The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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bjn
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:29 am

bjn wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:25 am
shpalman wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:45 am
Little waster wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:37 am


In other news, Hinkley Point C began construction in 2008 and is expected to boil its first egg by December 2025 ... unless it is further delayed ... which it almost certainly will be.
So now they only have to erect another 399 in the next five years.

Actually Hornsea 2 is projected to be finished by 2022, with a total of 165 turbines, and will provide a bit less than half the power (1.4 GW) of Hinkley Point C at total capacity (3.2 GW).
Where can I place a bet that Hornsea 3 will be generating power before Hinkley Point C?
Possibly even Hornsea 4, which hasn't even started proper planning yet as they have no idea how big the wind turbines will be that they would use.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Little waster » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:52 am

bjn wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:25 am
shpalman wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:45 am
Little waster wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:37 am


In other news, Hinkley Point C began construction in 2008 and is expected to boil its first egg by December 2025 ... unless it is further delayed ... which it almost certainly will be.
So now they only have to erect another 399 in the next five years.

Actually Hornsea 2 is projected to be finished by 2022, with a total of 165 turbines, and will provide a bit less than half the power (1.4 GW) of Hinkley Point C at total capacity (3.2 GW).
Where can I place a bet that Hornsea 3 will be generating power before Hinkley Point C?
Meanwhile 2025 will be closer in time to the painting of the Franco-Cantabrian bison then the distant descendent caretakers who will be still looking after Hinkley Point C's waste :shock:
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:50 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:31 am
The BBC has some windfarm p.rn on iplayer.
I liked that. But the bit I wanted to know was too nerdy for that show: how is the generated power synchronised with the 50Hz grid?

They talked about voltages (32kV from the turbine to the local transformer platform then 220kV to shore, IIRC) but they didn't discuss AC vs DC let alone how the AC is synched. Do the turbines run at a fixed speed, locked to their transformer platform which is locked in turn to the grid?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Gfamily » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:09 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:50 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:31 am
The BBC has some windfarm p.rn on iplayer.
I liked that. But the bit I wanted to know was too nerdy for that show: how is the generated power synchronised with the 50Hz grid?

They talked about voltages (32kV from the turbine to the local transformer platform then 220kV to shore, IIRC) but they didn't discuss AC vs DC let alone how the AC is synched. Do the turbines run at a fixed speed, locked to their transformer platform which is locked in turn to the grid?
This article, (I think) says that the generator's AC (at whatever cycle frequency) is converted to DC and then converted back to AC at the standard frequency.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:38 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:09 pm
This article, (I think) says that the generator's AC (at whatever cycle frequency) is converted to DC and then converted back to AC at the standard frequency.
Ta. Sounds like the whole system is a gigantic switch-mode power supply. I noticed on the platform they walked past a large lump of equipment labelled as some kind of harmonic filter and it made me shiver to think of suppressing frequencies you don't want while juggling megawatts.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:59 pm

Reading some ars technica threads and came across this comment on a article about fusion research. The poster claims to have done work in financial analysis of energy generation (he seems legit from his postings). The main point he makes is that the capital cost of renewables is now significantly cheaper than the capital cost of just the energy extraction side of a thermal power plant. Even if you got your heat free by magic, the cost of the turbines, generators and cooling systems are more than the cost of current PV systems. He claims you can now buy 3W(peak) of solar for each W of the energy extraction system for normal thermal power, for a nuke, with another cooling loop, you get even more PV. Lazard’s most recent report from nearly a year ago backs this up. They have the 2019 full system capital cost of coal as 3x to 6x over solar, and nukes 7x to 12x. Wind was nearly as good. Planned cheaper (ha!) SME fission reactors or more efficient super critical coal combustion won’t save them from some hard economics, fusion will never get a look in.

There is a lot of room in the 3x to 12x for over build, storage and interconnects, with minimal OpEx to boot. And the prices are still dropping like a stone, can’t wait for Lazard’s 2020 report. Thermal systems in general seem to be totally f.cked.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:47 am

While I’m stalking that same poster, he debunks one of the points people make when comparing the death rates from solar PV systems vs nuclear power. It’s often stated that solar kills more people than nuclear power. The claims originated in this 2008 paper. The paper's conclusion rests on several assumptions which are used to model deaths during construction of PV systems, vs the deaths caused by operating nuclear power plants.

The first clanger is that these two things are not alike, deaths from PV systems in operation have never been reported (almost certainly has happened somewhere, one is bound to have blown off a roof or similar), while deaths in the construction of large civil engineering projects do happen regularly.

