If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Ars Technica)   Wind is blowing up, Solar is burning hot, Coal is burning out and Nuclear is radioactively expensive   ( arstechnica.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, energy, cost, renewable energy sources, nuclear plants, Lazard, Sustainable energy, energy storage, Wind power  
•       •       •

1202 clicks; posted to Business » on 08 Nov 2017 at 12:20 PM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



26 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-11-08 10:39:38 AM  
This is madness, people. If we continue to harness the wind we will run out of air and the earth will stop spinning and then we'll all have to live on the small ring of land between the white-hot sun facing side and the freezing cold dark side of the Earth.

Which is quite honestly only slightly better than solar panels, which will suck so much heat from the sun that there's a good chance it'll go supernova and explode in the next 3-5 years.

Our only real hope is coal. Clean, fresh as a daisy coal, organically harvested from the massive cavernous assholes of West Virginian Congressmen. So many jorbs, people. So many.
 
2017-11-08 10:52:54 AM  
Until wind and solar get taxed all to hell, of course.
 
2017-11-08 10:55:51 AM  

themindiswatching: Until wind and solar get taxed all to hell, of course.


They'll be begging for solar depletion credits.
 
2017-11-08 12:09:54 PM  

bdub77: This is madness, people. If we continue to harness the wind we will run out of air and the earth will stop spinning and then we'll all have to live on the small ring of land between the white-hot sun facing side and the freezing cold dark side of the Earth.

Which is quite honestly only slightly better than solar panels, which will suck so much heat from the sun that there's a good chance it'll go supernova and explode in the next 3-5 years.

Our only real hope is coal. Clean, fresh as a daisy coal, organically harvested from the massive cavernous assholes of West Virginian Congressmen. So many jorbs, people. So many.


Jorbs for robots are still jorbs, dammit!
 
2017-11-08 12:40:51 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2017-11-08 12:58:09 PM  
 
2017-11-08 01:24:56 PM  
What's the "Wind with Storage" cost? It's listed for Solar.
 
2017-11-08 01:40:18 PM  
If that graph reads the way I think it does, then Solar isa actually more expensive than nuclear.
Solar-Rooftop Residential
Solar-Rooftop C&I

Those are both more.

Solar-Thermal Tower with Storage is only marginally cheaper.

But subby got to use "radioactively expensive", so there's that, I guess.

The real point here should be that there is no "one" answer, but nobody is that smart. You don't even need storage if you have a balanced network. Wind and solar for when there is wind and sun, nuclear, natural gas, and things like geo thermal and tidal power generation to fill in the holes and cover large demand. But no matter which side of the argument you prefer, nobody is willing to take a big picture approach, they only want their baby and nothing else. The wind and solar people think that making extra batteries when we could design our grid not to need them in the first place is somehow "better" for the environment, and the coal people think that only by pouring a bunch of soot into the air can we truly see at night. Nuclear people are just pissed that Hollywood and the US government spent 50 years teaching us to fear nuclear anything.

But as with pretty much everything, balance is the actual key here.
 
2017-11-08 01:42:22 PM  

beer4breakfast: mrwhippy: [i.imgur.com image 500x285]

Wind Power Found to Affect Local Climate


Still not as simplistic as that jackass made it. Yes, affecting the airflow is going to change things, just like standing directly under a giant solar panel blocks out the sun. But wind doesn't make things "cool" in the way this guy believes. He thinks that the world is just a giant fan, and if you turn off that fan, he's gonna be pissed.
 
2017-11-08 01:50:07 PM  

beer4breakfast: mrwhippy: [i.imgur.com image 500x285]

Wind Power Found to Affect Local Climate


Myth Debunked: Wind Farms Don't Alter the Climate


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc​e​-nature/myth-debunked-wind-farms-dont-​alter-climate-180949701/
 
2017-11-08 01:52:33 PM  

mrwhippy: Myth Debunked: Wind Farms Don't Alter the Climate


'Climate' and 'local climate' are not the same thing.  Both articles can be correct, depending upon context..
 
2017-11-08 01:59:43 PM  

HeadLever: mrwhippy: Myth Debunked: Wind Farms Don't Alter the Climate

'Climate' and 'local climate' are not the same thing.  Both articles can be correct, depending upon context..


and let's not forget that solar energy is leading us down the path to destruction. When the sun blows up in 5 billion years, where will we get our solar energy? HUH? From Ceti Alpha V?

