruptable power supply based on a flywheel in a vacuum.

At a friend's 40th, I ended up speaking to an engineer with the National Grid, who said us installing that stabilised the entire town's voltage - and that includes a pretty sizeable hospital and quite a bit of light industry, so it's not a small effect.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:50 pm

jimbob wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:25 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:26 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:05 pm
I’m not clear on what demand side response means?
Ah, a bit of reading around and it has become clear that DSR is asking people (or companies really) not to use electricity when demand is high relative to supply, and vice versa. I wonder how much we can feasibly gain from that.
Our fab gets a lower tariff for going off-grid at times of high demand. We have a very large uninteruptable power supply based on a flywheel in a vacuum.

At a friend's 40th, I ended up speaking to an engineer with the National Grid, who said us installing that stabilised the entire town's voltage - and that includes a pretty sizeable hospital and quite a bit of light industry, so it's not a small effect.
And is it all automatic as per bolo’s response?
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by jimbob » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:04 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:50 pm
jimbob wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:25 pm
Grumble wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:26 pm


Ah, a bit of reading around and it has become clear that DSR is asking people (or companies really) not to use electricity when demand is high relative to supply, and vice versa. I wonder how much we can feasibly gain from that.
Our fab gets a lower tariff for going off-grid at times of high demand. We have a very large uninteruptable power supply based on a flywheel in a vacuum.

At a friend's 40th, I ended up speaking to an engineer with the National Grid, who said us installing that stabilised the entire town's voltage - and that includes a pretty sizeable hospital and quite a bit of light industry, so it's not a small effect.
And is it all automatic as per bolo’s response?
I'm pretty sure it is - but am not certain.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:26 pm

Highview Power are to install a 400 MWh liquid air storage facility in the US.

https://www.energy-storage.news/news/hi ... ge-install

This is definitely part of the answer. Along with the interconnector to Norway.
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