The second problem is that Wang’s model sucks. He’s modelling PV generation as mainly rooftop systems, and has the death rate be equivalent to those of California domestic roofers. Panels are now better than 2008, so an installer can install 2 to 3x as much rooftop generation in the same time as they could in 2008, most of the world has way better safety regulations than the USA, and finally most systems (even in 2008) are not on domestic roofs but are industrial scale deployments with zero chance of falling off a roof. In aggregate the deaths per TWh were massively over inflated, and if you take domestic generation out, pretty much non existent for the bulk of actual generation.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:53 am

bjn wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:59 pm
There is a lot of room in the 3x to 12x for over build, storage and interconnects, with minimal OpEx to boot. And the prices are still dropping like a stone, can’t wait for Lazard’s 2020 report. Thermal systems in general seem to be totally f.cked.
I’m not sure there’s a lot of room in 3x for the other measures, but 12x yes.
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 bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:40 am

Grumble wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:53 am
bjn wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:59 pm
There is a lot of room in the 3x to 12x for over build, storage and interconnects, with minimal OpEx to boot. And the prices are still dropping like a stone, can’t wait for Lazard’s 2020 report. Thermal systems in general seem to be totally f.cked.
I’m not sure there’s a lot of room in 3x for the other measures, but 12x yes.
3X is the absolute best case for coal in 2019, 7X is the best case for Nukes. That's just the capital cost, there's no operational expenditure in there, and no carbon cost for coal. Bundle that in and it looks even better. PV has minimal OpEx, wind a bit more, offshore more than that.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:06 am

bjn wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:40 am
Grumble wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:53 am
bjn wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:59 pm
There is a lot of room in the 3x to 12x for over build, storage and interconnects, with minimal OpEx to boot. And the prices are still dropping like a stone, can’t wait for Lazard’s 2020 report. Thermal systems in general seem to be totally f.cked.
I’m not sure there’s a lot of room in 3x for the other measures, but 12x yes.
3X is the absolute best case for coal in 2019, 7X is the best case for Nukes. That's just the capital cost, there's no operational expenditure in there, and no carbon cost for coal. Bundle that in and it looks even better. PV has minimal OpEx, wind a bit more, offshore more than that.
Overbuild can be easily accounted for, storage and interconnects are more expensive than coal though, aren’t they? As noted in the paper linked to above 50% overbuild and 12 hours storage still won’t account for 100% coverage (in the USA) - the total of over 99% is impressive but we can’t be having multi-hour blackouts over Christmas.

I really like the liquid air storage method, it seems easily scalable and no fundamentally new technology needed.
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 bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:18 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:06 am
bjn wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:40 am
Grumble wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:53 am


I’m not sure there’s a lot of room in 3x for the other measures, but 12x yes.
3X is the absolute best case for coal in 2019, 7X is the best case for Nukes. That's just the capital cost, there's no operational expenditure in there, and no carbon cost for coal. Bundle that in and it looks even better. PV has minimal OpEx, wind a bit more, offshore more than that.
Overbuild can be easily accounted for, storage and interconnects are more expensive than coal though, aren’t they? As noted in the paper linked to above 50% overbuild and 12 hours storage still won’t account for 100% coverage (in the USA) - the total of over 99% is impressive but we can’t be having multi-hour blackouts over Christmas.

I really like the liquid air storage method, it seems easily scalable and no fundamentally new technology needed.
Throw in interconnects and possibly some gas generation for the last few % points. Regardless, we are a decade or three away from needing to solve those last few % points.

On the short term storage front, chap at Dalhousie university has been charging and discharging Tesla 4680 batteries for three years or so. He’s now reached 15,000 cycles on them, and if properly managed, they still show no signs of significant degradation. That means not dropping to zero nor fully charging them. 15,000 cycles is over 40 years of daily cycling for a grid storage system, or 3.5 million kilometres in a car. Note that he’s still not done yet, the batteries are still going strong.

Batteries are going to outlast the rest of a car and just be plonked into a new vehicle, so no recycling costs. 3.5 million km is probably going to see you through 20 cars doing 160,000km over their lifetime. Decades worth of use, BEVs are going to be cheap as chips as a result.

A 40 year lifespan for your storage is going to drop the levelised price for a kWh of battery storage significantly, making them way more attractive for use.