Checkmate, climatards
 
2017-11-08 02:02:14 PM  

mrwhippy: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc​e​-nature/myth-debunked-wind-farms-dont-​alter-climate-180949701/


Also, per your article, it basically acknowledges the impacts to localized temperatures:
But the researchers of that study noted that the warming they observed occurred only at night, and was simply the effect of warmer air-which generally settles higher than ground level during nighttime-getting chopped up by whirling turbines, with some of it coming down to ground level. As a result, this mechanism would not drive long-term climate change in the same way as the greenhouse effect-it would simply make the area immediately surround the turbines a bit warmer than otherwise, and air at higher altitudes a bit cooler.
 
2017-11-08 02:14:40 PM  

themindiswatching: Until wind and solar get taxed all to hell, of course.


Which won't help coal as long as fraking is supplying so much natural gas for electricity.  But that won't stop Trump and co from taxing the wind, the sun, and the rain.
 
2017-11-08 03:00:53 PM  

Mikey1969: If that graph reads the way I think it does, then Solar isa actually more expensive than nuclear.
Solar-Rooftop Residential
Solar-Rooftop C&I

Those are both more.

Solar-Thermal Tower with Storage is only marginally cheaper.


Rooftop residential is going to be the most expensive way to do solar, since it's a small-scale retrofit installation on an existing rooftop that probably wasn't ever designed for it in the first place.  Commercial and industrial rooftop is a bit better, since most of those are flat and the scale is slightly larger.  But both of these things are small-scale retrofit installs on rooftops, not utility-scale installations.

You missed the two utility-scale photovoltaic solar entries.  "Solar PV - Crystalline Utility Scale" and "Solar PV - Thin Film Utility Scale" are cheaper than almost everything else on the chart except wind and the very cheapest end of the combined-cycle natural gas plants.  Substantially cheaper than the solar thermal plants, too.  PV got so cheap in the last few years that even thermal designs can't touch it now.
 
2017-11-08 03:27:53 PM  

raygundan: You missed the two utility-scale photovoltaic solar entries.  "Solar PV - Crystalline Utility Scale" and "Solar PV - Thin Film Utility Scale" are cheaper than almost everything else on the chart except wind and the very cheapest end of the combined-cycle natural gas plants.  Substantially cheaper than the solar thermal plants, too.  PV got so cheap in the last few years that even thermal designs can't touch it now.


The cost of renewables, especially PV, varies tremendously by region. It also looks like they're including tax credits in their LCOE, which are artificial and going to go away at some point. The tax credit for wind power is about $12 per MWh, and about $18 per MWh for PV. See Table 2 in this EIA report:

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/pdf/​e​lectricity_generation.pdf

While solar has gotten very cheap in some areas, it's still murderously expensive in others. The maximum value (without tax credit) in that table was $143 per MWh, which is more expensive than practically anything else. Wind does a lot better, with a minimum LCOE of $43 per MWh and a maximum of $76 per MWh.

The problem, of course, is that natural gas is still absurdly cheap. Wind and solar are currently better than or breaking even with natural gas when you include the tax credits. Without the tax credits both are still more expensive.

We also haven't fully explored the scenario where the entire grid is renewable rather than a base load supplier plus renewables on top. There don't seem to be insurmountable problems, but upgrading the grid for the renewable era of power generation isn't going to be free, particularly when storage is taken into account.

And of course, we've never lived in a world where Nuclear was free to compete on its own terms.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket- renewables have lots of other advantages, so they don't need to be the cheapest in order to be worthwhile. But there are some areas where the wind doesn't blow so much or the sun doesn't shine so much that it's still cheaper to build new coal/gas/nuclear.
 
2017-11-08 03:33:21 PM  
Nuclear should be working towards safe molten salt reactors and using Thorium as a fuel source, but no, we'll probably keep getting the dangerous light water reactors. Meanwhile India, Germany, and China continue to invest in the technology's development, so when it finally does come here we get to lease the tech from them. Which means it will be needlessly more expensive. Yay us.
 
2017-11-08 03:53:56 PM  

germ78: Meanwhile India, Germany, and China continue to invest in the technology's development, so when it finally does come here we get to lease the tech from them.