Image

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:21 pm

BTW, the 4680 batteries are the ones that will more than halve in price in the next few years if they get a few processes sorted, including dropping the energy needed to make a battery by 90%.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:28 pm

bjn wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:47 am
The second problem is that Wang’s model sucks. He’s modelling PV generation as mainly rooftop systems, and has the death rate be equivalent to those of California domestic roofers. Panels are now better than 2008, so an installer can install 2 to 3x as much rooftop generation in the same time as they could in 2008, most of the world has way better safety regulations than the USA, and finally most systems (even in 2008) are not on domestic roofs but are industrial scale deployments with zero chance of falling off a roof. In aggregate the deaths per TWh were massively over inflated, and if you take domestic generation out, pretty much non existent for the bulk of actual generation.
Roofing in the US is also a job with minimal training requirements, often done by immigrants (often undocumented) at minimum wage, cash in hand, employed by one man band contractors. Installing PV on a roof is more likely to involve a larger company, with better documentation and longer term workers.

US roofs last about 20-25 years, and get replaced fully in a day by a team of guys walking around on the roof scraping up asphalt shingles and laying new ones. It's absolutely nothing like UK roofing work with tiles, or installing rigid things like solar panels.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:19 pm

Yeah, it was an odd thing to pick as one of the assumptions in his model.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:33 pm

bjn wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:18 pm
... On the short term storage front, chap at Dalhousie university has been charging and discharging Tesla 4680 batteries for three years or so. He’s now reached 15,000 cycles on them, and if properly managed, they still show no signs of significant degradation. That means not dropping to zero nor fully charging them. 15,000 cycles is over 40 years of daily cycling for a grid storage system, or 3.5 million kilometres in a car. Note that he’s still not done yet, the batteries are still going strong.

Batteries are going to outlast the rest of a car and just be plonked into a new vehicle, so no recycling costs. 3.5 million km is probably going to see you through 20 cars doing 160,000km over their lifetime. Decades worth of use, BEVs are going to be cheap as chips as a result.

A 40 year lifespan for your storage is going to drop the levelised price for a kWh of battery storage significantly, making them way more attractive for use.

Image
That's a more upbeat view than I've seen about the lifetime of Li-ion car batteries. I'd caution that they do degrade over time even in storage, not just through being cycled. Keeping them cold, not drawing too much current and limiting how much you charge and discharge them all help but I remain to be persuaded a set of batteries will outlast a car in the real world. Obviously there's a compromise; if you carry twice as heavy a battery you reduce the current per cell and the discharge percentage, so it lasts longer but at a cost. On the upside for those of us in colder countries, our batteries will probably outlast those in sunnier climes.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:12 pm

BEVs aren’t typically deep cycled, the general usage pattern is something in the range of 50 to 80% per cycle, with the odd deep cycle for long distance travel. Note the drop in performance for full charge/discharge over 15k cycles is about 85% of original capacity. So a mix of shallow and deep cycling found in real world usage should work fine with these new batteries. As for keeping the batteries cool, most BEV manufacturers have learnt their lessons from the counter example of the Leaf and they have active cooling built in, plus these batteries are also easier to keep cool as they have less internal resistance.

This is for a new generation of batteries with a new chemistry and construction. Real world examples of Tesla’s first generation of battery packs in the Model S have them degrading to around 85% over 800,000km, and when retired they get repurpose as storage with shallower cycling. And yes, I really doubt you will see a battery pack be reused over 20 cars, mechanical wear and tear and many other issues will prevent that, but I fully expect to see them reused in a BEV several times over before either being recycled or turned into a storage battery.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:41 pm

bjn wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:59 pm
Reading some ars technica threads and came across this comment on a article about fusion research. The poster claims to have done work in financial analysis of energy generation (he seems legit from his postings). The main point he makes is that the capital cost of renewables is now significantly cheaper than the capital cost of just the energy extraction side of a thermal power plant. Even if you got your heat free by magic, the cost of the turbines, generators and cooling systems are more than the cost of current PV systems. He claims you can now buy 3W(peak) of solar for each W of the energy extraction system for normal thermal power, for a nuke, with another cooling loop, you get even more PV. Lazard’s most recent report from nearly a year ago backs this up. They have the 2019 full system capital cost of coal as 3x to 6x over solar, and nukes 7x to 12x. Wind was nearly as good. Planned cheaper (ha!) SME fission reactors or more efficient super critical coal combustion won’t save them from some hard economics, fusion will never get a look in.

There is a lot of room in the 3x to 12x for over build, storage and interconnects, with minimal OpEx to boot. And the prices are still dropping like a stone, can’t wait for Lazard’s 2020 report. Thermal systems in general seem to be totally f.cked.
Wow. That brings home the differences in costs quite impressively.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:00 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:41 pm
Wow. That brings home the differences in costs quite impressively.
It does, what it doesn’t show is the opportunity cost - the ability to turn the power on when you need it. That’s why we need overbuild and storage and interconnectors and demand side response. The capital cost of generation is a big part of it, demand side response could be cost neutral - just include pricing signals and demand will respond accordingly. I assume interconnectors already make sense given that we have a few and more under construction. It’s storage that’s expensive, and that’s more expensive than a fossil fuel generator currently but getting cheaper.
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 bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:24 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:00 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:41 pm
Wow. That brings home the differences in costs quite impressively.
It does, what it doesn’t show is the opportunity cost - the ability to turn the power on when you need it. That’s why we need overbuild and storage and interconnectors and demand side response. The capital cost of generation is a big part of it, demand side response could be cost neutral - just include pricing signals and demand will respond accordingly. I assume interconnectors already make sense given that we have a few and more under construction. It’s storage that’s expensive, and that’s more expensive than a fossil fuel generator currently but getting cheaper.
Yep, dispatchable generation is important, and currently* such power sources get to charge a significant premium over non dispatchable sources. Gas peakers and now banks of batteries cost a lot more per kWh provided, but you don’t run them all the time. It is also a problem we don’t completely need to solve in the immediate term. Lazard’s do a levelised cost of storage report which I’ll dig into when I get a chance.

*did you see what I did there.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:26 pm

Talking of Lazard’s, it November and they’ve released the LCOE and LCOS studies for 2020. Fun bedtime reading.

I should plot their costs over time for shiggles.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:00 pm

Just skimming those reports. The LCOS report includes a real world use case for storage. The unsubsidised levelised cost of storage for the CASIO 50MW/200MWh battery system is $132/MWh. In comparison the unsubsidised levelised cost of energy generation for coal is $65 to $159, nukes are $129 to $198, gas peakers are at $155 to $198 while utility solar is $29 to $38.

That was for real world systems. Let those number sink in.

Consider, 60% of that $132 is paying for capital and they assume that the system lasts 20 years. If new systems were to use a new generation of batteries with 40 year life spans costing 45% the price of current batteries, you are reducing capital cost* per MWh by over 75%, so dropping the total MWh price over 40%.

Now that won’t solve all problems. Yes we need longer term storage, not everywhere is sunny (but most people live in sunny places) or windy, plus a range of other cases, but it solves a f.ck tonne of those problems.

*to do the sum properly you need to do sums with NPV cal s and with discount rates etc.. I can’t be arse on a sunday evening.
Last edited by bjn on Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:01 pm

bjn wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:12 pm
... As for keeping the batteries cool, most BEV manufacturers have learnt their lessons from the counter example of the Leaf and they have active cooling built in
Interesting. I didn't know the Leaf was regarded as a particularly weak design or that other designs had changed as a result. I do remember a Top Gear episode a year or two ago which made fun of driving a secondhand Leaf that only had around 30-something miles range, and that made rather an impression. Maybe a distorted impression.

If other batteries have much better expected lifetimes then I don't think that impression has got into the public's mind yet if the stuff I read on car forums is anything to go by (even allowing for the hefty blowhard contingent on such forums).

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:07 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:01 pm
bjn wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:12 pm
... As for keeping the batteries cool, most BEV manufacturers have learnt their lessons from the counter example of the Leaf and they have active cooling built in
Interesting. I didn't know the Leaf was regarded as a particularly weak design or that other designs had changed as a result. I do remember a Top Gear episode a year or two ago which made fun of driving a secondhand Leaf that only had around 30-something miles range, and that made rather an impression. Maybe a distorted impression.

If other batteries have much better expected lifetimes then I don't think that impression has got into the public's mind yet if the stuff I read on car forums is anything to go by (even allowing for the hefty blowhard contingent on such forums).
The Leaf didn’t have a cooling system into its battery packs, thus causing significant degradation in places that were vaguely warm. Most other BEV systems thought that as nuts and built in thermal management from the outset.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:09 pm

That's striking. Battery storage cheaper than nuclear generation, and nukes aren't a meet-the-peaks or fill-the-gaps technology which batteries absolutely are.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:41 pm

Apologies, I misread the system cost break down for storage, and the capital cost for that CASIO system was $60 per MWh, not 60%. So the savings for cheaper batteries in a similar system won’t be as big. Note that the IRR for that system is 23%, they are coining it.

They have a range of other example systems, some being crazy high LCOSs (>$2000 in Nantucket), with residential storage microsystem costing about $400 in Hawaii.

Then there is the smaller Texas system that is paired to a solar farm has an LCOS of $81, IRR of 22%. That also had a capital cost of $60 per MWh. Drop the capital cost by up to 75% for a new system and it would be costing you $36 per MWh. Nuts.

There is a reason that Texas had multi multi GW of storage in the pipeline, with an estimate 1GW going in this year.

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