The same Germany that entirely got out of nuclear power plants?
 
2017-11-08 05:14:54 PM  
LCOE = Levelized Cost of Energy. This takes into account capacity factor, cost of building, cost of operations, cost of fuel, siting issues, transmission buildouts and requirements for backup power.

It's also a good way to show just how gawd-dammed cheap solar and wind have become and just how farked wholesale markets are going to be with new renewable power supplies coming online that are cheaper than even existing coal and nuclear powerplants.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-08 05:27:17 PM  

facepalm.jpg: The cost of renewables, especially PV, varies tremendously by region. It also looks like they're including tax credits in their LCOE, which are artificial and going to go away at some point. The tax credit for wind power is about $12 per MWh, and about $18 per MWh for PV. See Table 2 in this EIA report:


Sorry to burst your bubble.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-08 05:51:26 PM  

facepalm.jpg: It also looks like they're including tax credits in their LCOE


Out of curiosity, what makes it "look like" that to you?  It says "unsubsidized levelized cost" on the graph, and then right in the article "none of those conclusions reflect subsidies and tax credits applied by the federal government."

It's just a straight up "how much it costs to build, maintain, and fuel divided by how much power it makes in its lifetime."
 
2017-11-08 07:15:23 PM  

mrwhippy: [i.imgur.com image 500x285]


This is....this is brain poison. It's killing me. Literally.
 
2017-11-08 07:23:55 PM  

bdub77: HeadLever: mrwhippy: Myth Debunked: Wind Farms Don't Alter the Climate

'Climate' and 'local climate' are not the same thing.  Both articles can be correct, depending upon context..

and let's not forget that solar energy is leading us down the path to destruction. When the sun blows up in 5 billion years, where will we get our solar energy? HUH? From Ceti Alpha V?

Checkmate, climatards


The sun is very gradually getting brighter, so the earth will become too hot for oceans or multicellular life in about a billion years at the most.

It's kind of sobering to realize that we are actually closer to the end of life on earth than the beginning, regardless of anything we might conceivably do.
 
2017-11-08 08:29:34 PM  
_Anything_ at a global scale will have unknown effects. One neighborhood on geothermal heat will have no effect, but if the world starts taking heat out? Does anyone really know? Oil was a great solution until it was used globally.
 
2017-11-09 01:49:24 AM  

raygundan: facepalm.jpg: It also looks like they're including tax credits in their LCOE

Out of curiosity, what makes it "look like" that to you?  It says "unsubsidized levelized cost" on the graph, and then right in the article "none of those conclusions reflect subsidies and tax credits applied by the federal government."

It's just a straight up "how much it costs to build, maintain, and fuel divided by how much power it makes in its lifetime."


It "looks like" because the cost they are quoting seems to be too low given figures I've seen elsewhere. See the link I posted above. I'm not sure why their number is different, other than that studies like these make many dozens of assumptions.
 
2017-11-09 02:37:07 AM  

facepalm.jpg: raygundan: facepalm.jpg: It also looks like they're including tax credits in their LCOE

Out of curiosity, what makes it "look like" that to you?  It says "unsubsidized levelized cost" on the graph, and then right in the article "none of those conclusions reflect subsidies and tax credits applied by the federal government."

It's just a straight up "how much it costs to build, maintain, and fuel divided by how much power it makes in its lifetime."

It "looks like" because the cost they are quoting seems to be too low given figures I've seen elsewhere. See the link I posted above. I'm not sure why their number is different, other than that studies like these make many dozens of assumptions.

I'm pretty sure the billion dollar in annual income (& 170 years in business) financial advisory & investment banking firm Lazard would know how to get their assumptions right and have correct data.

The DOE study you reference above is a good starting point, but the DOE's info is based on completed project costs and trends - which would put them a year or two behind, even on their forward projections. Lazard's data is based on current construction contracts and signed power purchase agreements, which is far more up-to-date source of current projects in the construction pipeline.

Considering we've seen solar PV come down in price by 80% in the past decade (and li-ion battery storage plummet 70% in the past 5-years), a 1-to-2 year delay in projection/construction data can make a huge difference in cost assumptions.

I'd be willing to wager that the DOE cost assumptions in 2019 on wind/PV will align with Lazard's current info within 5% or so.
 
Displayed 26 of 26 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter





Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report